Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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andreannestvincent 12-12-2008 12:59 AM

My 10 G tank project!!!
Ok so I have this one 10 G tank and now that i've researched many things I have decided that it really needs a make over. :-D

I'm currently treating this tank for some parasite that i'm not sure what it is but resulted in my upside down catfish getting a white spot on his eye, and only on is eye. So the temperature is raised to 28C/82F. And I added some aquarium salt in there too.

A little about the tank it has;
a 10 Gallon heater (50 W)
a AquaClear Filter (for 5-20 US Gallon Aquariums)
a thermometor
a 3 gallon filter (temporary, needed more oxygen in the water since the temp. got higher and salt was added)

It used to have a Elite Stingray 10, but I didn't like it, took too much space, and didn't provide any surface agitation. I changed it today.

This tank has been up for a few months but I had to clean everything out and empty/refill the whole tank for an ammonia problem that went really bad (oh dear pinky :cry:).
So the reset up date would be November 17th. So it's pretty well cycled, the last test I did I got the following reading (Keep in mind it's a drop test and the numbers i'm listing are the ones on the back of the card that you compare the color too.)

This test was done yesterday.
Ammonia- 0.9
pH- 8.2
Nitirte- 0.2
Nitrate- 5

So here's a few pictures of this 10 G tank:

So the idea I have in mind would be to add a black background.
Then get some beige sand for the bottom. Get and airpump with an airstone stick . Get some driftwood and some rocks and get some live plants growing in there.

SO out of all of that I got the black background up tonight, I purchased the airstone and pump. Got all the sand I'll need and went to the lake to grab some driftwood. I am currently boilling it and it's been 7hrs I was thinking of getting all the color out of it. Question: Does it matter how long you keep it boiling regarding the time it needs to soak to be able to sink? And what about the brown water, the longer I keep it boilling the less I will have while it soaks/in my tank???

What I don't have is some nice rocks, and some live plants (I need to do more research on them, and get the supplies I'll need to keep them in the tank.) but the plants are going to be a little while. Have to settle for fake ones for now. :-?

I was planning on when the whole tank is finish getting 2 Dwarf frogs in there and putting my newly aquired Beta in there, when he's done is quarantine of course.

Any advice/comments/answer to my question is welcomed and greatly appreciated.

If I think of anything else I'll post as I go. And of course pictures as I go though all the steps of the make over!

andreannestvincent 12-12-2008 01:02 AM

Oh forgot to mention, kinda obvious but... I want to get rit of the gravel, status, and in the end the fake plants too.

andreannestvincent 12-12-2008 01:07 AM

I didn't want to put the sand in there right away because it would mean removing the gravel and the filter is brand new and I wanted to give the bacteria I have in there some time to get inside the filter. Question: How long do you guys think I sound wait before removing the gravel and putting the sand in there?

iamntbatman 12-12-2008 01:43 AM

I would give it a couple of weeks at least. A month would be better. When you do switch the gravel out, do it a little at a time. Just get a piece of flexible plastic of some kind that's as long as your tank is wide and shove it down into the gravel to cut off, say, a third of it from the rest. Swap this out with sand, wait a week, then add another divider and swap out the next third with sand, then another week and do the last. That'll have less impact on your bacteria colonies than if you replaced all of the gravel at once.

Also: are planning on keeping the upside down cat with the betta and frogs? It might work - I'm just curious. Upside down catfish also like to be in groups, so adding two more would be another option (even more would be even better, but at 4" a piece more than three of them is going to be a lot of fish in a 10g).

For rocks, check out a landscaping center for pieces of loose slate or shale. You can stack it up to make some nice caves, plus it's a *lot* cheaper than buying rock from a LFS.

The longer you boil the wood, the more tannins you'll get out of it before you add it to the tank. However, boiling alone isn't going to be enough to waterlog the wood. If it isn't dense enough or isn't already waterlogged, you're going to need to weigh it down with something and hold it underwater for a long time, possibly months, before it will sink on its own.

andreannestvincent 12-12-2008 02:29 AM

Ok cool thanks for the sand advice. And about the sand I'm not sure if I have the right one, I got it at the Pet store by my house (Petland). I took some pictures of the bag and I was hoping you guys could tell me if I have the right one so my pH won't be greatly affected.

As for the upside down catfish, ya that's what I was planning to do, I've kept him with a beta before without any problems. The frogs shouldn't bother the fishes and the fishes won't bother them. I'm talking about aquatic dwarf frogs by the way.

Cool thanks for the rock advice!!! I'll make sure to check them out if I can't find anything interesting around my house. :)

andreannestvincent 12-12-2008 02:32 AM

I'm also thinking of getting the upside down catfish a buddy.

iamntbatman 12-12-2008 10:12 AM

Hmm I'm not sure if that sand is safe. Does it say what it's made from? If it's just regular old silica sand you'll be fine, but if it's aragonite sand or something similar it will make your water very hard and raise your pH dramatically. This is desired in saltwater tanks and in African rift lake tanks, but your fish wouldn't do well in these conditions.

andreannestvincent 12-12-2008 02:22 PM

No it doesn't say. I'll put some water in a bowl, test the pH and then add some sand, then test the pH again. How long should I wait to test the pH with the sand?

andreannestvincent 12-12-2008 02:29 PM

Never mind I called the company and they said it was Silica, so it's all good :)

Tyyrlym 12-15-2008 08:18 AM

Ok, in the future though I recommend going to the hardware store and buying play sand. I bought the sand for my aquarium there and got it for $4 for a 50lb bag.

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