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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Tank: 15g. 24 x 12 x 12
Filter: Aquaclear 30, 2 foam filters & some Bio rings
Heater: Hydor Theo 100w
Lights: 2x 13w 6,500k CFLs. 10" above substrate.
Substrate: 1"-1.5" Miracle Grow Organic Choice Potting Mix Capped with .5" - 1" Play Sand
Driftwood: Mopani
Plants: Wisteria and Moneywort



I have been working on this for months already, and go the tank started in early October. Planted it around the 20th. The wisteria is doing good and recovering from the bad shape it came in. Some of the moneywort is not doing so well. I think I was just behind on water changes/substrate poking. Hoping to get some ferts soon.

I plan to plant more, but there are very limited places to buy from and the shipping here is so pricey. Plus we are heading into winter and I don't want to risk losing plants in the mail. When I get more money I will be able to go looking for more plants.

Anyways, this is what I've been considering stocking.

I may not go with the pandas, though I adore them. I know the MTS will reproduce quickly enough, and I figure I'll spread them through out my tanks and sell off extras. I plan on adding the betta last, so I don't have to worry about moving everything and disturbing my cap. I am hoping to get the snails soon, before the bad weather sets in.

Till I get a water test kit, I wont be adding any fish. I actually don't plan to add anything till spring. So lots of time to research and plan.

So, I'm wondering if this a good set up for them and if there is anything I should know/do/avoid?
 

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I see you're northern Ontario. Is the availability there that bad that you have to consider purchasing plants online? I imagine shipping from me to you will be reasonable. Let me know if you're interested in some of my clippings.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have looked online, but the shipping cost from most places was almost as much as the stuff I was going to buy. My main issue is that I live in small town with one pet store with extremely limited stock. Other stores I've talked to tell me that most sellers wont ship up here.

I might indeed be interested, I'll give you a PM :)
 

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I have been spending too much time on the betta tank and neglecting my main tank. I finally got around to doing some maintenance today. I saved you some rotala on the fore-left.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wow did it ever grow in xD Thank you very much :D I'm really excited for it!

Waiting for my wisteria to grow up more so I can move it back to behind the drift wood. Moneywort is showing new growth, so I've got renewed hope for the ones I had to strip the leaves from.
 

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Discussion Starter #10

Tank has had an overhaul (more moving to be done yet).

So I've had enough people turn me off of MTS, but when I stopped by the lps they had ghost shrimp in stock for the first time. I had been planning to try shrimp eventually anyways, and I was wondering if I should try some in this tank.

I know I need to finish cycling the tank (whenever I get my hands on a test kit...) and that they would like some moss. I have a few scraggly strands of what I'm guessing is java moss, but I would get an actual mass of it before adding any - or would they be ok without moss? I also have a moss ball I could toss in, I know it's actually algae but I've heard they like them too.
 

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andakin -

Your fish with the dark black stripe. Are those glowlight tetras?
 

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Ooh. I was trying to figure it out and the glowlight was the only thing I could think of with those colors. I really like the look of them.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Update

So other than moving one of my bettas into the tank and having a few ramshorns trying to keep up with the algae, the tank hasn't changed much other than plant wise. I added a big clump of java moss to the wood and a wendtii brown (?) that amazingly didn't melt and is growing well! There was also some corkscrew vals but they had to be tossed. I also removed the stupid Wisteria and Moneywort that was still struggling, it's in my 5g and... looking a smidgen better.

Still unable to get a test kit but I am itching to add something to the tank, it needs some life to it! My current betta in there is Lux, but I may switch him out with one of my other boys because he is somehow managing to damage his fins. I still cannot locate how he is doing this, I even filed down and rough parts of the driftwood and stuck the moss in any problem areas. But Lux likes to explore and wiggle into unimaginable places.

I was going to move my female in there, but I was reminded that female have an easier time hunting shrimp (and snails -_- had to chase her with a net to get the snail back) so she most likely isn't a community betta. I have one other option of my newer CT boy that is in my 5g. He's been QT'd for 2 weeks and appears healthy. He did try to munch on a snail but I removed and floated it in cup and he's begun to ignore it so I may try again.

If I manage to get more sand I will be removing the soil (NEVER AGAIN) and just doing sand. Jjudging by the great growth in my 5g, I shouldn't need any ferts just yet but I will try to get some.

Anyways, enough babbling. What can I do in a tank that MIGHT be cycled and will be let to fill in some more?

(Tank was cloudy cause I just cleaned it and things were all stirred up)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Seeing as my last post got no suggestions, I've been doing some reading.

Platies.

I know they're not the most fancy or interesting, but at least they're available locally and I find them endearing. Plus they are hardy, and with the tank's state of cycling still unknown, that is a big plus. I'd rather not get something sensitive and loose it because of my cycle not being done.

Problem is, as with looking anything up on the internet, there is a lot of conflicting info - or no info at all. What do they prefer to eat? I have .5mm community formula pellets, but I'll get what I can to keep them healthy and happy. Any tips in general for them? Also what temperature? I've read 76'F
max, and 82F max...

If I do get them I'll be doing 3 females 1 male and will be QTing them in a 10g for 2 weeks cause my lps is generally not good at care. If it wasn't the only one for an hours drive I would boycott it.

Anyways, any other suggestions?
 

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I don't know anything about platies, so no help there.

Does your local store not carry test kits? Even strips? That would be better than nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
they have strips, but it's a handful of them for like $20, which is half way to a test kit (which they don't carry and cannot order in). I just cannot justify spending that much on inaccurate strips. If they were like $5 I would have.
 

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Can you order a test kit online? Like with Amazon or anything? I know there are weird rules for shipping to Canada (don't know why, but whatever). If I could send you one, I'd gladly go pick one up and you could just pay me for it. Do you think I could send it through customs to you?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The cheapest on amazon is $38 with free shipping, but that's like $45 when you put tax on. Shipping to Canada is hella pricey.
 

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I could send you a wad of test strips in a regular envelope for about $2.50. Better than nothing if you want them. I looked up the price of shipping a small box, and it was twenty bucks. Yikes! I've sent little parcels to Portugal for less than that.
 
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