Starting all over again.

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Aquarium Advice Activist
Jan 7, 2013
I just started getting back into the hobby last year. I use to have a 15 gallon tank when I was younger and kept different tropical fish and sometimes goldfish. Last year I took my 10 gallon tank I used for hermit crabs when I was in college to work and started that up. It didn't take long for everything to die off as I didn't cycle that long, overstocked, and wrong fish. I had kept goldfish (feeders) with tropical and didn't have heater with tropical and so on. Rookie mistakes that I figured out after the fact. I decided after reading up to try live plants. So I went to a LFS and tried a substrate with bacteria already with it, the substrate was a gravel with liquid in it. I then put clay additives and mixed it with the substrate and after a day put 3 plant species in, MoneyWort, Red Wendtii, and Pygmy Amazon Sword Grass. After 3 weeks filter pump and lights/airstone rotation I add 3 Assorted Coreys and got about 20 Endler Guppies from a lady at the office. The tank has been up for about a year and have given out well over 100 guppies to people through the year, winded up adding a Beta fish to help control Endler population (even though I think the Brood every 2 weeks) and recently added 2 small snails (probably pond snails) to help with algae. I feed 3 times a week, Water changes varies from once a week or once every other week. I clean out the filter every couple days due to the blades reducing flow from plants. I am currently in the process of gathering supplies for a DYI CO2 reactor and diffuser. The lights I use are 2 CFL's rated at 30 watt per bulb but not at 6700K (acutally current bulbs at 3600K but have bulbs to replace that are at 5000k) that I get at Home Depot (I much rather spend $5 for 4 bulbs than $10 for a bulb at LFS)

At the home front, I found on craigslist a guy selling a 40 gallon tall tank (reminds you of 2-20 gallons stacked) light ballasts, air pump and stand on wheels for $30 bucks. I haven't checked it if it holds water yet (as it needs cleaning) but I can make the repairs as I go as it will be side project behind home remodeling as my wife and I are expecting our first after moving into this house less than a year ago. I kinda want to make it have a Amazon feel with driftwood but stocking I was thinking Corys and Cardinal Tetras atm, but I'm trying to avoid the heavy tanin color you get sometimes with driftwood. Part of my job is grabbing samples at storm drains that go into local waterways, so I am looking already for some good stones to make caves. Looking for input from people as I will gradually get into this project. Was thinking of using potting soil as substrate (props to DustinFishTank as I love watching his youtube videos).

My ultimate goal is have a 90 gallon reef tank at my house but that is farther down the road. Closer is the pond I want to put in my yard with a waterfall in a coming from a natural hill I have. So any help with things would be great.
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