Rube_Goldfish Posted August 7, 2022 Share Posted August 7, 2022 In early September 2021, I set up my first ever tank, a ten-gallon big box store kit tank (see my Introductions post here). The only thing I knew was that I knew nothing, so I started researching. That tank started off with artificially colored gravel and plastic plants, and is now a (slightly overgrown) community and ecosystem. Along the way, I've learned a lot and been really bitten by the bug, and now I'm ready to upgrade to a new 55 gallon tank. Additionally, we're taking this opportunity to completely revamp the home office where the 10 gallon currently is and where both tanks will eventually be. Out go the old hand-me-down particle board bookshelves, to be replaced by the built-in bookcases my wife has always wanted, with the new tank the focal point in the center. Our inspiration was this build we saw on Reddit: (To be clear: this is not my tank or office; I have just been using it as inspiration!) I bought a new Top Fin 55 gallon tank all-in-one kit, we moved all the books off of the old shelves, and started buying wood and other assorted hardware. (I'll respond to this post with pictures.) My current (and only) tank has four cardinal tetras (down from an initial six) and two honey gouramis (two males after some inaccurate sexing as juveniles at the LFS), along with three Amano shrimp, and a ton of mini ramshorn and bladder snails. The fish will all be moving on up to the 55, and once it has had a chance to season a bit, the Amanos will join them. The ten gallon will eventually be re-purposed as a Neocaridina tank. So now I'm in the planning stages. In no particular order: After my current community moves over, my stocking plan is, in order: about 14-16 more cardinal tetras (for 18-20 total); 6-8 Sterbai cories; 2 Apistogramma cacatoides; and either 1 bristlenose pleco or 5-6 otocinclus. I had originally thought to get some female honey gouramis to go with the boys, but I am worried that I'd have to add at least four females in order to spread the male attention around, but that seems like more gouramis than I wanted and though I think I'm better at sexing them than I once was, I'm worried that I'll accidentally end up with even more males. The must-haves here are more cardinal tetras to increase the size of their school and either the pleco or the otos. My wife has a real soft spot for "sucker fish" and since she's largely building out the tank stand and the bookcases, and she's got the patience of Job with me prattling on about fish, I owe her. She like the idea of many small otos over a single bristlenose but is open to either. With all that said, will that community work? Any incompatibilities there, or things I'm over looking? Am I overstocking? In addition to the DIY stand, I bought a Sunsun HW-302 canister filter. I have some FairmountSantrol AquaQuartz pool filter sand on order at a local pool supply store (@Mmiller2001, that's your brand of PFS, right?) and plan on doing a beachfront/sand path divided substrate, with the other portion being a blend of small gravel and Eco-Complete. I've got a couple Coop heaters still in my cart. I'm still doing my research on lighting but I've been happy with the Finnex 24/7 Planted Plus I have on the 10 gallon, so I might go that route. That said, I'm not planning on running CO2, so I might look into something like a Hygger instead. Hardscape is to be determined, based on what I find at my awesome LFS. 1 3 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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