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My Freshwater Kingdom

Discussion in 'Freshwater Journals' started by addey411, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. addey411

    addey411 Mostly New Member

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    I own a 36 gallon bowfront aquarium that is sparsely planted with driftwood and a small cave with a little air bubble pump in the back. I have two gouramis, seven black skirt tetras, and three otinclus bottom feeders. I decided to start this blog, forum post, thread or whatever it's called to be able to look over the health and overall attitude of my tank over time. I'm still new to tropical communities so if you have any helpful advice or comments feel free to post them. So I guess I'll get started with describing my tank.... The king of my water wonderland is the male gourami, he's the largest and the most aggressive. The queen is his girlfriend and the second largest fish in the community. And even though she may be bigger than the tetras she still gets nipped at often (which really concerns me). The tetras are probably the Jesters of the tank, constantly nipping at one another and occasionally bothering the King, who then chases them so they will leave him be.The three otinclus hang out in their own corner and are a pretty mellow group. The tank seems to be a very good community and they interact pretty well, besides the fin nipping between the Jesters and Queen. Well, that's all I have for now... Again, if you have any comments or advice, please feel free to reply.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. EllieJellyEllie

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    Any pictures? You know how we are :D
     
  3. addey411

    addey411 Mostly New Member

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    I'd love too, but I have have no idea how to post an image. I've tried and it just won't work.
     
  4. EllieJellyEllie

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    If you have a photobucket, there are links to the side of a photo. Click on the direct link. Now come to reply, and under the smiley face icon, you see a photo, click on the photo, and paste the link in. Resize to your liking

    Or, you can always post the link to the pics
     
  5. addey411

    addey411 Mostly New Member

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    [​IMG]
     
    This was my attempted close-up of my male gourami.
    Sorry about the quality, my phone doesn't make a very good camera.
     
  6. addey411

    addey411 Mostly New Member

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    [​IMG]
     
    This is a full view of my tank. I'm still looking for new decorations, I want it to be a natural theme with a rock formation in the back and driftwood at the front. But when you're on a budget it's pretty hard to find decor that looks natural and matches and doesn't cost a ton.
     
  7. EllieJellyEllie

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    Yep. Bamaplants.com has cheap plants if you want to plant it. Im ordering mine from there.
     
    Go outside! Im sure if you have a river near your house you can find something, just make sure to clean it
     
  8. addey411

    addey411 Mostly New Member

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    I do have a small creek nearby, but it's all red clay and incredibly muddy. And there's not much there I could use since it's also the waste runoff area. But maybe I could try a slate cave for the rock formation... I've heard of some people making them and they're not too pricey and look great. I'll research that up a bit and see what I can do. And thanks for the shop recommendation, I'll have to look at it.
     
  9. Blondielovesfish

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    What type of gouramis do you have? From the pictures, they look like threespots?
     
    If you really want a natural tank, change your substrate to sand, you won't regret it!
     
    Black skirts are naturally nippy, if you're concerned that your gourami is being harrassed too much, it might be best to rehome them and get a different tetra that isn't as nippy :)
     
  10. addey411

    addey411 Mostly New Member

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    They're Blue Three spotted Gouramis, but thankfully the Black Skirts have mellowed down a bit, and now they're only nipping amongst the school.
     
  11. addey411

    addey411 Mostly New Member

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    So today is week number two since the beginning of my tank. Everything is fine, the fish seem perfectly happy and are swimming around the tank vigorously. The only issue is this cursed cloudy water. It's been like this for a couple of days now, but it's not too severe because I can still see everything inside the tank.I've tried the cloudy water treatment stuff they have at the store, but since it didn't work the first time, I decided not to push my luck and overdose the tank. I've read up my info, and have come to the conclusion that the tank is nearing the end of its cycle and will clear up in a few days. I checked the nitrate and nitrite, and general hardness and all are at safe levels.  So, hopefully the tank will get better in a few days, if not, well... I'll deal with that if it comes along.
    I've researched the slate cave idea and it's been recommended by a lot of fishkeepers as a creative and cheaper way to get decorations. So I'm going to try it out; the slate will be here in a week and I'm planning on going out to get some GE 100% Silicon  within the next few days.
     
  12. Ryan10

    Ryan10 Member

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    For the natural look, I like using play sand.  It needs to be rinsed more than most sand but the look it gives your tank is worth it.  I bought 120lbs of it for under $10.
     
  13. addey411

    addey411 Mostly New Member

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    Week 4: The water cleared up about a week ago. Things have been busy so I haven't been able to post things so I'll do a recap of the past two and a half weeks. I got a blue crayfish and I named him Bill The Amazing. He's about one and a half inches long right now, but he's fattened up since I got him. I had heard that crayfish are escape artists so I blocked all the possible exits from the tank ( even if he's too small now, he won't be in a couple years). He's a beautiful little guy and really helps with getting the crud off the bottom, the only issue is that he doesn't like the light. But that's their natural tendency, so it's really to be expected. I also got a new gravel; it's Dark Flourite to help with my plants' growth and the ambiance of the tank. it's a much more natural color (mixture of  dark reds and blacks) and it really does improve the overall look of the tank and it was a bit pricey, but totally worth it. I've got some slate samples and I'm making my first practice structures for the real stuff I'm going to put in the tank. I'm planning on going out to Home Depot soon to get the larger slate slabs and silicon 100% which is apparently the only adhesive/sealer that is safe for fish tanks.
    There is some sad news, though. One of my Otinclus fish, Jimmy, died yesterday. I treat the pH, water hardness, ammonia and condition the water whenever I add any so I have no idea where it went wrong. If anyone has any idea as to what may have happened to Jimmy, please let me know soon. I also found out about fish coloring ( or something of the like) and that aparently my black tetras are some of the few fish that have man-made coloring on their scales. Had I have known that I wouldn't have supported it by getting them, but since I already have them I'll try to keep them as happy as possible. How cruel though, that people would alter the fishs' natural colors ( which causes them pain) just so that they would sell better, but not a very big surprise due to the fact that most commercial companies will do anything to earn a larger profit. But on a brighter note, the fish are still as healthy as ever and my two gouramis have gotten significantly darker. Especially the male; he has become very dark and is about and inch bigger since I got him. I've been keeping an eye on the other Otinclus fish and they seem well, although it still worries me so I'll be watcing them carefully for the next week.
     
  14. addey411

    addey411 Mostly New Member

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    Week 5: I finished my slate cave structure. It's a pretty large decoration that weighs a ton, but I built it in segments so that it would be easy to lift and fit into my soaking bucket. I used GE clear 100% silicon as my adhesive an it worked really well, and I used California Gold Rush Slate which had pretty nice colors. I started by crushing the slate pieces up into suitable sizes then just working from there. The entire structure is three different floors, which consists of six peices and I made it so that it would fit into the corner of my tank.
    [​IMG]
     
    I'll post a picture of my tank next week, when I add the slate cave to it. Wish me luck!
     
  15. AirFarceLive

    AirFarceLive Member

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    Where are the pics bro? Btw looking good withe those slates! :D
     

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