Hello everyone! I've made some big changes to my tank recently, and I thought I'd finally start documenting my progress.
I have two tanks set up currently, a 36 bowfront and a 20 tall, with a 40 breeder waiting in the wings. I think I'm just going to focus on the 36 for now.
: 36 Bowfront
: 1x 24w 6500k T5 HO in a classy custom gutter fixture
: 2x Marineland Penguin Biowheel 200 HOB filters
: Pool filter sand
: 2x 2 liter DIY CO2
: Seachem Root Tabs and Flourish Complete
anubias (congensis and nana, I think)
1 chunky Ryukin goldfish
a few pond/bladder and malaysian trumpet snails
Backstory: I've had this tank for a few years, but it started out with tropicals (platies, dwarf gouramis, tetras). Several months later I impulsively bought two ryukin goldfish that were on clearance. I kept the goldfish in a 20 gallon for a about six months before I decided to study abroad for a year. I gave away the tropicals, moved the goldfish into the 36, and left them in the care of relatives.
Here they are in front of a 10 gal Tetra filter, so little:
When I came back a year later, the tank was in fairly bad shape, and one of the goldfish had developed a small tumor. Unfortunately, the tumor kept growing despite my best efforts at cleanliness and medication, and i lost him a few months ago.
With only one goldfish in the 36 and with no decorations to speak of, I decided to do a massive overhaul.
Here's the first "improvement" I made. I learned fairly quickly not to bury anubias in the substrate, and that the CO2 I had was fairly useless.
I upgraded the filter and added more decorations and plants. I had this "wonderful" idea to get my goldie some tankmates, and after much research decided on pearl danios. I was aiming for a jungle kind of look so the danios would have places to hide if necessary, but after I got them set up in the 20 gallon QT, I chickened out (they're just so small!).
This was just a little too busy. Another adjustment later, with better co2 and a new light:
This is what it looked like up until a few days ago. The breeder net was protecting my floating plants from the hungry goldfish. They finally grew out a bit and I moved them to the 20.
After more research, I decided to change over from my large gravel to pool filter sand.
Fresh sand! With a bit of gravel left over to try to help keep away a mini-cycle (I figure I can sift it out later if it bothers me).
Clearing up nicely. I put the goldfish back in and floated the plants for a bit while I decided how to set it up (they wilted a little, but seem to be doing better already).
I like this so much better! The parameters have stayed perfect, no mini-cycle so far, and the goldfish seems to like to push around the sand (that edge was perfectly smooth the day before). I decided to put the plants back about the same way for now. I added another piece of driftwood with some mystery moss that StrungOut very kindly gave me. Now I'm waiting for my R.A.O.K/purchase from the fantastic Gordon Richards to arrive, and I'll be filling in the middle section with more great plants. (The little pvc cave was in there for my new longfin L144 from pinkertd, but she turned out to be smaller than I expected, so she went in with the danios instead)
My grand future plan is to set up my 40 breeder, planted with hardy low-lights like more anubias. I'd like to get another couple of goldfish to keep my girl company, and if I'm lucky, by then the danios will have gotten a little bigger than snack-sized and they can go as well. If not, I'll just set up the 36 as a lower-tropical community. I'd love to have some corydoras habrosus or some hara jerdoni.
So! That's it for now! Any suggestions or thoughts welcome. Thanks for reading!