-------------- Long Story - My History and this tank's history if anyone cares
I recently acquired a 55 gallon tank with just about everything needed (except a heater), as it was running with a couple goldfish when I got it. (They were moved to a small yard pond temporarily)
I was excited because my dad used to run a Cichlid tank many years ago, with a convict and a few others. I had been talking about getting a tank for a long time, but this one managed to kindof fall in our laps. So, I am wanting to setup a cichlid tank. .
After I got it home, I washed every single thing out well with tap/hose water (no detergents) and scrubbed it down. The last bit of coming out of the tank was dark brown, as the gravel was fairly nasty, so that went. And finially got it setup in place. My daughter was excited, and wanted to start adding water right away, even though we hadn't gotten any substrate yet, so I handed her a small plastic cup from the cupboard, and told her to go ahead. About 50 trips from the sink later she had a few gallons in it. I really thought she would get bored after 3-4 trips. . .
Anyway, tried the LFS, which was closed, so I went to Petsmart and we got some new gravel and a heater, new activated carbon for the filter, rinsed it all out (hose + speghetti strainer worked), and set it down in the tank. Filled the tank all but a couple inches, and arranged decorations the way we wanted, then dropped the capful of dechlorinator in the tank. (Used the stuff I had seen mentioned here a couple times) Finished filling, and let it run for a couple days, dropping a couple foot pellets in and cleaning them out 12 hours later, twice.
2 days later, still undecided about exactly what is going in the tank, I got impatient and went and looked up a reasonably hardy fish, and headed to the LFS with a bag of water and had it tested. While it wasn't perfect, it was going very well, and I wanted to get something I know would get along with just about everything, so I picked up a 3 inch long Leapord Sailfin Pleco. I took him home, got him acclimated and let him go Tuesday. He has gotten used to it at this point, and seems to be doing well. I drop in half a large algae tab in each night and let it sit for a couple hours, and I have only caught him on the tablet once so far, but he is eating the small amount of algae growth that appears to be starting in places, so I think he is doing well.
I have also ordered some Brazilian Pennywort to add into the tank.
-------------- Much more to the point version though I am always a bit wordy -----------
55 Gallon Tank
- 1 (currently small) Leopard Sailfin Pleco (LFS said it was fine in that size tank. I may have a problem in a couple years if he makes it. May end up having to fix that with another tank. lol)
- Brazilian Pennywort (On Order)
The issue I am running into is trying to figure out what fish to stock it with. The wife wants Cardinal Tetras, daughter wants Guppies, and both I and my son are wanting soemthing with a little more bite.
I got them into the store yesterday and there was a 'White Lobster' in there a couple inches long that they are all pretty interested in getting (can be googled as a 'White Ghost Lobster') but then the pet store mentioned a 'Blue Lobster' they get periodically (can be googled as a Hammers Cobalt Blue Lobster) Pretty much everyone was excited about the idea of having a Lobster (I know its really a crawfish, but close enough. lol) So, we may end up getting one of either of those fairly soon, but my question is will the pleco be able to manage with that running around in there? Either crayfish we got would start as only about 3 inches.
Also, would adding that to the tank severely limit the other fish we could get in? The store personnel said that the fish would be fine as long as they were reasonably quick, though there is a risk of losing one or two periodically. The tank they had it in had probably 15 Firemouth Cichlids, which tells me it can survive with aggressive fish, but there were also the remains of the crawfish's lunch on the floor of the tank. Lunch was a firemouth. At least I assume as those were the only other fish in the tank. The lobster really didn't leave much at all to identify by. That being said, it was a small tank and they couldn't get too far away from it.
It seems to me that would be a good start towards my wanting a more aggressive tank. I think for the most part Cichlids are smart enough that they could manage living with the lobster. . . And maybe then I can get my Convicts. (Probably 2 females. . . I dont want the males breeding with everything from the filter to the lobster. lol)
Anyway, again, sorry for such a long post, I am just excited to get this up and running with some fish. Yes, the pleco (creatively named, 'Pleco' lol) is a fish, but they don't exactly add a whole lot of activity to the tank. At least when it can be seen! (I turned the lights off in the room and sat by the tank Wednesday Night (After searching for 15 minutes for the pleco after the 30% water change. lol) and as soon as the light went off he jumped forward a couple inches and stopped. I turned the light on and waited another 2-3 minutes with no motion, and as soon as I turned it off again, he was all over the place in there. Its amazing how fast he actually is for such a slacker most of the time. lol See. . . I am rambling again. . . lol