54 Litre Broken China Tank

Magnolia35

Today I bought and set up what is going to be my first community tank! I’m going to let it cycle for a week (added some of my other tanks water) but I’m really proud of my first aquascape :) It’s got blue stricta and pink baby tears along with two plants I forgot the name of and some duckweed. I plan to add cories, a betta and some sort of schooling fish in the future, but for now I’m taking it one step at a time. I used some broken china we have (it’s not lead based) to make hides and add a general sort of decoration and I think the driftwood really helped bring out the white. Overall (not counting the tank itself) I spent about 30AUD: $6 each for the larger plants, $2 each for the smaller ones and $10 ($5 each) on the ice white gravel that was on special. The tank is a Blue Planet Classic 50L.
 

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Coradee

Welcome to Fishlore, nice tank idea :)
If I can make one suggestion......check for overly sharp edges on the china, if fish got startled for any reason they could run into a sharp edge and injure themselves.
You can get files for ceramics from craft shops to dull the edges, our more DIY minded members may have cheaper options so hope they will chime in with some suggestions.
 

Flyfisha

Gid-day Magnolia35.

I have a few 54 litre tanks and am aware of their limitations. In fact I just had my hands in a 54 litre CPD tank a few minutes ago.

I like the use of white china with white gravel

Adding old water will not have done much if anything to help transfer any bacteria. Adding an old dirty filter or old ornaments will even if you remove the ornaments after a couple of months, in the short term it will help you with the cycle.
Waiting a week will also not do anything if you are not feeding the bacteria ammonia. As liquid ammonia is only sold illegally over the counter in a few shops in Sydney you will need to use rotting dry fish food to make ammonia if you wish to build the colonies of bacteria without fish. If you intend to build the bacteria numbers with fish in the tank you will need to change some water often. Probably every 48 hours. Only a liquid test will tell you if the tank has toxic parameters.

I also suggest sand paper or a file to remove sharp edges. These terracotta pots have the issue of sharp edges mentioned by Coradee.
 

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Magnolia35

Welcome to Fishlore, nice tank idea :)
If I can make one suggestion......check for overly sharp edges on the china, if fish got startled for any reason they could run into a sharp edge and injure themselves.
You can get files for ceramics from craft shops to dull the edges, our more DIY minded members may have cheaper options so hope they will chime in with some suggestions.
Thank you! Will do ASAP— should be some good craft shops around here hopefully :)
Gid-day Magnolia35.

I have a few 54 litre tanks and am aware of their limitations. In fact I just had my hands in a 54 litre CPD tank a few minutes ago.

I like the use of white china with white gravel

Adding old water will not have done much if anything to help transfer any bacteria. Adding an old dirty filter or old ornaments will even if you remove the ornaments after a couple of months, in the short term it will help you with the cycle.
Waiting a week will also not do anything if you are not feeding the bacteria ammonia. As liquid ammonia is only sold illegally over the counter in a few shops in Sydney you will need to use rotting dry fish food to make ammonia if you wish to build the colonies of bacteria without fish. If you intend to build the bacteria numbers with fish in the tank you will need to change some water often. Probably every 48 hours. Only a liquid test will tell you if the tank has toxic parameters.

I also suggest sand paper or a file to remove sharp edges. These terracotta pots have the issue of sharp edges mentioned by Coradee.
Thank you for the tips! I added a bunch of biostarter i had on hand and forgot to mention it and I’ll grab some ornaments from my older tanks to put in there. Will do my best to find something to file them down ASAP
 

Flyfisha

I have not used biostarter . Is it actually one of the self replicating in water bacterias or is it something used that does not reproduce in water? Anyway it may not matter as long as the fish have something consuming the fish waste (ammonia ) as the true bacteria multiply from those you have added on the ornaments.

In a 54 litre.
One of the smaller species of corydoras perhaps? Or even dwarf corydoras?

I have a female betta swimming with small bright blue “ green neons” even though many books say betta are not suitable for brightly coloured fish.
 

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Magnolia35

Update on the 54 Litre: Everything’s been going spendidly; I added three corydoras (two brown, one peppered) a week after I first started it up and about a week after that added my female betta and her panda cory with no issue. I do a 10-20% water changes every three to four days or so.

Everybody gets along very well, no injuries and all the plants are growing nicely (plus the little panda cory seems to be much happier with other corys plus his betta friend). Got a water test done at my LFS yesterday, everything looked good and I’ve been keeping down my pH (which is set at around 8 from tapwater) at about 7.5, and am slowly making it closer to 7. My betta gal has taken to claiming a cory pellet or two as her own (even though I give her betta food!) but other than that everybody seems to be well-fed. I’ll try and get some pictures to post later :)
 

Magnolia35

It’s been about a month and a half since I first set up the tank and there’s been quite a few changes! First off, my betta girl decided it was a good idea to attack my panda cory (who has since passed) so she was promptly relocated to her original 5 gallon. Current stocking of the tank is a new betta boy I got a few weeks ago, six flame tetras and three corydoras.

I’ve also added quite a few more plants and rearranged the tank setup multiple times— still trying to figure out what I’m happy with. I do 20-40% water changes every three to four days (I did them more often when I first added the tetras, about every 1-2 days) and do gravel vacuums about every second water change. My current main issue is brown algae (which gets all over my plants, china and tanks walls) but I wipe it off every water change. Other than the aforementioned betta attack, there’s been no injuries. I feed everyone betta pellets every other day or so (with a few cory pellets on the off days).
 

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