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Old 12-02-2015, 12:29 PM   #1
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Hello =D

Just registered today, but I've been following posts on this site for around a year now. I figured it was about time to join!

I'm new to the hobby, and originally got started because my daughter loves fish. We started with a small 2.5g tank of 3 goldfish she won from a fair in 2011. They lived for a little over two years before we had a horrible accident that cost them their lives... We had gone out of town for 2 weeks and asked a neighbor to look after them for us. Long story short, the neighbor was lazy, bought some kind of food release tabs, stuck a bunch in the tank and never returned. By the time we got home, the tank was coated with a cloudy orange-ish color and two fish were dead. The third was barely alive, floating sideways at the top gasping for air. I ended up putting that one out of its misery...

My daughter was heartbroken and didn't ask for fish again until about a year ago. I told her that I would do some research and figure out what we can manage.

In January, I was given a 10g aquarium that had only been used to house lizards. So I cleaned it out real well with ammonia and filled it to see if it would hold water. It did, so my daughter set it up and I bought a few things for it. My father-in-law gave us an air pump, tubing, and an in-tank filter. We bought 2 guppies to cycle the tank with. **Please don't judge, fishless cycling is NOT the best way, in my opinion, to cycle a tank; however, I do not judge others for choosing that route and don't expect to be judged for my route.** Although we did lose one of the guppies, the other is still doing great. I'm not sure if the other guppy died because of the cycle or not. I actually think the remaining guppy (my daughter named Bubbles) may have stressed the other out by incessantly chasing and nipping at him. Once the tank cycled, we got a tiny bristle nosed pleco (I named Mr. Clean), waited a week or two, then added 5 neon tetras (we call The Wisps). These have been the happy and healthy 7 inhabitants of our 10g since the end of March. Mind you, these fish all came from Petco, so the fact that they are (almost) all still alive amazes me.

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Over the summer, my father-in-law gave us an extra 55g tank he had, as well as several accessories for it such as a filter with a heater, air pump, and enough gravel to fill half the tank. I wasn't sure if I wanted to set this one up since we had just gotten the other tank going and scheduled peacefully--I only have to do 10-15% water changes once a week to keep the 10g filled with "happy" water. Sorry for the terms, I am learning and teaching a 7-year-old at the same time.

After having an empty tank sitting in my house for two months, I became tempted to fill it. I started planning and researching what I could do with it. Since I'm still a beginner, I decided to do a simple low-tech planted tank with a couple different schooling fish (for now). We just started setting this tank up last week. I mixed the gravel we were given with some CaribSea Eco-Complete substrate to give our plants something with nutrients to grow in. Then, added 3 jungle vals and a banana plant. I used some filter material as well as water from the water changes from our 10g to get this tank cycling. Monday, we brought home 10 cardinals and put them in there. This tank has only been up a week and it's already reading nitrates (<20ppm). Ammonia and nitrites are already gone and I have only done one small (about 20%) water change on Sunday. The plants have already grown too! I can't wait to get this tank completely stocked and fully decorated with plants and such!

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Eventually, I may end up trying out an aquaponics system with this 55g, but I wouldn't be able to have many plants inside the tank for that. Maybe I'll find some good ideas on this site!

I've definitely found a hobby that I not only enjoy, but can feed my daughter's interest and knowledge in aquatic life as well.
Even my husband has started to enjoy the fruits of my labors!
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Old 12-02-2015, 12:43 PM   #2
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First things first, if anyone insults you for doing a fish in cycle, tell them to cram it. It's perfectly safe for fish assuming it's done correctly.

Secondly, Welcome to AA!

Many people do weekly 50% water changes on their tanks just because they are much more effective than doing smaller ones. I try to keep my nitrates below 40ppm and I find that weekly 50% changes do that very nicely.

Until you invest in some plant specific equipment, I would suggest taking a look at low light plants that you can easily grow.

take a look here: Excellent List of Low Light Plants - The Planted Tank Forum
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Old 12-02-2015, 12:55 PM   #3
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Welcome! Glad you joined us!


Sini's my personal bucket lugger..er, I mean husband
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Old 12-02-2015, 02:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mebbid View Post
First things first, if anyone insults you for doing a fish in cycle, tell them to cram it. It's perfectly safe for fish assuming it's done correctly.

Secondly, Welcome to AA!

Many people do weekly 50% water changes on their tanks just because they are much more effective than doing smaller ones. I try to keep my nitrates below 40ppm and I find that weekly 50% changes do that very nicely.

Until you invest in some plant specific equipment, I would suggest taking a look at low light plants that you can easily grow.

take a look here: Excellent List of Low Light Plants - The Planted Tank Forum
Thanks for the welcome and the link to the plants! As for the water changes, the nitrates in my 10g don't ever go higher than 20ppm as long as I do my small weekly water changes. I never change out more than 2g on it either. :happy:
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Old 12-03-2015, 09:25 PM   #5
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Nice tankscaping; love the driftwood!
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:11 AM   #6
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Nice tankscaping; love the driftwood!
Thanks! It's just getting started, but I fell in love with that driftwood when I saw it. Got it real cheap too! Looking forward to adding some plants to it
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Old 12-04-2015, 11:30 AM   #7
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Welcome!

Like Mebbid said, no criticism here over fish in cycling. I prefer fishless as I have the patience instead of daily water changes but I don't have a child wanting the pretty fishes either

I do feel like down the road "Mr. Clean" is going to have to go in the 55g... 10g is just a bit small for a 6 inch pleco(adult size). Plecos make a lot of waste, much more than they ever clean up truthfully. As it grows it's going to be too much for the 10g to keep nitrates under control without lots and lots of water changes.

Glad you could join us here


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Old 12-04-2015, 05:05 PM   #8
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Welcome!

Like Mebbid said, no criticism here over fish in cycling. I prefer fishless as I have the patience instead of daily water changes but I don't have a child wanting the pretty fishes either

I do feel like down the road "Mr. Clean" is going to have to go in the 55g... 10g is just a bit small for a 6 inch pleco(adult size). Plecos make a lot of waste, much more than they ever clean up truthfully. As it grows it's going to be too much for the 10g to keep nitrates under control without lots and lots of water changes.

Glad you could join us here


Caleb
Lol yeah, the plan is to move all the inhabitants of the 10g to the 55g once it's ready. He's about 3 inches now, so I'm not in a huge rush, but he's growing pretty quickly since he was only about half an inch when we got him. After they're moved, I'll be posting a topic on the site inquiring about what to put in the 10g to keep is cycling so I can use it as a QT or HT, but we're not there yet! XD
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Old 12-04-2015, 09:31 PM   #9
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To keep the 10g cycled you can just run the filter on the 55g then move it over when you needs QT

QT is a great practice and many skip it! I learned the hard way through disease and now it's a must for all new fish on my list.


Caleb
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Old 12-06-2015, 06:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ImACoolguy View Post
To keep the 10g cycled you can just run the filter on the 55g then move it over when you needs QT

QT is a great practice and many skip it! I learned the hard way through disease and now it's a must for all new fish on my list.


Caleb
Thanks for the tip! And yeah, I've lesrned the importance of QT through the forum over the last year. Sorry you had to learn the hard way...
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