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post #1 of (permalink) Old 06-24-2011, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
Planted Tank Obsessed
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Carmichael, CA
Posts: 337
Complete newbs DIY 1st time aquarium

My gf mentioned that she wanted a goldfish so we grabbed a 10 gallon tank and bought a dozen feeder fish from walmart. They died. Grabbed another dozen feeder fish from petco. They died.

At this point I got interested and decided to get involved. I'm not the biggest fan of either walmart of petco when it comes to selling animals. I was once a big reptile enthusiast and it greatly pained me to see the local Petco's reptile selection and the health of their stock. I can't afford spending big bucks on nicer fish stores so I decided to head to the local pond.

I currently have the 10 gallon with a plain gravel bottom, small water pump with DIY carbon filter, and a few locally collected water plants and fish. Two western mosquito fish, two unknown guppies, and I believe a local minnow. Also have three pacific tree frog tadpoles, a couple oarsmen, snails, damselfly larvae, and I believe a springtail larvae.

No idea on the flora:

I don't like the looks of this tank one bit and would like to make something a bit more spectacular. The past couple days I've been scouting craigslist for tanks and all I came up with was a 20gallon with filter for $10:

I recently moved and had to deconstruct my captive bred blue belly's cage so I'm thinking I might throw him in the 20 gallon I just purchased and use his 30 gallon for my new planted tank:

I'm thinking a 2/3 full with 1/3 dry tank so that the tadpoles can develop. I'm experienced with growing terrestrial plants indoors and outdoors but know nothing about water plants. I know more than most about soil but very little about water.

We have local manzanita so I plan to go hiking in the next few days for my hardscape. I want to go low budget DIY with local flora and fauna and perhaps a couple tropicals. Lighting will be a DIY CFL fixture with reflector running 6500K bulbs. Might go with DIY CO2 but would prefer not to.

Yesterday I started testing my terrestrial supersoil in a tiny vase. This stuff is all organic and should be similar to miracle grow which I've seen people on this forum using. I also plan to populate this with a gang of triops - my favorite childhood toy

All help, comments, recommendations... are welcome. I'm totally new to this so I'll need help with the terms and abbreviations.
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