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Old 05-28-2015, 04:55 PM   #1
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Howdy ya'll...

(Posted over in the "What Made You Want A Freshwater Aquarium?" thread before I noticed this Into thread)

Country boy that grew up on a huge cattle ranch near a huge freshwater lake. Spent my life catching catfish, bass, crappie, carp, gar, perch, shad, etc, etc, etc... Natural love for freshwater Texas fish.

Anytime I get anywhere near aquariums, it both mesmerizes and calms me.


Fiancé has a 29g tank with 4 African Clawed Frogs, a large Pleco and a couple decent size Cory cats. I'll sometimes catch myself sitting for long periods of time staring at it. But it's just..... for me.

Figure it's time to get serious and build myself a proper tank with fish "I" love. I've got an old 20L that I've had running for about 3-4 weeks now and I've been through maybe 5-6 fish that keep going fins-up.
Turns out I had no clue about the cycle process. I filled it with water, threw some of her old decorations in it, however much dechlorinator the bottle said to use, etc.

I been reading this site and others and now feel a LOT more educated. My 20L is looking great now. Has some simple Mollies, Guppies, Cory all appearing to be doing well now.

I've got a 40gal breeder tank sitting in the garage that I picked up and am patiently leaving it out there until I'm fairly confident that I can run this 20L successfully.

End goal?
Would like to have a modest size tank, maybe 75gal, running correctly with all natural rock, wood and live plants and some of the fish I grew up with and love calling it home. Those being 2-3 Channel Catfish, A largemouth bass and a crappie, some large enough perch that they don't get eaten.

And then I'll simply turn the 20L into a guppy/molly breeding tank making "fish food" for those guys.

I'm patient and pick things up quickly. I'll be scouring this site and others absorbing all the info I can and undoubtedly asking questions.

Wish me luck!!

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Old 05-28-2015, 07:24 PM   #2
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First welcome!
Next good luck!You asked!
Many keep"natural stock".
I had bass,pearch,pickerel and a couple sunnies in my 135g years ago!
Active and interesting.A great tank!
I had 3 minnow traps in a near by creek to keep up with feeding demands(200+ a week!) .
GO BIG!!!!!

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Old 05-28-2015, 07:45 PM   #3
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Location: Greenville, South Carolina
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Sounds cool but just to add, channel cats get far too big for most home aquaria, there are many cats more suitable in the hobby trade. If your dead set on channel cats try to catch them in the 6 inch range to start. I recommend a net so they don't have hook injuries. You will have to rehome them at 14 inches or so in a 75.

Bass like cooler water, likely cooler than you will be able to provide, and they are big swimmers.

Simply put, there is a reason these fish belong in huge ponds and not a 4 foot tank in your living room. My advise is find aquarium safe fish that fulfill your desires.
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Old 05-28-2015, 09:23 PM   #4
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Welcome! You're definitely welcome to ask any questions you like! I agree with TMRC that a 75 is a bit on the small side for bass and catfish, but if you're really dedicated there are some species of peacock bass that can be kept in 300 gallons and up. I'd do a crayfish and sunfish tank with a 75 though. Your 20L Sounds like a cool tank though. Any questions just feel free to ask! And by the way, you can never have too many tanks!
My tanks (so far )
5.5 gallon Planted Dwarf Puffer tank (2 Dwarf Puffers and a lot of RCS!)
16 Gallon Planted
(GBR pair, 3 amano shrimp and a whole bunch of snails!)
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Old 06-26-2015, 04:52 PM   #5
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Has been about a month now. I'm thoroughly "hooked"! (pun fully intended)

In the last month, I have hand-built a wooden tank-stand for my 40 gallon breeder tank that I could likely set my truck on. Made sure to leave myself about a foot at one end to use as a work-space for testing water and whatnot. Has a door on both sides and some shelves in the middle. Looks quite nice. You'd never guess I actually work in IT and not carpentry.

I did hours and hours of research and ended up going with a Penn Plax Cascade 700 canister filter. Upon even FURTHER research, I decided not to alter any of the media that came with it and use it as-is. Instead, I kept my HoB filter(Aqueon Quiteflow 50) but removed the filter and instead filled a media-bag with Penn Plax bio ceramic rings. So all it does is bio filtering.
Just for good measure, I also have one of those cheap, double-sponge air filters sitting there building a good BB colony as well.

**Takes deep breath**

When I started up that tank, I went with the route of using Dr Tim's One-and-only bacteria in a bottle, and a bottle of Dr Tim's pure ammonia.
40g breeder was completely cycled and converting ammonia inside of a week.
I scored a large, beautiful shaped chunk of wood from a local fish store, as well as a ton of plants and a nice chunk of lavarock.

I then went and got some fish....
I found a speckled catfish that was roughly 4-5" long and decided he would be the showcase of this new tank. I also grabbed the biggest Cory(skunk) I could find and then a few zebra danios, a couple orange mollies and some guppies just for filler/food.

Within a few days, one of the guppies AND mollies had babies. That really changed the entire plan. I really got a kick out of that. So Charlie(I named the cat Charlie) got moved to the old 20L tank with JUST a couple of little albino cory cats and the mollies. He seems happy in there.

The 40g breeder is now a guppy haven! I've got 3 males and a bout a dozen females along with a handful of neon tetras in there having a great time.

I also have 2 little 2.5gallon tanks sitting on my desk to house pregnant guppies and/or fry. Yes, most of them will get to enjoy 2-3 weeks until they are big enough to go in with Charlie. But I'm enjoying watching them in the meantime.

Another fun little project was growing my own brine shrimp. Spent the $10 or so on the little contraption and some eggs, got an empty soda bottle and old air pump and there really wasn't much to it. ALL the guppies, big and small, go nuts for fresh brine shrimp! Place turns into a horror-show. It's awesome to watch.

That's it in a nutshell. Will come back and post again when there's more big changes. In the meantime, this is an educational experience teaching me how everything works, so that in a year or two, I can get a BIG tank to put out in the living room and get serious.
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