Gudgie's 20 gallon long build

Gudgie

I'm finally close to getting our 20 gallon long aquarium up and running, so it's time to start a build thread! It's been in the works for 6+ months, but kept getting pushed back due to basement renovations. Now that the basement is done, my husband is back to working on the stand. I think it just needs to be primed and painted, so hopefully it'll be done this week!

Originally planned on making the tank a peacock gudgeon biotope, but I've relaxed that a bit. Still going to have the gudgeons and Pseudomugil rainbows, but planning a more general nature aquarium rather than strict biotope.

Equipment and decor:
  • 20 gallon long aquarium
  • Custom stand
  • Fluval 306 canister
  • heater TBD
  • 30" Nicrew Classic Plus light
  • Black plasti-dip background
  • Manzanita driftwood
  • Stones (either dragon stone or something else inert; possibly a bit of leftover Seiryu too)
  • organic potting mix capped with either Fluorite black or HTH pool filter sand
  • FZone pro dual stage regulator hooked up to a 20 lb CO2 tank (shared w/ our 75 gallon tank)
  • Rex Grigg-style CO2 reactor

Plant list thus far:
  • Trident java fern
  • Crypt balansae
  • Crypt wendtii
  • Silver powder buce
  • Monte carlo
  • a bit of Salvinia minima
  • others I'm still considering (don't already have plus haven't ordered yet):
    • Hydrocotyle tripartita
    • mini narrow Java fern or another variety that stays a similar size
    • other buce?

Planned fish & inverts thus far:

Details I'm still debating:
I can't decide whether to cap the soil with Fluorite black or pool filter sand. I keep going back on forth on lighter sand versus black. I often tend to gravitate towards lighter sand, like in our 75; black substrate often just seems to darken the tank too much. But since I'm planning on bright light and lots of plants, the black could look good; I do like how black looks in my Spec V, and the 20 long is similarly shallow...

I still need to find or buy some rocks ASAP so that I can work on my hardscape. All I have is a bit of leftover seiryu from when I set up my Spec. For the rest of the stone, I think it would be better to have something inert.

Attached a handful of photos I've been looking at for inspiration - I'll be happy if the tank ends up looking half as good as those.

Edit: to be clear, these pics are not of my own tanks. Just ones I've found online that I'd love to one day replicate.
 

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LHAquatics

WOW! you need to teach me your skills. This is amazing! Good luck
 

Gudgie

WOW! you need to teach me your skills. This is amazing! Good luck
Oh, NONE of those are my tanks - those are just ones I've found online to use as inspiration. I'm still waiting to see if my own tank becomes a pinterest fail
 

LHAquatics

lol, good luck
 

jmaldo

Will be

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Good Luck!
 

Basil

I’ll be watching also!
I’m thinking about doing soil capped with HTH in the 40 to 75 upgrade. I wouldn’t be doing CO2 but just hoping the soil will let me grow stem plants that have thus far alluded all of my growing efforts!
 

Spudsssy

Good luck!! I'll be watching (in a creepy way)

I also collect photos when doing new tanks and my tank never ends up like them haha... I get a bit ambitious some times. Have fun with it!!!
 

Gudgie

Primed the stand earlier this week, and got the first coat of paint on earlier tonight. Should get the second coat on in an hour! Then just a poly coat on the inside tomorrow for some waterproofing. The only exterior part not primed/painted is the door because it still needs some sanding first, but that's not stopping the tank from being set up.

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In case anyone is wondering why there's a hole in the bottom of the stand - we had to cut that so that our 20 lb CO2 tank would fit once the regulator was attached to it. Oops! Still, happy we opted for a 20lb tank since we're running it to both this tank and our 75 gal.

I also started playing around with some rock and driftwood layouts in the tank earlier this week. Became clear that I didn't have nearly enough rock!

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After that, went and pulled several rocks out of the backyard to try. Used nitrate test bottle #1 to check for whether they're aquarium safe; you can see one definitely isn't, as it fizzed immediately. They're still sitting outside our back door - hopefully will clean them up tomorrow so that I can start testing layouts.

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Ordered some HTH pool filter sand from Ace, which I'll hopefully pick up tomorrow morning.

I had a shipment of trident java fern and silver powder buce that was supposed to arrive yesterday, but of course USPS was somehow delayed. Fingers crossed that the plants are still alive whenever they make it - I hope by Monday, but tracking hasn't updated yet.

Tomorrow I'll hopefully pick up the sand, spray the back of the tank with plasti-dip, clean the rocks, and then start testing official layouts! That might be a bit too optimistic, but that's the goal at least!
 

Basil

I love the branch! Where did you get it? It’s exactly what I’m looking for to put in my 29 g.
 

AcornTheBetta

Primed the stand earlier this week, and got the first coat of paint on earlier tonight. Should get the second coat on in an hour! Then just a poly coat on the inside tomorrow for some waterproofing. The only exterior part not primed/painted is the door because it still needs some sanding first, but that's not stopping the tank from being set up.

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In case anyone is wondering why there's a hole in the bottom of the stand - we had to cut that so that our 20 lb CO2 tank would fit once the regulator was attached to it. Oops! Still, happy we opted for a 20lb tank since we're running it to both this tank and our 75 gal.

I also started playing around with some rock and driftwood layouts in the tank earlier this week. Became clear that I didn't have nearly enough rock!

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After that, went and pulled several rocks out of the backyard to try. Used nitrate test bottle #1 to check for whether they're aquarium safe; you can see one definitely isn't, as it fizzed immediately. They're still sitting outside our back door - hopefully will clean them up tomorrow so that I can start testing layouts.

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Ordered some HTH pool filter sand from Ace, which I'll hopefully pick up tomorrow morning.

I had a shipment of trident java fern and silver powder buce that was supposed to arrive yesterday, but of course USPS was somehow delayed. Fingers crossed that the plants are still alive whenever they make it - I hope by Monday, but tracking hasn't updated yet.

Tomorrow I'll hopefully pick up the sand, spray the back of the tank with plasti-dip, clean the rocks, and then start testing official layouts! That might be a bit too optimistic, but that's the goal at least!
Amazing hardscape layout! Looks a lot like on of Fishproblem's tanks! Also, how'd you make the stand?
 

Gudgie

I love the branch! Where did you get it? It’s exactly what I’m looking for to put in my 29 g.
I bought three 22-25” manzanita branches from Manzanita-Driftwood.com - Stunning Aquarium Driftwood, Stones, & Fish. I’ll probably only end up using two, but it was B2G1. My tank pictures had two placed together. The third may end up in the 75 if I can find a good layout. Or I may break it apart to add small extra branches into the 20. I picked out the ones I wanted - definitely happy with them! And they shipped quickly!

Amazing hardscape layout! Looks a lot like on of Fishproblem's tanks! Also, how'd you make the stand?
The frame was mostly 2x4s, and then skinned with plywood. Plus some baseboard/moulding around the top and bottom - my husband made it to match the one he built for our 75. I’m sure it’s a bit over-engineered (lol), but at least not so much as the 75 stand was.
 

Gudgie

Painting the background was successful! Actually went smoother than I expected.

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The stand needs another 1-2 final coats of poly tomorrow (hopefully), but then it should be done.

In the meantime, I started playing around with the hardscape. I sketched out a tentative layout a while ago, and I somewhat tried to stick with that. Here’s the initial sketch, plus the actual hardscape thus far.

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Any suggestions on changing the hardscape? I’m not fully happy with it yet, but not sure what I want to change. The only thing is I may cut off about 3 inches of the manzanita stem that’s on the upper left of the tank, so it’s not sticking out so obviously. Maybe then shift everything left slightly? Branches too busy? (I’ve clearly reached the point of staring at this for too long, haha)
Edit: thinking maybe one more medium sized rock on the upper left under the manzanita stem, to fill in that gap...

I also attempted to sketch in some plants on top of the image. Not perfect, but it’s a start...

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Gudgie

My package of trident java fern and silver powder buce arrived today - looks to be in good shape! Whew! I should also receive an order from Marcus Fishtanks later this week with some narrow leaf java fern, crypts, buce, and Hydrocotyle tripartita. ALL THE PLANTS!! (Not really...but I think this is the most I’ve ever gotten at one time.)

The stand is also done, other than the door. It’ll be dry enough tomorrow that I can put the tank in place. Getting excited!

Spent way too long playing with hardscape again tonight. Below is the latest iteration, which I think I like more. Kindly ignore the suuuuper dirty glass. Hard to know the final effect until it’s planted though...

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Assuming I’m still satisfied by the hardscape tomorrow, I think I’ll stuff some poly-fil in some of the bigger gaps in the rock mountain, then fill in/around everything with some soil. Then capping it all off with PFS. I originally was going to remove everything and put a layer of soil in the empty tank...but that may be more hassle than it’s worth.

I could even do some initial planting and flooding tomorrow if all goes well!

Edit: Forgot to mention, the filter and CO2 is also nearly ready to go too! We got a free, used Fluval 306 awhile ago. Finally tested it (it works!), though we needed to replace the rubber gasket and aqua-stop to avoid leaks. We’ve already built and tested a Grigg’s reactor for the CO2, so that’ll get spliced into the filter outlet tubing tomorrow. I may give the filter housing/tubes one final scrub before that, because they looked pretty gnarly when we got them. Once it’s time to power on the filter, I’ll move a bunch of cycled filter media over from our 75 filters to this canister and we’ll be good to go!
 

Basil

I like that scape! Cant wait to see it finished! Well, as finished as any tank is lol!
 

Gudgie

I like that scape! Cant wait to see it finished! Well, as finished as any tank is lol!
Agreed...I don’t know if they’re ever truly finished.

Not a whole lot to update from yesterday. The stand is in place with the tank atop it, so I’m excited about that! Didn’t end up doing anything further with the substrate or hardscape yet.

I did spend yesterday scrubbing and bleaching filter parts, then very thoroughly rinsing everything and soaking in prime. I should have taken before and after pics, especially of the intake tube. It was absolutely COVERED in dried algae. As in, I didn’t even realize the tube was clear until I managed to scrape it all off with a razor! Thankfully, that’s all ready to go now!

We need to pick up a couple screws for the regulator before the CO2 is ready to go again. My husband disassembled one of the manifolds yesterday and managed to shear a couple of screws...d’oh! Thankfully once we get the new screws today, it’ll be good to go again!

The rest of my plants arrive on Friday. So I’m trying to tell myself to be patient and wait to do any planting/flooding until then, so I can do it all at once. Hard to be patient though!

I still need to order the Nicrew light, but it’s been out of stock lately. Hopefully it’ll be back in stock soon. In the meantime, I have an old 36” light that I can make do with if needed.
Edit: apparently the light is now back in stock, but they’ve “updated” the model. The control switch is entirely different, and reviews don’t seem nearly as good. So now I’m debating whether to get this or go for an alternative...
 

Gudgie

Hardscape and substrate are done (for now)! I of course did end up removing all the hardscape to add some substrate underneath, and then it took me forever to rearrange everything again.

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My plants from MarcusFishTanks and my Nicrew light arrive tomorrow. Once they’re here, I can finally plant and then flood the tank! And then see how many tweaks I end up making.

I’ll also be moving the established filter media over from the 75 at that time.

Only a day to go!
 

Gudgie

It finally all came together! Now for the plants to settle in. I'm sure I'll still tweak the plant arrangement a bit and add more Hydrocotyle once I figure out how to cut the mat apart, but overall I'm quite happy with it.


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The three Crypt balansae in the back left are rather small at the moment...hopefully they'll take off in this tank like the one in my Spec V has. I moved these from my 75 gallon where they clearly weren't flourishing (the one in my Spev V is from the same pot as these).

Final plant stocking list that made it into the tank (so I don't forget):
  • Crypt balansae
  • Crypt wendtii
  • Trident java fern
  • Hydrocotyle tripartita
  • Monte carlo
  • Silver powder buce
  • Mini velvet buce? (this is a guess, as I ordered two mystery buces from MarcusFishTanks. But based on his website's photos, to my untrained eye mini velvet is the most likely).
  • Salvinia minima
I also ordered two narrow leaf java ferns, but they looked too tall in this tank. So they've been relocated to the 75 for now.
 

SouthAmericanCichlids

Good luck. I'm following.
 

Gudgie

Aquarium parameters look good!

pH - 7.4
Ammonia - 0 ppm
Nitrite - 0 ppm
Nitrate - 10 ppm
temp - 74F (will likely increase to ~76F once I move the heater in)

Just turned up the Co2 flow, since the drop checker is firmly in the blue color range. New regulator, and the flow to this manifold apparently dropped when it turned on today compared to yesterday. Hopefully just a matter of dialing in the settings and won't be a recurring issue...

Moved over two of my young gudgeons thus far, and hopefully will move the rest today/tomorrow.
 

Gudgie

The aquarium is still looking good! Did a 50% water change to be safe in case the soil is leaching anything, though parameters were still great!

The driftwood isn't fully waterlogged yet, so of course it and the rocks weighing it down had shifted a bit. Plus I bumped it when adding a prefilter sponge to the filter. Ended up spending some time getting everything back into position...guessing it'll be an ongoing problem until the wood stops trying to float.


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Also ended up adding the narrow leaf java fern after all, as well as some young Anubias nana that I split off of plants in my 10 gal fry tank.

Lastly, I moved over the rest of my young gudgeons (~1 year old). For the first time, I noticed that some of the girls are starting to get plump yellow bellies! And one of them is definitely male! I may just end up keeping them all, unless someone local wants a couple females.

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StarGirl

Wow that looks great! Definitely NOT a "nailed it" at all.
 

Gudgie

Wow that looks great! Definitely NOT a "nailed it" at all.
Hah thanks! This has got to be the most time I’ve ever spent arranging a tank. :hilarious:

Fingers crossed all the plants do well
 

Gudgie

There are now six young Gertrude's rainbowfish from Demeter - they joined the tank yesterday. I've yet to succeed at getting a non-blurry photo of them, but they seem to be settling in. My two young super red BN plecos are also in this tank until they get a bit larger. They don't seem to mind being out and about - much less shy than my adult BN in the 75 gallon!

The only inhabitants left to move in are my older pair of gudgeons and possibly a few more rainbowfish at some point. The older gudgeons seem like they may breed soon; I'm hoping they do, since moving them to the 20 gallon right afterwards would be convenient timing.

Unsurprisingly the driftwood now has lots of white slime/fuzz, but hopefully that'll go away soon. Parameters all continue to look good, no nitrites or ammonia here!
 

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AcornTheBetta

There are now six young Gertrude's rainbowfish from Demeter - they joined the tank yesterday. I've yet to succeed at getting a non-blurry photo of them, but they seem to be settling in. My two young super red BN plecos are also in this tank until they get a bit larger. They don't seem to mind being out and about - much less shy than my adult BN in the 75 gallon!

The only inhabitants left to move in are my older pair of gudgeons and possibly a few more rainbowfish at some point. The older gudgeons seem like they may breed soon; I'm hoping they do, since moving them to the 20 gallon right afterwards would be convenient timing.

Unsurprisingly the driftwood now has lots of white slime/fuzz, but hopefully that'll go away soon. Parameters all continue to look good, no nitrites or ammonia here!
Those BNs are so cute!
 

DogsOfWars

I'm finally close to getting our 20 gallon long aquarium up and running, so it's time to start a build thread! It's been in the works for 6+ months, but kept getting pushed back due to basement renovations. Now that the basement is done, my husband is back to working on the stand. I think it just needs to be primed and painted, so hopefully it'll be done this week!

Originally planned on making the tank a peacock gudgeon biotope, but I've relaxed that a bit. Still going to have the gudgeons and Pseudomugil rainbows, but planning a more general nature aquarium rather than strict biotope.

Equipment and decor:
  • 20 gallon long aquarium
  • Custom stand
  • Fluval 306 canister
  • heater TBD
  • 30" Nicrew Classic Plus light
  • Black plasti-dip background
  • Manzanita driftwood
  • Stones (either dragon stone or something else inert; possibly a bit of leftover Seiryu too)
  • organic potting mix capped with either Fluorite black or HTH pool filter sand
  • FZone pro dual stage regulator hooked up to a 20 lb CO2 tank (shared w/ our 75 gallon tank)
  • Rex Grigg-style CO2 reactor

Plant list thus far:
  • Trident java fern
  • Crypt balansae
  • Crypt wendtii
  • Silver powder buce
  • Monte carlo
  • a bit of Salvinia minima
  • others I'm still considering (don't already have plus haven't ordered yet):
    • Hydrocotyle tripartita
    • mini narrow Java fern or another variety that stays a similar size
    • other buce?

Planned fish & inverts thus far:
  • Peacock gudgeons (likely 2M:4F)
  • Gertrude's rainbowfish
  • Bamboo shrimp
  • Nerite snail(s)

Details I'm still debating:
I can't decide whether to cap the soil with Fluorite black or pool filter sand. I keep going back on forth on lighter sand versus black. I often tend to gravitate towards lighter sand, like in our 75; black substrate often just seems to darken the tank too much. But since I'm planning on bright light and lots of plants, the black could look good; I do like how black looks in my Spec V, and the 20 long is similarly shallow...

I still need to find or buy some rocks ASAP so that I can work on my hardscape. All I have is a bit of leftover seiryu from when I set up my Spec. For the rest of the stone, I think it would be better to have something inert.

Attached a handful of photos I've been looking at for inspiration - I'll be happy if the tank ends up looking half as good as those.

Edit: to be clear, these pics are not of my own tanks. Just ones I've found online that I'd love to one day replicate.

All pictures look great !!!
 

Pwilly07

I love your tank and I'm so happy they like their new home! They pop in your aquascape so kudos to you!!
 

Gudgie


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My older female gudgeon has been moved into the 20 long with her offspring. Unfortunately I lost Glutton, my adult male, before I was able to transfer him. While I'm sad to lose him, I'm not too surprised since he'd been looking a bit off lately. Guessing old age related - no changes in the tank to explain any issues.

The BNs are going through a bit of a growth spurt. While still small, they're noticeably larger than when they first arrived (one in particular).

Also added a handful of orchid endlers from Passionfish. Absolutely gorgeous class N endlers! Originally they were going into the 75 gallon, but decided to move them to the 20 gal for breeding. Plus this way they won't interbreed with the other endlers of unknown origin in that tank. As any future offspring grow, they'll mostly get moved over to the 75 gallon along with the couple of excess males I have.

Swapped out the prefilter sponge to a finer one to ensure any potential fry don't get sucked up the filter. I'd be happy if any/all of the species in this tank decide to start breeding.
 

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Pfrozen

I remember when you first posted this thread, you definitely replicated those pictures! Sorry about your male peacock
 

LHAquatics


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My older female gudgeon has been moved into the 20 long with her offspring. Unfortunately I lost Glutton, my adult male, before I was able to transfer him. While I'm sad to lose him, I'm not too surprised since he'd been looking a bit off lately. Guessing old age related - no changes in the tank to explain any issues.

The BNs are going through a bit of a growth spurt. While still small, they're noticeably larger than when they first arrived (one in particular).

Also added a handful of orchid endlers from Passionfish. Absolutely gorgeous class N endlers! Originally they were going into the 75 gallon, but decided to move them to the 20 gal for breeding. Plus this way they won't interbreed with the other endlers of unknown origin in that tank. As any future offspring grow, they'll mostly get moved over to the 75 gallon along with the couple of excess males I have.

Swapped out the prefilter sponge to a finer one to ensure any potential fry don't get sucked up the filter. I'd be happy if any/all of the species in this tank decide to start breeding.
like I said, you're amazing
 

Gudgie

I can't believe this tank is less than four months old. It feels like it's been much longer, but I suppose that's because it was on hold for months while we redid our basement.

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The plants have become a jungle, and I'm battling some algae that likely came in on the filter. I'm certainly overdue for some maintenance...perhaps tomorrow.

All the fish have continued to do well. I still have two super red plecos growing out, but I think I'll move at least one over to the 75 gallon soon. They're a little less than three inches and no obvious bristles yet, so I may end up with two females. Time will tell!

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The gudgeons are doing well, though I believe I lost the older mother. I haven't seen her in awhile, though it's always possible she's hiding. The young male and 5 sisters are frequently out and about, especially when they know food is on the way. The male is is developing his nuchal hump, and the ladies are colored up beautifully.

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Last but not least, I have two more young males in QT that will eventually go into this tank. It's only been a week, so it'll be at least another 1-2 weeks before I'll consider adding them. But so far so good! Hopefully having three males in the 20L will end up alright, but worst case I'll end up moving or rehoming one of them.

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BigManAquatics

Was just about to ask how the gudgie clan was doing! I currently have a tank with at least 20 gudgie fry, almost 2 months old....and my original 7 adults
 

Gudgie

Finally did a clean up on the plants, especially the crazy Hydrocotyle tripartita. Not perfect, but I think it's much better than it was. Just need to get rid of the BBA, which'll be a loooooong process. Endlers have been moved back to my 75 gal, as they were never part of the original 20 gal plan; I'm happier giving the gudgies and rainbows some more breathing room (not that there was ever drama). I've also added a new bamboo shrimp.

Here are some updated pics, though none of the shrimp yet since it excels at hiding.

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Was just about to ask how the gudgie clan was doing! I currently have a tank with at least 20 gudgie fry, almost 2 months old....and my original 7 adults
Exciting to hear the fry are doing well! They're the only fish I've raised, but they seem to take FOREVER to grow out. I can't wait to add the two new males into my clan in a week or two. :)
 

BigManAquatics

Finally did a clean up on the plants, especially the crazy Hydrocotyle tripartita. Not perfect, but I think it's much better than it was. Just need to get rid of the BBA, which'll be a loooooong process. Endlers have been moved back to my 75 gal, as they were never part of the original 20 gal plan; I'm happier giving the gudgies and rainbows some more breathing room (not that there was ever drama). I've also added a new bamboo shrimp.

Here are some updated pics, though none of the shrimp yet since it excels at hiding.

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Exciting to hear the fry are doing well! They're the only fish I've raised, but they seem to take FOREVER to grow out. I can't wait to add the two new males into my clan in a week or two. :)
Yeah, notoriously slow geowing, why they usually as pricey as they are!
 

Gudgie

Wow, I'm a huuuuuuge klutz. But thankfully managed to avoid major disaster...

Did a small water change on the 20 gallon, mostly so I could get accumulated poop from a couple of corners. Rather than use the large python per usual, I used a smaller/narrow siphon so that I could fit it into the corners of the tank, and just drained into a bucket. Sounds like a normal boring water change, right? Well, the siphoning stage went fine...and I'm thankful I only removed 2-3 gallons.

As soon as I finished, I tried to carry the siphon over to the sink 10 feet away to clean out gunk from it. In the process, I somehow managed to 1) trip on the bucket and knock it over, spilling water all over the floor, and 2) completely lose my balance and fall into my 10 gallon QT tank that is right next to the 20 gal. *Thankfully* the 10 gallon only slid ~ 6 inches, and didn't crack or fall off the stand! But yikes!

Mopped up all the water - I'm glad we have hard floors now instead of carpet. Now we're running the dehumidifier, since of course the water spilled right next to the baseboard and we really don't want to risk moisture/mildew (part of why we just redid our basement).

Just another day in the life of an aquarist?

edit: Honestly I was laughing at myself (and shaking my head) immediately after the water spilled. I'm still not sure how I managed to pull this one off. :D
 

BigManAquatics

Wow, I'm a huuuuuuge klutz. But thankfully managed to avoid major disaster...

Did a small water change on the 20 gallon, mostly so I could get accumulated poop from a couple of corners. Rather than use the large python per usual, I used a smaller/narrow siphon so that I could fit it into the corners of the tank, and just drained into a bucket. Sounds like a normal boring water change, right? Well, the siphoning stage went fine...and I'm thankful I only removed 2-3 gallons.

As soon as I finished, I tried to carry the siphon over to the sink 10 feet away to clean out gunk from it. In the process, I somehow managed to 1) trip on the bucket and knock it over, spilling water all over the floor, and 2) completely lose my balance and fall into my 10 gallon QT tank that is right next to the 20 gal. *Thankfully* the 10 gallon only slid ~ 6 inches, and didn't crack or fall off the stand! But yikes!

Mopped up all the water - I'm glad we have hard floors now instead of carpet. Now we're running the dehumidifier, since of course the water spilled right next to the baseboard and we really don't want to risk moisture/mildew (part of why we just redid our basement).

Just another day in the life of an aquarist?

edit: Honestly I was laughing at myself (and shaking my head) immediately after the water spilled. I'm still not sure how I managed to pull this one off. :D
I trip almost every water change. The cats all think the best time to rub on my ankles is when i am walking with a full 5 gallon bucket.
 

Gudgie

I feel like I officially have a colony of gudgeons now! I moved the two new males into the tank, so I have a total of 8 (3M:5F). In the past I've only ever kept a pair or trio (not counting the batch of fry I raised over the last year), so I can't wait to watch the group dynamics!

So far, there's been no drama between the three males. The boy I raised (thus far calling him Junior) is a bit larger than the new ones, so it's easy to tell them apart. He immediately colored up a bit more strongly and displayed with erect fins towards the others, presumably asserting his dominance a bit. Absolutely no aggression, no charging, no fin nipping. Here's a pic of the two newbies:
IMG_4514.jpeg

Actually, the addition of more males seems to have triggered something in Junior's mind. The ladies have been looking ready to spawn for awhile, and he FINALLY started to flirt with one of them, do a little courtship display, and then they both went off to look for a private spot. This was within half an hour of the males being added. I tried to catch a few shots of the courtship - pics below! Fingers crossed that I'll have eggs soon! There's no way I could remove a nest from the tank, but I'll try to transfer any free-swimmers if I get them.

IMG_4523.jpeg
IMG_4527.jpeg
IMG_4529.jpeg
IMG_4532.jpeg
I'm wondering if the rainbows had been stressed out by the endlers they used to room with, even though there was never obvious aggression between them. It could be circumstantial, but I feel like the rainbows have colored up much more in the last few days since the endlers were moved. They're a deeper yellow, and the males seem to be displaying a bit too. So hard to get pictures of though since they like to dart around, but you can see a male with his fins up here:

IMG_4507.jpeg
In other news, the resident bamboo shrimp was out and about for a change. It was right up front on one of the branches, so I was able to get a clear picture. Happy days!

IMG_4519.jpeg
 

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BigManAquatics

I feel like I officially have a colony of gudgeons now! I moved the two new males into the tank, so I have a total of 8 (3M:5F). In the past I've only ever kept a pair or trio (not counting the batch of fry I raised over the last year), so I can't wait to watch the group dynamics!

So far, there's been no drama between the three males. The boy I raised (thus far calling him Junior) is a bit larger than the new ones, so it's easy to tell them apart. He immediately colored up a bit more strongly and displayed with erect fins towards the others, presumably asserting his dominance a bit. Absolutely no aggression, no charging, no fin nipping. Here's a pic of the two newbies:
IMG_4514.jpeg

Actually, the addition of more males seems to have triggered something in Junior's mind. The ladies have been looking ready to spawn for awhile, and he FINALLY started to flirt with one of them, do a little courtship display, and then they both went off to look for a private spot. This was within half an hour of the males being added. I tried to catch a few shots of the courtship - pics below! Fingers crossed that I'll have eggs soon! There's no way I could remove a nest from the tank, but I'll try to transfer any free-swimmers if I get them.

IMG_4523.jpeg
IMG_4527.jpeg
IMG_4529.jpeg
IMG_4532.jpeg
I'm wondering if the rainbows had been stressed out by the endlers they used to room with, even though there was never obvious aggression between them. It could be circumstantial, but I feel like the rainbows have colored up much more in the last few days since the endlers were moved. They're a deeper yellow, and the males seem to be displaying a bit too. So hard to get pictures of though since they like to dart around, but you can see a male with his fins up here:

IMG_4507.jpeg
In other news, the resident bamboo shrimp was out and about for a change. It was right up front on one of the branches, so I was able to get a clear picture. Happy days!

IMG_4519.jpeg
My males were flexin' on the females. Then the females would get clamped fins, scoot away then the fins wpuld return to norm. Then the cycle would repeat. Definitely looked like a dominance/submissive display. Typically they just all chill together though. Or throughout the tank.
 

Gudgie

My males were flexin' on the females. Then the females would get clamped fins, scoot away then the fins wpuld return to norm. Then the cycle would repeat. Definitely looked like a dominance/submissive display. Typically they just all chill together though. Or throughout the tank.
The female definitely reciprocated the flirtation with Junior in this case, which is what was promising. He even led the way to a hidey spot and she closely followed.

Most of the time the group has just chilled loosely together - sounds like yours. Good to know that things will probably stay the same even with the addition of more males! :)
 

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