So I thought I'd solicit feedback about my current adventure as an aquarist. Here's a timeline:
Jan 28: brought home first ever aquarium, a 10g starter from Petsmart. Added fake plants and decorations.
Jan 30: Based on advice from Petsmart associate (had not yet found this forum), added fish: 5x Black Widow Tetra and 1x Emerald Cory
Mar 26: Thoroughly "hooked" on the aquarium hobby, so I converted to my current 56g column with 2x Fluval U2 filters (one had been running in the 10g for a couple days)
Apr 3: After reading on this wonderful forum about cories preferring groups, purchased 2 more emeralds from Petsmart and 5x Serpae Tetra (one was found floating and being cannibalized a couple weeks later RIP)
Apr 27: Had been reading about plecos, so purchased rubberlip pleco (also from Petsmart)
May 6: Noticed my first cory, who was bigger at the time of purchase than the 2 additional ones, had a funny growth that appeared to be a cotton-mouth type of thing (posted a pic in reply to a thread here: Strange growth on cory cat
). Administered a fungus cure to entire tank. (Incidentally, the growth it still there but hasn't really increased/decreased in size)
May 10: After reading up on the benefits of canister filters, upgraded to a Fluval 305. (no media from other filters was transferred, only existing substrate and ornaments that had already been in tank for the beneficial bacteria)
May 12: Found rubberlip pleco dead on bottom of tank (Found my Rubber-lip pleco pleco dead today :(
). Most likely because of fungus cure and change in filter
Between May 10-20: after seeing such beautiful planted tanks and reading about the benefits of planted tanks on this forum, started adding live plants and driftwood (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/a...t-setup-69892/
May 20: Added clown pleco from a family-owned LFS which has been pretty trustworthy so far.
May 30: added Giant Valisneria
Current video: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...-column-71987/
Local tap water parameters: PH 7.4-7.6; Ammonia 0-0.25; Nitrite 0; Nitrate ~5 (which seemed odd, maybe a flaw in testing). Now that I think of it, I didn't let the tap water stand overnight before testing. Could that have something to do with it?
Parameters June 4 (after 50% water change): PH 7.6; Ammonia 0-0.25 (probably from tap); Nitrite 0; Nitrate 5-10 (not sure why nitrate is so high right after water change. I had tested before water change and reading was way higher. Maybe I'm not testing correctly? Using API Freshwater Master Test kit)