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Starting a journal post for my birthday tank!! 🥳 There will be a betta (there has to be a betta!), but I'm definitely looking forward to more livestock and plants variety in this tank vs. my 5 gallon tank at school.

My plants arrived today for a tank that my husband is purchasing for me for my birthday!  He got off easy (but he has no idea, haha!)...I asked for him to grab me a tank (14-20 gallons) and some substrate.  I requested the Fluorite this time...I'm interested to know if I'll like it better than the Fluval Stratum!  I'm a little too fond of a neutral pH to love Fluval Stratum! 

Here's my plant list:

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The water lettuce is the only thing that arrived looking slightly worse for wear (it broke into two pieces!)...but I already love it, so I hope it survives!

Here's a picture of my bucketful of sunshine (kinda like a pocketful...only better!). 😜

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I purchased some driftwood, a Marina Slim 20 filter, an Eheim Jager heater, Fluval Cycle, Fluval Aqua Plus, and a gravel vacuum off of Amazon.  My parents bought me some Xtreme Krill Flakes, Anubias Barteri, a USB Air Pump, and a Ziss Air Stone from the Co-Op for my birthday.  Most everything else I already had from what I purchased for my 5 gallon tank at school.  I still need a test kit, a light, and a turkey baster. 🦃

Y'all will have to let me know if you have any experience with these plants...or any fun betta buddy suggestions for stocking!  I'd really like to get a schooling fish...and I'm definitely getting some shrimp!

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Wow, lucky! I cant find water lettuce ANYWHERE! I want it for my outdoor tubbing this year, but its like nobody sells it.

Thats a lot of anubius!
I have never tried buce, but I totally want to.

The benefit of having rhizome plants is that in my experiance they don't melt back! I hate when plants melt back!

When hugo gets better I want to try some neon tetras with him, I think that would look really nice. Neons/ Cardinal Tetras are my favorite tetras. Chilli Rasboras are really cool too, along with Celestrial Pearl Danios. Pretty much any kind of peacful smaller fish that aren't too flashy or fast (like danios) would do well. I also want to try some Pygmy Corys sometime soon, so those could also work with a betta and shrimp (unlike other corydoras).

Looking forward to seeing your stocking choices (especially your betta)

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@JamesB - I am a biiiig fan of rhizomes, haha!!!  As far as livestock, I was considering Harlequin Rasboras...and, I really like your Pygmy Cory suggestion!!  They are so cute!

The Godzilla Buce I got is reallyyyy nice - I really like the way the red stems look compared to the deep green leaves!  I hope I can keep it happy.

I'm excited about your plans for Hugo's tank!  I'll be following your journal, for sure!! 😆

@Anita - I cannot wait to plant this thinggg!!!  🌱  Most of the plants are a reasonable size...but the Thor's hammer is a monster!!  So tall, haha!

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@CorydorasEthan - I will message you about the plants!  

And, I am extremelyyyyy tempted by a horde of pgymy cories!!!  I'll let y'all know what I end up with, for sure!!  We are (hopefully) going to go pick up the tank today...I am very ready to get these plants out of this bucket!

Thank you for all the birthday wishes everyone!!! 🥳🥳🥳  Pisces for the win! 😆👍

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Posted (edited)

We went yesterday to pick out my tank...I ended up backing down from the rimless, because I want a Betta...which means I probably should have a lid, just in case!  I figure, if I end up wanting to upgrade to a rimless tank, I can take the tank that I bought to school.  PLUS, I might be able to get a nice light out of the deal since the tank was so cheap! 💡

Went to a local fish store first, and I didn't have any luck.  I still bought an ammonia/ammonium test kit and a bag of Salvinia from them...not sure how I feel about the Salvinia...but I feel pretty certain that my water lettuce is a goner.  I think it came with duckweed au gratis. 😐 

Ended up getting a 20 gallon long from a chain pet store and a 15 lb. bag of Fluorite.  I figured Fluorite would be dusty...but I had NO idea! 😂 All of my plants are now covered in a fine red dust!  I also need more substrate...it did not cover the entire tank to the depth I was hoping for.

Of course, I have no patience and started the tank anyway.  It was easy to plant since I had tons of rhizomes and the driftwood had lots of great nooks and crannies!  I used one drop of super glue to stick a piece of buce onto a rock.  I've got a plant island kind of set up on one side of the tank...lots of room for expansion!

I'm considering pulling it all out, and replacing the substrate with something different...but that feels like crazy talk to me!  I could move this substrate across the bottom and cap it with sand?

I think I've decided what I want in the tank, will y'all let me know if something absolutely won't work?

  • A longer-finned Betta
  • Shrimp
  • Corydoras (Either pgymys or salt and peppers...I can't decide!) - at least 12?
  • Nerite snails - at least 1
  • Pork chop (lamb chop?) rasboras - at least 10?

I'll take pictures when I have a light!  There's not much to look at yet...haha!

Edited by Betsy
Spelling issues...haha!
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I’m happy for you that you got your birthday tank! A 20 gallon long has got great dimensions.

It’s hard to take things slow sometimes isn’t it?! I honestly think if you really hate the fluorite you should change it out. I think capping it would be ok, but you should be absolutely happy from the start. Better to put in the extra work now, than really disliking things down the line.

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10 hours ago, Betsy said:

We went yesterday to pick out my tank...I ended up backing down from the rimless, because I want a Betta...which means I probably should have a lid, just in case!  I figure, if I end up wanting to upgrade to a rimless tank, I can take the tank that I bought to school.  PLUS, I might be able to get a nice light out of the deal since the tank was so cheap! 💡

Went to a local fish store first, and I didn't have any luck.  I still bought an ammonia/ammonium test kit and a bag of Salvinia from them...not sure how I feel about the Salvinia...but I feel pretty certain that my water lettuce is a goner.  I think it came with duckweed au gratis. 😐 

Ended up getting a 20 gallon long from a chain pet store and a 15 lb. bag of Fluorite.  I figured Fluorite would be dusty...but I had NO idea! 😂 All of my plants are now covered in a fine red dust!  I also need more substrate...it did not cover the entire tank to the depth I was hoping for.

Of course, I have no patience and started the tank anyway.  It was easy to plant since I had tons of rhizomes and the driftwood had lots of great nooks and crannies!  I used one drop of super glue to stick a piece of buce onto a rock.  I've got a plant island kind of set up on one side of the tank...lots of room for expansion!

I'm considering pulling it all out, and replacing the substrate with something different...but that feels like crazy talk to me!  I could move this substrate across the bottom and cap it with sand?

I think I've decided what I want in the tank, will y'all let me know if something absolutely won't work?

  • A longer-finned Betta
  • Shrimp
  • Corydoras (Either pgymys or salt and peppers...I can't decide!) - at least 12?
  • Nerite snails - at least 1
  • Pork chop (lamb chop?) rasboras - at least 10?

I'll take pictures when I have a light!  There's not much to look at yet...haha!

@Betsydid you rinse the fluorite before pouring it in the tank? I remember from over a decade ago using fluorite, and laterite and how many times I had to rinse it to not have red dust. I can't imagine what the tank would have looked like without rinsing. Sounds like you are well on your way with this one, looking forward to see the pictures.

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Posted (edited)

@Jungle Fan...I didn't...I had really great success with filling the tank gently when I used Fluval Stratum in my school tank, so I just went for it. I thought the same strategy would be successful...it wasn't. 😂  Should have rinsed!!

I did get some Flourite Black Sand and capped the red Flourite with the black sand...I think it looks muuuuuch better!  That sand is SO soft!  I think I've officially decided I'd like some Salt and Pepper Corydoras, and I was worried about their little sweet faces!  But, now that I've got that soft sand, I am much less concerned!

I also convinced my husband to buy me a Fluval 3.0 light...the tank is getting serious! 😜 The light is arriving tomorrow, so photos soon!

 

Edited by Betsy
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I think you made the right decision, back then when I first encountered the perpetual red dust after endless rinsing through a prospecting qualifier sieve I ended up capping it as well because I kept cories and plecos in the tank. With all the plants, driftwood, the Fluval light ,and some Easy Green you ought to have the tropic jungle at home in no time. Looking forward to see it all unfold. New tanks are exciting.

Edited by Jungle Fan
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