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About Me

  1. Hello everyone, I've been meaning to create a journal on my 29 gallon aquarium and my experiences with it, but I just haven't had time recently, as I am constantly bombarded with homework, tests, and projects in school. As you can probably infer, I have a little period of rest right now from school, which is why I am creating my journal now. Anyway, I've done something similar to a journal in my introduction where I covered my journey through the entire hobby, so I thought that maybe I would do a more in-depth story with pictures and only about one aquarium. Hope you guys don't mind the read... Okay, so it started out with me getting my 29 gallon started up and cycled for a couple of weeks. Setup: I added in pool filter sand as the substrate (I had never tried this before previously I used gravel in my 10 gallon), because I knew Corydoras would love to sift through the sand. For hardscape, I originally included only a few river rocks, but soon later added in some driftwood from my pre-existing 10 gallon. Lastly, I added in a couple of plastic plants I had used in my first setup, and a Java fern grown in gravel, now planted in sand. In terms of equipment for this tank, I originally started with an airstone and a cheap hang-on-back filter from a 10 gallon aquarium kit, as well as a cheap heater from PetSmart. I increased the filtration later on as I get more fish. The original stocking for the aquarium was all the fish from my 10 gallon aquarium (not including the male guppy that had passed away a day before I transferred the fish), meaning a pair of peppered cories (Corydoras paleatus), two albino females (C. aeneus), one Venezuelan male (C. venezuelanus, I didn't know he was different from C. aeneus at the time which is why I only have one), and two Endler's livebearer males (Poecilia wingei), along with a number of Assasin snails (Clea helena) of all sizes. Here is me first releasing the fish from my 10 gallon into their new 29 gallon aquarium. Soon after their introduction, our last guinea pig Samuel passed away, so my parents allowed me to get more fish to compensate (also simply because the tank wasn't at all full, and needed something that would eat algae). I bought a school of five pygmy cories (Corydoras pygmaeus) (also not to eat algae, simply for my enjoyment), and my little sister wanted a pleco, so she chose out a female bristlenose pleco (Ancistrus spec., maybe A. dolichopterus?). With the purchase of the bristlenose pleco came a tiny little guppy (Poecilia reticulata) fry that had made its way into the bag. We added this fry into the 29 gallon as well. Also I added an Amazon swordplant shortly after. After a while, algae started to rapidly take over in the aquarium. Specifically whatever kind of algae this is: I think it's staghorn algae so that's what I am going to call it for now. So I introduced three Amano shrimp from my LFS in order to combat the algal bloom. They immediately got to work on the staghorn algae covering the driftwood, and soon the driftwood was completely clear. Unfortunately, one shrimp jumped out of the aquarium (I don't even know how there is a good lid, and even though it has a space for the filter and stuff, I don't know why a shrimp would jump out, because the other two stayed in the aquarium), and I was not at home when this happened, so sadly this one did not make it. Anyway, they ate all of the mystery algae. At this point, my pair of Corydoras paleatus were beginning to breed, laying eggs which I scooped out and put in a small 1/2 gallon container right next to my aquarium. This container was aerated with an air stone, but otherwise had no other equipment. This first batch of eggs all grew fungus all over it, and I was heartbroken, until a week or two later, right as I was about to throw the container away, I noticed a tiny little baby fish in the container. I put him into the 29 gallon aquarium because I had no other aquariums ready. He made his home under the rock caves that I constructed near the air stone. But soon after this problem came the bloom of hair algae and black beard algae, the former covering the Amazon sword and plastic plants, while the latter took over my driftwood and Java fern. My guppy fry, which grew up and happened to be a female, then had babies with my male Endler's, producing many hybrid fry. In this stage, I also added a MarineLand Penguin Bio-Wheel 150 Power (hang-on-back) Filter made for 30 gallons. Although I have heard bad reviews for it, it worked for me because it was just and had a decent amount of space inside of it to add sponges, cartridges, or filter floss (I started with the cartridge that came with the kit and then switch the media later on). Also, I added an intake sponge over the intake of the filter so that no fry would get sucked up and also so that algae and plant leaves and things like that would not clog the filter. Soon, my Corydoras paleatus started breeding again, and laid about 30 fertile eggs. I used the same process for these as last time, and amazingly, all 30 hatched. I added them into a breeder basket in the main tank. They did fine for a couple of weeks, but then I noticed one or two had died under the frame of the box. So I decided to release them into the main tank, as I was afraid all would meet the same fate. Honestly, I think it would have been best if I just kept them in the box. After a couple of days, I never saw any of them anymore. I think that they might have, 1) gotten eaten by the other fish in the tank, but I don't know who could have eaten them I only had Endler's livebearers, cories, Amano shrimp, and a bristlenose pleco at the time, 2) died of disease, or 3) they died of starvation and not being able to compete for food. Fortunately, three of the 30 survived and I began to see them later on as they got bigger. So at this point, I was really upset and just wanted something new. I finally got my parents to allow me to get plants (ordered off of Aquarium Co-Op they took a lot of convincing though because they were afraid of me getting pest snails that would take over like the trumpet snails in my 10 gallon). I ordered a Cryptocoryne wendtii, Vallisneria, dwarf hairgrass (Eleocharis), and a dwarf aquarium lily (Nymphaea stellata). After this I went to my LFS to get Cabomba caroliniana, two Siamese algae eaters (Crossocheilus siamensis) for the still going hair algae problem, and a male pearl gourami (Trichopodus leeri). Also picked up my first Repashy to try it out as well. Soon, my aquarium was nice and green, and I added a black background for viewing purposes. I also decided to add more filtration (the water was pretty cloudy) so I ordered an Aquarium Co-Op sponge filter meant for 10 gallons (I had ordered this for my 10 gallon aquarium but wasn't using it at the time). After keeping this setup and stocking for a while, and while the guppies/endlers kept having more babies, I noticed my tank was way overstocked. The gourami was being aggressive toward the cories during feeding, the Siamese algae eaters were constantly fighting, and the bristlenose pleco was always chasing the other fish away from the food on the bottom (she, unlike the gourami, would just charge straight at whatever she felt wanted to take her food, even if they were half the tank apart. This meant baby cories, the gourami, and even the Amano shrimp). So I started by removing a large school of guppies (I took out the ones I wanted to breed) and added them to my newly restarted 10 gallon to start a colony. I removed my disintegrating Cabomba and put it in there as well (I never can seem to have success with this plant someone please give tips). Later, due to continued aggression, I moved both the pearl gourami and one of the Siamese algae eaters into the 10 gallon as well for temporary holding. They are still in there now, and aren't too big yet, so I plan on moving them or getting them a new home once they get bigger. Anyway, my guppies continue to have babies in the 10 gallon, but the ones in the 29 are not old enough yet, so they will soon. I added in water sprite (Ceratopteris thalictroides) in place of the Cabomba, and it is growing well along with the dwarf aquarium lily and the Cryptocoryne wendtii. My goal with this setup is to create a nice "jungle," where there are a lot of plants covering the back and sides of the aquarium, with many different species of fish of different shapes and sizes all thriving together. Right now, it doesn't look too good though. Despite the plants that are growing well, algae is taking over the glass walls (I think green spot algae and some other type). In addition, the Vallisneria in the back doesn't grow anymore, and the Amazon sword that I had originally put in the tank several months ago has gotten smaller and smaller (it was propogated underwater at my LFS), and now is looking green and brown. The hairgrass is growing okay. Any suggestions on what to do with these current problems would be well appreciated. Also, I thought I might add that the bristlenose pleco died just a week or so ago, probably due to internal parasites that might be causing the fish in both my 10 and 29 gallon to scratch themselves on the substrate. I am ordering the medications (API General Cure I heard works well) now, and so far no one else has died yet. Anyway, I thought I might include a few pictures of the fish in the tank at the moment: Here is a pair of Amano shrimp on their favorite driftwood. The female has eggs, but I heard they don't hatch in freshwater. But if anyone has hatched Amano shrimp before, please give advice I want to try and hatch her eggs. Corydoras attacking Repashy: Community Plus So currently, my conditions are: Equipment: Nicrew 30 Inch Light, MarineLand Penguin Bio-Wheel 150 Power Filter, Aquarium Co-Op 10 Gallon Sponge filter (powered by Aqua Culture 5-15 Gallon Air Pumo), 6 inch airstone (powered by Tetra 20-40 Gallons Air Pump), Some kind of heater I forgot the brand Plants: Vallisneria (2), Cryptocoryne wendtii (2 plus new plants from runners), Dwarf Aquarium Lily (1), Dwarf Hairgrass (1), Amazon Sword (1), Java Fern (1 large, plus many smaller plantlets planted in different spots), Water Sprite (1). Fish and Other Livestock: Albino Corydoras (2), Peppered Corydoras (5), Pygmy Corydoras (5), Venezuelan Corydoras (1), Guppy/Endler's Livebearer Hybrids (Around 20 of various sizes), Siamese Algae Eater (1), Amano Shrimp (2), Assassin Snail (Many). So that's my journey with this aquarium so far. As I mentioned earlier, I want a bit more variety in my fish species, so I plan selling some of the guppy/endler hybrids and assassin snails (or moving them) and stocking the aquarium with a couple other different peaceful fish, like tetras (I like rosy tetras, cardinals, diamonds, lemons, black neons, and pristellas), rasboras (maybe the micro rasboras?), minnows (white clouds), or other Corydoras (I know that would probably be too many bottom dwellers though, so maybe only a friend for the Venezuelan or albinos, or more pygmy cories so they school in the middle instead of taking up more room on the bottom). I also like Bolivian Rams, but I know they get pretty big and act like a gourami so not suitable for my community. So if you guys have any ideas on which other fish I could do in the aquarium, go ahead and give your suggestions down below. I'll make sure to give updates on this aquarium in the future. Sorry for the long read, but if you did make it this far, thanks for reading!
  2. Hello! I’ve done lots of research but really want to be successful so I thought I’d ask my fellow aquarium hobbiests! I am starting up another tank. It’s a 40 gallon breeder and I would like to do some live, beginner friendly, plants. I plan to stock this tank with corys so I’d like to do sand (I love watching them dig!) but I’ve heard about the challenges that come with sand & plants. I do plan to use root tabs. I’ve been looking for a more course sand for two reasons, one being plants & two because it’s a little easier to siphon then very fine sand. I’m unsure if I need to put a base of some type of nutrient rich substrate .. or maybe primarily where the plants will go and then top it with sand.. I’m not sure. Has anyone tried Caribsea’s Torpedo Beach? What is generally beat practice for sand & plants?
  3. Can Bolivian Rams be kept on eco complete? or only sand?
  4. Can anyone suggest a sand they like? I’m only going to give my aquariums a dusting of it, so a hobby related sand is fine since the price won’t be a huge issue. i originally was only going to put substrate in the 6 Cory tanks but now I think I want a little coverage
  5. Aquarium stores will hate me for this post maybe but I have been manufacturing my own aquarium sands on and off for 30 years. Would be interested to know if anyone else does? Its pretty simple you just need a bucket and a spade, dig up some soil near you and wash it about a thousand times and you end up with sand. Most soils are about 1/3 sand and there are as many different sands as there are soils. I am no geologist but most sands will be the local bedrock I imagine. Below is a sand I sourced recently. Its from the same soil as the local terrestrial moss in this tank - hence why the moss section looks the same - its the same sand/soil. Have bought many things from stores but never sand. Have never found a sand on sale more attractive than what I can get locally, however I have been tempted by a few bulk landscape suppliers for gardens and builders. You sometimes see some nice sands on sale.
  6. So I began to set up a dirted tank, but I don’t know if I have enough. In the pictures you can see there’s around an inch and a quarter (there’s some space beneath the black space) of organic seed starter- https://images.app.goo.gl/tD9k5GbNHix5uKM98 I assume it’s different from your standard miracle gro- and about the same amount made up in pool filter sand, pea pebbles (not pea gravel!) and a small bag of Caribsea gravel. I have a unsettling feeling that it won’t be enough though…so should I buy more substrate? I just don’t want it to be too expensive, and I ran out of all my sand and pebbles. Also I’ve heard sand isn’t great since it suffocates the dirt and everything. In the pictures included you can also see all the gravel pictures, measurements, a little diagram I drew and my ammonia (~.50) level after filling and draining my tank (once yesterday- the day I set it up) and again today. So…thoughts? Also I’m kinda nervous because the substrate seems to be mixing and pouring water on the substrate from a certain height seems to somehow bring out a little bit of dirt.
  7. Want to pick your brains. I’m upgrading my 3rd and final 3 gal betta tank to a 10 gal. The 3 gal is planted with black sand (Imagitarium) and has been running for close to a year. The new 10 gal will have Seachem Flourite black. My thought was to use the old sand with good bacteria as the first layer and then add the new flourite on the top. Thinking this would ease new tank syndrome. Will the sand eventually creep upwards or interfere with the flourite’s benefits? My plants do well in the other 10 gals on just the flourite. I also have a spare sponge filter running in another tank getting it ready for the new tank. Thoughts?
  8. Good morning all. I have a 55gal deep substrate dirted tank with 3" sand capping with a 20gal sump filter. I have CO2 injection. I have a wave maker above diffuser to disperse co2 and on the other side of tank is another wave maker to circulate co2. This circulation does make a shimmering surface agitation. My question is should there be more agitation or no agitation for the o2/co2 balance. I've read so many websites & forums that for my size tank yes I should have more and some say no agitation. At the moment I can't get any pearling on plants. So confused.
  9. My soon-to-be aquarium is going to have a lot of snails and shrimp in it. It is also going to have cpds, otocinclus, and Corys. I want to use alder cones to add some cool blackwater to the aquarium and the thing with that is that i'm afraid it will lower my pH too much for the snails. So, with this stocking in mind, should I just use Aragonite Sand for them?
  10. Hello, To my fellow aquarists I have come to the forum to ask for assisting find my own Aquarium Co-op super sand. To the best of my knowledge Corey uses Cemex Lapis Lustre either .8mm or #8 sand, I'm not totally sure. I have attempted to check the places around me and can only find fine sands. Does anyone have any tips on how I may be able to find something comparable? I've checked lowe's, home depot and local landscape businesses. Thanks
  11. I've started to get fascinated with undergravel filters. But if my next tank project happens, I was planning on using Black Diamond Blasting Sand, and plants. Is there a way to make it work? I've read a few threads on here, and I saw a mention of putting something between the sand and filter. But would that eventually get clogged? Or do you count on waste breaking down faster so it won't clog?
  12. Hi all! It seems I can't keep keep plants alive in sand to save my life. I'm having particular trouble with stem plants and crypts. Honestly, the only stem plants I've had any success with are bacopa and moneywort-- both grown in gravel. In this particular tank where I'm having trouble I use a course-ish sand (the kind from petco) and root tabs. I also dose easy green. I plant the stems a few inches in the substrate. So far they have all rotted in the sand and up the stem. My crypts have also died off, first getting holes and then kind of withering. I have medium light on for about 6-8 hours a day. The tank parameters are PH 6.4, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate ~5. Temp between 76-78. Heavily stocked 20 long with very clean water. Any advice? I grow vallisneria great in there but that's about it.
  13. Question on how to Hot Rod my HOB. I have seen a lot of videos on YouTube about optimizing the HOB filter. My filter came with the standard cartridge with activated carbon and a little blue plastic piece that is supposed to grow BB. I also added some seeded media from my LFS and a Bio Ball to help establish the BB colony with my fish in cycle(bad advice from big box fish store). My tank has been running with the original fish in there for about three weeks and I think based on what the cartridge says it needs to be replaced every month. I wanted to change everything out to use a coarse sponge for mechanical filtration(Aqua Clear), a pre filter sponge, fine filter floss for water polishing and add a bag of bio media(Aqua Clear). What I planned on doing was purchasing the new sponge and bio media and do my regular weekly water change. Rinse both the sponge and bio media in the tank water. Remove the existing cartridge and seeded filter and place the new sponge in the bottom and but as much of the old filter media on top, cutting the carbon filter media off the plastic holder and removing the carbon. Take the bag of bio media and place it in the bottom of the tank next to the filter intake for a week. This way I don't loose what BB I have but also give time for the new bio media to grow. I will also add some Aquavitro seed when I do this to help with any bacteria that was lost. Then after a week at my next water change remove the old used filter media from the LFS and the cartridge filter media place a new piece of filter floss on top of the sponge and place the bio media on top. Is there any risk in doing this or am I going about this the right way. Also with that plastic piece that is in there should I try and leave that in after all the modifications are done or once I have the new filter media and bio media will that not be needed. I can assume that more surface for BB to grow is better but is too much bad? Also what media is better Aqua Clear of the Seachem Matrix? Thanks In Advance
  14. Every one! I replaced my substrate with sand and might have forgotten that it clouds up the water. It's taking quite awhile to settle. Is it safe to put my fish and snails in there while it's cloudy?
  15. So i have a 200 gallon aquarium and i wanna set it up as a big community tank, i was thinking about putting in silver dollars khuli loaches, yoyo loaches, rubber lip plecos and blue dream neocaridina. Going to be heavily planted in one end, have a bit of a rock structure in the middle and a bunch of drift wood off of that, sand for the substrate Does anyone see any problems with this selection of fish or have any suggestions, i know khuli loaches aren't necessarily the greatest idea because water parameter requirements
  16. I am setting up two new planted community tanks, which I want to have Corys included.. Can I use Seachem Flourite as my substrate or is it to rough for the Corys? If the standard Flourite is too rough, can I use Flourite Sand ? thanks john
  17. hi! i am setting up my 240 gallon planted aquarium and i decided to temporarily fill the water with only my sand. the thing is i used a very dirty sand (around 10 times as dirty as pool filter sand) .the sand made the water cloudy even after washing. any idea how long it will take to clear and what can i do to make that faster. btw the tank only has a 1-2 inch sand bed even though it looks like i have a foot long sand bed.
  18. Anyone have experience with a nice sized school of corydoras in a dirted capped with sand tank? I'm wondering if they will cause too much of a disturbance in the sand cap. Also, the tank in question has many plants like val and lilies covering the surface, will this affect the corys ability to dash to the surface for air?
  19. I'm looking to put sand in half of my 29 gal and leave the rest eco complete (the substrate already in the tank). Has anyone had success with plants in sand, if so what kinds? I was thinking replanting my crypts, as they are undemanding, any other suggestions?
  20. Anyone use this in a tank before? Is it safe for fish? Ive herd of people using blasting sand before but not sure which one. This is from Amazon and $6 for 50# so price is good! And i get free shipping with Prime!
  21. Made a mistake at the pet shop and accidentally got aragonite sand instead of normal sand. Is this sand safe for pea puffers and anacharis?
  22. I was planning on taking out the gravel in by biorb and replacing it with sand. Can I do this with a sponge filter?
  23. First time so please excuse me. I have a 72 gallon bow front aquarium. in it there is 2 bottom cats, just one electric yellow cichlid(I started with 6 but to my only thinking which I was not only one is left there were several colors) anyway the cichlid is full grown but very very shy I am planning on putting more in but only smaller and about 6 to 8 of them. I also have a sucker fish and he is huge when he hangs on the front glass he takes up almost all of it. So this is the real question I want to put sand in the aquarium and I wanted to know if it would harm any of my fish?
  24. Just looking for critiques and maybe suggestions about the tank I’m planning. I’m considering a 75 or 90 gallon tank with a school of Congo Tetras. I’m thinking of having a sand substrate as well. I really want to have a nice group of Cory cats and a pair of Apistos and maybe also a pair of blue rams or kribensis. I’d like to do some low - medium light plants like an Amazon Sword, some Vals and some crypts. I’m also hoping to find a drilled tank and have a sump too. How many Congo Tetras would be good in a 75?
  25. One of my tanks I've had going for a couple of years has a sand substrate and I have just never much liked it. It always looks dirty even if I just cleaned it, and when I try to vacuum it either sucks it up or doesn't suck up enough to get it clean. Sand is so popular, there must be some tips on how to make this sand thing work for me. Could I mix it with another substrate? Would that work? Something darker maybe? Hide my shameful laziness not wanting to constantly clean this thing lol? Any thoughts appreciated.
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