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Old 06-06-2011, 12:17 AM   #1
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My 'First' Tank

Hello Aquariumadvice.com, this is my first post! I'm basically transferring this thread from another forum that seems dead.


To start off I'll give a quick background. I have to confess that I'm a pseudo-beginner. A few years ago I started a couple of aquariums and lurked forums enough to understand the basics of 'fish-keeping.' I learned about fishless cycling, water chemistry, and a lot of general fish species information. About a year afterward I got married, moved, and started a new job. Aquariums unfortunately took a back seat and my aquarium maintenance faltered. An in-law family had one large tank already and had two kids really into the aquarium experience so I gave them all the hardware I had acquired. Now things have settled down and I'm ready to take on a tank again. My wife was excited at the prospect of new fish pets which really encourages my enthusiasm and I can't wait to get started!


My plan is to post the progress each step of the way. My natural inclination is to approach this scientifically anyway, so I thought instead of just recording everything, why not record and post it on an intelligent forum to get constant feedback. I'll post pictures where applicable as well as all water readings and interesting facts/activities surrounding my tank. Hopefully any trends or warnings that escape my novice eye will be caught be some of the more experienced hobbyists out there.


GOAL: Create and maintain a community planted tank that is as attractive as it is healthy.
Secondary Goal: Post plenty of pictures!


My wife liked a tank her mom had when she was younger which was a 35g hex tank. It was collecting dust so we got it. I'd rather not have a hex, but because my wife likes it I want to make it work, besides it was free! The plan is to be planted, but really all I want to plant is Java Moss in this tank. I still haven't decided on what fish yet. I want to figure out what my water perameters are coming out of the tap first. I'm not sure what fish go best in a tall tank as apposed to a long tank and would really appreciate any suggestions.
A BEFORE shot.
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Old 06-06-2011, 06:53 AM   #2
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The tank has water! I went to two LFSs today and got almost all I needed. Neither had Java Moss which surprised me since one seems like a very high quality small store (they just said there were out at the moment) and the other was a big chain store... Anyway, I'll get it later.

I didn't put the driftwood in because I'm just not sure I have the right piece yet. I want to put a piece on the right side of the tank that branches out over the middle and provides cover for the fish. I have shale in there right now I washed it down and tested a few pieces and they seem clean. My water hardness test hasn't come yet.

Filtration: Tetra Whisper 40i
Heater: PENN-PLAX Cascade HEAT 30/120

Heater is set to 86 for cycle, thermometer on the other side of the tank reads 80 after a few hours. Might need bigger heater.

PH: 7.4-7.6
Amm: 0ppm
NO2:0ppm
NO3:0ppm

Treated tank w/ 15ml of prime to rid it of chlorine. Waited 1h, added 1ml of Ammonia. (I did the math afterwards and it looks like .66ml would be 5ppm in a full 35g tank.)

http://i936.photobucket.com/albums/a...very_close.jpg
http://i936.photobucket.com/albums/a...ay_front_2.jpg
http://i936.photobucket.com/albums/a...ay_front_1.jpg
http://i936.photobucket.com/albums/a..._day_close.jpg

Note: This was actually yesterday, the post got delayed.
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Old 06-06-2011, 09:59 AM   #3
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Cool. Welcome to AA...sounds like you're ahead of the game. Looking forward to seeing what you do with this project.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:33 AM   #4
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Welcome to AA! Just checking, but you are using pure ammonia correct? No surfactant, scent, etc.?
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:39 AM   #5
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:51 AM   #6
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to AA. Keep us posted!
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:57 AM   #7
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Awesome! Totally excited have you thought about siliconing those rocks together at the top? Just to be sure there is no collapse? God forbid!!
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homedog98 View Post
Welcome to AA! Just checking, but you are using pure ammonia correct? No surfactant, scent, etc.?
Indeed, actually I looked at walmart surprised at no success. Food Lion Had the product I needed though. Many moons ago I made the 'surfactants' mistake. I saved the cycle with just several PWCs but it took about 5-6 weeks then I moved and never put fish in it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyler View Post
Awesome! Totally excited have you thought about siliconing those rocks together at the top? Just to be sure there is no collapse? God forbid!!
Well TBH I'm just not sure if this is the final look. Plus (and I know the picture doesn't show it well) if you can see at all in the picture, the bottom piece is not a point but rather a ~3/4" x ~2" flat surface that is angled perfectly with the piece on top. I gave both sides a good push both before and after I put the water in though Thanks!


Thanks everybody for the warm welcome. I'm glad I found AA!
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:42 PM   #9
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Just makin sure don't want anything bad to happen! I think it looks great though
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:49 PM   #10
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Very nice setup so far! I have a 10 gal hex and I love it....IMO I like the Java moss only idea but you may want to consider just one or two plants just for additional spots for the fish to hide...so far so good I can't Wat to see the progress
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:34 PM   #11
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Hey! Welcome to AA, on regards to your question on stocking I do know that angelfish, for example, enjoy taller tanks rather than longer ones, but thats all I got, someone else give us a hand. Lol.
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Old 06-06-2011, 01:44 PM   #12
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I think I've read that endlers do well in this set up...I think the most important part is that you have surface agitation, because the surface area is smaller on a tall tank
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:19 PM   #13
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2-3 angelfish were one of my first thoughts. I don't know if I want angelfish or not though. I'd like to see lots of activity all around the tank with small fish I think... that said some of the more colorful cichlids interest me as well, but I don't know anything about them yet. (I also don't know why Chrome keeps telling me 'cichlids' is spelled wrong...) The Endler's look very interesting, I'm going to look further into those. I like how unique they are.

Before anyone says anything, I realize I don't need to test every single day, but I'm going to to get a picture of the process and probably graph the levels etc.
________________________________

Notes:
Added 3 flakes of ground up tropical fish flakes food.
Light was on yesterday a few hours but will remain off until cycle completes.
Heater still set to 86, thermometer on the opposite side of the tank.

Temp: 84
PH: 7.8-8.0
Amm: .25ppm
NO2: 0ppm
NO3: ~5ppm

Added 1ml of ammonia.
Installed bubble stone to promote chemical exchange.

Tested Ammonia 1 hour later:
Amm: .25ppm

Added 1ml of ammonia.

________________________________

What do you guys make of the low ammonia? I did the math yesterday and .66ml should equal 5ppm in a 35g tank(unless my math is off...) Going to test it later. This has me wondering how long it takes a few drops of ammonia to spread tank wide to get accurate readings. Thoughts?
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Old 06-06-2011, 03:25 PM   #14
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What it looks like is you are getting nitrate already?! Confused...I'm not sure how that happened in a day...are you sure you aren't getting readings on your NO2? Which would be nitrite? Im sure you know this, but for my own sanity...it goes ammonia -> nitrite-> nitrate...not sure how you skipped the middle step
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:02 PM   #15
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Agreed, I have an airstone in my 10 gal for just that reason. I think some flashy schooling fish would be lovely....cardinal tetras, harlequin rasboras, rummy nose tetras......just some ideas!
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:07 PM   #16
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Light doesnt interfere much with the cycle so in the interest of progressing beyond an empty tank you could start planting. Just a thought.

Yes something is off, you dont have any seeding material in there do you? (stones, gravel, media filter from an stablished tank). Because you shoukdnt have nitrAtes without nitrItes.
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:26 PM   #17
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Performed tests again:

Ammonia: .5ppm
NitrItes: 0ppm
NitrAtes: Even more definitive 5ppm


I just tested pure ammonia with the ammonia test and it didn't go higher than .5ppm in color... sigh.
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:36 PM   #18
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Check and see if your tests are expired...
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:53 PM   #19
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Hello. Welcome to AA.

I love how that tank looks like. I have a 4.4G flatback hex and I love it.

Agreed with some of the suggested stocks. Cardinal tetras, harlequin rasboras (which I owned 5, so it's highly recommended), maybe chili rasboras, black bar endlers, celestial pearl danios, maybe sparkling gouramis or a pearl gourami, or maybe dwarf gouramis, ember tetras, and/or pygmy cory cats for bottom dwellers.

It is not abnormal to have nitrates during the testings. But you shouldn't really worry about them right now. Check the ammonia and the nitrite more instead.

Anyway, I am definitely follow this thread. Welcome again.
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:54 PM   #20
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No all Lot #'s end with 1210 or later. I'm going to try an experiment. I just got a sky high ammonia reading when I drew the water from the middle of my tank and not th surface. But that doesn't explain the pure ammonia test...
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