Hey guys, have had my aquarium up and running now for 2 months now. I have been recording its progress with pictures and Will go over my first 2 months of experiences and tragedies.
I was pretty into the hobby when I was a young teenager, as much as any 13 year old can be into anything that is! I recently purchased a 5 gallon aquarium and within a week I knew that it was not enough for me. I quickly acquired a 10 gallon and a friend offered me her 30 gallon she had in her garage. This was in BAD shape and I knew it would be a big project.
I Had an outbreak of Ick in my 5 gallon, I cranked up the heater and put in salt, after several days all my fish were symptom free and i decided to leave the heat up until after a week to make sure all the Ick was cleared up. Alas I returned home and all but 1 of my fishes was dead. My wife, who was trying to help me unplugged the filter, they all suffocated.
Heartbroken I flushed my first fish friends and nursed my Black Skirt tetra back to full health. This is when I decided, I need to become a better fish owner and struck out into the world wide web! You may have heard of this wondrous place! But all was not well in the lands of trolls and e-ragers...... Misinformation abounds and I quickly learned that the reputable websites were few and far between.... I stumbled upon a virtual Eden! Could it be? A place where mistakes are forgiven and even a fish murderer such as myself could possibly be accepted. Nay, it was an illusion... So I lurked and I read, and I double checked and fact checked and read some more. Yes! These people they are like me, they are emotionally attached to their
So I signed up and began what was to become an obvious addiction. I decided it was time to tackle my 30 gallon, and I was going to do it as cheaply as possible! (rug rats are expensive folks!) I began reading about DIY projects and great ways to save money. So here without further ADO! My attempt at a great fish habitat with as much DIY as possble. A little background for those of you reading this (a large assumption I know!) I am a 26 year old father 1 baby boy (henceforth in this document referred to as MONSTER) I work for a school district in Southwest Kansas as the Computer systems operator. My degree is in Computer Science, and my only woodworking skills are the occasional project I dabbled in over my short life, and intro Shop (keep in mind, my Key/Letter holder was exceptional if I do say so myself!)
I began with a beat up shell of an Aquarium, it is old. The fake wood trim is a tribute to that. The Flourescent bulb inside was a purple color that lit about 1/3 of the tank with a weak light. At 15 watts It was woefully inadequate. The edges of the tank were chipped almost through the glass in multiple areas, and the back is covered in scratches. Im sure it will look like a show tank in no time! . I began my endeavor at the only place that carries what I need in the middle of nowhere, Home Depot. I knew I needed to do address my main issues first, and as my budget would allow, I would add on.
So I decide to tackle the big issues first.
1. The massive chips in the glass, if this thing wont hold water It probably wiill not hold fish!
2. The hideous background, I envision a heavily planted tank, lots of moss and rocks. And being the huge gaming nerd, draw heavily from Starcraft's landscapes in my mind. Xel'Naga Mountain on a plain.
(I had seen a large piece of blue Slag glass at my LFS and this was to be my focal point in the tank)
I purchase Silicone, and search around for a background, I hear a moss wall would look really great, maybe I will do that. I pick up my Concrete sand 2.75 per 50 lb bag, I pick up my bag of MGOPS and I come across the flooring section. Pieces of ceramic tile on sale...... A quick google search says the stuff is safe for fish. I pick up 10 pieces of broken ceramic and toss it in my cart. I think we are ready to start!
I silicone up my seals in the tank let it cure and fill it with water! SUCCESS!
Next, the background how Do i want to make this look, i know I want moss so i need space for it to grow! I decide broken pieces and I want it to look like "The Shattered Plains" (I am a book nerd, The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson excellent Novel check it out) I set out to work several hours later I am satisfied by what I've created.