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About Me

  1. I am so excited for the next chapter in my fish keeping journey that I thought it would be fun to start a journal. I have butterflies as I get closer to picking it up this afternoon. Currently I have a 30 gallon so the day dreaming of what something 3 times the size will look like is fun. Making different tank set ups with different fish and plants. Doing lots of research to make an amazing community tank with fish that like to party together. I am leaning towards Angel fish or Rainbows as my star fish with some schooling fish. Stay tuned over the following months as a get it up and running. P.S. I will be asking lots of questions!!! 🙂
  2. Hello! So I tried searching everywhere to find a reason for this, but I was unable to.... So here's hoping you guys can help 🙂 So I started a new planted tank on Saturday. Its a 20G long, with Fluval Stratum substrate and a lot of misc plants. It probably has a couple of snails in it that were stow aways, but other than that and some rocks... Nothing alive. Today is day 2 after getting everything in and my ammonia level is 0.50PPM, and my nitrates are between 5.0 PPM and 10PPM. Is this normal? Should I give it a few more days? Add prime? Water change? Pls help lol Thank you!!
  3. Hi everyone, I started my first tank over 3 years ago and since I am going to be moving soon, I am planning to upgrade my tank as for my new apartment. I currently have a 10g tank with guppies and neocaridina shrimp but in my new apartment I'll be getting something between 40-60g. I need some advice for stocking the tank and I was hoping I could get help here. I am attached to my colony of guppies and shrimp so making sure whatever lives in the tank won't wipe them out is the priority. With that in mind, I had a few ideas for additional species that I could include in the tank. I'm not saying I want to do all of these but I would like to have some variety within the tank. - Panda Corys - Super red bristlenose plecos - A single halfmoon plakat betta - Neon tetras I am open to any other suggestions but I definitely want smaller fish so I can have some variety. I should also mention that the tank will be planted so any suggestions should be plant safe. I also like breeding fish but I'm not looking to do it for profit or work with anything too demanding. I am going to be starting law school so I would like to keep things relatively low maintenance (that includes under-stocking the tank a little to give me more wiggle room if i miss a water change). Thanks.
  4. I decided to dedicate a journal to my new twenty gallon high! I’m excited to post updates as it progresses in the future! The past few days have been pretty tedious, with a lot of cumbersome lifting, back and forth spray painting, and plenty of adjustments.. with some occasional amounts of frustration and tons of determination in addition. Most of the work lately has entailed building up the rock structure. I originally had it set lower, but realized that the height needed to be increased; I used mesh bags full of rock to add to it. Unfortunately, that had offset the half of the structure I had built (the right side was almost completely bare at the time). So, I spent well over four hours trying to get it all back into place, which finally resulted in the placement I was looking for. Afterwards, I added the rest of the structure and stabilized it all into large sections with spray foam. Following that, once the spray foam had dried, I had to remove the sections to take them up to the attic to spray paint them. It was a little frustrating at times, and a mesh bag was stuck to some foam and pulled off a small section before I could remove it in time. But, it was a small error, and I moved on to spray painting them all as thoroughly as I could before calling it a night on the brunt of the work. Though, I did clean the glass to try and remove all of the gunk and dried spray foam aftermath. There are some spots I still might need to touch up on, but a vinegar and water mix seems to be taking care of most of it. Today, I was mostly spray painting everything every few hours, rotating all of the rocks every time I did so. I did leave the bottommost structure in the aquarium to try and keep the placement of the other structures more consistent, as they all have to fit in place. In order to spray paint that one, I tore up some old newspaper and used that to block the glass on the sides and bottom, then I applied the spray paint. To try and minimize the fumes, since I sleep in the living room and right next to the tank (and my betta fish, Samphan, is in a holding tank on the table tray close by), I covered the top of the aquarium with a blanket and a pillow from off of the couch. It seemed to do the trick well, but I made sure to monitor my fish just in case, as well as fan out the area by him with a magazine, since the ceiling fan doesn’t work and it was too cold and snowy to open a window. I spent a couple hours over half the day on it all, and once the spray paint was up to my liking and the touch ups were completed, I took all of the rock structures back down and added them back into the tank. I made the mistake of adding them out of order and managed to offset everything, so it was maybe two hours of adjusting them all back into how they were originally placed, though not completely the same. The friction from the adjustments chipped a little paint away, so I added the newspaper back in and touched up the spots. A paper moved without me noticing, and some spray paint got on the glass. But it shouldn’t be too difficult to remove. This is the resulting product, and I’m pretty satisfied with it. This is my first attempt at a hardscape, and I made my own sketch of how I would maybe envision the scape to be prior to doing this all. So, that is what I would go back and forth referencing at. The rocks were collected years ago from Oklahoma when I visited family and spent a few hours in the insanely hot weather collecting rocks and driving a car for the first time, although that was the only time I was ever able to drive. I remember seeing a lot of scorpions, snakes, and frogs while collecting them all. They were much bigger than this, and filled the entire space of the trunk, but my mom and I hammered them down to make some interesting, but decently sized, pieces for this tank. Here is the rough sketch of the hardscape, although the driftwood is included on it, it has yet to arrive. So, I will add it later on to the aquarium. I really enjoy sharp angles and curves, so I tried to implement some of that into my original concept. I didn’t reference any photos, so it probably isn’t accurate to nature, but this is what I had fun coming up with. I tried to pick rocks that matched this, and I’ll add some smaller ones to the bottom once I add all of the substrate (I plan on using organic potting soil and Seachem fluorite dark, capping it all in black sand). I like heavy contrast and black is a great color for it, especially when mixed with plants and a brightly colored betta, so that is the color I chose for the rocks, though they were originally a rusty orange color. The spray paint hopefully will prevent the rocks from eroding much in the tank, as it has a primer in it as well, and I applied a lot of layers (though the spray paint is aquarium safe). I think it worked out well, and I’m surprised I was able to match it pretty close to my concept sketch, though I did change some things, like bulking out the left side, and bringing the other down a little lower. It is definitely a little more sizable in person though. The next steps are to add substrate, and hopefully the driftwood, once it arrives. All of the mesh bags and spray foam will be covered, and I’ll have to add smaller rocks in some spots afterwards. Following that, I will add my plants. I do plan on purchasing more tomorrow, as I have a case of ‘Plant Collectoritis’, which I’m thinking will be some tissue cultured and sustainable Bucephalandra, Bolbitis (I’m thinking maybe Bolbitis heudelotii or maybe something smaller), Java Fern Trident Leaf, potentially something else. I have a holding tank full of plants that will also be apart of this scape, and I will try to implement the majority, as I enjoy a bit of a jungle.
  5. how many fish can I add to my 20G high tank after its been cycled, and wish kind its best for beginner tank.
  6. I got my new tank in the house finally! My plan is to have a big school of 1 kind of fish in the tank as well as a group of cories and a pair of dwarf cichlids too. I’ve always wanted to have emperor tetras but my wife likes diamond tetras better. What do you all think? Emperors or diamonds?? Im also thinking of about 30-35 or so. Does that sound like a good amount? Thanks!
  7. I finally put my new 10 gallon planted tank together this Tuesday. The dragon stone is holding the driftwood down until it becomes waterlogged. Not visible is the pearlweed I planted in the background, I'm going to let it grow nice and tall and attempt to have a lush green wall of pearlweed. The foreground will hopefully be a lush "field" of dwarf sagittaria and a couple scarlet temple stems to give the aquarium some color other than green. Floating on top is some frogbit. I'm running a couple hours of CO2 in the morning just to give the plants a little extra help.
  8. If it ain't broke don't fix it ... Anyway yesterday morning I decided to fiddle with my CO2 and accidentally dumped some into the tank. CO2 is back to where it was ... But since then I have noticed two things, unrelated, but the tank is not the same. 18 Danios (mix of Zebra and Kyathit) are now hiding. They are usually very active, swimming through all the terrain ... in the past 24 hours only about 6 came out to feed. They are not in the sump, but must be hiding down in the plants and rocks. Very unusual for Danios not to come out in a frenzy for feeding. But I've tried two feedings and very litter reaction, and at this moment, I cannot find any of them. However, the 10 Corys and 2 Plecos are active. There is a group of white egg looking things on my glass. See pic. Just noticed this today while looking for the Danios.
  9. What a tank is cycling will nitrite levels go up? tested my tank today and levels were at .50ppm nitrate is at 5.0ppm is the tank cycling and should I change water...
  10. First I just want to say Thank You to Cory and The Aquarium Co-Op for providing all the videos that have inspired me to setup my new tank. I have had small (failed) aquariums in the past but never have I started one with knowledge and understanding I have now. Looking forward to many years of NERMing out and doing business with the Coop. Sep. 8th Initial setup and cycling of the tank. Plastic Rocks float. LOL First plants from the Coop. Cypress Knee attached to slate to hold it down. I got this Knee on etsy and it was perfectly prepared out of the box. It did not leach any tannins. Almost too tall!! More Plants. All came from the Coop (WA) to me (FL). They were in the mail 7 days (we had just had a hurricane here so not the Coops fault) and they were perfect. Vintage Décor FTW! Oct 2nd I added 5 Platy's. PH 7.8, NH3 0 ppm, Nitrite 0 ppm, Nitrate 5 PPM. I turn the LED background lights on for an hour or so in the evenings just to enjoy the ambiance. I have more plants coming in today. To be continued... Thanks for looking. Mary K. Oh yeah... gottah show the stickers
  11. Hello all! My name is Teddy I have recently started a new Betta tank (my first aquarium!). I set everything up. Hard scaped with Spectrastone gravel, WonderStone, Granite, and Malaysian Driftwood. I then added plants, filled it up, and added Aqueon water conditioner. I let this tank cycle for a day and then added Multi-purpose StartSmart Complete to start a bacteria culture, Seachem Flourish, and Seachem Flourish Iron. I then added my Betta and tested the water with the API water testing kit. Everything was normal and in a good range except for ammonia. I'm already up at 1ppm and I'm wondering if this is dangerous. If so should I do a water change or buy some ammo lock? Or should I wait a day to see what happens? I should also mention that I tested my tap water that I used and it came up as 0ppm. Thank you!
  12. Hello, Thanks again for everyone's help with my KH questions. I removed the crushed coral and conditions have remained stable. PH around 7, KH around 2. About 70-80 percent of the plants I planted have survived and have transitioned/are transitioning. There are signs of new growth in my scarlet temple, pearlweed, monte carlo and a few of the crypts, and my various kinds of java fern are holding steady (some black spots on the windelov aside). There's also, what I believe to be diatom growing on my gravel, rocks, and some plants, as well as hair or thread algae on my driftwood and some of my plants. The tank has also read 0 for ammonia and nitrites and under 20ppm nitrates the past few days, so it seems like the tank is cycled. Hooray. My questions is... what do I do now? My goal is to have honey gourami and kuhli loaches. But I want to make sure the plants are established so the honey gourami's will be comfortable, and the kuhli loaches won't rip everything up/ be comfortable. And while I know the algae is a good sign, if it gets too out of control it will start blocking light for the plants/ be a complete pain to get rid of right? Particularly as I'm not planning on adding any specific algae eaters if I don't have to. The light is on 8 hours a day currently, in a part of my basement that gets very little natural light (Nicrew at 4/5 brightness for white light and 3/5 for blue). I'm dosing one squirt of Easy Green a day as suggested in Cory's planted tank cycling video. There are three sprigs of pothos coming out of the top. And I'm planning on replacing the dead hornwort/one good sprig of hornwort with wisteria in the near future. since most of the hornwort seems dead/ it make a mess. Other than that I have no plans to add or remove any more plant stock any time soon. So, what's the next step if I want to continue to grow my plants and keep the algae at bay? Do I cut back on the hours I'm running the light for (I've been running it so long for the monte carlo and scarlet temple). Should I start dosing the easy green once a week with three squirts as recommended on the bottle? Do I need to go ahead and add some fish? Or should I keep going to see if the tank stabilizes itself as the plants grow? Thanks!
  13. I haven't ever had a problem keeping water clear. About two or three weeks ago I started dosing easy iron (less than the bottle says I should because I only have a few red plants) and now my water is yellow/gold. Just wondering if it could be the easy iron and how to remove it if it is. Also it looks like it could be tannins but I'm positive it isn't based on this tank is over three months old and the standing came after using easy iron.
  14. Hi folks, I'm so new to this hobby, I still have the New Fishkeeper smell. My tank is on the way, and I'm assembling the things I need. First thing to arrive was the Aquarium Co-op test strips, so I tested my tap water. Here's what I have: Nitrate 10, Nitrite 0, GH 150-300. (I'm not quite sure which one it is based on color, but I'm leaning to the 150), Buffer KH 40, PH 6.4, Chlorine 0 (this one surprised me). So, my ultimate goal is to keep a Betta and possibly some snails. I already know that the water hardness will benefit the snails fine, but I'm worried about any Betta that I get. (ten gallon tank, btw). What, if anything, should I do to this water aside from heating it, adding the beneficial bacteria and Seachem Prime? Thanks! Shirl
  15. So I have about 20 guppy babies in a breeder box in my 36 gallon community tank. I’ll be way over stocked if I leave them in there as they grow up. I plans to buy another tank to put in my daughter’s room with the baby guppies. I’ve had an extra sponge filter in the 36 for about 2 weeks now. 1. Can I just put that sponge filter in the new tank, add water and dechlorinate, then add fish? Do I need to add bottle bacteria? Do I need to wait a couple weeks like a normal cycle? 2. I’d like to get a new hob for the 36 and put the one I’m using now in the new tank. How can I do this without crashing the cycle on the 36? I have a sponge filter in there. Will that be enough to keep the cycle while the new hob loads up? (I have 2 sponges in there now because I plan to move one to the new tank)
  16. Would you recommend adding plants to an aquarium first, or stocking it with fish? Concern: disease and medications I have a cycled 20 gallon that is ready for life. I plan to add fish directly into it as there is nothing from which they need to be quarantined (other than the disease-free aquarium itself). If I add fish that end up requiring medication, then it is better to medicate an aquarium without living plants in there, correct? So, fish, and then plants, and then quarantine each future new fish before adding it to the community? Or, plants, quarantine fish, and then add the first fish to a planted tank after they have been quarantined?
  17. Hello Everyone and Thank you for taking the time to help me understand what is going on. I am new to this hobby and I unfortunately was given some bad advice from the Bix Box Pet stores. My kids wanted to get a fish tank. I love animals so I was all for it. We went to the Bix Box pet store and purchased a 25 gallon bow front tank kit. I asked the worker what I needed to get the tank started and they sold me some API quick start and API stresszyme for water conditioning. the worker said come back tomorrow and you can get your fish. not knowing much about the hobby I read the bottle of quick start and it said instantly add fish so I believed what I was told. After putting the fish in(5 mollies and 3 Zebra Danios) I started doing some research on fish keeping(probably should have done that before diving in to this hobby) I quickly learned about the nitrogen cycle and how important it is. Over the past week I have been religiously reading everything I can to try and do the right things to keep my fish healthy. Now to the issue. Once I learned how the process happens I started testing my water twice a day(am and pm). I also purchased Seachem Prime based on some forums and youtube videos I have watched to help detoxify the ammonia and let the Beneficial Bacteria start to grow. I am dosing that every 24 hours. 2 days ago my ammonia jumped up to 1ppm in the morning. I called my Local Fish store and asked if they had any used filter media that I could put in my HOB. They gave me two decent size pieces and a I bought a Bio Ball and jammed all that in the filter. I know any amount of ammonia is toxic to fish and can do serious harm even death. This morning I measured my ammonia and it was still at what looks like 1ppm. the fish were happy and swimming fine and eating very well. Also this morning I dosed the tank again with quick start in hopes that if there are any bacteria in that bottle that are alive they will process the ammonia. Questions I have How long should it take for that used filter that may or may not have BB on it it start multiplying to be able to handle the load of the tank? Am I putting my fish at risk with the 1ppm ammonia level even thought the Prime seems to be Detoxing the ammonia? I also have plans on Hot Rodding my HOB based on a video i watched last night that Cory did and was wondering when I should do that, should I let the tank get established with what media I have in the filter then slowly change over to a coarse sponge and bio media?
  18. I am planning out my 180 gallon tank. I am just about to get it filled and start cycling. I am hoping to add some plants, but I have fish that like digging. I bought six of the easy planters, and hope to add plants that don’t branch out too much. I was hoping you all might have some good ideas on what plants might go well. I would like some things go all the way to the top to give the tank more depth. That being said, I don’t want the plants to spread too much. I would rather have more planters and the ability to move things around without worrying about the fish digging them up. In my experience, the fish I have don’t really eat the plants too much, But since they are substrate feeders, they tend to uproot them. I plan to have a large area of sand, But a zone in the back that has some kind of planted substrate. I plan to separate them with larger decorations so the two substrates don’t mix. so, I’m open to suggestions. I was thinking about swords and other plants that will grow up from a single point and not send out runners. The only truly planted aquarium I have ever had is going strong, but also somewhat out of control. With 24 ft.³ of room in the tank, I do not need these plants to do the same. I will most likely add CO2 at some point, but need suggestions on plants that will grow without it. I am not opposed to adding some carpeting plants as the diggers won’t be in the tank right away. For these, I would need suggestions on things that will grow and root fast.
  19. Hey all 😊 I just set up my 29 gallon tank on the 9th (so 5 days ago) This is tank #8 lol I know all about the nitrogen cycle etc But..here is what I DONT get --- So my tap water pH is less than 6. I use crushed coral in my substrate and some on my hob(s) to keep my tanks pH at 7.4-7.8 (depending on the tank). THIS tank however, I used 3/4 cup of aragonite sand (which is mixed with an inert petco brand small grained gravel and 1cm river pebbles - I was out of the crushed coral and wanted to at least try this) It def worked lol (the 29 gallon pH is 7.8) BUT. HERE'S THE THING - Aside from some driftwood, small bits of moss, 2 amazon swords and 2 apongeton plants that I took from another tank - everything else in the tank is new. And I have YET to add an ammonia source.. But the ammonia is reading 0.50-1.0, and the nitrite is reading 0.25-0.50??? Did the aragonite cause this??? (Pic of the tank 😊)
  20. Any estimates on how long it will take to clear? Overnight? Or just an hour or so? Trying to decide whether to put my tools away, or just wait a while. Thank you!
  21. My new tank arrived almost 2 weeks ago and I keep forgetting to post as I go with the set up! It came on a pallet with a caution cone on top. I have been prepping for months and finally got my gravel, so I have been able to get started on the set up.
  22. All these girls are doing great so far. I absolutely love watching them.
  23. I got my new acrylic tank!! I have my driftwood and plants in my current tank to hopefully move some bacteria over. I was wondering if I should soak some of my substrate in the tank (in a mesh bag) too? How about the rocks I plan to add?
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