Monika's 30 gallon fever. - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Monika's 30 gallon fever.

I've had fish for about ten years. That started with two bettas my mom brought home from work because they were in the same vase and she felt bad for them. The only reason this is a big deal is because she, along with my extended family, believe fish inside the home bring bad luck. She let me keep them and take care of them because she didn't have the heart to give them away, or worse, flush them. Spaz and Taz lived in vases with bamboo on the mantle. As I started getting more into it, they moved into my room in bowls...then finally into a separated ten gallon and finally one in the 10 gallon and the other in a 5.5 gallon. I kept the ten gallon going for years until I moved it to the 20 gallon.

That was a few years ago. The way it started was for a turtle, but when the turtle died, I moved the contents of my 10 gallon into it. It was really boring...fake plants, castle and treasure chest decorations, big ugly tan rock-gravel. Then I got into real plants, and I've been struggling to keep up ever since.

First move was getting a better light...I have no idea what kind of light it is but I get about 2.4 WPG from it. Then I got flourite substrate, but I hated the red color so I capped it with black epoxy. I had LOTS of plants at one point. Anacharis, pennywort, sunset hygro, and e. vesuvius are the ones I can remember but there's plants in there I couldn't pronounce if I tried.

Really really long story short, I couldn't stay in my apartment (with my mom) because someone destroyed my room, so I had to stay at my (now ex) boyfriend's apartment. This caused my tank to grow into a twisted, gnarled, crazy jungle that I only just recently hacked apart. There was one plant in particular that LOVED my tank. If I had untangled the stem it probably would have spanned close to four feet, and it's mostly been removed because I couldn't tell which way was up on the plant. I might be the only person ever to kill sunset hygro, it seems. The penny wort and e vesuvius are barely hanging on, though.

So now I'm back at my apartment and I stumbled across an ad on craigslist for a 30 gallon tank with hood and stand for $50. It ended up being $70, because I had to bribe my brother to pick it up for me, lol. I'm so excited to get this thing up and running because I've wanted something larger for a while. It would already be up if the light I have for my 20 gallon could possibly fit on my 30. BUT it's a good thing it's not, because this stand is not sealed. It has no paint or polyurethane or even a stain. The idea came to me to seal it while working out with my mom one day, so I sent my brother a text asking if he had any tips. He called me and told me I couldn't possibly do it correctly so he had to do it. (...men) I can't complain too much because I'm working a full time job, I don't have a whole lot of time to sand, wipe with wet towel and allow to dry COMPLETELY (which he assured me is a CRUCIAL step) possibly stain (I haven't decided yet, mom says yes, though) apply first coat of polyurethane, wipe again, let it dry for 24 hours and repeat 4-5 times.

So on top of sanding staining and sealing the stand and hood, I'll also be asking him to paint the inside of the hood white to reflect more light. This is probably not necessary because the light I'm getting already has all that reflective stuff inside. I'll be asking him to rig the hood so the light hangs on it and stays hanging pointing down even when I lift the hood for maintenance. The smallest yet most important upgrade will be moving a piece of wood in the hood so the top actually opens all the way. I'll get some pictures of that next time, my camera's dead right now. The last thing will be to give the stand a floor to set stuff down on the cabinet and not on the actual floor.

Thanks for reading all that, if you actually did, here's some pictures!



I didn't get any pictures of the setup itself because these little helpers wouldn't leave me alone, but I'll get some for you guys soon.



This shows you that it's in a rough state. Scratches, dents and pretty ugly altogether.

So here's some questions about the substrate. I'll be using the same substrate I have now and capping it with more black epoxy gravel, mostly because I have cories. Otherwise I'd request some black fluorite from petsmart. Should I invest in some laterite for the bottom? I'll be getting some root tabs as well. Should I bother having him paint the inside of the hood white? Anything else you would suggest?

Thanks!

Last edited by Monika1013; 09-28-2010 at 06:48 AM.
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 08:05 PM
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Nice!! How do you filter out hair balls?
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 08:39 PM
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Nice catfish! Though you may be overstocked. :P

29g planted - 2 juvie Keyhole Cichlids, 6 Serpaes, 1 juvie ABN Pleco
20 high planted - 1 Betta, 7 Harlequin Rasboras, Snails & Shrimp, 4 ABN fry
20 long - 1 Redclaw Crayfish & Misc Guppies
75g on the way!
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 08:45 PM Thread Starter
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This breed of catfish is very clean. Haven't had a hairball problem yet!

Did have one problem, though. One catfish jumped out, the other was very clearly stressed and had to be removed. The other one can't be kept out of the tank!
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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 09:55 PM
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Adorable! I don't recommend laterite because it's terribly dusty if you don't wash it enough. :P Root tabs often have iron in them, and that's mostly all laterite is, so they should work.

Keep us updated!
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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I thought laterite just came in a powder form?
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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 10:56 PM
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I've never seen it in that form, actually..the stuff I've had over the years has always been rather small and gravel-like, although it turns a little muddy after a while.
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 11:10 PM Thread Starter
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I thought I saw some at the store that was just a white powder...meh, whatever I'll just stick with the fluorite! Thanks.
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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 11:32 PM
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I want 3. Will they help with algae?

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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-07-2010, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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If by 'help' you mean 'look at', then yes.
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post #11 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-08-2010, 12:21 AM
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So true.
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post #12 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-09-2010, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quick update.

My brother picked up the stand and hood today, which is a miracle. This tank is costing me more in bribing and paying my brother to do stuff than in supplies. While putting it in the car he accidentally broke the piece of wood running along the back that holds that side of the hood together. I didn't get any pictures before he took it because he's impatient and wouldn't cooperate. Turns out it will not be stained because the polyurethane he has already has a darkening agent. It will come out close to the color of the coffee table but not the dining room table....which doesn't mean much to you folks who have never seen either table....

SO ON TO THE FUN STUFF. Got a fantastic package of Blyxa today. It's gorgeous! Thank you Steez for the quick delivery and lots of patience! Everyone buy blyxa from Steez, great seller! If you are anything like me, you scan through the post to see if there's any pictures, and if they're interesting you'll read the post. So here's some pictures of blyxa! They're not in the water because my tank is horrendous right now, I'm not going to show you guys. But there's so much blyxa in my tank right now I text my friend and fellow fish geek to see if he wanted some.







On a side note...who else got this much snow?



We're supposed to be getting just as much starting any minute now...I wish I was back in school so I could be excited for no school tomorrow...instead I have to worry about whether I can make it to work or not. Sigh.
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post #13 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-09-2010, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Oh and one more thing...while clearing out the tank of snails, I pulled out a snail with a bush of algae on its shell. Probably about 1/4'' of ...hair algae? BBA? I have no idea what kind of algae but I thought it was funny. I was almost tempted to keep it in the tank so I could have a moving bush. Pulled out about 50 or more snails. I think I have ramshorns and MTS...I wish I had a puffer to take care of this problem for me!
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post #14 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-09-2010, 09:00 PM
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Good luck with the snow. Its actually kind of spring like over in the NW at the moment... that won't last though. Looking forward to seeing what the 30 looks like planted.

Those cat fish look like the type that might eat your blyxa though so keep an eye on them
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post #15 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-09-2010, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
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When I was separating the individual plants from the package, the landfish were all over me. Sometimes when I am working in the tank, I'll pull my hand out and sit back staring at it...then one of the catfish will start licking my hand. My big man, Mew, drinks SO much water...and he's lazy so he'll lay down and drink it from his bowl. I've caught him going in the bathtub after I get out of the shower to lick the tub...he's a weirdo.

I cannot WAIT for the stand and hood to be ready! Hopefully in about a week Carlos will be done with it. Then I just need to buy another filter, a bulb for the hood, a background, and more gravel.
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