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Salutations from South Korea

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I've been lurking around a while and have become a bit more active in the forum lately. I currently reside here in South Korea, and here's a picture of the tank (17gal) in our living room.


It is in the process of "conversion" from a goldfish tank. After failing to save our goldfish (Loppy) and dojo loach (Jojo Dojo) from ich (long story), I had to break the news to my kid. Little Man (4yo) was really, REALLY saddened by the loss. He was trying so hard to swallow his tears, but he got so happy when I showed him old videos of Loppy and company. People that say, "It's just a fish" can...(keeping it G-rated) go kick rocks. We had a burial and everything. "Bye fishies! I'll see you again, someday!"

I decided to change things up to a nice community tank of smaller fish. I've dubbed it "The Boys" tank since all the livebearers are male. Not all have names yet. The Boys kicked BBA butt (shared that story here), and I'm REALLY enjoying being able to keep a wider variety of plants.

The fish and inverts all get along peacefully, and the corydoras get targeted feeding if I see their bellies aren't filling up after a feeding.

Currently inside:
1 gold dust molly (tentative: B.B.Asaurus-Rex)
1 variatus platy (Blimpy Major)
1 teacup platy (Blimpy Minor)
1 yellow cobra guppy
1 green fancy guppy with a giant black tale
1 otocinclus (Otto Von Bismarck II)
1 mystery snail
3 cherry shrimp
3 Amano shrimp 
4 bronze corydoras (Cory Corporation)
6 zebra danios ("The Jets")
   -Big Bertha (largest, striped with a giant spot)
   -2 with striped patterns
   -2 with spot patterns
   -The Grey (semi-albino/lighter striped)
1 Army of mini-ramshorn snails


Plants: Crushed Coral Substrate
Water Sprite (in substrate)
Water Sprite (floating)
Dwarf Water lettuce (floating forest)
Cabomba (planted)
Anubias petite (on rock)
Anubias barteri (on rock)
Java fern (on rock)
Pennywort (in substrate)


Black Beard Algae (dying a slow death)


A bit of a long intro...but being verbose is my modus operandi. If you're curious about anything, I'm happy to share what worked and didn't work for me, but I'm no expert...just an enthusiast on the journey.


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On 8/8/2022 at 2:51 PM, TheSwissAquarist said:

Welcome to the forum, but just remember: whatever you do, fish will die, but as aquarists we try our best to keep losses to a minimum and half the time it's not even our fault.

Indeed! Though Loppy's and Jojo Dojo's deaths were my fault.

I had a blackbeard algae problem with the tank and tried to resolve it by adding in some frogbit and water lettuce (regular variety, not dwarf) as well as some livebearers that would pick at it, guppies at first.

The goldfish nommed the frogbit right up, one whole leaf at a time, and then proceeded to nom all the roots of the water lettuce. While I never saw it first-hand, I think the dojo loach ate the guppies - observation: one fat belly between feeding times and a disappearance of guppies.

I tried larger variatus platies since they were larger...nope, goldfish nommed them. Then came a single, male rosy barb. I had one in the tank before that got along perfectly with the goldfish. The new guy mowed down the BBA. Then, after a few weeks, I go to feed the tank in the morning and noticed the goldfish's fins were torn all to hell - easily 1 cm tatters on the pectoral, pelvic fins, and anal fins with double that for the tail.

Out goes the rosy barb, and the next day, the goldfish has, what I can only guess is "stress ich" everywhere. In goes the ich medication, but the next day, more ich followed by a dead goldfish. Dojo loach seemed fine. Left for an overnight outing, and we came back to see the dojo loach dead.

So...we started up again with the new set-up in the post.

The scientist in me says, "Live, fail, learn, fail better next time."

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On 8/8/2022 at 4:16 PM, anitstuk said:

I like your aquarium! I got a problem with black beard algae too and I control it with Hydrogen Peroxide. 

I had tried hydrogen peroxide before, and it has its uses. It can kill the current BBA and allow time for more permanent countermeasures to take effect, like growing enough aquarium plant life to outcompete it. Hydrogen peroxide works quite well if used properly, but I would caution new users against dosing their aquarium with it. Take care not to add too much while doing spot treatments in your tank during a water change also...such horror stories I have read.

I also just used to take a toothbrush to the hardscape 😄 But this time around I let it all stay so I could watch the full effects of competing plantlife and "BBA predators."

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On 8/9/2022 at 8:09 AM, redfish said:

How are the fish stores in South Korea?  I don't remember seeing/visiting any.

The "Big Box" stores usually have the following: assorted fancy guppies (lemons, silver males with different colored tails, tuxedos, and maybe some cobras), mollies (mostly orange, black or white balloon), otocinclus, Chinese algae eaters, corydoras (salt and pepper, bronze, and albino), angelfish, assorted fancy goldfish, baby koi, assorted tetras, neon tetras, assorted shrimp (quality is a coin toss), cichlids, common plecos, zebra danios, mystery snails, and betta fish (some Koi bettas look AMAZING). Lotte Toys R Us section near me sells baby sturgeons. Most also sell annubias petite, annubias nana petite, mosses, water sprite, water wisteria, and assorted others.

Local fish stores are varied. Most have all the stuff the "big box" stores have and a few more choices. My favorite has amazing variety in terms of plants, animals, equipment, and it's kind of like bordering on being a wholesaler. I plan to visit them next week.

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