Mom's fishies! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 05:44 PM Thread Starter
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Mom's fishies!

** On mobile, if formating sucks, please forgive me!! It'll be fixed soon. Also, pictures to come soon. I only have two atm and mobile editing is not very self explanatory! **

So since I have some time right now to write while I wait in the preschool's parking lot, I'm going to go ahead and do it because otherwise I might never start!!

Around February we decided that a fish tank "for the kids" would be a nice addition to our home. What was I thinking? I don't like to do things half way (my psychologist mother calls it the stay at home mom superwoman syndrome) and the kids don't take care of anything for longer than 15 minutes.

So with limited time I read that 20 gallons is the smallest tank to get if I don't want to be doing a lot of maintenance. Ok, found something on CL that was the right size, had what at the time I thought were the basic aquarium necessities, was close by and was the right price.

As most noobs, I went to the nearest big box store. While the lady wasn't an expert she meant well, gave me some ok information and quietly told me the name of a local, reputable LFS to visit.

So after running the tank and filter for 2 weeks (no testing of any kind done) off we go to find some fish.

The look on the employee at the LFS was one of surprise when I explained what I'd done so far but he took a deep breath and started to explain the nitrogen cycle.

We went home with 3 danios, happy kids, worried mom and many questions.

Since then, our 20G tank switched from:

* blue gravel to echo complete, mopani wood center piece, several plants, and moss balls (don't judge, the shrimp and kuhli loach love it!)
* HOB filter rated at 30G to canister filter rated at 40G
* tropical fish flakes only to a varied diet of flakes, tropical fish pellets, shrimp pellets, freeze dried brine shrimp and freeze dried blood worms.
* no ferts to liquid ferts
* 3 lone danios to 6 albino danios (some long finned), 5 neon tetras, 5 kuhli loaches (only 1 comes out but the others uproot the plants!), 2 cory habrosus, 4 zebra Neri nerite snails, 4 horned nerite snails and 1 ivory mystery snail. Oh, and three shrimp (amano, rcs, yellow).
* no testing to weekly testing and stable params!!

Insert pic here, mobile is kinda funny with attachments

I don't know how, when or why (this usually wouldn't be the kind of hobby I gravitate towards) but I've fallen in love with planted tanks! After lots of reading and much consideration, I've purchased a 40 breeder tank at the dollar per gallon sale.

At first, it was crazy, I wanted to order everything and build as fast as possible. Finally, reason has returned and things have slowed down and planning is more thorough and detailed. Here's where things are:

* Tank: 40G breeder, aquaeon. Might also be purchasing a 50G acrylic tank since it comes with the stand for $50. What to do?!? Keep both, return one??
* Stand: going to see it, and the 50G today.
* Filter: after many comparisons ended up getting a cascade 1000
* Lights: Finnex planted+ 24/7
* Substrate: eco complete, black sand, possibly light colored sand and maybe some gravel too (need to finish deciding)
* CO2: got a good deal on a 5lb tank and a electronic regulator. Deciding on diffuser/reactor/atomizer atm. Leaning towards atomizer with lily pipes.
* Decor: got some ridiculously awesome manzanita and driftwood from save on crafts and a couple seryu stones (from LFS) that I'm playing with right now. Pictures to come later.
* Plants: the more I think about it, the more it feels like I have to solidify the hardscape before making a final choice.
* Stock: I'd love to have some killifish! Local LFS has them but I read they prefer softer water than what we have here. More research is needed!

So, here's how things are as of today. I'll add the pictures once we're home and maybe, hopefully I can get some suggestions on how to use the awesome wood I got ?.

Can't wait!!
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 05:49 PM
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they say to boil the wood before putting in the tank. I'm not sure what all the reasons are but I didn't do it once and it turned the water brown. always exciting to start a new tank. good luck with your plants and let us know if you have any questions. we all here to help each other.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 08:26 PM
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Originally Posted by IntotheWRX View Post
they say to boil the wood before putting in the tank. I'm not sure what all the reasons are but I didn't do it once and it turned the water brown. always exciting to start a new tank. good luck with your plants and let us know if you have any questions. we all here to help each other.
Yep. Boiling helps remove tannins from the wood, which are "astringent, polyphenolic biomolecules that binds to and precipitates proteins and various other organic compounds including amino acids and alkaloids" and turn water in aquariums brown. However, it's still not that big a deal as it's usually gone with water changes and filtration.

I don't mind moss balls at all haha and looks good so far!

How I feel about non-planted aquariums.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 09-29-2016, 09:30 PM Thread Starter
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I did soak and boil the mopani wood in my 20G and will do the same with these new pieces. Save on crafts does advertise their natural manzanita and driftwood as aquarium safe. Seems like a few ppl on these forums have called to double check and have been told them same .

I need an excuse to go down to Watsonville to avoid the shipping charge. There would be driftwood all over my house if I ever did .

Here's a few more pictures of the decorations I have on hand before I need to go pick up the kiddo from school.
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kuhli loaches: making everything possible into hammocks
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-06-2016, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Ah, life gets in the way of so many things ?. Currently overwhelmed trying to get Halloween costumes finished for the kids.

The tank stand I got needed some love. My palm sander and I got to finding a remedy for that situation. It was looking great! Then went to put the tank on it and....... it was not deep enough! The guy who sold it to me said 3618. In reality it is 36x16. Went to home depot got a 1x5x10 but have yet to find the time to replace the top. Hopefully today will be the day!

At least this is giving my stuff that's coming from China some time to arrive (lily pipes, holder, thermometer, inline atomizer). I would also like to find some time to go to a landscaping materials place to get a few interesting rocks. Also maybe pick up some play sand.

Holiday season is such a whirlwind! From Halloween preparations to new year's it just zooms by. Hopefully my tank will come to life before turkey day here in the US ?.
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