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Thread: Pimp my tank!
02-02-2007, 11:49 AM #1
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- 09-03-2007 10:24 PM
Pimp my tank!
Ok, this is going to be a little drawn out so you might want to get some coffee and hunker down for a bit.
I have two tanks - an Eclipse 5 gallon corner with a couple of bunches of java ferns, stocked with two pristella tetras and an emerald cory cat.
My second tank is at home. After many years of enjoyment and care, my figure eight puffer died. I want to do something different with the tank, but I'm stuck as to what I want to do.
Here's my current setup: Eclipse 1 tank hood, 15 high tank, with a Fluval canister filter ranked for 40 gallon tanks. Filtration is not an issue in my tank. Light is. I have a LOT of windows in my loft, and even with pulled shades my tank gets indirect light almost 24 hours a day (we have a streetlight directly outside our window). Even with water changes and double filtration, it gets a coat of brown algae within two weeks of a good scrubbing. Currently the back of the tank is painted black, and the bottom is small rounded riverbed gravel. The only ornament I have in the tank is a mangrove root. The water is set up with 0.006 salinity.
Here are my options:
1) Get a new figure eight puffer or two. I could keep the tank brackish. I have two problems with this though - I keep getting massive amounts of brown algea and I am tired of doing the maintenance on a brackish tank.
2) Convert the tank to freshwater. I think with a good scrubbing and 2-3 90% water changes that the salinity should be close to 0 and the the tank should be safe for freshwater fish. Also, doing this should maintain the bacteria and the tank shouldn't have to completely cycle again.
I'm leaning towards Option 2. I don't know what I want to do after this point, though. I've always kept the tank as a species tank, with either puffers or only 1-2 types of schooling freshwater. The only thing I consider a definite no are livebearers - I feel guilty when the babies are born and they end up being food for the mommies and daddies. And I don't feel like trying to deal with the constant propagation. I did guppies once, and mollies once, and that was enough for me.
I love puffers, and was considering building a freshwater planted tank and stocking it with dwarf puffers. But the few forays I've made into dwarf puffer keeping have not lasted long. How does one keep those little buggers alive, anyway?! Maybe with a nice, planted aquarium and a decent size tank (not a 5-gallon) they would last longer?
If I were to do this type of setup, I would make the emphasis on the tank aquascaping as opposed to fishkeeping with one or two fish.
I've never built up a tank specifically for plants, though. And I don't know how good a planted tank would do with dwarf puffers. I'm thinking they are too tiny to do much damage to the plants and would probably appreciate having the cover.
My other concern is because this tank is so high, can I even find plants that will grow that high and look good in a planted tank?
So ... what would you folks recommend? I don't have my heart set on a puffer tank, and am open to suggestions. What kind of a species tank could I do with a 15-high? And do you have any good site/thread recommendations for learning how to start up a planted aquarium in that size?
02-02-2007, 3:25 PM #2
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- Northeastern Oklahoma
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- 08-26-2007 1:45 PM
If you're tired of algae... then send in the cleaners!! Go freshwater and keep a smaller species of plecostamos (NOT the common or Trinidad pleco!!). For a 15 gallon, I'd suggest a clown pleco (4-5") a Queen Arabesque pleco (roughly same size) or perhaps a common bristlenose (5-6") With the bristlenose, you'll want to add a piece of driftwood for it to munch on. It helps aide in their digestion. And if the bristlenose males are too 'weird' for your tastes, see about getting a female. They tend to have little or no protrusions on their noses. Most plecos are herbivorous or omnivorous and enjoy algae as a basis for their nocturnal browsing. One pleco will keep that 15 gallon fairly clean of algae... heck, you might even need to supplement his diet with algae wafers!! Talk about clean!!!!
Keep in mind, buying smaller plecos may be more expensive... I know I paid $17 for a large bristlenose last week (I got it at a good price! It was marked down from $23) But they are worth it in terms of size compatibility. The larger 'common' pleco sells for $4-6, but it grows to be up to 18" or more!!
If you want to look into other interesting catfishes, my fav site is www.planetcatfish.com
Other than that, maybe try a school of 6-8 tetras? Or perhaps a lovely pair of gouramis? The options are limitless!! I know what it's like to enjoy one type of fish for a long time, but I've never regreted learning what I've learned about the new species I've been trying.
It's a thought anyways. ^__^"You cannot dream yourself into a character: you must hammer and forge yourself into one."
~ Henry D. Thoreau
"Imagination is more important than knowledge."
~ Albert Einstein
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