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Old 02-21-2012, 04:01 AM   #1
Exie
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Impulse buying and me


Alright, journal time!

A few months ago, I went to a local aquarium and was amazed; and instantly started researching everything I could about getting into the fish keeping hobby. I figured I would need to save up about 600 dollars to start things off decently; and then even longer for my tank to set up, but still learned what I could.

Eventually I figure out that you don't neeeed to buy things new. You can buy them second hand, if you know what to look for. Widened tops. Cracks in the glass. How well the molding is holding. I start my online browsing, just to stay mindful of prices for the time that I have my money saved up.

Silly me. As if I have self restraint. So I see a 55g tank (filters top, lights, fish, substrate, decorations, tank, and stand) and buy it on the spot because I'm intelligent and make mindful decisions.

I tell the guy I'm interested, and want to take his tank and set up. Since I'll be getting live fish, I tell him to keep the water and I'll just bring some big buckets in my cars.


He didn't keep the water; and threw away his "nasty" filters. Hooo boy. So now I have enough fish to fully stock a tank, but no tank. Don't even have his old filters to jump-start it.


Girlfriends: Good for manual labor.

Day 1 - threw some start-zyme into the tank, along with some plants from PetCo; and some generic aquarium nutrient solution.


Bamboo would survive on Mars if it could get there.

Did a water test and saw that the fish would die in their holding containers, so, hoping for the best, tossed them in the tank.

After an overnight explosion of... something... living on the fish tank, my pleco finally acclimated and ate very, very well. It was entertaining to watch him scurry back and forth across the tank all day; often butting into the other fish in his frantic search for food.


Pictured: A tank in peril.

I start doing heavy water changes and adding ammonia trapping chemicals, and keep up with the start-zyme. I also throw in some more plants (ha, I don't even know what they are!)

Things are looking grim, but hopeful. That was the day I actually learned what type of fish I had.

Since then, things have settled down some. The fish aren't in crisis, the tank is starting to cycle, and my bacteria are growing nicely on my filters.



Tank from left to right.


The oscars love to hide, so they have a semi-cave behind the rock + pot in the corner. The pot makes an excellent defuser while changing water and my dempsey loves to peak out the bottom areas.


The danios never leave me alone, they just want to eat everything; all the time. When I'm there, they're hopping at the top of the water to eat.


My piece of wood provides a nice wall to ebb the current; and also sections off the sides of the tank. The fish have plenty of room to move behind and in front of it.


Another hole for the dampsy. Between this, the wood, and the heater, there is a small area in the back that is walled off. It's an open kind of shelter the gourami enjoy to hang out in.


The pleco's main hide out.


And the corner! There's room behind the coral for the fish to investigate, and its a bubbler. Yay!
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:05 AM   #2
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My next step for this tank is to get rid of the fish (happening thursday); let it cycle; and learn more about growing plants. I'll probably pull the water into a holding bin and put miracle gro under some river rocks. Dirt tanks seem neat. Then probably save up for a decent light, I'm unsure of mine.
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Old 02-21-2012, 07:06 AM   #3
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My next step for this tank is to get rid of the fish and let it cycle
Then probably save up for a decent light.
Some use the Danios to cycle a tank. Thus you could keep them. If you have the time to test the water and change it you could keep the fish.

Your light is okay for moss, anubias, ferns, crypts and wisteria.

Here 55G tank with 1 T8 bulb. Here 55G with 2 T8 bulbs

If you want to upgrade the light there are a few options.
1. Get a T5 or from home depot and make a frame for it.
2. Get a T5 light from a hydroponics store with reflector and hang it.
3. Check out Pet blvd.com

Here more info on lights
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Old 02-21-2012, 03:54 PM   #4
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Thanks for the help Nice reading there. I'm probably going to a lfs and offloading my fish today. I'll keep the danios like you suggest.
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:21 PM   #5
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Offloading is a good call..... that oscar and planted tanks don't really mix well. He'll destroy it all and eat pretty much anything that he can force in his mouth. They really do need a tank bigger than 55g too. I know they "say" youc an do it, but when you see a 12 inch oscar in a 55g tank you'll understand what I'm saying.

Most of the big cichlids just don't mix well with planted tanks.

If you put t5 lighting on this tank it will require pressurized co2. Take things slowly, as you'll dump a couple hundred bucks in a heartbeat.
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Old 02-21-2012, 04:23 PM   #6
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Yeah, he uprooted my micro swords and everyone ate the roots off before I even noticed; he also enjoys ripping up the bamboo. They're neat fish and I really like them; but they aren't the fish I want and its not too good for them to be in there right now.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:23 AM   #7
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Did some tests today. What do I need to be adding to my tap water?

Ph 7.6
Ammonia 1.0
NO2 0
NO3 10
GH 100
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:36 AM   #8
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Did some tests today. What do I need to be adding to my tap water?

Ph 7.6
Ammonia 1.0
NO2 0
NO3 10
GH 100
Looks good for new tank. Might want to get some stem plants, like wisteria for the ammonia. You are basically going through a cycling process.
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Old 02-22-2012, 06:50 AM   #9
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Very good start! I think it will be a great tank later on.

It looks like some of the plants you have aren't aquatic. The bamboo certainly isn't and I think I see two other species, maybe more. What I do to cycle a tank is throw a prawn from the store in there and let it rot for a few weeks. Works great, smells awful.
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Old 02-22-2012, 02:39 PM   #10
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There may be some non aquatic plants :p The guy didn't specify what they were, but they were in his tank (planted in the blue pot). If they die then oh well.

The bamboo has been submerged for "a few months" according to the guy, and seems relatively healthy. If it starts to deteriorate, I'll just plop it over to my cycling 10 gallon tank so the leaves stick out.


I added some new plants, and got rid of everyone sans the danios.


A crypt with very long roots


Java moss, tied down with some thread.


More o' da moss.


Aaaaand some wisteria


Hilde; those parameters are directly from my tap water, not my tank.
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:19 PM   #11
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Small update:

Pulled the bamboo and put it in my topless 10g betta tank. Now the stalk is submerged and the leaves are open to the air. It's looking a little better today. A bacteria bloom hit overnight and my water is almost completely opaque :p can't see a thing. Hopefully this will correct my ammonia problem which is still hovering at about 2 ppm.


Also the wisteria cuttings I was given (for 5 bucks! eww) are rotting from the cutting and upwards. I'm going to try to take them back on monday.
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:44 AM   #12
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Nice job on your tank, considering you just started learning to handle it through research. Just be careful on purchasing things next time. Impulse buying may always end you up regretting. Always take time to figure things out before heading to a purchase.
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