A Beginners 55 - Aka My 2nd Big Mistake - Page 4

Pescado_Verde

The two new Mollies are doing well though Bob doesn't seem to have much interest in either one of them. One seems to maybe be trying to get his attention but I can't be sure, she seems to be flirting with every fish in the tank, lol. Anyway, I spent a good bit of time cleaning today. After being out of state for over a week and coming back to a busy schedule and the Thanksgiving holiday things had gotten a bit ragged in the aquatic world here.
Remember that ginormous Amazon Sword that I had bought? Well I finally got in there and removed the baby sword that had been growing for who knows how long. The roots on the thing are probably 7-8 inches long and a big mess of them too. I pruned it up some and buried it in the gravel. Not sure if I'll leave it there but it needed to come off of the mother plant and I hate to throw away a perfectly good plant. Maybe if I get around to building one of the 20's I've got here I can throw it in there. So, that's about it here for this week. A picture of mama sword and her baby to close this report. (Yeah, I need to smooth out the gravel a bit and clean up some of the roots that are sticking out)


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midna

I love those swords!!!!! you must be doing something right.
 

Pescado_Verde

I love those swords!!!!! you must be doing something right.
Thanks! It's probably all the over fertilizing. I did put some root tabs around the roots a couple of times but the baby has just been feeding from the water column. We'll see how it does now that it's on its own.
One thing I think the Swords do like is the harder water. I think since I started adding the Equilibrium to the tank they, the Wisteria, the Vals and the Java Fern have really perked up. The Anubias on the other hand doesn't seem to like it much. I had a Lily that was going crazy too but when I pulled it up to stick behind Harold's rock I think it lifted up out of the substrate and it kinda went downhill. There's a little bit of it left so maybe it will come back, I gave it some love today too while I was messing with all of it.
OH! And one of my new Mollies is in the picture there! At the bottom right of the baby sword, she's got a black lyretail behind and a freckled orange head. I didn't even notice she was photobombing me until after I posted.
I'll probably make another update tomorrow, I have to give the new guys tank a good cleaning. I went a little overboard on the lighting in his tank and holy moley did the algae ever take off, lol. I dropped a couple Nerites in there but yeah, it's funky and needs a scrubbing - and it's only been 2 weeks!
Thanks for dropping by, hope all is well with you!
 

BrandedUW

I divorced the first one, let's hope this goes better.

First you make a roux...

Oops, wrong forum! Let's try again...

First you get a glass box. I found mine on Craigslist, it's a 1970's era beast and the sucker selling it only wanted $100 for the glass box with base and they threw in delivery and a 200W heater.
I was all...


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I knew I needed a filter and a light so Amazon to the rescue! I was going to go with a HOB and looked into the biowheels but a coworker extolled the virtues of a canister filter to the point that I had to have one. The Eheim Classic 350 was delivered within 2 days, praise be to Prime!

Next came the light. My $200 budget for this project was already blown all to heck so I had to go cheap here. Even though I want plants it's my first tank and so there's no reason YET to go full moron. There will be plenty of time for that later, right? I had read some good things about Current USA's line of aquarium lights and found their Satellite LED on Amazon for $39. Who could pass that up? BAM! 2 days later it's in the house! Oh Prime, how do I love thee? Let me count the dollars!

So here's what I started with: glass box, base, light, filter and a couple pieces of blue poster board from HEB for the background.


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I wanted a natural looking substrate and the woman at the LFS said they had a buff colored coarse sand they had been carrying for 30 years that was their best seller and that I would love it. Awesome. Only when I got there she told me that their supplier had stopped carrying it as of this past week and that she had some others she could show me. Okay, well, I wasn't dead set on that so let's see what you've got! White? No, shows dirt too easily? Dark brown pebble? No, I want something a little bit brighter. How about this BLUE AND WHITE MIX? Oh yes, holy mother of Neptune it's so NATURAL looking! Yeah, no, whatever. I need a substrate, have you got 75 lbs of it? Yes? Great, I'll take it.


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I've got a few pieces of wood that I siliconed to rocks to keep them on the bottom while they get waterlogged and a handful of larger rocks. I dare to call this an aquascape.


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The turtle may or may not be a permanent fixture. He's growing on me.

Oh, and I had thrown in a couple of airstones because what self respecting aquarium doesn't have at least one airstone, right? They're out of sight but trust me, they're there and they're awesome!

Okay, let's add water!


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Yes, that's Harold (the turtle) being useful and holding the hose down while the tank fills.

So here's the finished 55. This color scheme is like some aquatic homage to the Dallas Cowboys, yes? I just need to paint a big star on that rock on the right and maybe drop in a laminated picture of Roger Staubach to complete the look.


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I of course added tap water conditioner and it's been 24 hours now so I went back this morning and picked up my 10 Zebra Danios and a sprig of Anacharis. They're floating now and will soon be released into the blueness.

It may be a while before I update this thread as for now I am done with the tank. The LFS will be checking my water and advising on that so until the tank is cycled and I can add stock there won't be much to report.

I hope you enjoyed this or at least found it a bit entertaining and thanks to all who post here for giving me the courage to embark upon this journey, you truly are inspirational.
I'm still waiting to hear how the roux turned out. Are we making Gumbo?
 

Pescado_Verde

I'm still waiting to hear how the roux turned out. Are we making Gumbo?
If you like gumbo but hate to make roux, Alton Brown does it in the oven and it's pretty foolproof. It takes a good bit longer - an hour and a half as compared to 45 minutes if you do it stovetop/old school style - but it makes a great dark roux that is easy enough for anyone to try. And that's important for folks who don't have the culinary gene, like me. Bon appetit!

Bowl O' Bayou
 

BrandedUW

If you like gumbo but hate to make roux, Alton Brown does it in the oven and it's pretty foolproof. It takes a good bit longer - an hour and a half as compared to 45 minutes if you do it stovetop/old school style - but it makes a great dark roux that is easy enough for anyone to try. And that's important for folks who don't have the culinary gene, like me. Bon appetit!

Bowl O' Bayou
So interesting. I do love Alton Brown but hadn't seen that method yet. I kind of like the roux portion of making Gumbo. It's kind of like an art form it seems. Plus it makes you feel like you really, truly slaved over the stove all day, haha.
Oh, and your tank is looking good by the way.
 

Pescado_Verde

So interesting. I do love Alton Brown but hadn't seen that method yet. I kind of like the roux portion of making Gumbo. It's kind of like an art form it seems. Plus it makes you feel like you really, truly slaved over the stove all day, haha.
Oh, and your tank is looking good by the way.
If you've ever scorched a roux even slightly you know how much it will throw off the flavor. Might as well throw it out and start over. If your oven will keep a good even temp then his way is almost foolproof. And you can be doing other more useful things in the meantime, like reading on FishLore.
 

BrandedUW

If you've ever scorched a roux even slightly you know how much it will throw off the flavor. Might as well throw it out and start over. If your oven will keep a good even temp then his way is almost foolproof. And you can be doing other more useful things in the meantime, like reading on FishLore.
Haha, well that would be useful then. I haven't burned one yet, but it's probably only a matter of time. Being able to multitask would be nice. Water change while the roux is cooking maybe?
 

Jellibeen

Haha, well that would be useful then. I haven't burned one yet, but it's probably only a matter of time. Being able to multitask would be nice. Water change while the roux is cooking maybe?
Water change while cooking roux sounds like a recipe for burnt roux.
 

Pescado_Verde

Water change while cooking roux sounds like a recipe for burnt roux.
That's the beauty of doing it in the oven! If you're going to be in another room carry a kitchen timer with you. DING! Roux time!
 

Pescado_Verde

So last week when my Molly disappeared one of my dwarf gouramis did too. Never did find her, I just figured she'd well you know, dissolved or whatever. Nope. She showed back up today! I did a deep clean on my tank just yesterday looking for her carcass as I went and nowhere to be found. She shows up at feeding time tonight frisky as ever and sporting a new tattoo and a "I Heart Las Vegas" t-shirt. Crazy.
 

BrandedUW

So last week when my Molly disappeared one of my dwarf gouramis did too. Never did find her, I just figured she'd well you know, dissolved or whatever. Nope. She showed back up today! I did a deep clean on my tank just yesterday looking for her carcass as I went and nowhere to be found. She shows up at feeding time tonight frisky as ever and sporting a new tattoo and a "I Heart Las Vegas" t-shirt. Crazy.
Haha! That's crazy. That's a decent sized fish to be hiding out that long.
 

Pescado_Verde

Haha! That's crazy. That's a decent sized fish to be hiding out that long.
Yep. And I was actively keeping an eye out, whenever I'd look at the tank I'd try to get a count of the dwarfs and only counted 2 for nearly a week. I'm pretty convinced that he snuck out and then back in.

Took a trip to PSmart today just to get out of the house. It's cold and miserable outside today. Brrr. Anyway, I didn't NEED anything, of course not, but I ended up getting 3 more snails. One Nerite Racer, one Zebra and one Tiger. I probably ought to just start a snail tank. I've got a 20Long near a window sitting empty. That'd probably be a good spot, would grow plenty of algae for sure. Hmmm....
 

Pescado_Verde

My new guy, "Runt", is really starting to come into his own! He's coloring up! His previously white body is turning BLUE! This is a terrible picture because he just wouldn't sit still with me in front of his tank but you can kinda get the idea.


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BrandedUW

My new guy, "Runt", is really starting to come into his own! He's coloring up! His previously white body is turning BLUE! This is a terrible picture because he just wouldn't sit still with me in front of his tank but you can kinda get the idea.


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Sometimes they just don't want their photo taken! Looks like he's going to be a pretty boy though.
 

Pescado_Verde

I finally got him to hold still for a second after a water change today, lol. Not the greatest photo ever but I can live with it.


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Pescado_Verde

Runt was in an agreeable mood tonight I guess, he gave me a few good pictures to share.


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BrandedUW

Runt was in an agreeable mood tonight I guess, he gave me a few good pictures to share.


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Very pretty indeed!
 

midna

Runt was in an agreeable mood tonight I guess, he gave me a few good pictures to share.


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he is so pretty!!
 

Pescado_Verde

he is so pretty!!
He's really got a lot of personality too. Neither of my other 2 ever flare and Runt will get all up in his own grill (reflection), lol. I really, really want to get a picture of him with his fins on full display. He's a little ****. When I first got him he would hide behind the rocks and driftwood quite a bit but now? He's front and center and ready to interact whenever I'm close by.
 

Pescado_Verde

I've been remiss in my duties to promote all of my fish and so I snapped picture of a few of the Rasboras and also a shot of one of the 2 lady Mollies that I got to keep Bob company since Doris passed away. He still doesn't pay any attention to them but that's on him. Bob apparently ain't the brightest guy in the water. Anyway, here's a couple new photos.


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Pescado_Verde

I've been trying to get a picture to upload of my blue eyed rainbow fish and not having much luck using the phones camera. They're small and fast which isn't ideal. I'd use my digital camera but the card reader is wacked at the moment and a new one won't be here for a few more days. They like to occupy pretty much the same space as the Rasboras so please pardon them for photobombing this shot.


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These guys really do have the most incredible blue eyes. When they catch the light just right they're like lapis or a blue sapphire.
 

Pescado_Verde

I bought some False JuliI cory cats a few months back but they didn't really have enough to create a good group and when I went back they didn't have any and haven't since so I bought Green Cory cats to add to the herd. These guys are much more "fish" like than the Julii's. They'll swim around quite a bit at times and can really haul at times as though their hair is on fire (if they had hair of course). They will graze with the Julii's when it's feeding time though so it's a shoal of sorts I guess. As for the "Green" part of their name, they do flash a bit of emerald green on their sides when the light hits them just right but otherwise are a bit plain. The striping you see in the picture isn't nearly as visible when just glancing at them.


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SaltyPhone

Corys are a good bit of fun indeed!
 

Pescado_Verde

A little photo update just to keep this thread from falling off the map completely! I moved Harold a hair to one side, I never really liked where I had him exactly, he just kind of wound up there with out much thought to a specific spot. Whatever, lol. Any excuse to put my hands in the tank. One of the snails decided Harold needed a cleaning so I got a nice picture of that and then a couple of the Mollies. I don't have any clue how these things were bred but they're some sort of Frankenfish. The front half is almost balloon Molly and the back half is I don't even know. Okay, enough chit-chat, picture time!


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Pescado_Verde

And I decided I'm going to pull up the big Amazon Sword plant. I guess I'll have to just pitch it, no place to keep it, it's 20" or so tall. Some of the other plants are taking off and I don't feel like I need it now. I added it and liked it but now? I just think it's a bit much. Well, okay, I've known it all along but just now decided to do something. I have a couple of Dwarf Water Lilies on the way. I think they'll add some color and not be quite so obnoxious. The shoots will fill some of the vertical space in a month or so but the plant won't take up so much real estate from left to right. Also, the Sag on the right side of the tank is really starting to spread and I think I want to let it get a little more of the spotlight. So here's the tank today - once I get the new plants in I'll post an update.


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midna

sell that dang plant! I think people would pay a lot for it. honestly I wouldnt get rid of it.
 

Pescado_Verde

sell that dang plant! I think people would pay a lot for it. honestly I wouldnt get rid of it.
Selling it sounds like a lot of work in my head, lol. There's a pawn shop not too far away...
 

midna

Selling it sounds like a lot of work in my head, lol. There's a pawn shop not too far away...

get a box from usps for free. get insulation and maybe a heat pack from usps. charge for however much the supplies cost you + priority or first class shipping. I bet someone would pay $20 for it. i'd hate to know such a beautiful plant got tossed in the trash!
 

Pescado_Verde

get a box from usps for free. get insulation and maybe a heat pack from usps. charge for however much the supplies cost you + priority or first class shipping. I bet someone would pay $20 for it. i'd hate to know such a beautiful plant got tossed in the trash!
I haven't pulled it out yet and Petco does have their 20 talls on sale a dollar a gallon, lol.
 

bigdreams

Or donate it local fish club at their next auction... I paid $35 for a new "mother" Amazon sword. It had 22" leaves and sent off several flower stalks within weeks of adding it to the tank. You don't trash a plant like that
 

Pescado_Verde

Or donate it local fish club at their next auction... I paid $35 for a new "mother" Amazon sword. It had 22" leaves and sent off several flower stalks within weeks of adding it to the tank. You don't trash a plant like that
It's a nice thought but 2 things - There's no fish club within 90 miles of here and also my tank has all sorts of funk growing in it, weird algaes and such. A person would really be better off buying from a reputable grower. And with that said, the deed is done. I haven't tossed it out, I have it in a pitcher of tank water at the moment and may drop it back in just to keep it alive but I took it out right before I did a water change earlier. Tank looks like heck without it.


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Once the water clears up I'll look at it more closely and decide what I want to do. I got a confirmation email a short while ago that my 2 water lilies have shipped so I expect by Thursday or Friday at the latest I'll have them to play with.
And frankly, that's part of the fun of this hobby to me - the playing with things.
My fish seem a little shell shocked though, lol. I remember when I first put that big sword in there they were all around it, swimming in and out of the leaves.
I still have the baby that I took from it, it's about 7" tall or so. I'm pretty sure that I'm going to relocate it as part of this latest re-do.
The Val is really taking off as is the Sag. I think I really like the grass like look of those two. Unfortunately the Val is almost dead center in the tank but it is spreading and I think I can encourage it to grow more towards the left side of the tank which will be behind the driftwood and in front of the big white rock there.
Idea is to sort of squish everything more to that side and create some negative space on the right to balance it out.
At least that's what I see in my minds eye. Only time will tell what it ends up looking like though, this is all a new journey for me.

Thanks for stopping by when you do and for however long, the comments, suggestions and any humor are always appreciated!
 

Pescado_Verde

I went ahead and moved the little sword just to see what that would do and I think it's better now, there's not such a harsh break between the left side and right side now.


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Started taking pictures of some of the fish because they were all out and about due to the big change but the water has so much debris in it that they all looked poopy. Phone needs charging anyway so I'll try again later or maybe tomorrow.

Speaking of pictures, I got the card reader for the camera and for some reason the stupid Sony memory card doesn't want to play nice with it and the cable that connects direct from the camera to the computer makes the computer confused. Grrr. Always something!
 

Pescado_Verde

Alrighty, tank report time! It's been interesting to watch the fish without that big Sword in there. Several of the more shy fish were having to adjust to not having some hiding spots and the Pearl Gourami was doing a bit more chasing, presumably because he could see who was in his neck of the woods. One thing I noticed last night as the light was fading to dark was the Rasboras all schooled up in that big empty space. Not sure if they were doing it out of fear or out of feeling comfortable but it was pretty cool. Just as the light went out they all scooted off over near the Val. I guess they don't like being in the open water at night. Shrug.
My new Lilies arrived and man are they TINY! They're pretty much the exact opposite of what I got with the sword. So I figure in the meantime I'll drop some driftwood in there. I kind of had this in the back of my mind when I yanked the sword anyway but after watching the fish for several days I knew they needed something to provide some safe spaces and cover. So here's that end of the tank now, 3 pieces of wood. 2 are kinda obvious and then the 3rd is all the way to the right up against the glass.


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I dropped the Lilies into the the tank when I got them but haven't "planted" them yet. They're just in there soaking and getting acclimated. The plan with them is to hide them behind the piece of driftwood but in front of the bubble wall. That way in a couple months when they get established they'll add some depth and color. Hopefully, lol.

Anyway, here's the full tank money shot today.


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Pescado_Verde

So if you've followed along you know that my female Molly, "Doris", died not long ago. I've since bought 4 female Mollies to keep Bob company, all of them Lyretails just because that's all I could find locally. Not really a fan though my first Molly, "Jane", was a Lyretail Dalmation Molly. Anyway, Doris left behind some children with her passing so we've got them to remind us of her. And then I THINK that one of the new ladies has dominoed too which seems a bit weird because the fry that looks like one of them is almost the same size as the ones that are Doris' babies. Either it belongs to the new girl or Doris threw off an oddball. Anyway I spent a little while trying to capture some pictures of a few of the different looks that I got so far. It's just a motley collection but my favorite so far has YELLOW LIPS. Yeah, you'll see. (Some of these may be the same fish, it's hard to tell)
Enjoy!


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This half black one here has me a bit confused bout who the mom is. Lyretails is a dominant gene so it may or may not be Doris' baby. I can't tell on this one yet what tail type it is but Doris and Bob do not have the lyretail and probably don't carry the gene.


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And here's my fellow with the goofy lips.

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Pescado_Verde

Weekends were made for messing with the fishes! I dumped some more driftwood into the tank on the right side. Figured I'd make it a logjam of sorts. It's quicker and easier than growing plants to take up that space that was left when I yanked out the giant Sword plant. I'll get some pictures after I do the water change and things settle down a bit. Should be interesting to see how the fish react.

Water change is done and I'm thinking of just leaving the lights on high for about 48 hours or so just to see if I can get some funk to start growing on the wood. I did my usual dose of ferts into the water so maybe that will help too. I'd kind of like a wild mossy side of the tank but I'm not sure if I'll be able to contain that if I were to get it started.

Which brings to mind something I've been thinking about doing with one of the 20 gallon long tanks that I've got sitting around. One of them is fairly close to a window that gets a good bit of sunlight in the summer months and I'm thinking of doing a tank with a ton of driftwood just dumped in there in a random way with Sag of different types. I've got a pretty good grow light to stick on it too to encourage all sorts of green things to happen. And then once it's established and the wood has Sag growing all up thru it and moss and algae all over it then I'll stock it with Nerites and a BN Pleco and some smaller fish, maybe something that schools a bit? I don't know. It sounds reasonable when I think it. Probably use some of the Peace River gravel as a substrate and maybe some potting soil or something else under that. I need to check the level on the tank/shelf unit first before I start, it's just sitting there against the wall where I set it a couple months back.

Hey, don't mind me, I'm just thinking out loud.
 

Pescado_Verde

So pictures... The 55 with MOAR driftwood!! and the 20 long that I'm thinking of making into a greenhouse.


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The windows that are providing all the light have the blinds open at the moment and I do have blackout curtains on them that can be pulled shut if the green gets out of hand.


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Pescado_Verde

More pictures. Sigh. Moved the lights around to illuminate the woodpile on the right a little better and also took a shot looking down into the center of the tank. This is where I hope the magic will happen eventually. Ideally the sword will get to a reasonably decent size and though it's hard to see I placed the Lilies in there behind the driftwood that is front and center. So, picture the first shot of the tank with a sword and a Lily growing up in the middle and somewhat blocking the bubble wall. Yes? I'll give it until spring maybe. What's the fun in having something like this if you're not moving stuff, right?


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midna

so when are you gonna get rid of the blue gravel? lol
 

Pescado_Verde

so when are you gonna get rid of the blue gravel? lol
Haha, I don't know! Everybody does black and I don't particularly like white. I've got some natural colored stuff but not enough to do the whole tank.

If I try to do it a little bit at a time I'm sure to miss some and so have bits and pieces get into whatever I put in. Tough situation. No way am I going to yank everything out and redo the whole thing. Not anytime soon at least. Maybe this summer? Might be a good project to do on vacation.

Show me something you think would look good or give me some links, I'm open to suggestions.
Here's a picture of a tank with the CaribSea Peace River gravel/sand that I have in one of the Betta tanks.


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I think I may still have a 20lb bag of it, I had a few at one time. Now that I think about it I have it in 2 of the Betta tanks. I'ma take a picture.

Eh, kinda hard to tell what it looks like IRL, the lighting kinda washes it out in the picture. The picture I snagged off the internet up above is darker though. It's somewhere in between, lol.


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