In June my husband and I agreed to a 1 gallon bowl with 1 fish for our 5 year-old. What we actually put in the bowl was a Japanese trapdoor snail who gave birth to 8 adorable babies within a few days.
Our daughter decided she wanted her 1 fish to be a spotted green puffer, so we bought a used 29 gallon tank from craigslist. Learning that the snails that I had so fallen in love with wasn't compatible, we were back to square one.
After some research, we decided on a 10 gallon with 2 guppies. We bought more snails. We bought what we thought (what we were told!) were 2 male guppies. One bullied the other, so we returned him for (sigh-- no, I didn't do my research) a powder blue dwarf gourami. We moved everything from the 10 to the 29 gallon... by this time we had realized the guppy was very pregnant. She had 19 babies, 1 of which I euthanized because of an S-shaped spine. There's a second with a slightly bent spine that my daughter has fallen in love with. These 2 female guppies are her absolute favorites.
There were no baby sails to move. Huge bummer.
It took me too long to decide what to do with all these fry, and I was afraid that the females might have gotten pregnant. Plus our ratio was 14 females to 4 males. The Petco by us took the females-- minus Sunny (mom) and Coral (her belly sliding baby). These females are now in the 10 gallon, started off with half of the filter media from the 29 gallon, right next to the 29 gallon. Both are heavily planted, and neither have lids.
2 weeks ago we got 2 blue ram cichlids. They were identified just as Blue by Petco. They are amazing.
The original guppies, dwarf gourami, and 3 of our 6 snails are from a mom-and-pop aquarium shop. The rams and remaining snails were from Petco. Plants are from a variety of places.
The 29 gallon has some lava rocks but mostly medium gravel. Decor is the spattering of Finding Dory and neon pink that you would expect from a 5 year old, as well as a lucky bamboo forest (a major contributing factor in the lack of lid). We keep it at 78° F. The 10 gallon has plants, an LED
bubbler, and we keep it at 80° F. Both have ceramic fairy houses and include the plants ludwigia, moneywort, and dwarf hairgrass (I think). The houses are things that I made. I'm a ceramist, and they are high-fire stoneware. They are foodsafe and do not leech any chemicals. Both tanks get the same foods-- Aqueon color enhancing flakes and Omega One shrimp pellets. Both had been receiving Hikari rotifers, but we ran out and haven't been able to find more. We substituted bloodworm "gumdrops," but I'm really unimpressed. We've been dosing the 29 gallon with 1 tsp of Herbtana per day for about 2 weeks because the gourami had a red spot on his jaw. It's mostly gone. We also started API General Cure on Sunday for a reason I have a question about further on.
The 29 gallon has a Pen-Plaxx undergravel filter and AquaClear 30 without charcoal and Aqueon Pro200 heater. The 10 gallon has an Aqueon Quietflow 10 and Marineland Visi Therm, although I'm not finding its wattage. The two tanks share an AquaTop 100 air pump.
Both currently have not quite .25ppm ammonia (unfortunately not 0), 0 nitrites, and 30 nitrates. We use the API liquid test kits for everything except pH. Full disclosure-- we use a pool pH tester. We do weekly water changes, which lately has been increased. We dose with Seachem Prime any time we add water.
Hardness and pH have been a problem for the past week. Before then, they had been stable at pH 7.4, kH
9 and gH
They bottomed out a week ago, and so I added baking soda. Honestly, I can't remember how much, but I know it was a dose that I found multiple places on the internet. pH went above 8. Both tanks. kH
went up to 12ish, gH
about 9. Again, same in both tanks even though they don't share water. I tests our tap water, which was still pH 7.6 and hardnesses around 9 and 6. I did a 50% water change in both tanks which brought the big tank down to 7.6 but didn't change the hardness. The smaller tank didn't change at all. I dosed both with Seachem Neutral Regulator immediately following the water change, and have been adding 1 tsp each day since then to the 10 gallon only.
I have a question about each tank that I will put in the appropriate thread.