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My reentry into the hobby journal!

Discussion in 'Your Fishroom' started by FormulatedFire, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. FormulatedFire

    FormulatedFire Members

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    Small bit about me since I've been gone for about 10 years. I've been apart of many fish keeping forums (CCA, MFK, CMAS, etc) when I was big into the hobby before. I've keep full blown reef tanks with sps, lps, and softies, alligators, scorpions, CA/SA cichlids, piranha, and snake heads.

    All of my freshwater tanks before were large aggressive tanks so this time around I wanted to go the opposite direction. Instead of a big tank with only a couple fish I wanted to do a big tank with tons of fish in it.

    Feels free to throw down any advice at all, I've been gone for awhile and I'm totally open to suggestions.

    Setup:
    125g glass tank
    2x fluorescent 1 bulb strip lights
    3x AC110
    2x 300w finnex heaters

    Current tank inhabitants:
    18x black phantom tetra
    8x Corydoras paleatus
    12x green fire tetra
    8x Serpae Tetra
    6x Bolvian rams

    I plan on adding some more tetra but not set on what kind I just really enjoy the school movements when they group up. I don't know anything about plants but at the marketplace on Sunday I picked up whatever people said were good for low light or that was cheap. I'm not sure if I want to keep the gravel or go for sand but there will be more fish, more plants, and more driftwood in the future.

    Oh yea and behold the elusive Pickles fish checking the tank for quality control. :)

    20180219_121812.jpg IMG_8386.jpg IMG_8392.jpg IMG_8393.jpg IMG_8394.jpg IMG_8398.jpg IMG_8399.jpg IMG_8400.jpg
     
  2. CSnyder00

    CSnyder00 Bearded Wonder
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    If your planting, I would go with a pool filter sand or sandy substrate of some type. It holds roots better and allows for them to expand. They can’t exactly expand well in rock. Your cories will thank you as well. I recently did a substrate where half the tank was sand and half was gravel. This gave the fish a choice, and they enjoy going back and forth.
     
  3. DiscusnAfricans

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    Great start, always cool to see a tank 'build.' Now its a matter of what else you'd like to see, or what function you'd like to provide. You could add some large rocks to break up the substrate if you wanted, add some caves or hollow/fake logs for "retreat" areas, or add some plastic plants until the real ones start to spread.
     
  4. FormulatedFire

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    I was leaning towards sand but then I read that plants do ok in smaller size gravel so I gave it a shot to start out. If I decided to switch to sand is it a big no no to put the sand on top of the gravel?

    I'm waiting for the driftwood to sink to see how I can position this piece and then I'm either going to get some more wood or round large stones to build it with a naturalish river bed look... hopefully

    I have a good idea of what I want but we'll see how the execution goes :)
     
  5. CSnyder00

    CSnyder00 Bearded Wonder
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    You could add sand on top, but it defeats the purpose as it will eventually sink/mix in. While small gravel might do okay, sand is just as easy to clean in my opinion and it is easier for the fish to sift through. As for the gravel you have, it appears to be larger than what I would consider plantable. Mixing is good, but I would switch to 60-70% sand and the rest in gravel. That’s my thoughts. Ultimately it’s your tank. Trial and error is part of the hobby. Sometimes things work for you that didn’t work for me.
     
  6. FormulatedFire

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    I appreciate the advice. Is silica sand from home depot or lowes still pool filter sand or is there something else these days?
     
  7. CSnyder00

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    I do natural play sand from Lowes. It’s cheap and very fine grain. But you have to rinse it. And I mean RINSE it. I’ve also used actual silica pool filter sand from big box stores and the NatGeo sand from PetSmart with success.
     
  8. crumpy666

    crumpy666 CCA Members

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    Ive heard that Silica sand is a NO NO with Cory cats. Can anyone confirm this?
     
  9. CSnyder00

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    #9 CSnyder00, Mar 6, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
    I’ve used it with no issues, both fine and coarse varieties. Most commercial sand is quartz and/or silica. The biggest thing is to go with either a very fine grain sand or go with a very smooth variety to prevent barbel erosion. I prefer super fine white/tan sand because the cories can actually sift this through their gills like they do in nature. They can’t do this with gravel or larger grain sand.

    https://www.practicalfishkeeping.co...ticles/whats-the-best-substrate-for-corydoras

    Silica sand is the most abundant/available sand and is actually recommended for Corydoras.

    Edit:

    The NatGeo sand was sharper than I preferred to have my cories on, so I changed if after a short while to prevent barbel issues. I just remembered this. I ended up using it for my cichlids instead.
     
  10. lkelly

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    To loosely quote Dave Barry, "Barbel Erosion" would make a great name for a rock band.
     
  11. paul

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    @FormulatedFire@FormulatedFire How is your tank coming along? I really like your fish selection. Any reason you chose Bolivian Rams instead of German Blues or another type of dwarf Cichlid?
     
  12. FormulatedFire

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    Tank is doing good. I switched over to sand and the fish seem to be happier. When researching I was told Bolivians would be better in a community but they lack color. I'll likely be looking for something to replace them soon. There are alot of red freshwater fish so looking for some blues/greens. Only fish I've added are 3 super red pleco from another member. I'll post some pics this weekend when the lights are on.
     
  13. TovMahal

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    Hi,

    I am looking to add a group of Bolivian Rams to my new tank, which I am currently cycling. If you decide to get rid of your group, I'd be interested in them.

    Thanks
     

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