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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all
I have bought my kids a 28 g bowfront aquarium for the holidays. We currently have a 1.5g with a betta a snail and plastic plants and a 2g with a betta, 2 snails, 2 mosquito fish and a few strands of live gooseweed. The gooseweed, mosquito fish and 3 snails were all started as a school project by my 9 year old. After it sat in it's little 2 liter soda bottle ecosystem in my kitchen window for two months we upgraded to the 2g (and bought the 2 bettas then). Both kids are still really into the fish so we told them we would get a bigger aquarium for Christmas (the 9 year old thinks it will be a 5 gallon - I expect a couple of very excited kids when they see how big a one we got).
I think I want to leave the two baby tanks alone and start fresh with the big one. I know it needs to cycle and I think I can swish the filter from the 2g (Eclipse) into it to help start it. I have water testing reagents for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate.
I'd like some advice on stocking. I think I'd like a couple of low maintenance live plants and my son really likes the look of the neon tetras. I guess I'll need to get one or two small bottom feeders in there.
Will we be able to have other fish besides a small school of neons and something to eat algae/fish poop?
Thanks for any help in advance
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I know it is kinder to do a fishless cycle but I know we will all be impatient. I have a little castle ornament thingy in the two gallon. If I move this into the 28 g and swish the filter from the 2g in the water of the 28g will that seed enough bacteria over to start with a few small Danios after a few days of just a pinch of fish food? I know I need to add the fish slowly so that the bacteria grow enough to handle the extra ammonia generated.
I think the betta in the two gallon has been squeezing into the castle and tearing his fins a little. I will get a new ornament for that tank that has a bit bigger opening for him.
As far as the filter and heater and stuff. I got a Topfin aquarium that had a bunch of that stuff included. Right now it is hiding over at the neighbors house so that it can magically appear Christmas morning so I'm not sure what all is in the box. We will set up the stand and just put the empty tank on it for the surprise in the morning as I know it doesn't have any gravel or other substrate included and that will need to be first in.

Boy oh boy - is it Christmas yet? :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
the 2g has been up and running for about 5-6 weeks but I moved the gravel, fish, snails and plants over from the soda bottle ecosystem that was set up in September.

I like the natural look too but my 9 year old wanted the castle for his fish and since it is his tank we let him pick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
crazie.eddie said:
tinymitymo, I'm sure your kids will be happy, but are you sure it will be their tank? ;)
:mrgreen:
come on now - how many 9 & 11 year olds can be fully responsible for their own tanks. Of course it will be mine and my hubbies too.
:mrgreen:
I will guide them into fish choices though as this will be a great learning experience for them. My older son is fixated on oceans, marine biology and that type of thing. Any time he can choose his own topic for a research project it has to do with fish or the ocean. When he was 8 in 3rd grade he did one on the different layers of the ocean and the fish that lived there and in 5th grade he did an extensive project on the history of the equipment used for submarine exploration. His dream is to work at a place like Woods Hole.

They understand that they have to wait for the fish and go slowly. We took water samples into the lfs for several weeks before we bought our own kits. Tonight I let my 9 year old do the tests on the two little tanks (one is fine but the other needs a few water changes to get the nitrites down).

Is it time yet? LOL
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
It's good to see responsible kids. I'm hoping that my kids will get totally involved in this. They are still excited about the little tanks so I'm thinking they will. We will always be supporting it though to make sure everything gets done properly.
I asked my hubby to get some small dark gravel today so that Sunday evening we can wash the gravel and tank and set it up with water in it. I will take some of the dark gravel from the nicely established 2 gallon as well as the filter cartridge and put them in the new tank with a pinch of food (the 2 gallon will get a new filter cartridge) and that will hopefully get the new tank cycled quickly.
Will it be ok to add the plants after the water has been sitting in the tank or should they go in after the gravel and before the water? I don't think we'll have time to pick up plants before Monday and I think the kids will be getting gift cards for Petsmart from their aunts and uncles so we can use those to get plants with.
If I add the filter cartridge and gravel from the established tank what should I be looking for with my water testing parameters? Will there be an ammonia and nitrite spike?

Is it time yet? :D
 
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