Bubblegum's 40b Community Tank Build

bubblegum-heart

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Hi ya’ll, bubblegum-heart here, aka Marie, here with my first community tank build! Woot! I am so excited, I cannot wait to get this thing “officially” started – since right now I only have a few things. But, for the most part, I have everything else picked/planned out. So, without further ado, let’s get started! (Also, because I'm one of the few people that doesn't use the app, I have links for everything!)

TANK 40 gallon breeder

STOCK 3 Pearl Gouramis (1:2 male to female ratio) | 14 Penguin Tetras | 1 BN Pleco | ? </= 8 Nerite Snails -- I already have a thread dedicated to stocking for this tank, you can find it here, or you can chime in below!

FOOD Omega One Shrimp Pellets, Freshwater Flakes, Veggie Rounds, and either Blood worms or Brine Shrimp (both will be freeze dried) | Zucchini | Other veggies...? (Recommendations welcome!)

FOOD ACCESSORIES
Veggie Clip | Bamboo Skewers

FILTER | (I'll be using cylinder air stones, which I already have) - with Seachem Denitrate

LIGHTING Beamswork LED Light

HOOD Zilla Fresh Air Screen Cover -- I went with this because it’s cheaper than getting a glass hood, and I think the Pearl Gouramis would benefit more from this than a glass hood (because of their labyrinth organs)


SUBSTRATE
Sand -- we'll be making a Lowe's run later this week to get some black sand; it'll probably be blasting sand, unless they have pool filter sand


CONDITIONERS/FERTILIZERS
Seachem Prime, Stability, Paragurad, Flourish Root Tabs, and Flourish Excel | NilocG Aquatics Thrive | gH Booster* | Methylene Blue (just to be safe) HIKARI Betta Revive


HEATER
Aqueon Pro Heater 150W

PLANTS Hairgrass | Micro Swords | Amazon Swords | Water Sprite | Banana Plant (?) | Dwarf Onion Plant | Java Fern | Java Moss | Moss balls | Anubias (?)

OTHER DÉCOR Spiderwood | Driftwood | Some rocks of various sizes | cave for the pleco | Maybe for smaller fish | Maybe | Actually, cave

So, that's the list of things I'll be getting for this build. While I was typing this my mom, whom I'm working on the tank with, ordered the filter, air pump, heater, bubble wall, and python. Later this week we'll be going out to Lowe's to get the sand for the substrate. My hope is that I can have the cycling process started by next week!

I already have Prime, Stability, Dr. Tim's Ammonia Chloride, a thermometer, and the API Freshwater Master Test Kit. The water out of my tap has a pH of at least 8.8, 0.25 ppm Ammonia, no nitrites, and my Nitrates sits somewhere between 20 and 40 ppm. So, we'll also be getting some RO/DI water too.

Lastly, here's a pic of the tank on it's stand. The table is VERY sturdy, I have minimal worries about it not being able to hold the weight. I'm still working on the design plan in GIMP, so whenever I get that finished I'll share it with you all!
(the tank is no longer on this)

*The nitrates coming out of my tap water are EXTREMELY high. One of the ways I’ll be combating this is using partial RO/DI water, and, according to the NilocG website, I’d need the gH booster.
 
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bubblegum-heart

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I think it's going to be fine, might be wrong.
I hope so!

While I was at Sprouts last night with my parents we grabbed some nitrate free water - you know, the RO/DI stuff. Of course, because it was Sprouts, it was 99 cents a gallon. Partly because of that, and partly because we didn't want to carry 20 gallons of water to the car, we only grabbed three gallons. I wanna stock up on as much RO/DI water as I can, mostly for future water changes, so that was another reason for the three gallons. (The final reason is we grabbed a smaller cart because we weren't planning on getting a lot.) I also checked out there veggies... They didn't have regular zucchini, but it was some other kind, but I can't remember what it was off the top of my head.

So, I've been going over my stock list and double checking the preferred temps for all of the fish I have on the list. The penguin tetras are fine with the BN pleco, but I'm a little worried about the pearl gouramis. Should I start looking at something else or will they be fine at the extreme end for both of them? (77 degrees Farhenheit.)

And, of course, this happens right has I'm starting to really fall in love with pearl gouramis... *sigh*
 

DioAquatics

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Following along Looking foward to watching this tank progress. As for the Pearl Gourami, I think they should be fine with your other fish at 77F. Temp range for them is about 75-86.
 
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bubblegum-heart

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Following along Looking foward to watching this tank progress. As for the Pearl Gourami, I think they should be fine with your other fish at 77F. Temp range for them is about 75-86.
Thanks! Yeah, I am too! Okay, awesome. I'll probably keep the tank between 75-77 degrees. I only mentioned it because I saw somewhere that preferred temps of at least 77, so I started freaking out... but if they take a little lower that should work too!

Also, guys, the python arrived today! :joyful: I swear, I just sat in the living chair and held it for like half an hour. No more filling or emptying tanks by bucket! YASSSSS! I'm so excited! All I need is the sand and filter and I can finally fill this thing up!

EDIT So, I decided I should add one of those air driven bio-sponge filters to this tank - and then I'll be grabbing one for the QT and my betta tank as well. All three will just be a secondary filter, or the main filter and the sponge filter can be the secondary one. My question now is would I have to get special bio pellets that eliminate nitrates or would the pellets that come with the filter be enough?
 
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bubblegum-heart

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Today my dad and I walked down to the creek so I could pick up some rocks. I have some small bags of rocks I picked up at Dollar Tree, so I wanted something bigger. Later this week I'll be soaking them in a vinegar + water mixture for a day, and then soak in water for a few days. Take them out, let them dry, and then soak for yet another day.

I did it! I finished drawing up a rough aquascape for this tank!


Keep in mind that this is a rough visual. I plan on having way more plants and I didn't want to draw all of them... especially since I'm not very good at it! I may replace the hairgrass with narrow swords, or I'll put them someplace else.

The cave that's in front of the hairgrass I'll be making out of all of the rocks that I have. I plan on trying to dig out some of the sand that'll be under it so that's it nice and deep. We may use this as the cave for the pleco instead of buying one, it just depends on how it holds up. If we do that, then the driftwood will go where the other cave is - the one that's in front of the bubble wall. If not... I'm not too sure where the driftwood will go. I'm still thinking about that. XD
 

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The reason why people say to use vinegar is to test if it will change your pH, gh, or kh. Soaking the rocks in the vingear for one day will probably waste some time. All you do is put a drop of vinegar on to the rocks. If it fizzes, it will change the parameters. If it doesn't fizz, it won't change the parameters of the water.

Then, you boil the rocks, or soak it in bleach to kill off the organisms living in the rock.
 
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bubblegum-heart

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The reason why people say to use vinegar is to test if it will change your pH, gh, or kh. Soaking the rocks in the vingear for one day will probably waste some time. All you do is put a drop of vinegar on to the rocks. If it fizzes, it will change the parameters. If it doesn't fizz, it won't change the parameters of the water.

Then, you boil the rocks, or soak it in bleach to kill off the organisms living in the rock.
After I posted I started doing some research on cleaning rocks and then I realized it would be a waste of time. I read that boiling rocks can cause them to explode, so I was just going to scrub with with a new toothbrush (using really hot or boiled water). Though I could probably do a bleach + water mixture as well, just to be safe. As I don't have bleach or vinegar right now, the only thing I can do for now is clean the rocks with boiling water... and I don't want to clean rocks that I can't use. This weekend when we go out grocery shopping I'll make sure we grab some bleach and vinegar though. Just three more days...
 

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Are the rocks porous? If not, you can just pour boiled water over the rocks in a 5 gallon bucket and let it soak overnight, that's what I do
 
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bubblegum-heart

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Some of them are, I think. Right now all of the rocks that we've collected from outside are in a one gallon bucket soaking. Tomorrow morning I'll dump the water out and really look them over, and then I'll do what you suggested with the non-porous rocks.
 
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bubblegum-heart

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@AngelTheGypsy That's what I plan on doing after the vinegar test. Then I'll scrub them with water and some bleach, soak in water, dry out, and then soak again just to be safe.
 

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If you use bleach I would soak them in water overdosed with prime a couple times. Soak, dump water and soak one more time. That way you're sure to get rid of all the chlorine.
 
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bubblegum-heart

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Right! Yeah, I read somewhere that you need to soak them in dechlorinated at one point, I guess it just slipped my mind in all of the excitement of getting the tank put together. Thanks for reminding me!

Though, I am impatient, so tomorrow I may start scrubbing them with warm or boiled water anyway, even if I haven't done the vinegar test. It's bath day for my dog, Harry, tomorrow, so why not clean the rocks while I'm at it? (Well, I'm hoping that I'll get around to give him a bath.)

My dad is getting a shot in his eye tomorrow, so I may not be on much until late. He's got cataracts, and after the shot will need some help getting around since he still won't be able to see for several hours. (When he had the first one last week he had trouble seeing for the rest of the night and a little bit in the morning.) Hopefully, I'll get to Harry's bath tomorrow morning and scrubbing the rocks while he's at the doctor's office. If not, then Friday hopefully he'll be able to see a little better, and then both Harry and the rocks will get a much needed bath.
 
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