Back In The Game...

DarkOne
Member
I used to have 3 tanks (55g, 30g, 10g) 30 or so years ago. I loved my aquariums and had them for about 5 yrs. Life got in the way and I started persuing other hobbies.

I was looking up some stuff about scuba when I came across some aquarium stuff and I'm getting sucked back in! So a couple of weeks ago, I picked up a 20 gallon tall kit from PetSmart. I don't have a lot of room and the 20 gallon was perfect (24" x 12") for a home theater shelf/stand that I no longer use. It was a very expensive stand and holds up to 800lbs.


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I was cycling it and doing some research on aquariums (that's how I found this place!). I always had tan pea gravel so that's what I initially got I but saw some nice black sand tanks and found that some were using $8/50lb sand blasting media (BDBS). So I got some of that and some more plastic plants and some rocks.


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I know bettas are pretty hardy so I got one for a fish in cycle. I wasn't happy with the HOB that came with the kit. I used to have AquaClears but wanted to try a canister so I bought a Fluval 206.

I've been doing almost daily 25% water changes and using QuickStart. I picked up a Master test kit and I'm getting .5 Ammonia, 0 nitrites and 0 nitrates though I haven't tested in a few days.

I've been poking around this site and saw so many beautiful tanks. There are a lot of fish I want but not a lot that would be happy in a 20g. I checked craigslist and found a 40 gallon breeder tank with a stand and a Fluval 306 and a few other things for $100 so I jumped on it. It all needs a good scrubbing and the 306 might need some new o-rings and impeller shaft but otherwise in very good condition.

I'll need to move a DVD shelf that I haven't really used in years and my 3d printer to make room for this tank. I'll have to paint the back too so it might take a while but I figured I'd start my own thread.

I really want some GBRs or other cichlids. I'm not a fan of guppies, mollies, tetras or goldfish. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Oh... My 55 gallon is in the basement but no place for it so it'll probably rot down there .


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KakeHugs
Member
Oh wow that's lovely! I've never heard of that sand before! Adding it to my list when I go back to Tractor Supply for rabbit food!
I have about three of those heaters and I keep them submerged like that. However, water seems to have been getting into one of them. The heater is going a bit whacky and is over 10 degrees hotter than what I set. I think I just got unlucky, it is a bit older, but I'm just saying, keep an eye on that stinker.
 
junebug
Member
Blasting sand is the best it's nearly all I use now because it's so cheap. That and Quickcrete playsand works great too.

For plants with that betta, I would get rid of the plastic. It's going to tear his fins up.

Also you should probably know that while Quickstart is a good product that I have used many times to maintain parameters, it is not a permanent cycle solution and you'll have to add it with every water change. I would suggest getting either Stability or TSS+ (you should be able to click the links) instead.

Also as an FYI that betta isn't going to cycle a 20 gallon... though I'm sure he's happy having the tank all to himself!
Congrats on the new tank - what a find!

If you'd like to have rams, there are a lot of pencilfish that would work really well with them. Check inverts by mzjinxed as I know she has some in stock right now. You can also order them from a number of reputable online vendors. The Wet Spot comes to mind.

In the larger tank I would be inclined to find a pencilfish species that works (if you're strongly against tetras.... but also know there are many, many species available and some are absolutely gorgeous) with some corydoras and a pair of rams. Maybe add a few mystery snails and ghost shrimp for effect as well.
 
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DarkOne
Member
I've used the fine sand for blasting but never knew people were using the coarser sand for gravel. Definitely wash it out very well. There's a slight oily film in the sand. I use Dawn dish soap and it cleans faster. I have about 18lbs left over from my 20 gallon and I picked up another 50lb bag for the 40g.

I've noticed some moisture building up inside the glass of the heater. I'll have to order a couple new ones. Thanks for the tip.

I have 2 black kuhlI loaches (1.5" and 2") and a 1" BN pleco too. I kinda figured just the betta wouldn't be enough. It still might not be enough but I don't want to risk more fish. They all seem to be doing great. I'm using QuickStart mainly so I don't get ammonia and nitrite spikes that might kill the loaches and pleco. I know it's not the best but it's what I got before I started researching. It was made by the guys that make Stress Coat and it has never failed me years ago when I used it.

The 306 wasn't in great shape but I was able to take it apart, clean it and reassemble it correctly and it doesn't seem to need any new parts . Runs quiet and strong. No leaks either .

A couple of bumps in the road tonight.

My pleco died tonight. I put some cucumber in this morning and when I got home, he was darting around and then floating upside down. He did this a few times and by the time I got my net, he was dead. I noticed his belly was huge like he ate himself to death . My betta and 2 kuhlI loaches are still doing great.

So I was cleaning my newly acquired 40b tank and was almost done when I saw a sticker on the bottom that states not to fill with water. Turns out it's a reptile tank and made with thinner glass. I probably should've checked before ordering a hood, lights, heater, etc. Luckily for me, Petco has their semi-annual tank sale of a dollar a gallon but only up to 29 gallon tall. Their bigger tanks are 50% off so a 40b is $50. Makes sense now because I was there earlier this week and they had 75 gallon for $90. I'll have to pick up a 40b tomorrow.
 
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DarkOne
Member
I picked up a 40b from Petco today. I ordered an Aqueon 40b glass cover online (thatfishplace) for $48 shipped. It was the cheapest I could find for a 40b but when I was at Petco, they had the same thing for $35. Grrr. At least the place ships really fast and I should have it tomorrow (Sat delivery).

I stopped by Walmart and picked up some acrylic paint, 8oz of deep blue, for the back. It's water based but is moisture resistant when dry. I went with brushable paint because it's too cold for any type of spray paint now. I got a bit impatient so I used a heat gun to dry the first coat so I could get a 2nd coat on and set it up while it dries. It came out pretty good, IMO. I used about half the tube.

Washing BDBS sucks. I washed 70lbs and I hope I never have to wash gravel ever again! I filled the tank and used Prime to treat the water. I have some Tetra SS+ coming Monday with all the other stuff I ordered.

I had a very slight leak from the 306 I didn't notice at first and it turns out the o-ring was dried out so I ordered another one (also coming monday). It came with brand new filters and media but ordered some extra filters and media to have on hand (for both 306 and 206). I put the TopFin HOB on the side of the 40b to at least get the water moving around a bit. The paint on the back is still a bit wet.

So I have the cover coming tomorrow and a bunch of stuff coming Monday (heater, led light, etc). I'm still deciding on how to stock these 2 tanks. I have a betta and 2 kuhlI loaches in the 20h so far. I know I want another BN Pleco and a pair of GBR. I'll probably wait a few months for the tank to get established for the GBRs though.


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psalm18.2
Member
I miss my old 40B tank, those are the best IMO.
 
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DarkOne
Member
I picked up some Seiryu rocks, driftwood and a couple of live plants from Petco (Anubis and Java Fern). The driftwood is soaking in a bucket so it'll be a few days. I'm using a desk lamp since my LED light won't be here until Monday. I figure I'd try a couple of live plants. I also added 2 spare plastic plants.



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vikingkirken
Member
Following, sounds like these are going to be fun builds! You mentioned (in my thread) that you might be doing electric blue acaras in the 40?
 
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DarkOne
Member
vikingkirken said:
Following, sounds like these are going to be fun builds! You mentioned (in my thread) that you might be doing electric blue acaras in the 40?
I found Lchi87's thread while looking for ideas for the 55 gallon I was thinking of using. That led me to your thread . I never knew about EBAs before. I had oscars, arowanas, jack dempseys, keyhole cichlids and a few others years ago. I didn't know about water testing and cycling and all these fancy new stuff but with great advice from my LFS and reading LOTS of books, I managed to run 3 tanks with minimal loss and problems. All that on a teenager's budget . Now I have a bit bigger budget to play with. Actually, when I got my 20H kit for $80, I figured $200 would get me set up ok. 2 weeks later and just under $1000, I have a 40b too .

Got most of the stuff I ordered today

Since the Fluval 306 was a couple of years old, I ordered all new o-rings, intake strainer, output nozzle and impeller shaft. I also got a small tube of silicone grease for the o-rings as recommended by Fluval. The input and output was fine but yellowed so I wanted new clear ones . Amazon had 1st stage foam for $2/box of 2 so I ordered a bunch of them since they work for both 206 and 306. They also had polishing pads in boxes of 6 so I ordered a couple of them. I also got some Marineland bio-balls. I think they're more durable than the Fluval bio-media and less obstructive. I previously ordered a 40oz jar of Marineland activated carbon and nylon bags but I'm not sure I want to use carbon in the filters now. My 20H has been running w/o for 2 weeks and the water is crystal clear now.

I got an Aqueon 150w Pro heater. It's supposed to be shatterproof and I like the adjustable dial on top. The limited lifetime warranty was a bonus. I also ordered a couple of digital thermometers. The stick on that I got for the 20H is unreadable when the light is on and the ones you stick inside is kinda ugly. I've been using a Raytek minitemp non-contact thermometer to check temps and the digital ones are within 1°F.

The Nicrew LED light is pretty nice. It has white and blue LEDs. Works well with the glass canopy. I still haven't cut the back plastic cover because I'm not sure if I'm going to leave the filter hoses and heater where they are now.

I greased and replaced the o-rings on the 306. I also replaced the intake strainer and output nozzle and added the bio-balls in the canister. 1 pump on the primer was all it took to start filling the canister. Once it was full, I shook the canister to get rid of some of the bubbles and plugged it in. The filter runs great now . I have both 206 and 306 close together and I can't hear them from 2' away.

I've never been a fan of live plants mostly because I was worried about killing them and the upkeep they require. I ordered some Marimo Moss balls (6pk) from Amazon and they shipped 8 so I put 2 in my 20H and 6 in the 40b. After a bit more research, I found some plants are very low mantenance so I picked up a java fern and anubius at PetCo. I'm still soaking a small piece of driftwood so I just stuck them in the gravel for now. I also ordered a beginner starter pack of 4 plants, java moss and Flourish from Amazon last night.

If you got this far, you deserve a pic...


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DarkOne
Member
I was doing some research on where to place the heater and looked over at my 20H with a Top Fin 100w heater that came with the kit and noticed it has some moisture inside the glass. I found a thread that it's bad and should be replaced ASAP so I went to a local Pet Supplies Plus that had a 50% off sale on some heaters. I picked up an Aqueon 200w Pro for a buck less than the 150w in my 40b ($28). I did a little heater shuffle and put the 200w in the 40b and moved the 150w to the 20H. They're both the same size. I really like the adjustment knob on these heaters.
 
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DarkOne
Member
I've always used plastic plants so naturally, I bought way too many for the 20H. Youse guys inspiried me to try live plants but I'm drawing the line with the Flourish plant food .

I enjoyed taking care of my 3 tanks when I was a teen. Carrying 5 gallon buckets wasn't really an issue for me as I used to play a lot of sports and lifted weights to gain some weight but couldn't get over 175lbs until I was in my mid twenties. I don't like the idea of wasting water to drain a tank so I didn't get a Python. I got a 550gph pump that I put in a 5 gallon bucket to pump water into the tank. I reduced the 1" output to 1/2" so it doesn't mess up the gravel.

Here's a link and pic of the thermometers I got. I know some of the reviews said it wasn't accurate but the 2 I got are very accurate.



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The sensor:

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I read that the tank cycles faster when you're up to 80°F.
 
junebug
Member
FYI your java fern needs to be mounted on wood or rocks. If the rhizome is buried the plant will die. Java fern grows as an epyphite in the wild, primarily attached to roots, wood, and growing in the cracks of rocks alongside streams.

It looks like things are coming along

I also really like those thermometers, and haven't had any issues with them at all. I have a temp "gun" to occasionally double check but I rarely use it.
 
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DarkOne
Member
Thx. I have a piece of driftwood soaking. It's day 2 and starting to get waterlogged and not leech out too much tannin so I'll attach the java fern to it in the next day or two. I've been letting it float around and then sticking it in the gravel every once in a while when I'm bored and wish I had fish .

My Raytek is a temp gun that I've been relying on for water temps. I also use it when I'm changing the water to get the tap water temp close to the tank temp.

I got a 8oz bottle of TSS+ but I did a WC with Prime today so I'm gonna wait a couple of days before using it. My 40b came with a trial pack of fish flakes so I've been using that to cycle. When I turned the filter on, there was a lot of stuff floating around so I did a WC to get rid of the bigger stuff. Back in the day, I only had a single bottle of Stress Coat to condition water. Now I have a shelf full of bottles and testers and stuff.
 
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DarkOne
Member
Reading up on how to successfully use TSS+, they recommend putting fish in the tank rather than ammonia so I got 10 Rosy Red minnows yesterday. They were feeder fish for 14¢ ea. My plan was to keep them in there until the tank was cycled and then return them to the LFS but they've already grown on me. They've been pigging out on the old flake food that's in the tank and already pooping a ton! I was expecting to see at least 1 or 2 dead by morning but they're all doing great now.

I also cut the intake tube about an inch and moved the heater next to the intake tube. I also had to replace the suction cup holding the intake tube as it wasn't holding.


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junebug
Member
Ammonia drops will do a much better job starting your cycle than fish food.
 
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DarkOne
Member
I was waiting for the bottle of TSS+ I ordered before doing that but I got bored and the tank came with a trial packet of fish food.
 
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DarkOne
Member
Progress! My 20H. Ammonia - 0, Nitrites 1.0, Nitrates 20.
I have a betta, 2 black kuhlI loaches and 2 marimo moss balls in there and they've been doing great. I just did a 25% WC and will test again tomorrow.

My 40B is at Ammonia - .5, Nitrites 0, Nitrates 10 after one day with TSS+.
The RRM are so funny. The runt of the pack LOVES the fast currents and swims in it quite often. Usually in front of the output of the filter (and it's pretty powerful). I ordered some DrG's anti-parasitic food after reading that these guys could have internal parasites.

I would appreciate some recommendations on stocking.
For the 20H, I would like GBRs. Would they be ok with the betta and 2 kuhlI loaches? I was thinking about getting a few more kuhlI loaches too.

For the 40B, I want a pair of EBAs (hopefully from Lchi87). What else would be good tank mates?
 
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DarkOne
Member
I realized that I didn't have space to comfortably place a 48" tank so a 36" was a better fit. I was looking for 50 and 65g tanks but they weren't easy to find and really expensive.The 40B fit perfectly and the Petco 50% off sale was a no brainer. The 55 gallon is also 30+ yrs old so I wouldn't trust the silicone on there. If I was gonna go with a 48" tank, I'd do at least a 75g.

Not a fan of swordtails but if they can get along with EBAs, it's an option. I really thought of angelfish at first but my tanks are too short, IMO.

I think I'm gonna have to redecorate both tanks to accommodate the main fish I want.
 
vikingkirken
Member
If you're not into swordtails, don't do them! You have plenty of other options. The white and orange of koi or sanke swordtails is a brilliant contrast to the electric blue, though!
 
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DarkOne
Member
I was thinking about colors and you make a good point.

I got my starter 4pk of plants and a little cup of java moss. Hornwort is the worst! I spent 30m with a net to get all the broken needles out of the tank and there's still some left. And that was after I washed the plant to get rid of all the loose stuff. The description says it also comes with Amazon Swords, Moneywort and Anacharis. They're all curled because of the packaging so I hope they straighten out. I'm also hoping these plants grow big enough to move some into my 20H. Then I can get rid of all the plastic plants.

I got some Flourish but don't know if I should use it now since I'm doing a fish-in cycle with TSS+ or wait a couple of weeks.

All 10 RRMs are doing great. TBH, I thought I'd lose at least a few by now since the were being sold as feeders. My tank is a mess right now because I'm still waiting for my driftwood to stop leeching tannins so I can put it in there and attach some plants to it and organize everything better.

I noticed some moisture in the Top Fin 100w heater so I went to my LFS to pick up a new (better) heater. They had a sale on Aqueon Pros so I got a 200w to use in my 40B and move the 150w (Aqueon Pro) to my 20H. I went to PetSmart with the faulty heater and they replaced it with a full retail version, no questions asked. They didn't even ask for a receipt. So now I have a spare Top Fin HOB and 100w heater. I'm tempted to get a 10 gallon for a QT setup.
 
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DarkOne
Member
Update:

20H is still cycling. Ammonia 0, nitrite 1.0, nitrate 20. Just did a 50% water change. Betta and 2 kuhlI loaches are doing great. I need to get a few more kuhlis when it's fully cycled. I need to get some live plants and get rid of the plastic ones.

40b looks like it's cycled. I tested Sat and it was at 0, 0, 10 so I added 11 ghost shrimp to add a bit more bio load. I bought 10 but they put 11 in the bag. 1 died yesterday so I'm down to 10. I couldn't find 10 but after putting some flake food in there, they all popped out and I counted 10 . Just tested the water today and it's still at 0, 0, 10. TSS+ is pretty awesome . I added 150ml last tuesday, 50% more than recommended for a 40 gallon tank with 10 RRMs. Tank temp was steady at 80°F. I also added some plants and Flourish that might've helped speed up the cycle. The amazon sword isn't doing so hot. One of the leaves turned translucent and another one has a brown tip. The java moss is still half brown and hasn't changed at all. The moneywort, hornwort and anacharis is doing great and growing. The hornwort grew at least a couple of inches in the last 2 days.

The driftwood I bought last week is still leeching tannins so it's still in a bucket. I ordered 2 more pieces of med/lg driftwood which should be here in a few days.

So the 40b looks like it's ready to go. I'm definitely putting a pair of EBAs in there but I think I should wait a few more weeks at least. Are Corydoras ok with EBAs? I also want a BN pleco in each tank.

Friday when I first put the plants in:

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Today.

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DarkOne
Member
Day 8 of cycling with TSS+ in the 40 gallon and it looks like the tank has been cycled for 3 days. I'm getting 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and <10 nitrates. I added 8 Emerald Green Corys and 2 little BN Plecos today. 1 of the BN Plecos will go into the 20 gallon if it ever cycles. Right now I'm getting 1-2 nitrites but the betta and 2 kuhlI loaches are doing fine in there. I added 40ml of TSS+ to help it along. The hornworts are growing at an amazing pace! Moneyworts and anacharis aren't doing too bad either. The rest are growing slow as molasses.

I realized I want fish with personality and the corys have TONS of it. They are so much fun to watch now that they're settling in. While they were resting, the bigger ghost shrimps were bugging them.

I'm still skeptical that the tank is fully cycled so I'll be testing daily for the next few days at least. I still haven't done a water change yet. TSS+ recommends 2 weeks before a water change.


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DarkOne
Member
They're all doing great this morning

I broke up half an algae wafer and dropped it in the tank last night. The shrimp are jerks and tried to drag them to cover. Once the RRMs got wind of the snack, they all swarmed and the shrimp had to retreat. The cories took their turn and the 2 plecos eventually participated in the feast. Most of the RRMs are in food comas with full bellies.


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DarkOne
Member
I had to dig out my dslr to get better pics of these guys. They're quick!


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DarkOne
Member
Probably not the smartest thing I've done but I couldn't resist a sale at the LFS on GBRs. I'm pretty sure one is a female (the one colored up) but the other is questionable so far. It's been that dull color most of the time.


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The other one is definitely a Bolivian Ram. I've never returned a fish before but I had the temp set for GBRs and might be a bit too high for a Bolivian Ram. They didn't have any more GBRs so I went to another LFS and they did so I picked up a male. Don't mind the little plants. I'm doing an experiment with them (to see if they grow)


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I also lost a Ghost Shrimp. It's body was eaten by the other shrimp and only the shell of the head and antennas were left. Also, one of the RRMs died of unknown causes this morning. Water testing still shows 0, 0, <10. I wasn't really expecting them to last as long as they have already so I wasn't too surprised. The RRMs are starting to swim with the Cories which is kinda funny.
 
jmaldo
Member
Caught the Link in your profile from another build post, decided to take a look.
Nice start-up. Some good pics of the cories and rams.
 
OnTheFly
Member
Late to this thread but I will follow now. What's going on with the build currently? I cringed a little when I read you put GBRs in an unseasoned tank. That's usually a rough ride but you'll work through it.
 
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DarkOne
Member
I was a bit worried about my new tank too. The GBRs were getting harassed by my betta. I thought it would stop but it's been a day and I don't want to risk it so I just moved him to my 40g. He was trying to go after my RRMs but they're too quick. He's mellowed out now.

My GBRs are much happier too. At first, the female was going after the male but it looks like they're a pair now. They swim around everywhere together. I tested the water and it's 0, 0, <5 (ammonia, nitrites, nitrates). I moved a bunch of hornworts into the tank along with some anachrais. They seem to have no problems eating either. While the betta was in the tank, I fed them freeze dried bloodworms and brine shrimp and they both ate even while being chased by the betta. They remind me of my keyhole cichlids but with vibrant colors.

Shortly after I got my ghost shrimps, half of them started turning white. I read it was a bad sign and 1 died a few days later. I found the remains of another shrimp being eaten by the other shrimp a couple of days ago and another one today so I'm down to 8 shrimp but only 1 is white now.

1 RRM died of unknown reason. I looked closely at the dead body (was in the hornwort so not eaten or nipped at) and could not find any signs of anything wrong. Some of the RRMs have started joining the cories while they swim back and forth.

The 8 cories are doing great and a lot of fun to watch. They're getting used to me and not hiding when I show up.

The only thing left is to get a few more kuhlI loaches for the 20 gallon and a pair of EBAs for the 40 gallon from Lchi87 when they're ready.

Oh... I picked up a 10 gallon in case I need a QT.
 
OnTheFly
Member
A QT tank is important. For new fish of course, but the ability to move things around when you need to Med is sure handy when you have sensitive species such as kuhlis.
 
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DarkOne
Member
Aquarium hood purgatory!!!

So I had a hard time finding a decently priced hood for my 40 gallon breeder. I found a marineland one online so I jumped on it. Just under $50 shipped. The glass is 3/8" too short (front to back). I have it positioned so there's a 1mm gap in the back but it does the job for now. Then I see an Aqueon VersaTop 40b at PetCo for $35.

My 20 gallon is a Top Fin (PetSmart brand) tank and it came with a plastic cover. The problem with that is its made for a HOB and the feeding door is tiny. I ordered an Aqueon 20 gallon tall VersaTop (glass top) to replace it. The hinge strip and rear plastic cover both fit but the glass was too wide by 3/16" so I was going to cut it. While trying to take the glass off the hinge, one of the panels shattered. So I measured 5 times for the 20 gallon and 3 times for the 40 gallon to get some glass cut. Went to the glass place today and they want $31 for each panel!!! The whole top for the 20 gallon was $13. They didn't even have 3/16" glass for the 40g. Marineland makes one for the 20 gallon that should fit so I might just order one of those and pick up the Aqueon VersaTop at PetCo. I have a VersaTop for my new 10 gallon on order but that's an Aqueon tank so it should be perfect, right?

I have a Nicrew LED on the 40b and like the light a lot. I'll have to order a 24" version for the 20 gallon and pop the led strip off the hood from that and put it on the 10 gallon since it'll be a QT.

I'm pretty good at DIY and was thinking of getting some glass at HD or Lowes but I wouldn't save much and if I break it, it'll end up costing even more so just ordering them would be a better option unless I can find an old school glass shop that can cut glass for cheap.

Moral of the story? Not all hoods/glass tops are created equal. Measure your tank before ordering one.
 
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DarkOne
Member
I did a bit more research and there's acrylic and polycarbonate options. I think I might go with acrylic glass for the hood. There's a minimum price of $20 for each custom size and I can get 2 front lids for my 40 gallon and 5 pieces for my 20 gallon for $41. $40 if I get 1 40 gallon and 2 20 gallon pieces.

Got my fish food order today. I ordered food for fish I don't have yet.

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NightShade
Member
Yea, I was going to say, try acrylic! If you're handy, & have a dremmel, you can get acrylic cutting bits (others will tear it up, trust me LOL), and cut it yourself. I've even seen people use silicone to create a hinge (use two pieces of tape to tidy it up).

Also, totally following!! Can't believe I didn't see this before!!
 
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DarkOne
Member
It's cheaper to just get the pieces cut. The sheets are huge and expensive. I have the handle, hinges and rear strip from the broken VersaTop for the 20g.

I have one more order for the 10 gallon VersaTop (Aqueon 10 gallon tank) and more food .

I was getting a lot of brown algae in my 20 gallon that I thought was because of overfeeding. I cleaned the rocks and cut back on the feedings. Ihave been slowly replacing all the plastic plants to live plants that are growing in my 40g. I'm down to 3 plastic plants in my 20 gallon now. I think I spent bout $50 on plastic plants lol. A couple of nights ago I went to my LFS to see if they had any Otos and they did. I picked up 3 but 2 were really scrawny. The next day, I found one dead so I took him to the LFS and talking with the young lady there and explaining the 2nd one wasn't looking good either, she was willing to give me 2 but they only had 1 left. She said to come back later this week and they should have more Otos and will replace the scrawny one. I also mentioned that a little BN pleco died after a few days and she gave me another BN pleco. The scrawny Oto died last night but the other 2 are doing great. The BN pleco is also doing great (actually, awesome) and already made a huge dent in my brown algae issue.

Daily water tests for both tanks are coming back 0 ammonia and nitrites and <20 nitrates. Yesterday was 2 weeks since using TSS+ so I did a small 10% water change. I'll do a 25% this weekend.

I decided to work on my 10 gallon QT. I painted the back with the remaining acrylic paint and put 3 coats on it. I'm not sure if I want to put any gravel in it.

I'm down to 8 ghost shrimp and as they die, the other shrimp are eating the carcass, not the other fish. There are 2-3 that are white so I don't think they'll last more than a week or two from what I'm reading. The others are in great shape. The RRMs are eating everything and I'm afraid my other fish aren't getting enough food. I'll probably move a few to the 10 gallon to cycle it when its ready.
 
NightShade
Member
DarkOne said:
It's cheaper to just get the pieces cut. The sheets are huge and expensive. I have the handle, hinges and rear strip from the broken VersaTop for the 20g.

I have one more order for the 10 gallon VersaTop (Aqueon 10 gallon tank) and more food .
Yea, definitely have them cut it for the overall shape... I guess what I failed to mention (which was pictured in my head!), LOL, what I meant to say was to use the dremmel etc, for cutting out the spaces for filters, cords and such. I plan to do that for my 40B. (Same for my 7 gal cubes) Not sure if I'll have to order (custom - outline shape - rectangles) cut acrylic sheets or not. Lowes has acrylic, but I honestly don't remember if they have it thick enough. What thickness of acrylic are you going to go with? I haven't gotten that far with my decisions (and I can't remember the thickness most people recommended for a 10 or 20, which I used to. That's why I had looked. Hmm... actually, I do need to replace the one on my 20... I keep knocking it in the water. LOL, I want a tighter fit!)

I'm also going to order acrylic piano hinges ~ now that you mention hinges, I remembered my plan ~ I'd briefly forgotten that haven't had much sleep LOL! Sorry! I'd come to this conclusion (that I briefly forgot LOL) because I'm not sure how well the silicone hinge holds up... Mind you, I've researched the hinge idea, a decent bit a good while back, (got curious when I first saw it, and had to know how well it held up) and I never, ever, read about a problem, other than improper application, or not enough of the silicone. But... I'm thinking my hinge may take some abuse, so better safe than sorry!! Ya know? Plus, it'll probably look better!

LOL... I have a serious addiction when it comes to fulling my curious nature, and fulfilling my love of reading! :smug:
 
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DarkOne
Member
I have the rear plastic strip from the 20 gallon top so I can easily cut that. I have special scissors for cutting lexan that worked well on the strip on my 40g.

I'm going with 1/8" for the 20 gallon and 3/16" for the 40g. Those are the thicknesses of glass on each and what I need to use the hinges that come with them. I don't think silicone would stand up to constant bending. Piano hinges would probably rust. You can find a bunch of options for plastic hinges that would work.
 
NightShade
Member
Yea, thought the same about the silicone. Sorry, I wasn't talking about metal piano hinges... they make acrylic ones too. May go with regular hinges too though. Not sure yet.

I didn't get any sleep last night, and have a cold LOL... seem to be spacing out on you! Sorry!!

Although, I'd hope it wouldn't bow in the middle
 
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DarkOne
Member
Ah. But you have to use screws for those still, right? There are hinges that you can glue (or use double sided tape) or the typical ones that come with glass tops.

A couple of shots of whiskey (or NyQuil) and a nap does wonders! Hope you feel better soon!

I wanted to add some driftwood tonight so I did the water changes while I was at it.


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I was too lazy to plan it out and just plopped it in. I had to move my betta in there because he was chasing my GBRs and ripping his tail. The cories adopted him and now they swim together.

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My GBRs

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One of my otos just chillin'

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BN Pleco and black kuhlI loach

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You lookin' at me?!?!

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  • Thread Starter
DarkOne
Member
Just found out I'll have a couple of new residents in my 40 gallon tomorrow (yay!!!) so I wanted to take out the big piece of driftwood on the right. I wasn't a fan of that piece.


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jmaldo
Member
Impressive. What filters are you using. I like the input/return nozzle.
 
  • Thread Starter
DarkOne
Member
Fluval 206 in the 20g, Fluval 306 in the 40g.
 
jmaldo
Member
I'll need to see if I can find a nozzle like that to fit an Eheim or just get a piece of pvc tubing and warm up 1 end and flatten to that fanned out shape?. Thanks
 
  • Thread Starter
DarkOne
Member
I got the Fluval 306 used and the strainer and output nozzle were yellow from use or age so I bought new replacements.


(bought mine off Amazon for $13 but found this after :/)

I removed all the plastic plants out from the 20 gallon and have been replaced with live plants. These hornworts have grown exponentially since I got them. The anacharis are doing well too. I moved 4 of my nicest (and biggest) ghost shrimps from the 40 gallon to the 20 gallon and 3 RRMs into the 10 gallon to cycle it with TSS+. I also put 3 plastic plants in there for a bit of surface for BB to populate (as well as in the filter) since there's no substrate.
 
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DarkOne
Member
I had the pleasure of meeting Lchi87 tonight to pick up a pair of new residents for my 40g. They were individually bagged with a heat pack for the trip up from central NJ so when I picked them up, I put them in my jacket to keep them warm on the short drive home. The bottom seal on one of the bags let go and there was a very slow leak which made it look like I peed myself . I rushed in and got them in a container I use to drip-acclimate new fish. Luckily, only a teaspoon or two of water escaped.


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My betta was curious and flaring at them but that didn't last long as they mostly just ignored him.

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The ghost shrimp are scared of them but everyone else in the tank is oblivious of them. My cories are already swimming with them .

I picked up some frozen bloodworms and cichlid formula cubes this afternoon to go along with the HikarI Bio-Gold+ (and all the other foods) for their diet.
 
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DarkOne
Member
My cories rarely sleep together so I went to get my camera...

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The male EBA came out to see what was going on. He's a ham.

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  • Thread Starter
DarkOne
Member
I'm cycling my 10 gallon with 6 RRMs. I need to get them out of my 40 gallon because they're pigs and stealing all the food. I left 3 in the 40g.

It was supposed to be my quarantine tank but now I'm thinking of what I could put in there. I'll probably have to move my betta in there in the near future though. I'm also thinking of using pool filter sand as a substrate. My java moss is a mess so I put it in a cup at the bottom for now. I also put a few strands of hornwort that has overgrown my other 2 tanks. The light is a Nicrew LED for my 20 gallon but I'm still waiting for the replacement panels for the glass hood so I threw it on the 10 gallon to take a pic.


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I'm also gonna need help naming my fish. I've never named a pet fish before. Never even thought to until I came to this site.

2 GBRs
2 kuhlI loaches (soon to add 3-4 more)
3 Otos
3 BN Plecos
2 EBAs
8 Corydoras (probably not)
Betta
9 Rosy Red Minnows (EBA Food?)
6-8 ghost shrimp (and dwindling

I'll probably pick up another 10 gallon for a real QT.
 
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DarkOne
Member
I added some Quikrete play sand in the 10g. I would not recommend it. I had to move my betta to the 10 gallon a few nights ago because he was still harassing my male EBA and didn't do well in the exchange.


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I have an outbreak of ich in my 20 gallon and 40 gallon so I raised the temps on both tanks and added an air stone to each. All my fish seem to be doing better at the higher temps.
 
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DarkOne
Member
I took some pics tonight.

My 10 gallon with play sand. I'm not a fan of it. The grains range in less than a mm to 3-4mm. Even after washing it, there's a lot of fine dust particles that cover everything.

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Hornwort everywhere! I just ordered some more anubias and amazon swords.

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My GBRs. The female has much better color than my male.
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My BN plecos like broccolI stalks

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I think I'm gonna name my betta Biff. He's like a bully but not very good at it .

That's about as far as I got
 
jmaldo
Member
DarkOne Similar issue with the play sand. I rinsed and rinsed and then rinsed some more. I was very careful when adding water. But still had the dust. Even after a few water changes it was better, but needed to plant again had the dust. Finally, ended up capping with black sand. Good Luck.

By the way, Nice Pics.
 
  • Thread Starter
DarkOne
Member
I got my order from Wetgreenthings on ebay. I ordered 2 bunches of amazon swords and 2 potted anubias barteri. They have a buy 2 get 1 free deal so I got 3 of each. I pulled out a ton of hornwort. They've been starting to turn brown on the lower parts and trimming them every 3 days got annoying. I still left some in but I have a half a 5 gallon bucket full of what I pulled out . I'm still learning about plants but I think I'm gonna have to get some tabs for the Amazon swords.


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I didn't take the anubias out of the pots yet. Spirit (my dog) was giving me the stink eye because he wanted to go for a walk.

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Still a work in progress. I flipped the terra cotta saucer over but my EBAs decided to make a crater right behind it. Now they're tugging at the Swords. They've also been chasing my cories away from that corner (just under the filter output) and the female is also getting into the mood. Definitely no ghost shrimps left in the 40g. I think there's 3 left in the 20g.
 
  • Thread Starter
DarkOne
Member
It begins....


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A little privacy please?

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