It was while I was at college that I learned something the hard way. WHile I'm going to class, I have my dad call me and he tells me that my flag tail is dead, to which I am both saddened and perplexed as to what could have happened. When I later on come home, I clearly see the cause. Ever since the heater I used to have bumped the temp up to 98, I decided to not use a heater, having trust issues with them now. The combination of not heater in the winter/early spring and new plants from a lfs equaled ick in my tank. Prior to this, I had also added 3 rainbow cichlids, which were fine for a long long time, and 6 pearl gouramis. However, while battling ick I ended up loosing one of my angel fish, and one of the 6 pearl gouramis as well. This was a set-back but caused me to re-evaluate my fish keeping methods a little bit. I wound up getting an inline heater that has since been keeping the tanks temperature stable, and which also helped in riding my tank of ick. For about a week or two, I kept my tank at a solid 86 degrees, and while the plants were less than happy I managed to save the rest of my fish. From there, I slowly backed the temperature down to where it is to this day, at a solid 78 degrees (I dare not go further due to some of my plants but I will get into them later)
It took me to this summer to start to fully realize my plans for this tank. I started realizing that the combination of plants and fish that I had required something more than what I was giving them. I fleshed out an idea in my head of what fish I wanted in this tank, what plants I wanted, and their placements. I realized that in order to keep some of the plants that I wanted, I would need to change my lighting from the old and outdated 2 t8's that were hanging over my tank and get into higher light, as well as a fertilization schedule and pressurized CO2. The bellow pictures are what my tank looked like before I joined these forums. Black Beard Algae began covering my plants and hardscape as well as filter tubes. Some plants were growing well but others were withering away quickly.
Again, I will continue this in the next post, but this is everything about my tank since before I joined the forums, I promise that my next post will be more relevant to what is currently happening