patchtech Posted March 30 Share Posted March 30 Figured there would be no better time than now to jump in and start logging my progress with my introduction to the hobby. The prologue To start, I've always wanted a fish tank. But never really pushed into the hobby. Last year, at a trip to the local petsmart, my kid (3 years old at the time) got really excited about the pink fish on the wall (glofish). Upon subsequent trips, after playing with the kittens in the adoption area, her next stop would always be to look at the fish. We decided it would be a great thing to do, having something that both me and her can be invested in and share between us. We bought a fluval flex 32g during a black friday sale and hid it away as a Christmas day surprise. The beginning A lot of the main tank decisions have been primarily driven by the interests of my kid. Therefore we initially built out the tank with glofish in mind, and wanted to 'simplify' our care requirements by not introducing live plants initially. We got everything set up, and the water flowing, and just let it sit like that for a couple weeks to make sure everything functioned. Kiddo started getting impatient, and I had been dragging my feet on actually cycling the tank, so I made the decision to cycle the tank with a few danios. I work from home, and knew I could monitor chemical levels at breakfast/lunch/dinner until we were 'cycled', and could do water changes any time they creeped up. We decided to purchase 4 glofish danios, and let them hang out in the tank. The Glofish We originally had a green, blue, orange, and red glofish. When we got home, we noticed one of the glofish had a little concave dimple just behind it's gills on its belly side. Within the first 24 hours, we noticed the fish weren't settling down really, and every time the air clam opened, they would dart around the tank. Bad decision #1 identified! We removed the clam, and they started to settle down. As the days went by, we noticed we didn't see the blue one much. He started hiding inside the house in the middle, and any time he would venture out, the red one would chase him down. The red one also kept everyone corralled into different sections of the tank. Orange had to stay in the top left, green had to stay in the top right, and blue had to stay in the house, generally. Then one day, red just started swimming frantically around the tank. Up/down/sideways... and then stopped. The only real assumption we have is something happened to his swim bladder. After red departed the tank, everyone seemed to get comfortable and found new places to hang out in the tank. It was around this time that we noticed orange stopped eating. Orange would also hang out right above one of the two return flows almost constantly, and was looking very very emaciated. Bought a breeder mesh, isolated orange, and tried to feed. Orange departed within hours. Since we were down to two, we went to get more danios from the fish store, this time opting for zebra danios. The store had a tank of 'assorted longfin danio", and we got 5 from the assorted tank, and one more red glofish (kid really likes that one), for a total of 6 danios to go with the green and blue glofish danios still in the tank. Parasites? Shortly after, green started to stop eating, and hanging around filter intakes. Blue started having similar indentation in the belly as the orange. Frantic research time. Came to the conclusion that we must have some kind of an internal parasite infection, as I could not identify any outward signs for them getting sick. We isolated green and blue with a breeder mesh, and they departed shortly after (couple days) as well. Down to 6 danios. Dosed some coppersafe, and did some reading on common danio parasites, and stumbled up information suggesting danios commonly get sick with internal nematode infections, and the symptoms seemed to fit. Bought some Expel-P and before it arrived had a confirmation of a contagious parasite of sorts, as one of the new danios stopped eating and started hanging around filter intakes. Did the breeder isolation dance again, and this one departed the day before Expel-P arrived. Dosed the tank with Expel-P, and prayed for the best. So far, it seems the one dose took care of the issues. Stabilized As you can see, the landscape has also changed a bit. We have pulled out the large house in the middle, added some bushier artificial foliage in the corners, and put in a Stargate and a large air stone. Also added a powerhead in the back corner to add in some higher water flow, as I read danios really like faster moving water. You can also see the lovely diatoms growing, telling me this tank is starting to age successfully. This shot was taken just before we left town for 3 days, with the topfin multi-day feeder brick there in the white. This thing really clouded the water, and we haven't really gotten clear since. BUT the fish survived us being out of town, and are still thriving. Diatom Explosion Diatoms started growing and covering everything. I wiped everything down a couple times, but I'm lazy, and I didn't want to have to keep cleaning everything all the time. Queue decision to add our next set of fish! A cleanup crew of some sort would hopefully help keep things under control without me having to obsess about it. Went to petco, grabbed a 10 gal quarantine tank and a sponge filter, and started doing a tankless cycle. I really didn't want to introduce something else after going through the parasite episode. Did someone say shrimp? After doing some research on cleanup crews... I gravitated towards shrimp for some reason. (Ok, blue shrimp was the reason). I did a little research, and realized I could also add them directly to the tank instead of quarantining them with minimal risk of cross-species issues. Went to the LFS, and bought 6 shrimp. 2 blue, and 4 red. I was going to do all blue... but... blue shrimp were expensive! Introduced them to the tank, and they have subsequently found their expert hiding places for their game of hide and seek with me. I know at least 2 are still alive, as I've seen a blue and a red one around the tank in the past day, and everything in the tank is starting to look ever so slightly cleaner over time. I ordered some java moss from Aquarium Co-op as well, to hopefully give the shrimp a place they'd feel more comfortable hanging out in that would be more visible. But, I want more blue shrimp! I really wanted more, so I did some searching around and found aquahuna. They had the shrimp for a fraction of what I paid at the LFS. I ordered a pack of 8 blue shrimp and waited. Yesterday, my shrimp came in, and I got way more than I bargained for. All 8 shrimp arrived alive, and inside the bag I had a hard time making out what looked to be some kind of belly growth. Seeing some posts about parasitic algae, I decided to dump the shrimp into a clear container and take a good look. Turns out, two of the shrimp were berried! Not only that, but I could see baby shrimp swimming around! I got way more than I bargained for. (the small black spot with a tail just above and left of the sponge) "Breeder" tank So, I had to change plans, because I didn't want to waste the potential of having more shrimp. I've been getting slightly obsessed with shrimp anyways, and now really really want to do a shrimp only tank when the time is right. Time to turn the quarantine tank into a breeder. I dumped the quarantine tank water (has been at 2.0 total ammonia and high nitrate as I was fishless cycling the tank.) I had already started drip acclimating the shrimp to the main tank when I decided to do this, so I took 2.5 gallons of fresh tap water, and 5 gallons of main tank water, and filled up the tank and put the java moss in it. I also threw some zeo-carb I had on hand and some of my filter floss I'd had in the main tank that hopefully also has bacteria on it to help with the bio load. I moved the drip acclimation over to this tank and let it continue, and the shrimp seem to be settling in well. One of the shrimp have molted even, although I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing at the moment... So, that's about it. I have some fun trial and error info I'll share in another post as I get time to write it up, and will try to keep the updates coming as much as I can. 7 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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