Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Jwillis 12-18-2012 12:02 PM

New 36g Bow Front
 
Well I happen to work at Petsmart :/ I hate it there, but most of the people actually try their best to take good care of the animals we have. But lets put that aside...

I just bought a brand new 36g bowfront at work for $113 and got it home last night. Ran over to the local fish store and got a real nice piece of driftwood..(At least I think so.) Which ran me about $40 but I was expecting to spend more on the tank, but it didn't turn out that way so I gave myself a little more room with the driftwood.

But let me know what ya'll think of the piece.

I have not had my water tested yet, but Harlequin Rasbora is one of the fish I am looking at getting. Any others are undecided.

http://i1055.photobucket.com/albums/...ps343855e5.jpg

http://i1055.photobucket.com/albums/...ps52503fc9.jpg

http://i1055.photobucket.com/albums/...psf8feb5b9.jpg

http://i1055.photobucket.com/albums/...ps83f9557a.jpg

http://i1055.photobucket.com/albums/...psf83f4581.jpg

This is my first post on this forum, but have been browsing it for a week or two now.

Nilet699 12-18-2012 12:21 PM

I like it, good piece of wood that you can plant within and around.

Iv got the same kind of piece that after 3 weeks has finally sunk in the water butt today so looking for ward to getting in my tank

Byron 12-19-2012 01:28 PM

Yes, that is going to make a nice aquascape with plants and suitable forest fish (rasbora are forest fish). I would suggest moving the wood just a tad to the right, so it is definitely off-centre; not much, may be 2 inches.

Let us know your water parameters (tap), GH, KH/Alkalinity, and pH. This you can get from the water supply folks if you are on municipal water (as opposed to your own well); they probably have a website.

Byron.

Granberry 12-19-2012 02:27 PM

Wow, I love that piece of driftwood! It looks like it's bursting with energy, and it will make your tank exciting to look at. And I love my Harlequin rasboras too. It's nice to have a top swimming fish that is almost always visible.

If you're interested in a relatively inexpensive, natural-appearing background, I have this one in 2 of my tanks, and I really like them.
Either way, I bet your tank looks great!

willow 12-20-2012 03:11 AM

wow love the tank and the wood,gosh it's going to look fantastic. :-D

Canadian Fish 12-20-2012 11:07 AM

That is an awesome piece of driftwood. Looking forward to seeing how your project progresses. Congrats on the new tank! Also exciting setting up and stocking a new tank!

Jwillis 12-20-2012 11:51 AM

Thank you all for the comments. I will be getting my water tested tomorrow when I go to work. But sadly I will not be able to do anything with this tank until after Christmas. The tree is right where I'll be putting the tank, or so I hope(Unless Mom wants to rearrange, which can be fun also).

Do ya'll think I could have 2 schools? One of Harlequin Rasboras and the other of Penguin Tetras? Also what would be a good 'centerpiece' fish? Something that will do well with only one or two them and doesn't get more than 3 or 4 inches.

I do not have plans to upgrade at all, so I would like to get some fish that will be able to thrive in this tank for a lifetime. I would love to upgrade to a 55 or 75 gallon, but Mom didn't want this tank so there is no way she'll let me upgrade.

Thanks again for the comments and help.

EDIT: Do you guys think I should add some rocks in with the driftwood? I was thinking about gettin some to make a cave type structure, but am undecided on that one still.

Byron 12-20-2012 12:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jwillis (Post 1356165)
Thank you all for the comments. I will be getting my water tested tomorrow when I go to work. But sadly I will not be able to do anything with this tank until after Christmas. The tree is right where I'll be putting the tank, or so I hope(Unless Mom wants to rearrange, which can be fun also).

Do ya'll think I could have 2 schools? One of Harlequin Rasboras and the other of Penguin Tetras? Also what would be a good 'centerpiece' fish? Something that will do well with only one or two them and doesn't get more than 3 or 4 inches.

I do not have plans to upgrade at all, so I would like to get some fish that will be able to thrive in this tank for a lifetime. I would love to upgrade to a 55 or 75 gallon, but Mom didn't want this tank so there is no way she'll let me upgrade.

Thanks again for the comments and help.

EDIT: Do you guys think I should add some rocks in with the driftwood? I was thinking about gettin some to make a cave type structure, but am undecided on that one still.

My approach to aquascaping is to plan it around the requirements of the fish the tank will house. It is after all their home, and fish will always be healthier if they have an aquascape that provides their needs respecting the environment.

The two fish mentioned are forest fish, so this branched wood is perfect. Rocks won't matter much to them, assuming you mean on the substrate. But what about substrate fish? Most aquaria look more balanced with fish at different levels, and activity on or near the substrate is important to achieve this. Both species mentioned are in the upper half of the water column, so some substrate fish like corys, one of the "dwarf" species of loach, whiptail catfish, etc. would work well. These would also love the branch, as they spend time browsing surfaces. And some "caves" would be needed, though I prefer wood for this because it is more natural to the named fish. The dark Malaysian Driftwood comes in various sizes and most chunks are full of tunnels and crevices which these fish love. Some rounded river rocks (smooth pebbles of various sizes) can be effective, especially around the base of wood.

With rock, be aware of calcareous substances. Limestone, marble, etc are primarily calcium and will raise GH and pH, so the rocks must be inert. River rock usually fills this need.

On the fish, yes, two groups of say 8-9 for the harlequin rasbora [as the profile mentions, this species is better in larger groups] and 6-7 of the penguin tetra. Plus perhaps a group of 6-7 corys? And a whiptail catfish? Live plants, esp floating; forest fish do not appreciate bright overhead light, and floating plants are the easiest and will improve water quality. As for a centerpiece fish, this is not easy in smallish tanks. I will leave that for the moment.

Byron.

Jwillis 12-20-2012 01:06 PM

Ahh yes.. I forgot about the corys.. I was planning on doing 6 Peppered Cory or Julii Cory.

And for substrate I was thinking about doing this - http://http://www.petsmart.com/produ...AvailInUS%2FNo

If anyone has better suggestions for substrate that is good for plants and relativly cheap I am open for suggestions. I can get 15lbs bags of the FloraMax at work for less than $15 so I was just going to try that.

As for caves, would smaller pieces of driftwood be better than larger rocks being stacked? I was stumped on this.. I wouldn't mind having a little bit of both. I just want to provide the best home I can for these fish.

Byron 12-20-2012 03:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jwillis (Post 1356242)
Ahh yes.. I forgot about the corys.. I was planning on doing 6 Peppered Cory or Julii Cory.

And for substrate I was thinking about doing this - http://http://www.petsmart.com/produ...AvailInUS%2FNo

If anyone has better suggestions for substrate that is good for plants and relativly cheap I am open for suggestions. I can get 15lbs bags of the FloraMax at work for less than $15 so I was just going to try that.

As for caves, would smaller pieces of driftwood be better than larger rocks being stacked? I was stumped on this.. I wouldn't mind having a little bit of both. I just want to provide the best home I can for these fish.

The link doesn't work (at least for me) so I can't see what that substrate is. But be careful on these enriched substrates. First, some are rather sharp; I have Flourite in one tank and had to remove the corys, and I am told by catfish breeders that Eco-Complete is the same; I bought Flourite because in the store it felt OK in my hand, and E-C did seem rough, but both are much the same. Second point, I have been very disappointed with Flourite; I won't get into all that, but in my opinion neither of these are worth the money.

There are other substrates I have not tried, I know from my reading that many are OK with ADA's Aquasoil (I think it's called this), but I cannot say either way. But bear in mind the fish...sharpness is one issue but some feel that there is more to these enriched substrates that affects substrate fish. I personally would never waste my money on one again.

Second, for corys you really should have sand. I have maintained many species over fine gravel but now that I have switched to sand there is no doubt in my mind that the corys have liked it. I can't put my finger on it, but it has been obvious that this is a vast improvement. It may or may not be related, but with the same species I am having regular spawning since I put in the sand 2 years ago, when I never had this in the previous 15 years.

If you are going for a SA aquascape, which that lovely wood would suit admirably, I would use Quikrete Play Sand from Home Depot or Lowe's. I now have this in 5 tanks, soon to be in the Flourite tank too, and I wish I'd made the change years ago. Plants do well, perhaps better; substrate fish are in heaven; and the appearance of this sand is very close to the sand in many Amazonian streams. Maybe this is what thrills the corys so much:lol:, they think they're back home [many of mine are wild caught].

Given the wild habitat of these fish, wood, wood, wood is the order of the day. An d several chunks of Malaysian Driftwood on the substrate would go nicely with that branch, and the sand. Final touch could be some dry oak leaves.

Byron.


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