I just decided to finally make one big thread to track my progress of setting up Churro's tank. Here's where I'm at right now:
I dumped out the parasite infested water and disposed of the dead plants... So it's time to get serious now. The only things from the tank I'm keeping are the heater, thermometer, and gravel. I need to rinse out the gravel REALLY well. I'm not keeping my filter because it's very very loud and doesn't clean the water as well as it could. And after all my plants died on me, I'm down to no plants or decorations. And my light hood, sadly stopped working... I know it's not just the bulb or the battery, I tried replacing both... Since light hoods are so expensive and I'm going to be tight for money as it is, I'm going to try to find one from Kijiji. So, I have a step by step plan now. I'll post each step as it arrives, and each step will likely come with a question... I'll write up all the steps in order right now, just so you guys can tell me if I have the right idea and let me know if I'm forgetting anything. So here we go!
1. Scrub the tank and disinfect it & the rocks.
2. Buy the decorations (such as caves, hiding spots. Not live plants) and place them however I want in the clean tank (that still doesn't have water in it yet.)
3. Buy the Aqueon power filter and keep it for cycling later but still not fill up the tank yet.
4. Buy a new light hood from Kijiji or eBay, and a new bulb from PetSmart.
5. Save lots of money up and take a look around at different pet stores and get ideas for the live plants and keep note of which store has what... So that when the time comes I can go get all the plants on the same day.
6. Buy all the plants at once, as well as a test kit.
7. Plant all the plants in the gravel, carefully fill up the tank, turn on the heater and light right away, and cycle the tank! (I'm gonna need LOTS of help on this when the time comes.)
8. Baffle the filter before I move Churro in
OK, so now lets go back to the step I'm on, step one... How can I safely clean the rocks REALLY well, without using anything harmful to the fish... ? I had parasites in my tank, so it will need a super good wash.