12 years in the hobby, new to the site - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 15 Old 08-02-2010, 02:45 AM Thread Starter
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12 years in the hobby, new to the site

Hi everyone!

As the title said, I've been keeping fish for about 12 years now. Until recently I didn't take it seriously and never really looked into how to keep a tank healthy. As you can guess, my fish would usually die within a year or two and plants never lived more than a month or so.

What changed this for me was adopting my 2 cats. They instantly loved my 60 gallon tall and spent a good deal of time sitting infront of it batting at the fish. They convinced me to get serious about it to keep them happy. Well, 5 months and several hundred dollars later it's become a true hobby and my tank is shaping up into something beautiful.
This is the almost completed tank.

It's a constant work in progress but so far the set up is as follows...

Filtration is done with a canister filter rated to 80 gallons with all three trays filled with bio media. The GPH flow rate wasn't high enough because it sits so low to the floor so I attached a 230 gph powerhead to the intake on the right to force feed it. The output comes back through an inline 300watt heater and into a CO2 dissolving reactor before pumping out under the pile of river stones on the left. The CO2 is provided by a 1/2 gallon DIY reactor. The lighting is a 48" 4 tube T5 fixture with LED moon lights totalling 216 watts. Circulation and oxygen are provided by a 138 gph powerhead and a 48" bubble wall. Still to come is a moss wall background and a second DIY CO2 reactor.

As you can see it's heavily planted and the plants behind the log haven't grown high enough to see yet, but are growing quickly. In just the last week the Aponogeton capuronii on the left and right have doubled in size.

The critters inside are: 5 glass catfish, 3 upside down catfish, 3 clown loaches, 1 algae eating shark, 3 hill stream loaches, 4 otocinclus, 10 neon tetras, 1 rosy crab, 2 African dwarf frogs, 20 ghost shrimp, 20 cherry shrimp, 1 assassin snail, a tubifex worm colony, several hundred trumpet snails (numbers dropping thankfully) and an unknown number of rams horn snails.

The trumpet snails and rams horn snails were gained through the usual accidental way and are slowly coming back down to a reasonable number thanks to the clown loaches and the assassin snail. The tubifex worms were a feeding practice that has stopped being on purpose, but I'm not yet doing anything about killing them off...seems to be a great way to be able to leave the house for a few days and let the tank "self feed'.

I know the tank is over stocked and I'm saving up for a 180 gallon to solve that, but so far everyone in there is active and healthy so I guess I'm doing something right.

The biggest problem I have at the moment is the string algae growing in mass at the highest point on the drift wood, but the shrimp and algae eating shark are new additions so I'm hoping they'll help get it under control.

Anyway, that's me...comments and suggestions are welcome!
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post #2 of 15 Old 08-02-2010, 04:39 AM
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Welcome to the forum. I think it's funny that it took cats to get you back into the swing of things. Sounds like everyone is happy now including the fish.

Animal testing is a terrible idea; they get all nervous and give the wrong answers.
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-02-2010, 07:04 AM
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Hello and Welcome to the Forum!

Our cats do the same thing...they sit and watch them swim by for hours on end...

We're glad you've joined us!

“The space between the tears we cry is the laughter that keeps us coming back for more...."-- Dave Matthews
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-02-2010, 07:23 AM
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And I thought that my pets were spoilt, but my cats didn't get a say in how I set up my tanks

Welcome to the forum.
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post #5 of 15 Old 08-02-2010, 08:12 AM
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That tank's looking great! Promise to post new pics in another few months when everything's grown in. It'll be fantastic.
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post #6 of 15 Old 08-02-2010, 09:25 AM
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the powerhead and bubble wall come on at night only? the reason i ask is if they dont your valuable co2 is easily leaving the tank through the disrupted surface. a "bubbler" does more to disrupt the surface for gas exchange then it does adding air, which everyone thinks thats what they do. while they do add air ( by disrupting the surface tension ) they dont really pump it in. what im getting at is, unless your c02 shuts off at night, while the bubbles and powerhead turn on your c02 is escaping. when the co2 is pumped out from under the pile of rocks, where does it go? is your intake to the canister filter there? maybe have it run through the canister filter to allow more time to be absorbed? thinking out loud here.
anyways, i think thats a great looking tank. i do suggest not buying something to fix a problem ( like a loach for a snail problem, or a pleco for algae ) but we can save that for another topic.
again nice tank and welcome to the forum.
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-02-2010, 10:40 AM
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Thats a nice tank. Keep posting new pics.

Last edited by gvasant; 08-02-2010 at 10:43 AM. Reason: I posted a new thread..instead of replying to the post
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post #8 of 15 Old 08-02-2010, 11:06 AM
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Welcome to TFK! We're glad you joined us. Your tank looks fantastic!

If you don't stand up for something you'll fall for anything...
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-02-2010, 05:00 PM
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Welcome to the forum! I like how natural you made your tank..is that strategic placement or just thrown in and came out great? i think it's hilarious how most of us start out..by being really young or naive and buy some fish in the a pet store and set up the tank in the same day..like fish are supposed to be disposable like the plants..All those poor fish that have to live and die in our unexperienced hands.. I guess we learn from our mistakes..

I was looking into getting a freshwater crab that could handle some salt and that I wouldn't have to built and out of water post for...I don't know rosy crabs...they are fine if you don't do this for them?

Also I would love to take that algae off your hands. Some people can't get rid of it and I can't keep enough of it..



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post #10 of 15 Old 08-03-2010, 05:12 PM
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Hi, and welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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