RiversGirl Encases 40 Gallons of Freshwater
I have wanted to keep fish as a hobby for quite some time and have given great consideration to several aspects of it. My husband built a beautiful oak cabinet, years ago. It has been many things for us in the past, including an entertainment cabinet, back when TVs the smaller variety. Putting an aquarium in it has made it a showcase of entertainment – albeit of a different sort -- again.
I purchased the glass aquarium and lid in May 2013. I chose the 40 gal size as that was the largest that would fit well, within our cabinet. The ‘breeder’ dimensions were chosen to provide as much surface area as possible; I read this promotes better health for inhabitants of the glass box.
Our family then debated for months (and months) over which type of fish we wanted to keep. Freshwater was determined fairly early on, but we went back and forth between the various species tanks and a community tank. If it were completely my call, I’d have a whole bunch of tanks by now and wouldn’t have had to choose between any of the fish … (Surely I’m singing to the choir there, right?) Hub had to put his foot down somewhere though. *winks* I’ll continue to dream my dreams of other tanks and build on what I’ve got currently.
To build a living piece of art. To me, pretty and interesting nature fits that bill nicely. The health of my pets is my priority. I’m aiming for a partially-planted, peaceful, community, tropical, freshwater tank.
What I have:
40 gal breeder; fw. 3 male Platys.
live plants: 3 Corkscrew Vallisneria; 1 Lace Java Fern (planted on driftwood)
Fluval U4 (submersible filter) rated for 65 gal; 260 GPH
Eheim Heater Jager 125 Watt
Substrate: PFS – was told this is ‘fine gravel’ and also still considered sand. (If anyone can confirm this, it would ease my mind.) I do not know if Pool Filter Sand has varying sizes or if it has a standard. I wanted sand because of a few of my planned future inhabitants.
What I’ve done:
I completed a fishless cycle – thank y’all so much for all the wonderful posts on how to go about that!
4/2/14 My numbers had remained good and steady, so I added the first fish from my ‘stock wish list’: 3 Platys (hopefully all male -- the LFS’s very helpful man made his best attempt to sex them).
The Platys were acclimated using the ‘drip method’ I read about from this site. I don’t mean to be redundant, but thank you for discussing/teaching that method too! The manager at the LFS had not even heard of this method, although his employee had. My fish seemed very happy and at ease once I got them in my tank. I will admit they did not seem to appreciate my driving skills while taking them to a new home, but the necessary evils are what they are. I was delighted to be able to provide the least amount of stress as possible.
I planted 4 plants on the same day: the plugs of Corkscrew Vallisneria are planted in the sand/gravel; 1 Lace Java Fern planted on driftwood. I have a couple of questions – will post those in another thread over in the Plant Section.
4/7/14 my aquarium water test today:
Ammonia 0; Nitrite 0; Nitrate 0; pH 7.0;
Alkalinity 200 mg/L; Hardness 150 mg/L; Chlorine & Chloramine 0
I welcome any comments, suggestions and even pointed-out errors or pitfalls if you see I may be making those. I’d prefer my fish do not pay for my learning curve with their health.
Thank you for reading.
I forgot to list my light with the other equipment.
It is a T5 light, containing 2 bulbs at 21 watts each. I think this might be considered 'low light' but am uncertain.
Have you got pictures? I'd love to see! :D
Sound like a good start. And more comments well follow.
Yes, you can't post about your tank without pictures in this forum!
what fish are you going to add next? or is that under debate still, lol
Welcome to the forum and great start on the fishtank! Much better than mine. haha Like everyone else said, PICS OR IT DIDN'T HAPPEN!!
Increasing your biodiversity increases your stability.
You know what this tank needs? ........................ Crypts.
Hopefully this works -- have been trying to figure out the photo-posting process. (any tips/suggestions are welcomed) Y'all are photo-hounds! ~ grins ~
This is my empty glass box, with just the substrate. The pic shows the narrowed access areas all around my aquarium well. This was a troublesome limitation when trying to outfit it with a filter.
Hmm. I see your space restraints you mentioned earlier, but you could still easily have put a canister filter on that tank. It could go in the cabinet below, but you'd need holes in that piece of furniture for the hoses to pass through, which would not be hard to do. Not sure if you'd want holes in that furniture, though. A canister would free up real estate in the tank that the Fluval filter is going to take up.
Anyhow, I'm glad you chose a 40 breeder, that's what I have. That extra 6" of depth gives you so much more room to hardscape.
And I HAVE to ask, that receiver/tuner on the upper shelf looks just like an old Fisher receiver I had many moons ago, is it a Fisher? Does it still work?
I tried to add this in earlier. (I'm slow, I know...) This better shows the sides. The clearance/access is the same on either side. (and I *do* thank y'all for the questions, I will answer those shortly.)
@ sheamurai – the next fish is something of a debate. In particular, the best order. My stock wish-list keeps changing (!) just a little too… ha.
I do know that I want all my fish to meet the following criteria:
Sturdy and Adaptable
Do not grow more than around 2 - 2.5 inches at full size. I may consider some that get up to 3 inches, but want that to be my exception, not the rule. (This is more for species that the females get larger than the males.)
Beyond that, I would like some that are active, some that are colorful. Basically, I’m seeking fun, entertaining, peaceful inhabitants. Watching my 3 Platys has been wonderful!
My next fish might well be a school of (mostly) top dwellers. I've looked into several various types.
The zebra danio were on my list, but I have read they are such jumpers. This is a concern to me, because while I do have a lid, I must remove it entirely to do any maintenance.
My consideration-focus is currently on Neon Tetra Jumbo (Paracheirodon innesi). I’d likely get a medium-sized school of those.
These are not my next fish, but of the 3 ‘zones’, I really have my heart most wrapped around the bottom dwellers. I’ve heard I need to add those in later, however. (I don’t know if this is actually true so if anyone disagrees, I’d love to know your reasoning.)
These specific bottom dwellers are the only ones that have remained steadily on my stock wish-list. I very much would like a small school (so 6) each of Sterbai Cory (Corydoras sterbai) and of the Dwarf Chain Loach (Which I am finding listed as 3 different names: Ambastaia sidthimunki or Botia sidthimunki also Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki) I will continue to research these, and am looking for any discussions with anyone who has experienced advice to give on these.
At first I thought that these 12 fish on the bottom level would be too much and I’d have to choose between them, but I am thinking with all my caves and such I actually have a lot of bottom-land real estate. I have mostly driftwood and rocks with holes. (yes, y’all photo hounds: I know I am behind on pictures. I will show you my proof. *grins* )
Now…. One HUGE question I have is regarding shrimp and if they may be housed with the loaches in particular. I will ask that question in a thread, perhaps.