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Old 06-10-2011, 12:14 PM   #1
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My 36g bowfront...

This is my first tank. I picked up the entire setup off craigslist for $150. I have been eyeing this tank for over a year... everytime we walk into Petsmart to get Catfood... but I just could never justify spending what Petsmart wanted.

This tank came setup as you'll see in a moment. With some fake plants, blue & white aquarium gravel and a Rock. It also came with a Rena Filstar XP2 canister filter & some other odds & ends... overall I think i got a great deal





I added that piece of wood. I found a Local Aquarium Store not far from my house and the guys there are real great and know their stuff! They had some pieces of wood they just got and i was able to score this gorgeous chunk. After talking to the guys there they sold me on some live plant and i picked up 3 anubias.
Before I set the wood in the tank I drilled a couple nice deep holes for them to root in, and secured them with some thread so they wouldnt try to float away...



I am aiming at this being a community tank with no agressive fish or fin nippers. I started the tank with 3 black skirt tetra's & 5 neon tetra's.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:15 PM   #2
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So after the first setup, i let the water cycle a week, but I couldnt deal with the white & blue aquarium rock for long... and i knew i wanted some larger rocks to act as hiding spots. I do not mind having fake plants, but I absolutely refuse to put fake plastic rocks or plastic wooden ornaments... and I had this one rock I have been holding onto for over a year waiting for some special occasion... i think this is it



As you can see this rock is quite large. It dwarfs the soda boxes right behind it. This is obviously too large and not very practical. So I ended up making it less large and even more practical.



After cleaning and soaking the rock I felt comfortable with putting it in the tank. I also went to the local aquarium store and picked up some sand and black rock to replace the blue that was in the tank. Did a slight adjustment to my plants and came up with what I call "Version 2".



The rocks worked out great. The way things broke made it easy to stack them. The fish really loved them.






Just prior to all this I had introduced 6 new guppies to the Community. 2 turquoise, 2 yellow & 2 tequila sunrise. Along with a snail to help keep the floor clean. The snail is by far my favorite in the tank... I could sit and watch him for hours.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:15 PM   #3
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So after a couple weeks I was only down 1 neon Tetra, i decided to get a few more to help keep them 'schooled' and picked up 6 addtional neons to round out the number to 10. The next day I noticed only 9 swimming and wondered about the tenth. After a small search I found one of the strangest things ever... my snail had gotten my Neon Tetra?!?!??!



After some reading I determined the fish was most likely already dead and the snail found him afterwards. Still was strange seeing, after he let the corpse go I extracted it.

I also got tired of looking at the tubing that runs to my airstone. I was at the pet store and found this awesome air tube that is green and looks like a plant!! I had to get it, it worked perfectly and you would never think it was supplying my airstone!



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Old 06-10-2011, 12:16 PM   #4
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The next addition to the Community would be Gourami. I had spent weeks reading about them and the different species and decided on a Blue Gourami & a Pearl Gourami. The local aquarium store had just got their shipment in and I was able to pick the best of the litter (in my opinion). The two gourami are beautiful but need alot of vegitation to claim. I wanted more vegitation but not quite at ground level. I did alot of shopping but couldnt find what it was I wanted, not until i turned around and looked at the Reptile side of the isle!
I came across a bag full of fake vine leafs. It was a 6' section of vine with leafs scattered for like $9! Far cheaper than an assortment of Aquarium plants that probably wouldnt even look right anyway!

So I cut to length a section that would run across the back top of the tank and comes down to hide my heater in the left-rear-corner. I also took three sections cut at about 10" tall, and wound them together to create a type of bush that fills in the back right corner (doing a great job hiding the pump's pickup tube as well!).



Along with all this, i redirected the pumps output so that the current is only flowing on the left side of the tank, and put an adjusting valve inline on my airpump to restrict the amount of air comming from my airstone.
The change in current and air seems to have made my fish a whole lot happier. The neon tetra's come out more often, the guppies look alot friendlier. But my Gourami still like to hide when I come by to look them over.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:16 PM   #5
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So this pretty much catches us up. Its been aprox 4 weeks since I got the tank, and I think everything is comming together perfectly.

Yesterday I paid a visit to the local aquarium store to get an companion for my Blue Gourami. She has been hiding alot and the Pearl seems like it bullys her, so i picked up a small Dwarf Gourami to maybe keep her company.

I was also so intrigued by my Snail I had to get 2 more. I have been doing alot of reading lately and really liked the Zebra snail. I have been bugging my aquarium shop the past 2 weeks to get some in, and yesterday his shipments arived! When I showed up he showed me some of the Onion snails he just got in, and i couldn't make up my mind... so I got one of each!

The Onion Snail:


And my Zebra Snail:


While I was there, i spoke to the guys about feeding and they suggest I do Black Worms. He suggested I get a bottom feeder to help keep the loose worms in check. It didnt take me long to pick out this Cory Catfish he had hiding



I couldnt seem to get any pictures of my Dwarf Gourami. She is small and shy and has been hiding alot. I did get a few good pictures last night without any glare on my tank.

Here is my Pearl Gourami. He loves to hang out and never really hides at all:


Here you can see my Blue Gourami. I got a quick pic as she was moving from one hiding spot to another. You can also see 2 of my Black Skirt Tetra's trying to get some camera time:


I will be posting up more soon when progress continues. I just ordered some adjustable R-G-B LED lighting and I am working on some PVC plumbing to help the pump circulate water better and control the underwater current.

Soon I would like to start replacing some of these fake plants with more live plants too
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:17 PM   #6
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Took the opportunity while the sun is down, to take a few more pictures of the tank. I made some subtle arrangements. took out the large rock formation to keep the PH levels from rising. I also added alittle more leafs to the right side of the tank for alittle more shelter. The gourami's seem to like it and im hoping they'll stop hiding so low, and maybe hide up higher

Here are the pix:


Finally got a decent pic of my Dwarf Gourami:


And cant have too many pictures of my blue gourami. As shy as she is... getting pictures of her are rare:


I have my RGB LED light strip mounted. Did alittle DIY lightbar but it doesnt put off a whole lot of light. I'll try to get a few pix while its still dark and post them up.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:18 PM   #7
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So all the reading I have done on the Cory Catfish told me they are social and get along well in groups. So I took a long drive to the other (larger) LFS and looked at what they had.

I came home with 2 more Cory's. Right away they seem like they bonded with my other cory and all 3 have been seen together chasing and eating. I think i sat for about 40 minutes just watching them.

Got a few decent photo's. Fighting the glare of the sun, maybe tonight I can get some better shots.

The two new corys:


Was trying to get a pic of my Blue Gourami, right as I snapped the photo my Dwarf decided to dart out of nowhere and spook her!


And of course there has to be a Tetra in the way for that photo too. While taking shots I also found a new & unplanned addition to the community, see if you can find it in this shot:


A good shot of the two new Cory's, and my Pearl Gourami hanging out. And if you look closely you'll see a tiny baby snail hanging onto my glass. I guess that makes 4 snails, unless I see any others pop up.

Here's a closeup:


I am not sure where he came from. Maybe from one of the new fish ive added in the last couple weeks. Or maybe one of my current snails gave birth?? not sure how snails reproduce.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:18 PM   #8
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Wonderful progress shots! I think it looks really nice.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:18 PM   #9
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So today I was out and about, and decided to stop at the local thrift store. While there I found a stash of fake plants and bought a few of them. When I got home I started to cut them apart and hot-glue together some new decor. Nothing too extravagant just yet. I think im going to do a total tank teardown soon and then I'll get alittle crazier with the plants, rock & wood.

For now just a few subtle changes.



Here you can see the newest rock (to the far right). And just to the left of that are some new plants. I hot glued them to a small strip of plastic mesh and burried the mesh under my substrait.

Here is another picture of the arrangement, but with a bunch of my fish playing in there. The catfish really love the open and it seems the gourami are missing their hiding spots.



I also did some work to my stand yesterday. I cut a piece of wood to act as a shelf while still leaving plenty of room for my pump. I also put some hooks inside the stand to hang my nets.





I think the next step is to organize the rats nest of wiring behind my stand. I picked up two electric timers today, one for my hood & the other for my LED lighting.
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Old 06-10-2011, 12:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carey View Post
Wonderful progress shots! I think it looks really nice.
Thanks. I just became a member of this forum, but this is the progression thread I have at AquariumForum.com ( My 36g Bowfront & its progression... - Aquarium Forum )

I just copied & pasted the updates to this thread so members here can see. I have since moved my tank to a different room, and I did a complete substrate change, along with a new landscape. I am hoping to get some updated shots, but the new room the glare is really bad, so I have to take pix at night.
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