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TLEF316

Any Aquarium guys?

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31 minutes ago, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

The Sunday speaker at this event has his own Youtube channel and is an incredible resource on just about any subject you want to dig into.  Google Aquarium-Coop + the subject you want to learn about and there's a great chance he's done a detailed vid on it.  Planning to buy some stuff from his online store to throw some $$ his way.

The Saturday guy - Joey Mullen - has a youtube channel with over 1mil subscribers ("KING OF DIY").  I watched a few of his vids when I was first getting into this.  He doesn't do any DIY as far as I can tell.  I looked into him a bit and learned the guy is highly controversial on the various aquarium websites.  I'm not entirely sure why, but people seem to really hate him for the most part.

 

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On 3/10/2019 at 7:56 PM, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

So I'm taking the dive and just picked up a 40 gallon breeder at Petco for $42 out of pocket.  Have some rocks and a nice piece of driftwood as well.  Will be picking up the peripherals and getting this thing going over the next ~month or so.

Question for the folks in here...

I've done my homework on capacity, compatibility and the like, but can't decide if I'd rather have 3 bigger schools (12-13 each) or 4-5 smaller schools of maybe 8-10 in each.  

I've got at least a dozen contenders, but the current thinking for the mid/upper tank schooling fish is four schools of nine (Harlequin Rasbora, Galaxie Rasbora, Rummynose Rasbora and Kitty/Lowe's Tetras). 

Thoughts?  How many schools is too many in terms of how it looks?

 

You can't go wrong either way. 

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On 3/11/2019 at 9:46 AM, CletiusMaximus said:

The Saturday guy - Joey Mullen - has a youtube channel with over 1mil subscribers ("KING OF DIY").  I watched a few of his vids when I was first getting into this.  He doesn't do any DIY as far as I can tell.  I looked into him a bit and learned the guy is highly controversial on the various aquarium websites.  I'm not entirely sure why, but people seem to really hate him for the most part.

 

His whole channel used to be DIY projects. Then, a couple of years ago, he decided to turn his garage into the aquarium gallery.  But once he realized how much it all cost (somewhere near 6 figures I believe) he made a video crying on his channel and basically begging his followers to fund it....and they did....in like 2 days.

Other than the big 2,000 gallon tank and the 375 that he built a few years ago, everything in the gallery is donated high end equipment from sponsors. He's pretty knowledgeable about fish but all his tanks are pretty hideous (IMO) because he has absolutely no aquascaping ability. And he gets bored of his fish really quickly and is constantly bringing stuff back to his local store.

I think the reason some people HATE him is that he apparently stole some content from someone else a while back (maybe more than once) and then proceeded to block everyone who called him out on it.

He's just a really weird dude. He comes across as this happy-go-lucky Canadian but a few months back he posted this long rambling video detailing how he'd spend much of his childhood/early adult hood in jail because he was constantly getting in street fights because of what was apparently a pretty bad childhood. It was really odd.

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25 minutes ago, TLEF316 said:

His whole channel used to be DIY projects. Then, a couple of years ago, he decided to turn his garage into the aquarium gallery.  But once he realized how much it all cost (somewhere near 6 figures I believe) he made a video crying on his channel and basically begging his followers to fund it....and they did....in like 2 days.

Other than the big 2,000 gallon tank and the 375 that he built a few years ago, everything in the gallery is donated high end equipment from sponsors. He's pretty knowledgeable about fish but all his tanks are pretty hideous (IMO) because he has absolutely no aquascaping ability. And he gets bored of his fish really quickly and is constantly bringing stuff back to his local store.

I think the reason some people HATE him is that he apparently stole some content from someone else a while back (maybe more than once) and then proceeded to block everyone who called him out on it.

He's just a really weird dude. He comes across as this happy-go-lucky Canadian but a few months back he posted this long rambling video detailing how he'd spend much of his childhood/early adult hood in jail because he was constantly getting in street fights because of what was apparently a pretty bad childhood. It was really odd.

I've enjoyed his videos and I'm sure he'll be an interesting presenter at this conference.  He's almost totally irrelevant to a low-level home hobbyist with a 20 gal tank like me, but still worth watching with the huge tanks and exotic fish and marine life he keeps.  Its pretty impressive.  Does seek a little off-kilter at times though, so I was not surprised to read that he's got some skeletons in his closet and has rubbed some folks the wrong way.

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On 2/11/2019 at 7:48 PM, Big League Chew said:

I don’t even use a filter anymore. Just the air compressor to make some  water movement.

What?  Do you rely on the plants to remove all the No2 & No3?

What does a set up like this look like?   I'm currently using a Fluval 306 external canister.

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On 1/22/2019 at 11:01 AM, Redwes25 said:

Ok, so we added a few fish this weekend.  I decided to keep the numbers low to make sure there were no issues and imagine adding a few more in the near future.  We got 2 three stripped Cory and 3 neon tetras.  They all seem to be doing really well.  I do realize they do better in larger groups so was thinking we add another Cory and two more tetras in a week or two.  I just wanted to make sure the tank was ready before fully stocking it.

My last thought would be to add a single feature fish like a Honey Gourami or something similar.  This would likely be a little later down the road.  Would be open to any ideas.  

 

Ok so the fish we bought are going strong.  Typically do a water change every weekend but missed a weekend due to traveling so had to wait an extra week and when I tested it all the levels were great and I feel like the tank is in great shape.  Given this I am going to add to the tank in near term with plan of 2 more neon Tetras as they are just great fish and a single feature fish.  Will update once they are added in.  

Edited by Redwes25

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On 3/13/2019 at 9:08 AM, Arizona Ron said:

What?  Do you rely on the plants to remove all the No2 & No3?

What does a set up like this look like?   I'm currently using a Fluval 306 external canister.

Variation of plants are enough to keep the tank safe.   Shrimp and other fish to take care of algae

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For any of you guys that have reef aquariums - I had a nasty Aiptasia anemone outbreak recently and this stuff works like magic.

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What kind of substrate are you guys using?  I changed my tank to a Red Clay substrate.  I looks great, the landscape looks a lot like the outskirts Vegas but it's dirty as all hell.

I rinsed it several times before using it and it's still getting caked up in the filtration systems after having for almost 2 months now.  The plants seem to like it but the sediment puts a layer of clay dust on everything.

Going to switch but not sure which one to change to.  Planted take, community fish, 20 gallons.  Kinda small I know but it was my daughter's tank that turned into my tank...

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1 hour ago, Arizona Ron said:

What kind of substrate are you guys using?  I changed my tank to a Red Clay substrate.  I looks great, the landscape looks a lot like the outskirts Vegas but it's dirty as all hell.

I rinsed it several times before using it and it's still getting caked up in the filtration systems after having for almost 2 months now.  The plants seem to like it but the sediment puts a layer of clay dust on everything.

Going to switch but not sure which one to change to.  Planted take, community fish, 20 gallons.  Kinda small I know but it was my daughter's tank that turned into my tank...

Clay will never stop leaching into the water. Is this stuff sold as substrate? 

My last tank had a sand substrate. It was awesome. The landscape changed a lot from day to day and that was fantastic. 

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On 3/15/2019 at 9:18 AM, TheFanatic said:

Is this stuff sold as substrate? 

I linked the stuff being sold at a pet store as substrate.  Yeah.

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11 minutes ago, Arizona Ron said:

I linked the stuff being sold at a pet store as substrate.  Yeah.

Clay is bad. Even feldspar rocks will continual leach into the water. 

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I use black diamond blasting sand in my tank. I really like the look and the bottom feeders (a few corys and 3 chain loaches) don't seem to mind it.

It's easy to plant in, but it's innert, so I need to fertilize. My plants are doing ok, but not thriving. I'm using the fluval 3.0 fixture so I should be able to grow basic stuff. My crypts just sort of maintain and swords send out new leaves but no runners. My vals really aren't doing well at all.  I still have some minor algae problems. I may have to bite the bullet and go to pressurized co2 at some point.

My plants never did better than when I used basic play sand and a t5ho fixture.

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On 1/15/2019 at 4:34 PM, fantasycurse42 said:

Bought my kids a 10 gallon tank. 

4 dead fishes in 5 days. 

Think I've worked out the kinks though, hopefully good moving forward. 

So since this post, I've had another 4 dead fish. 4 dead in the first week and another 4 over the last 2 months. 

I have 2 that we call the OGs (my son believes OG stands for Original Guppy :lol: ) and 3 that replaced those that proceeded them. 3 that died are glofish tetras (green, orange, and pink) - cool looking fish. 

After the 3 glofish died, I emptied the tank and started it over again. Think I'm starting to get the hang of this (although it was my ####### wife/kids that wanted this and I'm the only one tending to it) - I feed them a pinch every other day, once every other week I take about 1/3 of the water out and replace with water that I add water conditioner to before dumping in the tank. 

So two of our fish are now 2 months old and the other 3 are 2 weeks old... Hoping our OGs can make it to at least 6 months. 

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1 hour ago, fantasycurse42 said:

So since this post, I've had another 4 dead fish. 4 dead in the first week and another 4 over the last 2 months. 

I have 2 that we call the OGs (my son believes OG stands for Original Guppy :lol: ) and 3 that replaced those that proceeded them. 3 that died are glofish tetras (green, orange, and pink) - cool looking fish. 

After the 3 glofish died, I emptied the tank and started it over again. Think I'm starting to get the hang of this (although it was my ####### wife/kids that wanted this and I'm the only one tending to it) - I feed them a pinch every other day, once every other week I take about 1/3 of the water out and replace with water that I add water conditioner to before dumping in the tank. 

So two of our fish are now 2 months old and the other 3 are 2 weeks old... Hoping our OGs can make it to at least 6 months. 

Do you use a air bubbler?  Also,  you need to let the water sit in the tank for a week or so to let the microbes (sp?) establish.  Throwing all the water out is a bad idea unless it’s contaminated.  

Live plants also help stabilize water.  What kind of filstration are you using and is your heater keeping he tank at 78 degrees. 

Check the Nitrate, make sure it’s not over 40 ppm (I think that’s the measurement, on my phone atm). 

That should cut out the most common oversights to setting up a new tank 

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I know everyone calls for water changes  but I’ve had a tank for 25 years and my changes consist of replacing what ever evaporates.  Maybe I’m lucky but I’ve never had significant fish loss. To each their own but if things are happy don’t mess with it. 

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2 minutes ago, berndog said:

I know everyone calls for water changes  but I’ve had a tank for 25 years and my changes consist of replacing what ever evaporates.  Maybe I’m lucky but I’ve never had significant fish loss. To each their own but if things are happy don’t mess with it. 

Tank size and amount of fish & plants matter.  My buddie has a 175 gallon tank with a forest in it but only 3 fish.  Does a 20% change every 4-6 months.  The plants and filtration basically removes all the No2 & No3

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Has anyone done something like putting a plant-friendly substrate down and then putting inert gravel over top it?  I want live plants, but also want brown stone pebbles.  Can I do that?

Also, settled on a lineup of really common, basic fish for the most part:

Golden Bristlenose
6 Sterbai Corys
6 Kuhli Loaches
Dwarf Gourami
4 Fancytail Guppies
9 Cardinal Tetras
9 Harlequin Rasbora

Going to see how that looks before I decide on adding a third schooling fish.  If I have room, I'll bring in some Celestial Pearl Danios.  Hoping the Cards (middle) and Rasbora (top) settle into different layers.

Edited by Dinsy Ejotuz

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4 minutes ago, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

Has anyone done something like putting a plant-friendly substrate down and then putting inert gravel over top it?  I want live plants, but also want brown stone pebbles.  Can I do that?

Yes, it looks great as soon as it's done but with bottom feeders like corys that are constantly picking at the gravel and pushing plants around it starts to mix over time.  And once it's mixed it, well mixed.

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1 minute ago, Arizona Ron said:

Yes, it looks great as soon as it's done but with bottom feeders like corys that are constantly picking at the gravel and pushing plants around it starts to mix over time.  And once it's mixed it, well mixed.

I was thinking of using a finer bottom/plant layer so it would settle back to the bottom when it got stirred up.  I have no idea if that's a real thing though.

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14 minutes ago, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

:


Golden Bristlenose
6 Sterbai Corys
6 Kuhli Loaches
Dwarf Gourami
4 Fancytail Guppies
9 Cardinal Tetras
9 Harlequin Rasbora

 

I’ve got a Rasbora that is almost 4 years old.  He’s immortal.

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16 hours ago, fantasycurse42 said:

So since this post, I've had another 4 dead fish. 4 dead in the first week and another 4 over the last 2 months. 

I have 2 that we call the OGs (my son believes OG stands for Original Guppy :lol: ) and 3 that replaced those that proceeded them. 3 that died are glofish tetras (green, orange, and pink) - cool looking fish. 

After the 3 glofish died, I emptied the tank and started it over again. Think I'm starting to get the hang of this (although it was my ####### wife/kids that wanted this and I'm the only one tending to it) - I feed them a pinch every other day, once every other week I take about 1/3 of the water out and replace with water that I add water conditioner to before dumping in the tank. 

So two of our fish are now 2 months old and the other 3 are 2 weeks old... Hoping our OGs can make it to at least 6 months. 

We did the glofish thing at first and they all died quickly. I then realized they are basically manufactured fish and kept away from them. Got some neon tetras instead and they are doing great. 

Also, aren’t you in Brooklyn?  If so I can let you know of an independent fish shop which I have found to be a lot more useful then the chains you see everywhere. 

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15 hours ago, Radical Larry said:

I’ve got a Rasbora that is almost 4 years old.  He’s immortal.

I had a clown knife that lived for 22 years. He was developing cataracts when he died. RIP Chester

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Cleaning out the basement I found a little 1.5 gallon aquarium with hood that my kids had for a goldfish about 20 years ago.  No filtration but a little pump, air stone and hood with light.   I was thinking of taking it to work for my desk and checked online to see what kind of fish I can put in the thing and the consensus seems to be none.   The reason being that it is cruel to put any fish in a tank so small.   

Our local aquarium shop has really small and cheap feeder guppies so I was thinking maybe one of those.  I mean, wouldn't it be better to be a tiny fish in a tiny tank than being dinner in a big tank?

So I need a call here -- buy a feeder guppy or just pitch the worthless tank?

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4 minutes ago, Godsbrother said:

Cleaning out the basement I found a little 1.5 gallon aquarium with hood that my kids had for a goldfish about 20 years ago.  No filtration but a little pump, air stone and hood with light.   I was thinking of taking it to work for my desk and checked online to see what kind of fish I can put in the thing and the consensus seems to be none.   The reason being that it is cruel to put any fish in a tank so small.    

Our local aquarium shop has really small and cheap feeder guppies so I was thinking maybe one of those.  I mean, wouldn't it be better to be a tiny fish in a tiny tank than being dinner in a big tank?

So I need a call here -- buy a feeder guppy or just pitch the worthless tank?

You could probably do a simple planted tank with a few shrimp.  (just some moss or maybe some anubias or java fern) There are some pretty cool ones.

Beta would also work, but I still dont like the idea of keeping anything in a tank that small

Plus you basically get no margin for error with so little water.

Edited by TLEF316

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26 minutes ago, Godsbrother said:

Cleaning out the basement I found a little 1.5 gallon aquarium with hood that my kids had for a goldfish about 20 years ago.  No filtration but a little pump, air stone and hood with light.   I was thinking of taking it to work for my desk and checked online to see what kind of fish I can put in the thing and the consensus seems to be none.   The reason being that it is cruel to put any fish in a tank so small.   

Our local aquarium shop has really small and cheap feeder guppies so I was thinking maybe one of those.  I mean, wouldn't it be better to be a tiny fish in a tiny tank than being dinner in a big tank?

So I need a call here -- buy a feeder guppy or just pitch the worthless tank?

A beta fish might like it but agree it's really hard to keep the water stable at that size.

I like the idea of just putting plants in it. 

Edited by Arizona Ron

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20 hours ago, Tom in Albany said:

Do you use a air bubbler?  Also,  you need to let the water sit in the tank for a week or so to let the microbes (sp?) establish.  Throwing all the water out is a bad idea unless it’s contaminated.  

Live plants also help stabilize water.  What kind of filstration are you using and is your heater keeping he tank at 78 degrees. 

Check the Nitrate, make sure it’s not over 40 ppm (I think that’s the measurement, on my phone atm). 

That should cut out the most common oversights to setting up a new tank 

What's an air bubbler? I'm reading they're good for circulation? 

Live plants? I've got a bunch of the decorative fake plants in there from Petsmart. Won't live plants make the tank even dirtier?

We have a heater and the water is usually between 78-80. Filter/heater came with the tank.

Nitrate, huh? I haven't done any any of that. 

4 hours ago, Redwes25 said:

We did the glofish thing at first and they all died quickly. I then realized they are basically manufactured fish and kept away from them. Got some neon tetras instead and they are doing great. 

Also, aren’t you in Brooklyn?  If so I can let you know of an independent fish shop which I have found to be a lot more useful then the chains you see everywhere. 

What neighborhood is this fish shop in? We have a Petsmart about 7 blocks away, that's where I've done my fish shopping to date.

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Anyone else incredibly surprised that our GB arizona Ron is an aquarium guy?

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1 hour ago, Godsbrother said:

Cleaning out the basement I found a little 1.5 gallon aquarium with hood that my kids had for a goldfish about 20 years ago.  No filtration but a little pump, air stone and hood with light.   I was thinking of taking it to work for my desk and checked online to see what kind of fish I can put in the thing and the consensus seems to be none.   The reason being that it is cruel to put any fish in a tank so small.   

Our local aquarium shop has really small and cheap feeder guppies so I was thinking maybe one of those.  I mean, wouldn't it be better to be a tiny fish in a tiny tank than being dinner in a big tank?

So I need a call here -- buy a feeder guppy or just pitch the worthless tank?

Get another tank. Don't do that even to a guppy. Go with a five gallon and get some neon tetras

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43 minutes ago, fantasycurse42 said:

What neighborhood is this fish shop in? We have a Petsmart about 7 blocks away, that's where I've done my fish shopping to date.

They are a small local store owned/run by a really nice guy.  In addition, to selling fish and supplies out of the store they build, stock and maintain high end custom aquariums throughout the city.  They really know their stuff and are super helpful.  I bought my fish and supplies from them after I went the Petland route.  

 

https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1GCEA_enUS814US814&ei=DzGRXOzoNY3H_Qa7-KfoBg&q=creative+aquarium+nation+brooklyn+ny&oq=creative+aquarium+nation+brooklyn+ny&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0i71l8.0.0..182863...0.0..0.0.0.......0......gws-wiz.23U11qmbw_A

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29 minutes ago, TheFanatic said:

Get another tank. Don't do that even to a guppy. Go with a five gallon and get some neon tetras

Nah.  I have a 33 gallon at home and not really interested in buying anything for work.  I just figured I would take it if it was usable.  I'll just pitch it, no big deal but because of FBGs some little guppy will get eaten when he could have had a happy but cramped life in my tiny tank.    I hope you guys will be able to sleep knowing that...

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29 minutes ago, Godsbrother said:

Nah.  I have a 33 gallon at home and not really interested in buying anything for work.  I just figured I would take it if it was usable.  I'll just pitch it, no big deal but because of FBGs some little guppy will get eaten when he could have had a happy but cramped life in my tiny tank.    I hope you guys will be able to sleep knowing that...

:cry:

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57 minutes ago, Godsbrother said:

Nah.  I have a 33 gallon at home and not really interested in buying anything for work.  I just figured I would take it if it was usable.  I'll just pitch it, no big deal but because of FBGs some little guppy will get eaten when he could have had a happy but cramped life in my tiny tank.    I hope you guys will be able to sleep knowing that...

In fairness, serving its role in the food chain / cycle of life is probably a more meaningful existence for the guppy than watching you work all day.

 

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Just now, CletiusMaximus said:

In fairness, serving its role in the food chain / cycle of life is probably a more meaningful existence for the guppy than watching you work all day.

 

Are you suggesting that watching me work is worse than being eaten?      Ouch that hurts!

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On 3/18/2019 at 6:47 PM, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

I was thinking of using a finer bottom/plant layer so it would settle back to the bottom when it got stirred up.  I have no idea if that's a real thing though.

Getting ready to (re)start a new project. 4' L x 4' W x 9" H tank (old frag tank) dedicated to shrimp and foreground plants. I may add CO2 later. 5 bags of eco-complete will go down thickest in the center then radiate out. Blasting sand will cap it all. If anyone's growing Buces, blyxa japonica, or Euroes, or is raising Shrimp (Neos) please PM me. I'm still a week or so off for plants, and ~month for shrimp. Also can anyone can recommend a shrimp save root tab?

DIY spray bar with a canister for main filtration and a few sponge filters to help polish the water a bit. The eco-complete is dark as is the blasting sand so the hope is it'll still look nice even after it gets tossed around a bit.

Local fish auction coming up at the EOM so looking to trade out some fish, and try some new stuff as well in my other tanks. If anyone wants 2M 2F auloncara ruby reds (that's what I was told I was getting, but the red is really yellow) let me know. The dominant male is really nice and they've spawned a number of times (I suck at stripping the fry). 

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AQUASHELLA was pretty awesome.  I might head to the one in Chicago too, it was that good.  I've been doing a planted tank for a while now but after this event, I think I'm ready to take on corals.  I've spent money on hobbies with much lower ROI so why not. 

 

Edited by Arizona Ron

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On 4/1/2019 at 12:14 AM, Arizona Ron said:

AQUASHELLA was pretty awesome.  I might head to the one in Chicago too, it was that good.  I've been doing a planted tank for a while now but after this event, I think I'm ready to take on corals.  I've spent money on hobbies with much lower ROI so why not. 

 

The problem with salt is the water changes. If you don't do them the algae gets really bad no matter how many turbo snails you have. Buddy of mine went small. Like a 20 gallon. What he did was pick up a 5 gallon bucket of RO water from the pet store near him every other week. Drain 5 gallons, add in the 5 gallons and done. His tank was immaculate all the time. Doing the same with a 100 gallon would be a little harder. 

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2 hours ago, TheFanatic said:

The problem with salt is the water changes. If you don't do them the algae gets really bad no matter how many turbo snails you have. Buddy of mine went small. Like a 20 gallon. What he did was pick up a 5 gallon bucket of RO water from the pet store near him every other week. Drain 5 gallons, add in the 5 gallons and done. His tank was immaculate all the time. Doing the same with a 100 gallon would be a little harder. 

I wouldn't go that big, 20 gallons is plenty for corals and maybe a few clown fish.  I'd do that until I'm 100% more confident. The downside is 20 gallons is harder to keep stable.  The changes wouldn't bother me, I do a 10% on my tank every weekend on my current planted tank, clean it and monitor the Co2. 

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8 minutes ago, Arizona Ron said:

I wouldn't go that big, 20 gallons is plenty for corals and maybe a few clown fish.  I'd do that until I'm 100% more confident. The downside is 20 gallons is harder to keep stable.  The changes wouldn't bother me, I do a 10% on my tank every weekend on my current planted tank, clean it and monitor the Co2. 

Yeah, I always thought the 30 was the sweet spot for a balance between small and stable. 

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Hey... question for anyone who sees it.

I'm up and running, and planted with five bunches of plants over the weekend.  Couple swords and three stem bunches I separated.

No fish yet, but I'm getting a higher nitrate reading and also nitrites today. Why am I seeing nitrites and elevated nitrates?  Are the small bits of decaying plant doing that?  What's converting those into nitrates if I don't have fish or a bacteria colony in the tank yet?

I have a small bio filter bag with media in my kids' small aquarium right now to help boost my own when I need bacteria.  Should I move that in now or wait until I add my first fish.

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11 hours ago, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

Hey... question for anyone who sees it.

I'm up and running, and planted with five bunches of plants over the weekend.  Couple swords and three stem bunches I separated.

No fish yet, but I'm getting a higher nitrate reading and also nitrites today. Why am I seeing nitrites and elevated nitrates?  Are the small bits of decaying plant doing that?  What's converting those into nitrates if I don't have fish or a bacteria colony in the tank yet?

I have a small bio filter bag with media in my kids' small aquarium right now to help boost my own when I need bacteria.  Should I move that in now or wait until I add my first fish.

How high is the nitrate?  That might simply be the nitrate in your tap water.  Also, you need to cycle the take by either putting some feeder fish that will die and start the ammonia cycling process or use Ammonium Chloride .  Also, what are your current nitrite and ammonia levels?  And yes the small bio filter from another tank will help jump start the cycling, do that before adding fish (unless again you're adding feeder fish to die and start cycle).

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15 minutes ago, Arizona Ron said:

How high is the nitrate?  That might simply be the nitrate in your tap water.  Also, you need to cycle the take by either putting some feeder fish that will die and start the ammonia cycling process or use Ammonium Chloride .  Also, what are your current nitrite and ammonia levels?  And yes the small bio filter from another tank will help jump start the cycling, do that before adding fish (unless again you're adding feeder fish to die and start cycle).

Nitrates 10-15ppm, Nitrites ~4ppm, 0 ammonia.  

Readings from tap barely register -- the tank's been running for 2+ weeks and this is the first time I've seen any nitrites or more than trace nitrates.  

Pretty sure it's plant decay at this point, with residual bacteria from the eco-complete I put under the gravel starting the cycle.  I wrote the eco-complete off because I thought the bacteria in it would die with nothing to feed on, but apparently it lived long enough to start feeding on the ammonia from the dead plant material.

So basically I've started my cycle already without meaning to.  I'm still going to add some Safestart when I put fish in, but I'm ahead of the game.

Edited by Dinsy Ejotuz

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It's plant decay and the bacteria that came in on the plants. If you could get some water from a local pet store, you could cycle the tank without any fish. Although, the plants my do it for you. they brought in some bacteria with them. Given enough time, they will take care of business.

Speaking of the plants, what is your lighting set up?

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7 hours ago, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

Nitrates 10-15ppm, Nitrites ~4ppm, 0 ammonia.  

Readings from tap barely register -- the tank's been running for 2+ weeks and this is the first time I've seen any nitrites or more than trace nitrates.  

Pretty sure it's plant decay at this point, with residual bacteria from the eco-complete I put under the gravel starting the cycle.  I wrote the eco-complete off because I thought the bacteria in it would die with nothing to feed on, but apparently it lived long enough to start feeding on the ammonia from the dead plant material.

So basically I've started my cycle already without meaning to.  I'm still going to add some Safestart when I put fish in, but I'm ahead of the game.

Are you feeding the plants anything?  Co2, Flourish products and like @TheFanatic said what kind of lighting do you have?  

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22 minutes ago, Arizona Ron said:

Are you feeding the plants anything?  Co2, Flourish products and like @TheFanatic said what kind of lighting do you have?  

I've been able to get away with not doing much feeding, but extra lighting was always a must for any plants I grew. I once pulled an amazon sword out of a 45 high that was the size of a basketball. 

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I put 40 pounds of eco-complete red under 30 pounds of gravel, with a Fluval 3.0 plant light (the phone app and settings control is :wub:).  I'm running the lights 10 hours a day, with a 90-minute ramp up/down on either side.

FWIW, I've got all easy plants that all seem to be doing well (root growth, look healthy, etc).  Pretty sure they're thriving at this point.

Just checked again and, yep, still have nitrites, so something's converting ammonia for me.

I won't be introducing fish until mid-August since I don't think it makes any sense to put them in until after vacation.  Will use Safe Start even if I think I've got the cycle going pretty good.

Edited by Dinsy Ejotuz

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Here's a pic.

And here's the planned lineup.  Wanted to do one that was with super basic, but still great looking, fish.

Figure I'll add some grass-y foreground plants and use cuttings from the others to add some density.

Edited by Dinsy Ejotuz

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14 hours ago, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

It might be the drift wood.  Did you steep it before putting it in the tank?

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14 hours ago, Dinsy Ejotuz said:

Also, I think this is too many fish for a 40 gallon and that Gourami will eat the tetras, guppies and the apistogramma depending on its size.

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4 minutes ago, Arizona Ron said:

It might be the drift wood.  Did you steep it before putting it in the tank?

Yep.  Scrubbed it and soaked it for three or four weeks.  Had no trouble getting it to stay down in my tank and doesn't seem to be leeching tannin or changing water params.

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