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Chesh 09-07-2012 05:28 AM

Becoming - 55 gallon tank upgrade
 
Current info on lighting and planting stock list at can be found on page 14 of this thread. :-D

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. . .


http://i677.photobucket.com/albums/v...2newtanksm.jpg

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.

http://i677.photobucket.com/albums/v..._1785-03sm.jpg

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. http://img.diaperswappers.com/images/smilie/icon_no.gif 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! http://img.diaperswappers.com/images.../goodvibes.gif

HaleyM 09-07-2012 10:13 AM

Wow! Really gorgeous, I love the green plants on the black sand. Have you heard of how some people set up the plants to make it seem like a scene on land? Like a field with a tree or a mountain range. If you google aquascaping on images you might find inspiration!

Boredomb 09-07-2012 12:36 PM

:omg: Ches, The tank looks absolutely Awesome!!! :welldone::welldone::welldone:
I love it! I am glad everything went so well in the transition. Also am glad your Jellybean Tetras are still doing great. You have done a job and will continue to.
Can't wait till the plants fill in and the fish settle in. I will definitely be watching this thread!

SpookyTooth 09-07-2012 12:49 PM

I am completely and utterly blown away, Chesh! "Becoming" has to be one of the most beautiful tanks I've seen and it is so full of life! I hope you'll continue to keep us updated and let us know of any other projects you embark on ;-)

Chesh 09-07-2012 01:12 PM

Thank you guys!!! I'm happy that you like it as much as I do!!! The tank really is SO active - the loaches are out of control - they're having SO much fun in there, and I'm so relieved that the little JellyBeans have adjusted so well to being in the community - I was REALLY worried about them, but they're acting like they feel right at home :D

I'm pretty sure I'm going to increase the shoal of Kuhli at some point when things settle down. I think 9 is a good number to bring them up to in this tank. They're so insanely active with 5 of them in there. . . 9 should be fun!

And I know it's controversial, but I think I'd really like to increase the Bolivian rams up to 6. I've read a lot of debate on territory/aggressiveness with these guys and how it is best to keep them, but if there should be a problem, I have enough 'extra' tanks right now that I can give new homes to any that are causing trouble or being picked on.

We shall see!!!

I already have a good idea of where I want Becoming to go before I call it done, and I will be very excited when that day comes (won't be for another year or so). For now? I really, really love what it has become, and really hope that things continue to go so well for me. I still have a LOT to learn. . .

I'll keep you all posted - thanks again for such kind words - and support! I'm glad you like it!

thekoimaiden 09-07-2012 01:26 PM

:notworthy: This tank is absolutely amazing. It looks like some of the amazing photos I see of beautiful tanks on flickr. Simply amazing. That second photo is my favorite. You should really submit it to the photo of the month contest. This goes beyond a tank and into a work of art. You should be very proud of yourself.

PS. LOACHES ^-^ I saw one bump into a ram on the video, and it was adorable.

Chesh 09-07-2012 02:49 PM

Izzy!!! Thank you - wow! What a sweet thing to say!!!
http://i677.photobucket.com/albums/v...y_Nikskiej.gif
Loaches. . . OMG! They're HILARIOUS! We really LOVE our loaches, lol! They bump into the rams more often than you'd think - usually falling from above. We call them Sky Loaches. The poor little rams don't seem to be disturbed by their antics in the slightest bit, and by now I imagine they're used to it - they behaved the same way in the 29 - even when I only had 3 of them, they've always been very active, and never hid away. They're obviously enjoying the extra room to go wild with, though. ALL loaches love playing in the plants, of course, but three out of the five that I have REALLY seem to like tangling themselves up in the floating plants at the TOP of the tank (the living ones not the horrid plastic ones, lol).Floating plants should be on the 'requirements' list for Kuhli loaches in our profiles - they really seem to love them!

Thanks again - you're really very kind!

Chesh 09-07-2012 07:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HaleyM (Post 1232803)
Wow! Really gorgeous, I love the green plants on the black sand. Have you heard of how some people set up the plants to make it seem like a scene on land? Like a field with a tree or a mountain range. If you google aquascaping on images you might find inspiration!

Haley. . .

Thank you for the compliment!

and YES! I have seen those types of layouts and they're just stunning! I wish I could do something like that, but for the most part, without Co2 and high lighting, they're beyond my reach. . . for now. :wink:
Maybe someday I'll cross into that realm, but I'm still really just a beginner - I have too much to learn about my naturally planted tank(s) to go messing around with Co2, I'd be afraid to kill something or become overrun with algae, lol!

Olympia 09-07-2012 08:08 PM

Awesome!
What are those loaches doing?! Is it raining where you are!?

thekoimaiden 09-07-2012 08:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chesherca (Post 1233078)
Izzy!!! Thank you - wow! What a sweet thing to say!!!
http://i677.photobucket.com/albums/v...y_Nikskiej.gif
Loaches. . . OMG! They're HILARIOUS! We really LOVE our loaches, lol! They bump into the rams more often than you'd think - usually falling from above. We call them Sky Loaches. The poor little rams don't seem to be disturbed by their antics in the slightest bit, and by now I imagine they're used to it - they behaved the same way in the 29 - even when I only had 3 of them, they've always been very active, and never hid away. They're obviously enjoying the extra room to go wild with, though. ALL loaches love playing in the plants, of course, but three out of the five that I have REALLY seem to like tangling themselves up in the floating plants at the TOP of the tank (the living ones not the horrid plastic ones, lol).Floating plants should be on the 'requirements' list for Kuhli loaches in our profiles - they really seem to love them!

Thanks again - you're really very kind!

Loaches raining from the sky sounds adorable!! I'm eager to test out our theory about dither fish and loaches, and see mine move around more.

I think floating plants should be a requirement for most FW fishes. Nobody likes a harsh light all day long.

Be sure to keep us updated on this beautiful tank! And you know if you forget, we'll remind ya!


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