Current info on lighting and planting stock list at can be found on page 14 of this thread.
Becoming is my first tank. Spontaneously started in February as a mismatched collection of random creatures in a cycling 10-gallon it became (through much research and tons of help) a thriving and beautiful 29 gallon soft-water community
(with the oddly happy Mollies and a few random snails tossed in for good measure). The most recent addition to my collection came in the form of 20 wild-caught JellyBean Tetra who have been in QT for two months - they were finally ready to join the others in community, but the 29 gallon just didn't seem as big
as it once did. . . so last Saturday, September 1st, I went once more to the basement stock-pile and pulled out the biggest tank there was, and Becoming
became a 55 gallon tank. . .
Most of the plants, substrate, driftwood and the HOB filters from the both the 29 gallon tank and the 20 gallon long QT tank went into this setup, so parameters have remained stable for the creatures who live here;
20 Jellybean Tetra
5 Kuhli Loaches (Winkin', Blinkin', Nod, Flotsam, and Jetsam)
4 Bolivian Rams (Alice, Hattie, Lizzy, and darling little C.Cat)
2 Zebra Nerite snails (Stripe and Jr),
a fist-full of Malaysian Trumpet Snails (all of whom are named either Oliver or Twist, depending on coloration)
and 3 Juvie Mollies (The Bootlings - Wellington, Martin, and Molly Too). The adult Molly is already living in his hand-me-down 29 gallon tank, and will be joined by his children and their new mommy over the course of the next month or so, at which time the water in that
tank will slowly be changed to suit their hard-water preferences.
Most of these plants have been with me and transferred from tank to tank since March or so - considering how many fully planted tanks I have, they've grown amazingly well - many of these are still tiny runners that will have to be moved or snipped as they grow out, and a sizable portion of them have been added to the 29 gallon Molly tank, as well as the 10 gallon frog tank (the froggies got an upgrade from their 5-gallon tank this weekend, too!) But I was very reluctant to take my very happy fish from their established environments and move them into this bigger tank until I had enough greenery to make them feel at home, and ease the stress of such a major transition. A million thank-yous to Dave (DKRST) for being so generous and giving me an amazing deal on these glorious Kleiner Bar Swords which have really gone a long way in helping this tank feel comfortable to the fish and look very lush for a brand-new setup (I hope they make the transition from high lighting and Co2 into my much more dimly-lit tank with ease, and thrive in their new home) More thanks to goes to Dave for all of the wonderful floating plants that he sent my way, and which have been dispersed throughout all of my tanks.
There still aren't *quite* enough floaters to cover the harshness of the light, so that funky plastic floating piece is in there temporarily until they fill in fully. It's covered with yummy bacteria from living in the JellyBean's QT tank, so for now I'm okay with them! They're also
helping to baffle the flow from the HOB filters to keep things from being blown all around the tank, but I am REALLY
excited to say that I got my very first canister filter! As soon as I'm convinced that the new canister is well-seeded with bacteria, the HOBs will become a thing of the past! Between the filtration change and finally getting my nibbling Mollies out of this tank, I'm hoping that I'll soon have a gorgeous canopy of floating plants, with intricate root systems dominating the top of the tank. *crosses fingers*
Here's a video of the tank taken on the third day after everything was set up - sorry for the crappy quality, my video camera isn't great and you really can't see any coloration on the finned ones, but you can
see how wonderfully active and happy this tank is! The loaches and the Tetra took to the transition seemingly without any issues at all. The rams are still feeling a bit displaced, but that was expected - I imagine it will take them another week or so to re-establish their territories and feel at home in their new environment, but they're doing great so far - so proud of my babies! I was so nervous about putting the fish through such a dramatic upheaval, and there are not words to describe how relieved I am that everything went well. Those who were living in the 29gallon already had to be caught and bucketed while the 55g was being set up in the same place, and I owe my husband (who doesn't care one bit about my fishy obsession) a huge debt of gratitude for all of the help he gave me in getting all of this done as quickly as possible. I am very attached to my fish - they're pets, and a part of the family - and if I had lost even one. . . well.
Just happy that everything went so well, and am sincerely hoping never to see my rams go that pale ever again!
I'm really open to any suggestions for improvement anyone has for me - I'm still such a beginner when it comes to the wonderful world of aquariums! I'm sure this setup will be needing some adjustments as the plants fill in and that things will be moved around a bit over time, but for now - there it is! Becoming in her new 55 gallon dress!