Cajun Charlie Posted March 11, 2022 Share Posted March 11, 2022 (edited) My experience goes back to the 1970s with marine and freshwater tanks, but very much off and on because of job related moves. After retiring, in August of 2021 I retrieved my old Tropiquarium 88 from the garage, cleaned it with vinegar and rinsed it well, then started setting up again after 16 years. It's a European Fluval/Hagen product, bought when I worked overseas, the flower of 1980s technology, with two 24" 20W fluorescent bulbs in the canopy, currently Ocean Sun 10000K. The tank holds 130 liters, or about 34.4 US gallons. The old HIT (hang-in-tank) Bio-Life filter wore out long ago. My old undergravel filter and power head still worked, at least for a few months until I had to replace the power head. I added a submersible Fluval U3 rated for 40 gallons. My gravel is a 40 lb bag of river rock for $4.99 at the local hardware store, well rinsed. Hardscape is petrified wood and a couple of coprolites (petrified "road apples") from the middle of the Arabian desert. After cycling, I gradually added flora and fauna. Planting started with Amazon's "Florida" pack of ten, followed by some losses and additions. Now I have Vallisneria, Dwarf Sagittarius, Anubias that's bloomed twice and is branching off a new rhizome, Amazon Sword that's branched out a baby, Java Fern, Pogostemon, susswassertang, Java Moss, Moneywort, banana, Red Amazon Sword also with a baby, couple of others whose names I don't know, and a big bundle of Anacharis. Most of my little red plants are dying, and I can't change my light fixtures, so I'm thinking of getting a Cryptocoryn Wendtii. Current fish population, stable for a few months, includes a clown Plecostomas, a Panda Corydoras, six Rasbora hets, six White Clouds, six Rummies, six Cardinals, six Green Neons, six Black Neons, six Glow Lights, one surviving very pregnant female guppy, and the algae patrol. Last fall the BBA was bad. After research, mostly here, I got six olive nerites, six Amano shrimp, six red cherries, and six Dalmatian mollies. The shrimp have bred like crazy, 42 total at last count, but the mollies apparently had too many males, sadly now only one male, two adult females, a juvenile female, and a week old baby. I used Excel for a couple of weeks, then relied on the critters to finish off the algae, which they did. No more algae problems, and the "windows" hardly need any cleaning. I haven't tested any measurable ammonia, nitrite, or nitrate since the first month, but still I change five or ten gallons of water weekly, treated with Prime and a tablespoon of API salt per five gallons, and siphoned in slowly through airline tubing. Also I use Flourish twice a week, occasional root tabs, and regular Wonder Shell. And I keep a couple of dried guava leaves from my back yard tree. I put a variety of flakes and freeze dried food in the once a day autofeeder, and occasionally hand feed blood worms, tubifex, pleco wafers, pleco cakes, Daphnia, and bug bites. All my food critters are freeze dried; I have no patience for live or even frozen. I'm hoping my ever increasing jungle will be enough to hide baby guppies, more mollies, and eventually White Clouds. Edited to add photos. I chose a very small filesize when I emailed them from my phone; let me know if anyone wants better resolution. My tank doesn't really have a front and back. The first view is the "front", but my tank really doesn't have a front and back. The "front" faces a wingback chair and a vintage rocker, and the "back" faces an end table and sofa. Looks like I cut off the far right end of the "back" as I don't see the submersible filter or the riser for the undergravel filter, just part of the power head. Sorry about that. Edited March 14, 2022 by Cajun Charlie Add photos and a little narrative about them 2 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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