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wendex 03-06-2009 04:30 PM

Beginner starting setting up a puffer tank - advice/suggestions most welcome
4 Attachment(s)
Tank: 48litre - W39cm D33cm H43cm
lights x2 15W high light output flourescent energy saver lamps (one white, one blue) - just what it says on the box and I was told this would be ok for live plants? (It does look pretty bright in comparison to my other tank light which is coming up for renewal)

Substrate: Tetra Plant CompleteSubstrate (which I think is sort of the same as Eco-complete)
I did put some black gravel on the top but decided I prefered the look of the CompleteSubstrate so pushed the gravel to the back and added more of this instead.

Plants: just went for pretty ones :)
Alternanthera reineckii 'pink' (roseafolia)
Echinodorus bleheri (bleherae)
Limnophila sessiliflora
(remembered to keep the names as I may need to look up care - like I know what I'm doing lol)

Unfortunately the plants were in when I added more substrate and the leaves are covered in the stuff - I have tried wiping it off but the plants are very fragile so just have to put up with it and hope they survive!
I'm going to see how these plants get on b4 adding more and wont be adding stones, wood etc. til towards the end of the cycling (which I've no idea how long it will take)?

Had the tank running with plants in for 3 days just putting a little food in each day and did a water test (photo) b4 adding the first dose of cycle. I was a little surprised that the nitrites and ammonia start off at 0 and it's difficult to tell from the pic. but the nitrates are 5 :O)
I'm just about to check out the fishless cycle pages again so I can be sure I know what I'm doing

Pictures not very interesting but show how the water clouded and it's nearly clear a day later :O)

Plan is to get 4 DP (1m 3f) and hope I get lucky on that score then maybe some ottos although it's not looking good for those cos the substrate actively stops algae growth! opps never mind might have to look it to growing some specially on rocks, bogwood :O) if that's possible.

mags2313 03-06-2009 04:58 PM

Wow you are doing a great job and your tanks are great!!! I hope your tanks flourish , keep posting!

Kim 03-06-2009 06:30 PM

Looks great!

I'm willing to bet that your tank is not cycled though. With fish food it takes a while for ammonia to even build up (which is why I use pure ammonia). My tap water normally had 5 ppm. of nitrates, so I'd check yours as well.

As far as the DP. I haven't kept them myself, but they are semi-aggressive. Once you get your plants going you'll probably want to add more plants and some caves/pots/etc. so that they can form territories and escape harassment. You'll have to tell me how it goes. I've heard a lot of neat things about those little fish, so I'll be interested to hear about your experience :)

Have fun ;)

wendex 03-07-2009 05:14 AM

Thankyou for ur kind words. I read a few articles on fishless cycling and they mention about adding ammonia to the tank.

I've got Nutrafin cycle, biological aquarium supplement (which says on the bottle)

* immediately establishes safe biological Aquarium Environment
* powerful responsive ammonia and nitrite elimination
* Allows immediate introduction of fish

I'm using this cos i had it left over from cycling the last tank. Do you think it's ok to use this? I'm going to add a dose once a week. I'm not planning on introducing any fish for at the very least 8 weeks - but i'm a little confused about the ammonia elimination part cos if you're suppose to add ammonia it's very confusing how this can be used to help cycle?

The last time i used the cycle - I only introduced the fish after I stopped using the cycle for a couple of weeks and the nitrites & ammonia were staying 0 without the use of anything but water conditioner (this time I'll leave it longer) as I did have a few water quality problems cos I did rushed into getting the fish - but thankfully all the fish introduced first survived - tough little cherry barbs!

I wont be adding any more live plants to the tank til I know I can keep these ones alive :) but will be getting the hidey places and maybe a couple of fake plants as well in a few weeks.

Kim 03-07-2009 08:28 AM

Sounds good. Those bottled bacteria things aren't really proven to work, but I can't tell you for sure that they do or don't. I just use pure ammonia that I got an...Hannaford I think. Your bottled thing won't really remove all the ammonia once you put it in, rather it will supposedly introduce the bacteria that you want to eventually neutralize ammonia. Regardless you will still have to wait for the cycle to finish, but it certainly won't hurt anything. Hope this helps.

willow 03-08-2009 04:10 PM

hay :)
nice tank.
if you want to cycle quicker you could take media from your other tank.
and just to agree with kim,DP's can be nasty little boogers,so add planty
of differnet heights in there to break their eye line.

wendex 03-09-2009 03:15 AM

Yeah I know what you mean Willow the more I read about these little guys I'm starting to think maybe just the one! But I'll give it a go with lots of cover - fingers crossed. I don't mind having to stare at the tank to spot them lol. I've got the community tank to watch when I'm chilling out so I'm happy.

I'm planning on giving the tank another a couple of weeks then getting 3 more much smaller grass and leafy plants. The green stone with the algae growing on it I might put in this tank aswell but I'm not sure yet about the decor yet I thought I might try building tunnels with stones/wood and keep the tank quite natural looking, been looking at members tank for ideas :-).

The pink/green leafy plant has started to grow roots up the stem is it possible to cut the plant just below where the roots are starting to grow and try planting it? If so this would be good since this plant in particular will soon out grow the tank I think :) I could take a picture if it'll help you advise.

I'll be doing another water test in a few days to see how the nitrates are building up.

wendex 03-28-2009 03:05 PM

Hi all been away and my pink plant hasn't survived :O( had the light on timer for 10 hours a day but it just looked awful so I've removed it but the other plants are thriving so that's good - may get a couple of fake plants to add a bit of colour.

Added wood and a dragon pot so the water has gone a tea stained colour - I have a carbon filterpad but I quite like the affect so think I'll leave it - pretty sure I've read on here fish don't mind it and some quite like it (not that I've got any yet).

Also the there's quite a healthy snail population now!!!!? must have sneaked in on the plants - Is this a sign the water quality is good or will these little guys thrive anyhow?

I'll do a water test tomorrow and let you know 2 tired tonight and post pics soon.

Last water test I did b4 going away Nitrates up to 10 and amm. nitrites still 0 (not bothering with ph yet)

Katydid 03-28-2009 05:01 PM

puffers love snails, so you are ready for them. Also Otos are a smart choice to go with puffers. In general the puffers ignore the Otos, if you keep the puffs well fed they are less aggressive. So cute but yet so hungry they are!

I wanted to set up a puffer tank, but decided I rather like looking at schooling fish more than hunting and eating!!!! I hope you'l lpost photos of your puffers- they are pretty neat fish.

Lupin 03-28-2009 06:45 PM


Originally Posted by wendex (Post 183224)
Also the there's quite a healthy snail population now!!!!? must have sneaked in on the plants - Is this a sign the water quality is good or will these little guys thrive anyhow?

They proliferate when there's abundance of food supply but my own ramshorns and MTS aren't really booming fast since they are being outcompeted for food by the mystery snails.:lol:

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