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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
TANK : Hagen custom size 33 Gal - 31.5 l x 13.5 w x 18 h
LIGHT: 17w Aqueon Floramax, 17w Aqueon 8,000k Full Spectrum Daylight, lots of natural light
FILTER: Eheim Ecco 2234 & temp. Aquaclear 50
OTHER: Maxi Jet 600 w/ DIY CO2 diffuser attachment
SUBSTRATE: Geo System Pacific Gravel

FISH:
5x zebra danio
5x black skirt tetra
2x dwarf gourami (cobalt/honey)
2x otocinclus
1x young rainbow shark
* 2x German Blue Ram
* 10x Neon Tetra

Looking to get rid of the danios/tetras and put in about 25 neons and 1 or 2 blue rams in the near future, once it's fully cycled.

PLANTS:
Java fern
Amazon Sword
Green Cabomba
Red Ludwigia
Water Wisteria
*Pygmy chain sword
*Crypt parva
*Scarlet hygro
*Jungle vals

Hoping to add much more soon.

Wow this tank is awesome.... I am SO EXCITED!!! to get it set up, it's not even funny :) Everything is filthy and has seen better days, especially the stand... it's ugly and looks awful, and it's obviously made for a bigger bowfront tank. but with a good wash, all the **** and algae came off quite easily. for only 40 bucks, how could i go wrong? i got the tank, light fixture, stand, canister, 2 maxi jet 600s, and a bunch of other junk... he also gave me some sad looking java ferns in a baggy... nice guy hehe.

The hood is a bit retro, some sweet magnetic ballasts... but it worked just fine once it got warmed up a bit. i'm going to grab some new bulbs today. the old ones work, but i'm not sure how old they are... they're a little grey on the tips so I'd rather not take the risk.

So today, my mission is:

Return old heater and hood from my 25gal to Petsmart - don't need em. Should give me about $70 to spend towards what I need below.

Pick up all supplies needed to get this thing running: substrate (thinking of doing moon sand), gonna look around the beach for a nice piece of driftwood, and maybe some root tabs or fertilizer, nice new bulbs.

Get DIY CO2 kit going - check valve, hose, syringe for bubble counter, some kind of diffuser (wood airstone?)

AND then I'm going to convert my little 10gallon to a plant propagation tank... since it has an incandescent hood it can support a whopping 50 watts, so I can crank up the light in there and get some DIY CO2 running and grow some insane plants for the big tank.

I am probably going to sell the 25 gallon to my mom - she has been wanting to upgrade for quite a while and I wouldn't mind dropping the price a bit for her.




Nice and clean, trimmed up the silicone as best as I could with a dull pocket knife... lol



The hood, probably should invest in a glass cover when I can afford it



The filter... looks fun to set up, love the trademark Eheim green lol!
 

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Looks like you'll be having fun soon! I'm in the starting stages of my build to and I find the waiting periods really hard I have too many ideas, can't wait to see what you do with this tank, and you're right, for $40 you got a steal it seems!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Looks like you'll be having fun soon! I'm in the starting stages of my build to and I find the waiting periods really hard I have too many ideas, can't wait to see what you do with this tank, and you're right, for $40 you got a steal it seems!
I can't wait to see what happens either! After returning the extra junk from my 25gal to Petsmart (their return policy is AWESOME, they took the hood back with the holes punched out and the silicone stained blue), I actually saved money in the long run getting this tank :)

LMAO! You'd sell your used tank to your mother and not give it to her? Too funny. Looking forward to the build.
Lol, well, when you're broke and living on your own... you gotta do what you gotta do. It's a nice setup, in really good condition... I just bought it all about a month ago, and I'm not ready to give it away just yet. She might not even want it :p

I ended up selling the 10 gallon setup for $50, people are coming to pick it up tomorrow. The proper flourescent bulbs for it were like 20 bucks a piece so I said forget it.

My LFS wanted 35 DOLLARS for a SINGLE 15LB BAG of flourite... i almost crapped myself, over 70 dollars just for substrate... nu uh. I just bought another bag of Geo system sand (it buffers the ph a bit... and by a bit i mean it's like 7.8-8.... but whatever, the fish and plants don't mind) for $20 (still steep) and will mix it in with my already existing stuff to make cycling faster (if not completely unnecessary).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
decided to make my own co2 reactor and diffuser out of one of the power heads and an old gravel vac that was too short to use efficiently, as per instructions on http://www.qsl.net/w2wdx/aquaria/diyco2.html#5 got the check valve and syringe bubble counter working (not sure if i even need that now with the reactor).. just need to drill a hole in the top of the gravel vac for the co2 in tube and small airstone tomorrow, and then i'll be ready to finally set this damn thing up. got the inside of the hood all painted, albeit crappily... used white rustoleum painter's touch, had no masking tape or anything to get nice edges so it looks like it snowed inside... doesn't matter to me though.

will post more tomorrow ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
i decided to go to the beach today and scour for some nice driftwood... scored some nice pieces, brought em home, rinsed and scrubbed in boiling water and in the tank they went. they'll probably want to float for a while, but i'll weigh them down if i need to.

ETA: by "want to float", i mean want to float into outer space and beyond... dang. looks like i'm gonna be setting up a big tub to soak them in for a few weeks. i'll keep using my malaysian wood until then.

the ecco is currently pumping the water out of the old tank into the new, and then i'll take pictures... exciting!

ps. i love canister filters already... so much utility, don't have to dump buckets into the tank, just stick the intake hose in the bucket and let it do its thing :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
whew... it was a lot of work, but i've finally got most of it set up!!! everything except the co2 is up and running. water is super murky even though i washed and scrubbed the sand until my knuckles were raw and my nails were all broken... hopefully it settles or gets filtered out in a few days. i also tried to slope the sand... should have known better but i'll even it out once it doesn't look like milk.

seriously... the hardest thing was punching the plastic out of the back of the hood so i could hook up my ac 50... and it made for some serious light leakage out the back. i'm not keeping it hooked up forever, just wanted to use the media while it was still teeming with goodie bacteria. i'll have to tape over the hole when i take it out... or something.



scootercat doesn't seem to mind the mess



who put milk in my tank?



leaky light :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
not a fan of the light sand either, but i also was not a fan of paying $35 for a bag of black flourite :( it's not as white as pool sand, thankfully.

i had the same stuff in my 25gal before, and it does get a bit darker over time.

this is NOTHING like i want the tank to look... i have some long gnarly pieces of driftwood soaking in the back room that i wanna put in there and cover with moss...soon... gah
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
exhausted from what i don't know... seriously, he's the laziest cat ever. he can't even muster up the energy to jump on the bed at night... he sits there and waits for me to pick him up lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
So... i might've made a compulsive mistake. I found out one of my LFS was having a half price sale on all fish, so I went to check it out. I left with 10 neons and a juvenile female blue ram. They had no males, so I went to another store that I knew had them. I got my gouramis from there, so I was familiar with the store. I had to take the public bus and walk about 2km, so the female ram and the neons were in the bags at least an extra hour before I got the male. I asked them about their water... it was just local tap water "thrown in a bucket" and treated with "dechlorinator and all that"... anyways. I went straight home from there, about another hour. They were in a sealed, insulated cooler.

I got them all home tested the pH in all the bags, it was about 7.4-7.6 across the board. Mine is about 7.8 or a little higher, so I let them float for about 20 minutes... Everyone looked good... There is no chance I could get anything set up for a quarantine, so I dove in and took the risk. I did a slow acclimation, added a little bit of tank water into the bags every few minutes. By the time 3/4 of the water in the bags was in the tank, everyone was still good...

Netted everyone into the tank... 15 minutes later the male ram was dead. What. All water params are good, pH kinda high as mentioned above, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 15-18... blah. This tank should NOT be suffering from cycle issues... at least 20 gallons of the water was my existing cycled water from the tank before, half of the gravel was dirty, and the old filter is running uncleaned... Ironically, the first store I went to was next door to a water filtration store, and they had an entire RO system set up for the fish...

Everyone else is fine. Neons are huddled in a corner (my shark is enjoying herding them), female ram is hanging out with the black tetras. I'll get a refund on the male tomorrow and sleep on whether I want to try another one from there and do a slower acclimation, or wait until the other store gets more in next Thursday...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks! It's getting there... I just want this driftwood to flippin' sink already so I can put it in and scape it properly... gah!!!





Checking out my pathetic ludwigia lol



She's so cute... I hope she does well



the water is ALMOST clear!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·


one more day and the water should be crystal clear



glorious co2!! my ph has dropped from 7.8+ to 7.4



doing great today, came up to eat and got pushed around by the danios... haha
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
wow... so I went to return my fish today, and I asked them to test their ph on site to see if the readings were the same as mine. the test turned so blue they had to pull out the high testing kit, and it was a whopping 8.2... compared to my 7.4. even though I acclimated I guess I miscalculated my initial ph reading and he died from shock. I feel bad, but now I know better.... would have probably been fine if my co2 system didn't drop my ph... but i learned the hard way :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Looks like I might lose one of the neons, hanging around the surface and gasping. Fungus or ich on its side... I'm going to net it and try to wipe it off.

I guess that's what I get for not quarantining. Good thing this tank has black silicone, I can freely blast it with Rid Ich without dyeing everything blue.

Ram is OK. Might be female...

Time to scour the classifieds again for a cheap 10 gal or something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ich confirmed, most tetras have 1 or 2 spots on their fins or tails. Shark and Gouramis seem to be flashing. Starting treatment with Formalin and Malachite Green and raising temp slowly. Will keep everyone posted.

Last ich outbreak I only lost a platy, so here's hoping there are no casualties, save maybe the sick tetra that just got stuck in my filter intake.

I take full responsibility for this. Not quarantining is NOT a good example of "doing it right". :p
 
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