Raven_Wilde's 30gal x2 - From Nano-Fish to Monster Pets (New Pics Added 10/7/11)
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:39 AM   #1
raven_wilde
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Raven_Wilde's 30gal x2 - From Nano-Fish to Monster Pets (New Pics Added 10/7/11)


I've been encouraged recently -thanks Duff - to start a journal for my tanks, so here goes....

My 30gal x2



Both tanks: 30gal long (36x13x16)

Top Tank: Plants, Shrimp & Nano-fish
Lighting: Solarmax HO T5 2x39w (currently only running one of the bulbs- ran both for a while and got a mad algae bloom. Once I get CO2 capable I will start running both bulbs)
Filtration: Fluval 204 canister stuffed mostly with bio-media & topped off with a small bag of Purigen and some finer filter floss.
Substrate: Black Beauty Sand Blasting Sand.
Heater: Submersible Hagen Elite, I forget the wattage and I'm too lazy to get up and check, its whatever is rated for 30 gallons :P
Ferts: Dosing the Seachem lineup, about once a week as per instructions on the bottles. Trying to remember to dose Excel daily.
CO2: Just the Excel for now- I've done the 2x2 liter pop bottle thing in the past with this tank and it did prove beneficial, however the task of yeast tending was difficult to maintain during college and I threw in the towel. My goal right now is to have paintball CO2 going within the next couple months.
Plants: Crypt lutea (my strongest, happiest plant), crypt balansae (recent addition, just starting to take off), a shorter crypt species I am not certain of (lfs doesn't always know what they have), Anubias (barteri and nana I think), Java Fern, Narrow Leaf Sword and Ozealot Sword (both recent additions), Red Lotus and the omnipresent duckweed.
Past Plants that have done well in this tank have been Java moss, Bolbitis, Java Fern Narrow and Windelov.
Critters: 1 clown pleco (I've had this guy for 8 yrs), 1 male cherry barb (the last of a school that all died of some sort of parasite many years ago), 4 Otocinclus, 6 Maculata Rasboras, 4 Celestial Pearl Danios, 2 Pygmy Cory Cats, an unfathomable amount of Malaysian Trumpet Snails, and the following shrimp: Amanos (around 10 maybe?), a Bamboo Shrimp, & tons of mostly brownish Cherry Shrimp (I have been trying to improve my stock recently- for a while in '06-'08 I was breeding them for sale or trade locally, but while I finished up school I unloaded most of them and natural selection, meted out by German Blue Rams, favored brown shrimplets).
Summary: This tank is a testament to the 'slow and steady' planted tank method. I've had this tank set up for about 6, maybe almost 7 years... doggedly refusing to completely tear it all apart each of the 4 times I've moved- the tank is somewhat permanently attached to a piece of plywood so its been supported every time I have moved it, thus keeping the sand bed and rooted plants intact. I've had to cook dinners for many people over the years in exchange for helping me move this baby.
The T5 lights are fairly brand new- I bought them right after I started my new job 6 mo. ago. Before that I was relying entirely on the one 24" 6500K florescent tube fixture that came with the original hood... frankly I am amazed that I grew anything at all.
PICS:




Bottom Tank: My Pet Monsters
Lighting: The hood that originally came with the top tank, replete with just the one 24" 6500K florescent tube.
Filtration: The filtration on this tank was cobbled together during the year after college when I was so poor I basically lived off brown rice, butter and MSG (yes! this is a meal!): I'm running a (used when I got it) Fluval U2 submersible filter (largely for mechanical filtration) and a TOM Rapids Mini Canister filter (jam packed with bio-media). One of these days I will probably get around to buying a proper canister filter for this tank, but for right now this arrangement is doing what I need it to do so I am in no hurry.
Substrate: A mix of sands and gravels from past setups.
Heater: Same as above.
Ferts: Mostly just the fish poo. Sometimes I toss some Flourish or a bit of Excel in.
CO2: Nope.
Plants: Bolbitis and a bit of Xmas Moss... the Bolbitis came out of the top tank about the time I got my new lights, it was overshadowing just about half the tank so I had to move it. I was kind of reticent at the time since I've had difficulty keeping plants with my monsters in the past but so far its done really well. I've even divided it since then and spread it out a little more.
Critters: 1 Polypterus Senegalus aka "Nessie" (I have had this fish for 8 years as well- she is older than my cat so basically she is just as much a pet as he is. At one time she had a mate, "Po", short for "Ogopogo" but he died in 2009- I *think* he may have choked on a piece of gravel), this tank is also home to 3 African Butterfly fish and 2 larger danios of whose species I am uncertain.
Summary: These guys are my pets
At one point I had kept my Polypteri in a nice 65 gal, but that was 2 apartments ago and since then I've had to pare things down considerably. During my first year out of college they were living in a slightly busted 29 tall (it was on this stand) with a janky light strip held in place by bent coat hangers that I got from a friend for free- my only goal with their setup was keeping them alive and for a while that was the best I could do.
Currently, although they have a new tank now and things are looking up, I don't think I plan on doing much more with their setup except maintain it as the best home possible
A Few Pics:



Nessie, being shy <3 <3
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Old 10-08-2011, 01:35 AM   #2
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Default A look back over the years...

Got out my external hard drive and pulled together some photos I've taken over the years of the upper tank... pretty cool to see how it has changed over time... also pretty crazy now to think that I managed this under just that one one 24" 6500K florescent tube!


November 10, 2005


December 18, 2005


January 22, 2006


May 22, 2006


July 4, 2007

I wish I'd taken more pictures... but the camera I had then was way worse than the one I have now. Sad though that I have none from mid 2007 until just recently. But those were the crazy busy years of college, and then the crushingly poor years immediately post graduation. I suppose there was nothing worth recording; it was all about maintaining as best I could with next to no money and having to tear down and move the setup a total of 3 times.

And that reminds me... for what its worth fellow aquafiends... never move into a 3rd floor walkup!
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Old 10-08-2011, 02:04 AM   #3
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Default Pet Monsters

And now for a few shots of the old home of my 'Pet Monsters'...





I really love Polypteri... so prehistoric, so spooky looking. I was crushed when Ogopogo died, having the pair of them together was such a wonderful thing to watch. They even mated a few times... or at least, they would do the mating jig. Once, while I was cleaning some of the moss that had grown in their tank I did find a lone baby Polypterus. He was so tiny, barely a centimeter long. I thought he was some kind of worm or something that had hitched in with some plants but once I caught him and had a good look I changed my mind... it was definitely offspring, he even had the tiny beginnings of those crazy dorsal spines. I put him in my 10 gal quarantine and managed to keep track of him for a week or so but then he vanished. I just really had no idea what to do with him at the time. So sad... it would have been amazing to raise a 2nd generation sea monster!
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Old 10-08-2011, 03:02 AM   #4
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Beautiful tanks, love the progression shots.
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Old 10-08-2011, 05:34 PM   #5
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Awwww thanks! Its hard to believe sometimes how long I've had them
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Old 10-09-2011, 01:45 AM   #6
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They are very nice tanks, I never see any Butterfly fish but the reflection really looks like a butterfly, they are a strange looking fish. I was wondering about those little Tom's filters after seeing them advertised, do they work well?

How big and how long do the sea monsters live?
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Old 10-10-2011, 01:57 AM   #7
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They are very nice tanks, I never see any Butterfly fish but the reflection really looks like a butterfly, they are a strange looking fish. I was wondering about those little Tom's filters after seeing them advertised, do they work well?

How big and how long do the sea monsters live?
The TOM filters are pretty nice... my only gripe is that they are kind of a pain to maintenance because you have to pull the intake and spray bar out of the tank and take the whole thing to the sink/bucket. Although maybe this is how all small canisters are I don't know- I've been spoiled by years of using larger filters (like the Fluval 204/304s) that detach from their tubing so you can tote just the canister away for cleaning. I do suppose though that a large part of the annoyance I have is due to how it is set up on my particular tank- it is hanging off the back of the lower tank, so I really have to crawl around on the floor and squeeze behind the stand a bit to get it off.

Aside from that though its been a pretty good little filter, it moves a lot of water and doesn't clog real easy, although if it did you couldn't break it down to get at the impeller like you can other filters. But I haven't really had any problems with it so I would recommend it to anyone who couldn't afford to fork over the $50-60 for one of the higher end brands.

As for my 'sea monsters'

Nessie is about 8 years old and she was probably under a year old when I got her... I'm not really quite sure how long they live on average, but I would not be surprised if she is around for years to come. She reached her current size (probably about 11 or 12 inches) after about 2 years and hasn't grown much since. Her mate, Ogopogo was a little longer but thinner through the belly. He died in 2009, I think he choked on a piece of gravel... I saw it happen, it was pretty terrible

There is more information on them here: Polypterus Senegalus
There are a number of other species as well, Polypteridae, and some of them can get quite large. I would recommend keeping a lone Polypterus senegalus in no less than a 30 gallon tank, and when picking out tankmates you should consider at least 10 of those gallons reserved for the bioload of the polypterus alone. They are super messy fish, they eat alot, prefer live foods, and make A LOT of poop... hence, the multiple filters on my tank. I love them though, they are hands down my favorite aquarium fish
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Old 10-10-2011, 02:36 AM   #8
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Nice monster fish!
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Old 10-13-2011, 05:10 PM   #9
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Awesome tanks!
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Old 10-23-2011, 04:00 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by raven_wilde View Post
And now for a few shots of the old home of my 'Pet Monsters'...





I really love Polypteri... so prehistoric, so spooky looking. I was crushed when Ogopogo died, having the pair of them together was such a wonderful thing to watch. They even mated a few times... or at least, they would do the mating jig. Once, while I was cleaning some of the moss that had grown in their tank I did find a lone baby Polypterus. He was so tiny, barely a centimeter long. I thought he was some kind of worm or something that had hitched in with some plants but once I caught him and had a good look I changed my mind... it was definitely offspring, he even had the tiny beginnings of those crazy dorsal spines. I put him in my 10 gal quarantine and managed to keep track of him for a week or so but then he vanished. I just really had no idea what to do with him at the time. So sad... it would have been amazing to raise a 2nd generation sea monster!
Awesome tanks! I love the above shot. That's really cool you bred the polys. I think that's a pretty rare achievement.
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Old 10-23-2011, 04:02 PM   #11
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Nice tanks.

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk
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Old 10-23-2011, 05:18 PM   #12
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Thanks!
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Old 10-23-2011, 05:28 PM   #13
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Awesome tanks! I love the above shot. That's really cool you bred the polys. I think that's a pretty rare achievement.
Thank you!

It was entirely unintentional... and although I kinda had a feeling (from having mated pairs of Angels in the past and having that behavior to compare against) that they were at least doing the mating dance part, I didn't realize that they were successful until I found that one itty bitty baby.

Oh well, it was probably doomed from the start... interwebz rumor has it that the young will cannibalize each other so I probably would have gone insane trying to raise them up.

It does however kinda make me want to get another big tank and another mate for Nessie.... but.... ehhh.... I dunno. Big tanks are so much work, after I scaled down to the pair of 30s I kinda promised myself I'd never get anything bigger.

Errr.... at least not while I'm still renting.
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Old 10-24-2011, 02:31 PM   #14
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It does however kinda make me want to get another big tank and another mate for Nessie.... but.... ehhh.... I dunno.
Encouragement!
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Old 10-24-2011, 07:15 PM   #15
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Ohh noooo!

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Encouragement!
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