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Old 05-23-2013, 04:16 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Texas
Posts: 171
Smile Newbie! (also posted questions on the Getting Started page)

Hi all, I'm new to this world of aquariums, but got involved because my six year old wanted a betta. I've learned so much about cycling, about bioloads, about inverts and clean up crews, and I decided to start reading in these forums to learn more.

I got a new-to-me 20 gallon regular (not long) tank. I re-homed the pleco and the goldfish (both monsters! previous owner was given wrong information by their LFS). Anyway, I cleaned the tank (no soap just vinegar and water solution), got a new filter (Fluval 50), put down flourite (I think, can't remember) substrate for the plants - I knew I wanted a planted tank. I did fishless cycling, seeded my tank with the betta filter (squished it in the new tank and poof! big cloud of white diffused throughout). I kept an eye on my water parameters (learned to buy the API Master test kit), put in plants and a raw shrimp (in a media bag) to kick it off. 3 weeks into it, my cycle was done - 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 20 nitrates. I took my water to the LFS (actually two, to make sure) and both of them said it was cycled.

So, in short, I think I'm on my way. Hubby squawked a bit about start up costs, but I reminded him that finally my nose was not stuck to a computer screen!

This is exciting - I'm so thrilled to get my tank going!

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Old 05-23-2013, 05:22 PM   #2
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Location: Charleston, SC
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Welcome to the forum! I'd love to see pictures!

It is a fish eat fish world!

Sometimes learning from the mistakes of others is all the education and experience you need.
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Old 05-26-2013, 12:08 AM   #3
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Location: Texas
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Here's the tank. Currently I have 1 red wag platys, 3 turquoise guppies, 3 lyre tail guppies (all males), 4 bronze Cory cats, and a rubber nose pleco. I have java fern, amazon sword, bacopa carolinia, narrow leaf chain sword, a small moss ball, a biggish piece of driftwood, a large rock, and two aquarium decorations - a piece with two "ceramic" pots, standing upright, and a small bridge for the cats to hang out under. I hope to get two red cherry shrimp and maybe a small school of tiny tetras.

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20H w/ 2 male red wag platys, 11 cardinal tetras, several large ghost shrimp, 6 dainty corys, 5 kuhli loaches, 2 nerite snails, 1 dwarf flame gourami, and a bamboo shrimp.

10 gallon red cherry shrimp tank, with babies and at least 40 shrimp
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Old 06-02-2013, 11:41 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Texas
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Fully Stocked!

Well, I lost three of the guppies, all three turquoise guppies. However, I now have 6 green cory cats, two red wag platys, 1 rubber nose pleco, 3 lyre-tailed guppies (all of the guppies and platys are males), 6 glowlight tetras, and 4 ghost shrimp.

I put the original 20 gallon filter back on, along with the 50 gallon I have, so I have two filters running. I put sponges around the filter intakes, and took my water to the lfs to get it tested (before I got the glowlights and shrimp today) & everything was good except the phosphates are high. The lfs uses the API master test kit along with additional tests for phosphate etc. So I got Phosguard from Seachem, a filter media, and I also got some Purigen media. I hope I'm using the terminology right.

I did a 30% water change yesterday, will take readings tomorrow and do a pwc if necessary. I plan on maybe getting more ghost shrimp, or if these don't make it, some red cherry shrimp instead.

Sorry about the picture quality. The big rectangle in the middle is my kindle. The smaller one is the sponge around the intake.
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