The Accidental Aquarist
I've been lurking around the forums for quite some time while I've been setting up our family tank. I've learned so much! I'll be chronicaling our progress here in my journal.
My husband had a 45g tank and all the fixins sitting in our garage for about 8 years. He recently got some divine inspiration and scrubbed everything down, moved it upstairs to our dining room, and got it up and running.
Then he turned it over to me for the rest :). Thus the "Accidental Aquarist" which isn't totally accurate, but it sounds dramatic ;). We've talked about setting up the tank again for years, but just never got around to it until now. So, I set to work on the Google and made my way here and the Aquarium Ebook. I read up and prepared to cycle the tank and then....
Me: So I've been learning about how to get the tank prepped for fish and...
Hubby: ??Prepped?? What do you mean? We put the water in, condition it, and my old trusty awesome filter does the rest. We don't even have to change the water EVER! Isn't this cool?!?!
Me: No, no...they don't do it like that anymore. Ammonia...Nitrites...
Hubby: BAH!!! They who???? AWESOME FILTER!! [Note: Fluval 303 for inquiring minds]
Me: ...Nitrates...Wait a minute...are there fish in the tank?
LOL, sounds like a few conversations that the wife and I had many years ago
You might want to show your hubby the cycling with fish thread that we have here. There's a link to it in my sig. That might help him to understand better
And welcome to the forum 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
Thanks for the welcome MLB and Cliff. I'm really enjoying the forums and articles here. As for hubby reading the articles, I will try to talk him into it but I have little hope. I'm the researcher of the family and he's the 'just do it' guy - it's actually a dynamic that works well for us . We've made it through dozens of home improvement projects that way!
Thankfully, Petco (try not to faint) steered us in the right direction and suggested "the ADD brigade" i.e.Zebra Danios as our first tank occupants. It took forever and we lost one of the Danis along the way, but I finally got the tank cycled properly.
We've recently added more fish, so I'm now testing/water changing like a mad woman through a mini cycle as the system catches up to the heavier load.
Our Peaceful Community Members:
7 Zebra Danios "The ADD Brigade"
12 Cherry Barbs "The Pink Ladies"
6 Emerald Corydoras "The Green Machines"
We somehow managed to come home with 11 female Cherry Barbs and one lone male. I'm thinking about adding another Cherry male or two at some point. Not that I'm particularly interested in breeding, but I think fish put their best foot forward when there are members of the opposite sex to impress. I don't want to see my barbs wearing yoga pants and baseball caps all the time .
Anyhoo...Thankfully, I stumbled onto AqAdvisor somewhere along the way. I originally wanted to add a small school of rainbow fish, some gold barbs, AND dwarf cichlids. Which would have been WAY WAY WAY overstocked. My ideal community is larger than my available real estate! I can see why people end up with 4 tanks right out of the gate...
Now the ultimate goal is to get the tank seasoned and stable for our centerpiece members - a small harem of Apistos. I'm leaning toward the Cockatoo, but no decisions just yet - I'm thinking we'll take the plunge 6-8 months (or more) down the road. AqAdvisor says our tank will be at something like 104% stocked if we add 3 apistos with more than adequate filtering. We shall see...
LOL... sounds like my hubby. He keeps wanting to add this fish and that fish to our Main Tank and I keep telling him...
"No, dear, those fish are not compatible with my peaceful community."
His response.... "Who cares? They look so cool"
Me.. Blank Stare
to the AC SeaDee! Looking forward to reading your Journal.
10 Gallon: Planted Red Cherry Shrimp
65 Gallon: Planted South American Community
30 Gallon: Planted Bolivian Ram Tank
Reduce The Stress....Cycle Fishless!
HA!! I get pleco impressions here too...must be a guy thing
Pictures will be forthcoming this weekend!
I'm very underwhelmed with my first attempt at aquascaping, so I'm a little sheepish about the tank at the moment. Plus, trying to outfit an aquarium with a 4 and 6 year olds 'helping' means working around mini castles and fake coral with silk flowers (PRETTY!!).
When we first started setting up the tank I was pretty ambivilant about live plants. As such, I currently have:
3 black amazon swords (that I have yet to actually plant)
Java fernlets (I had a very hard time finding healthy bunches of java fern in my area for some reason, but my lfs gave me a bagful of fernlets for a steal)
2 tufts of dwarf tears - which aren't going to last much longer. The barbs and the corys love to pick at it.
So yeah, not so sure I want live plants in the tank ;). The only plant missing from the newbie starter pack is the java moss...only because I'm from the Pacific Northwest and CAN NOT wrap my head around the concept of growing moss on purpose :).
Welcome! This should be a good journal! So are there fish in the tank already? And if so what are they?