Got a 29 biocube for Christmas! Wooo! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-25-2013, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Got a 29 biocube for Christmas! Wooo!

So I officially have the best parents ever. I got another tank for Christmas! It's another 29 biocube, and this one's gonna be a freshwater microfish tank. At least two kinds of microrasbora, celestial pearl danios, dwarf cories, maybe some pygmy cories, sparkling gouramis, and cherry shrimp.
Microrasboras and CPDs are around the same size, so let's say I get about 15 pygmy cories and 3 sparklers. How many microrasboras and CPDs could live in there with them?
Is it correct that cherry shrimp pretty much don't have a bio-load, no matter how many you have?

Here are some sticks, and also part of a deer skull that I plan to include.


Here's the tank with some sticks to size-compare them.

I don't really think I'll use those sticks, now that I've considered it. I plan to get some hole-filled rock and put it in around the back, possibly with some large plants tucked around the rocks and some crypts around the sides.
I'm planning to use a sand that's a mix of black and white grains, sort of gray-speckled, and I need to find a type that's very soft for the cories. Can you recommend a brand of sand that's cory-safe?
I may have a decent number of leaves tucked into places to tint the water slightly to help keep the fish calm.
Ooh... Marbled hatchetfish? Maybe... Tempting.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-25-2013, 09:11 PM
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Yay! Nice!
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 12:53 PM
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I'd skip the gouramis.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-26-2013, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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I really love sparkling gouramis... I used to have one, but it was getting stressed by everything else so I had to re-home it. I figure that they'd be the queens of the tank, since it's so tiny... Do you suppose I should try just one instead of a trio?
So I couldn't quite decide on sand color, but I had an idea at the pet store. The tank now has about an inch and a half of white sand, then anywhere from 1/4" to 1/2" of black sand on top. I'm going to let the pygmy cories, plants, and so-on stir it up as they please, and we'll see how it ends up looking. I stirred up a tiny patch with my finger, and I think it'll look pretty cool, but I don't have any pictures because you can't see much right now, it's all fogged up.

These are the first inhabitants of the tank. Two miscellaneous nerite snails that I picked up when I went to get the sand, and a horn nerite. I have another horn nerite in my big tank, but I can't find it yet, I'll have to get it tomorrow.
I keep a couple of extra cartriges in the filter of my 65, and I took out a little (2" by 3") one to put in the first filter compartment. I figure that it'll have enough bacteria to cycle it enough for three snails, and I'm going to add a bunch of crypts from the 65 to the 29.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-27-2013, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Found a sponge filter sponge in my big tank, stuffed that in the first filter compartment, and added some plants. Since I figured that would be enough bacteria for some fish, I've got fish in there. Scored some centerpiece fish... Wanna guess what they are?
Pseu----g-l ge--ru--e
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-28-2013, 04:03 AM
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Pygmies would be the perfect cories for that tank.

110g Tropical Community & Sakura Shrimp
55g BN Breeding Grounds, Peacock Gudgeons, Panda, Pygmies, & Smudge Spot Cories, Rili Shrimp
10g RCS and show guppies


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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-28-2013, 04:30 AM Thread Starter
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I got six half-inch ones, actually, they're really cute. I might consider some dwarves as well, to see if they'll play together... I bet they will.
I decided against the nerites, they all just looked out of place... Too big. I put them in my 65 instead, even though I don't think I'll really see them that often.
Added three MTS to the tank so they can stir the sand a little bit for me. If they start going insane, I can toss an assassin snail in there.
I think I saw a baby trapdoor snail in there. I saw some adult trapdoors in the tank with the plants that I bought, and then I saw a fat little baby snail in my bio-cube. They were pretty trapdoors... First third light blue, second third a mix of light blue and brown, last third brown.

Edit: Have a slightly cloudy tank shot;

That little fish is a pygmy cory who, along with his other friends, likes to pretend he's a tetra half the time.
I decided to go ahead and mix up the sand, since the black sand is a bit large-grained for the teeny pygmies, and I like how it looks now. The odd trails are from MTS crawling around.
Plants:
Vals
Crypts
Hairgrass
A smallish swordplant species that has a long name starting with U
Foxtail (the fuzzy stuff)
A few random oak leaves
Nothing too unusual, although the sword isn't something I've seen before.

Last edited by Betta132; 12-29-2013 at 01:36 AM. Reason: Adding photo.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-29-2013, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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Went to Petsmart today. Pointed out some guppies with a fungal infection, found a crawdad in the feeder goldfish tank, bought a test kit and some plants.
Added two small bunches of guppy grass and a bunch of cute little red crypts to my tank, then tested the water. Uh oh.

PH 7.6
Amm. 0.25
Ni 0.50
Na 10

And I can't find four of my five chili rasboras. Yes, I checked in the filter. Dangiiitt....
I changed a third of the water, yes. I suspect the deer skull is responsible for the PH being four points higher than we get out of the faucet, so I've taken it out. I'll seal it really well with epoxy, then I'll put it in a bucket and see if it changes the PH in there. I really hope this works, I think that skull looks awesome.
The fish look okay, including the one chili rasbora I can still see, so I'm hoping no more losses. I suspect my four other chilis are probably dead...
From these readings, it looks like the ammonia-eating bacteria are about established and the nitrite spike is next. I will be doing daily tests and water changes from now until things get better. What puzzles me is the fact that I have nitrates... Maybe there just wasn't enough bacteria on the two filter cartriges I added to the tank.
Now I feel like an impatient rat. Sorry, fishies...

Edit: Yay, just found another perfectly healthy chili rasbora. I guess maybe it was hiding in the filter or something... Both rasboras have bright red on them and are acting normally, so I think they're feeling okay.

Last edited by Betta132; 12-29-2013 at 09:00 PM. Reason: Found another rasbora!
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-30-2013, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Today I got all the fish out of there and put them in a hatchery in the main tank. It's not optimal, since they're kind of low on space, but it's better than the toxins. I thought all my chilis were gone, then I poked a plant and one raced out. I haven't found any more so far, but I'm hoping that maybe I just didn't see them or they're hiding in the filter. I didn't see them in the filter, but maybe they're just good at hiding? I kinda doubt it.

PH higher than 7.5
Amm. around 0.10
Ni about 0.25
Na about 8

So that's better. I tested our tap water... Wanna guess? 8.1. Apparently our water softener isn't working any more or something like that.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-30-2013, 08:51 PM
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In my nano I am going to have a school of Sundadanio Axelrodi. Very pretty micro rasboras


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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-30-2013, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Those fellows are definitely on my list of to-get fish!
I discovered that our water softener is out of the salt it uses to make our uber-hard water soft. That would explain a few things... Fortunately my community tank isn't messed up too much. My rummies seem happy, so apparently the water isn't too hard for them yet. I'll just do a water change when the softener is refilled... That'll pretty much fix things.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-04-2014, 03:08 AM Thread Starter
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Here's a new update. I've added a few pieces of a possum skeleton, and also a nearly-full squirrel skeleton. Thinking of calling this tank Puma Pool, since it looks like some big predator lives nearby. Also added some new plants, including red root floaters and what I'm pretty sure (can't remember at the moment) is Hydrocotle (sp?) Japan. Tank looks to be in pretty good shape for whenever this mini-cycle gets done.
Forgot to mention something; the pump that came with this tank was too strong for the little fish. They were swimming really hard to just stay in one place. I stuffed a piece of net mesh into the outlet, and now the flow is a lot less strong. The tank still has some water movement, but not enough that it was pushing the fishies all over the place when they were in there.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-15-2014, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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I've decided against sparkling gouramis. From what I read, they'll hunt cherry shrimp into extinction.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-16-2014, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Yay! No ammonia! Did a big water change and removed the bits of crawdad being used to cycle the tank.
Fish are back in. Wasn't easy getting them out of the hatchery, though, poor things are freaked out. Well, most of them. The blue-eyes are already colored back up and seem happy. The cories are still hiding, and the one chili rasbora hasn't even peeked out of hiding yet, poor scared thing.
Those vinegar-eel worm things aren't vinegar-eels, apparently. They're detritus worms, which are basically tiny underwater earthworms.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 01-28-2014, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Went to my LFS today. I went looking for pygmy cories, but they were out. Found some cool stuff, though... One swamp darter, which is a sweet little darter-cutie, and a Thai micro crab. The crab is so tiny it couldn't reach the edges of a dime with its leg-tips, and it acts just like a little spider.
I also got myself a few shrimp. The store had a tank of 'fancy shrinp', with colors ranging from faded cherry shrimp color, to yellow, to blue, to a mix of red and blue. I ended up with two female yellows, possibly yellow bee shrimp, a male cherry, and either a male or a slim female that's colored somewhere between the yellow ones and the cherries.
None of them are particularly bright-colored, but they're healthy and I wanted to get the shrimp population going. I plan to mail-order somebody's extra cherry shrimp once it warms up a bit here.
I no longer have the chili rasbora... It died, possibly of stress.
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