Good news! I just took home the filter and couldn't have asked for a better purchase. $70 and fully-stocked media baskets, and some --what I think to be--maylasian trumpet snails that were hiding in there to boot! It was nice and damp so the BB should still be alive, but since the tank won't be filled 'til late next week or so, I filled it with fresh conditioned water, just in case.
I'm hoping the snails aren't dead... looks like at least one of 'em is alive, but methinks a few of them kicked the bucket.
I purchased everything left to get the tank set up minus plants and fishies; I have six bags of flourite sand coming in the mail, along with some spectrum small fish food 5 oz), a gallon of API Stress coat, 16.9oz bottle of prime, and two 8" amazon sword silk plants.
I'm so excited: Months of research, planning, waiting, and good luck and I'll hopefully be able to finally fill the tank and set every last thing up late next week/end or early the following. >w< YAY!
Shark and Pleco are doing well, as usual~ Shark's fins are so long, my goodness! His (invisible) pectoral fins are huge, making me think of an elephant-ear Betta. Pleco's a teensy bit bigger, too, and totally not shy. I'm hoping one day she may nibble an algae tablet or other treat off my hand.
Anyone know where I can get some healthy Khuli Loaches? Preferably the stripped ones. I'm not even going to hope for my dream Khuli, Pangio alternans ((see this link and scroll down for a picture: http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?...f-kuhli-loach/ )) I've heard they're very hard to find, and I doubt my ability to afford a great number of them. Luckily, I have to wait for Khuli's for a while anyways; I've read they should be added to mature tanks.
Oh, this is looks very good. Can't wait to see the finished product. If you are looking for another schooling fish, glass/ghost catfish seem really cool. I hadn't kept them myself, but they are on the list for my dream Southeast Asian biotope tank. One of my uncles kept a huge school of these in his tank chalked full of plants and black sand and they looked amazing. They are sensitive like the loaches though.
Courtesy of Fishlore.com: http://www.fishlore.com/aquariummaga...asscatfish.htm
Scientific Name : Kryptopterus Minor
Common Names : Glass Catfish, Ghost Catfish, Glass CatCare Level : Moderate
Size : 2.5 - 3" (8 cm)
pH : 6 - 7
Temperature : 70 to 79°F (21 - 26°C)
Lifespan : 7-8 years
Origin / Habitat : Asia, Borneo
Temperament / Behavior : Peaceful, Timid. It should be kept in a school of at least 6. Will not bother tank mates and should be kept with other peaceful fish.Breeding : Extremely difficult to spawn in the home aquarium. Very little records exist about the breeding of this fish in captivity.
Aquarium Size: 30 Gallons minimum
Compatible Tank Mates : Best kept with other peaceful tank mates and does better when kept in schools of 6 or more.
Fish Disease : Freshwater Fish Disease - Diagnose, Symptoms and Treatment - Be sure to quarantine, as they are wild caught and often come in with parasites.
Diet / Fish Food : It can be slightly difficult to get them eating flakes and freeze dried foods. Supplement with live or frozen mysis, brine shrimp and daphnia.
Tank Region : Middle of tank, areas of water current
Gender: Sexing is unknown
Thank you! We actually graduated last Friday. I'm hoping to get photos of the tank to share it; we'll see if I can get Mama's crappy camera to take a good photo >:I
Update on the trumpet snails: I'm in luck! Out of maybe eight snails rescued from the filter, I thought maybe one of them was alive. Turns out only three of them were dead; I have the survivors in the little half-gallon tank I use for putting Shark and Pleco in during water changes.
I put some of the ten gal's black sand down in the tank for the snails, but I don't want to introduce them to the ten gallon. I'll add them into the 70 once it's set up.
Oooohhh, I have a question for you! How do you recommend best keeping track of the aquarium's water parameters? I have a whiteboard callender to keep track of water-change days and such, but I'm thinking I'll keep a notebook to record the date and paramaters. How often should I test for things?
I'm looking at setting my tank up with a PH of 7, and a temp of 76-80°F (? Haven't decided on the best temperature yet... definitely not over 80 though -- any recommendations?)
Oh, speaking of water parameters: how do you test water hardness/softness? I've heard it's different than the PH. (MTS update-update: I see them all moving around now, so I know they're alive -- YAY! There's also a large sea shell in there to raise the PH for their shells. They're so cute! It's funy, though; they must have good eyesight, because whenever Peer into the little tank, the little tiny one freaks out and goes inside her little shell. Sorry to scare you, snaily ;w;'' oops) Is it essential I know the water soft/hardness? >~< *thinks it probably is*
Well, yay! The FedEx truck just stopped by today and dropped off the four boxes from TPP -- six bags of Black Fluorite Sand, 16.9fl oz of Prime (wow is it a big bottle *o*), and New Life Spectrum small fish formula -- 4.23 oz of that. I'm still waiting on the backorder of the gallon of API stress coat and two little amazon sword silk plants. I'm really happy with the sand, now I just need to decide what to do next; I've heard of a few different ways people handle the sand.
1) Don't rinse it at all; just dump it in and call it good
2) Don't rinse it, but fill the tank up then siphon it out. Repeat until clear.
3) Rinse the heck out of it and then add it to the tank, fill it up and call it done.
I've heard some people say not to rinse it because that gets rid of the beneficial stuff for the plants in the sand, but it says on the bag you can rinse it before adding it to the tank. I'm probably going to rinse it, to get all the dust and crap out. I've heard that the Flourite is a pain in the neck (and back and arms and...) to clean, but I bought it knowing that. I'm willing to put in the work.
Also, the snails baffle me; do MTS normally move so slow? I saw one sticking to the glass wall last night, so I know at least one of them was alive for a few seconds. o_O Most of them have the tips of their shells sticking out of the sand but aren't very burried... Pleco could have just knocked them around while she was swimming or something. I don't think any of them are dead... But I can't tell if they're alive or not, either. >~< One second I see several out of their shells and moving, the next they all have closed doors and don't move for hours. Could it be something with the water quality...?
My tank is cycled and pretty well planted, so generally I test once a week. I test ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. I don't test pH or hardness because I am not going to do anything to alter them. I also have the Seachem Ammo alert that I can see everytime I walk past the tank.
pH of 7 sounds kind of low to me, but I'll let someone else address pH, since I never test mine. (I know in my hot tub it's 7.4 -7.6 which is normal for tap water)
I keep my temperature at 78.
I use my journal on here to keep track of everything. In the past I used a little notebook.
I am one happy, tired fish keeper. I spent three to four hours rinsing the six bags of fluorite sand, though it really didn't feel like it took that long. The backyard is a bit of a mess right now though, hehehe...
I haven't fully filled the tank up quite yet; Mama and I are going out for a treat first. She's been busy doing her own projects for the shop she runs. I have yet to say if the fluorite was worth the work and money; it certainly looks beautiful, though there's a scarce few random flecks of white sand. I'm not bothered by them.
I tried a pillow case to rinse the sand the first time, then just opted for the bucket; I found that easier. Just stick the hose in and get all the sand stirred up, let it settle a bit, then dump. Rinse and repeat! I was surprised by the amount of silt (very, very, very fine sand!) that collected on the pillow case when I lay it down on the ground to (somewhat...) protect the lawn. There was a lot of it after rinsing six bags at 15.4 pounds each.
Well, Just wanted to give a little update: Shark and Pleco have been moved into the 70 gallon aquarium, which is planted with jungle vals, rotala, anubias, myrio(I think), dwarf sag, stargrass, blyxa, and a whole slew of other species, as well as having lots of pink ramshorn snails and MTS.
Both of them are doing great; Pleco surprised me by digging everywhere! I need to re-think some of the little rocks I have in there, because her digging is moving them and I am worried she'll hurt herself. I didn't know bristlenoses dug, but she sure loves the new substrate (black fluorite sand) and space to swim around.
I've pretty much moved my journal here to a blog on another fish forum, but I'm fairly positive no-one is reading this anyways, soooo ;) PM me if you are and want the link, there's photos of the tank and everything on there.