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About Me

  1. First aquarium since one I had about 20 years ago as a teenager. First one with live plants. 29 gallons, maybe starting to get the hang of it. Fed them some love baby brine shrimp for the first time and it seemed like a hit. Maybe put too much in, but I can adjust that next time and it looked cool at least, haha
  2. I just set up my 29 gallon fresh water tank 7 days ago. My current water parameters are below. I currently have half gravel and half Fluval Stratum. I'm using the API master test kit and Tetra strips to monitor everyday before and after water changes. This tank is planted as well and I'm getting the below fish. Besides lowering my ammonia to below .25 what else needs to be done with this tank? I'm planning on stocking 12 Cardinals on Wednesday and feeding them after 4 days then waiting a week then feeding them again then twice the next week and so on until each day. I will be getting the other fish the following week or so as I had to special order all these fish because the local stores only do Cichlids and a few others I don't want and Petco doesn't have them either. I plan to water change every day and treat fully with Prime. The plants are doing great and no issues I see. I have the 3 snails in it already since day 2. I seeded the tank with Fritz fishless fuel and Fritzyme 700 on the first day and then got filter sponge water from a koi tank at the local fish store the next day and added a few small pieces of raw chicken that I just took out today. The tank topped at 5 ppm ammonia but never touched any Nitrite or raised the Nitrate. I just started doing 50% water changes yesterday and today and dropped it from 5 ppm ammonia to 1.5. Today it got to 2 ppm and I changed and its at 1ppm. I'm also using Prime at every change a little over the normal dose. On day 3 or 4, I did clean the filter and sponge out in a bucket of tank water just to get the mass amount of dirt from the substrate out and then put them back and I left the tank light on from day 3-5 24/7 to try and get allege and left the window blind open as well but none grew so I went back to 12-14 hours of light. This tank is for my son's birthday and was a last minute idea as we just went to the aquarium and he absolutely loved them and is so excited for this tank. Otherwise I would of done this the right way and let the tank cycle over several weeks before stocking anything. Tank pH - 6.6 Ammonia - 1 ppm Nitrite - 0 ppm Nitrate - 5 ppm GH - 75 KH - below 20 Temp - 76-78 Tap pH - 7 Ammonia - 0 Nitrite - 0 Nitrate 5 GH - 150 KH - 30-40 Fish 12 Cardinals 6 Rummies 6 Harlequins 3 Pygmy Corries 3 Khuli loaches 2 Hillstream loaches 3 Nerite Snails Plants 1 medium Amazon Sword 1 small Flame Sword 1 medium Narrow leaf chain sword with 2 off shoots I replanted 1 Bronze Wendtii 1 Green Wendtii 2 small cups of Java moss split into 4-5 patches Filter 1 medium sponge air filter 1 Aqueon QuietFlow LED PRO 20 with a sponge over the intake 1 Fluval small bio ball in the filter 1 small Fluval polishing pad cut up to fit in the filter 1 Carbon filter that came with the filter
  3. My tank is three weeks old today. I started out doing a fishless cycle. On Day 3, due to a very kind and sweet husband, who did NOT understand the term "fishless cycle", I was the proud owner of 13 platys! All the fish have been treated and are doing great and my plants are growing. I've attached a picture of my water parameters. I've been doing 30% water changes every four or five days and of course the ammonia goes back down. My question is: how does my tank fully cycle if I keep doing the water changes? Is it just a slower process because of the fish and having to do water changes? Thanks for any help.
  4. Hi All, I have a newly planted tank a couple of weeks old now with some small carpeting up in the foreground. Does anybody have any recommendations for some bottom dwellers that I can add that wont dig up all of the little plants as they get settled? I've heard that even corys can be a menace to this but any feedback and experience is very much welcomed. Thanks!
  5. Just purchased 6 ember tetras to start a new tank. Will it be ok to add more to the school later on or will the existing embers school more on their own?
  6. Got a new 55g last night! Currently having my trusty HOB filter clean out all the crud. After that, just gonna use a sponge filter. I will be moving my stock in the 20g long below into the 55g when it's ready. I'm gonna test the TopFin stock lights to see if it will grow Water Wisteria and some other easier plants though I don't have high hopes. Stocking will be 6 Neon Swordtails 1 Gold Gourami 8 Tiger Barbs Possibly 1 Golden Wonder Killifish And likely more down the road! The substrate and plants will also be moved as well though most plants will likely spread to other tanks, not the new 55g. The main focus for this 55g is for my Crinum Calamistratum and I highly doubt these lights will do well for it. I plan on getting Finnex Stingray when I can and because of that, the Crinum will stay in a tank with proper lighting until then, not risking my favorite! I'll be putting Black Sand in the 20g long and going for a neocardinia shrimp colony, specifically blue coloration. I have now beaten my record for a maximum of 5 tanks 10 years ago, 6 tanks now!
  7. So I have decided to upgrade my betta Mr Darcy's tank (plus his tank mates, neo shrimp, mystery snail & nerite), from a 5gal to a 10 rimless (with clear lid). I need some advice before the change over ... My tap water runs at a Ph of 8.0 and Mr Darcy and the snails seem to have done fine, though the plants and the neos I think don't like that ph. So, for the new tank, I've decided to go with the Fluval Stratum, capped with a pea gravel, for a substrate. I read that the Fluval Stratum lowers ph quite a bit, like possibly into the 6's, which might be good for the neos. One of my questions is ... will the Ph lower gradually or fairly quick? I am trying to plan this out. Can I stick the fish/etc in right after scaping? (I have established sponge filters running almost a year in current tank). Or do I need to let the tank sit for a bit without critters then drip acclimate them? I've never used this substrate so I am just a little anxious, as I don't want to harm the critters or the plants. Thanks for your patience in reading this and any advice! ~Jennifer pic of current 5gal for tax
  8. The new 200ltr (~75gl) tank has arrived yesterday. Today I have set it up filled it just under 50% with fresh water and stuck an air stone inside. Tomorrow I plan to plant it, position the wood and fill it with water that will be taken out (~100ltr) from my other tank during the two weekly water change. Also, I plan to move X2 pre filter sponges and X2 sponge trays from the established tank to the new tank and start running the filter, the fish will be moved from the containers on Sunday. Is their something that I have missed or should have done differently? Thanks as always Ben
  9. Hey everyone, I finally got my very first tank started on Saturday! Everything seemed to be going fine yesterday, but today I woke up and had two deaths. I have a 40 breeder, 6 platys, 7 ottos, and a betta. I lost one platy and one otto so far. The tank is brand new and was not fully cycled, I was told by two LFS that I could just add some Fritz Turbostart 700 to get it going. I have a Seachem Tidal 55 filter packed with sponges, and a few plants/moss bunches (getting many more today). I tested the water yesterday with an API master test kit because I was worried I was over feeding cause I have no idea how to feed a community tank. I tried the 2 minute rule but not all the fish got food, especially my betta. After the test, the ammonia test was a pale yellow so I’m thinking the ammonia is between 0-.25. Nitrites were 0, I didn’t test for nitrates. This morning I immediately tested after removing the bodies, and ammonia was between .25-.50. Nitrites are 0 and Nitrates were between 10-20. I’m not 100% sure the issue is water quality cause the rest of the fish seem fine, not gasping or anything and moving around like normal. One platy is very aggressive and almost constantly chases the females and my betta. I’m removing him ASAP, but I’m not sure if that’s why one of the platys died. As for the ottos, they’ve been sucking on the wood I have in there, but I haven’t been able to feed them cause I know there’s no algae in my tank yet besides on the wood from soaking it. I bought some Hikari algae wafers but they have fish/krill in them and the ottos wouldn’t touch it, and the platys were attacking it so they couldn’t get some anyway. So I’m not sure if it’s water, harassment/stress, or starvation. I know the level of ammonia is toxic right now, I’m going to be doing a water change ASAP but I would expect the other fish to not be doing well if it was water quality. After the water change I’m adding another 1oz of Fritz Turbostart and keeping an eye on everything for the day. Does anyone have any thoughts/suggestions/theories?
  10. 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!!! 🙂
  11. Hi everyone! I wanted to ask if there are any good rules of thumbs for when setting up a new 55 gal. For example frequency for water. Is it weekly, bi weekly, monthly, etc.? Filtering: * two marineland HOBs with filter media, carbon mat filter and filter floss *One Medium Coarse airpump filter. Stock: *Three Angelfish *Six Kuhli Loaches *One irredescent shark *Six congo tetra No need for heating since normal room temperature is around 75-85 degrees. And substrate is inert gravel with a thin layer of stratum underneath. Also, there are a few valisneria, one sword and one bolbitis. There is some driftwood also. I used bacteria 4 oz. The aquarium is the one on the picture.Constructive comments are appreciated.
  12. I bought a new glass 40 breeder tank at the petco a little bit ago. The inside of the bottom glass panel of the tank has some scratches in it (kind of like a smaller tank was shipped inside it). The scratches are in about a 4 inch square and you can catch your finger nail in the scratches that are in it. I am leak testing it right now and it is holding water. I would probably be more worried if it was on the outside of the tank, but before I fill it with decor... is a scratch on the inside really anything to be worried about? Edit: took your guys advice and the Petco took it back even though I painted its back.
  13. So, I just added my first group of fish to my tank today - 8 ember tetras...they have been in the tank for a couple of hours and so far seem ok...they hung out in the rotala for a while but, seem to be swimming around a little more now (but, mostly all on one side of the tank). My biggest "fear" is that one of them is hiding on the substrate on the opposite side of the tank from the other 7...when exactly should I start to get concerned? I did turn the light off and am not planning on feeding until tomorrow... I do have a quarantine tank if needed, but since these are the first fish I put them straight into the display tank... Any thoughts/ideas/reassuring advise would be greatly appreciated...first tank I have set up in ~15 years Thanks!
  14. Hello, I started my second tank (20 long) after running a 10 gal for 6 months and having a scud infestation. I started this tank off right by alum dipping all my new plants and ordering them all from the co-op. I have a mixture of postegemon stelattus octopus, Java fern, Amazon sword, and crypt Lucens I started the cycle with plants from day one in eco complete and with every other day dosing of easy green (5 pumps) and did not add live bacteria. I am experiencing an explosion of stag horn and hair algae and am in my 5th week with no live fish/shrimp yet and my tests are showing ammonia, nitrites and nitrates all at zero. I am following the video Cory put up about cycling with fertilizer remember him mentioning to only change one variable at a time and I have wanted to keep fertilizer constant while I dial the lighting in but the tank seems to be consuming the easy green within 2 days because I am not showing any nitrates despite testing every 3 days. with all that said, my primary question is, do I keep my fertilizer dosing the same or is that causing my algae to explode while my plants are trying to keep up? Their growth is awesome but I have to clean them regularly because of all the hair algae
  15. I'm just getting started with the early planning stages of my 55 gallon tank! Where do you begin with scaping? How do you come up with a theme? I'm lost when it comes to getting started! My first tank, a 29 gallon, was for me to play around with and just get my feet wet with the hobby. Now I want something with a more cohesive look to it. Do you buy hardscape pieces first and build around that? Do you go seeking hardscape to fit your vision, then build a plant aesthetic from there? I'm a complete novice to scaping. I'm using a natural color off-white sand as my substrate (inert) and Il'l be keeping the tank low tech. I want something that is low maintenance and easy to clean, and I'll need a little driftwood because I'd like to try a bristlenose pleco for this one.
  16. I am so excited to share our fish keeping journey. My husband and I live in MN in a rental house and just made a purchase agreement on a home. We are currently in a cramped one bedroom rental and have 4 fish tanks. Our landlord said no cats/dogs so we decided to get a small 29 gallon fish tank and life has not been the same since. We, (but mostly me) are addicted now. I currently have a 20, 40, 75, & 125. I recently found a guy selling all his fish room tank/equipment so I made him an offer and we got 15 tanks from him in various sizes from 10 to 125 gallons. Our new home is much bigger and is a split level. I have already been trying to design on paper something in the lower level so we have an idea of where to put a few tanks right off. I am nervous about moving my 4 tanks and making sure everyone survives the event. We plan on keeping our rental an extra month so we wont be rushed. I want to set up 4 new tanks and get them cycled then move the fish over. Any ideas would be welcome. The new house is only about 40 minutes from our rental. I will post our journey as we move through this process.
  17. Edit: inserted better photos into post. Hey everybody! First time fish keeper here. I am two weeks into a new aquarium set up. Long story short, a few days after purchasing a few Neon tetras to begin my tank, I noticed a small white colored dot on two of their mouths/lips. My original research led me to believe that this could be either columnaris or some form of fungus. Just to rule out my options first, I treated the tank with Pimafix and Melafix and added a small amount of salt to the tank about a week ago in hopes that it might clear up. So far, there has been no change that I can determine. I have not noticed the white dot grow and the fish do not appear to be showing any signs of sickness or abnormality that I am aware of. I am doing fish-in cycling, so my water parameters have not been very consistent (though I did use API QuickStart, as well as using some beneficial bacteria provided my LFS). I have done lots of internet research, but am very new to the hobby and could use some friendly advice for how to treat my Neons and determine what might be going on. There’s A LOT of conflicting information out there. If there is any more info that I can share that might help diagnose the issue, I am happy to share. Right now, I am just a bit worried about the little guys. Thanks!
  18. Anyone ever had a new tank leak in the first two weeks? I was working in my office today and heard an odd dripping sound. I turned around to see water running toward me and the aquarium draining onto the floor. I am very fortunate to be sitting in the room with it when it started leaking. The tank was a new 38 gal Aqueon that I got from my LFS to replace my old 38 gal aquarium. The old aquarium was missing the top brace and was starting to fail with a significant bow to the glass but had been operating for over half a year on the same location on the same stand. Ironically, the old tank was the one that I was worried about failing and wanted to get replaced as soon as practical. The mess is cleaned up now and all the animals are safe in the old tank again. I keep worrying that there is an issue with my setup that I cannot see and that I will have the same problem with the replacement tank. I leak tested the new tank in the garage for over a week with no issues and made sure both the stand and the new tank were level after removing the old tank. If you have seen this scenario before I would love to know your thoughts.
  19. I don't know if this post would be against the rules, so please let me know. I was gifted a $100 gift card at PetSmart. Recently due to life changes my next tank (#2) has been put on hold. But with this gift, I've been tempted to downgrade my next tank from a 20 to a 10, which my counter I believe can support along side my current 10 gallon. Now here's my conundrum... I had a plan of getting low cost deals of obtaining things from Aquarium Co-op, petco for the tank, and hardware stores for sand and rocks. But with this new idea, I'm considering a shell dweller tank of 1 male, 2 females. Sand, a decorative stone or two, and obviously shells. I may need crushed coral to raise the ph. A glass lid, a simple led light. UGF for an experiment with a plenum. While I can save money on many of those things, I need to exhaust the $100. Other than a 10 for $29, what are the best things to get that I can't get elsewhere for cheap? Is there a good option for black sand that isn't painted and that isn't black diamond blasting sand? I don't want to buy a 50lb bag for a 10g.
  20. 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!!
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. how many fish can I add to my 20G high tank after its been cycled, and wish kind its best for beginner tank.
  24. 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!
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