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Old 11-16-2013, 10:44 AM   #1 
RainbowhLizzie
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Question Unsure of what to do with a new tank!

I have been swooning over betta sororities lately, so I made myself a promise that the next tank I got would be a sorority. I never thought my new tank would end up 100+ gallons.
A little backstory: I was on craigslist and I saw an ad for a free fish tank. I has a crack, but my dad said he can help me replace that panel no problem. So I called the guy, asked him all the info, yadayada, and he told me no more than 65 gallons, as far as he knows. Well my dad went to go pick it up and when I saw it, I just thought no way that is 65 gallons. 5 feet long, 2 feet high, and 1.5 feet wide.
I really want a sorority, but since it will be my first, I have so many mixed emotions right now. On one hand, I feel as though the size will be too much to handle for a beginner, and that my sorority will not thrive. But on the other hand, I feel that with more space, less bettas would mean less fighting. (ie. 1 betta per 10 gallons) Please let me know your guy's input! I would love a tropical community tank if a majority of you feel it would be best, but that would mean that I can not have a sorority until I move out, since I feel I am pushing the tank limit. (Mom is already finicky about the electric bill as it is, yet she never tells me how much more my tanks are costing her.)

Well now that that is covered, I will jump into the main reason I am here. Regardless of theme, for now, I am concerned about planting. Once I get the panel with the crack replaced, I really want to start with a Walstad tank. I researched her method, and other people's interpretation of it, but rarely do I find one fitting to my tank size. Although, I believe it is the same concept. Could I get opinions on emersed vs. immersed; what type of plants grow best in that style; sunlight needed (not electric lights yet); and what dirt to use (with a cap of play sand)?
I was thinking of doing emersed, but I am worried that once I put water in, the thriving plants will die down a little. The tank will not be stocked until the summer, when I have the time and money to work on it, with the exception of feeder guppies/goldfish if the need arises. So until then, I believe the plants have more than enough time to grow in and become fabulous!
Thanks everybody!
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:26 PM   #2 
Bombalurina
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Don't worry about not being able to maintain the tank. :) The larger the tank, the easier it is to maintain, as larger bodies of water are much more stable.

Your tank sounds like it's about 100 gallons. How many females do you want? Enough so you can tell them all apart, or just a few? I would personally use the space to do a huge sorority/community. Is your water hard or soft? Soft water would give you the option to mix tetras, cories, kuhlis, rasboras, plecos, all those fun things, whilst hard water would give you a chance to have livebearers or some gorgeous Australian/Papua New Guinea natives.

As for planting, well, an NPT is still totally doable if that's the way you want to go. You could also do a planted non-dirted tank if the Walstad method intimidates you. The huge space in your tank gives you plenty of room to create some truly lovely dimensions, because you can add in super-sized plants that the rest of us don't have room for. Amazon Swords, vallisneria, any plant where the warning is "grows huge" is destined for your tank.

Sunlight alone, however, is not going to be enough for your tank. NPTs are very specific in their lighting needs - flourescent is something of a must. Without it, all you'll really grow is algae.

I'm no expert on the emersed/immersed debate, so hopefully someone else can weigh in. :)
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Old 11-17-2013, 08:40 PM   #3 
RainbowhLizzie
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Dad cracked another side of glass, unfortunately... :/ I hope I can salvage the rest of the tank, because I do not want to spend more than the tank is worth.
About the lighting, dang I was crossing my fingers for sunlight. I do not mind using fluorescents though. I could find some nice shop lights at Home Depot or Lowes.

I was hoping for a start of 8, with enough space to add more as I find/breed more. The 8 will hopefully be themed around the eeveelutions. (ie. Flareon, Jolteon, Glaceon, etc.)
My tap water comes out soft, as the fish store tells me, so now that I know that, I will go crazy with cories.... hehe. Just kidding, maybe 10 or 12 mixed species. I do love tetras, but I do not want nipped fins, and am not going to take the chance at first.
I want tall, grass like plants too. (again for the pokemon route)
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Old 11-18-2013, 03:45 PM   #4 
Bombalurina
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I'm not too familiar with Pokemon - I found a Squirtle card in a crisp packet when I was 10, but I'm pretty sure I traded it for a gel pen or something. Yep, I was a 90s kid. :p

I would probably start out with more than 8 - closer to 20 might be a better bet. Although they'll have a lot of room each, with so few fish, the agression when they do meet is going to be more severe, I think. The more you have, the more defined the hierarchy will be, and the more spread out the aggression will be. :)

If your local water is soft, cories are a great way to go! They have such personalities. My personal preference would also include some large schools of mid-swimmers (my choices would be cardinal and glowlight tetras and harlequin rasboras), but you could leave all that space for the bettas if you prefer.
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