Aqueon 15 Gallon LED Column

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Avery
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Aqueon 15 Gallon LED Column

Post by Avery » July 13th, 2019, 5:12 pm

I decided to try out these column style tanks since it fits nicely between my fireplace corner and the front door (which is a narrow but all space). I must say that these tanks do have a different type of challenge, from not only their style, but also what you can do with them. I figured that I'd document everything from me setting it up to what it looks like at a random interval. If you have any questions or suggestions, please don't hesitate to ask or let me know!

Detailed Information

Tank: Aqueon 15 Gallon Column (13.75 x 13.75 x 25")
Stand: Aqueon 15 Gallon Column Stand (specifically fits only this tank)
Filter: Aqueon 10 Gallon QuietFlow Filter HOB (1x), Top Fin Multi-Stage Internal Filter 10 (2x)
Lighting: Stock (Aqueon 15 Gallon LED fixture)

Substrate: CaribSea Eco-Complete Black Planted Substrate (mixture between sand and gravel)
Flora: Anubias Congesis (2x), Anubias Nana (3x), Water Wisteria (4x)
Fauna: Chinese Algae Eater (4x), Black Kuhli Loach (2x), Malaysian Trumpet Snails (?x)

Photography
I've setup each of the following text titles to be a rough sentence or two of what was added, changed, removed, or the status update. Just directly select on this to be brought to that specific post with the images added as attachments.

Setting Up
Adding Hardscape (Driftwood)
Adding Plants
Adding Initial Fish
Adding Additional Fish
Changing Livestock, Adding New Fish
Adding Snails, Baby Fish

Avery
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Posts: 107
Joined: July 3rd, 2019, 11:30 pm
Answers: 20
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Post by Avery » July 13th, 2019, 5:19 pm

I just finished setting up the stand (took about 30 minutes, the most confusing part is with the way the latches attach to the door since it's not described at all correctly), adding in the substrate, and filling it up with water. I must say, that the way this tank sits on the stand is way different than I have seen other column tanks on display (instead of the trim sitting on the stand directly, the bottom glass sits on all of the corners of the stand to hold it in place).

I'm waiting for a few more hours or possibly a day to let the water clear up, before I start to explore ideas with creating a hardscape using driftwood (I would normally use lace rock, but the vertical size of this makes it harder to have that done while still allowing room for fish to swim around or through). I'm also looking at replacing this filter since the flow isn't the greatest (it came with the kit), and thinking of either using another HOB (possibly Aquaclear) or going with a canister filter to allow for the intake to be all of the way near the bottom as well.
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v_danger_v
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Joined: July 4th, 2019, 5:50 pm
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Post by v_danger_v » July 13th, 2019, 11:22 pm

That is a super cool looking tank, I don’t think I’ve ever seen one in a fish store before like that. Did you have to order it in? How much did it all cost?

What are your plans for fish and plants since they show as empty on your original post?


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Avery
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Posts: 107
Joined: July 3rd, 2019, 11:30 pm
Answers: 20
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Post by Avery » July 14th, 2019, 12:58 am

I've seen these before a few months ago at PetSmart (although, it was a Top Fin brand and a 10 gallon column), but this specific one was sold with the tank kit and the stand for cheaper then buying both at my local Petco. In total, it costed me about $150 for the whole setup (included a 50W heater, Aqueon QuietFlow 10 HOB Filter, Aqueon Flake Food, Aqueon Water Conditioner, fish net, and a few other samples/coupons for other Aqueon products).

I'm still thinking about what I want to specifically add to this one, since it's technically surface area wise smaller than a 10 gallon (but bigger than a 5 gallon), and not many fish at all swim up and down. I've narrowed my results down to just doing a shrimp only tank, or a shrimp and possibly guppy/endler tank. It will for sure though have driftwood in it since there isn't much to take away from a empty top portion until the plants I pick out get big enough (which could take a few months at least). Live plant wise, I'm looking into adding some anubias, java fern, moss, amazon swords for the background, and possibly some jungle vals. in the back/side areas to make it have some type of depth. For the front area, I was thinking of some type of carpet, but I don't think that would be ideal since the PAR at the bottom of the substrate is pretty poor.

We'll see what I can come up with for a hardscape or aquascape design wise with the plants in order to make this tank not appear as small as it is compared to the long column length.

Avery
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Posts: 107
Joined: July 3rd, 2019, 11:30 pm
Answers: 20
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Post by Avery » July 16th, 2019, 9:47 pm

I went to my local aquarium store that is family owned (out here in Phoenix, it's called The Ocean Floor) and picked through tons of different options of Mopani wood, Malaysian driftwood, and even trying to stack Lace rock up to make sure that the vertical height is filled in. After spending a good amount of time in there, I finally picked out a nice piece of Malaysian driftwood that fits that criteria and isn't too thick to where it leaves little room for any fish/invertebrates to hide and swim around.

At the time of taking the photo, you can see that the water appears cloudy still from me having to move around the substrate (which has a decent portion of the sand layer above the gravel) still. You can see from the photos, that looking directly, head on, it appears to be vertically tall and horizontally wide. However, if the second photo looks from the side and you can see just how thin this piece of driftwood appears. I'm looking at plants now, and will probably cover the driftwood in different varieties of Anubias, possibly some Java Fern, and/or a type of moss. I was thinking of adding in possibly some Amazon Swords, or some type of vals. but not fully sure how that will look (might be too much).

I've thought also about trying to color the background black in order to hide the shades behind it, but I think after awhile some algae growing possibly on it will provide super beneficial. I'm also still trying to decide the fish/invertebrates that I want to keep inside of this aquarium, which is providing to be exciting since I might try some options that I personally have never done before for the kicks of it. We'll see, stay tuned!
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v_danger_v
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Joined: July 4th, 2019, 5:50 pm
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Post by v_danger_v » July 18th, 2019, 5:42 pm

Looks good! Did you boil the driftwood before placing it in? Or do you want the water to turn dark yellow over time?


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Avery
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Location: Phoenix, AZ

Post by Avery » July 19th, 2019, 12:26 am

I did not boil the driftwood, since although that can remove the tannins (or, well make them release more slowly), it actually breaks the driftwood down even faster which isn't what I want. Tannins aren't something that I am specifically looking for, although they will help lower my somewhat high pH and make the water more softer (compared to my super hard water out here). I can already see some slight yellow tint in the water, which doesn't bother me too much.

So far I added in the plants in a default setting (although I think I'll move that Anubias that is sitting at the bottom and put it elsewhere). I'm still thinking of what to do in the background to hide some of the equipment, but provide some cover/areas to hide in.

I tried upgrading the filter from the stock Aqueon 10 Quietflow to the Aqueon 30 Quietflow, but sadly it does not fit with the hood that came with the aquarium (the filter won't allow for the hood to fully close, which results in the filter sitting oddly with the intake tube almost touching the wood even if I move it more forward). I thought about trying to replace it with a canister filter, but that leaves a pretty big area where a fish could jump out since it's open in the back and the hood already had that area cut out (poor idea, if you ask me since they basically set this up to only be used be a HOB filter or if you can somehow make your own DIY hood setup).
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Avery
Administrators
Posts: 107
Joined: July 3rd, 2019, 11:30 pm
Answers: 20
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Post by Avery » July 24th, 2019, 1:07 am

I just recently added in some of the initial starting fish, which consists of a few guppies (5 females and 1 male) along with a male betta. I originally planned to create a female betta sorority, but the fish stores near me didn't have enough of a difference between the females in stock (all were either red, blue, or purple). I also added in some water wisteria for the background (thought of amazon swords, but they would grow oddly against the glass mostly). I think the selection that I am heading towards (mostly a guppy tank with the betta to take care of any extra fry) along with some shrimp (will add in last once the plants are all fully in and the fish are happy), it's going to make for one super cool looking column tank.

For those who are wondering, I'm not sure why others online say this, but you cannot put a Aqueon 30 QuietFlow HOB Filter in this tank. The width is perfect, but the hood will not lay flat at all. I tried a Aqueon 20 QuietFlow HOB Filter and had the same issue. The worst part is that there really isn't a way to make a pre-made glass or other hood fit this aquarium at all. Without having to create a special piece of glass to fit on the inside (which looks kinda of odd since there is a good 4-5 inches that stand upward), I decided to stick with this filter for the meantime. I am for sure going to add in either some internal powerheads/spray bars, or possibly add in some type of canister filter to add the additional flow and surface movement that this tank fully needs.

I'll be adding in photos once I have the fish swimming around and enjoying the tank (right now the betta mostly stays in the middle areas while the guppies are sticking in the top area), and I'm sure the very few fish I have would still make the tank look pretty empty if I were to take some photos of it. I will post some though in the next update once I add in some more guppies and possibly some more plants, let me know if you want to see anything or have any specific questions!

v_danger_v
Posts: 59
Joined: July 4th, 2019, 5:50 pm
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Post by v_danger_v » August 1st, 2019, 12:49 am

I love the way that you have the plants against the body of the wood. I know you haven’t posted an update in awhile, but do any of the fish or loaches use that to hide in?

Also how are the loaches doing on the eco-complete substrate? I know they like pebbles and sand, and since eco-complete is somewhat a mixture of gravel and sand, it makes me super curious.

Can’t wait to see how it looks with all of the additions since the last update! Keep up the great work man!


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Avery
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Joined: July 3rd, 2019, 11:30 pm
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Location: Phoenix, AZ

Post by Avery » August 4th, 2019, 5:57 pm

Sorry for the late update, but yes! I currently have the loaches who always hide inside (or slightly underneath) the driftwood that is in the center of the aquarium. I've attached a photo of where one of them is visible, the other is somewhere inside that I couldn't get a clear/clean enough photo. The guppy fry kind of use it throughout the day to hide in to avoid being eaten by the loaches/betta throughout the day or night - although the bigger the fry get, the less they hide (betta doesn't chase the fry that are a few weeks old, only the fresh ones).

I was pretty worried about using the Eco-Complete substrate with loaches, to be honest. I've seen good and bad stories from both sides who say it works, otherwise they say it never works. I think the loaches are extremely happy (with the understanding they are only really active during dusk/night time), and I don't see any damages to their bristles the two weeks I've had them in here. They can't burrow into it, but they don't really appear to be trying to hide much (sometimes they will fully come out when the light is on, otherwise I'll see them when the tank light is off but room light is on). The tannins being released from the driftwood are probably making them more comfortable as well, as the tank light isn't so bright now and it adds a more shady feeling to the whole tank.

The water wisteria that I've added is starting to finally take off (hoping it'll cover the whole back and fill it in, allowing for more hiding spots for fry and the loaches), with the anubias growing roots and leaves like crazy. I'm hoping that they can get big enough so I can separate them out and add more to the sides of the driftwood or possibly the bottom (which looks bare for now). Not too sure if I added in any more different types of plants, if it would make it appear too busy for the time being. I may add in something to the water surface plant wise in order to make it look better (not sure why the photos show it appearing with a protein buildup when it doesn't have one), since that area is also missing much minus the one anubias sitting at the top of the driftwood.

I'm still debating on keeping shrimp in here possibly with the loaches, and am for sure going to getting more loaches once the aquarium stores in my area get more stock (since they only had 2 within a 40 mile radius). I think once the tank gets more filed out with guppies from the fry, it will appear less empty. I don't believe that I would stock anything else in here since the guppies tend to mostly stick to the upper half, but every once and awhile I'll see them near the bottom half.
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