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  1. This thread is to document the setup, care and lifetime of my newly created 20 gallon long Walstad deep sandbed tank! I've been planning this project for a while now, and after assuring that the cabinet the tank was destined to sit on was sturdy enough, I took advantage of the latest Petco sale. My husband was a total enabler on this one, which was fun! I've been fascinated by Walstad tanks (and other dirted tanks that use plant-only filtration) since I restarted in this hobby a few years ago, and though all of my other tanks are dirted, none of them have that deep substrate or the no water changes / no filter rule. So this will be a new experience. The planned live stock will be a colony of bloody mary neocaridinas, a vampire shrimp, and perhaps some rabbit snails (among my usual hitchhikers). Edit: It's come to my attention that what I'm doing is slightly different than Diana Walstad's method, but the idea is still the same. After spray painting the back black, I was sure to center the tank and the runner it sits on as best I could. I might have to move that hyena picture above it... it looks off center now! This is the brand of dirt I chose to use. I've never used it before, but I couldn't find the cheapo stuff I used before. I didn't bother sifting the dirt, I just pulled out bigger pieces of wood if I found them. I spread an inch deep layer and pressed it down, and then sprinkled some crushed coral over it, as my water has pretty low Kh. I then sprayed the dirt down with a spray bottle to get it wet, before capping it with two inches of Black Diamond blasting sand - my go to substrate, I like the black color and how cheap it is. I didn't bother washing it, because I'm convinced it doesn't matter. I used a wooden skewer with an inch and three inches both marked off, so I could ensure I had the proper layer depths. Now to fill 'er up! I put a ziplock bag on the sand to soften the water flow. Worked like a charm. As it began to fill, I sorted out the air pump and bubblers. I used Aquarium Co-Op's black airline tubing that they sent me in my care package, and I gotta say it hooks up like butter. Very nice. The bubblers are these fancy ones that came with my Eheim pumps. I wanted lots of flow for the vampire shrimp, so I added two bubblers. Time for hardscape. I'm keeping it simple, and just used some slate pieces I had sitting around. And then it was time for more filling. This time I used a bowl to disperse the water flow. I filled it almost all the way, and then decided it was planting time. I grabbed out a bunch of Val from my 29 gallon. Here's how it looks with the plants in. I do intend to get some moss or maybe Susswassertang. If my new pink flamingo crypt settles in the 75 well I might put some in here too. But for now, I'll let the val fill in The first inhabitant - a pink ramshorn hitchhiker. I'm sure there's eggs on the plants, too. It's getting too warm to safely order livestock here in AL, so this has all summer to get grown in and seasoned. I'll post updates on plant growth and whenever I add a new plant for now.
  2. I have been in the process of building a 150 gallon outdoor pond. My Upper Management (aka wife) has not been overly thrilled about the idea and even less about the associated cost. My efforts to get her interested in it have all but failed ….that was until…. I got an idea to build her a tank of her own. She had once talked about long ago she had a beta in a bowl on her desk with plants in it and she loved it. So this is the start of me building her a upscale version that she will call hers. This is the tank….it’s a Landen 45cm Cube 21 gallon AIO tank
  3. Hi everyone my name is Cohen, And I have a 20 gallon long tank filled with dwarf red coral platys from the idea of Irene with nice hardscape and waiting for some new plants to put in to mix with the bright bold fish. I also have a fully planted shrimp tank with Java fern and some micro swords, as I had 3 cherry shrimp I had a calcium problem and killed 2 of them but solved it and 1 remains happy and healthy and along with him I have platy fry with him and they are growing so fast.
  4. Hello everyone. Decided to join the forum to try to meet some new hobbyists. I am from Central Florida. I have been learning and growing a lot as a fish keeper the past year. Tried some tanks when I was a kid but never realized how much more there was to the hobby until I started researching. It feels like a great STEM project in addition to having fun, relaxing animals. I went all in last July and got a case of MTS, all planted tanks, mostly nano, with some fake hardscape. I hesitate to share my first 20 gallon tall tank, because it is a bit of a jungle with bad plant placement, but the fish have all lived nearly 10 months now in it. So much thanks to Cory and Aquarium Co-Op for all the educational material. It has just been a great experience. By way of introduction, two tanks I am working on now, attempting to be as 100% natural as possible with no fake décor. Both are 20 gallon long and sit next to each other. Pictures were from initial setup, haven't changed much save some leaf melt and new growth / coloring up. They are a couple of weeks old now and still cycling. Almost done with large nitrite spikes; brown diatoms starting to show up everywhere. A couple of pond snails growing fast and flying across the tank. One tank is going to house guppies, which I've had breed like rabbits in smaller tanks, with numbers I care not to admit. Another tank will be a new community setup. At least in my defense of the smaller guppy tanks, they have dense jungle of pogo octopus which grows so fast and keeps things balanced. Will need to rehome some that don't go to the new tank. Boiling that mopani driftwood was an insane week, but the tannins are not bad at all. Anyway, looking forward to adding the fish soon. I really love the profile of the 20 gallon long aquarium.
  5. Soooo, I decided to start a journal here because 1) it helps me keep track and 2) having some help and more advanced advice seems like it would be super beneficial 🙂 So on 5/22/2021 I started my tank. Fluval Stratum, some rocks, a couple of fake decorations (I think they're cute, dont judge me) & I got my plants in, added water, started my filter(s), heater, and stared at it. Plants added are: Dwarf Sag 2 Crypt Wendtii bronze 2 Crypt Wendtii green 2 Crypt Wendtii red 2 bunches Red Myrio 2 Rosette swords 2 Anubias Coffee 4 Anubias Barteri 4 Anubias Nana Petite 4 Java ferns My light is an Aqueon Optibright +, initially I had it running 6 hours, but a few of my plants are showing signs of yellowing so I kicked it up to 8. I started testing the water the next day... Ammonia? What?! THERES NOTHING IN HERE... I added prime, did a 40% water change and it didn't change the reading... I came here to find out that my stratum may be the culprit. I was going to do a fishless cycle, but Oto's are so hard to come by in my area that when I went to pick up a lid for my tank and saw otos in stock I had to get some for another tank, and added 3 to this one.... So now we've got fish. I tested the water today, ammonia is still higher than zero but looks to be trending down... I will include pictures. 5/27/2021 5/28/2021
  6. Hey everyone question I have four Cory’s in my 20 G High aquarium and want to add more fish and I want endless, how many can I put in my tank at once, and by the way they sale them by 10 fish, Is that ok
  7. So I have a 20 gallon long that’s been running since November 2020. I originally got a group of 6 celestial Pearl danios that started in my 10 gallon tank that I moved to my 20. I had 4 males and 2 females. I had one successful spawn right before I went out of town so I lost all the fry while I was gone. Since then I’ve added a blue stiphodon goby (which disappeared, might’ve accidentally been taken out with some plant trimmings?) 7 Habrosus corydoras (lost one but I think something was wrong with its mouth, it never seemed to get bigger and was always skinny, and it’s mouth looked weird). Then I added 4 gertrudae rainbow fish (2 males 2 females) and have had 4 different super red bristlenose plecos (1 re homed when I found out my female was really a male, then one of my two remaining males died, so now it’s a new female and the original female that ended up being male). I also have a male apisto hongsloi that I added at some point as well. I randomly lost a male CPD a few months ago, it seemingly overnight had become almost rainbow 🌈 shaped and it’s mouth was moving really rapidly, like it was breathing heavily. No other signs. I tried isolating it and it died. The cory when it died I think it just wasn’t able to eat due to a mouth deformity. The male bristlenose died right after a water change, which I had dechlorinated and was slightly cooler than the water in the tank, so no idea what happened there. This has been over the course of the last few months. About a week and a half ago I added 3 new CPDs that were juveniles that had just recently moved up to the floor (my local fish store does a lot of in store breeding) and today during my water change I found one dead, it had probably died maybe 2 days ago, some decay but not enough where I didn’t know what it was and I’d seen all 3 of the new ones recently. This morning prior to the water change I also noticed 1 of my male gertrudaes was staying towards the top right at the surface, whereas the other three were swimming around the mid and top level like normal. I also noticed another of the male CPDs was doing the same as the one previously did before it died. before my water change I tested the water, there was 0 ppl nitrite, 5 ppm nitrate, 300+ on general hardness (according to CoOp test strip) and 40 kh on the CoOp test strip, with a pH of ~7.2. My temp was probably around 79 since my heater was off but it didn’t feel extremely warm. I did my water change, took out about ~25% then dechlorinated with the Fritz that the CoOp sells with the pump head, I did 2 pumps then filled the tank from my tap then added another pump just for good measure. a few hours after the water change and the CPD and gertrudae were still acting funny so I put them in a Lee’s container on the tank with an air stone, half a tbs of salt and 10 drops of Prazi pro, and within an hour the CPD died. of my original 6 CPDs only 1 female and 2 males are left, and only 2 of the 3 new ones remain. Filtration wise I have an aqueon 10 HOB, a medium sized CoOp sponge filter, and I just upgraded my other HOB to the tidal 55, I kept all the old media and added seed. That change was done this past Friday. The flow is as low as it can go but the fish don’t seem to mind, I’ve yet to see anyone struggling in the flow. I tested using the API Kh kit snd my Kh was ~4 after the water change (which is what I normally run) and ammonia was .5 (but I’d also Just done a water change) so I threw more seed in. im really at my wits end as to what is going on, why I keep having random fish deaths when everything else looks healthy. my LFS keeps new fish under observation at least a week, treats when necessary, and I keep an eye on the fish for several weeks before I take them home (I work at my LFS). I do weekly water changes, I test my water frequently, but I’m really at my wits end as to what’s going on in my tank. Below are some pictures of the gertrudae that I’ve isolated, the freshly dead CPD, and then the tank itself and some of the fish in it. Any advice or ideas would be greatly appreciated, my best idea rn is possible gill flukes? Since I see some red in the gills, but I don’t reallly know much about them yet (I’ll talk to our aquatic vet staff at my LFS tho when I work tomorrow).
  8. My tank finally cycled 😀. and my albinos corydoras and nerite snail are still alive, thanks to all that help me with there devise. now cant diced what other fish to add lol. but i have a 5.5 Aqueon tank to cycle, can i use different BB or brand. the reason i ask is because my main tank was cycle with fritz zime 7 but i have a different the tetra safe start would that be a problem? thanks
  9. Heyo! So I'm currently in the process of starting a 20G Blackwater Tank (It's a UNS 60U if this helps with dimensions and things like that) It's 23.6in L x 14.2in W x 14.2in H. Just like the title says, I'm aiming for the PH to be about 5.0-5.5 which is to suit the best needs for the stocking I've got so far on a list and I'm 100% intending on keeping. So I'm looking for a bottom dwelling/scavenger species and maybe a top dwelling if I could fit them in. all suggestions are welcome! Current list so far: -4 Tweediei Licorice Gouramis (parosphromenus tweediei) (going to be a pair after I figure out which ones pair off once they age a bit more) 7-8 Dwarf Glass Fish (GYMNOCHANDA PLOEGI) Ideas I have: -6-7 Marble Hatchet Fish -4 Dwarf Anchor cats or 6 Pygmy Cories of some species I'm undecided on yet Plants: Salvinia Natans, Java Fern Windelov, Water Lettuce (temporary), and a Crypt or 2 of some species.
  10. Hey all, Staring this thread. I am just getting back in to the hobby. I have kept saltwater in the past, but decided freshwater, and freshwater folks are more my speed! I am going to start with a 20 Gallon long. Well..... 2 20 gallon longs to be specific (more on that in the future). My first one however is going to be set up like this: 20 gallon long tank planted tank. (I just picked up an embarrassing amount of tanks at a recent half off sale) hygger Amazon programmable light (I debated getting the flu all 3.0, but ultimately decided that if this amazon light can give me 70% of the fluval I’ll save the $100 for now) HOB filter I have from before, hot rodded aquarium Co-Op style. Also planing on adding a sponge filter for quick cycling any other tanks. eheim Jager 50 watt heater Stocking List: Plants! Probably go to LFS and decided at that point which ones. 8 Harlequin rasboras 6 Kuhli Loaches 6-8 of another school (Endlers?) 1 betta Malaysian trumpet snails possibly a wood shrimp or bamboo shrimp. I was going to wait a little bit, but the half off tank sale got me hooked. I’m planning on cycling with plants. I have attached a picture of the empty glass box, a lot of supplies are still in storage/on the way. Im excited to bring you all along with me. Derek
  11. How much to add to lower ph and keep it stable with them ?
  12. Hi everyone I’m looking to set up a 20 gallon long with low to medium light plants no co2. I already have 3 other aquariums a Fluval Flex 15 gallon, Fluval Spec V 5 gallon and another 5 gallon with a fluval aquasky on it. I’m looking for a good 30 inch light I noticed aquarium co op has the finnex stingray but I read in the comments that it doesn’t attach well to the rim of the aquarium does anyone have actual experience with this? Also any other decent light suggestions I could look into would be greatly appreciated!
  13. Can I keep this puffer in a 20 gallon? Should be enough "old timers" in here to know who this is.
  14. So I’m getting some new L134 plecos and will be doing RO water in the 20 long they going to be in going to be using these to remineralize the water are these good or what’s better ? And IF I use these says the dose for 20 gallons wanted to do it 5 gallon buckets how much or what do you guys and girls recommend @Cory @Dean’s Fishroom @Candi @Bentley Pascoe or anyone that can help please and thank you they come in tomorrow so trying to get it figured out right so will do a test one today with no fish and make sure it stays stable
  15. Do you think this would hold a 20 gallon long and two ten gallons? Each shelf holds 1,000 lbs. Link to the shelf: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Gladiator-5-Tier-Steel-Garage-Storage-Shelving-Unit-with-EZ-Connect-48-in-W-x-72-in-H-x-24-in-D-GARK485XGG/301657823
  16. I started a brand new 20 gallon tank 8 days ago. I planted it with low light plants and have been dosing, per the instructions, with Seachem Stability and testing my water every other day. I'm trying determine what I need to do next. Here are my test results... May 16th: A=0, Ni=0, Na=5ppm May 19th: A=2ppm, Ni=2ppm, Na=10ppm May 21st: A=0, Ni=5ppm, Na=10ppm May 23rd: A=0, Ni=5ppm, Na=40ppm I have new plant growth starting on several different types of plants and I have some hair algae growing. I believe I need to do a water change and recheck my water parameters. Then possible add a fish or two and keep checking water parameters. I'd love to get some input from others and thank you in advance!
  17. this is the journal for my 20 long planted tank equipment 30in finnex stingray aquarium co op 40 gallon sponge tetra whisper 100 air pump split with a 10 gallon(I know its massive for just a 10 and a 20) 100w eheim heater with inkbird controller ecocomplete substrate piece of Malaysian wood current video current stock 3 neon tetras I have 6 more in qt 1 pygmy cory I will be upping the school to 6-12 some plants(java fern, anubias it was sold as nana petite but I'm not sure, random stem plant, 2 crypt wendtii bronze, random crypt my lfs had, tiger lotus)
  18. I have a new 20 gallon aquarium, right now only with 6 female platies. I'm getting 6 panda cories soon (maybe next week??) and was wondering what kind of fish you guys think I should add later, if there is space (aqadvisor says my tank would be 85% stocked with 6 platys and 6 cories). I kind of want more colorful fish or fish with interesting personalities/behaviors. I thought about getting kuhli loaches, but my water is definitely not good for them (pH is 8 and GH is about 17). I am thinking maybe a small school of tetras, like the ones that are supposed to be hardier like the glowlight?? I'm still kind of nervous about keeping tetras because of my water parameters. Any ideas? Thanks!
  19. Hello! I am about to set up my first real tank. It is a 20 gallon long and is heavily planted with lots of hiding spots. I have cycled the tank for about 2 months and all the levels are good! I had a couple ideas for stocking and was hoping people could give me some advice. Here’s what I’m thinking: -2 honey gouramis -6 male guppies -6 Pygmy Cory cats (if I can find them) -Plus some inverts like snails and shrimp at some point Would this work or would it be to much? Also is there any way I could get panda corys instead? I know they are bigger but was just wondering if it was possible. Thank you so much!
  20. I just recently upgraded my standard 10 gallon to a 20 wide, with a hillstream manifold. The hillstream manifold doesn't quite work how I'd like (I need to find a better way to spread out the output force, and I'm not entirely sure the entire input of the flow through the powerhead is coming through the intake sponges). I used a hand-drill on the area of the PVC pipe the sponges cover to get a greater intake across the whole body of the sponge, rather than just at the tip. There still is quite a bit of swirling action rather than full on directional flow, but it was still a fun project to build my own streamflow manifold. I'd definitely get a smaller powerhead than the aquaclear 50 I have running it now. I also have aquaclear 30 HoB for that extra touch of filtration (and for helping deal with fines better than the sponges) I have white cloud mountain minnows (and they have been sucessfully breeding, as you can see by the distincly blue striped jeuvenile) I also have 2 species of hillstream loach. I think the reticulated one is a pseudogastromyzon cheni (or myersi). I only have one of those, the other one I purchased at the same time didn't make it. It was a bad shipment from a LFS I go to in Houston, and the other dozen loaches didn't make it overnight. I got there the next day, and the one that is still alive is kind of the ruler of the tank. He definitely is dominant over the other loaches despite being slightly smaller. The other hillstream loaches I have, I have some of the Beaufortia kweichowensis I purchased from aquahuna. I suspect there might be multiple species, as one of them definitely prefers resting on the substrate, and the others prefer the vertical glass when they are hiding, but from what I can tell looking around the internet, the hillstream loaches aren't as well studied as we might like. The substrate is pea gravel from Lowes, and the larger rocks are either collected locally in East Texas (the orange sandstone), or I gathered them on a previous trip to Colorado (pretty much everything else). I'm currently treating the tank with seachem flourish to handle the staghorn/black beard algae, along with playing around a bit with my lighting. Still, the fish seem more active in the 20 gallon, so overall I'd call it a success. It is a pleasure to sit down and watch at the end of the day.
  21. So!!! I’m planning on starting a pea pufferfish tank. I’ve heard good but cautious things from people whove had pea puffer communities before, and cautious nos from those who havent. Stocking plan: 1 male pea puffer, as many females as possible 8-10 kuhli loaches - EDIT: LIKELY GONNA CHANGE TO STIPHODON GOBIES!! They don’t need as many buddies to be confident, are faster, and with the tank position, will help me keep the glass clean EDIT EDIT: NEVERMIND THEY LIKE WATER JUST A LITTLE TOO COOL. However, Micro Dragon Gobies seem to be a great fit! They’re carnivores, so perfect for cleaning up after puffers, and what the ember tetras dont eat, they can sift into the sand! 10-12 Fast Schoolers - probably tetras, may go with embers, since i have experience with them? EDIT: DEFINITELY GOING WITH EMBERS As many snails thatll grow in the tank before I get the puffers as possible. I have a bin (seen below) in case things go sideways, and the tank above it is where itll be situated. The window is facing north, but i thought it was south before I checked with my parents. (ignore the mess i just rearranged my furniture) The plan for lighting is No artificial lighting, since I’ll get plenty from the sun. Substrate and decor plan: Dirt capped with black sand Moss wall consisting of asian liverwort (monosolenium tenerum) that will also hopefully grow over the pvc. Tall, bushy/fluffy background plants that can further filter light all along the walls except for the viewing panes, the two facing the picture, probably gonna do cabomba, hornwort, and similar plants. May toss in some Red Boys too for fun. Love me some dwarf aqaurium lily.... midground plants in front of those dudes, things that are more leafy, probably, might put some of those mini monstera i got in there, maybe crypt, probably good ol hardy java fern varieties in front of those, a nice carpet of dwarf sag for babies and kuhli loaches and snails to hide in, and some differing foreground lads here and there like anubias hardscape is gonna consist of driftwood- ill probably snag spider and bogwood to emulate tree roots and stuff, and may grow some pothos and mini monstera on them so it looks like trees! i want stuff that can break up a loooot of line of sight On that note, ill also probably get a good amount of frogbit too. that pvc in the back is gonna be a cave of fast flowing water via water pump for the kuhli loaches. I’m think I’m gonna drill more holes in it to help disperse the flow some more, so its not super fast coming out of the elbow- but what do yall think? Filtration plan: Swisstropical’s betterboxfilter Lava rock for biological filtration polyfill i already have for mechanical filtration Feedback: So! Thoughts, concerns, insight? What do yall think!
  22. I'm still cycling my 20G H aquarium since 3 week ago. I'm in my 4th week. I used fritz zyme 7 beneficial bacteria, and put fish flake to help start the cycle and I haven't gotten no reading of ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate. so what am I doing wrong? the tank is starting to get cover of white sluff I don't know what that is. should I do a partial or what to do about no readings. any suggestions.
  23. So I am starting a new tank and I would like to use the co-op sponge filters. I want to set up a 20 gallon long planted tank with low-moderate plants, and I am planning on getting a couple apisto’s and hopefully getting them to breed. My plans were to use 2 medium sized sponges with airstones, and a tetra whisper for 10 gallons to house some filter floss, and possibly some purigen. I have two questions. 1) Would it be better to use 2 because of the length(30 inches)? Or just one large one? 2) Will the a USB nano pumps for each one be strong enough?
  24. Are there any Pleco‘s that will stay small that can go in a 20 gallon?
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