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Discussion Starter #1
I'm getting started on my kid's tanks. Since this is part of the curriculum I made for the kids I'm attempting to integrate as much as possible into it. With the big 55 gallon Texas tank we were able to integrate Cinco de Mayo, Davey Crockett, family history, and some basic Texas History. NOW One tank will be "Scotland" and the other will be "North Africa"

Below are pics of the Scotland tank and once I get the Africa started I'll post those. Hopefully, I'll be able to include the factoids that relate to it. The scotland tank will introduce them to the various standing stone and circles throughout the country side. Then we'll segway that into the myths and legends of Scotland. We're also constructing our own "cairn" to put in the tank. And no lesson would be complete without a mythical creature, water horse, water bull, kelpie, that hasn't been settled yet. Hope ya'll enjoy the tanks and the lessons.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Standing in line at LFS with cart full of "africa" decor: "Mom, I want to do Asia instead."

Thanks kid. Luckily Scotland is ready for water and Asia is back on the drawing board.

I was going to various ferns for Scotland. What are some "Asia plants" ?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Updated pics of Scotland and the Far East

We went with an Asian theme for the second tank; and put in the last of the decor for the Scotland tank. I'm hoping to find something specifically Korean to place in the tank. Anyhow, here's the progress.
 

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What fish are going into the scottish tank?.Maybe some of the multi coloured tailed guppys to look like plaid or the tartan of the scottish clans (I wont start the historical argument about tartan is actually a english invention imposed on the scots during the 18th century etc :-?).Or some leopard danios that look like salmon (famous in Pitlochry etc)
You could add some purple plants to look like heather plants,or an ornament that looks like "Nessie" the Loch Ness monster.

Tomsk
 

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The black is to offset the ferns and grasses that I'm planting back there. And the shape reminded me of some cliffs I saw when flying into Iverness. So much of the landscape had shape and texture I thought it was appropriate. I know what you mean though. My kids said the same thing.

The Asia tank has the black up front to contrast the colors that are going in the tank, reds, blues, yellows, greens. and is significant of the "land of the rising sun".

Scotland is most likely getting black neon tetra, since my son is in a "everything black" stage. I honestly thought I would get a few more years before he went all doom and gloom. I'd also like to put some bottom fish and a betta in there. I saw a betta at the store the other day. Blue and white and I swear the tail resembled the St. Andrews cross. Had I the room I would have snatched him up. Maybe he'll still be there when we're ready. I'm all about waiting for the perfect fish, so if not, we'll wait. I was hoping the LFS had small oriental dragons that I could modify and paint to look like nessy, but alas they only had huge ones. We settled for a small green dragon.

I'm looking at the various "Asiatic" plants right now. I'm not sure what I want to place in there other than bamboo. That tank will most likely have Blue neon tetra, some bottom fish, and another Betta.

I am open to non-aggressive stocking suggestions. Since my big tank will undoubtedly become home if something should befall one of their tanks I'd like to keep it simple and compatible.

Pre-reqs:

one decent size school of small schoaling fish.
Something ornate and size appropriate that will compliment the theme and colors,
and a bottom fish(es) that can withstand the lighting, will utilize the built in shade, and will be effective in reducing algae.
 

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Keep in mind that bamboo can't survive fully submerged. The top of the plant has to be above water, which can be tricky when it comes to hoods.

As for fish, why not get Asian fish for the Asian tank? A nice school of rasboras, maybe some kuhli loaches for the bottom and a gourami as a centerpiece fish?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The Rasboras were vetoed. He did like the Neon Blue Dwarf Gourami. In fact he asked how many of those he could fit. lol.

I think we're looking at 10 blue neon tetra, 1 dwarf gourami, and four cherry shrimp for the Asia tank. I was planning on leaving about four inches of space between the water line and the top so the bamboo would have space, and to minimize spillage cause I KNOW the kids will undoubtedly knock into the tank a few times. If it proves to be problematic I've seem some very convincing fake bamboo that would do just as nicely.
 

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Question about seeding BB

Okay so when I set up each tank I put a filter cartridge from my 55 gallon tank into each tank. it measures about 6x4 inches and has been running in the large tank since inception a few months ago) I'm not concerned with aesthetics right now and it seemed the most direct way to seed the tanks. They've each had the filter in there for several days along with one fish each. The molly in the Scotand tank seems hunky dorey. The Platy in the Asia tank is hiding inside the dragon and swimming furiously in spurts. (Sticking point - the asia tank is the one I bled all over)

I've been monitoring the water daily and after only a few days the NO2 and ammonia is 0 and the NO3 is 40. I have never ever ever ever seen a seeded tank cycle in days. I'm going to get second opinions today.

I'm also about to plant these tanks, now that there is NO3. I'm thinking dwarf hairgrass for the Scotland tank with a fern of some sort, and going to check out some of the suggestions Byron had for the Asia tank.

I'm also going to be putting LED bubble wands in them to run at night. The filters are perfectly silent and there seems to be zero air exchange going on.

Any advice?
 

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when i have seeded tanks with filet media or a squeeze they have never has an issue.. i would not say instant cycle but fairly close.. i started all of my fresh water tanks currently running off of the origonal guppy tank and that was close to a year ago.. all tanks have had no issues (note: all fresh water tanks have had no issues)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Night shots

I put in the night time bubbler/LED wands. Here's a pic of the kid's nightlights.

Scotland is green, Asia is red. Asia might have to go blue though. My seven year old says its a little hellish. His words were "It makes me think there's demon fish."
 

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Those are a little on the creepy side, but then again I like creepy stuff so I wouldn't complain about it if they were my night lights!

If you were moving well-seeded filter media from an established tank to a smaller tank with only a single fish in it, there should be enough bacteria in the cartridges to handle the bioload of a single small fish. I would say that the tanks were probably "instantly cycled" by seeding them like that, but it's always safest to let things settle for a while before adding more fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Those are a little on the creepy side, but then again I like creepy stuff so I wouldn't complain about it if they were my night lights!

If you were moving well-seeded filter media from an established tank to a smaller tank with only a single fish in it, there should be enough bacteria in the cartridges to handle the bioload of a single small fish. I would say that the tanks were probably "instantly cycled" by seeding them like that, but it's always safest to let things settle for a while before adding more fish.
I have ten danio and ten tetra qt'd and on standby to go to their tanks. I think Autry the Betta will go with them as well so I can open up the 55 gallon tank.
 
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