Hello! :D I really enjoy reading the journals on this section of the forum, and wanted to start my own! My tank has finished cycling (EEEEEEEeeee!), and so I thought this would be a good time to start. Here's a little bit about my tank:
- Hugo Kamishi Simplicity 42litre with lid
- Eheim 45 Pickup filter
- Hydor 50watt heater
- black gravel by Aqua One
- matt black background made from clear plasticard sprayed w/ paint (couldn't find any normal black plasticard at the time, lol)
- four marimo balls! They are called Moss, Roy 1, Roy 2 and Roy 3.
I've been collecting the pieces together slowly. My next purchase will be the HKS led lights that snap into the lid, and more plants! I am planning to get anubias/javafern/java moss/some kind of floater -- I'm very excited to get the plants. We had goldfish when I was a child, but I would not consider myself experienced at all in fishkeeping (and sadly we listened to pet shop advice for our goldfish, who lived for 10 years but not very well.... it sort of broke my heart to learn only now about the things we did wrong), this is my first "real" tank set-up, so I wanted to go about everything very slowly. I've been researching and collecting tank parts since... er, not sure, actually! About four months?? Maybe five? I also have a ceramic cave on order, which should arrive in the next week or so, too. It's cute!
It was actually pretty fun doing the cycling process! And so exciting whenever anything changed! Even though there was nothing visible happening, it was fun to log the progress and use the testing kit and see the colours in the tubes go through all the different hues. I tried to imagine all the tiny bacteria having fun and eating away at stuff in there, hahaha. Our tap water nitrate is naturally 10ppm (this is the standard for England according to the government websites -- it is there in at *least* this level to reduce a particular bacteria which can affect very young infants, apparently -- I have seen some people in England listing their tap nitrate at 80pp and over) so I need to keep an eye on it. Hopefully the plants -- especially the floater -- will help.
Here is a terribly unexciting picture of my bare tank.
I was cycling from 19th July. I messed up to begin with as I wasn't used to the testing kit and added wayyyy too much ammonia without getting proper readings, and it took a while to get it back down again, haha. And, I did not heave a heater for quite some time, which definitely stalled the cycle. Once I added the heater, everything kicked off and it was amazing!! If I was to make a graph out of my log-book, it would probably look hilarious -- nothing like the graceful bell-curves that googling "tank cycle" suggests...! My nitrite eventually dropped suddenly to 0 from 5ppm overnight. I was actually in shock and disregarded the readings initially, but it's been processing ammonia and converting properly with rising nitrates for over two days now, so!
Once I am used to the plants I will get and have ensured they are not going to die on me (it's my first time keeping aquatic plants! I am nervous I'm going to kill them! So far the marimo have not died..........) we will get our male betta!!! I am terrifically excited and a little nervous. It will be our (mine and my partner's) first betta, and I hope he will enjoy his future home. I would rather like a red VT, I really love them. But I'm not terribly fussy.
My cave arrived! It’s so cute. I kept on calling it a “fish jar” while it was shipping, and the term stuck in my head, lol.
I had a hard time trying to find a good hide that was smooth enough for a betta’s fins. Everything at the LFS and the LPS was sharp and rough… and I was wary of buying online in case of the same problem. I ended up googling “ceramic cichlid hide” and came up with a range of cute terracotta-style hides, that, if rough, could easily be dremelled/sanded down due to the material (so I didn’t have to worry too much about them being too rough, without prior handling!) This is the “large” size. I got it from eBay here, and I’ve seen them for sale in other places too. The shipping was pretty quick! It was not dirt cheap, but I am pleased with it and I feel that it is safe, so that is a worry off my mind and that is priceless, haha!
Exciting news is that I have ordered my plants, and I also have a light!!!! I'll get a picture of them all together, once everything is here ^_^
@hrutan yeah! They're really lovely! There's a slightly smaller one, too. @jonthefish Your goldie is SO CUTE :D
Okay, here's my tank right now!!! Not a great photo, haha! My phone doesnít pick it up so well, and I suck at balancing photos in Photoshop, sadly. But yeah! I had a lot of problems with my original plant order, a lot of which were made worse by the fact that I am a total newb at aquatic plants, and didnít realise when something was actually dead and hoped it would just revive itself in the tank, etc.
Original floaters were DOA, pretty much, I tried to recover them in a separate container but in the end they werenít really having it. I did have an anubias, but it came with rhizome rot which got progressively worse, which I didnít realise at the time was a thing until I googled it. Iím sad, because I like the leaves and colour of anubias :( Maybe I can try again sometime. Most of the moss I got on the wood I had to *SCRAPE OFF* in the end as it was just brown mush and was polluting the water. Ugh. So, I was basically left with one small wrinkly java fern out of the whole order. My partner suggested phoning the company, but as it was weeks after my order I just didnít feel confident doing it, and I was worried I was going to be berated for not knowing enough ^^; That was all from AquaEssentials, btw, who have a glowing reputation. I guess I was just unlucky.
Anyway ó I purchased some hygrophila difformis from a seller on eBay who had flawless feedback, and I was incredibly happy with it. I then went back to them for two (HUGE) java ferns and a red lotus bulb. I put the two new ferns either side of the smaller one from my original order. Theyíre like twice the size and were about half the price, so ^^; I hope I have planted the bulb the right way up!!! Iím anxious for it to start growing! The seller is "injaf" on eBay. Takes about a week to have the plants shipped, but I've been very happy with his service! (Possibly UK-only).
I went to get a nerite from Pets At Home on saturday (am working all weekends at the moment and wanted to do something nice!) but I wasn't allowed to take one home as I was walking, and the walk was 15 minutes :( I guess they were worried about the temperature drop being too severe? I'm more worried about ordering animals online and them being sent through the post, which I would imagine would be more stressful? Maybe I'm wrong?
After that, I found a good seller online with awesome feedback. They also sell Amano shrimps, among other things. I really, really, really want to add some Amano shrimps to this tank! But, as the plan is to house a betta, I think it would be a bad idea? Internet seems to say Do Not Do This. Ugh, I love shrimps though :(
Hoping to fetch our betta on 1st November!!!!!!!!!!!!! I really really hope he will like the tank, Iím a little anxious. Iím trying really hard!
I really like your tank set-up! :] And I have zero experience with shrimp, but from what I've read on the forums, it's doable. If I've read right (check the compatibility subforum) Amano Shrimp needs lots of hiding places, but it's totally doable. You also just have to be careful about the betta's temperament.