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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I had dreamed of one day having a 20 gallon long, and had started to gather supplies for it, but life happened and those plans changed.

So, I returned anything I had purchased for the 20 and got supplies for a 10 gallon.

The idea is to upgrade my "king" betta, Furdinand, to the new tank from his 5 gallon. I don't think he's suffering in his current 5 gallon, I'd just like to give him the ability to stretch his fins a bit more.

The equipment:
10 Gallon Rimless Aqueon Glass Aquarium
Aqueon Hinged Glass Versa Top 20”x10”
Marina 20 Slim HOB filter
Nicrew AquaLux 24/7 LED 14W Aquarium Light
FreeSea 50W Mini Heater
Top Fin 10 Gallon Aquarium Stand in Sindoori Mango Finish

Hardscape:
Aqua Natural Midnight Pearl Aquarium Gravel
Zoo Med Spider Wood - Medium
CaribSea Exotica Black River Rock
Aqua Natural Betta World Mini Lava Gravel

Flora:
Ordered from Marcus Fish Tanks:
Cryptocoryne Wendtii - Green x1
Cryptocoryne Wendtii - Bronze x1
Cryptocoryne Wendtii - Red x1
Cryptocoryne Parva x1
Cryptocoryne (Unknown/Mystery) x2 (Only ordered 1 but was sent 2)
Tiger Lotus Lily Bulb (Nypmhaea Zenkeri) x2 (Only ordered 1 but was sent 2)
Banana Plant (Nymphoides Aquatica) x2 (Only ordered 1 but was sent 2)
Anubias Barteri x2 (Only ordered 1 but was sent 2)
Bolbitis Heudelotii Mini Baby Leaf x1

Fauna:
1 Betta
6 Panda Corydora
Possibly a mystery snail or some other type of invert(s)

More updates, and pictures to come...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I had contemplated leaving any pest snails alive and letting them populate the tank. Then I found a freshly hatched live mosquito in one sealed bag, and a planaria in another sealed bag.

So, everything got an alum bath (1 tablespoon alum in 1 gallon of water for 4 hours) and chucked into a 5 gallon bucket with the aquarium light over it. After it looked like everything had survived the first few days I gave all but the lilies a second alum dip and now they’re in quarantine for a few weeks.

The lilies are in a different container.

I lightly dosed the quarantine tank with Nilocg Thrive S fertilizer this morning.
World Rectangle Urban design Pollinator Glass
Plant Rectangle Wood Fixture Organism

BTW… I don’t take the presence of snails, planaria, or even mosquitoes as a sign of poor quality or negligence. The seller was responsive to my inquiries and honest in his replies to me. As the person who will be adding these plants to my aquariums, it’s my responsibility to make them safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
No big changes, just small steps forward.

Started cycling the tank using Dr. Tim’s Ammonia and Seachem Stability.

Wood Lighting Interior design Flooring Art


Added a root fertilizer capsule to each of the potted plants in quarantine. I can’t remember where I learned that tip, it was in one of the hundreds of YouTube videos I watched while planning this tank.

ETA: It was a tip given by Cory at Aquarium Co-Op.
Food Ingredient Cuisine Dish Wood


And I made a container for the loose “mystery” crypts so I could give them a fertilizer tab and hopefully build up their roots a bit. Used the bottom of a water bottle I pulled from the recycling bin and some leftover gravel from the 10 gallon tank.

Terrestrial plant Houseplant Plant Ingredient Flowerpot



I have to top up the quarantine tank a lot because I don’t have a spare cover and combined with the air stone there’s a lot of evaporation.
Plant Light Flower Rectangle Houseplant
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Still not much excitement in the tank.

I used Dr. Tim’s Ammonia Chloride to get the ammonia up to 4ppm a few days ago. Ammonia reading was down 2ppm yesterday, and down to .5 today so I added more Dr. Tim’s to get it back up to 4 ppm. Still no nitrites, but I did have some nitrates the other day which I’m attributing to the sponge I added from the established tank.

I’m still adding the Seachem Stability every day.

Musical instrument Table Fluid Liquid Drinkware


I’m going the fishless cycle route because I want to add the other inhabitants before moving Furdinand to the tank. Technically I could probably add him first, then remove him, add the live plants and the corydoras, then move Furdy back again after the corys have settled. But that just seems like more possible stress for the big guy so I’ll just continue as planned.

Fishless cycling is a lot less stressful and demanding, but I still think I prefer fish-in!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Getting close!

Dosed ammonia up to 4 ppm yesterday and it’s down to zero today. Nitrite is too dark to measure accurately but hopefully just a few more days until it’s also at zero. I’ll keep dosing ammonia to 4ppm until I add fish.

I know 4 ppm ammonia is probably higher than I would need for a small school of corys, but I’m a big believer in “anything worth doing is worth overdoing!”

Liquid Drinkware Solution Fluid Drink
 

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Looking really nice! I like that little cube one, I have been thinking of one for my desk at work.

Quick question about your fishless cycle (I have never done one.) Do you have to worry about a cycle crash when you put the fish in if the tank has been getting such high doses of ammonia? One betta makes such little ammonia in a 10, I was curious if it has an affect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Looking really nice! I like that little cube one, I have been thinking of one for my desk at work.

Quick question about your fishless cycle (I have never done one.) Do you have to worry about a cycle crash when you put the fish in if the tank has been getting such high doses of ammonia? One betta makes such little ammonia in a 10, I was curious if it has an affect.
I haven’t done a fishless cycle in so long I honestly don’t know exactly what will happen.

The first fish in the tank will be a small school of corydoras. That’s why I wanted a good amount of nitrifying bacteria in the tank.

I’ll keep dosing ammonia at some level until I’m ready to add the corys. Then I’ll be watching like a hawk to make sure the cycle doesn’t crash on me.

After the corys have settled in for a couple of weeks I’ll put the betta in a breeder box to see how he reacts. Hopefully he’s ok with everything or I’ll have to figure out plan B.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The nitrogen cycle is holding up so far and clearing 1-2ppm ammonia within 24 hours. I added some starts of Wandering Jew and some type of kalanchoe that I had sitting in a cup. I think they’re helping with the nitrates because they’re no longer climbing even though I’m still dosing ammonia.

Plant Motor vehicle Bumper Automotive exterior Terrestrial plant


This little red tiger lotus is putting out new leaves almost every day or two.

Flower Plant Botany Organism Terrestrial plant


I just ordered my panda corys and hopefully they’ll be here next week.

Decided to try one of the Seachem Ammonia Alerts on this tank to see what I think about them.
Water Plant Drink Gas Communication Device


That’s it for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm loving this journey! Panda Cory are so darned cute. :)

Did you know you can cut a lily when the leaf reaches the height you want to maintain? That's how people get bushes.

Have the Ammonia Alerts on all of my tanks. Amazon has them @ 3 for $20.
I wish I had been able to do the 20 gallon so I could do a larger school of the panda corys, but hopefully they’ll enjoy their new home. I gave the habrosus cory serious consideration, but ultimately I just fell for the cuteness of the pandas.

I’ve been watching YouTube videos on how to train the tiger lotus so hopefully I’m able to keep it under control. I’m thinking of it as a fast growing plant that will give some cover as the crypts get themselves established.

I also added some lobelia cardinalis which is my first official “stem” plant. If it does well I’ll probably end up putting cuttings in several of my tanks.

I’ve never tried the Seachem Ammonia Alert before. I think I saw you mention them so I thought I’d give it a shot. I’ll order the 3 pack if it seems to work well. The true test will be when I dose more ammonia the next time. I like the idea of a quick visual check to keep the finned kids safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
My little panda corys arrived safe and well! They were moving around the bag so fast I could hardly count the little dudes.

I was pretty nervous about it, but I used Rachel O’Leary’s acclimation method. After putting them in the tank all 6 corys hid for less than 5 minutes but then they came out and started wiggling around their new home.

I added StressGuard to help with any shipping stress and some Stability to give the tank’s BB colony a little extra boost.

This little one has already found one of the 4 pieces of Bug Bites Bottom Feeder pellets I dropped in for them.
Plant Terrestrial plant Terrestrial animal Fish supply Pebble
 

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