Hello my name is Rob and my wife and I have been enjoying our aquarium since we set it up last year.
I joined since I wanted to learn more about aquarium fish and to understand water readings better.
We have a 55 gallon tank that was cycled without fish for a month before we put in our first fish which were 6 skirt tetras, 6 tiger barbs and 3 blue gouramis. As we have learned more we have been adding some plants and other hiding spots. Our tank now has 4 tetras since two of them have died over the past year, not too sure why but it was spread out and a single fish at a time. We had also had a silver tip shark, rainbow and red tailed sharks in the tank too but they died also within a few hours of each other I figured out why and it was a few missed water changes in a row, we had alot going on at work for the both of us and we were both getting home late now we make sure to make the time to keep up with the tank. We also lost our plecostomus a few weeks after the sharks died. So we bought a smaller rubber lipped pleco and after the first day in the tank we have never seen him again, we thought the other fish ate him since we didn't see him at all, a few weeks and water changes later he pops up out of no where so now we call him/her our Houdini fish. But in the time we didn't see him we bought another plecostomus and found it tail first in the tank filter the next day, thought there was a water problem and had checked the water with our test strips and wasn't too sure on it so we brought the fish back to the store with a water sample and the levels were off learned a new lesson to not change filter elements at the same time since all of our levels were way off( I never replaced them before they were about 8 months old at the time guy at the store said they should be replaced once a month). They gave us a credit for the fish which we used on our next fish purchase a few months later I wanted to get the tank balanced again( have now researched to not replace filters until they are almost falling apart).
Recently we added 4 tin foil barbs and 4 red roseys to the tank and all seem to be getting along well with each other.
We had a recall on our original tank heater which was a Marineland Stealth heater and now we have a Topfin heater in the tank and last week I had noticed the tank temp was dropping from 78* to 72* Friday when I got home from work, grabbed the heater and it was as cold as the water, but the light that indicates it's on was lit. We went to the store and bought another one(I really wanted a different heater) we got the same one since there wasn't much selection with the recall on the one we had, besides we couldn't find the receipt for it. I set it to what looked like the right temp setting to warm the water back to 78* but it turns out the next morning the tank was at 82*, I adjusted the temp setting. I seems the tiger barbs didn't handle the temp change well because we lost 4 of them that morning, not thinking the other 2 were going to survive we bought 6 more. The original 2 have survived so far the others had died Saturday morning and this morning they are still plying with the new tigers. We have added more plants and now we see the gouramis seem more relaxed and we had never seen them on the bottom of the tank now every morning when I get up I see them laying in the plants on the bottom of the tank. I think were going to look into some floating plants.
I'm looking for a better tank heater to buy since I have no faith in the TopFin heater I have now any suggestions?
Pic of the tank
One of the gouramis resting
Tigers and tin foils barbs
Rainbow shark checking the bridge out.