So, I already typed this all up once only to have PhotoBucket lock up Safari on me requiring that I force quit Safari and lose an hour’s worth of work. Grrr!!!! Now that I got that off my chest, I’m ready to write a journal of my new tank…AGAIN.
(This time I’m doing it in Word in case PhotoBucket messes me up again!)
Anyway, I finally figured out what to do with my recently acquired Mr. Aqua 12-gallon long aquarium. I started this tank a couple of weeks ago and figure it’s time to reveal it to the world.
Mr. Aqua 12-gallon long aquarium
Fluval Nano Internal Filter (I can’t locate a GPH for this filter, but Fluval says it’s suitable for ‘up to a 15G’ tank. Their 1 Plus internal filter is rated up to a 12G tank and has a rate of 50GPH. Whatever this one is pushing out, it seems to be plenty.)
Hydor ProTherm Aquarium Heater 100W – temperature is holding steady at 77°F
Verilux Brookfield Deluxe Natural Spectrum Floor Lamp – described here
8.8 lbs. Fluval Shrimp Stratum
2 ‘Cichlid Stones’
2 small pieces of Mopani driftwood
A cutting of a species which ID I can’t remember from my 8G
Vesicularia montagnei ‘Christmas Moss’
Hydrocotyle leucocephala ‘Brazilian Pennywort’
Hemianthus micranthemoides ‘Baby Tears’ or ‘Pearl Grass’
Limnophila Aromatica (very tiny piece rescued from my 56G where it was too shaded by other plants)
Small freebie unidentified Cryptocoryne sp.
Microsporum pteropus ‘Java Fern’
Microsporum pteropus Windelov ‘Lace Leaf Java Fern’
6 – Danio margaritatus ‘Celestial Pearl Danios’
6 – Dario dario ‘Scarlet Gem Badis’
3 – Otocinclus sp. ‘Oto Cats’
2 – Corydoras arcuatus ‘Skunk Cory Cats’
12 – Neocaridinia sp. ‘Mandarin Shrimp’
8/17/11 – Day one:
Lacking a better means of cleaning the Stratum I dumped it in the tank, filled the tank with tap water and siphoned it out. My aby, Kosey, is already intrigued by this soupy mess.
I really wanted to keep the filter completely submerged if possible but the intake is on the bottom, which would be at least partially buried in the substrate if I placed the filter as low as I wanted. I had to find a way to keep the substrate out. So, I cut on of those semi-disposable Ziploc storage bowls in half with kitchen shears. I placed this at the bottom of the tank with the cut side to the back glass, then set the filter all the way down in the bowl and pushed the substrate around the bowl. This mod left about an inch or so of clear space for water around the base of the filter. Finally, I wedged a piece of filter foam just large enough to cover the intake between it and the bowl to keep shrimpies out of the intake as well. Works like a charm! (If anyone’s interested, I’ll post pics of that later.)
Next, I placed the heater and hardscape and filled the tank with 9 or 10 gallons of drinking water from Wal-Mart. Then, I planted what plants I had on hand. It’s still pretty cloudy…the stratum bag says to avoid stirring it up too much and they aren’t kidding!! I hooked up a small AC filter overnight to help clear up the water without clogging the media in the internal filter.
The tank had finished cycling a few days ago, so I visited Forest Lake Pets in Forest Lake, MN, on my way home from a twin cities business trip. I bought out the 8 CPDs they had in stock. After the 4-hour drive home, I could tell one was not well…sure enough it and another one died over night despite my midnight effort at drip acclimation. I retested my water, but it was definitely OK…no ammonia or nitrite and all other params as desired. I think the stress of netting and too long in the bag was just too much for the little buggers.
Received my remaining plants and finished the aquascape. CPDs are very happy and starting to swim out in the open. Oh…and Kosey still approved – CPDs are fun to watch and fish flavored water is very tasty. It has since been established, that our three cats will be taking over all water removal efforts and leaving top offs to me. A fair deal as long as the beasties don’t eat my fishies as far as I’m concerned.
Because of the lighting I chose, which I admit was chosen mainly to maintain aesthetics (I hate the look of most aquarium lights and didn’t want to spoil the look of a rimless tank.), this tank is well lit on one end and quite dim on the other. For this reason, I planted only java ferns on the far right side. I concentrated the hardscape and remaining plantings on the left side for the dual reasons of lighting and camouflaging the filter and heater. I’m hoping all eventually grows in enough to hide the hardware well even though it’s not too bad as it is.
CPDs!! Greatly magnified, and quite blurry, but still cool.
Received my order from LiveAquaria with shrimpies and badis. The badis are super tiny and equally pretty. I think I received 5 male badis and 1 female, but I’m not 100% sure about this as they like to hide and I can rarely find all 6 at one time.
Hitchhiker? I don’t know if the grey shrimp in this blurry pic came in on my moss or what?? When I received my mandarins, I’m sure they were all orange.
These little buggers are camera shy!
Picked up two skunk cories at Foster & Smith’s retail store. They’re fun to watch and liven up the tank quite a bit. I’m a bit surprised, that they seem to be doing a nice job as dither fish. Here’s a bad pic of one.
Rounded out the population with 3 oto cats purchased at PetSmart. This is all I’m planning for now, so it’s time to watch the shrimp make babies! I can’t guarantee I won’t add more CPDs if I can find them again, though.
Here’s what the tank looks like today. The addition of the cories and otos has really added to the activity level in the tank, though these pics don’t capture it well.
FTS. This really shows the difference in lighting from the left to right sides.
The view from my recliner. ☺
I hope you all like it, but I’m open to constructive criticism as well!