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  1. Finally getting started on a journal! My vision for this tank is a peaceful larger gourami community, still deciding between a pair of moonlight gouramis or a small group of pearl gouramis. For the middle, I'm deciding between blackline rasboras or platy fish, and for the bottom we want a moderately-sized catfish -- one pleco (heavily leaning towards blue or green phantom, the Starlight bristlenose, OR the leopard frog pleco) and possibly smaller woodcats, dwarf petricolas, or synodontis nigriventris. We're at the infant stages of this new project, but I'm anxious to get started. We're doing our leak test for the tank tonight, and if all goes well, I can put together the hardscape tomorrow. Here's the scattered pieces I have so far, including a wooden tank stand we placed and leveled yesterday, some driftwood that's serving as my main inspiration pieces (plus more that's soaking), and a sample of the rock work we're using. I'm aiming to make a sandy/rocky riverbed look. It'd be nice if it were vaguely Southeast Asian, but I'm not strict about making it a biotope. Once I set up my hardscape, I'll share my progress. I have no idea where to start with planting, either; all I know is I want to stick to easy-to-care-for and easy-to-grow plants, plenty of epiphytes to tuck into the wood and rockwork, and floating plants to provide shade and keep gouramis happy. Thanks for joining me on my new journey!
  2. Well, I think it’s time I started a general thread where I can post updates about all my tanks. If you like low maintenance planted community tanks, fish breeding projects, watching a novice set up outdoor ponds, and the occasional cat/chicken, then I think you’ll find something you enjoy here. 😊 Here’s the status right now: This is my main tank. It’s a 55 gallon with a power head and three cheap submersible lights. I’ve had it running around 15 months. Substrate is soil with a gravel cap, which I do not recommend. 😆 Fish: My honey gourami mating pair, Mom Fish and Dad Fish Two yo-yo loaches Two otos Two super red bristlenose plecos A school of 9 tetras (one neon and the rest cardinals) called the School of Dr. Neidecker after my mom who bought them for me Three amano shrimp Oh and a few snails that the yo-yos haven’t eaten yet. This is my 10 gallon grow-out tank. It’s usually for the baby honeys, but right now it’s quarantining a new honey! I’m hoping this is a female so she can be Dad Fish’s next mate. It seems like Mom Fish is slowing down. Adding the new honey to the community tank will be iiiiiinteresting. 😁 And these are the new outdoor ponds! I just filled them up a few days ago. I’m excited to experiment with them! I’ve never done outdoor ponds before.
  3. Hello everyone, I wanted to start a journal that was centered around my journey in all my aquariums. I figured this would be a great time to start this as I will be changing 3 of my 5 aquariums. For starters, I will begin this by providing an update on my 40 Gallon Breeder organic soil aquarium. The build and journal for this aquarium is here: I will start with the bad news, I was never able to get the crypts to fully bloom. The flowers would grow up between 8-12 inches tall and then lose their shape. I am not sure if I would have to lower the water line to get them to bloom. I had around 10 total flowers. The other bad news is that my sterbai cory fry all developed sort of a bloated belly and did not make it. The good news is that I have been feeding heavily still and have another 20 plus cory fry. These fry do not appear to have the bloated belly issue so far. I added gravel to the breeder box as I did notice that the shrimp would pick at the fry from underneath. The other good news is that the aquarium is thriving. The plants continue to grow well and I am loving the overall jungle it has become. I even had to drape the pothos over the light as it was in the way. Like Cory mentioned in the recent Aquarium Co-Op video, all aquariums are an experiment and I have been learning a lot from this aquarium. I will attach some pictures below.
  4. I have (2) 55g and (1) 40g 3ft that over the next 6 months I will be setting up, 2 Tanganyika and Tropical community that I am gonna make my daughters first aquarium. I plan on having all 3 planted and I want to try 3 differient lights. My choices right now is the 2 brands from the COOP fluval and the finnex but I also want to use the orphek plant light strip and I want to know if anyone on here has used a orphek, in the reef community orphek has gotten high marks as a company and I wanted to know if anyone on here has actually used them? I would be putting the fluval on the tropical tank bc that will have the most diverse plants given tangs parameters.
  5. Hi I have a 55 gallon (regular foot print) aquarium thats heavily planted with jungle val,Java fern, Hygrophila Angustifolia, dwarf hair grass and creeping Jenny with cherry shrimp exploding with caves and alot of rock work. I just decided to make it a nano tank with a small strain of guppies that are doing great ive also put like 17 neon tetras but I really want more neons how many would you guys suggest. Also it has a lot of filtration fx4 canister two sponge filters and a penguin 400 hang on back so im open to suggestions 😊
  6. OK, so I’m setting up at 55, and I have the most gorgeous rocks I’ve ever seen. They called him sponge boulders, but they are extremely hard rock that is partially lava rock, partially some other rock, and a lot of crystals. The crystals don’t appear to be water-soluble at all, so I am going to set up the placement of the rocks before they go into a salt bath so I can work on the base+ substrates while they soak. Pictures will be left to right from above, then the front. I tried to make the big rock on the left-hand side where you can see it from three directions because it has great features on all three sides and the top, and the rock on the right side has stuff on the front and side. A couple of the other rocks could be flipped or turned, but I’m not an artist, so I am open to suggestions
  7. Finally got some cories! I have been trying to time the delivery schedule to miss the summer long heatwaves here in Spudland. Saw a few days predicted to be under 95 and went for it. I have been eyeballing the laser cories for about a year now. Got them in yesterday and they are doing fine so far. I'll try and post pictures later today. They are zooming around in small packs of 4 or 5. That tank has been housing my female guppies so it'll be nice to have fish cruising the lower part of the tank. They are only just over an inch long so I'm guessing pretty young?
  8. How many of the Aquarium Co-Op Large Sponge filters would you recommend in a 55g quarantine tank? Is one sufficient?
  9. So yeah I got a bunch of baby Varitus Platys. My tank is a 55 gallon that I am still stocking. Went through a nasty bit of ich before, which is now thankfully taken care of. Right now I have some Black Neon Tetras in addition to four adult Varitus Platys and one juvenile Varitus, who was born during the outbreak and managed to survive the the ich and treatment, who looks female, she has started getting color and it looks like she has the little fan fin. When I was feeding the other day I noticed a ton of new babies, and apparently my tank has such good hiding places with my wood and plants, that the adults didn't eat them. So here's the thing, I need to figure out how to deal with my baby issues. I had expected the adults to handle it, but yeah that didn't work. I was planning to get some Gouramis down the road, could they control the population? The current batch looks like they are now too big for the other fish to go after, I just hope they don't add to much to my bioload. I was going to get some Cory's next, but can push them to further in the future if need be. There is an extra thing here. Right now my quarantine has some tetras that will be added to the main tank this weekend. However, I do not want get any fish till after Labor Day here in the US, since I will be on vacation the week before and I don.t want any fish in quarantine while I am away. The main tank will be cared for fine, but I really don't want to put the responsibility on watching the quarantine on my fish sitter. I am a little worried about the male to female ratio too, right now I just had one adult male, and the rest were females. Anyone have advice on dealing with Platy baby booms?
  10. Hey Guys, I’m Aaron from Kansas City, and this is my 55 Gallon tank! I started this tank as a live breeder/community tank. I actually bought the tank and stand used from FB marketplace. It came with hoods and lights but those no longer worked, so I went with the Nicrew lights off of Amazon for now. Down the road, I want to get the Fluval one Aquarium Co Op sells. The tank and stand were both from the early 2000s so I resealed the tank as an extra precaution even though I don’t think it was leaking. It’s definitely built very sturdy though with very thick glass, which I think a lot of older tanks were. I am a few months in on this hobby and I enjoyed my 20 a lot but it quickly ran out of space for what I wanted to do, so I decided to jump to a 55. It’s large enough that I have some room to breed and keep what I want in the numbers I want. I enjoy live breeders a lot. They are easy to keep, very active, come in some great colors, and I greatly enjoy watching them interact with their environment, especially my voracious mollies, one of which I am 70% certain has taken a liking to pest snails. My largest Molly used to be in my 20 gallon tank, which had a decent sized adolescent pest snail in it. The next day, I came and found the shell of said snail on the substrate entirely empty. Anyways, I also have a Blue Swordtail Guppy trio for breeding. If I get some good fry, I may sell them to local pet stores. I have a breeder box for isolation but at this stage, I am not too worried about saving fry. I like to use nature to “self regulate” my aquariums as much as possible, which is why I enjoy heavily planted tanks. I personally prefer natural looking tanks without decorations or plastic plants for my own setups. I like to mimic real aquatic environments, within reason. Obviously if this were a real river bed, it wouldn’t have the rocks stacked so nearly, but I think it still looks reasonably natural. The community aspect of this tank will hopefully allow the adult fish to do population control on the fry so I won’t run into the issue of an overstocked tank and I will isolate a few fry for breeding purposes. Started her out with an organic potting soil base and capped it with play sand. Spent $20 at Lowe’s for a richly nutritious substrate with a natural looking cap material. Added some Fritz Turbostart and let the filter run for a few days. The first inhabitants were actually my three 24K White Cloud Minnows, which came from my friend’s shrimp tank. He was having some water issues and wanted to thin out his inhabitants to reign in the problem. I still need to get a couple more to form a proper school. Added my large Black Molly female next, and went and bought her some friends the next day. I’m up to four females and two males to keep the harassment down (though they tend to favor the largest female). Then, I added my Blue Swordtail Guppies (2 females and one male). I have an Albino Cory cat that I inherited from a new fishkeeper that bought one too many fish for his 10 gallon. His friend died spontaneously so I probably need to go get a few more albinos, but I’m not adding additional fish until I am sure everything is running smoothly, cycle wise. I’m in the process of growing a guppy grass hideout for fry and shrimp among the rocks. I have one Green Jade Neocardinia that ended up here because I accidentally poured him outside in the grass during a water change when I was trying to catch my molly for transfer (lesson learned on moving driftwood and moss into a bucket carelessly). I frantically picked him up and impulse tossed him into the 55. I’ve seen him one time, so I know he’s still alive. Shrimp are great at hiding. I will be adding some strong, good color Blue Velvet Shrimp I am buying from a local hobbyist this weekend. I’m going to avoid snails for now, since I am pretty sure the 55 is already getting pest snails from the plants and I may decide to introduce an Assassin later (because really I just think they are the coolest thing, I realize you can control pest snails without them and pest snails can even be beneficial as Cory said in various videos, but this is a snail that eats snails, how cool is that?). He’d definitely make a snack out of any Nerite I put in the 55. I expect the guppies and mollies to breed like rabbits and I expect to see some breeding action from the shrimp once my plant cover grows to the jungle-esque levels I like. I am new at this, but I have read a lot and believe that I can use the tank inhabitants to manage their own populations. I am not concerned if the guppies mass breed, because the mollies should theoretically handle the excess (and handle their own excess) and I will save the few fry I want to play around with. I am not too worried about Shrimp breeding out of control, as the fish will help maintain that balance and shrimp have a much lower bioload and act as tank cleaners, so I don’t think I will ever have to worry about an overpopulation there, but I’m still pretty new at this. Ignore the disorganized plants, I am still growing them up and getting them to the right size so I can “aquascape” them. The grasses and the hornwort and such will probably be rearranged. Not sure if I will be changing things often enough to have tons of interesting updates, but I will post some progress as the plants grow and I introduce new things. Can’t wait to see what fish come out of this live breeder experiment. I welcome any and all advice. (Ignore the brown leaves, I just like to give the plants a couple weeks to root and perk up from the shock of the initial planting/transfer from the store before I trim)
  11. First time post, but a long time fan and new customer. What do you think, are particle board aquarium stands safe for heavy 55gal tanks? I bought one from a local chain store for the looks/design, but I’m not sure it’ll hold sturdy over time. I don’t think I can 100% guarantee water won’t spill a bit during regular water changes. Plus, when cleaning, sometimes the aquarium will move a slight bit, which over time concerns me with the hardware they’ve included to affix the particle boards together. I was going to replace a simple, custom, steel welded stand I’ve used for 12+ years for this particle board one because someone thought the chain store one looks better. It does, but is this a terrible idea? Any help, advice, terrible stories, or support is much appreciated. Thanks!
  12. So I have my humble 55 gallon, which I have included a picture below, which I have had up since the end of May, so it is still pretty young. Managed to survive an Ich outbreak, and now that is under control, I am looking to the future for ideas for new things to add! My water parameters are 74 PH, with 10 hardness. My water quality is pretty good, thanks to the plants. Right now the tank just has four varitus platys, six black neon tetras and some snails, along with all the plants. Most plants are doing well, though I do need to trim off that one bad leaf on one of my java ferns. I do have a lot of frogbit, but I have begun to control that so it doesn't take things over. I currently have some lemon tetras and more black neon tetras in quarantine, and after they are done, will likely go with some Corydoras to populate the bottom. After that, I am trying to figure out what I should get next. I have plenty of room, and am thinking of treating it almost like a giant nano tank, as I really like a lot of the smaller community species that are very peaceful, but I also like having the room. I really enjoy tetras, would a another species school be okay? I got a lot of great advice on different types of tetras here a bit back. I was also looking at some of the more easy to keep rainbow fish and rasboras as other schooling options, but right now I am pretty open to anything that will be peaceful, get get along with with I already have, be beginner friendly, and also will not decimate my plants. This includes any other invertebrates, if they are okay to add without causing any issues.
  13. I have a 55 gallon tank. Top Fin brand from Petsmart. The top plastic frame has a cross brace, front to back, in the middle of the long sides. So, the hoods are actually two smaller hoods rather than a single hood that would cover the entire tank. It was my understanding (or maybe I made it up) that the two hoods are essentially the hoods for two 20 gallon tanks. I recently purchased a Fluval Plant light and two hinged glass canopies from Amazon. The canopies are from H2Pro. I had never heard of them before; but, that's what Amazon had. The canopies are a tad too big for the recesses in the frame. They were advertised as "Fits Most 24" Aquariums". The exact width from the box is 23.07". The actual recess in the frame is 23" exactly. The supplied hoods measure 22-15/16" (22.9375"). So, I looked at PetSmart.com. Their "24 in" canopies are 23.19". Still slightly too big. Has anyone else ever run into this problem? Am I missing something?
  14. Alright yall. Kind of going off a previous post I made . Trying to narrow down the issues and get help. 55 gallon planted tank and can't get plants to stay healthy / alive Substrates- fluval plant and shrimp stratum, Caribsea cichlid sand Light - 54 watt , 48" bulbs , fluval planted bulb and blue bulb Water parameters as of tonight with master test kit: ammonia- 0.25 -0.35ish ? Nitrite- 0.1 of anything, nitrate - under 10 ppm , maybe like 7? Ph-7.8 Started dosing easy green ( twice a week ) , easy iron as recommended ,and root tabs 3 weeks ago( have added quite a few ). Was using flourish before the easy green products.. Have had Java fern, Amazon sword, anubias , anachris , and added more radican swords and anubias tonight. So .. from my learning knowledge , with water parameters seeming to be good is it just a lighting issue ? Have to have co2?? Anything would help and sorry for the book . Thanks yall So from my learning knowledge water parameters seem ok
  15. I have 2 established planted 20G High tanks community tanks, and I am thinking combining both in a new 55G. The larger aquarium would give the fish more room to swim, and I would only have to maintain one aquarium instead of two. Both aquariums are stocked with similar peaceful community fish. I plan on transferring the substrate, plants, and décor from the 20 gallons into the 55. This would at least transfer beneficial bacteria from the cycled tanks to the new sterile one. Would anyone have any advise on how to do this safely without harming the fish, or point me to the direction of some websites or YouTube videos? Particularly, is it safer to transfer one, let the 55 cycle, and then transfer the second, or could I do both safely at the sometime.
  16. Purchased a 55 gallon tank on Craigslist from a local couple. Gave the trim a fresh black paint job and painted the background black. Had everything looking tip top magoo. Put my substrate in and began filling the tank with water. When the tank was just about full the top center brace snapped in two! The front and back panels immediately bowed out and luckily by the grace of God held and did not give out. I luckily was standing near by and grabbed the front and back panels. Once I knew I could release them I ran and reversed the flow of my Python and immediately drained the tank. Crisis averted! Now, it would appear to me that I should scrap this tank and move on from it. It sure scared the crap out of me. What would be the wise move here? Is it repairable?
  17. Just did a water change and dumped in a bunch of BBS. This tank was African Cichlids until recently. Now it’s housing 250+ EBAs and 50+ BNPs. Measured parameters for BAP submission yesterday. Nitrates were unbelievably high. I’m changing water more frequently now. What’s everyone’s go-to plants for fastest nitrate uptake? I’ve got Pothos growing out of the HOBs and Java fern + Java moss growing in the tank. Are stem plants better / faster in your experience?
  18. I'm overwhelmed with the possibilities! I definitely want a goldfish tank someday, but my hopes is to wait until my (human) children are a bit more grown so I can move their toys out of the living room and clear out the space for a 120 gallon showpiece tank. SO. That leaves me wide open for what to do with a 55 gallon! My husband is interested in rainbowfish, but I'm a little nervous despite their beauty. I tend to be a bit of an anxious person and what I want are peaceful, friendly fish, where I don't have to worry about fin-nipping, violent sparring, or injuries. Even my diamond tetras are borderline too much for my nerves, though they keep their fighting within the group. 🤣 Knowing that, what are your best recommendations for really friendly and peaceful fish? I know we really want a smaller-sized pleco for this tank, and we're doing another planted tank with a sandy substrate this time, but other than that, we are wide open.
  19. Hello all, I am finally getting back into the hobby after a long time away. I have been thinking about it for the past couple years and have not found the time to do it, but I am now putting the tank back together. So I am starting out slowly because I do not want to rush it. Took me a few weeks to come up with a hardscape I like. The substrate is Flourite, with Dragon stone and Mopani driftwood. I will be putting Aquarium Co-op medium sponge filters in each of the back corners. I have a Fluval 3.0 48" light and a Fluval E300 heater. I am still deciding on what plants to use and put where in the tank. Still also do not know what fish I want to go with either. I plan on getting the plants and growing them out for at least 2-3 months before ever putting any fish into tank, so I have time to decide on the fish. So below is picture of tank setup. Let me know what you think. let me know what plants would look good and where to place them. All help is appreciated. Thank you all and glad to be back in the hobby. George
  20. Hi! I got another question regarding my new 55 gallon. I started the cycling on 5/28 and been doing a fishless cycle with fish food. I did add some Fritz Zyme 7 too. My tank is heavily planted, I was able to save money on the equipment, so used that part of the budget to go with the plants. I am using a Finnex Planted+ for my light. The cycle has been proceeding as I expected to a point. My Ammonia rose and then went to 0, and then I had heavy Nitrites and Nitrates. The Nitrites and Nitrates started dropping, as of today the Nitrites are now 0 and my Nitrates are now very low too, at 3. PH has been at a 7.4 consistently so far. So I am a little concerned now. The cycle went really fast, much much faster then I expected from everything I researched. Did the plants just suck up the Nitrates that fast? I do have some Water Sprite, Hornwort and Frogbit in the tank, could they be eating up the Nitrates that well? All my plants are doing fine, with only one of the Crypts melting. I have been using Easy Green once a week, with the dosage listed on the bottle, should I use more? I am worried my Anubias and Buce may not be getting enough nutrients now too. Even if it may be safe, I am still going to hold off for now on fish, it just seems to have been completed way to fast. Maybe I am just being overly cautious here.
  21. Hi there, I just picked up a 55 gallon Aqueon tank from Petco today and was in the process of leak testing it when I noticed that a lot of bubbles started to appear along one of the seams as the tank filled. This is the first tank that I have had do this so my automatic instinct is to return it. Before I lug it all the way back to the store I just wanted to get some advice on what others would do? Thank you for your help.
  22. hello me and my lady just started our new aquarium a 55 gallon fresh water, we found a lot of helpful videos on youtube from the Aquarium Co op channel. but for the most part were new to all this and would like to learn as much as possible to improve and move up in our tanks as we build. right now we have two white zebra angel fish, 2 asst angel all small, 3 candy cane tetras, 4 von rio tetras, 2 Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami, and 4 glo tetras. any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated always! next on our list is upgrading to two large sponge filters
  23. I have a 55 gallon aquarium currently using two Marineland covers with LED lights. Since I started adding live plants, I have found that the Anubias are doing fine after 6 months but the Java Ferns are slowly dying off. First the leaves get brown spots and over several weeks die and need to be removed. All plants are attached to rocks via string, rubber band, or super glue. Water chemistry is generally OK with pH of 7.6, nitrites and ammonia at near zero and nitrates fluctuate between 20 and 50. I want to add more plants to help with nitrates and for appearance so I am considering adding a Fluval 3.0 LED light to be able to provide more light to the plants. The aquarium measures 12 inches by 48 inches with a divider bar in the middle. Height is 18 inches. Should I get the 36 inch/46 watt or 48inch/59 watt light? Also, once I remove the existing Marineland covers, should I replace them with glass covers to reduce evaporation and fish jumping out of the tank or is there something else people would recommend?
  24. A fellow forum member very kindly suggested that I could start a journal about this tank and my efforts to address constant glass surfing by my juvenile South American Puffers. Here is the other post/thread, if anyone is interested: (I admit, the title is a bit melodramatic). Basically, they glass surf constantly and - without getting into any conflict about the ethics or morals about what that means or whether we should keep wild-caught animals in captivity - I personally just do not find it enjoyable to watch animals do this. So I was considering giving them up, but decided to take the other good advice I received on that thread (really I am so grateful to this community) and will try to adjust the environment to see if I can reduce this behavior. Attached is a picture of the tank as it currently stands. It is a 55 gallon with half sand, half gravel substrate; planted with jungle val, java fern, java moss,subwassertang, and frogbit across the top; pH is a bit high (8, sometimes up to 8.4); nitrates are always pretty low in the tank (5-10 ppm at most). I change out 15 gallons about once a week - mostly trying to clean up the substrate. There are 6 south american puffers - at first I intended to only keep 3, but there was one in particular that was much more stressed than the others and avoiding food, and I know they prefer to be in groups so I got 3 more. The biggest group I felt I could manage in a tank this size. They are still young (about 1"-1.5"). I got them in Dec-Jan. They get 1 cube frozen blood worms once a day (I do occaisionally skip a few days when I see a lot of planaria in the tank), and 10-30 snails that I toss in throughout the day. I tend to drop the snails into the plants, so that the puffers have to find them. I tried live blackworms early on, but had a parasite scare (happy to elaborate later if anyone asks), so I've been gun shy on using those since even though the puffers loved them. I thought the blackworms were from California Black Worms, though I bought them through a local fish store (I live in Northern California), so I'll have to look into a direct source since I hear that company is a trusted brand. Here are some links to videos of the behavior I'm seeing: https://photos.app.goo.gl/u9p2Mno1Dhmp88Vk9 https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fxbzbvVGKcgPPkCoRJWi7ESHf7WQF6JI/view?usp=sharing
  25. Hey everyone! I have a question regarding the size of a regulator for Co2 injection on my 55 gallon tank. I am looking to get injection going but don't want to drop $300 on a regulator. Would the UNS mini be able to provide enough Co2 into the tank? I definitely want the dual stage aspect and a reputable brand. Any insight is always appreciated!! - Joe
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