My First "proper" Aquarium

smudge_

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I started a thread on the forum last night,  I recently moved to the other end of the country to take a job.  I have had a few bigish tanks in the past, but really I was very much a beginner.  Last night, I was asking about a very small cheap tank that I could run over here in my room that wouldn't take a lot of time to run.  But alas the one I wanted was too small for anything.
 
So I was on gumtree just looking and I saw a lovely tank for just £40.... and I have seen this tank in pets at home for a lot more!   I assumed there would be a catch, like a cracked bit of glass, it was a stunning price considering the condition.  But I went along tonight anyway  and I just came home with this, for £40!
 
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I am really pleased with this, it was advertised as 2 years old.... but its brand new, and the filter and heater have never been out of the box. I got a lovely little 48l tank, a cabinet, heater, filter etc for £40 .... I am very pleased
 
 
I am really open to advice on what to do with it though, I was looking at tiny little tanks (yes I know this is still small, but big compared to my plan for basically keeping 1 figher) so now I am back at square one.
 
 
I am thinking of getting black sand and a black background then adding a fighter and a few other fish.  A shrip or two would be nice as well.  The one fish I have always wanted was a pygmy corydoras, do you think I could fit one or two in a tank like this?
 
 
I would really love some advice on making it look pretty, maybe a small piece of wood and a few plants?   My tanks never seem to look anything like the ones I see on here.
 
I have got lots of time,  I am going home for a few weeks over Christmas so im just going to cycle it between now and new years, so no big rush on the plans but id like to get something together.  So any thoughts and advice would be very welcome.   This is going to be a very humble setup compared to what most you folks run... but I think it could be a nice one considering what I paid for the tank and equipment!
 

PrairieSunflower

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No advice, but I think this might be the same as one of my tanks. I also bought mine second hand for cheap and in fantastic condition.  I keep 2 amanos, 1 horned nerrite and a betta in mine.
 
I like the black substrate idea.  I have dark in mine and it contrasts nicely with the plants.
 

LyraGuppi

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Cories need shoals of 5 or more, so one or two would not work. I'm no expert on stocking, so 5 might fit in.
 
Here is a link for Betta Care:
http://www.fishforums.net/index.php?/topic/423364-betta-splendens-caresheet/
 
I recommend mopani wood and Anubias plants. Anubias are low care, broad leaved plants that a betta will love., and mopani wood is an African wood that sinks on its own. Be forewarned tho, mopani will stain the water so you will want to soak it to release the tannins.
 
If you put the small piece of mopani in the front and line the back and sides with plants, that would look nice!
 
Cherry shrimp would be cool if you wanted shrimp.
 
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smudge_

smudge_

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So, I have a few (probably very dull) updates
 
A few days ago I got a nice black  background (vinyl) I didnt get out every air bubble got I got all but a few small ones that wouldnt budge
 
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I decided not to go with the black sand because I kept getting warned it just gets really dirty and isnt worth the hassle,  so tonight I washed a few bags of the finest Argos £3 playsand
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  I have used it before and thought it looked pretty good
 
 
I also put water in for the first time ( this made me unreasonably excited) and of course it looks crap! hopefully it will settle by the morning
 
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So far it just has a filter, I need to get some new clips for the heater, which is annoying.
 
 
 
 
 
I got some wood on ebay that I like,
 
 
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I did the boiling water thing and they have now been soaking in cold water for 2 days..... they show absolutely no sign of sinking without a weight but they have now turned a very dark brown.
 
 
Now I just need to cycle it,   previously I have just used mature media and substrate from other tanks but that isntan option this time.  I bought a master test kit and this stuff from amazon
 
I remain bemused by the idea of using something ammonia to make water "healthy" but if this is how its done who am I to argue lol I am in no rush for the fish, I think im going to be away a few weeks in December until early January so I will just let it cycle til then.
 
I am going to get some plants in the near future, nothing fancy, just for the fishes sake more than anything else.
 

l_l_l

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Hello!
I am glad you are doing things right by asking questions here
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I currently keep pygmy corydoras and have noticed that they do best in numbers of 10+
If you only have 5, you will never see them and they will eventually die because of stress.
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Presently, I keep mine in a 10 gallon tank with a Male Fighter.
He seems to enjoy their company.
 
Using ammonia to cycle your tank is fine, I did it for two tanks.
Right now tho, I just buy my filters second hand from an established tank. Solves a lot of issues. :p
 
That driftwood looks good btw!
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smudge_

smudge_

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yea my plan atm is a just a larger group of the pgymys and probably taking in the fighter my friend wants rid of, id rather have him in "1c too cold so not optimal" than  basically abandoned.   That will probably probably put the tank to max stock in one go lol
 
 
You make an interesting comment though, my LFS sells them in 5's and says 5 is fine.  I had been leaning towards more anyway though
 
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smudge_

smudge_

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As the "fun" of fishless cycling
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 (and yes I know the filter needs turned down :p)
 
 
Need to sort out the plants next, then add some of the plants.  Annoyingly the biggest bit of wood I got just refuses to sink
 
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smudge_

smudge_

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well I had to slightly murder the wood with a saw to get it to sink (seriously I tried everything 
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 including putting it 2 inches deep into the substrate) but I have got it in eventually.
 
Then it got cycled... twice 
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.    I got it cycled, went home for a few weeks over cChristmasand despite my best efforts it got  rather "broken" and I had to do a bit of a re-cycle but now that is sorted as well.
 
I added plants today ... and it ruined the tank 
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 its a total mess!   
 
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I dread to think what it will be like when I do a fairly significant water change on Friday!
 
 
 
I have changed my plans for this tank, it will now be a pretty heavily planted tank (only simple plants though)
 
It will also now be a larger pack of pygmy corys, a fighter and some shrimp
 
Ive been told on here the fighter/pygmy cory thing is a bad idea because the water should be a degree or two different than the fighter, but kinda bluntly I don't care. A work colleague has a tank and he has basically gave up on it and the fighter is the only thing left, better to be a degree off than dieing in a dirty tank.
 
My one regret is I would have liked a frog or two, I always have frogs, I love them, but ive always wanted to try keeping shrimp, id love to keep both.... but apparently that doesn't end well for shrimp!
 
Anyway I should be getting the fish on Saturday so I will get more pictures then if the tank doesn't still look so ugly 
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daizeUK

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Looks lovely!  I love your choice of wood.
 
Your java fern does not want to be buried in the sand - dig it up and tie it on to the wood instead.  The rhizome needs to be above the sand.
 
I'd also turn the filter outlet so that the flow is directed up so that you can get more surface agitation.  I like the interpet PF filters, they're a good filter.
 
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smudge_

smudge_

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Thanks very much!

Ah I thought those ferns were basically swords, that's how they were advertised on eBay anyway. Its Quite a few of them so getting them onto the wood should be interesting!

Thanks for the filter tip, I did wonder what way round was best, it was face down on the box so I just did it that way lol

Thanks for the advice
 
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smudge_

smudge_

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LyraGuppi said:
Gorgeous tank, smudge.
 
thank you :), I appreciate the kind words but my humble creation isnt in the same planet as most the tanks you folks produce on here. Maybe one day though eh?  gotta start somewhere :)
 

daizeUK

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smudge_ said:
Ah I thought those ferns were basically swords, that's how they were advertised on eBay anyway. 
 
Hmm I'm 95% certain that's a java fern.  It doesn't look like a sword to me.  You might want to post it in plant identification to get a confirmation though.
 
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smudge_

smudge_

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daizeUK said:
Ah I thought those ferns were basically swords, that's how they were advertised on eBay anyway.
 
Hmm I'm 95% certain that's a java fern.  It doesn't look like a sword to me.  You might want to post it in plant identification to get a confirmation though.
nah your right. i guess they sent me the wrong ones. ah well no harm done as long as i have enough wood to attach them to! thanks for the tip
 

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