I was lucky enough to get a 65 gallon aquarium for Christmas, thanks to some wonderful parents, and it was up by January. Wanting a planted tank, I gave it a dirt substrate... Which was a mistake.
Just recently, the tank suddenly started smelling like a cesspool and most of my small fish were dead. Apparently, the dirt (organic compost from a garden center) had manure in it, which had decayed, releasing toxic gases that killed off most of my dwarf cories, pygmy cories, and pencilfish. The dirt has been removed and replaced with slightly under 3" of black aquarium sand, and I'm planning to get this thing started up next week, after our beach trip.
The filter is a combination of a HOB designed for a 75 and a sponge filter. The sponge filter used to be a favorite pygmy cory spot, as it's covered in java moss and probably buggies.
Ph usually hovers around 7.5.
Two pieces of driftwood
A fake waterfall thing that I like
A cow vertebra
A squirrel skeleton
And a random raccoon rib
A bunch of Java moss
Two kinds of Java ferns
A bit each of giant and flame moss
One big anubias
Something like 15 smallish crypts
Two ghost shrimp
One African Dwarf frog
Two Julii (possibly false Julii) cories
Two salt-and-pepper cories
One Schwartz cory (soon to be joined by one more) (how do you spell that, anyway?)
Two female bettas (soon to be three)
One Stonehead Sulawesi goby
Two sun nerite snails
One gold gourami
One lonely survivor pencilfish
Here's a few pics:
Full tank, obviously. I apologise for the glare, these are cell phone pics.
The Sulawesi goby. I need more of these guys, they're fun.
A sun nerite. These were an impulse buy, as they were $1.50 each and I'd never seen them for sale anywhere else. Plus, they're basically mutant nerites, and everybody knows how to take care of nerites!
Boss betta. Her fins are kind of ragged, due to some blind cave tetras I used to have ganging up on her. This little one changes color faster than a chamelion! She'll go from mostly blue to half white, then back to blue, then purple. Not sure how she does it...
What I want to add, over the course of a while, obviously:
Another Schwarts cory
Another female betta
Probably a rubberlip pleco (those are only about 4" long and really funny to watch)
Possibly 6 or so Endler's livebearers
At least 10 more pencilfish
At least 11 dwarf and pygmy cories
A twig catfish
More freshwater gobies. I know a place that sells some nice Stiphodon gobies.
1: Now, I'm starting to consider a school of neon tetras. How tightly will they school in a 65 that's mostly populated by small fish?
2: Let's say I want to have fairly equal schools of pencils and neons, then a big school of dwarf and pygmy cories. How many can I keep, approximately? I was told that I could easily have 30 assorted schoolers in there, probably more, is this correct? I mean, it seems accurate... I'm gonna go see what Aquadvisor has to say about that.
3: Any thoughts on having some Endlers in there? Males only, of course, so I wouldn't have five billion tiny fry. Not that I'd mind fry, but the nearest LFS that takes trade-ins is pretty far away and I can't drive yet.
4: What do you normally see twig cats going for? I don't want an albino one, but I don't care if it's longfin or not.
5: Any tips for keeping a twig cat? What I normally see is to feed them algae wafters if they eat all the algae, to keep them with peaceful stuff, and to put guards on all the heaters. I don't have heater guards yet, but it's Texas summer, I unplugged all the heaters. (which is only two)
6: I'm looking for the big schools/small fish appearance in this tank, as you can see. If I could have 10 or so of each species, what tinies would you reccommend? Not microrasboras, they're just plain too tiny. I also don't want anything that's too finicky or delicate, I want stuff that has at least a little bit of endurance.