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otos or pygmy/dwarf/habrosus cories??

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1,018 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
yes, this tank is going to be in my bathroom. no, i'm not worried about electrocuting myself or burning down my house. to debate if i will or not, please go to this thread.

oookay, so i've been talking about it incessantly, but i'll be buying a new-to-me ten gallon tank, aquaclear mini HOB, and hood/light from my friend kelsey OFFICIALLY NEXT WEEK (yesss).

AND SO... it's time to begin planning! EDIT!!!! UPDATED SPECS BELOWWWWWWWW
10 gallon who-knows-what-brand tank from goodwill
hood that supposedly fits it from who knows where
something strip light that is fine for growing plants, according to kelsey (i trust her), might replace with two 13 watt CFLs if possible/easy enough
probably DIY CO2 once i get un-lazy enough to do it
aquaclear mini HOB with cut up sponge filter sponge (some currently being colonized in my established tank)

black diamond blasting grit, maybe some osmocote underneath (how deep should i make this? i don't want dirt or anything under it...)
WOOD! from a big branch that i cut up.
possibly a few light-colored "river pebbles/stones" (smallish, ~2 inches across each)

water sprite (ceratopteris thalictroides), LOADS (relative term) of it
maybe baby java fern (microsorum pteropus) for grow-out purposes (might float them)
possibly this sad little anubias coffeefolia (anubias barteri var. coffeefolia) that looks out of place in my 5.5 gal

however many molly/guppy (muppy) crosses kelsey feels like she should give me, if her molly is indeed pregnant
7 serpae tetras (hyphessobrycon eques) (some other tetra if i can't find serpae)
5 panda cory cats (corydoras panda) (haha that's actually its binomial name?)
which i will buy probably from petco.

basic tank plan is this, not sure if it'll end up looking ANYTHING like i want it to though:

1,018 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
so today i made the first actual progress with this tank, and i don't even have the thing yet.
took that huge branch (see this thread) and cut it up today...
it was my first time really using a saw, and learning to use a saw effectively is not much fun (ow, my hands/arms...).
so, after an hour of sweating, cursing, mosquito bites, and cramped hands,
i ended up with ten pieces of wood (the end piece looked nasty and got tossed into the yard, so really nine) and two small holes in my hand (oops).
here they are, after i filed the ends down with emery boards (lol) (sorry for crap photo quality):

the smallest is about six inches, the largest is about ten.
they're not that yellow, my bathroom light is just really yellow for some reason...
i used some sort of saw (what's the stereotypical-looking one called?), but i probably should've just used an axe or something, my cuts were hideously uneven:

(that's probably the worst one)
nearing what i called the "end" of the branch, there was a little brownish-green part in the middle that looked rotted, but it wasn't squishy or anything, so we'll just see how it soaks:

some of those pieces, and some other parts looked like something had bored through the wood, and at the "end piece," there were TWO holes AND a greenish brown "rotted" spot:
(ouch, another bad cut...)

rotted/eaten wood aside, i shoved the suckers in a bucket to begin their soak:

filled the bucket with the hottest water i could get from the tap...

found they float (WOOD FLOATS!?!? NO WAYYY), and plopped a big rock in on top of them:
(last picture is such bad quality that i won't even post it)


1,018 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
well wow, it took a lot longer than i thought to actually get the tank.
but now i have it! and some black diamond for my substrate.
i want to see if i can't actually stick with a journal sooo...
here it is, empty (also light, filter)

the filter is an aquaclear mini (rated for a 20 gallon tank), i believe now discontinued...
i got it from k3xx on here (who's a friend from school)

here's some random stuff i got for this tank (food, silicone, heater)

okay, so now that i have everything...


• who-knows-what brand (nothing i had ever heard of) ten gallon tank from petsmart (the sillicone job is AWFUL, at least i know it won't be falling apart what with all the EXCESS)
• 20" aqueon deluxe fluorescent hood with included 18" T8 full spectrum bulb
• aquaclear mini HOB with sponge only as filter media, some seeded from my established tank
• 75 watt eheim jager fully submersible heater
• will have DIY CO2, fed into the HOB
• i'll be backing the tank with something either black or white (leaning towards white), but i'm not yet sure what (not really wanting to paint it, too permanent)

• black diamond blasting grit (can anyone tell me how much of this i'll need to use?)
• the cut wood pieces seen above, stuck vertically (probably) into the substrate/silliconed to the bottom if need be

• baby java fern (microsorum pteropus), and lots of it
• water sprite (ceratopteris thalictroides) if mine grows enough to be split
• water wisteria (hygrophila difformis) from k3xx/kelsey
• crypt wendtii "green" (cryptocoryne wendtii "green") from kelsey
• amazon sword (echinodorus amazonicus) from kelsey

fauna (PLEASE offer advice/opinions)
almost definite:
• 8-20 glowlight tetras (hemigrammus erythrozonus)
possible (to go with the glowlights):
• 1-2 "muppies" from kelsey (molly/guppy cross) (might be thrown in with the glowlights and any of the below)
• 1 dwarf gourami (colisa laila) (with 15 glowlights) (unsure about this due to potential aggression)
• 8 cardinal tetras (paracheirodon axelrodi) (with 8 glowlights) (possibly my most appealing but least likely stocking scheme due to the smallish schools)
• 6 habrosus/pygmy/dwarf cories (corydoras habrosus/pygmaeus/hastatus) (with 15 glowlights)
• nothing (with 20 glowlights)

i think the most likely scheme is with the cories, the gourami, or with nothing else, in that order.
give me your opinions though, please!
other suggestions are good too :)

ookay sorry for the length of that, i think that's all i had to say...

1,018 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'd probably go with 20 glowlights.
yeah, i guess they'd be happiest.
they're pretty fish, don't get me wrong, but i'd really like some variety if i could manage just because i already have a tank with one type of fish in it (well, one fish, but) and i dunno i don't want to get bored with this tank.

1,001 Posts
man, i was wondering what happened to this.
btw, if i were you, i'd return that marineland sealant and just grab some from the hardware store. idk about indiana... but here, that same tube is like 12$. the silicone sealant from the hardware store is like 5$ for 3x as much. also, if your lfs sells bulk flake... that's a good way to save too. an ounce will last you quite some time.

for stocking, i think a small school of corys would look best in addition to the glowlights. i've had both single sp. tanks and random mutt tanks, and i personally prefer single sp, or having one groupd of sp. for show and only one other type of discreet looking companion- i.e. corys, loaches, or otos. believe me, it's not boring if you have a large group of the same sp. interacting and stuff. very interesting toilet entertainment.

1,018 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
man, i was wondering what happened to this.
btw, if i were you, i'd return that marineland sealant and just grab some from the hardware store. idk about indiana... but here, that same tube is like 12$. the silicone sealant from the hardware store is like 5$ for 3x as much. also, if your lfs sells bulk flake... that's a good way to save too. an ounce will last you quite some time.

for stocking, i think a small school of corys would look best in addition to the glowlights. i've had both single sp. tanks and random mutt tanks, and i personally prefer single sp, or having one groupd of sp. for show and only one other type of discreet looking companion- i.e. corys, loaches, or otos. believe me, it's not boring if you have a large group of the same sp. interacting and stuff. very interesting toilet entertainment.
oh, i dunno, i ordered it online. no point in returning xD.
yea, i dunno if you can see the size of that bottle, but it's HUGE. i anticipate never finishing it. i'm probably going to do a food swap with my friend.

do you think six of a small cory sp. would be happy enough? i like that stocking scheme too, but i don't want to have lonely cories :c

1,018 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
At least 6 of the dwarf cories and 10 would be better. The Dwarf Gourami should not cause any issues with the other fish IME.
you don't think six would be okay with fifteen? that was my original plan, AQ advisor tells me it's i think barely overstocked (like 101% with 117% filtration), and that's without taking plants into account.

eh, i've just heard too many horror stories to risk it....

1,018 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I think you could do 10 with 15. The plants are more of an aid to filtration if you maintain the filter well and remove loose leaves daily.
TEN with fifteen? that sounds a bit overstocked. i think i'm probably going to do 6 with 12.

1,018 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
weeelll made some pretty big progress on this tank.

on friday, i went out with dad to solve the problem of supplying the tank with electricity.
there's an outlet in my bathroom, but only one, and it's on the far left side of the counter, mounted on the wall 16 inches above it. because there's a sink between where i have the tank and the outlet, there was a definite fear of me electrocuting myself/burning the house down by getting electrical equipment wet.
well, months ago, i made a thread to find some possible solutions to this problem; one of them was building a shelf behind the tank to house electrical equipment. thursday or friday, i took measurements of the area around the tank and figured good placement for a shelf. then dad and i went to menards and got all the materials to build a janky but stable enough shelf of sorts to house a power strip and keep it from getting wet.
i really should've taken pictures as i was building it, but this is what i came up with:

it's wire kitchen shelves, PVC board, weird kitchen foam backing whatever stuff (i dunno, for putting under dishes or putting on the wall or something?), and 23982398293 zip-ties. oh, and thumbtacks. HA.
it really is ghetto/jank/makeshift/hideous/whatever you want to call it, but it does the job and i'm happy enough that it isn't falling apart. :p

i also used the kitchen foam stuff as the tank's background and under the tank to cushion it.

today i water tested the tank- it's watertight!

a while ago (i forget how long), dad and i made the drive to tractor supply co. and picked up a bag of 20/40 grit black diamond blasting media, to use as substrate for this tank.
also today i finally took the incentive to put it in the tank.
again, this is something i should've taken more pictures of...oh well.
after cutting open the bag, i scooped some into a plastic tub (that i had rinsed) and took it to the porch to rinse it.
and boy, am i glad i did that.
after i first sprayed water in - about 10 inches deep worth -, i couldn't see past the surface...not through the thick, grey oily sheen. it was NASTY. i must have done at least ten fill-and-dumps before the water was clear. and you'll never believe what i found in there while i was rinsing... a FEATHER. i'm just hoping the rest of the bird isn't somewhere else in the bag.
definitely rinse black diamond before using it, no matter what anyone says. sure, some bags aren't oily, but how do you know what you've got until you fill your tank? and yeah, you can use a protein skimmer to get the oil slick off, but what if there's something else - like a FEATHER - hidden in the bag? you'll never know, and not knowing could potentially harm your tank/its inhabitants. RINSE IT! </public service message>

so yeah, then i brought it in, and added it to the tank...

and i put the sticks i cut in place, culminating in this hardscape (suggestions for improvement? i fiddled with it a lot until i got to this one, which i like pretty well, but i'd definitely like some opinions):

oh, maybe i should put backing on the left side lol, my lotion bottle is definitely not a beautiful thing...

whoever said black diamond would be easier to scape with dry is crazy, that it was sticking together definitely helped

oh, and the soon-to-be first residents to this tank that i picked up today (of course once i've filled it lol)... malaysian trumpet snails! (thanks, knuggs!):

here they are acclimating with their ramshorn buddies (the ramshorns went into chris the betta's tank (seen above) for the HIDEOUS algae problem (also seen above). i watched one eating, it was fun watching the never-ending stream of algae making its way to snaily's radula. they're cute little things...but chris was swimming around the one i was watching (maybe just because i was there); i hope he doesn't have any funny ideas :l)

SO YEAH that's all for today. tomorrow probably = fill/planting time! on wednesday i'm sleeping over at k3xx/kelsey's house, and if i find that the tank is cycled (i have seeded media in chris' tank, i feel like i've said that 20 times) and all systems are go, then i'll be buying my probably 12 glowlight tetras then :'D

1,018 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
i'm planning on tying baby java fern (well not THAT baby, some of it has 2-3 inch leaves) to the wood, along with various other plants in the substrate. i hope it turns out as well as it looks in my head!

1,018 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·

wellp, before doing a large (and much-needed) water change on my established tank yesterday, i pulled most of the baby java fern out... there was a LOT:

they've grown a lot over the past few months, but the largest leaves are still only about three inches, the largest rhizome maybe half an inch
and yes, there is a LOT of algae on those, i got most of it off but my established tank is currently having some...issues.

last night (still feels like tonight since i haven't yet slept xD) after dinner i decided to do some more tank work...
i set up a CO2 system (DIY) for the tank, decided that there should be CO2 as soon as the tank is filled:

then i superglued some java fern to the wood in the tank (used loctite gel):

i guess it looks pretty sparse now, but it's gonna grow in in time so i couldn't put them so close together... i think it looks overall pretty good.

i had originally planned to fill the tank/get everything up and running yesterday, but due mostly to sleeping in i didn't really have enough time for that. today then!
really hoping all the wood doesn't float/all the java fern doesn't fall off/everything works!

1,018 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·

/rant day

oookay so today was the day i was filling the tank, yes?
so i did that, and everything was going well, but once the water got about two inches guessed it, all the wood started to float :l
i kept filling though, as my ipod gave me a somewhat fitting rolling stones soundtrack, including "love in vain" and "shattered" (i dunno, i found this funny when it happened, maybe someone else will):

wow this is a crappy picture
plastic was for filling the tank without messing anything up (OH the irony)
what you can't see in this is me crying
(okay, i wasn't actually)
(or was i)

so anyways now i have a filled tank with nothing but sand (blasting grit whatever) in it

but yeah after a break i realized we have this old driftwood stump thing in the garage we had used for my old lizard that has a...guess what...slate base!
so i got the genius idea of breaking it off, and went into the garage, wherein i (un)ceremoniously picked up the wood, dropped it and broke the slate, picked it up again and dropped it again, repeating until all the big pieces were broken off
then i gathered the slate pieces and left the mangled driftwood lying there like a murder victim (i felt really bad ;u; )

here's all the slate pieces:

(more great photography, i know)

i soaked them all for a while and gave them each a quick scrub with a fish-toothbrush (not what fish brush their teeth with, but a toothbrush designated for aquarium use), and checked the pH of the water they were soaking in to make sure they didn't change it (they didn't):

then, after i dried the slate, i glued all the wood to them with silicone:

(i know, it's a really good day for photography...not)

that sets me back like a lot.
if these float once they're set and dry (should be when i get home on wednesday, yeah?) then i don't know what i'll do
scrap the idea of driftwood, i guess.
maybe get some rocks from a rock yard? i dunno. or just do plants like in my 5.5 gallon.
i reaaaaaaaally hope they don't float.

so yeah
peace out~

1,018 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
wellp, i got back from kelsey's today.
she gave me some plants, and we set up her tank (shameless plug: (lack of pictures at present is my fault, they're all on my ipod...oops)) and went to petsmart, so that was cool...
unfortunately, i left the thermometer and water conditioner i got SITTING ON HER BED argh i'm dumb. oh well.

so today after getting home i put the wood in, and i guess it wasn't siliconed well enough because some of them came off (it's cured, just not stuck? i dunno) so... but that was for the better, because it left room for plants. it does look weird though, so i'm gonna silicone at least one or two more down and add them. then i filled the tank to the inside rim and started the filter and heater, then realized i had to plant it and took a half gallon back out and set it aside, turned the heater off and planted.
kelsey gave me an amazon sword that may or may not die (we split the crown in half and part of it kinda...fell off but it still has roots so idk), some bacopa, and some crypts.

it looks really pretty pathetic, i think it's mostly the dried-out java fern (that hopefully die off and come back) that does it, or the general lack of hardscape (thanks, silicone)...

i also added my six MTS (trumpet snails, not topsoil or multiple tank syndrome) and a pinch of flake food to give the filter some ammonia.

and so...

current tank stocklist:

dried-out baby java fern (microsorum pteropus)
crypt wendtii 'green' (cryptocoryne wendtii sp. 'green') (yes i will be trimming this)
bacopa (bacopa caroliniana) (yes i will be trimming this)
amazon sword (echinodorus amazonicus) (yes i will be trimming this)

6 malaysian trumpet snails (melanoides tuberculata)
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