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I am starting my own 10 gallon (Low-Tech) tank (My Dad had a 30 gallon when I was little). I'm a bit overwhelmed at the depth of this hobby but very excited. I admit that I didn't start off with much of a plan. The only idea I had in my head when I went to PetCo last December was that I want a Betta (possibly a community aquarium) in a tank somewhere between 5-10 gallons (so it can fit in my dorm and I'll be able to transport it in my Ford Explorer).
I came home that day with a package deal from PetCo (the local pet store was significantly more expensive) on a 10 gallon tank (heater, decent lighting, filter) all included. After a few weeks I got a bit more ambitious and added some live plants an Amazon Sword (echinodorus bleheri) and a Marimo Ball (suggested by a PetCo employee). I was a bit skeptical of the Marimo Ball at first but I definitely think it was a good buy. It's an interesting piece of aquatic life that's for sure. I also started off with a simple decoration ("Greek" ruins).
I didn't save any of my pictures of the overall view of the tank (stupid me
My stock at this time included 3 Zebra danios. They were very energetic and would play tag with each other. They are very entertaining fish to watch.
About a week later I added another inhabitant to the tank, a male Delta Tail Betta. This guy caught my eye at my local PetCo (the local store doesn't treat their fish very well). I am actually quite please with the way PetCo treats the Bettas. They are housed in the "largest" mass produced containers I have seen for a betta. They also didn't stack them at all and had a large variety. All the bettas seemed alert and energetic (I had looked at them a couple of times, even between shipments the fish looked good). Anyway this guy caught my eye. He is blue with a very distinctive marble pattern. I have also only had the veil tail variety (when I was about 10 years old I had one in a 1 gallon bowl...what was I thinking?).
My tank had developed quite a bit of Diatom buildup, especially on the columns, Amazon Sword, and Marimo ball. Eventually I increased my stock to include a Chinese Algae Eater, two more Zebra Danios, and a Bamboo Shrimp.
The story behind the bamboo shrimp is funny because I asked for a ghost shrimp but the lady at PetCo gave me one of the bamboo guys. I didn't complain
A few days ago I increased the plantlife in my aquarium by adding a Micro Sword, Crypts, Java Moss (attached to the columns via fishing line) and a plant that I can't remember the name (it sits in front of the columns if anybody can identify it that would be GREAT!). I am however very worried because I didn't originally plan on having multiple live plants. I didn't purchase high end gravel, in fact I purchased the cheapest gravel possible (PetCo brand in black). I'm worried that the gravel is too large for individual plants. This is why I refuse to remove the plant from the wool it was purchased in. :/
Anyway here are some photos current as of January 4th, 2011.
My betta, named "Pax," is really attached to the Crypts. I hope they make it I've read so many horror stories about them.
Please post with any comments, questions, or concerns. I could use some criticism. Once I get settled at school I was considering changing my substrate, adding in a layer of topsoil beneath the gravel. I have no experience or knowledge of dirted tanks so any advice would be greatly appreciated.