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Ogre44 02-19-2013 02:48 PM

Ogre's Aquatic Endeavors
I have been keeping fish since October of 2011 when I impulse purchased a Betta and a 2.5 Gallon tank from a display at Petcomart :roll:
Through research and forums like this one I determined that while I had improved my Betta's life considerably with even this tiny, yet heated and filtered tank, I could do considerably more for both of us.
So in December of 2012 I upgraded to a 29 Gallon setup with live plants, I made it the best tank I could.
Here is the current state of my 29 Gallon:

It currently houses 4 Panda Corys and 8 Bronze Corys as unfortunately my Betta passed away 2 weeks ago, best consensus seems to be chronic kidney failure brought about by the case of Nitrite poisoning I gave him while I was still learning how to properly care for fish.

Which brings me to my next tank, a 10 Gallon QT tank and it's current inhabitant a Dwarf Gourami slated to fill the niche of King of the 29 Gallon in 2 weeks.
I am attempting to get him a girlfriend, but none of my LFS's carry female DGs. One seemed hopeful about ordering one so we'll see.

The QT tank was originally acquired in preparation for the 65 Gallon I ordered after Christmas, which has finally arrived and been set up.

With Hardscape

Plants in place, waiting for water to clear

All 3 tanks

The 65 Gallon has an Eheim Classic 350 canister filter and is running a duo T5 NO fixture with a 6700K plant bulb and a ColorMax bulb from Coralife. I really like the color of the light in the tank, but if I don't get the plant growth I want I can always upgrade to 2 of the 6700K bulbs.
Right now I've got
2 Amazon Swords
1 Ruby Red Melon Sword
2 Aponogeton Ulvaceous
1 Red Wenti Crypt
Several small patches of Green Wendti from some weird hanging package at Petcomart
A bunch of Ludwigia
A bunch of Rotala
A bunch of Spiralis Crypts
A Red Arrow Arum, which I suspect will prove to be non-aquatic and die, but we'll see.;-)
5 bunches of floating Watersprite.

I'm hoping to add some more crypts and swords and hopefully some Pygmy Chain Swords, but they're hard to find locally.

Ogre44 02-19-2013 03:00 PM

My water parameters are as follows:
Mg 8.33 mg/L
Ca 29.7 mg/L
Na 8.52 mg/L
S04 31.2 mg/L
Cl 9.50 mg/L
Total Hardness: 104 mg/L
Total Alkalinity: 76 mg/L
Carbonate Alkalinity: 0 mg/L
Bicarbonate Alkalinity: 76 mg/L
Non-Carbonate Hardness: 28 mg/L
pH in pH units: 7.76

Stocking is proving slightly problematic, mostly due to the sheer number of species I'd like to have:lol:
I was originally debating between a pair of Kribensis, a pair of Apistogramma, or a pair of Bolivian Rams as the "main" fish. I've pretty much settled on the Bolivians due to hardiness, general low levels of agression, and availability, so now I just have to settle on everything else.:roll:
Ideally I'd like to have:
The Rams
11 or so Harlequin Rasbora
11 or so Flame Tetra
5 Hoplo Catfish
8 or so Brochis Splendens
However, this seems kind of bottom heavy to me and the Hoplos may be too large and boisterous for the Ram's peace of mind. Also, the Rasbora don't really fit in with the other fish too much as far as where they originate.
As some alternates I was thinking
Brilliant Rummynose Tetra
Glo Light Tetra
Zebra Loaches
Still nothing for the top of the tank though.

ckoestner 02-19-2013 03:28 PM

Those tanks are awesome. After having tanks as a teenager, I finally went out and got myself a fifty-five gallon tank. What I want to know is where you procured the wood in the tanks. I wanted to look into getting some to fill out my tank and provide some more areas for the fish to creep and hide.

Once again, the tanks are really cool.


Ogre44 02-19-2013 03:40 PM

The vertical piece of driftwood in the 29 Gallon and the large piece in the 65 Gallon were at one time a single piece:

They both took pieces of slate screwed onto their bottoms to keep them in the tanks.
The piece in the 65 Gallon was soaked for almost 2 months and still needed the slate.

The smaller twisty piece in the 65 gallon is from one of my LFS's and it was waterlogged in a week.

I also have several chunks of "Malaysian" driftwood in the 29 Gallon that sank when I first put them in to soak, they're very heavy for their size.

The big piece came from an online dealer called The Driftwood Store, but the link I used doesn't seem to work any longer.
Knowing what I know now, I'd probably just go for the Malaysian driftwood as it seems to be the least problematic.

Chesh 02-20-2013 01:18 PM

Great tanks, Ogre! The 29 looks so lush, and I can't wait to see what you do with the 65! Pretty, pretty gourami you've got in the 10g, good luck with finding a female, and keeping the pair happy together. . . :D

Ogre44 02-20-2013 01:27 PM

Thanks Ches.
I'm hoping that the 29's got enough going on that the Gouramis can get away from one another if they need to.

I was doing some more browsing in the Profiles and discovered the Pretty Tetra, I'm thinking that I may need some of these for the top level of the big tank.
I have tomorrow off so I'm thinking that I may be picking up the Harlequin Rasbora tomorrow and getting the stocking started.

Stocking help, suggestions, or observations would be appreciated;-)

Chesh 02-20-2013 01:41 PM

Sounds like you've got things pretty well figured out. . . the only thing I would suggest is to stick with one larger shoal of the smaller fish - so instead of getting both Rasa and Flame tetra, choose which one you'd like most, and double the shoal size. But that's just my personal preference based on having a shoal of 20 of one type - 's very cool to watch.

Can you FIND Pretty Tetra? I've never seen them locally, that'll be a neat fish to have. I've never looked into the larger Tetra, except for the Diamonds, but decided to stick to the bitty ones :) Funny that they can grow to be almost as big as your rams!

Good luck with the first phase of stocking! You're gonna be having some fun times in the months ahead!

Ogre44 02-20-2013 02:13 PM

One big shoal is appealing, however, there are just soooooo many kinds of fish that a couple of smaller shoals may prove too tempting.
Also, a mixed community may prove interesting as the different fishes will behave in different ways bringing variety to the tank.

All 3 of the LFS's I frequent say that they can order fish, so the Pretty Tetra may be available, but they'd probably be last in before the rams so I have time to investigate.

Chesh 02-20-2013 02:37 PM

I hear ya, lol! There are too many to choose from - I have that problem, too! Whatever you end up with, I'm sure it'll be great. . . I wish I had a good LFS nearby that could order things for me. I miss that. . .

Ogre44 02-21-2013 03:08 PM

So, as threatened I went to the LFS today and picked up the first denizens of the 65 Gallon, 11 Harlequin Rasbora

You only get the one photo as the camera/light combo seemed to be stressing them out a bit, but I just couldn't resist sharing.
When I released them into the tank they made a beeline for the plants, but then couldn't resist checking out the tank, they seemed amazed at having an entire 48" to get up to speed:-)
They've been playing in the output of the filter and whizzing the full length of the tank for a while now, the cat was most entertained.
They already seem to have more color than they did in the store, they were quite pale in their baggy, so I'm hoping that they're happy.

I'm thinking I may well follow Chesherca's advice and pick up 10 more and let these little guy be the sole shoal in the tank, they're behavior is quite hypnotic with only 11, I can only imagine how 21 would look.

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