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Results 1 to 10 of 73

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  1. Default AllenIsbell's Aquarium Experience.

    0 Not allowed!
    Here's my attempt at making a blog.

    Tank: 20 gallon extra-tall
    Environment: Freshwater/planted
    Filtration: Eheim Professional 2 2028 (Custom plumbing - see below)
    Lighting: A couple of 26-watt CFL bulbs for now. (Still looking for some 6000Ks)
    Substrate: Premium play sand.
    Heater: Rena Cal Top Light 100w

    So, I got back into wanting an aquarium about 6 months ago. I was set on building a marine aquarium. I changed my mind about 2 months ago. I wanted to first be in the habit of maintaining a box of water before venturing off into a more difficult field. Practice, basically.

    A friend hooked me up with a 20 gallon extra tall with lid/fixture and a stand.

    First things I did:

    I cleaned everything. The stand came with reversible panels--One side wood, the other black. The wood side was out. I like modern, so I swapped them around to black. The frames on the aquarium are plastic, and had a wood design on them. I flipped the aquarium upside down, masked off the front, sides, and bottom, and painted the rear black. I'm a fan of black backgrounds.

    I let the paint dry for 3 days in the garage before taking off the tape. While drying, I went to Lowes and picked up some PVC, sand, rocks, and other supplies to make my plumbing.


    Then I rinsed the sand because I hate cloudy water as much as the next aquarist.

    (I made a new Youtube channel because I realized that I wanted to make videos specifically related to fishkeeping)

    I really enjoy helping people, so I made a guide if anyone is interested in learning how to rinse sand:

    Next, I busted the rocks up . PAIN IN THE BUTT. THEY ARE TOUGH.

    Took it all into my office where I took measurements for the plumbing. Did all of the cutting/gluing outside.

    After that was said and done, I ran the water hose through the window and filled it up. When the water level was at about 25%, I leveled the tank. My tile floors must not be even because it was off a good bit. Primed the filter, and got the water moving. Had to add water after filling up the filter, of course. Added Jungle Start-Right to the tank to get rid of chlorine and cloromine.

    After a couple days of making sure that there were no leaks and getting the temperature up, I went to Wal-Mart and bought a Platy and Molly to start the cycle. I also bought a pack of "Hardy Aponogeton Bulbs" to start my plant adventure. I acclimated the fish by floating the bag for 30 minutes and pouring a little tank water into their bag every 5 minutes for an hour. I know some people are against cycling with fish--I'm not. Sorry if that's offensive to anyone. I also got an airstone at this time. The fish lived through it with no problems or signs of distress.

  2. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Had to split this up due to the 6 photo per post limit.........

    After a week, I got an Apple Snail and a Red Flame Sword from Wal-Mart.

    Made a timelapse video of the Apple Snail:

    Waited another 2 weeks, and got some ghost shrimp and a male Gold-Dust Molly. (I can't get good pictures of the fish because they move too fast. I will post video updates of the tank instead.) Somehow the plant and airstone kept floating up, so I got some Eagle Claw eco friendly fishing weights and tied them on to the plant and airstone with fishing line (made of tin and aquarium safe based off of my online research).

    A couple of days ago, I realized that my plant was growing pretty dang fast on a 10-hour-per-day light schedule. I propagated the Red Flame Sword to spread the greenery out a little. At this time, I was hoping I was doing it right. I just pulled them apart, tied and weighted the pieces together.

    I have been doing 50% water changes weekly since I started this tank. Today I did a water change.

    I just noticed that one of the Aponogeton bulbs have sprouted!

    After noticing that, I spread the bulbs out so they don't use up each other's nutrients (if that's even an issue with them). These CFL bulbs are doing a great job of growing these plants. The new sprouts in the center of the original Red Flame seem to be growing at least 1/2" per day. Not sure about the longer ones. I do plan on getting some nutrients for the plants, though.

    I will be doing a video introduction of my tank tomorrow when the water is settled down from this water change.

    More updates to come as I make changes/discoveries.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Gods Country, Eastern High Sierras, California

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    0 Not allowed!
    Looks like your off to a good start.
    Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.
    Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.
    -Vince Lombardi

    Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. ― John Wooden
    Sandy Hook Elementary......Lest We Forget
    See my profile for my tanks and what fish I keep

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    Looks really good so far.

    What's the reason you have the intake pipe so short? I would think it would be more advantageous having it longer to draw water from the lower portion of the tank, thus increasing overall circulation?

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks, everyone.

    The intake will be longer when I get some more 90 degree PVC elbows and make it how I want it.

    I didn't get to do the video update last night. Maybe today. Busy schedule with a little one to look after.

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    Fish based cycling is fine if you don't mind large water changes day in and day out for weeks.
    Knowledge is fun(damental)

    A 75 gal with eight Discus, fake plants, and a lot of wood also with sand substrate. Clean up crew is down to just two Sterba's Corys. Filters: continuous new water flow; canister w/UV, in-tank algae scrubber!! Finally, junked the nitrate removal unit from hell.

    For Fishless cycling:

  7. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Oops, didn't mean to post......

  8. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Quick update.

    I got some new bits for my Dremel. Diamond coated. With these, I cut a few holes to permanently mount my LED moon lights. Soooo happy with the results!!!

    I found out just how tight you can tighten these before the glass cracks :(

    But you can't see the cracks with the hood on!

    Sooner or later I am going to make an acrylic or plexiglass top that will ONLY have LED's in it. I've got to buy some more LED's and resistors before I do that. Gotta do the math to figure out how many I need for the .6 to .8 watts per gallon LED rule. It's gonna take a lot of them, but well worth it.

    And a full tank shot:

    Last edited by AllenIsbell; 11-13-2012 at 12:22 AM.

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    great job keep em coming.

    20 gal tall - Helios - HM Betta Male, 1 rasbora het, 2 rummy tetras, 1 glowlight tetra, 1 additional tetra, 1 zebra nerite, 10-15 cherry shrimp, Java Moss and crypto planted tank w/ Driftwood and Spider Wood


  10. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Another update on the Aponogeton!

    All of the progress in these pictures is over about a 3 day period. The last pic with the fish were taken a few minutes ago.

    I love that I was able to get both my my Mollies in a decent picture!

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