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Old 04-05-2020, 12:02 PM   #1
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First tank EVER!!!

Hey everybody. Been waiting to have my tank cycled and stocked a bit before introducing myself. I cycled my very first tank using the pure ammonia method and was fully cycled after 27 days (4ppm of Amm. to 0<24h)
Continuously adding plants (java fern, Marimo balls, Anubis, Amazon sword, etc with Salvinia) with some terra cotta pots and a large piece of driftwood.
I was going to get glofish but decided against it. Went for a community tank instead with H Rasboras and a Cobalt Dwarf Gourami as my centerpiece fish. I wanted Panda corys but my LPS couldnít get them so ordered me Ottos. I did a 1hour acclimation, 1 was dying the next day and lost 3 more over the next week so 2 out of 6 survived. I know they should be more (hence 6) but not willing to buy more.
Was considering adding a sand corner and adding 4-6 pandas (ordered online) instead of more Ottos and maybe 1 snail? Any other suggestions? My nitrates havenít been getting past 5ppm, amm0, Nitrites0. Since stocked Iíve been doing 20% weekly water changes.
My Gourami has been glass surfing and would sometimes rush (no injuries) my Rasboras so I got Salvinia floating plants, seems a little better. No more rushing since but still a little glass surfing.
All in all, loving the hobby and love my tank so far!
Stay safe everyone and stay home!
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Old 04-05-2020, 12:39 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing your journey so far����

I suggest you keep a close eye on the dwarf gourami. You may want to check on the gourami at night in the dark with a flashlight. If he wants the spot with the slowest current in the tank to rest fine, if he wants all of the tank to himself that’s not so good ������������
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Old 04-05-2020, 01:02 PM   #3
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I’ve actually checked up on him a few times at night and is pretty still, stays under the floaters (Salvinia). He hasn’t been hanging near the surface (like he’s supposed to) since I got him which is why I got the floaters. Spends most of the day foraging my driftwood and substrate. Only been 48 hours since I added the Salvinia and already his behavior is better.
What do you think of my stocking plans?
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Old 04-05-2020, 01:35 PM   #4
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Ottos are very picky fish. Those in the pet stores I have found are very weak. They need a very old tank with lots of algae, or else they starve. Most of their diet is algae, and they constantly need to eat. I’ve seen few people successful, so I promise it is not your fault that they were having problems. I see it a lot with that fish.

Panda cories are great! They are so awesome to watch. Most fish leave them alone, they can basically fit anywhere so I would say go ahead. They’re best in groups of six or more, as they school and you have more natural behaviors. Sand is also a good idea, or else they may break their barbels. Beware, the sand won’t stay in one corner lol.

Your tank looks awesome!
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Old 04-05-2020, 01:53 PM   #5
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I had lots of algae but I also heard since they are usually wild, the bacteria they need to digest depletes during travel, leaving them still starving even when feed upon arrival.

I’ll give the sand a try but can be vacuumed up if it causes too many headaches. I heard sand is better but apparently it’s been disproven about the barbel damage as long as gravel is smooth but I want what’s best for them as they seem to love to dig in the sand! Ordered some on Amazon but will take a month ��
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Old 04-05-2020, 02:00 PM   #6
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Welcome, and nice start with the tank! As Elizae said, Otos can be picky. I love them, but I believe they're wild-caught and can be awfully stressed by the time they get to the store. I've had best success with them by waiting a couple of months for a tank to establish, then adding the Otos.
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Old 04-05-2020, 02:07 PM   #7
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I wish I knew before to wait for a more established tank for the Ottos, or at least waited for them to mature a bit longer at the LPS. Most of her advice was pretty good but they usually don’t carry them.
Hopefully the Pandas are not so sensitive in a new tank (fully cycled btw)
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Old 04-05-2020, 02:33 PM   #8
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I’ve kept cories on gravel and sand and I personally enjoy them more on sand. They will sit there and bury their nose into the sand and I think it’s pretty cute.
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Old 04-05-2020, 02:43 PM   #9
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I to think you will get more joy from corydoras.
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Old 04-05-2020, 02:59 PM   #10
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Elizae canít wait to see! Will wait for the sand before getting the Corys. 💖
Might get a snail too. Is that too much?
1 dwarf Goirami
6 H Rasbora
2 Ottos
4-6 panda Corys
And maybe 1 snail?
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Old 04-05-2020, 03:02 PM   #11
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I like nerite snails personally. I don’t have to worry about baby snails at any time coming from them, and they’re not super messy
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Old 04-05-2020, 07:45 PM   #12
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Feed the Ottos zuckini or cucumber slices till the algae catches up . I have mine in an old tank but still feed them cucumber . Mine didn't like zuckini .
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