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.
Thanks for reading ^_^