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.