Sparx’ Tank Journey


Fish Fanatic
Tank of the Month 🏆
May 11, 2024
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Kent, UK
Hi guys.

Been on the forum a couple of months now and I have been truly inspired by some of the tanks I’ve seen. I wanted to take you through my journey of being a complete novice to fish keeping, to where I am today.. a little less of a novice I guess! 😅

It started off almost two years ago with a 60litre tank for mainly guppies, Scissortail rasboras and neon tetras, but I’m pretty sure the tetras had a disease of some sort because they all died within the space of about a week. Or maybe the water parameters were not quite right for them. I had no idea at the time 🫠

I must have uploaded the early pics to my computer and deleted the ones off my iPad but this is what the original set up looked like back in Sept 22..


After about 6 months I introduced some Mollies and a couple of Synodontis catfish, also by this point I’d added some driftwood:



A couple of months after I decided to replace the substrate for a lighter colour gravel, purely for personal preferences. My Dalmatian Mollies by this point had pretty much changed fully black and I was having a hard time finding them 😂


The same month, July ‘23, the mollies produced some fry which I managed to save only 5 as I wasn’t sure when to expect them and didn’t separate the mothers. Two of the 5 survived to adulthood, I still have them now, both males and both have reached sexual maturity 🙈


Four months after getting the catfish they are growing nicely:


November ‘23 we introduced Pedro:


After Christmas and the new year in January 2024 we decided it was time for an upgrade, so we brought home the 30gallon we have now, and after much research and advice on how to upgrade and what’s best for the fish, we transferred everything into the bigger tank.



Not long after we introduced some Angel fish (we lost one quite quickly but the other two have grown so well!)


In February we then introduced some cherry barbs and a couple of red head eartheaters - unfortunately we lost the cichlids fairly recently after a white spot outbreak 😞

Catfish still growing nicely:


Then in March ‘24 we added the rope fish:


In April we added some Rainbow fish. It really had become a proper community tank at this point. Pic taken early May ‘24:


Then disaster struck around mid May. The fish were literally disappearing.. some of you might remember my post about the rope fish turned killer 😱 we lost rainbows, baby(ish) mollys from another batch of fry and a Cherry barb. I caught the rope fish in the act chomping down on a poor little rainbow.
I asked advice on here and was given some great advice on food, and also the fact that it was on its own may cause it to be stressed and act out of character. So we went and got another one! This could only end well, or very bad 😅 but we took a chance because we wanted the rope fish to be happy. And boy is she happy now 😍 we haven’t had any killings since.
This was also around the same time we decided to start adding plants into the aquarium



It was about this time that the white spot struck. Not sure if it was caused by the introduction on new plants, new fish, or just the fact that the recent killings may have caused stress in the tank. We lost the eartheaters, for some reason it only really affected them at the level it did.. other than that we noticed other fish flicking and scratching but no spots appeared. This took about 3 weeks of treatment to get rid of.

So this now brings now brings me to the present, or June 2024.
Last week after things had settled down we decided not to replace the eartheaters, but to go for Blue Gouramis instead. We picked them up just over a week ago, but we also decided we wanted to changed the look of the tank entirely and give the fish a more natural environment. We removed everything artificial and replaced them with what looks to be a tree root piece of drift wood, some rocks, and another plant.

I’m not allowed to attach any more files so you will find the Gouramis and the present look of the aquarium in my next post 😉

Thanks for reading!
Your tanks have matured nicely, as have you, in the hobby… everyone is entitled to their specific tastes… I personally, have never been a fan, of the wildly colored plastic plants, and preferred to have the fish shine… so I like the direction your tanks have gone… ( that specific trait, seems to be something newer people do ) and it’s not bad, I just think, that usually as we get into the hobby, most people want the fish to be the star…
Your TOM entry looks great…
Thank you Magnum Man. I appreciate your kind words 😊
Yeah I think when you’re new to the hobby the plastic colourful plants look super cool and you want your tank to stand out amongst the rest.. but the more you learn and grow into the hobby the more you want what’s best for your fish, and what’s better than making them as comfortable as possible in an environment more suited to their natural habitat?
I personally much prefer the way my tank looks now compared to the beginning! And the fishes probably prefer it too with all those hiding spots. Pedro found his new home in a gap in the driftwood very quickly 😂
Getting into live plants was the best decision I've made in this hobby. I've now kept over 20+ species of plants but only 5 species of fish 😅 . I find them the best type of filter for the type of aquariums I prefer, heavily planted + low stocking. I only use internal filters now to move the water around 🫢. The next best thing is houseplants! @Magnum Man tanks are some of the best I've seen to use houseplants/terrestrial plants

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