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Old 10-04-2014, 02:01 PM   #1
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Setting up New to Me tank

So I've been asking a few questions and asking for help for various things for this tank, and I think it would be nice to show what I do to the tank.

To set the scene, I found this advert on Thursday morning (luckily my day off!)

Full tropical set up for grabs
Description: 3.5ft aqua1 tropical fish tank full set up running. Mum hasn't the time any more and wants rid... Give me a call for details if you are interested or would like pics. Collection only... Would appreciate min £50.

So I phoned up, and a few hours later I set off in my nissan micra to 'look at' this tank with my sister. Needless to day that a 3.5ft tank for £50 including everything was really an offer I couldn't refuse - so another few hours later we had caught all the fish, emptied the tank and squeezed it all into my micra.

There was huge amounts of algae, which the woman said was hair algae but I think its black beard (can anyone confirm) and several fish:
1 striped raphael catfish
2 clown loaches
2 ?Schwartz's corydoras (again can anyone confirm?)
8 golden barbs
3 neon tetras
3 five banded barbs
2 odessa barbs

There were a few more, but they died when we moved them in the same bag as the cories. The cories were fine but the fish travelling with them ended up floating...

Moving the catfish was interesting too - I;d never seen one before and didn't realise it has spines....so pierced the bag and leaked water everywhere! Luckily we had a spare bucket for him!

Got home pretty late, put the stand together and started filling up the tank. Chucked all the fish in with the sand and ornaments and stuck the plants in a bucket. And this is what it looked like!
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Old 10-04-2014, 03:25 PM   #2
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see if you can sell the clown loachs unless these very small they get very big in about 1 year and will need to be in a tank twice that size
yo yo loachs are better for that tank
and you can use a few more cories
a brissle nose pleco would be great to control the algae
my tank was covered with the stuff and in 2-3 weeks there is not a spot of it
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Old 10-05-2014, 04:57 AM   #3
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Great minds think alike - managed to sell them yesterday They were already pretty big, around 15cm! I also sold the raphael because he was nearing 20cm and taking up a lot of space, and I read that he might eat smaller fish....I bought a bigger tank so I could have schools of small fish like rasboras and glowlights, so he's not the fish for me!

(Luckily I can check up on them because I sold them to my mum)

These were before they went, and then there's Mr Catfish chilling in his new home
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Old 10-05-2014, 05:32 AM   #4
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So on Friday I did a bit more work on the tank.

On Thursday I couldn't get the external filter to work without leaking all in the cabinet, assumed it was my tiredness so switched it off, stuck an air stone in and left it overnight.

Got up early to have a play before work and I think the plastic tap is on its way out. It may have been broken before and they'd just dried it before we saw it, or it got broken when we moved it. Either way it was dripping everywhere!

Didn't want to leave the tank without a filter any longer, so wrapped the tap in a whole roll of PTFE Gas tape (I love that stuff) and managed to reduce it to a very slow drip, stuck a towel around it and went to work.

I managed to get some time owing (yay!) and came home at lunchtime. First thing was to locate a new tap connector. No joy locally, so they're being sent to me. So because it was still leaking slowly I stuck a load of plumber's cement on it which has hardened and no leak anymore - yay! I can remove the tube from the filter still, I just need a bucket to catch what was in it because I can't turn the tap anymore.

I got stuck in cleaning everything. Cleaned all the filter stuff in old tank water (was planning on leaving it for a while but I really couldn't, there was so much algae in it the motor was making weird sounds and it absolutely stank!)

I scrubbed the glass, ornaments and plants as best I could and it all looks much better. I couldn't get all the algae off - I may have to buy some algae eating fish...

MICEY I considered a bristle nose - but I don't really like the way they look, and I don't want to be getting fish for job that I then regret! I have narrowed it down to a combination of the following, depending in what is available locally. Please let me know if you foresee any problems with these!
Otocinclus
Shrimp - Amano, Ghost or Cherry
Snails - Ramshorn or Malaysian Trumpet

I've done some reading and it appears they will eat the kind of algae I have - has anyone found different?

After a day scrubbing the tank I started putting things back in and this is what it looked like

I'm a bit annoyed about the background - I turned it around because I preferred what was on the back to what was on the front! The previous owners must have used some sort of clear glue and now I can't get it to have no air bubbles so it looks pants...

I really should have sorted it out before filling the tank!! I hoping that once I have more background plants and taller wood etc you won't see much of the background. It definitely needs something back there, as the fish are currently pretty scared about swimming around the tank.
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Old 10-05-2014, 05:48 PM   #5
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So yesterday I bought a couple more plants and a new ornament and didn't do much else!

I want to get more tall plants and make more hiding places so the fish come out more.

I'm also going to add the contents of my other tank (5 glowlights and some cories) to the tank and get a bit of a clean up crew to help me out in my battle against the algae!
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Old 10-07-2014, 04:22 AM   #6
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My lfs didn't have any shrimp, snails or otos which was very unlike them! I suppose it was the weekend, it gets so busy in there!

I therefore braved pets at home (great with plants, hit and and miss with fish, usualy a good seletion of snails, shrimp and others!)

Luckily my phone was working for once so I could quickly google the names they had on the tank to make sure I was getting the right thing!

I got

2 Otocinclus
4 Amano shrimp (labelled Yamato shrimp)
2 Yellow rabbit snails

They've settled in well and I love watching the shrimp! I was a bit scared that the barbs would have a go - they poked them a bit when they fist went on but have left them alone now. They have a lot of hiding places too which I'm sure helps!
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Old 10-07-2014, 04:37 AM   #7
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On Sunday I had a massive sort out of the tank.

I took out the snails and shrimp so I wouldn't squish them and took everything out of the tank. Gravel vacuumed the sand as best I could to try and lower my phosphates which were well over 5. I then went through all the sand with a sieve which actually worked great! I removed loads of dead leaves, roots, algae and also managed to separate the gravel and stones which were all mixed in.

I then started to put the ornaments back in. I decided to try an aquascape rather than just a normal fish tank, so I've got a little path leading to a clearing with an old put on a pie of stones. I like it a lot and it gives the fish so many hiding places!

I'd soaked my bogwood and gave it a go tying java fern to it. I hope it survives - I left it out of the water for quite a long time with the ferns on as I forgot about it....

I bought 3 more tall plants at Pets at Home, and had a good selection of heights. I took out the plants from my smaller tank and spent probably another hour separating all the plants and arranging them by height so I could plant them easily.

Finally started putting all the plants in. Tall ones at back, mixed up the types of pants a bit so its like a forest and have a little triangle of shirt plants at the front.

Back in with the snails and shrimp and ta dah! A while day later my tank looks all beautiful!!
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Old 10-07-2014, 04:42 AM   #8
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Last but not least I moved the fish from their old tank into my new. I think they like it! The glowlights have been hiding a bit, but are coming out for food and have schooled with the neons a few times! The cories are all just great, they're like fish with adhd...
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Old 10-07-2014, 04:47 AM   #9
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So that's it!

£50 tank

5 days work

about another £50 on ornaments and plants

And ta dah!!
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