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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I think it was around this time last year that I started to get the itch to start a fish tank. It all started with a 1 gallon complete setup from Petco and a betta fish. Over the past year I went from the 1 gallon, to a 2 gallon hex (didn't last very long), then to a 5 gallon hex which was a failed RCS tank and then remade into a java fern and moss forest with a bad algae problem and another low tech 5.5 gallon standard which was pretty steady with dwarf sag, hygro "suset" and moss and a pretty bare 2.5 gallon standard with a blue crayfish.

The two 5 gallon and 2.5 gallon tanks had been running for about 6 months maybe and I was getting the itch to start something new. The maintenance of all the tanks was simple enough but a pain as one was in my bedroom, and I did not enjoy water changes and having to lug container of water up and down the stair. So I made the decision to consolidate; the crayfish was sold and last week I set up a nice little attempt at actual aquascaping with the 2.5 gallon in my room (link in my signature) and the two 5 gallon tanks were to be combined into a 10 gallon.

So, this past labor day weekend I went and picked up an old 10 gallon setup from my parent's house. This was the first tank I ever had, back when I was in elementary school. Very successful with the rainbow gravel, fake plants and decor; it was up and running for a couple of years with swordtails and platys that seemed to constantly breed.
Well on Monday after I got off of work I went to conbining the two 5 gallon tanks. Took me about 2.5-3 hours to get all the gravel, plants, and fish tranferred over.

10 Gallon specs:
Tank: 10G standard from Walmart (starter set bought years ago)
Filter: Aqueon filter from the 5.5 gallon
Substrate: Gravel and mulm from the 5 gallon hex and 5.5 standard
Light: 20" 19W Fluorescent light (orginal hood and light that came in the set) ** I would appreciate suggestions for what to change the lighting to **
CO2: none, probably not going to add it (trying to keep this tank simple)
Ferts: infrequent dosing with Excel and API Leaf Zone (usually when the water gets changed)
Flora:
- Dwarf Sag (i think)
- Java Ferns
- 2 Crypts
- Java Moss
- Sunset Hygro
- Rotala rotundifolia
- Echinodorus tenellus
- Bolbitis heudelotii (i think)
- Anubias petite
Fauna:
- 3 Rasbora het
- 2 Zebra Danios
- 5 Pgymy Cories
- 1 Dwarf Gourami
- 1 Rainbow Shark
- 1 Angelfish
- 1 Mickey Mouse Platy (I'm planning on getting another one, since this one is always hiding)
- 1 African dwarf frog
- 15-20 Ramshorn snails


Now for some pictures:

5 gallon hex (this picture was from when the tank was started; algae grew all over the tank, but the plants did VERY well; tons of java fern plantlets and moss)


5.5 gallon standard (before a trimming)


5.5 gallon standard (after trimming) :tongue:


I will upload a pic of the 10 gallon later today... I just decided to start the post since I can't seem to sleep, but I'm too lazy to get the picture off of my camera at the moment.
 

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Good decision to upgrade your tank size...bigger is better. That is universally true in the world of aquaristics. ;)

However...when you pick up that second platy...by all means drop off the angel and the rainbow shark; your tank is WAY too small for either of them. You could get 2-3 more zebra danios instead...they are much happier in small schools. Or lose them as well and add more rasboras.

I'm not a fan of returning fish to the store when they become inconvenient, but in your case, I think you will do them a favor.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Pictures of the 10 gallon

Yeah, the shark and the angelfish were both my boyfriend's choices at the store (along with the lantern thing on the left). We got them when they were little at the beginning of the year and both have grown considerably. Not sure if he'll let me get rid of them :icon_neut

Anyways, here are the pictures of the tank....

10 Gallon right after transferring everything over



Left side: "Java Fern Forest"



Right side



Right now I'm happy with how the left side turned out with all the java ferns, but I'm not sure about the right side.... any suggestions?
maybe i should let it grow out more before moving things around...
 

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That angel and shark both need to be re-homed ASAP. 30g is considered minimum for 1 angelfish. I would re-home the gourami as well and up the schools of your rasboras and zebra danios.

For a cheap lighting solution you can get two architect/desk lamps and two 10-15W spiral CF daylight bulbs, should work perfectly for a total cost of about $30.
 

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- 3 Rasbora het
- 2 Zebra Danios
- 5 Pgymy Cories
- 1 Dwarf Gourami
- 1 Rainbow Shark
- 1 Angelfish
- 1 Mickey Mouse Platy (I'm planning on getting another one, since this one is always hiding)
- 1 African dwarf frog
- 15-20 Ramshorn snails
Sounds like a stocking list for a 40gal breeder. Way too much for a 10gal.
 

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I have some angels for sale :) zebra laced super veils !!!! 6 juvies for 20.00 +shipping .

tank looks GOOD !! lots more room now in the 10 gallon !!!! GREAT JOB !!!
 

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I have some angels for sale :) zebra laced super veils !!!! 6 juvies for 20.00 +shipping .

tank looks GOOD !! lots more room now in the 10 gallon !!!! GREAT JOB !!!

Not to be rude, but she doesn't need more angels, she needs less angels. =)

A ten is way too small for an angel, unfortunately. And they aren't happy alone, they prefer to be kept in pairs. Yours is a very pretty one though, and you should easily be able to find it a good home. I made the same mistake when I started out with fish; my mom took me to the pet store, so I picked out two angelfish (turned out to be a mating pair!), two swordtails, a sailfin molly, a betta, two rosy barbs, two danios, a gourami, a common pleco (every tank needs a 'suckerfish' to eat the poop, right? lol), and a rainbow shark. Oh and two snails, too. I am very surprised they lived very long lol...I cleaned the tank once a month by taking out all the fish and putting them in the bath tub full of water, dumping the tank, bleaching it out, and refilling it!

Anyway, after that ramble....I kind of like the moss growing on that little house thing. It's interesting. You have some very pretty plants, and this could grow into a beautiful little tank.

I would also get rid of the shark, and you may eventually need to cut back to 2-3 cories, when they get bigger. And I'd go with three of the platies, one male/two females if you want fry, or if not, get all males. (If you get females, you may have fry anyway). The frog...I don't know. The African Dwarf Frog that someone gave me when they didn't want it anymore got to be about eight inches long, smelled horrible, escaped from the tank a lot, and ate fish. Maybe it was a weird one, but after that I don't care for them lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I appreciate everyone's input regarding my tank stocking. Yes, I do know that the tank is quite small for the rainbow shark and the angelfish. But as I stated previously :
the shark and the angelfish were both my boyfriend's choices at the store (along with the lantern thing on the left). We got them when they were little at the beginning of the year and both have grown considerably. Not sure if he'll let me get rid of them

may eventually need to cut back to 2-3 cories, when they get bigger
The cories I have are pygmy cories (I don't remember the which species they are anymore) and they aren't going to be getting any bigger than they already are (no more than 0.5 in).

The African Dwarf Frog that someone gave me when they didn't want it anymore got to be about eight inches long, smelled horrible, escaped from the tank a lot, and ate fish. Maybe it was a weird one, but after that I don't care for them lol.
The frog you probably ened up with was probably a mis-sold african CLAWED frog. Some store will often sell the baby ones as African Dwarf Frogs, which eventually grow into the monster of a frog that you ended up with. The difference between the two is with their feet. The African Dwarf Frogs have webbing on both the front and back feet, whereas the Clawed frogs only have webbed back feet.


Anways, after some thought I think I'm probably not going to be adding any fish to this tank, as I feel I have a good balance going on. The fish do not appear to be stressed in any way and my parameters are all fine. When I started researching planted tanks last year, one noteworthy advantage was the fact that you could get away with an overstocked tank; due to the plants soaking up the excess. Of course, the plants alone don't take care of all the problems, regular water changes are definitely a must.

With this tank what I'm concerned with is if I have adequate lighting. I currently have a 19W Fluorescent bulb in the hood. I don't want to have to go out and buy another hood, I'd much rather prefer changing the bulb. However, the past couple of days I've been going around to various stores and haven't really been able to find any 18" bulbs in anything above 15W!!
Is my lighting good enough for the plants that I have???
i think that the rotala has some new growth going on it, but all too many time did I have new growth on the top of a plant when the bottom was dying and melting away.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So after a LONG hiatus I've decided to revive this tank. After getting it all set up I basically left it alone, especially as the years went by and I got really busy going through med school application and eventually completing a bachelors in nursing. in the 5 years this tank was pretty self sustaining; I know that in the last 2 or 3 years I probably changed the water once or twice' just topped the water here and there.

Of course with little attention paid to this tank, the plants become very overgrown and algae ensued (could hardly even see to the back of the tank due to overgrowth and algae on the front). Lol the tank didn't even have a working light for the past 3 years!
Then this past month as I've been cleaning up and purging my house I got around to my tank supplies. On Thursday I started cleaning out my dusty 2.5 gallon and suddenly had the urge to attack the 10G!

I really should taken a before picture since it's amazing that the fish have thrived for so long! The angelfish I had was living up until about 2 months ago! On Thursday I did at least a 50% water change with gravel "vacuuming", took out the lantern ornament, started clearing out moss and java ferns, scrubbed the algae off the glass, cleaned off the crust that had formed on the filter, and changed the filter pad. I figured that created enough stress for the remaining fish for one day. I also set up my 2.5G as a holding tank for the baby ferns and as a back up tank for the fish once I get to really rearranging the tank.



This is the tank today.... I really want to get working on it some more since there is still a ton of gunk that needs to be cleaned out! However, my better judgement tells me I should probably give the fish a little more time.

Specs for the tank are still the same, except I need to go get a new light bulb for the hood.

Flora: Java ferns, Anubias petite, and probably some left over Java moss

Fauna: 2 rasbora het, and I've spotted 3 Pygmy cories
There might be 2 more Pygmy cories and one loach hiding in the "Java fern" jungle on the left
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I woke up early this morning and couldn't get back to sleep.... so of course I couldn't keep my hands off!
The fish were looking good and active so I figured it would be okay to do some work. Some work meaning completely tearing everything apart! So I moved the fish into the 2.5G and got going.

I had completely forgotten that I had even tied java ferns to driftwood until I pulled this baby out...
Of course 5 years ago the fern was significantly smaller :p

I completely vacuumed through the gravel and drained the water since there was SOOO much gunk! Also, went through all the java fern; which even after replanting I still have half a bucket full.

This time around I wanted to give the tank a more open look, so that I can actually see the fish swimming around :)



My anubias is definitely much larger than I thought it was, and I'm not really sure was to do with it...
Added in more gravel and tried to create a plateau of sorts in the back middle, but after putting in the dwarf hair grass I think I really should have put more in.
Most notable change is that the tank now has light, and that was a task in itself! I thought it was going to be a simple light bulb change; but after returning from Walmart and installing the bulb (15watt Daylight 6500k), there was still no light. Perplexed I took to google and learned about florescent starters. Luckily I remembered seeing them at my Petco, and then there was light!

For now the fish will stay in the 2.5G, since I'm still unsure as to the fate of the anubias and latern ornament....

Suggestions are very welcomed!
 

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Congrats on your bachelor's! Great looking tank.

If you want more color for a centerpiece and still want a ram, you could try an Electric Blue Ram.
My new favorite small fish are Scarlet Badis and White Cloud Minnows if you feel like adding extras.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)


I didn't realize I was actually getting new growth until looked at my last picture. There has been quite a bit of melt away with the hairgrass and some of the stems, but everything seems to be doing alright with this tank.

On Monday I tried adding a female German Blue Ram. I had read that they can be very sensitive to getting stressed, so I took my time drip acclimating her and all seemed to be going well. She was active and even started eating right away. Then Thursday evening she didn't seem interested in food, and of course Friday she was done.
Water parameters were fine; only thing is at the time I didn't have a heater so temp was probably a bit lower than rams like (around 74-76).
I dunno, but I was at Petsmart the other day and saw a 50watt Topfin heater on clearance and decided I'd throw it in the tank in case I decide to try adding the ram again.
Also added a background to cover up the back and hide the cords.

Current Stocking:
2 Harlequin Rasbora
4 Neon Tetra
4 Gold Barb (added today)
3 Pygmy Cory
2 Oto
 
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