SLeen's 10G noob adventure
I bought this tank at the end of May. I made a lot of mistakes setting it up, including, but not limited to: not cycling it, overstocking it, and stocking it with things that really didn't belong in there at all.
That being said, its still a work in progress.
I bought the 10G "starter kit" from Walmart, along with bulbs for two different types of plants. Then I bought a couple pounds of overpriced aquarium sand from Petsmart and some cute little plastic rock structures. Then I planted the bulbs and waited for the sand to settle.
The only fish I put in there at first was my single Bronze Cory that was the sole survivor of my last "aquarium". This guy is seriously a trooper. Hes my favorite fish of all time.
Heres a pic of Cory Feldman:
check out all his majesty...
Anyway, this is how my tank looked when I first set it up:
WARNING: This is extremely embarrassing.
you'll noticed that the water is not even completely clear and I have already fully stocked this tank. Also note the crab who has no earthly business being there.
in the tank:
1 Red-Clawed Crab
3 Variable Platys (all male)
6 Neon Tetras
3 Bronze Corys (including Cory Feldman)
Once some of the bulb plants grew in, it actually looked a lot nicer. (I also took the crab out and put him in his own habitat.)
But thats not the end of it.
At this point (about 2 weeks after setting up the tank) I had learned about cycling. So I was testing the water daily and doing small water changes. My Nitrites were always reading a little high, Ammonia at 0 and Nitrites pretty normal, around 10.
But after a while I got the feeling something was not quite right. After some serious, sweaty-brow detective work, I realized the water testing kit I was using that I had found lying around in a box in my closet....was expired! Big shocker, there.
So I went out and bought the API Master kit, which was probably the first thing I had done right so far.
After that I got the real readings for my tank. They. were. HORRIBLE.
What disturbed me most was how high the ammonia was. I think it was around 1ppm.
So I did a 75% water change and vacuum. It went down a little and I was testing it constantly until it got down to OKAY levels (still not great).
The worst part was that one of new corys, Sean Astin, was suffering from pretty bad ammonia burn. Her (yeah, found out Sean Astin is a female) fins were almost destroyed and her barbells were barely showing. But all I could do was try and get the ammonia under control
SO I kept monitoring the levels and doing daily water changes, but the levels were still fluctuating between barely registering and .5ppm. Eventually I decided to tear the sucker apart.
SO, I drained most of the water, took all my fish out and put them in a 5G bucket, because I didnt have a spare tank. I put an air stone in there and covered it with a dish towel.
Then I took the plants out, put them in the bucket also, then drained the rest of the water.
Heres where I discovered a problem. I lifted up one of the two little plastic caves and underneath it, the sand was pretty much black. Covered in waste that had been trapped under this stupid plastic thing. Now, I was vacuuming under the other cave, but this one had been particularly difficult to pull up without disturbing everything around it. So this stuff had just been collecting there the whole time. That, combined with my inexperience in feeding properly (read: Overfeeding) was causing the spikes in the ammonia levels.
At least now I new what the problem was.
I decided to get rid of the plastic things, as well as the gravel I had mixed in with the sand. It was originally just around the bulbs to help plant them, but now it was everywhere. I was afraid it would form more waste pockets and I couldnt afford to risk it.
After that, I changed the water out and the reconstruction began.
So, after I got the tank filled back up and put another piece of driftwood in, instead of the plastic rocks, I was getting ready to put my fish back in.
I left the full tank alone with the lights off and filter running for as long as I could, which was about 5 hours. During that time, I was checking on the fish in the bucket about every 20 minutes.
At one point, when I went to check on them and noticed that the dishcloth cover had slid off about 2 inches. To my horror, I found that one of my neons had jumped out of the bucket and landed on the dishcloth. I rushed to place him back in the bucket, but it was already too late. I was pretty upset.
at around midnight that night, I put the rest of the tetras back in the tank. Then I put little clips around the rim of the bucket to hold the dishcloth on tightly.
The next day, I slowly put the rest of the fish back in the tank.
After this, despite the loss, things were looking better.
Especially the tank:
I had bought some moss, a few little anubias, and a crypt. In my opinion, this is a huge improvement. Plus my ammonia levels went way down. The problem I am having at the moment seems to be that since I removed gravel and the plastic structures, I have less beneficial bacteria and the tank is going through another cycle. But things are still much improved.
Even Sean Astin is looking better.
This is pretty much how the tank looks right now. My next improvement will be the filter. I am finally getting an AquaClear 30. Once that is set up, I am going to do some more aquascaping.
Tank looks nice! See if you can find a small canister filter for the tank...even a used one. You have somewhat of a heavy bioload and a canister will really help you keep things undercontrol. An Eheim 2213 would be perfect, I have a Fluval 105 on my own 10G planted...does very nice. The eheim would be easier to find 2nd hand tho.
Would you suggest that over the AquaClear? I don't know much about canisters.
Originally Posted by MCHRKiller
Many times...yes. Canister filters offer much more media space than a HOB...they also provide better circulation than a HOB. Many people dont think small tanks benefit from a canister as it is often times not worth the cost...but if you can find a used one it would even out to the cost of a new HOB. Plus Eheims will last 10 years plus...being used doesnt hurt them any.
well I'll see what I can find, then. Any recommendations on looking for used filters? I wouldnt really know where to start.
There is a brand new one with media for cheap,
Ebay and Craigslist are good places to begin the search
So I'm thinking about my long-term plans for this tank.
Its not ideal, I know this. So what I would like to do, is set up a 20G and migrate my corys in there. I may even move the 3 platys as well, then get another neon, and a school of some other small fish, maybe rasboras or another type of tetra. SOMETHIN. I'm open to suggestions.
My problem, however, is that I am not entirely sure what the limits/restrictions are on aquariums for my apartment. There is not really any mention of it in the lease except for some vague allusion to "water-containing furniture" which I think means waterbeds and the like. At least thats what I have been going with.
And already having 3 small tanks set up, I don't really know if I should push my luck any further.
Has anybody heard of that kind of terminology in a lease? I imagine if they meant aquariums, they would SAY aquariums. ?
I would ask, but I don't really want to risk letting on what I have already.
An apartment complex that I was looking into said that the maximum sized aquarium that you could have was a 20G. I decided against that one since my aquarium is 29G. I am moving into the apartment complex across the street though and I do not know what is allowed. I hope that I can keep my aquarium since I move in 1 month.
Lots of tanks. Some tanks are planted. Fish include community and bettas.
2 Dachshunds. Angel (Red) and Cookie (Chocolate Dapple).
Shiny Things and Beauty the rabbits.
RIP Princess and Max the Dachshunds, Tiger and Ping Pong the rabbits, and all the fishes from when I was a newbie.
It is Ldoerr NOT Idoerr.
Black kitten named Midnight that was found 10/29/12