I stumbled onto this site on Sunday while researching the many species of Cory cats. This is a wonderful forum!
First warning - I tend to be long-winded, LOL!
I am returning to the hobby after 13 years and this will be my first time flying solo. My husband and I started out back in 1976 with a 20 gallon aquarium of fancy guppies and raised many generations for years. After that (if memory serves) we went to mollies and platys for a short while. We then went to a planted tank (forget the size) with all types of Tetras. That was a fun tank but we got inundated with snails from the plants and then switched to plastic plants and gouramis. After that my husband wanted to go "big." He had always wanted an Oscar. I thought they were ugly but I gave in. We started with a baby about 1.5 inches in a 30 gallon and ended up with a 12 incher in a 55 gallon. He had quite the personality. His favorite "treat" was "Crave" cat food. He would get all excited when my husband would walk toward the tank with kibble in his hand and shake his hand back and forth. And he splashed a lot, LOL! Next were a pair of Jewel Cichlids and Convicts. Their behavior was very entertaining to watch - courtship, egg laying, male defending the eggs, etc.
We gave the hobby up for a while due to our work schedules. We moved into our house in 89 and before we could get our tank set up we had a breakin and they stole the 55 gallon. It was very disappointing because it was an old one with thick glass - you can't find them that thick anymore.
Fast forward to the late 90s. We bought a new 55g with cabinet/stand and 10g setup as a QT. We had problems getting the water right - kept getting excessive bloom and the LFS
were not much help. We gave up. My husband was DXd with cancer and passed in 99.
So, I have been out of it for a long time and am not up on current products, methods, etc. and look forward to picking your brains and getting advice. About 5 years ago I thought I was going to set up the 55g and try again and I bought some new equipment but life happened and I never got to it. When I had a yard sale a few weeks ago and my 10 gallon did not sell, I decided it was a sign that should get back into it.
My 55g has been sitting on a dolly with equipment inside, covered with a sheet for several years. I started to paint the stand/cabinet and never finished due to a bunch of other life stuff I won't bore you with.
So, I would like to get started small with the 10 gallon and then when I am ready to set up the 55g I'll use the 10g as a QT as originally planned.
I printed out the fishless cycle document and will study that. I also plan on using sand instead of gravel - never did that before - and have live plants.
For the 55 I am hoping to have:
6 cory cats - liking the looks of trilleatus, sterbai, panda, and paleatus but still looking/researching/reading about.
1 Zodiak loach
2 (?) Clown plecos
2 schools of 2 different/small species Rainbows maybe - still not sure.
And what can I keep in the 10 gallon? I'd like to enjoy some fish before the 55 is ready to go. Can I put in 6 of the cory cats? and the loach or a pleco?
I have a Penguin mini bio-filter for the 10g.
I have to do an inventory of the equipment I have for the 55 and will write that in another thread.
Thanks in advance for your advice.
P.S. See, I warned you I was long-winded