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Hello everyone, let me introduce you to the tank I'm in the process of setting up. It is actually a 'new used' tank I bought several days ago (March 8, 2013 to be exact). Its dimensions are 36"x18"x19". Prior to setting up, the wood trim will be glossed, and a fresh coating of 100% silicone will be applied to the edges of the tank to ensure its durability. Once I move into my new home I shall stock it.



I currently own a 26 gallon tank, and all of the fish and plants will be transferred into the 50 gallon. The fish are 4 gouramis(1 each of blue, gold, oplaline, and pearl) and a red-tailed shark. The gouramis have been in the tank for 2 two years, and the shark for 4. I plan on eventually adding a platinum gourami, either 2 or 4 Bolivian rams(suggestions on how many?) and 6 corys. The plants I currently have are the wisteria and Hygrophila corymbosa. New plants for consideration are the Staurogyne, anibus barteri, amazon sword, and Java fern. I am also adding 3 pieces of malasian driftwood, and 1 piece of mopani wood, all of which have been soaked in boiling water. Finally, I will be adding approximately 100 lbs of about 1cm wide gravel mix of blue and black. About 15 lbs will come from the 26 gal so I can transfer over some bacteria. I will post updates as I make progress.





I am open to any feedback!!

*the following link contains additional details, and only contains stock I currently have ready for use.

http://www.fishtanks.net/fishtank.php?fishtank=7018
 

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First of all, grats on the new tank! I am sure your fish are really going to be happy with the upgrade. The only thing I can see as worth pointing out is that it's probably for the best to shy away from any further Gourami additions. You clearly have some beautiful Gourami in this tank. Your pearl alone looks fabulous. The thing about Gourami though is that while young they may put up with the company of same species or different species gourami...that is subject to change.

The more Gourami you put together, the more likely you are to see aggression develop as they get into their later years. So in short, you might want to shy from adding in that third Gourami. Really they are better served if you give them something like Dithers (especially if they have somewhat shy natures).

Also if you can, try to get the driftwood early. That way you can soak it in buckets well before the move and get a lot of those tannins out.
 

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If you are going to reseal the tank, you MUST MUST remove all the old silicone from the seams, you cannot just add a new band over the top. If the tank needs resealing then it is major job.

Also, if you are painting the trim, allow at least 1-2 weeks before the fish go in to fully cure and let any residual smell leech from the food. Fresh painted wood can kill fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
update: wood gloss & driftwood

Here's a quick update. The wood trim on the tank and the stand have been glossed(not painted as I said before o_O). The change may not be very apparent in the pictures, but I think it looks a lot better :). There is also one more piece of driftwood I will be adding that is not shown. It is about the same size as the one on the left, which was added a week ago to the 26 gallon. So far, there hasn't been any noticeable amount of tannins coming from it.
And yes, the tank is dirty. Its been sitting there for too long!!



 

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Welcome to TFK!

Gorgeous fish, I'm so enamored with Pearls, and the trim looks great!!!

All other stock aside, I would be comfortable with keeping 4 Bolivian Rams in a tank this size - 3 females and 1 male - but not everyone would agree with that. They are territorial little fish, and there is potential for trouble, so many people prefer to keep only one specimen to a tank. As for keeping two, a tank this size is enough space for a pair, but B.Rams have to chose their own mates, and their 'bond' can last a lifetime. These fish aren't often sold as proper pairs, so you would possibly have to start off with a group until a pair (or more) forms, and re-home the rest. . . Please be sure to do more research before you decide, cichlids can be tricky - look into keeping the particular gourami types that you have together with Bolivians, as there are potential aggression problems between these fish, but I haven't kept them together. . . yet. :)
 

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lol! A round tank WOULD be cool! Interesting gravel, I can see where you're going with the name 'Global' now. Now you have to wait until ext week to put it in?!!
*ish impatient*
 

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Your fish and plants look very nice and healthy. Personally, I would go with a smaller gravel size. That would provide a better root bed for plants such as Amazon Swords and most rosette substrate plants. Smaller gravel also has the advantage of not allowing as much waste and uneaten food to get trapped and cause water quality issues. I have rather large grain gravel in my 55g and I can't wait to change it out with sand.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Probably the only reason why I didn't get sand is that I'm afraid it would clog my filter. I could be wrong, especially since my fish are hardly even near the bottom of the tank.
I have to wait for full setup because my house is being remodeled.
The tank is called "Global" because it will house fish, driftwood, and plants from different parts of the world. I have Malaysian driftwood, mopani wood from Africa, and will eventually house fish from south america and south east asia :)
 

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I have sand and I really love it. My pleco also loves it too -.-
Which is why I am switching to a canister filter asap. His hidy/digging spot is right beside my HOB, not the greatest spot to choose Mr. Pleco! But oh well. Come on bonus check!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Setup Day!

Today I finally got to setup the aquarium! Last Thursday, silicon was applied to the vertical edges of the tank, where it had been deteriorating. As of now, there hasn't been any apparent issues with the newly applied silicon. Here are some pictures!




I added the driftwood I bought weeks ago. From the old 26 gallon I added all of its plants, a piece of wood, a cave thing (its shown above in the center), and a bit of gravel to hopefully speed up the cycling. Today I bought two amazon swords, three stalks of wisteria, and a cryptocoryne (store didn't specify which species -_-). In the near future I plan on adding more plants, specifically to the back right, the front, and floating.
Unfortunately, I will add the fish prior to cycling. My house was just approved after inspection today, so I will move in asap and do not have room for two tanks. I will post more pictures as soon as I can, and hopefully with better shots!
 

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Big Update

Hey I’m back. It has been quite a while because I haven’t had internet access and I just got out of school. Now let’s get to the details of what’s been going on! First, here's a few pictures I took shortly after adding the fish from the old tank.



Surprisingly, my tank cycled in one week. The ammonia peaked to 0.5 on the third day, and dropped to 0 in a week. There was never a trace of nitrite, and so far no nitrates. Most importantly, my fish endured it, and all is good. Originally, I considered buying cherry barbs as dithers. I chose not to buy them because the gouramis seemed quite peaceful just the way they were, and I personally would rather keep the tank less crowded for them. About two weeks after the setup, I went ahead and bought 3 bolivian rams. I bought the only male they had in stock, and two females. At first, the rams were quite timid and spent most of their time together. You can’t blame them, considering they are with fish twice as big!! I admit I was a bit shaky because the red-tailed shark was quite curious about its new tank mates. During the first two days, it would constantly sneak up on them and chase them. I never saw any damage done to them at least. After the third day, everything seemed to have settled down. The shark minds its own business most of the time now, and the rams appear quite peaceful. They no longer stay together, and the male doesn’t seem interested in paring up. I’ll try to put up a video soon.


Now with the plants. Unfortunately, I have mixed feelings. The older leaves on the hydroglifia seem to be slowly dying off, although its new leaves so far look ok. The sword doesn’t look healthy, so I might have to get rid of it if it doesn’t get healthier. The cryptocoryne is slowly losing leaves, so it might be gone soon. The only plant that I haven’t had problems with is the wisteria. I recently added an anubias (I’ll have to come back with the full name later), but as usual, time will tell how it fares in my tank.
Last week I went ahead and bought a small CO2 system, so hopefully it can give them a boost. Every week I also add liquid fertilizer containing iron and potassium. I’ll just have to give it some time to see where my plants go.

Something else to note is that the water is completely leached with tannins. It doesn’t bother me, although I’m impressed considering that I placed the wood in water for a week with daily water changes, and put them in boiling water once.
What’s next? I plan on adding 6-8 otocinclus catfish. I had them in the past, and I think they’d be a nice addition here. As of now, I’m not sure if I’ll add anything else, only time will tell!
 
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