Another noob signs up!
This place is looking good for me. Just starting out in this marvelous hobby. Have built a tank and am currently practicing with a bowl. I know it's probably better to start the other way around, what with a greater water volume being more stable, but I've been careful and everything looks good so far.
The bowl holds 23 liters, has a filter and an airstone. There is a pretty Betta, 5 White clouds, 1 Neon Tetra, 1 zebra snail and the roots of some wild grass/reed in the bowl. These have an 11 watt PL which also provides some light to a Schefflera which covers the bowl ope. It's only been inhabited for 2 weeks, so it's early days, but so far so good. Happy creatures I think. Exchanging 6 liters a week with tap water treated with Interpet Tapsafe. The reeds leaves yellowed at first, due to a lack of nutrients, but looks to be improving. May not like my light either so we will wait and see.
My main tank is 165 liters, when filled to my fill mark, which is 50mm (2 inches) from the top and the water line is shielded at the front by a strip of photographic slides. (I would like a rail that holds 11 slides which would make the slides easy to replace/exchange.) With rock, bog oak and gravel I'd estimate 146-148 liters of water. The tank comprises two chambers linked by a 6 inch square glass tunnel. I plan to put a Fluval U2 in each chamber and one Fluval E200 heater in the tank (Irish online supplier has a good deal on these, hence the choice) - these go in Wednesday. Not a Fluval fanboy or anything, but I'll keep you updated on how the selection works out). There is an 'airwall' (aquarium tubing with pinholes every 50mm really) currently installed and the effect is lovely. I stripped down a Philips 4 x 15W T5 light fitting to make 2 no. 2 x 15W T5 light fittings - boxed in timber and requiring some finishing - as a consequence of there being a single ballast in the fitting, all 4 lamps must light together - I'm hoping to run 1 tube each side with a Juwel reflectors and a 15W T5 grow lamp of some description. I planted some of the tank today with about 10 plants from my local pet shop. I put a very small amount of potting compost in along an edge as a substrate and to provide nutrients until there are little swimmers in there.
As soon as the filters are running I plan to introduce a Betta and some White clouds or Danios and then add a few things every week or 10 days, all things going well. And what is the plan - some pretty guppies, a green barb, Black neon tetras, neon tetras, 6 glass catfish, some ghost shrimp and snails. Not 100% sure yet what's going in, but I'll take it slow so as not to overstock.
The fish in the bowl are currently eating Tetra Pro Colour and turning their noses up at 'Supa' Daphnia. Can't say I blame them much for being fussy. They all seem happy though. I was stressing over the white tips of the White cloud fins until I accepted that it was just their colouration - I had to go back to the store to compare my fish to their newer stock to quell my fears. Haven't stressed like that since my kids were nippers. Tee-hee!
It has been a fascinating education so far and I look forward to learning even more. My aquarium started out as a set of 'tetris' shelves and kinda took on a life of its own.
Anyway, onward and upward (or to the depths), and I appreciate any advice or recommendations any of you may have. Sheesh, this was meant to be a quick hello - I do go on.
Delighted I found this community to help with my new hobby and if anyone likes the design of my tank, and would like to try something similar, I can prepare some drawings and make them available here.
That's all folks,