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Well, this makes it all seem very real, my very own journey thread. A lot has been going on with my tanks the last few months, and the changes happening in the next few months will be very exciting! 
 

I guess a bit of an intro is needed. I have had tanks off and on for many years, but usually stuck to smaller betta set ups because I was in rentals with limits to tank size. August 2020 I took a leap and decided to get back into the aquarium hobby. I had a perfect wall for my first larger tank, a 55 gallon. 
 

For most of the second half of 2021 I had either mental health or physical health that was hindering me, so all tanks went to maintenance mode and were surviving but no longer thriving, tank maintenance went from pro active to reactive, and it became a huge mental block for me to dive back in to spruce everything back up. Almost like trying to do a deep clean of your kitchen after you let it go messy for so long, you know?

 

After recovering from my physical ailments, I was so excited to get my tanks back to good condition and my fish happily thriving again. A lot of my plants are looking worse for the wear, I did massive pruning of the stuff that just wasn’t cutting it, but my poor Java fern seems to be really suffering. I purchased some new Java fern from my LFS that I will be using to help fill in the bare spots until I get my existing Java fern to thrive again. 

For all of my hard work, I was rewarded with not one, not two, but THREE species spawning for me, in two different tanks. 
 

I now have my very first angelfish fry, currently 2.5 weeks old (eggs were laid on 1/3/2022), down to about 2 dozen but these guys are all doing so well and don’t anticipate any casualties. I also have my first batch of bristlenose pleco fry, 45 that I managed to catch and move into a grow out. Part of my major tank maintenance was moving the young male chocolate BN from my 20 high into the 55 where I had 2 female albinos. Within a few days the male chocolate, named Bart, had dug out some substrate under driftwood to make his own cave before I could even provide him a cave!  My albino cory cats spawned for the first time in this same few day period, but they always eat the eggs before I can collect any eggs to attempt to get them to hatch. 

That’s enough talking for now I think, I’m not even certain I made much sense, but I just needed to get started! 
 

Tank intros!

55 gallon community - current inhabitants: angelfish, cardinal tetras, one lonely platy female, 3 bristlenose (male chocolate and two female albino), Julii corydoras, nerite snails

20 gallon high - current inhabitants: albino corydoras, trio of peacock gudgeons, banded kuhli loaches, 2 bristlenose plecos young kiddos (one chocolate, one albino), a few stray neocaridina shrimp from our old skittle shrimp colony

2 10 gallon betta set ups - these are currently mid-renovation and set up, with undetermined tank mates for each, but our two Bettas names are Hughie and Leviathan  I will try to get individual pics of them soon  

Just set up a fluval spec 2.6 that I got on clearance on petco for $13 bucks last year and has been collecting dust. Still deciding on what to stock it with. I hate the built in filtration so much, and would really prefer to not have to tinker too much with it. If that’s the case, I’ll just tear it down the filtration housing, throw in a tiny sponge filter and call it a day. Currently considering chili rasbora for this one… any ideas?

Yes my plants are sad, I struggle with Java fern and what looks like a potassium deficiency…. I want to get out of the rut of all tanks having the same few plants, but don’t know where to start or what I might like the look of…

I am too impatient for soaking driftwood, so I got creative to weigh down pieces in the newly set up tanks, and took the potted mother plants of anubias and Java fern from the 20 high to put in the new tanks to help jump start the cycle.  
 

I guess that’s it for now, looking forward to sharing here, in hopefully a more cohesive manner 😉

 


 

 

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Those are very beautiful tanks. I empathize with the physical and emotional struggles. Try any plant you like 😁. I was in a rut as well. I don’t use co2 or fertilizer so I felt limited but struggled with many of the easy plants that should grow in my tanks. I gave in and found plants I liked. I did not care what the “will only grow in” instructions were. I experimented with clipping high tech plants closer to the light or using planting cups and several different methods or just moving them to different spots in the tank until they found their happy place.  I found reasonably priced ones on eBay etc so I did not lose a lot if they did not thrive. The ones that failed I discarded and moved to others that did like me. Once I found ones that grew great then I invested in more from Coop etc that were pricier. Now my tanks are full(too full 🤣) of all different types. Allowing myself to fail without guilt on the ones that did not like me was the key to opening a whole new plant playground for me. Looking forward to following your journey 😁

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Leviathan is currently in fishy time out in the newly set up 2.6 gallon. 
 

I posted in a local house plant group looking for pothos clippings and a fellow aquarium hobbyist responded. Not only did she give me tons of pothos clippings to tuck in to my HOB/tanks, she also gave me frogbit, a dozen red cherry shrimp bagged with a bit of subwassertang, and a new-to-me plant that she thought would look great in my 55 (Nymphoides hydrophylla “Taiwan”). Looks like a lily type of plant? Not sure, anyway….. the tank I had established that would be best suited for the shrimp is the 10 gallon that was leviathans tank. I was going to set Hughie up in the brand new 10 gallon, but the addition of these shrimp mixed up my plans. 
 

leviathan got booted to the 2.6 gallon because he is a feisty male who would have for sure gone on a shrimp eating and murdering spree, where as Hughie is a much more mellow betta. 
 

The light on this fluval spec is soooo cool toned, it almost completely hides the red and fuschia in Leviathan’s tail, unless the shadows hit him just right. 
 

I have no pics of Hughie, but I just moved him in to his new, but unfinished, home with the shrimp and as expected he isn’t even bothering them. I’ll try to get pics of him soon to share. 
 

My wife and I love naming the fish, so almost everyone will have a name. And for the things we can’t tell individuals apart, like the Cory cats, we just call them all the same name 😂

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On 1/22/2022 at 8:52 PM, Guppysnail said:

Those are very beautiful tanks. I empathize with the physical and emotional struggles. Try any plant you like 😁. I was in a rut as well. I don’t use co2 or fertilizer so I felt limited but struggled with many of the easy plants that should grow in my tanks. I gave in and found plants I liked. I did not care what the “will only grow in” instructions were. I experimented with clipping high tech plants closer to the light or using planting cups and several different methods or just moving them to different spots in the tank until they found their happy place.  I found reasonably priced ones on eBay etc so I did not lose a lot if they did not thrive. The ones that failed I discarded and moved to others that did like me. Once I found ones that grew great then I invested in more from Coop etc that were pricier. Now my tanks are full(too full 🤣) of all different types. Allowing myself to fail without guilt on the ones that did not like me was the key to opening a whole new plant playground for me. Looking forward to following your journey 😁

I don't even know where to start! I did order some of those suction cups with zip ties that you use, to give your method a bit of a try while I'm being so indecisive with what plants to go with! Checking out ebay is a really good idea, I was also going to take some of my dwarf sag clippings and see if anyone in my local aquarium group might have something they would want to swap for.
I don't have much luck with the 'easy" plants either! I do okay with anubias, java fern gives me a headache, and I can manage to keep most crypts alive and I like how they look but with how slow growing they are I don't know If they are happy necessarily?

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Yesterday the 20 gallon and the 55 gallon got a lot of tank maintenance. Gravel vac, cleaning out the sponge filters and HOB filter media, pruning plants, and finally planting the new plants I picked up from last weeks fish swap and from the kind fellow aquariast who gifted me some plants.

This morning was exciting! When feeding my angelfish fry, who are 3 weeks old today, I can see that a lot of them are starting to develop their dorsal and ventral fins! Starting to look like real little angel fish instead of random baby fish 😆

Then, while cleaning the glass on my 20 gallon to get pics for the update, I found fresh eggs from my albino cory cats before they got to snacking on it, so I have 9 eggs set up in a jar with some meth blue to hopefuly hatch out!

I thought all my excitement was done.... went over to clean the glass and take pics of the 55 gallon.... my male bristlenose pleco was hanging out in one of the caves, but then I noticed he was fanning! Used my flashlight and sure enough, a fresh batch of pleco eggs, too! I'm still not certain which of the two albino females is the lucky mom, one day I will find out, but today is not the day I guess.😁

Going to try and edit this post from my phone to get pics and videos properly placed in the post... wish me luck.

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Edited by missriss126
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On 1/24/2022 at 2:02 PM, Patrick_G said:

Nice looking tanks and congrats on all the fry! Those are some great pics of your Gudgeons, they’re almost glowing. 🙂

Thank you! The gudgeons are still pretty young, but I am loving their colors. All the research I did on them said they were so reclusive and shy but mine just stare me down, like "what do you want, punk" 😝

Apologies for all of the upside down photos. Not sure why they did that when I uploaded...

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for the lack of updates, it has been a heck of a week and a few family emergencies...

I ended up rehoming my large male Koi angel fish. He has been a bit of a brat the last few months but when I saw him literally cornering and beating up my male Gold angel (named Ruth after RBG)... so many tears in his fins, scales lifted from the beat down he was taking.... I put him in fishy time out and found him a local home with someone who mainly focuses on African cichlids, and when he was lifting the koi out of the bucket, and that fish was putting up one heck of a fight, he said that was the most aggressive angelfish he had ever seen, and he would probably hold his own with the mbuna. Glad to see the peace restored in my tank...

A day after the butt hole of a fish was removed, the other two angels (not my parents to the babies, the blushing blue female and gold male) who are a female koi and a male blushing blue were spawning for the first time!!! They immediately ate the eggs, but my other pair did that their first few times as well. My wife and I were talking it over and now that we are down to 4 angels, and about a dozen cardinal tetras (then the cory cats and the plecos) we might want to beef up the tetra school a bit. We love larger schools of tetras and the bioload of 10 cardinals is fairly low in the grand scheme of things.

What other updates... Have lost 3 of the pleco babies, my guess would be failure to thrive. The ones that passed were less than half the size of the rest of the bunch. The angelfish babies aka pinocchios are looking like actual angelfish! Sometime between last week and this week they went from just barely developing dorsal and ventral fins, and now they look like actual fish! Watching them develop is just amazing. Pleco batch #2 I'll probably confiscate from daddy Bart in the next few days. We have a freeze here in central TX right now, so I am leaving them in the 55 gal until we for sure know we won't lose power.

 

I spoke to my local LFS, and they said they would take the current pleco batch when they are 1.5 in or so, not sure how much they would give but it is nice to know I have a lovely place to take them. 


Oh, and my snow white bristlenose babies arrived!!! I'm so so thrilled. I have a quarantine tub set up in my spare bathroom, letting them ride out the storm and do some eating before we start the quarantine med trio. I'll have to try and get pics some time, but there are 8 babies, about 1.5-2 in long, all unsexed at this time, but really hoping to get a solid breeding colony going from that batch. 
 

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Well, I stripped the second batch of babies from the cave today. Pic of Bart with his little ones. It was just easier to dump my cave contents into a container and daddy went with it 😂

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Here are some screen shots of a video I took during feeding time for the baby angels. I can’t believe how much they look like real fish now!

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ORD 🤩

Gorgeous fish babies you have!!!

You are not alone with physical and emotional stuff happening. I'm pretty sure this is the norm, and *not* struggling is what is outside of the norm at this point. 

Can't wait to see how your baby angels turn out. Once upon a time, in the before times, I bred discus and angels... and while I absolutely miss them, I don't miss the work involved with breeding, hatching and growing them out. I'm in the desert, so if I want fry to successfully hatch, I need RO water, and that feels irresponsible 🤷‍♂️

May you not have a repeat of last year! May your electricity stay on, and your fish stay warm, and may you and your spouse stay warm and dry!

Here's my cheat sheet on deficiencies. If I could remember where I got it, I would give credit. It may have been Irene, or it may have been a fish friend in Australia 🤦‍♂️ I honestly don't remember....🤷‍♂️

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry for lack of updates. After speaking with my wife, we decided to downsize. I am quite sad, but only because I get so attached to these darn fish…. We will be finding new homes for both bettas, the baby angels, and work on getting the baby plecos moved out too.

We are going to downsize to just the 55 gal, the 20 high, and the Snow White bristlenose. The Bristlenose I will grow out and keep 1 M 2 F and then sell the rest of the group. She is undecided on if she still wants to set up “her” 20 long that I got just for her. 


Between big life stuff and me having some health issues this last week, we just want to make sure that we aren’t spreading ourselves too thin with all of our pets. We do have 1 cat and 6 dogs (who are working/sport dogs that require a *lot* of our mental and physical energy), so reducing the number of smaller tanks is a way we can lighten the load for times like these where we are spread thin. 
 

That being said, I’ll still try to get some updates on the fish and the tanks for you all until they find their new homes. 
 

photo for tax, a stunning betta at my favorite LFS ❤️
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On 2/13/2022 at 9:20 PM, missriss126 said:

Sorry for lack of updates. After speaking with my wife, we decided to downsize. I am quite sad, but only because I get so attached to these darn fish…. We will be finding new homes for both bettas, the baby angels, and work on getting the baby plecos moved out too.

We are going to downsize to just the 55 gal, the 20 high, and the Snow White bristlenose. The Bristlenose I will grow out and keep 1 M 2 F and then sell the rest of the group. She is undecided on if she still wants to set up “her” 20 long that I got just for her. 


Between big life stuff and me having some health issues this last week, we just want to make sure that we aren’t spreading ourselves too thin with all of our pets. We do have 1 cat and 6 dogs (who are working/sport dogs that require a *lot* of our mental and physical energy), so reducing the number of smaller tanks is a way we can lighten the load for times like these where we are spread thin. 
 

That being said, I’ll still try to get some updates on the fish and the tanks for you all until they find their new homes. 
 

photo for tax, a stunning betta at my favorite LFS ❤️
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Gorgeous betta!

I hear you, and I suspect other people here will completely understand as well. 

The reality is, larger tanks can stay stable when real world stuff interferes with our plans. Right before I had surgery, I downsized by breaking down 5 of my pico tanks (5 gallons or smaller).

I also put off setting up a 4', until health is more stable.

Our service dogs would love us to be getting out more (well, mine would. My spouse's dog is convinced that outside is for uncivilized dogs🤪)

Nice thing about tanks is they can always set them up again. 

Unlike real life, where when the opportunity is passed, it doesn't wait on a shelf for a second chance. 

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On 1/22/2022 at 7:48 PM, missriss126 said:
Quote

Leviathan is currently in fishy time out in the newly set up 2.6 gallon. 

He has a twin! Looks like my betta, Skittles
 

I posted in a local house plant group looking for pothos clippings and a fellow aquarium hobbyist responded. Not only did she give me tons of pothos clippings to tuck in to my HOB/tanks, she also gave me frogbit, a dozen red cherry shrimp bagged with a bit of subwassertang, and a new-to-me plant that she thought would look great in my 55 (Nymphoides hydrophylla “Taiwan”). Looks like a lily type of plant? Not sure, anyway….. the tank I had established that would be best suited for the shrimp is the 10 gallon that was leviathans tank. I was going to set Hughie up in the brand new 10 gallon, but the addition of these shrimp mixed up my plans. 
 

leviathan got booted to the 2.6 gallon because he is a feisty male who would have for sure gone on a shrimp eating and murdering spree, where as Hughie is a much more mellow betta. 
 

The light on this fluval spec is soooo cool toned, it almost completely hides the red and fuschia in Leviathan’s tail, unless the shadows hit him just right. 
 

I have no pics of Hughie, but I just moved him in to his new, but unfinished, home with the shrimp and as expected he isn’t even bothering them. I’ll try to get pics of him soon to share. 
 

My wife and I love naming the fish, so almost everyone will have a name. And for the things we can’t tell individuals apart, like the Cory cats, we just call them all the same name 😂

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He has a twin! Looks like my betta, Skittles

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Edited by jasper5150
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