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  1. #1

    Talking The evolution of a tank: Never stop learning and thank you all. (picture heavy)

    0 Not allowed!
    Thank you in advance for viewing this thread. I can't thank you all enough for helping me get to where I am at today!

    Here's the story....

    Fresh out of college and I found a duplex with an epic man cave...So what belongs in an epic man cave? An "awesome" fish tank.
    As a know-it-all. I bought a 40gallon breeder and threw some fish in there as the typical story-1/2 filtration, no cycle and "cheeky decor"

    This is a few months after figuring out how to cycle a tank:

    Then starts my quest to make a natural and planted tank with zero knowledge on how to set up either:
    This spans about 8 months of design changes:

    Finally I took a step back and evaluated my set up.
    I wasn't happy with the filtration, lights, decor, plants, substrate and nothing seemed to be "right" for a natural set up.
    I tore down the tank for 2 months-bare bottom and few pieces of wood.

    Took a hard look at how others have pulled successful tanks and their process. Can't tell you how glued I was to other peoples journals/set ups/tips and tricks.
    Finally had a plan and took a look at how to get a proper set up.

    Almost a year and a half later and this is something I'm finally proud of (see next post)

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!

    Current configuration:
    2 Fluval 306 canister filters
    One dedicated to "clarity" with chemipure elite and filter floss
    The other dedicated to biomedia with bio max filled to the brim
    Finnex Fuge Ray LED
    Black Diamond sand
    10 pieces of driftwood (Malaysian and manzanita)
    scattered blue river rock
    10 bunches of Italian Vals
    2 Anubias
    (looking to add more in the future)
    Flourish tabs (going for low tech set up)
    Jager 250watt heater @ 80deg

    1 rupper lip pleco
    1 bristlenose pleco
    2 bolivian rams
    1 GBR
    1 krib
    19 cardinal tetra (10 more in QT)
    couple cory cats and silver tip tetras (original fish that i'm keeping as they are at the end of their lifespan)

    Finally got my python water changer to help but I average 50% weekly.

    Hope you enjoy!

    Here are some fun pictures:

    My rupper lip saying hello:

    My new GBR is extremely social and loves to say hello!

    Thanks for viewing and I'll post pictures when I get a chance/upon request!

  3. #3


    0 Not allowed!
    Baby Bristlnose before bedtime.


    fish need to settle as they all were introduced to this set up today. Saw my GBR flaring up frequently so lights out to calm everyone down.

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    PRoves my point really, if you got the plan you can build a good tank. Nice to see the progress over time.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    A little further from sanity

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    0 Not allowed!
    Your tank looks great. I love seeing tanks mature/change, thanks for posting the progress of your tank.
    When I go fishing I just throw sharp rocks in the water and wait for the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
    Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reason is you are stupid and make bad decisions.

    I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
    Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
    Dear naps, sorry I hated you so much when I was a child... Love me

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    +1 to the above

    I really like seeing tanks develop over time as well
    If you take your time to do the research FIRST, you can successfully set-up and keep ANY type of aquarium with ease.
    "Not using a quarantine tank is like playing Russian roulette. Nobody wins the game, some people just get to play longer than others." - Anthony Calfo
    Fishless Cycle Cycling with Fish Marine Aquarium Info [URL=""]

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks everyone! Finally feels good having it set up properly.

    @crispy:thats the only thing I had right about first setting up the tank, was that a man cave needed one. Haha

    @TD: exactly right on that, having a plan and time is the key to a good set up.

    @FM: you have learned so much so quickly and have great tanks!

    Lets hope I can keep the plants alive this time around. Lol.
    once the new cardinals are out of QT I'll try and get a cool picture of them schooling.

  8. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Nice tank man; pretty similar to what I'm doing; also cool idea doing an over the time pics.
    Long time fish keeper most experience with CA/SA cichlids, natives like sunfish, and aggressive catfish.
    Currently have a 29g planted with 14 candy cane tetras, 6 sterbai corys, 6 melini corys, a rescued Siamese fighting fish and 1 mustache wearing albino longfin pleco.

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    Gods Country, Eastern High Sierras, California

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    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for sharing and I look forward to the pictures of your Cardinals in a big school.
    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

  10. #10


    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks Steeler1!

    The new cardinals are really small, so I hope their time in QT lets them grow a bit.

    I'll try to do a video of the school because pictures just don't do justice on how cool this looks!

    I don't know if this is normal or it is my lights, but pending where the Cardinals are in the tank-they are reflecting different colors-purple, blue, bright blue, teal. It is AWESOME. lol

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