Why Plan Anything...It Never Happens As Planned

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Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Nov 3, 2022
Northern UK
So, my plan was to complete my rebuild of the 53 gallon. Possibly share the various steps to completion.

Yeah......didn't quite work out that way :ermm:

Started fine. Delivery of all the goodies arrived at lunchtime yesterday....I like deliveries, but am impatient whilst waiting for them to actually arrive.

Anyway, everything arrived...unpacked it all.

First hiccup.....the filters.

Normally I would use AquaEl Turbo's. This time I decided on a larger version of what Fred has in his aquarium...the Interpet CF3 x 2. Good plan.

Except they refused to fit how I actually wanted them to....not on the carriers but hooked onto the side glass.

Not to worry.....goes into the shed, finds tin snips (they were all I had) and started doing surgery on the aquarium's hood.

YES!! We have fitting filters.

Put the sand in....started to arrange the decor (artificial as per normal cos I kill plants).

In the middle of this, the front door is knocked. Go answer it and there are two nurses.

"We have come to give you your annual flu jab and the COVID booster"

Nurse armed with two large needles...human dartboard impersonation done and off they went to their next victim.

Back to the aquarium.

"hmmmmmm....shall I or shall I not fill it today.....I could do it tomorrow....nah...lets get it done now"

I use bottled water in my aquariums since the tap water is lousy.

Two hours and lots of bottles later, we have a full aquarium....foggy but full.

Turned the heater and filters on, had my tea, put Fred to bed in his aquarium and went to bed with two very throbbing arms and a sore back.

2am this morning and I am lying awake listening to the filters vibrating in the lounge. Got up, grabbed their carriers, plonked them on the carriers and all is peaceful.

Still a bit misty....two throbbing arms and a badly butchered hood that now needs to be replaced....

But we are DONE!!

(Til Thursday when a new hood arrives)


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LOL, glad to see things don't change :)

At least the tank looks good :)
What are you planning on putting in it?

Thank you :)

The stock will be arriving on Thursday next week.

1 matched pair of Fire Red Apisto
10 Cory (Orange Venezuela variant of Cory Aeneus)
30 Neon Tetra

Did the usual calculations on stocking and that lot comes to approximately 65% give or take 5% depending where you look. So a nice number of fish.....there is lots of space for the Cories to dig around in, 2 large caves for the Apisto's to snuggle into that are private from anyone who is being nosey and around 70% of the water space is free of any obstacles for the Neons with plenty of hiding places/sight blocks when they want a bit of peace and quiet

There is a poster on the back of the aquarium (currently misted out) that has high banks of greenery on each side and a lower area in the middle....the ornamentals follow those contours and wrap around at the front/sides to give the fish time out space and privacy from the resident human (me)
One good thing about using artificial is that when something just does not look right, you can easily hook it out and replace it.

The red/green plant on the front left looked off....so replaced it with something greener and it does a nice job of hiding the GKM and filter on that side


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Do they go door to door doing vaccines or did you request it? They are free in the US, but has to go to pharmacy. I went to Walmart.
Do they go door to door doing vaccines or did you request it? They are free in the US, but has to go to pharmacy. I went to Walmart.

I am housebound, so they have to come to my home, same as the doctors, groceries etc. No family, so everyone/everything comes to me.
Definitely improving visibility now. Should be all sorted by Thursday when the new residents arrive. Will do a 25% water refreshon Wednesday morning then its just a case of waiting for the residents and a new hood to arrive....I suspect the fish will arrive first.


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The filters are now working perfectly and, most importantly, silently

Unlike the smaller CF variants, the CF3 is intentionally topless and essentially behaves like a HOB but without being a HOB. Documented flow on the CF3 is said to be 700 lph, more likely to be slightly less in reality, so two of them working in tandem on opposite ends of the aquarium should give more than enough filtration. I never use the media that is provided, I always do my own without any issues.

The images below.....left side filter (with GKM outlet alongside), right side filter and a full view of the aquarium from the left side.


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Who or what is Fred? I use almost all artificial plants too after disastrous results, the worse being pest snail infestations. My favorite plants are the silk ficus vines from ExoTerra. They have suction cups and stick to the walls and fan out to allow shelter for the fish. Also attractive IMO. I have a few banana plants and another common live plant doing OK with my betta. But nothing else worked and I did try once upon a time.
Oh, I have one of those. He lives by himself in a 5 gal tank on a shelf above my kitchen sink. He’s a very pretty boy. Magenta with white edging on his fins,
Oh, I have one of those. He lives by himself in a 5 gal tank on a shelf above my kitchen sink. He’s a very pretty boy. Magenta with white edging on his fins,

Fred Betta is an adopted hooligan that I took on after his owner became too unwell to keep him 5 months ago (his owner sadly passed away a short time after I received him). Initially he lived in an 8 gallon cube but he now lives in a 29 gallon....I have a homebred BN female living with him, though if he refuses to stop going after her, I might end up putting the BN into the 53 gallon instead.

Fred is now 3.5 years old, he is the most argumentative and aggressive Betta that I have ever come across.

If he wasn't already called Fred, I would have called him Sid...as in Hissing Sid or Sid Vicious


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He’s a beauty! That’s a nice big betta tank. I am unable to gauge the aggressiveness of mine as he’s always alone. I’d be afraid to try more than one.
Are you trying to breed bettas?
He’s a beauty! That’s a nice big betta tank. I am unable to gauge the aggressiveness of mine as he’s always alone. I’d be afraid to try more than one.
Are you trying to breed bettas?


I only have the one Betta.

His tankmate is a BN...Bristlenose, not another Betta
Fred is a very attractive guy! Lovely that he has plenty of room to roam.

As for planning, some people seem to be able to set things up just perfectly. For me, usually I have some changes, lol.
Fish arrive tomorrow morning for the 53....and one of the filters decided to curl its microchips up overnight. The other one keeps sliding down the glass.

I absolutely HATE suction cups!

Got another filter coming...also tomorrow....that has magnetic connections instead of suction cups....Sicce Shark Pro 900. It should handle the aquarium on its own (I do still have the 450 lph 24w GKM lurking in the corner of the aquarium that can be used as required.)
Nice about the fish and suction cups are mainly junk. Sound frustrating for new equipment to be so junky.

The filter that refuses to stay in place will be dried and sorted as a spare. The one that died will go back to the retailer.

Annoying...absolutely. However I would rather have equipment issues before the fish arrived so that it can be sorted beforehand.

The fish are coming with the same courier as the replacement filter and its looking to be mild tomorrow, so I will fit the new filter (using old media) before opening the box with the fish in it. Since the fish are well insulated, they will be fine for the 15-20 minutes it takes to get the filters swapped and sorted.

I have a new hood coming too from Diversa / MB Stores but that swap should be no problem at all with the fish in the aquarium.
I will be so pleased when everything is completely done with my 53...

What with misbehaving filters and a butchered hood needing to be replaced....

Now my first choice Corydora cannot be sent tomorrow due to an issue with them at my supplier. So it will be a batch of Corydora Rabauti instead of the Orange Venezuelan variant of Corydora Aeneus.

Keeping fish is not easy and can be stressful to humans LOL
Wow, that’s a big tank for a betta. Mine’s in a 5 gallon, but I have 10, 20, 29 & a 40 gallon tanks sitting around empty. I’d have to say Beto (play on Texan politician’s name) is not all that active, hence I’m uncertain if larger accommodations would behoove him. I have no plans to add another fish to his humble abode.

Here’s a photo from yesterday. He looks faded & is more purple/magenta.


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