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Photo Update

* WARNING: I forgot to upload the smaller thumbnails so this may take a while to load. You can view these at my Picasa site until I get this updated. *

I promised pictures, so here they are:

Acclimating the fish to the tank
The danios are enjoying their last few minutes of the bag before they're released into their new world to start exploring.

New plants
I added a Wisteria plant and another plant that I'm not exactly sure what it is. It was mixed in with the Wisteria, but when I got it home I decided it wasn't, unless it just hasn't matured yet. Anyone have any ideas?

A new home!
Just after they were released into the tank.


A fun hiding place.

Those are most of the pictures I've got now. You can see a few more here. I will definitely be taking more as I add more fish and maybe re-aquascape again.

We Have Fish!

The tank has officially finished cycling. I've been trying to decide which fish to stock it with. With some help from an online aquarium messageboard, I decided on the following:

6 Zebra Danios
6 Cory Cats (haven't decided which kind yet)
1 Pearl Gourami

I made a visit to PetsMart tonight to see which of these they may have. The only fish they had were the Zebra Danios. So, I went ahead and got the six danios along with a couple of plants while I was there (wisteria and something I don't remember the name of).  I am going to wait at least several days before adding anything else to the tank to make sure I don't overload the biofilter with too many fish at once.

I acclimated the fish and finally got them in the tank about an hour ago. They are swimming around a lot of exploring every square inch. I have taken some pictures of them and the plants, but will have to upload them later.

Update

It's been a while since I've posted an update on the aquarium setup. Here's a few things that have happened:

  • I started doing a fishless cycle aided by ammonia and substrate from an established tank. Once the process started, it seemed to go fairly quickly, taking about 3 weeks. Started toward the end of last week, the daily tests started showing 0 ammonia and 0 nitrites with elevated readings of nitrates, which indicates that the cycle is nearly finished. I did a large water change over the weekend and tested again with still 0 ammonia and nitrites after the change. You can always look at my water parameters chart to see what's going on with the levels.
  • I purchased a 100 watt Visi-Therm Stealth Heater. This heater came highly recommended from multiple message boards. It was on sale too which I bought it, which made the decision a little easier.
  • I have been planning on getting some live plants for the tank, but haven't gotten around to it. I would really like to get them in there before I begin stocking it with fish, so I don't have to disturb the fish too much to get them down in the gravel.
  • I have also started trying to plan what fish I will be stocking it with. Right now I'm thinking of a school of Zebra Danios, and a few Cory cats. I'm not sure which Cory I will get yet. I would also like to get one or two other fish as "centerpiece" fish, but haven't decided on that yet.

I will try to keep this posted as I begin to add the fish and make other changes. I'll also try to take some more photos of the tank to show some of the small changes I've made.

Initial Tank Setup

After everything had been thoroughly washed, I started putting everything together. We have the perfect place in our living room to set the stand and the tank. It fits in rather well with the space and the layout of the room.

One thing I would highly recommend if you're going to be setting up a tank, is to get at least one 5 gallon bucket. It helps a lot when cleaning gravel, preparing water, etc. Be sure that you dedicate this bucket for use with the aquarium only, so that it doesn't become contaminated with chemicals that would harm the inhabitants.

Big Bucket of Gravel

The best way I found to put the substrate in the tank, of course after rinsing it very well, was to use a large cup to scoop it up and pour into the bottom of the tank. Care should be used when pouring the gravel in to avoid damaging the tank.

After the careful pouring, it was time to do some aquascaping. This is my first attempt, and with the room I have to work with and the decorations, I think this turned out okay. When I get closer to having actual fish in here, I may rearrange it a little bit and add some plants, but we'll see.

 It was finally time to add the water. I filled up the 5 gallon bucket with water and used a large cup to transfer the water in. Once the bucket was only about 1/4 full, I would pour out the bucket directly into the tank. A tip is to use a bowl, or in my case, a decoration, to pour the water onto so that it doesn't drastically move your substrate around.

I would highly recommend that you make sure to put in any heaters, bubble curtains, or anything else that needs to go in the tank before you start filling it with water. I forgot to put these in and learned my lesson very quickly. :)

And now, here is the almost completely finished product:

There are a few things that aren't completely finished yet and that I'm going to change/add. The placement of the heater and the heater itself is just temporary. This heater came with the aquarium, but I'm going to get a Visi-Therm Stealth heater and will be trying to hide it and the power cord a little better. I also need to rearrange the airline tubing for the bubble curtain. I'm going to put a black background on it as well, which will help hide the cords and HOB filter behind the tank. I haven't decided exactly how I'm going to do that yet. My next post will focus on the equipment I have for the tank and the cycling process. So, here we begin the journey! I'm sure it will be a fun and adventurous journey!

Aquarium

One hobby I have been wanting to get into for a while has been that of fishkeeping. For my birthday, I got a 23 gallon tank from my wife and in-laws. I'm going to use this blog to keep a journal of the progress of the tank.

I've decided for now to go with a freshwater setup. Ultimately I will like to have a saltwater or reef tank setup. However, I would like to get started with this tank and see how things go with that. I'm going to start off with a fishless cycling and plan on probably having a fairly small amount of fish in the tank. I may also end up with a semi-planted tank after having it running for a while.

Along with the aquarium I also got gravel, a wood stump decoration, air pump, airline, bubble curtain, and a nice stand for the tank to sit on.

I'm a couple of days behind in updating this, so I'll post a few updates today on the progress that I've made.

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