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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've held off posting an update for a while, since my first attempt at this aquarium failed so badly, but it's been months now and all my current fish seem to be doing great, so here's my update. I've switched to all guppies. They are currently in freshwater (I just made it look reef-ish because I needed color to cheer me up). This is my 15 gallon antique-era tank with a hood I have cut and edited about a million times. It currently only has one live plant, because the one thing I am still missing is proper lights! That will be the next step. It's currently illuminated by a lamp (aimed through one of the holes I cut in the hood) with a full spectrum CFL bulb, at not nearly enough wattage. In the daytime, it gets some minor natural light, and about 30 minutes of direct sun IF the weather is JUST right (which is rare in the winter in Vermont on the north side of the building). It has a Rapids Mini Canister Filter at 80gph with a surface skimmer inline, and I managed to get the current to flow in the right rotation now so the fish swim towards the front of the tank, and are very happy. There's a Cobalt Neotherm heater at 75 watts (and I keep it very warm). It's got CaribSea Eco-Complete substrate in black, but I plan to add some areas of CaribSea's Dry Aragonite in Flamingo Pink eventually for accent (it's dry, and I plan to rinse it well - I've read that guppies can handle hard water and brackish conditions). It currently has faux coral and faux rock decor, well, no, the BIG rock is faux, the little ones are real, there's rhodonite and hematite in the sphere, a jasper, a fossil, and a few minor pebbles here and there, mostly jasper. The rock is hollow, so the fish can totally hide if they wish (but they don't, they are Guppies, they love being out swimming). I'll be adding more rock, just not sure what rock yet, I'd like some lighter rock, possibly actual real rock. I'll also be adding more plants, once I have enough light to support them. Oh, yes, and that's GIFT WRAP as the background! I cut it out on the pattern with scissors so that the plant gets that little bit of daily sun and the guppies can see the activity out the window a bit. The white shell is a weekend feeder, I have an autofeeder on top, but I don't trust it on long weekends, and I am just about off to leave for 4 days. Plus, it's great for baiting fish for photos! Speaking of that... is there a certain amount of flash photography that guppies can live with, and should I *not* take 50 photos at one time, for like 15 minutes straight? It occurs to me I may be stressing them out this way.

I realize that many people find freshwater tanks decorated as reef/saltwater tacky, but this is for me, and it makes me feel happy, and the fish are content in it. I love it. I'd love to say this is low-budget, but the truth is, even though the tank was free, I still have sunk hundreds of dollars into it already, and still don't have a light! It's a GREAT hobby, I love shopping on amazon for decor!
 

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You did a nice job on the tank. And yes, it's your tank so should be done the way you like it (and the way fish like it of course).

You do realize that you're going to be overrun with guppies right? I see males and females in there. How many males and how many females do you have?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I have equal amounts of males and females at this point, I need more females, the males are harassing the girls a bit at this ratio, but I'm holding out til the fish store has more yellows. They will take any "extra" fish I breed this way... but I'll be honest, I'll probably just get a bigger tank.. this is pretty addicting. The blue and red male is the only survivor of the butthead swordtail that is now gone, you can see his fin is still growing out from being pecked at. I'd love to get some half yellow/half red with blue accents out of this mix, but we'll see what happens.

Edit: I failed to answer your one question! SIX. I have six fish in there, 3 males, and 3 females.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
How many guppies can a 15 gallon tank with so much decor taking up space support, do you think?
 

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How many guppies can a 15 gallon tank with so much decor taking up space support, do you think?
Unless you get a grow out tank for the fry, most of them will probably be eaten by the parents/other fish.
 

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I think the tank looks fun! And it is not overstocked which I think is important.

Glad your fish keeping experiences have been more pleasant. It's hard to add a fish and watch them reek havoc on your tank/favorites.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, everyone. If they breed, and the youngsters live, I will choose the ones I like the best, and take the rest to the fish store. If they eat the youngsters, well, that's ok too.
 
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