You asked for it...
I've been bouncing around on this forum for several weeks, and decided to register today. I've had fish tanks off and on pretty much since I was a kid (totalling about 25 years now). But I took a hiatus for several years and just recently "got back into it". I will admit that back then I didn't know squat about keeping fish. My most recent online ventures at learning have really awakened me.
Now I'm working on my first two planted tanks, all that I "rescued" from CraigsList. The first is a 55 gallon tall in my house that was set up with canister filter and gravel and that's about it for the 2 large corys, 2 clown loaches, and a large pleco. I added a bio-wheel HOB
filter rated at 70 gallons and retrofitted the light panel to hold 5 CF
spiral bulbs, and I'm starting with the basic low-medium light requiring plants. It's been going about a month without much trouble, except that I now know why the original tank didn't have any plants in it... Actually, the pleco and loaches have been pretty good about not messing things up too badly now that I've figured out where and how to secure them... I've since added a male betta, 3 female betas, a school of 14 neons, and 4 head-and-tail light tetras. Somehow it's probably the most peaceful tank I've experienced in my life. Go figure. Probably overstocked given the size of the pleco and loaches, but I'm keeping tabs on the chemistry and doing regular partial water changes and all seems well.
My second tank is an active 40 gallon bowfront (sold as a 55+ gallon on CraigsList, but the dimensions max out at about 40 gallons -- OK, the price was right) without the fish. I've now got several pieces of driftwood in there and some varieties of Java Fern, Anubias, and some vals. Fish include 6 ghost shrimp, 3 otos (all the LFS
had in last week's shipment), 3 small corys, a school of 14 neons, 3 swordtails (1 male, 2 female) -- added in virtually reverse order over a 3 week period. The tank was used when I got it, and it appeared to have gone through a mini cycle when I set it up, but quickly went to 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and 10 nitrate... I LOVE this tank -- especially the plants and driftwood. This is in the waiting room of my wife's pediatric office, so I'm hoping it is successful! I'm seriously considering getting a couple German blue rams when this tank matures (plant-wise). Thoughts on that?
Just today I "saved" another CraigsList tank -- a 55 gallon long. This is going in my wife's actual office, and should prove just as exciting.
The kids each want their own tanks now, so we'll start with 10 gallons in their room (that dad will likely take over) -- but it's a great learning experience for them, too.
Thanks for all the information and advice on this forum. Great stuff!