More To The Point ... 33 Gallon Long Aqueon Build

Animus

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So despite several words of caution (which I AM taking under advisement by the way), I have to do something with my 5 rainbow sharks (was told at purchase they coexist well, lesson learned). So I am proceeding with my 33 gal. build.

I plan to make it as stream like as possible to imitate their natural habitat. So far I have a Marineland Emperor E over the tank filter (hope to upgrade to a canister eventually to save tank space), One (Two if necessary) Sun Sun Power heads for circulation, A Cascade Heat 200 watt submersible heater, an off brand digital thermometer (on order) Some Spiralis, Some Anubias (I don't remember of hand what type specifically) and some swords.

I'm using a course, light colored sand mixed with p stone gravel on top of a layer of Floredepot and will be scattering in 1 to 1 1/2" size class round river stone throughout.
I hope to carpet in front of the planted areas with dwarf hair grass and will be hard scaping with larger rounded river stones.
I plan to build several cavelike formations as well as provide respite in carefully planted areas. I've got a 20" piece of driftwood on order that I will sand any sharp edges from then partially cover it in Christmas Moss.
I will add more plants as I can and while I have adequate space, but does anyone have any other useful suggestions on how I might convince these five fish coexist peacefully? I know this is a long shot but I would like to be able to keep them all if possible. I will rehome some of them if necessary but I would like to keep them if possible into and through adulthood.
 

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I have a 72g tank that has only one rainbow shark.... for a good reason. My 55g also has one rainbow shark but he is attacking my loaches so he is being rehomed this weekend.

Suggestion, get rid of 4. These fish get up to 6” and even just one in a 33 gallon isn’t big enough. Having 5 of them, hard truth, they will kill each other.
 
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Animus

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LunaSky said:
I have a 72g tank that has only one rainbow shark.... for a good reason. My 55g also has one rainbow shark but he is attacking my loaches so he is being rehomed this weekend.

Suggestion, get rid of 4. These fish get up to 6” and even just one in a 33 gallon isn’t big enough. Having 5 of them, hard truth, they will kill each other.
I guess I will start looking at other options. I'm also thinking of doing a build for Cichlids in my 5o which is currently unused, any chance one of them would coexist there?
 
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I’ve decided to continue with the build as planned, the rainbows can all enjoy it while they are young and while I figure out how to separate them. I will probably have to regime some of them but I’m sure I can place a few of them in other tanks with some mud and top level dwellers. Here’s a sneak peak as I work on the substrate...
 
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Animus

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Animus said:
I’m hoping this will blend to look more natural over time. But either way it’s something different.
 
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So I'm waiting on a bunch of plants, and It would be nice if the drift wood would hurry up and get water logged so I could remove the rocks that are weighing it down but this is the 33 so far. My parameters are looking good for the most part. pH is my big concern because its reading between 7.4 and 7.5 which is higher than my water usually reads so I hope it's not the stone pushing it up but I'll keep an eye on it over the next few days. Ammonia is reading 0 ppm, Nitrite 0 ppm, and nitrates somewhere between 10 and 20 ppm I'm leaning more toward 10 than 20 but .... These are my readings at the end of day two. I'm happy overall but I'm curious if any of you would treat or add something to lower the pH a bit or would should I just monitor for a few more days first? If everything stays stable I hope to add the sharks by next weekend. This process has taken way longer than I had intended, but then they always do
 
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Animus said:
View attachment 454177
So I'm waiting on a bunch of plants, and It would be nice if the drift wood would hurry up and get water logged so I could remove the rocks that are weighing it down but this is the 33 so far. My parameters are looking good for the most part. pH is my big concern because its reading between 7.4 and 7.5 which is higher than my water usually reads so I hope it's not the stone pushing it up but I'll keep an eye on it over the next few days. Ammonia is reading 0 ppm, Nitrite 0 ppm, and nitrates somewhere between 10 and 20 ppm I'm leaning more toward 10 than 20 but .... These are my readings at the end of day two. I'm happy overall but I'm curious if any of you would treat or add something to lower the pH a bit or would should I just monitor for a few more days first? If everything stays stable I hope to add the sharks by next weekend. This process has taken way longer than I had intended, but then they always do
P.S. I'm looking at the picture and realizing that the water looks really cloudy. Thats my poor photography skills with an iPhone, not the water. That's actually pretty clear.
 
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Update: It's been over a week now and all 5 of my Rainbow Sharks as well as two Guppy's are in the tank. The tank is located next to my bed (Small apartment, don't ask, lol) where I lay and watch them for hours on end. I'm happy to report that so far they're all getting along much better than they were in the 10 gal. The extra space seems to have made them relax for the time being (I know this is a temporary fix). In time I will need to split them up. I wanted to share what I just watched tonight for about 15 minutes three of the five sharks were grooming each other. I am thrilled that, for now at least, they all seem happy and healthy

The tank itself has done really well. My parameters have remained stable and the pH has not risen. I'm currently doing water changes every Saturday but noticed tonight (with a strip test) that my nitrites have risen slightly (or at least appear too, I tend to use the master test on the weekends when I have more time and cheat with the strip tests during the week so that I will know if something drastic happens). I assume I will have to start doing water changes twice a week from here forward (Oh well, it was nice to be lazy while it lasted , I've added a few more plants but they are sparse due to a poorly conceived idea that I could get plants from a discount supplier (most of them arrived dead or died shortly after and clippings don't hold up well in a tank that already has inhabitants, ahh live and learn. The three plants that I did buy from a reputable aquarist turned out to have BBA (a first for me) so that was a learning experience but I've got it on the run now and those plants seem little worse for the wear. I've added a current photo below (Sorry, a little blown out but you can see the BBA and the other work needed with regard to plants)
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I am slowly beginning plans for a Cichlid tank (haven't decided which species yet) but I have a 50 gallon tank sitting empty (Nothing to set it up with yet) that I plan to use for this. I have a beautiful piece of Manzanita Driftwood as a centerpiece and am considering dragon stone for the hardscape. However, I'm curious if you guys (and gals of course) think one of the sharks might coexist with Cichlids or is that certain doom? If the consensus is that it would work I would have to reconsider the dragon stone of course but that is part of why I am asking so early in the planning stages. Your thoughts?
 

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bitseriously

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Looks really good!
Do you mind if I offer some constructive comment/opinion? I think the larger rock piles may be hard/impossible to clean properly, since you won't be able to get inside and below them, short of taking them apart, cleaning, and rebuilding. Also, are those 3 upright rocks in the foreground permanent? They sort of disturb the high-back-to-low-front effect most scapers seek/desire. Lastly (the big one comes last), your powerhead is at the left, pushing water to the right. The spiralis is right in front of it, bending to the right. So in my mind, your stream flows to the right. But the high ground is at the far right of the tank, so my mind is now arguing with my mind about whether the stream flows to the left, or to the right. Can't offer how to fix it, but that's what my minds are arguing about. LOL
Keep the pics coming!
 
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Animus

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bitseriously said:
Looks really good!
Do you mind if I offer some constructive comment/opinion? I think the larger rock piles may be hard/impossible to clean properly, since you won't be able to get inside and below them, short of taking them apart, cleaning, and rebuilding. Also, are those 3 upright rocks in the foreground permanent? They sort of disturb the high-back-to-low-front effect most scapers seek/desire. Lastly (the big one comes last), your powerhead is at the left, pushing water to the right. The spiralis is right in front of it, bending to the right. So in my mind, your stream flows to the right. But the high ground is at the far right of the tank, so my mind is now arguing with my mind about whether the stream flows to the left, or to the right. Can't offer how to fix it, but that's what my minds are arguing about. LOL
Keep the pics coming!
I don't mind your insights at all! in fact they are welcomed. I'm fairly new to scaping and am having a ball doing it but information like this really helps me learn and think about things from someone else perspective which in my opinion is never a bad thing, so thank you for that.

The three rocks in the front were originally put in to provide spots for the sharks to dodge behind if being chased. Of course they quickly proved to be ineffective for that purpose anyway but at the moment there a plants tied to them. I'm using them to keep the plants in place while they either root or die, lol. So once that has been accomplished I may take your suggestion under advisement and see if they can be relocated to work better for the structure of the layout, or maybe I can get away with just laying them down flat ways.

The larger rock piles are caves and alcoves for the fish to hide in, I was focused on providing habitat without sharp edges so as not to injure the fish. I've read that sharp rocks can damage a rainbow sharks mouth. Building caves out of round rocks proved to be a bit of a challenge and I'm afraid the end result was rather cumbersome. I had actually been thinking about that problem myself over the last few days and I'm sure I will eventually come up with a solution that works.

As for the powerhead, I gotta admit that I felt kind of dumb when you mentioned it I did intend for the scape to look as though it was flowing the other direction and it hadn't even occurred to me that I was directing the flow of water in the wrong direction (Insert sheepish grin here

Anyway, you've given me lots to think about and although it may take me a while to figure out how to address these scenarios, I will post pics as I figure them out.
Thanks again for the insights!
 
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