Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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collinskev 02-29-2016 05:54 PM

55g Aquarium Journal
 
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I'm setting up a new 55g gallon aquarium which is going to be my largest yet. Wanted to try something new and journal about it as I go. I am planning on having a JD, a firemouth, a convict, a peacock eel, and some tiger barbs. A nice setup with driftwood and rocks for the landscaping with pool filter sand as a substrate. I ordered the stuff, and have just started to receive packages in the mail. Still waiting for Petco to have a dollar a gallon sale, but that will come in good time. I picked the wrong filter in the checkout getting a 50 instead of a 55/75 so I will probably get a smaller secondary filter in the future. I'm getting more excited every day :lol:

Warhawk 03-01-2016 01:20 PM

Looking forward to watching it come together. Petco did a $1 per gallon in Jan so it should be around April or May(I heard they do it 3 times a year).

collinskev 03-01-2016 03:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Warhawk (Post 7133450)
Looking forward to watching it come together. Petco did a $1 per gallon in Jan so it should be around April or May(I heard they do it 3 times a year).

I called my petco, and they guy said he didn't know, but he guesses early March. Also keeping an eye on my local craigslist for anything promising.

Bilbo Baggins 03-02-2016 12:59 PM

That looks like a great tank you have planned there, will be interesting to watch it all take shape. Good Luck.

Thalanaya 03-05-2016 04:36 PM

Dollar a gallon sale
 
I did not know they did this. I am excited as I want to get a larger tank. I will have to watch out for this sale! Your tank projects sound interesting and can't wait to see it all come together.

collinskev 03-06-2016 10:19 AM

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The light fixture came yesterday, and it looks good. A little reminder of how big this tank is going to be compared to my other tanks :lol:

Still waiting on Petco...

Thalanaya 03-14-2016 01:35 PM

When petco does this sale do they go up to 75 gallon tanks? That is what I am looking for. :-P

Warhawk 03-14-2016 01:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thalanaya (Post 7185026)
When petco does this sale do they go up to 75 gallon tanks? That is what I am looking for. :-P


No they only 10, 20 L, 20 T, 29, 40breeder and 55g. The only place I have heard about that does 75g is Uncle Bills and they told me last week they won't be doing that sale any more because Marine Land (manufacturer) wasn't making enough money.

collinskev 03-29-2016 09:33 AM

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Good News! Petco has finally put their tanks on sale!

I picked up the 55g yesterday and did the initial setup. I have some rocks in the tank, and also picked up a piece of driftwood. I like the arrangement, and I think that it leaves enough places to hide, yet still looks nice.

I have the first filter, a 250 gph aqueon, and the 200w aquatop heater in the tank now.

Next paycheck I plan on getting another filter for a total of near 500 gph just to keep everything moving in such a long skinny tank. I put some media that I had stored in the filter of my existing tank, as well as the filter pad into the new filter to jump start the cycling process.

I might get a few fish today, but let me know if that is too soon, even with the parts of the old filter. Depending on how much money I have, the schooling fish, and maybe the convict / firemouth. Small fish, but let me know what you think.

I am taking a water sample to my petstore today to have the ph etc. tested, just to make sure that there are no issues there.

The sand I used in this tank is quikrete all purpose sand that was 2.97 for a 50lb bag, so I got 2 bags. Sorry for the length, but I just wanted to fill you all in on what's going on. Here are a few pics of the tank.

Warhawk 03-29-2016 09:43 AM

Looks nice.

I would suggest start running your filter on your other tank to get the cycle started. It can tank 2-3 weeks to seed a filter but will save you a lot of time when setting up the new tank. Once you have cycled media fill up the tank and let it site for 3-4 days with the heater and lights working, after that you can add fish and your cycled filters.

collinskev 03-29-2016 09:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Warhawk (Post 7243473)
Looks nice.

I would suggest start running your filter on your other tank to get the cycle started. It can tank 2-3 weeks to seed a filter but will save you a lot of time when setting up the new tank. Once you have cycled media fill up the tank and let it site for 3-4 days with the heater and lights working, after that you can add fish and your cycled filters.

I have the cycled media from the existing filter in the new filter/tank, but you would say swap the entire filter for a few days? I will definitely hold off on fish for a few days, as hard as it will be for me :roll:

Warhawk 03-29-2016 09:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by collinskev (Post 7243505)
I have the cycled media from the existing filter in the new filter/tank, but you would say swap the entire filter for a few days? I will definitely hold off on fish for a few days, as hard as it will be for me :roll:

I would run both filters on the older tank for a few weeks. That will allow your media a chance to get seeded. Running both filters on your tank won't hurt anything as long as the fish don't mind the current.

I know waiting on fish is hard I have done it many times and there has been time I rushed it and caused issues.

jeaninel 03-29-2016 09:59 AM

Since you added some mature media to your filter you should be ok to add just a few small fish, not too many though. Good idea to test your water first. Be prepared to do water changes as needed. Tank looks good! Did you paint the back?

collinskev 03-29-2016 11:09 AM

The backing I got off of amazon, but I forget the name of the brand. I do know that it came in a pvc pipe, the entire surface covered in 2 layers of packing tape, and inside was the rolled backing wrapped in paper covered in chinese. There wasn't a word of english on the packing except my name and address.

I put it on the tank with vegetable oil, which I had read online. It worked much better than I though, and looks nice. I ripped it a little bit while getting the bubbles out, but I managed to cleverly hide it with my heater 8-)

collinskev 04-10-2016 10:45 AM

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I have a few pictures of the tank as it stands now. I did get 5 black skirt tetras a week or so ago and they have all been fine. Everybody is health etc. The tank has now been set up for 2 weeks and I plan on adding the cichlids tomorrow.

My JD (now in my 20g l) is about 3" and my petco has some similarly sized firemouths and convicts. I will have one of each in the tank. I plan on adding them all at the same time, so that one doesn't have established territory. Being young fish that will grow up together, I think that this way they will get along.

I do have a plant in the tank now, even though I didn't plan on having any plants. It was my friend's betta tank, and as you can imagine, just took the thing over. It was a lily grown from a bulb that I have used before, and really like. It is one of those bulb packs with onion, aponogeton, and water lilys. They last 6-8 months in my experience (they are part aquatic, when they die, take them out for a few months, and then put them back in).

The other day I noticed some black fuzzy stuff on the stem of the plant. I don't know if it is something that I should be concerned about, or what I should do. Here is a close picture of it, I hope it isn't too blurry.

collinskev 04-11-2016 07:07 PM

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So I went to my nearby Petco today to get the cichlids. They didn't have any convicts, but they did have some firemouths.

The fish lady insisted that all of the fish in the tank were JD's, since somebody had bought all of the firemouths 10 minutes ago. 2-3 of the fish were clearly firemouths, not Jack Dempseys. I got the largest one they had.

In the new tank, he looks very healthy. He has a little rip in his tail, but looks great. With the JD now out of the 20g, I got 2 female and 1 male guppy. I couldn't get any pictures, because they wouldn't stay still. The male is a blue / green fan tail, one female is half black and half white, and the other has an orange / red tail.

As you can tell, I am not a guppy person. This is my first time owning guppies, and I plan on breeding them in the future and raising up the fry.

Here is a picture that I managed to get of the firemouth. From watching him so far, he is considerably smaller than the jack dempsey, but so far they have been fine. They seem like brothers, with the firemouth following the JD everywhere he goes. They usually end up sharing caves together.

jeaninel 04-11-2016 08:26 PM

Good luck with the little fellow!

collinskev 04-12-2016 03:12 PM

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Soooo, yeah.

I came home and found this. I don't know what to even think about it. My first reaction was to blame the JD, but I don't know. The tetras are about half his length, and the same height. The dead tetra was the largest tetra in the school, so I'm stumped.

The bones are picked clean, and the skull has no eyes or anything left on it. Completely empty. It may have been a post - mortem incident, but I just have no idea.

From watching all of the fish last night, it seemed like the JD completely ignored the tetras and just kept to himself. Here is the pic for anybody interested. Do you guys have any idea?

collinskev 04-15-2016 05:33 PM

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So today, I found out that my petco didn't have any convict cichlids in even though they said that they would this Thursday.

I went to my local Pet Supplies Plus and they had one pink convict cichlid. It was a relative good size, just a tad smaller than the Jack Dempsey. I wanted to get him soon just to get him in before the JD and Firemouth got too territorial about the tank.

Since I hadn't planned on getting a pink cv, I wasn't sure about this guy at first (he is a male) but the more I watch him, the more I'm falling in love with him. He has black stripes on one side, and has almost nothing on the other side. Here is a picture of him and the JD.

jeaninel 04-18-2016 10:36 AM

Nice looking convict. I believe they call that a marble convict.

Warhawk 04-18-2016 11:47 AM

Nice convict I really like them and I agree with Jeaninel I would call that a marbled.

Good luck finding a Firemouth I looked for about a month before I could find mine. They are a great fish and loads of colors. I found mine a Meijer (large change store like walmart)

As for the fish that caused the death I would guess it was the JD. I have keep those and mine was the meanest fish I had ever keep. I traded my last one into the local fish store after he killed my oscars, the oscars where twice the size of the JD.

collinskev 04-18-2016 12:33 PM

I looked up some pictures and I would say that he is definitely a marbled convict.

Thats pretty impressive that your JD took out your oscars. Kind of banking on the fact that the cichlids are all juveniles so that they get along when they all get bigger.

Warhawk 04-18-2016 12:59 PM

I always heard Oscars where aggressive fish but after having some they are big babys. They will eat anything that fits in their mouths but don't really bother fish that are too big to eat whole. 8)

Growing up together may or may not help. I have tried it and it has worked but some times it doesn't. The convict should be able to hold his own but the firemouth is normally more bark than bite. Also watch for the different growth rates to make sure everyone stays close to the same size.

collinskev 04-18-2016 04:05 PM

I took a page from Warhawk's book today and made a little video of me hand feeding my JD. I hope you like it. I have another video of the entire tank uploading now that will show everything.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4l-L2h6TSk

collinskev 04-18-2016 05:28 PM

Here is the video of the tank feeding.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgQBO-v6z5w

Warhawk 04-19-2016 07:20 AM

Not sure that is my book I copied it from others. LOL Videos are some times easier for sure.

Nice tank, I can tell your Firemouth is kinda skid-dish like mine are. I hope mine get over that soon they are great fish.

samz 04-22-2016 05:26 PM

I have never kept Jack Dempsey's, but a friend of mine told me his was 5 inches and put a hole in his plecostomus. I wanted to put one in with my Oscars, but like Warhawk's mine are huge babies lol.

You mentioned using vegetable oil when putting your backround on, and I was wondering what the benefit of doing that was. Does it help it stick to the glass or make it easier to keep air bubbles from between the glass and the backround? My wife usually helps me with mine (actually I help her lol) and most times we get frustrated and end up arguing, so if there's an easier way I'd love to hear about it.

collinskev 04-22-2016 10:16 PM

The backing didn't have adhesive on it, so the only other option was glue. It is supposed to be removable with vegetable oil.

collinskev 04-25-2016 08:50 PM

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So I went down to petsmart and they had a pair of peacock eels in. I got one of them; he's about 7" long right now and seems to be very active and healthy.

This is a very picture heavy post, with some cool shots that I managed to get of the eel, he JD, and the firemouth.

I knew that the peacock eel would be difficult to get to feed at first. I fully expected the challenge. The first day I got him, I got him to eat a small earthworm. The petstore said that they fed them blood worms and sinking shrimp pellets. He has turned his nose up at everything else I have offered him since, even more earthworms placed directly in front of him and the other fish distracted elsewhere.

Have any of you had experience with spiny eels? Some things I have read have said they they have had their eels for years and never once seen them eat anything. It seems like many places say that they only take live / frozen food, but would they scavenge around the tank at night eating scraps?

I think that this thread will become more of a journal of all of my tanks. I don't know if I should start a new one, or if just adding it onto this one will be fine.

I also managed to get 2 nice female guppies from petsmart. Unlike my petco ones who swam behind the filter and died in a day, these ones are healthy and strong. One is also pregnant which is exciting.

I apologize for the long post that has ended up being a bit of just stream of conscience, but I had it all on my mind to put down here somewhere. I'll let you get the pictures now.

Warhawk 04-26-2016 07:41 AM

I have never keep peacock eels but when I wanted to make sure my more shy fish where eating well I would take some small bits of chicken livers and out it under the rocks they hide in. Did this every day and after a few days they learn what that is and will grab it fast. My Bichir loves it and now is all over the tank. I would double check to make sure the peacock eels diet and make sure he can have meat.

Looks like everyone is doing fine I really like the colors of the JD. I really like those fish but I won't keep them anymore(bad memories).

collinskev 04-26-2016 07:54 AM

Hiding his food is a really good idea. They are nocturnal, so if I feed him after lights out there will be less competition with the other fish. I picked up some frozen blood worms yesterday (they're really expensive), so I might try it with those tonight. I'll keep you guys updated on how it goes.

Warhawk 04-26-2016 08:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by collinskev (Post 7352321)
Hiding his food is a really good idea. They are nocturnal, so if I feed him after lights out there will be less competition with the other fish. I picked up some frozen blood worms yesterday (they're really expensive), so I might try it with those tonight. I'll keep you guys updated on how it goes.


Feeding him at night should work. I would wait about 30 mins after you have turned off the lights then add the food. That will give the other fish time to calm down and less chance they will find the food.

collinskev 05-01-2016 10:56 AM

I have kept up with feeding the eel earthworms every / every other day. He is now eating them readily which is great. It one less thing for me to be constantly worrying about.

There was some some algae in the 55g so I moved my albino BN pleco into the tank to work on that for a little bit. It's a temporary move, and should only be for a few months. In addition, I cut down the amount of time that the lights are on and I will see if that makes a difference.

johnnymax 06-12-2019 07:36 AM

Enjoyed the journey

johnnymax 06-12-2019 07:38 AM

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Any new pictures?


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