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Old 07-05-2012, 12:28 AM   #1 
Lost Eventide
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Lost's Aquarium Journal

So, I figured I'd keep a journal because it tends to keep me organized when I'm working on projects and such. Seeing I'm currently revamping my 29g in addition to setting up a 5g betta tank, this seems like the place to do it =3

Once I get access to a camera I might post pictures in here as well, or I may reserve photos for the appropriate boards. Haven't decided yet.

29 Gallon________________________________________________

Regarding my 29g, things seem to be going well. I replaced my pea gravel substrate with pool filter sand yesterday and I scattered some of the old gravel around to help with bacteria seeding and break up the colour a bit. My step-dad actually told me to put more in because he likes the way it looks, haha xD

For the most part, all my guys seem to have adapted well to the new substrate and the new daylight bulb I purchased (after spending about four hours running back and forth to different hardware stores... none of them had a 24'' T8 6500k bulb, gah!). The planting and decor is still rather sparse. I got a few Amazon Swords and I removed most of the artificial plants, but I still have my artificial sunken ship and jeep in there.

I also bought some Mopani Driftwood and have been boiling it all day, only to find people were having issues with a toxic fungus growing within a couple months. So, needless to say, that piece is getting taken back to PetCo asap. I'm just hoping they take it back after I boiled it.

To replace it, I ordered a medium piece and two small pieces of Malaysian Driftwood from Drs. Foster and Smith, as well as plant fertilizer, a bottle of Prime conditioner (seeing my Jungle Start Right is almost gone and I was hearing good things about Prime), and a new API master water testing kit. I also got some pruning scissors and a pair of forceps, which I'll likely mainly use to feed my betta once I get him.

All in all, I spent about $80 |D; And I still need to buy a filter for my betta tank, as well as a new bulb.

5 Gallon Betta Tank________________________________________

As far as my betta tank goes, I'm intending on taking it with me this fall when I go back to school. The tank I have is an acrylic 5g hex my mom picked up for me at a thrift store. It has a full hood, and for a small setup it's pretty nice. I ordered a Hydor Theo heater for it from Drs. Foster and Smith, and I'm looking at an internal filter for it seeing the hood doesn't allow for a typical HOB filter.

I can't get to actually setting up the tank and getting it cycled yet though. We currently have a low, two-shelf, completely wooden bookcase we won at an auction sitting in the garage that we need to clean off and get moved to my room. I'm going to be using it as a stand for the 5g while it's home (I'll be able to fall asleep to the sound of a running filter again <3 Yaaaay). Once that's in here though, I can start putting the sand and water in and getting things cycled.

There was a gorgeous blue male I saw a couple days ago though. If I had my tank setup I would have snapped him up in a heartbeat.

I'm going to go for a sunken city/Atlantis theme with this tank, while I'm trying to stay natural with my 29 gallon. I love the Atlantis mythology, and I think a betta would look beautiful in a planted tank with some sunken ruin decor (well, more beautiful than they already are). I also saw an LED lighted crystal decoration for sale on Drs. Foster and Smith, but it was almost $50, and I wasn't going to spend that much even if it did fit with the Atlantis theme.

Quarantine Tank__________________________________________

I've never actually had a quarantine tank seeing my dad didn't want me setting up more than one aquarium while I lived with him (especially not a quarantine seeing he's never kept one himself in the years he's kept fish, and he said he never had a problem), so this has been a long time coming. Fortunately my mom and step-dad don't seem to mind my budding multiple tank syndrome as much xD

Before I upgraded to my 29 gallon I had either a 20 gallon or 10 gallon (I believe a 20 gallon though) that I used to house my black neon tetras (I've had those little guys for years <3 Some of the first fish I got when I got back into the hobby). Once I got the new tank however, my old one went into the attic for storage. Well, I texted my dad today about it, and he does still have it up in storage and it's all ready to be taken out of there whenever I have time to come get it.

So, I'm going to bring that over to use as a quarantine tank. I think it has a heater, filter, and everything else still in it, so I just need to clean it out and get it cycled again. Saves me a lot of money to be sure, seeing I was looking for a cheap 10 gallon to use as a quarantine and I would have still had to buy the hood, filter, and everything else if I went for a fresh setup.

I'm just going to have to find a place to put it, though from what I understand quarantine tanks can be taken down when not in use as long as the filter sponge is kept in an established aquarium to keep the bacteria alive, which will be handy. I'm sure the other family members would appreciate not having to have a tank setup that's completely empty most of the time.

Though I have to wonder if you'd have to quarantine plants. I'll have to look more into that I guess. The plants I got for my 29g were all tubed Amazon Swords, so I'm assuming there weren't any aquatic diseases on them, but there's a limited variety, so I'll have to buy from the tanks at some point.

Last edited by Lost Eventide; 07-05-2012 at 12:29 AM. Reason: Posted before I finished writing the title, haha xD
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Old 07-05-2012, 07:01 PM   #2 
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Well, I didn't get up to Petco today to return the Mopani Driftwood seeing I was working for most of the day. I help groom dogs once a week (I'm the washer/fluff-dryer/nail-clipper/etc. so I don't actually do any of the grooming), and usually if we have a lot of customers I just want to come home, get a shower, and lounge around in my PJs, which is what I did xD

However, I am definitely going to return it tomorrow morning before I forget.

Regarding my 29g, I think the substrate change has a unanimous approval! I found Plato, my clown pleco, digging himself a little hole underneath the sunken car decoration I currently have in there. He seemed like he was enjoying himself xD He could never dig before seeing I had gravel.

My redtail shark also seems to enjoy the new substrate seeing it's easier for him to browse around looking for missed food. He ended up hitting the jackpot and found a couple small pieces of algae wafers that Plato missed, and he's now cruising with a nice round belly. I just love watching him go to work seeing his mouth moves so fast xD

Plato and my shark seem to have a love-hate relationship. I find them hanging out together a lot, but now that Plato's found out he can dig he occasionally chases the shark away from the little indent he made under the car xDDD I'm not sure if Red knows what to make of that seeing he's supposed to be the semi-aggressive guy. He's one of the most laid-back redtails I've ever seen though. He doesn't bother any of the tetras at all, and he's content to just cruise along the bottom. He darts to the top as soon as it's feeding time though, and he tries to take food off the top even though his mouth isn't equipped for it xD

All my tetras tend to avoid the bottom, but their colour is better than ever, so I think the new bulb is doing them some good. Once I get my quarantine tank set up I'm thinking about getting a little school of cardinal tetras to keep my lone neon tetra company (the poor guy was the lone survivor of an unfortunately rather unhealthy school I bought). I was reading that they tend to school together seeing they look so similar, and I've heard better things about the cardinals seeing they are less extensively bred. Not to mention they are said to have a resistance to the notorious Neon Tetra Disease.

I wanted to get some sooner, but I was hesitant until I got my quarantine tank seeing I had such poor results with the last school. So right now he's been sort of hanging out with the black neons. His colour is great and he's eating like a little pig though, so I think he's been doing okay.

I'm going to be getting my quarantine tank Saturday. I'm hoping I'll be able to get my 5g going over the weekend as well seeing my mom and I should be bringing my bookcase in. I kept all the old gravel from my substrate change in a bucket of water to kick-start some of the cycling. However, I need to wait at least a week to get my stuff from Drs. Foster and Smith in though. I'm getting antsy. I want to see what my Malaysian Driftwood looks like! xD
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Old 07-07-2012, 02:33 PM   #3 
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One of my packages shipped out yesterday! It wasn't the one with the driftwood, but at least I'll be getting the heater for my betta tank xD I also started looking at alternate options for a filter seeing I'm still worried about the current being too strong. I think I may go with a sponge filter, but last time I looked none of the pet stores around here carried them. I may have to go back and just look again.

Also, I found a possible alternate to that crystal light I was eyeing that's definitely a bit cheaper! It's the Marineland auto colour-changing LED bubble ring, though I'd likely keep the air pump off seeing I'm doing live plants. You can buy a crystal attachment for it =3

Though I'm going to hold off and look at reviews/hunt around for some deals first. It's still a bit pricey for an aquarium ornament, but if I get a bargain I'll jump on it.

Going to get my quarantine tank tonight, and the current plan is to go and start moving the tables/bookcases from the garage tonight as well, so I may be able to start setting up the 5g.

I also changed my 29g filter today and exchanged the cartridge for one without the carbon in it, so I'm hoping my plants will do a bit better. I pulled a couple clear leaves off my swords today, but I'm wondering if that's just because the original leaves are being exchanged for immersed ones. Either way, the fertilizer I ordered should be in by Wednesday or Thursday, so I can start using that.

Everything seems to be coming together! I still need to get a new light for the 5g though. It's at Walmart, I just haven't gotten around to getting it |D;

Last edited by Lost Eventide; 07-07-2012 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:17 PM   #4 
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All the bookcases except for one are now moved into my room! Lol, my bedroom is officially the library of the house now. I have so many shelves.

I got my quarantine tank and I washed it out with white vinegar, now I'm just waiting for the sponge from the filter to dry out so I can plop it in my 29g and get it seeded. My HOB filter is too small to fit it, so I guess I'm going to have to put it in the back somewhere.

It's actually a 13g I think, and it has the filter completely built into the hood, which is nice xD it's been a while since I used it. I forgot how nice it really was, haha. We failed to clean it out before we stored it though, so it took a lot of scrubbing to get all the hard water stains and such out. There's still some build up that I couldn't get off, but it's not too bad.

I also got the sand in my 5g and it's filled up (though, after I filled it I realized that was kind of pointless seeing I have neither a heater nor a filter for it xDDD So it's just going to be sitting there, haha).

However, my heater/fertilizer/testing kit/etc. should be in on Wednesday, and my driftwood should be in on Thursday! I'm excited. I'm probably going to seed my betta filter as well seeing I have an established tank. Why not utilize what's available?

Though I'm not sure how I'm going to pick what betta I want when it's time xD Last time I had a betta I had a veiltail, but I had no idea there were so many varieties back then (I think that was probably 10+ years ago). I still really like the veiltails, but I fell in in love with the black orchid colouration. I am such a sucker for bright colours on a black background, especially blues on black <3

This guy here is absolutely gorgeous <3

I'm going to start posting some pics sooner or later, but I'm holding off for the time being. My 29g is still rather bare seeing I'm holding off on more plants until my fertilizer/driftwood comes in (though my Amazon Swords are doing loads better now that I took that carbon out, the new growth seems to be staying a nice green rather than clear), and obviously my betta tank is empty xD

I might try to get a couple shots of Plato while he's rooting around though. Adorable little guy he is.
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Old 07-11-2012, 04:28 PM   #5 
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Another quick update~

I got my heater and stuff in today! However, the Prime is coming in another shipment with the driftwood (which is due to arrive tomorrow), so I need to put off any water changes until that comes in. That's making me a bit nervous seeing my nitrates are creeping up even with the Amazon Swords in.

However, last night I put in an order over on eBay from Mikeswetpets to get some more plants (awesome deals, I must say!) and I also ordered a little sprig of Java Moss (free shipping!) to attach to my driftwood. I'm getting some Hornwort, Anacharis, and two types of crypts from Mike, so I'm excited to see how it grows. I

I also think I managed to get my heater sorted out in my 29g. It was hovering around 84 F (bit high I think....), and I managed to get it down to 80, though I'm still not sure which way I should turn. I would like to have around 78 or so, but I'm not sure if the other way is lessening the temp seeing there's a + in that direction, yet I can't turn anymore the other way xx; If anyone has any experience with Marineland dual-temp heaters, so any insight on that would be most appreciated. Otherwise I'm gonna just keep playing with it.

I did manage to hunt down a camera though, so here are some pics of my progress thus far. My quarantine tank and 5g are both on an oak bookshelf. They are in front of a window seeing I couldn't find anywhere else to put them right now. However, that particular window doesn't get any direct sun, we have bushes and trees right outside, and those blinds remain closed 24/7 (seeing the people next door can see right through it xD) so I'm hoping there won't be any algae issues. Not much to look at yet.

And there's my 29g, sparsely planted as it is now, lol. I still have two artificial plants in there as well as that car and ship seeing the Amazon Swords on their own didn't provide much cover. They are going to be removed once I get more natural stuff though. Unfortunately my tetras are indeed rather lonely seeing their numbers have dwindled, but once I get my quarantine tank setup and I have some plants going I'm going to work on restocking the schools.

However, all the new growth on my Swords seems to be coming in rather healthy, which I'm extremely pleased about.
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Old 07-13-2012, 01:28 PM   #6 
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Got my Malaysian Driftwood in today! I boiled it for a couple hours and them plunked it in. Both Plato the Clown Pleco and Red the Redtail Black Shark absolutely love it. Red's spending most of his time hanging around the two pieces on the one side of the tank now, while Plato loves chilling under the driftwood arch.

All the other fish seem to approve as well! I also got a little bit of Java Moss in today that I attached to some of the driftwood. I'm hoping to see it take off. I may rearrange a bit once I get my other plants in seeing I think the crypts would look nice on the more driftwood-y side of the tank.

Plans for today are to try and find a new bulb for my 5g (according to the website Walmart has them in stock), then jump over to Petco to possibly buy some more decor for said 5g, though I think I may hold off a bit to let my funds recover some, and then I'm stopping at Pet Supplies Plus to pick up a sponge filter.

My biowheel for my quarantine is now nestled in my 29g filter, so I'm hoping that'll be seeded nicely.

Picture time again~
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Old 07-18-2012, 08:21 AM   #7 
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Well, figured I'd post an updated shot of my 29g now that I have it all planted! This is actually from a couple days ago, so the Hornwort and Anacharis and such are growing in really nicely, and I removed some of the "melty" leaves from that Crypt Wendtii up front.

Almost all the new plants came from Mikeswetpets <3 He was absolutely fantastic to buy from, and I'll be sure to do so again.

My 5g also has some Hornwort and Anacharis in it, and the new light is much better than the old yellowy incandescent that was in there xD I'm going to put my seeded filter in there tomorrow and see where we stand as far as ammonia/nitrites with the plants, and if everything is good, I'm going to be getting my betta this weekend!
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Old 07-20-2012, 06:03 PM   #8 
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The Hornwort is doing fantastic! It's already almost to the top of the tank and I have some of the stems buried in the sand to keep it rooted! It's so exciting to see that much growth =3

Unfortunately, I have to hold off on getting my betta for a bit longer. I tested the water today and the ammonia has a nice 0 reading, but the nitrites are off the charts still. The test is a really deep purple, even after a water change, so I'm not going to even try putting a fish in there. I'd be able to keep up with daily water changes, but I'd rather introduce the fella into a nicely cycled tank. I'll just keep tending to the Hornwort, Anacharis, and the little tiny Crypt Lutea I put in there after it broke off my main Lutea in my 29g.

However, I did order the LED light I wanted with the crystal attachment as well as some NLS pellets to alternate with Omega One flakes I picked up at the pet store last time I was there. I love Amazon xD

On a completely unrelated note, I got a microwave and mini fridge for my dorm today <3 We might go back and get the next size larger on the fridge though seeing we think it'll be allowed. Haven't heard back from my dormmate yet though. I need to see how she'd feel about me possibly keeping bloodworms in the freezer section, heh xD
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:57 AM   #9 
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Oh cycling, how much of a headache you are xD My nitrites have been through the ROOF the past couple of days, so I went and did a 90% water change seeing I read such high nitrites could stall the cycle. I got them down to 0.25, and they are now 0.50 upon checking them this morning, so I definitely think the bacteria are working (just obviously not enough to get the nitrites down on their own yet).

The seeding helped with the ammonia a lot seeing almost instantly any ammonia amounts were being eradicated, but I'm not sure why the nitrite amounts are having more issues. I'm squeezing my established filter into a cup and dropping the "dirty" water in every once in a while to see if that will help further the seeding, but it doesn't seem to be working as well as I would like.

I really wish I could have got this tank up and cycling earlier this summer so I would have more time (unfortunately I had to wait until I had the bookshelf in here first), but I was hoping to get it betta-ready with a couple weeks to spare so I could get the little guy acclimated and ensure he's healthy before I need to make the move to my college dorm. I was also going to use that time to ensure I had everything I needed seeing I'm not sure how close any of the pet stores are up there. I have access to a Walmart via the campus bus, but I'm not going to have my own car so transportation is going to be limited. If worst comes to worst I'm sure I can get a ride off of someone with a car, but I'd prefer that to not be a common thing xD

Seeing my nitrite spiked so high, that is a sign that my cycle may be coming to an end though, right? I'm going to check for any nitrates in a bit I think seeing the nitrites are lowered now. It's been years since I cycled an aquarium seeing my 29g was established in another household before I got it, and we've just been moving it around (first to my dad's house, then to my mom's when I moved out). So all the filter media has been the same, and before that I had a 13g that I cycled myself, but that was years ago. I just hope I'm doing it right xD It'll be my luck that I'm doing something silly.

On a completely unrelated note, I really should have titled this thread something different. Almost all the similar threads are about losing fish, and that's depressing D=
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