Holy cow I'm one in a million with my first hello post.
I'm fairly new to having an aquarium. I've had them in my house when I was young, but it was my parent's. All I did was help them from time to time with water changes or cleaning it. Certainly wasn't something I cared much to learn about. Now it's my turn to have my own.
I just finished cycling my tank a week or two ago. I got my little bit of green algae bloom here and there. I added fish slowly through the cycling. I know you're not suppose to do that, but I figured using the drip acclimation I'd get them use to their new environment well enough that they'd be fine. Sure enough I only lost one black kuhli loach. He seemed to be not doing great at the Pet Store, but I figured I'd take my chances. I think he was over exposed to the lighting at the Pet Store, so he was doomed before I even got him.
My first fish I got to start my cycling was a black molly. I was warned by the lady at the pet store that they're really hard to acclimate to their new tank, and aren't usually successful for cycling with. I of course being who I am took this as a challenge. I found success in changing one gallon out of my ten gallon tank every day after work. I'd let it sit for 2 or 3 days through the weekend and try to let the bacteria build up higher, then did a 50% water change before bed on Sundays. I was surprised that it seemed to go as well as it did. My tank cycled in about 4 weeks.
I made my second addition to the tank at about the end of week 2. I noticed a lot of white hairs everywhere in the tank. It was recommended to me that I try a snail or ghost shrimp and they'd slowly take care of it. I did both a snail and ghost shrimp. After seeing the ghost shrimp swimming around I couldn't help but have them, but I liked that the snail would get up on the walls. Cuz the ghost shrimp were so inexpensive, of course I couldn't get just one.
All three are still doing well, and there's no hairs. I then added a redwag sword tail, because I've thought the sword tails looked awesome, and I needed to add some color to my tank (stones are white, ghost shrimp, black molly... looked like a 50s movie scene). He got ick which I was able to treat with some drops that I bought when I started my tank. It was warned to me that the molly may suffer that fate, so I made the investment early.
Two weeks ago I added a kuhli loach, because I thought he was awesome looking like an eel, but would stay small enough to not screw up a 10 gal
. I never saw him which got boring. The guy at the pet store recommended that kuhlis are extremely social, and if they dont have someone to play with they'll just hide out through the day and you'd only see them at night. He said that my options were to try a red light and start my nighttime earlier with a red light so I could see him moving around. Or get a second kuhli. Of course I got the second kuhli. I then figured instead of them hiding under all of my ornaments, it'd be cool if I could make a little cave system for them against the glass. That way it'd be easy for them to hide, but I could still see that they're healthy and moving. I did exactly that. They both spend about half of the day inside their cave, the other half darting from one shadow to another looking for food, then obviously they're very active once the lights go off.
How much fun is an aquarium?! What a fun experience. I was warned that a 10 gal
may be tough before the water levels can change so drastically within a few hours. I've found nothing but success and it's been so fun. Maybe I'm just one of the lucky ones?