Filling In The Gaps - (40B Journal)
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:27 PM   #1
elegysanft
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Filling In The Gaps - (40B Journal)


So I recently moved and was planning on setting up a 40b at some point in the future, but due to a leaking tank (that actually ended up being a filter) I needed to set this up quickly. Its hopelessly out of order so Ill be trying to keep it all organized here.

As far as fish keeping goes, Ive been keeping tanks for around 4 or 5 years. I jumped in hard and fast, ending up with 15 different tanks in the first 2 years. Since this Ive settled down to 4 tanks. I tend to put everything together first haphazardly (and cheaply), then deal with the problems later, so I have a lot of gaps in my general basic knowledge of fish keeping. Im hoping this journal will help me learn some of the more basic info Ive passed over.

Granted this would have been better had I been able to start from the beginning and do everything in order, but whater, Im rolling with it


Alright, here are the planned specs so far:
(This will be updated as the journal progresses)


Tank Specs:
Tetra 40 Gallon Breeder
Zoo Med AquaSun T5-HO Double Light Linear Fluorescent Hood
Marineland Penguin 350B
Aqueon 150 wat heater
Floramax Supbstrate (Red)


Fish (Current)
3x Bushfish (Ctenopoma acutirostre)
2x Red Splitfins (Xenotoca eiseni)
3x Koi Swordtails (Xiphophorus hellerii)


Plants
Italian Valls (Vallisneria spiralis)
Corkscrew Valls ((Vallisneria americana)
Anubias Barteri
Java Fern (Microsorum pteropus)
Rotala rotundifolia
Cryptocoryne Wendtii Red

Last edited by elegysanft; 02-17-2015 at 08:01 PM.. Reason: Updates
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Old 02-09-2015, 06:59 PM   #2
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So a little more in depth information on my choices before I started posting about how my progress has been so far.

The tetra tank is because of the dollar per gallon sale, i originally wanted to buy a masters brand but couldnt justify the price difference. I found one that was decently put together so its acceptable.

The light I got it a trade for one of my old tanks so ive no idea if its actually what I need. I think its going to be too strong for what Im planning but the bulbs have individual power switches so if worse comes to worse, Ill run one or just cut down on the time its on.

Eco complete because it doesnt emit ammonia, since i had to throw this tank together, i didnt have time to wait for it to dissipate. seems like a good substrate from what ive read though.



The bush fish i have always loved and I already have 2 of them ready to go. Im going for 3 to lower aggression however. I have a pet store near me that sells them at 3 inches which is close to the ones i have so when i introduce them, im hoping for no fights but well see how it goes. The tank will be planned around them.

I went with diamond tetras because they are big enough to not be eaten and seem like the are peaceful and wont spook my bushfish. I also like how subdued they are and how they sparkle.

Im still open to other suggestions, like bottom dwelllers. I looked at panda garras and cories but i dont think they will be big enough. A Senegal bichir was also one of my choices but i worry about them ruining my plants.


All my plant choices are based off what I have from the trade where i got my light, an auction at a fish meeting and what im pulling out of my old tanks.
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Old 02-09-2015, 07:20 PM   #3
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Ok progress so far!
Its not been great

I had the tank filled up with water but alas, my floor AND stand arent level so when there was about 3/4 of an inch difference between the sides

I ended up asking about how bad this would be in a different thread and found out it is indeed, very bad

so i have a new stand that i will be trying tonight hopefully and if that doesnt work out, ill move the tank though that is my last resort as i like the location of it now (basically set up my front room around it)

Im also looking into shims but it might be too drastic of an incline to work.


I need to figure out something soon though as i have fish stuffed into a 10 gallon that really shouldnt ever be in there and plants that need to be planted soon before they start melting so no pressure!


the good news is that i finally have enough money to buy the substrate so once i get the tank level, nothing is in my way!

Picture attached is of the hardscape as well as how bad the level is.
I may be throwing more driftwood in, i really like crowded tanks!
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Old 02-13-2015, 12:05 AM   #4
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So i have updated the specs on what equipment I have
I got my tax return and went to petsmart

I also added new fish to put in the tank when its filled
i picked up a pair of red splitfins ((Xenotoca eiseni) and they are super pretty, i like them a lot

I also love this light so far though it sits funny on my tank but thats probably because my versa top isnt perfect






Next step is trying to figure out a way to level my tank so i can finally fill it and get this thing going!
Plants are still holding on but im worried they wont for much longer.
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Old 02-13-2015, 12:28 AM   #5
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It looks like a great start! The bushfish are interesting looking; I've heard they have cool stalking behavior towards live food. I hope your stand works out.
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Old 02-13-2015, 03:05 AM   #6
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They are definitely interesting to watch hunt! I've read that in groups, they'll hunt together so I'm hoping I'll be able to see that.
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Old 02-17-2015, 02:24 AM   #7
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I was finally able to get the shims and I finally have my tank stand level. So now I am cleaning the substrate and will hopefully be set up by tonight!
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Old 02-17-2015, 07:57 PM   #8
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So I finally have my tank set up!

Im still not sure on the substrate, its a bit lighter than i would have liked and its pretty rough but I wouldnt be able to have cories anyways with the bush fish so thats not too big of a deal.

Overall the tank is pretty rough looking, a lot of the plants were floating or in bags for over a week and Im still waiting on stuff to grow in, like all the valls in the back


Enough of my chatting though, i know pictures are what people come for ;D

Starting off, I had my two helpers
they are terrible and were under foot the whole time and are the reason i have 2 giant cracks in my versa top
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Here is the tank with all the substrate and the wood. I had a lot of the wood from other tanks so they had plants attached already. Flora max is FILTHY by the way. My tank was literally mud but it comes with a water clarifier that cleared everything up in about an hour so that was impressive.
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Here is the final FTS
Still have some issues, but its a good start
Ill probably be moving some stuff around when i get some growth. A lot of the plants need to perk up towards the light as well so hopefully that will make it look nicer soon (Also i still need to peel that dang label off the front of the glass)
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Some close ups
Left side:
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and right side:
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and bonus picture:
1 of 2 bushfish i have right now, I still need to buy one more
This one is Rorschach
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I have so many plants left over, like 4 full sized anubias, a matt of java ferns and some other odds and ends
Ill probably be redoing a few of my other tanks with them
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Old 02-18-2015, 06:12 AM   #9
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Added a few more fish tonight. Now in are 3 koi swordtails and a pretty mutt swordtail. They seem to be settling in nicely.



Also now that everything is cleared pup water wise, I think I'll be moving the 2 big crypts on each side of the tank to the middle. Hopefully that will even out the look of the tank.
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