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 (Adding plants to fake plant setup
and Does my tank have enough light?
May 20: Added Clown Pleco
from a family-owned LFS which has been pretty trustworthy so far.
May 30: added Giant Valisneria
Current video: Update on 56g column
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)