Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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bigfish93 08-27-2011 10:58 PM

20 Gallon Journal
Hey everyone,

First, I would like to start off with introducing myself. Some of you may have seen me around the forums a few times and may have even answered a few of my questions. I am a college student who has always loved fish and aquariums. I could spend hours at the aquarium in our local zoo (and believe me I did). This led me to my purchase of a 10 gallon aquarium when I was about 12 years old. I didn't have a clue what I was doing at the time; I only knew that I wanted to keep all of the "cool" fish in my tank. I had everything from tetras to Koi fish in the 10 gallon aquarium. Like I said, I didn't know what I was doing or what the fish were. These fish were recommended to me by the Petsmart employees! The tank always smelled and the fish never lived long, so after about a year and a hundred fish later, the tank was packed up. I just couldn't take it anymore and neither could my parents. Now, six years later, I finally convinced my parents to give me another shot at it. I know that bigger tanks are easier to maintain and you should always buy the biggest tank you can afford. After staring at the huge 90g+ tanks and dreaming of owning one, I bought my self a little 20 gallon starter kit (I know it isn't much, but it is the biggest I can afford. I am a college student remember?). Everything I do with this tank is going to be at the lowest cost possible. My plan for this tank is a low tech/natural planted with some neon tetra and a gourami. I have been doing hours of research on this type of tank so I will know exactly what I am doing (I will still have questions later on though). To get myself started, I painted the back of the tank black. This is the best looking and cheapest background IMO. I also bought two bags of play sand for the substrate. This weekend, I took on the challenge of building my own stand. The pre-made stands were just to expensive. The stand came out nicely to my suprise and I will be finishing it up tomorrow. Thanks for taking the time to read this and I cannot wait to get to know everyone and share my little adventure with you. I will be posting pictures and keeping everyone updated on my tank in this thread.

k19smith 08-27-2011 11:11 PM

Hi and welcome, I'm pretty new here also. Your tank sounds great I just set up a 10g planted that I'm doing low tech. I do want to throw out there if you bought the big bags of play sand one will be plenty.

bigfish93 08-27-2011 11:17 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Here are a few pictures of my unfinished stand. I will be adding the paneling around it and painting it black tomorrow. I will be building a canopy aswell.

k19smith 08-27-2011 11:27 PM

Pics still didn't come threw. Were neighbors lol I'm in WV.

k19smith 08-27-2011 11:29 PM

I see it now, that's a nice stand it looks great so far. I wish I would have painted the back of my 10g black but it's has fish in it now.

Byron 08-28-2011 11:55 AM

Coming along great, nice work on the stand. By the way, you might find some useful info on a natural planted tank in the series "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarium" stickied at the head of the Aquarium Plant section of the forum. And questions are always welcomed.

k19smith, an inexpensive background can be made with black construction paper that you can buy a sheet of at an art or hobby store. Very cheap, I have this on several tanks.


bigfish93 08-28-2011 08:50 PM

6 Attachment(s)
After a very long day of working on my stand, it is finished!! It came out really nice and everything fit together (for the most part. had a few minor tweaks to make). I put the sand substrate in, a couple rocks from my yard (i did the vinegar test and boiled them), and a few fake plants (temporary). The heater is up and running along with the filter. You guys weren't kidding when you said the HOB filters make a crazy current in the tank! I was schocked to say the least, so I put a difuser in front of it and it doesn't seem to be making a difference. I will be making the switch to a sponge filter soon. After finishing the stand I went and got a few of the basic things including: API master test kit, water conditioner, flourish comprehensive, and a siphon. My next project will be building a DIY light for the tank, so I can grow plants. Here are a few pictures for you enjoyment :-D

brokenrules69 08-28-2011 09:19 PM

look sick especially the homemade stand excellent work!

and what type of light is that i looks pretty kool

bigfish93 08-28-2011 09:29 PM

Thanks brokenrules, It is the light that came with the marineland aquarium kit. It is an LED light bar with white and blue LED lights. The white lights cannot grow plants so I permently set it to the blue moon lights and plugged them into a timer. I got rid of the hood that the light bar goes into, and got a glass top. Now the lights are mounted higher up in my canopy which really reduced their brightness (they were to bright for my liking when they were set in the hood).

brokenrules69 08-28-2011 10:01 PM

it looks sick
cant wait to see it stocked
what do i think ur goin with?

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