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New to the aquarium hobby!


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Hello everyone, my name is Chris and I've just started my first aquarium! I've usually kept reptiles and amphibians in the past so I'm not a complete noob but am definitely a novice when it comes to fish! 

I have a Fluval Flex 9 gallon that has been running for little over a week. I initially started the nitrogen cycle by adding a pinch of fish food every day. I went to my lfs (small mom/pop) to get plants but was directed to wait until the ammonia levels are down. He recommended seachem stability so I have been dosing for almost 7 days now. I've done one water test with my API master test kit and the parameters are: pH 6.6, ammonia 0 - .25ppm, nitrites and nitrates both at 0ppm.

My tank has fluorite for substrate, small mopani (?) for hardscape and a few trimmings of moss from my friend's established aquarium. It still has that cloudy look so I'm not sure where cycle currently is..? I do have algae growth on the glass so I'm assuming if stuff is growing then I'm on the right track. 

Other than the aquarium, I have a Kenyan Sand Boa in a bioactive 10 gallon, two fat cats, and two growing kids😎

Thanks for such a great community and I'm looking for to learning more!

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On 9/5/2021 at 6:22 PM, Atitagain said:

Welcome to the forum @CrashBandit05nice of you to give fish keeping a try. Best of luck and by the sound of it your nitrogen  cycle is just getting started. Algae growth is a good sign tho.

Thanks for confirming that! Should I still drop food to increase the ammonia and continue using the seachem stability? It's getting pretty funky looking inside but I know not to mess with anything. 

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On 9/5/2021 at 7:42 PM, Griznatch said:

Welcome to the forum! What kind of fish do you plan on getting if any?

I'm undecided on bottom dweller/feeders but leaning towards otos since I've only a 9 gallon. For mid area I was thinking neon tetras, maybe 7 or so. Then for "showcase" it's either dwarf gourami or a short finned betta!

I have plenty of time to decide lol 😆 

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On 9/5/2021 at 7:56 PM, CrashBandit05 said:

Thanks for confirming that! Should I still drop food to increase the ammonia and continue using the seachem stability? It's getting pretty funky looking inside but I know not to mess with anything. 

I’ve never used seachem before and really kinda limited knowledge on nitrogen cycle maybe someone else can weigh in. Or you could take this to the general topic section and post with you pics and would probably get a lot more traffic on these types of questions. There’s a lot of smart people on here that are very informative and helpful .

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Welcome to the Family!

 

Me personally....I would plant that sucker immediately.   Plants help with the cycle of the aquarium.  When I start a new aquarium I always put tons and tons of plants in from day one before it is even filled with water.  

Its sounds like you have a great plan for fish.  Cant wait to see it when its done. 

 

Awesome PUTTY TATS...too

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On 9/7/2021 at 7:10 AM, ARMYVET said:

Welcome to the Family!

 

Me personally....I would plant that sucker immediately.   Plants help with the cycle of the aquarium.  When I start a new aquarium I always put tons and tons of plants in from day one before it is even filled with water.  

Its sounds like you have a great plan for fish.  Cant wait to see it when its done. 

 

Awesome PUTTY TATS...too

Thanks for the insight and big thanks for your service! I just picked up two swords (I think lol) this morning and they're currently in the aquarium with the wool and everything to help with the bacteria collection. I'll plant them in the substrate later, unless they need to go in asap but from what I've read I can wait.

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On 9/7/2021 at 10:50 AM, CrashBandit05 said:

Thanks for the insight and big thanks for your service! I just picked up two swords (I think lol) this morning and they're currently in the aquarium with the wool and everything to help with the bacteria collection. I'll plant them in the substrate later, unless they need to go in asap but from what I've read I can wait.

Yes you can wait to plant it or if you want to you can plant it right away and just leave the wool in the tank for the bacteria.  I am notorious for buying a lot of plants and letting them just sit in an idle tank until I am ready to plant them.

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  • 1 month later...

Well it's been over a month since my last post and about two months since I've set up the aquarium. My API master test kit now registers nitrates so I have added some fish! The kids and wife are very excited to have some life in there now and everyone seems to be getting along and thriving. Anyways, on to the pictures!!

I have a dwarf gourami named Bluto, (bonus points if you get the reference) five harlequin rasbora tetras, two otocinclus, and one mystery snail!  The tetras and gourami get fluval bug bite fish food with frozen/thawed blood worms a few times a week. For the otocinclus, I will drop a piece of green bean, pea, cucumber, etc and take it out after a few days. 

Thanks for looking!

 

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Looking good! I had a gourami in one of my first tanks years ago, they are fun and a bit different. I went plakat bettas this time around and kuhli loaches/Nerite snails for my cleanup crew. Hopefully your gourami doesn't pick on the antennae of your snail? I went with nerites partly because i knew the bettas probably would and am enjoying them a lot. 

If you get the urge for more green without buying more plants right away, I had really good luck bringing in moss from the woods on our farm (but be sure no chemicals have been around it). Helped me speed along my cycle and is growing really well in both tanks where I used it.

Glad to hear you are supplementing your otos - a lot of folks will get them for a small setup because they are small, but they eat a LOT of algae, usually more than a tank that size produces. I think I starved one to death in a nano tank years ago not realizing this. 😞 Sounds like you're on the right track with everything but beware... multiple tank syndrome (MTS) is real 😄

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On 10/13/2021 at 8:17 PM, Jawjagrrl said:

Looking good! I had a gourami in one of my first tanks years ago, they are fun and a bit different. I went plakat bettas this time around and kuhli loaches/Nerite snails for my cleanup crew. Hopefully your gourami doesn't pick on the antennae of your snail? I went with nerites partly because i knew the bettas probably would and am enjoying them a lot. 

If you get the urge for more green without buying more plants right away, I had really good luck bringing in moss from the woods on our farm (but be sure no chemicals have been around it). Helped me speed along my cycle and is growing really well in both tanks where I used it.

Glad to hear you are supplementing your otos - a lot of folks will get them for a small setup because they are small, but they eat a LOT of algae, usually more than a tank that size produces. I think I starved one to death in a nano tank years ago not realizing this. 😞 Sounds like you're on the right track with everything but beware... multiple tank syndrome (MTS) is real 😄

Thanks for your comment! I have not observed the DG going after the snail at all but I will keep an eye out for any missing appendages! I live in the mountains and have plenty of types of moss around, that's a great idea. 

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On 10/14/2021 at 7:42 AM, CrashBandit05 said:

Thanks for your comment! I have not observed the DG going after the snail at all but I will keep an eye out for any missing appendages! I live in the mountains and have plenty of types of moss around, that's a great idea. 

Hopefully he will do just fine. I read stories of aggressive bettas killing snails *after* I added mine, but other than the occasional stare down it seems ok. I'm in the mountains too, near the southern end of the AT. Lots of good wood, rock and moss options! There are probably plants that could be adapted too, but lots more to learn about them before I experiment more.

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On 10/14/2021 at 7:50 AM, Jawjagrrl said:

Hopefully he will do just fine. I read stories of aggressive bettas killing snails *after* I added mine, but other than the occasional stare down it seems ok. I'm in the mountains too, near the southern end of the AT. Lots of good wood, rock and moss options! There are probably plants that could be adapted too, but lots more to learn about them before I experiment more.

Nice! I'm in the Blue Ridge Mountains, we love the ability to drive a few miles and be able to hike! I'll have to read more about what local plants I could potentially use. I've always liked those glass, closed terrariums purple make out of Mason jars and such. 

 

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