08-02-2010, 03:45 AM
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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!