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Old 09-23-2013, 12:41 PM   #1
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Location: Boston area
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Intro and Question for Fellow New Englanders

I am new to aquariums. I started my first aquarium this past April. It was an AquaFarm by Back to the Roots. I saw it on Kickstarter and the gardener in me was intrigued. It is a hydroponic grower that has pots for plants in the top and a 3 gallon fish tank in the bottom. The idea is that the fish waste fertilizes the plants and the plant roots clean the water. It was a disaster for me. I did everything wrong. I didn't know anything about aquariums or proper maintenance. I overfed my betta baby, I had algae growing like crazy (I had it by the window for the plants), and the last straw -- George got sucked up the air hose set up. George survived, but I headed to Petco for a new tank.

I have a 20 gallon tank, heavily planted (I dig gardening), with George (now adult and clearly a female), 8 Glowlight Danios, 4 platies, 2 assassin snails, and a butt load of platy fry. I am currently experimenting with DIY co2 and contemplating what to do with the fry. I have a heater, a Tetra Whisper 30x filter, and air pump and air stones. I do a 25% water change every week. It is so tempting to feed more than once/day, but I am resisting. The fry are eating everything the adults are, so I'm not worried there. (Temp 76, NO3 20, NO2 0, pH 6.8, KH 80, GH 300)

My 2nd tank is 10 gallons, also heavily planted, with one male betta, one mystery snail, several nerite snails, a few amano shrimp, and a few red cherry shrimp. I have found that a once/week water change is fine. Also heater, air stone, Tetra filter, etc. Oh, yeah, I also had to move a male platy from the big tank into the small. He was being bullied relentlessly by both male and female platies. He and Bruce seem to get along just fine. (Numbers: Temp 78, NO3 20, NO2 0, pH 6.2 [just added some driftwood and that lowered the pH a bit], KH 80, GH 150)

My husband wants to have a saltwater tank. We're doing the research now and will probably tackle that later this year or early next. I told him he can pick the fish.

My question for fellow New Englanders: Do I need to keep the house warmer in the winter, or will the aquarium heaters be sufficient? I usually keep the temps between 65-68 degrees in winter. Also, would anyone be interested in some baby platies?

Came for the gardening, stayed for the fish.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:31 PM   #2
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The heaters you have in the tank shall be suffice just make sure you check the temperature regularly and if it begins to drop turn your heater up.
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Old 09-26-2013, 03:49 PM   #3
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