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65 Gallon Winter Holding Tank


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Hi guys I've been browsing through this forum for a few months now and gotten a lot of inspirations and insight from other members of this community. Just looking through some of my old photos, I was pleased to see the progression of my tank and wanted to share my journey with this tank and possibly update this post as I have some bigger plans in my layout in the near future.

To keep the introduction short, around this time last year I got back into taking care of fish after a 10 year break and Ive been extremely delighted to see much more plants and fish that are easily available now. I'm guessing the tank I have is marketed as a 65 gallon tank although I'm not too sure since I found it in the place I was renting a few years back. The dimensions are 36 inches long, 29.5 inches tall with a depth of 15 inches. I kinda hate how tall it is but free is free, hopefully along the way with any ideas or help from others I can show how I work around its height.

I keep a pond outside I started last summer with koi and I threw guppies in there as a fun side project. I started this tank sometime late September as temperatures were getting too cold for the guppies and was only meant to be as a holding place till spring begins to warm up. To me, a bare tank kinda looks like an empty canvas with endless opportunities and if you can guess, I got a little carried away.

September 25th, 2020: This is the earliest picture I have that has a record of date


November 14th, 2020



December 10th, 2020



December 14th, 2020



January 12th, 2021


When summer begins to roll around and I get to throw these guys back outside I plan to do some big changes, time permitting. I really do welcome suggestions from anybody, I get a lot of joy tweaking and making adjustments to this tank and look forward to seeing how this tank evolves.

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Hope every one is having as a good a start to their weekend as I am. I have removed the dwarf saggitaria from the front of my tank as it was it was being a bit problematic. I didn't expect it to grow so large in the front  and it was starting to block out a lot of my background plants. Being that my tank is so tall, it became more cumbersome to constantly try to remove all the runners. Not only was it blocking circulation in the tank it started to choke itself out and other plants next to it because it was matting so densely. So for now, it has to go but maybe I can add somewhere towards the back if I can find a spot for it. I kind of have a love hate relationship with dwarf sag because of how easy it gets out of control.


Luckily since it grew so densely within itself I was able to pull it all out in one shot


Also I noticed a little critter appear in my tank after pulling up a lot of my substrate and I have no clue what it is. It looks like some sort of nematode but I'm not well versed in parasites. From the looks of it I'm thinking horsehair worm but thats just me taking a guess. I'm not worried about the worm itself since this tank does hold pond inhabitants but I'm more so curious and would like to learn more about all these different invertebrates/ crustaceans that are living in my pond . I would love to hear from anybody who knows or has any kind of experience with this thing.


Also this last part is a little off topic, but I didn't want to clog the forum with more separate posts but I figured since this tank has something to do with my pond, it might be relevant? 

I've been pretty excited now that the weather has started to warm up and I get to play outside with my fish. I got about 11 koi somewhere around May 2020 and just this week they finally allowed me to sit next to them while they eat. After about 7-8 months of watching them behind a bush (kinda creepy if it wasn't my fish) they've become more personable, or maybe they are hungry enough to not care since I cut off feeding during December.

July 2020


January 2021


 And lastly to top it all off I noticed that my cherry shrimp have berried up. I'm not sure why I get so excited still with my shrimp being that Ive kept them so many times but I suppose its these small wins that I get in taking care of my of fish that make it so enjoyable


Sorry for the quality since most of this is done on my phone, hopefully the pictures/videos get better as I start to document more.

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So today the owner of GuppyTrain allowed me to come see his fishroom. I was shocked to find that he only lived 30 minutes from me. I bought one trio, 2 pairs, and 20 assorted guppy fry of his entire collection. The pictures aren't the greatest but I didn't want to disturb at the moment, I will definitely get better pictures before I take these guys outside. There is no picture of the 20 fry cause their colors haven't shown yet.



With his permission he allowed me to take some videos too but they are extremely short since I was more concerned with picking my fish. Maybe the next time I visit I'll try to take better videos.


Edited by Koi
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12 hours ago, OceanTruth said:

That is amazing that you got to visit his fishroom! What a great experience it must have been.

Yea his fishroom was pretty cool, I got to pick his brain a little and he has a lot of cool little tricks to operate his room. Super nice dude for welcoming me over and hooked me up on my order while I was there

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As I am starting to running out of heaters and containers to separate all my new guppies I thought this was just a funny solution for my fighting fish till I go to the store tomorrow

If it is unclear what I'm doing, Im doubling up on one heater by heating the bowl by having it sit in the storage container under it.


Edited by Koi
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So today I was able to go get some new tanks and took some time out today to clean up all these holding tanks for my new guppies. Looking at the pictures now I realize how janky I made it look, atleast thats done with for now. Still some more changes to do within the week but I'm glad atleast a lot of these materials to stack the tanks were already laying around.






I also went to the flea market and found these air pumps for a dollar each and one is able to run air for all these tanks. Once they seed I can remove the hob filters which will hopefully save me some money.


This is a gang valve I bought a few months back I probably spent no more than 5 bucks and I never thought that I would actually use it.


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  • 2 weeks later...

I wanted to share some videos of my main tank "pearling", I will mention they are after a water change so I am kinda of cheating haha. But I just wanted to show the difference of pearling of after my water change and after dumping nutrients in the tank.

This is after I dumped some phosphate in. I'll note that there is a powerhead in there as I'm trying to knock off all the bubbles off the plant.

 Nothing really to show besides that. Most likely I will do an update in a few weeks when everything grows in some more.1262556348_pearlingglosso.jpg.c83b1c38897b8134cf0434f981244795.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Got lucky today and happened to walk in on one of my females right as she was dropping fry so I was able to pull every last one!

This is my breeding trio hopefully the other female drops in a week or two.

I counted 42 but I'll have to see how many survive the first week. Overall I'm pretty satisfied for the first batch. Also this post is sponsored by Madeleines



Nothing really new to see in my mixed holding tank. transitioning a few plants at the moment so everything is a mess. But heres something if you like bubbles


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Thanks @OceanTruth! I have maybe a month or less to enjoy these guys until they go outside. I am considering keeping some of the best out of that stock to breed inside but then they miss out on getting all that good sunlight. I tend to always choose fat colorful guppies since I'm gonna end up with thousands of babies anyways!

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This weekend I was able to pull my first spawn from my breeders. Technically it would be my second for two of my breeders but since the first batch was 2-3 each I don't really count it. The first batch was so small just cause I recently got these breeders and I assume the stress of moving caused the females to consume their fry while gravid.

But to make things easier to document and track my fry, I will considering this the first batch. Plus all these fry dropped within the same week so going forward I can probably adjust my calendar to when I expect the next fry to drop for each strain.

By Sunday I counted around 131 fry in total from 3 breeders. Surprising as it is, I didn't lose any of my fry that I harvested the week before so fingers crossed I can keep it that way.


32 fry from my black lace

42 from my mosaics

57 from my black moscows


This is an old picture of the black lace pair. I actually got really lucky with this because I had lost the male 2 months prior and there was a possibility I would have lost that line. I have since just left the female alone in the tank in hopes that she stored sperm from the male before he died and luckily she did! I'm definitely not safe yet until I can raise up the fry and pull another breeder but I definitely got aa second chance. Definitely glad that I didn't have to pull one of my black moscows to mix with my lace and selectively breed it back to true. (Not saying that I even know how to do that, It would be more so just guessing)

Heres another short video of my trio of mosaics to give my post some context. Only one of the females dropped fry, the other female looks like maybe another week away.

And this is my pair of black moscows. They are the mvps of the week just cause they are the youngest out of all the breeders and I kept them in a 5 gallon tank instead of 10 gallons like the rest get. While being the youngest of the group and having the smallest tank this female almost put more fry out than my other my other two breeders combined.

Also shoutouts to aquarium coop brine shrimp eggs. Just bought my can maybe a few weeks ago and it definitely played a huge role in maximizing my fry output and it saved a lot if not all of my fry from being eaten. I've tried a few other other brands of BBS and just after a few weeks of using the AC BBS I feel like its a cut above the rest on all marks especially with price and how easy it is to separate them from the eggs.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Massive overhaul on the tank this week. As per usual I'm mostly clearing out space to add more plants to add to the mess in my tank! I moved a lot of my plants to around to hopefully have better transitioning in my tank. Before I have a lot of similarly shaped leaves next to each other and I felt that no plant was able to stand out since it looked like big clumps of plants everywhere (it looks kinda like that still).

I ended up removing a lot of my Bacopa since it was taking a lot of real estate in my tank. It took up a roughly 12in x 12in x 30in area and din't fit into the scale of my tank compared to other plants.




I also wanted to show how vigorous a grower Pogostemon Stellatus is. Since mine was in the back it looks like it never grew but when I pulled it out, I realized why. I trimmed up a lot of leaves just so you can see how many side shoots came off the one stem I had. Most of the bottom of this plant already covered by other plants so I didn't know how many stems were actually on it until I took it out,


But what surprised me was how many stems grew out off of one node. Now this might not mean anything to anyone but for the most part I've only see two stems come off on particular node of a stem and this was the first time I've seen 4 new growths coming from the same point!


Here are all the plant trimmings I took out. Kinda of a shame I didn't propagate all my cuttings but I don't have space for extra plants anywhere so it became compost for my trees.



I'm hoping in a few weeks when things grow out it, my tank takes the shape that I am aiming for. It doesn't really show in the picture, but I tried to have a variation of leaf structures in the layout. So basically from left to right I organized my bunches from sharp leaf to round leaf to sharp leaf etc.

I'll probably try to update in a few weeks and borrow a better camera so I can take some better shots of the tank and maybe take a video to showcase some areas in my tank where I think the plants are looking good.



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  • 2 months later...

Been some time since I've update this but I bought some new toys this week so I felt it was a good time to document some of the changes going on in my tank. 

Somewhere around April-May I got a little busy and didn't have time to manage my tank so I just decided to let it go. It feel like I stopped taking care of the tank for a month or so but I don't really remember. I stopped fertilizing  and doing water changes completely but I still fed everyday and made sure to top off the tank with water at least.

I also moved all my guppies outside to my pond so I may even consider changing my stocking. Being as cheap as I am I might do an all male guppy tank, but we'll see for now.

Theres not too many changes in these pictures but I figured I'd log them in before I lose any pictures. 

But here is the result of my "vacation" from tank maintenance and I will say It was a lovely break away from tank maintenance!  I'm definitely looking forward to see how change the layout of my tank!










This week I found a t5 fixture at a flea market for $20 which I just couldn't pass on. Heres a little comparison between my previous led lights, t5 with led bulbs retrofits, and some colored t5 bulbs.

The tanks will be in the same order as the picture of bulbs to show what each light looks like.









Heres a short video comparison of my t5 fixture with different bulbs

LED Retrofits

Monochromatic bulbs (not sure if thats what they are called)


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