Tank size wobble

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Lilthuglet

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I've been told that essentially any tank under 100L is only suitable for shrimp or a betta as all small schooling fish need at least a 100L, and that keeping 6 pygmy cories in a 30L planted and 5 platy fish in (another) 30L planted is cruel. This would also mean that the 70L I got for guppies would be too small.

I don't have the space, the budget or the physical strength to set up two new 100L tanks in the next few weeks but I can't just get rid of the fish I have, they'd need decent homes and those are apparently even harder than I thought to come by.

Am I being unfair to my fish keeping them in these tanks? I feel terrible that I might be keeping them poorly but I thought that I'd been pretty careful with the stocking of my tanks. My parameters are all good now (0ppm for Ammonia and Nitrites and Nitrates at <5.0ppm in both tanks). They seem to be interacting well with their environment and I was planning to upgrade both tanks to 54L ones over the next couple of moths.

I feel really terrible because I ended up doing an unplanned fish in cycle as well, I know it isn't ideal but they're saying that a fish in cycle is really cruel too. I feel like I should never have got any fish at all because I didn't get it all right.
 
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AcornTheBetta

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Lilthuglet said:
I've been told that essentially any tank under 100L is only suitable for shrimp or a betta as all small schooling fish need at least a 100L, and that keeping 6 pygmy cories in a 30L planted and 5 platy fish in (another) 30L planted is cruel. This would also mean that the 70L I got for guppies would be too small.

I don't have the space, the budget or the physical strength to set up two new 100L tanks in the next few weeks but I can't just get rid of the fish I have, they'd need decent homes and those are apparently even harder than I thought to come by.

Am I being unfair to my fish keeping them in these tanks? I feel terrible that I might be keeping them poorly but I thought that I'd been pretty careful with the stocking of my tanks. My parameters are all good now (0ppm for Ammonia and Nitrites and Nitrates at <5.0ppm in both tanks). They seem to be interacting well with their environment and I was planning to upgrade both tanks to 54L ones over the next couple of moths.

I feel really terrible because I ended up doing an unplanned fish in cycle as well, I know it isn't ideal but they're saying that a fish in cycle is really cruel too. I feel like I should never have got any fish at all because I didn't get it all right.
You aren't being terrible. IDK who told you this. a 70L (18g) for guppys is more than ok. A 30L (8) for 5 plays is ok, but the max is ~5 plays therefore you will have to put the baby, if there are any, somewhere else. As for the pygmy corys, you would need a 10g (about a 40L) at least, but if they are small and you swear on your life you will upgrade in a couple of months then it should be fine until then. Those are the only fish your source is somewhat right about. The upgrade sounds good. Then, you can put some bettas or small tetras in the two 30L. If you want inspiration for those check out Foo The Flowerhorn's tanks. They would be a good idea for what you could do with urs. Did I miss any questions?
 
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Lilthuglet

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Thanks Acorn. I've been really worrying. Half of me thought that that if that was the case it'd be impossible to get into the hobby without a spare couple of thousand, but the other half knows that 'how everyone does it' is absolutely not an excuse for keeping animals poorly.

I am upgrading soon, I was actually planning to upgrade the platy fish (all boys so no babies) first as they spend more time at the edges and seem more crowded. The cories are less than an inch long and seemed really happy playing in the filter flow and the bubble maker and mooching about the bottom of the tank (it is a shorter, wider 30L). I'll swap that over though.
 
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fishnovice33

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I’m not sure what the question is...if you absolutely have no choice and can’t find them homes what does it matter anyways?
 
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Lilthuglet

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fishnovice33 said:
I’m not sure what the question is...if you absolutely have no choice and can’t find them homes what does it matter anyways?
Sorry if I've worded badly, that was really the question. What the heck can I do?

It's 6 in the morning here and I've been worrying and crying all night trying to work out my options so I may not have been very clear.
 
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AcornTheBetta

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Lilthuglet said:
Sorry if I've worded badly, that was really the question. What the heck can I do?

It's 6 in the morning here and I've been worrying and crying all night trying to work out my options so I may not have been very clear.
OMG. I FEEL REALLY SORRY FOR YOU NOW. It is clear how much you care about your fish. If you have any question (I mean ANY) turn to Fishlore or Google, but don't just trust one site, go to multiple sites and put together all that info into what you think is a good combination of it and that is probably right. Lol my 1st response took forever cuz I had to google "liters to gallons" and then convert everything hilarious
 
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Sanderguy777

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First of all, NOBODY got it right the first time. Of they did, they either studied a ton or got lucky and then made some mistake later on down the road.

30l is about 7.9 gallons and IS too small for the corys for sure, but i think fine for the platys IF you make sure they are all non-pregnant and all the same gender).
The 54l (14g) is probably too small for the corys too, but I'm not an expert (as such I freely admit that the platys would do BETTER in a larger tank but given your situation, I think they will live in that size tank, at least till you can get a larger one).

If you are really worried about it, you can DIY a frame, or have someone else, get a couple large clear plastic storage totes, and make a frame that supports the upper rim and the base really well. Thwn put the fish, equipment, and dirty water in them.
That will give you a light "storage" place for your fish till you get a better looking home, or maybe just use totes as opposed to tanks forever, if you dont mind the looks.

I am not encouraging you to continue to do fish in cycles or keep fish in too small tanks, but for the time being, till you can get them better homes, they will be fine, especially with the large totes if you can make them work.

My other idea would be to put the corys and the platys together in a 200l tank. I know that is big and heavy, but it is also much easier to keep it within the parameters.

Don't get discouraged, you will get better and we all make mistakes (mostly the same ones lol). If people are going to get upset at anyone, the only person they MIGHT have a right to holler at would be the pet store that sold a tank that small to you for those fish (though most employees show up for a check, not an education in fishkeeping).
 
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Lilthuglet

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Thanks Acorn. I've left the group now, they are supposed to be a really good UK group of fish rescuers giving advice to beginners but so far they seem to tell anyone who doesn't keep fish exactly their way they are cruel.

And thanks Sanderguy - I bought the tanks separately, and only did a fish in cycle on one of them as the person selling me that tank told me they'd have to 'get rid' of the two platys they had left if I didn't take them. I didn't realise the tiny corys needed soo much space, I was hoping to expand my shoal a bit in the bigger tank as I've read that they do better in larger groups. Looks like the 6 I have will have fun hiding from me in it though.
 
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Sanderguy777

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If that was a store you got the platys from, then shame on their mess!
Of you got a large tote (like 200l or so) you could get a much larger group of corys, but I guess you mentioned space as a problem...
 
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fishnovice33

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Lilthuglet said:
Sorry if I've worded badly, that was really the question. What the heck can I do?

It's 6 in the morning here and I've been worrying and crying all night trying to work out my options so I may not have been very clear.
Yea the first post makes it seem like there is nothing you can do.

The plastic tub option is an idea but it may prove to them more stress than it’s worth.

Really the cories are the only ones that would be most miserable in these setups. If you could return them to the fish store or even better post them on Craigslist and then split the 5 platys between the 30L would be fine.

And did not mention how many guppies were in your 70L but that would be fine for guppies.

If you have to keep the corys I’d move them to the 70L.
 
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AcornTheBetta

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Lilthuglet said:
Thanks Acorn. I've left the group now, they are supposed to be a really good UK group of fish rescuers giving advice to beginners but so far they seem to tell anyone who doesn't keep fish exactly their way they are cruel.

And thanks Sanderguy - I bought the tanks separately, and only did a fish in cycle on one of them as the person selling me that tank told me they'd have to 'get rid' of the two platys they had left if I didn't take them. I didn't realise the tiny corys needed soo much space, I was hoping to expand my shoal a bit in the bigger tank as I've read that they do better in larger groups. Looks like the 6 I have will have fun hiding from me in it though.
Good choice. This hobby has MILLIONS of opinions. Mine are: Stock right, choose the right tank (including the right size), admit your mistakes and be willing to learn and do research, and don't be afraid to ask for help. IMO you did a good job following these rules, and when we start, no one is perfect, we all make mistakes, but it is how you handle those mistakes that defines who you are as a fishkeeper. Words of wisdom from a 13 year old lol. Who says we teens can't be mature.
 
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Sanderguy777

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AcornTheBetta said:
Good choice. This hobby has MILLIONS of opinions. Mine are: Stock right, choose the right tank (including the right size), admit your mistakes and be willing to learn and do research, and don't be afraid to ask for help. IMO you did a good job following these rules, and when we start, no one is perfect, we all make mistakes, but it is how you handle those mistakes that defines who you are as a fishkeeper. Words of wisdom from a 13 year old lol. Who says we teens can't be mature.
I've never heard those millennial jokes say you aren't mature, just that you're lazy and want to "find yourself" aka, do nothing all day!
(I am joking, I am actually a decade closer to being a millennial than you!)

But yes, lilthuglet, you did the right thing asking another source.
The fish will be fine if you keep up on the water changes and then upgrade ASAP. Those plants will definitely help you keep the nitrates down.
One last thing, if you have the money, python water change hoses are great. That would help with that aspect of maintenance (for the water splashing in the sink, get a 4" or 6" diameter sewer pipe from your local hardware/home improvement store and put that under the drain part of the python).
 
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Lilthuglet

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fishnovice33 said:
Really the cories are the only ones that would be most miserable in these setups. If you could return them to the fish store or even better post them on Craigslist and then split the 5 platys between the 30L would be fine.
Thanks for the options, but the store had over 30 cories in a 35L/10gallon (pretty normal for the area I think, unfortunately) and round here craigslist isn't the sort of place you find good homes for animals. It's probably great where you are but I'd be careful recommending it to people in the UK, I've heared sooo many horror stories.

I've found one larger tank second hand already so I'll get that, they may just have to sit on the floor for a bit until I can afford a new stand. I've hardscaped the 70L with concrete so I don't think it'd be suitable for the cories now. I'll work it out, my brain just stopped working when I panicked, I needed someone to tell me I had options to work it through.

In terms of cycling, obviously I don't want to do a fish in cycle. I can move the current filter into the new tank as well as whatever new filter I get once I actually move the fish, but not before. I've been soaking the sponge I was planning to use in the filter for the 70L in one of the established tanks for a while - will that help speed things up? I can move a couple of bits of hardscape and some of the sand across in the initial setup, but I can't take all of it til the new tank is ready.
 
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AcornTheBetta

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Sanderguy777 said:
I've never heard those millennial jokes say you aren't mature, just that you're lazy and want to "find yourself" aka, do nothing all day!
(I am joking, I am actually a decade closer to being a millennial than you!)

But yes, lilthuglet, you did the right thing asking another source.
The fish will be fine if you keep up on the water changes and then upgrade ASAP. Those plants will definitely help you keep the nitrates down.
One last thing, if you have the money, python water change hoses are great. That would help with that aspect of maintenance (for the water splashing in the sink, get a 4" or 6" diameter sewer pipe from your local hardware/home improvement store and put that under the drain part of the python).
I take offense. HOW DARE YOU CALL ME A MILLENNIAL :mad: o_O:eek:! I AM GEN Z! Lol. JK. I don't need to find myself, I know I'll be at the fish store hilarious
 
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Sanderguy777

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Lilthuglet said:
Thanks for the options, but the store had over 30 cories in a 35L/10gallon (pretty normal for the area I think, unfortunately) and round here craigslist isn't the sort of place you find good homes for animals. It's probably great where you are but I'd be careful recommending it to people in the UK, I've heared sooo many horror stories.

I've found one larger tank second hand already so I'll get that, they may just have to sit on the floor for a bit until I can afford a new stand. I've hardscaped the 70L with concrete so I don't think it'd be suitable for the cories now. I'll work it out, my brain just stopped working when I panicked, I needed someone to tell me I had options to work it through.

In terms of cycling, obviously I don't want to do a fish in cycle. I can move the current filter into the new tank as well as whatever new filter I get once I actually move the fish, but not before. I've been soaking the sponge I was planning to use in the filter for the 70L in one of the established tanks for a while - will that help speed things up? I can move a couple of bits of hardscape and some of the sand across in the initial setup, but I can't take all of it til the new tank is ready.
You'll need to run the new filter for it to really do any good.
Again, I don't know your situation, but a diy stand is pretty easy to build if you have the tools.

AcornTheBetta said:
I take offense. HOW DARE YOU CALL ME A MILLENNIAL :mad: o_O:eek:! I AM GEN Z! Lol. JK. I don't need to find myself, I know I'll be at the fish store hilarious
Ok, that is a GOOD comeback!
But now I'M offended that you called me OLD! You remind me of that little 7 or 8 yo girl that called me ooolllldddd when I was like 16 lol. Like, when you are 30, THEN you can call me old!
 
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AcornTheBetta

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Sanderguy777 said:
You'll need to run the new filter for it to really do any good.
Again, I don't know your situation, but a diy stand is pretty easy to build if you have the tools.


Ok, that is a GOOD comeback!
But now I'M offended that you called me OLD! You remind me of that little 7 or 8 yo girl that called me ooolllldddd when I was like 16 lol. Like, when you are 30, THEN you can call me old!
That 6yo is sassy. I didn't call you old. I'll wait until I'm 30 and if I'm still on this I'll dm you and say that your old, but for now you are young.
I need help btw:Pleco in a 29g | 473505 | Freshwater Aquarium Discussion
 
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Sanderguy777

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AcornTheBetta said:
That 6yo is sassy. I didn't call you old. I'll wait until I'm 30 and if I'm still on this I'll dm you and say that your old, but for now you are young.
I need help btw:Pleco in a 29g | 473505 | Freshwater Aquarium Discussion
You young whipper snapper! How dare you talk back to me?

Did you mention something about a pleco? It shows it in my reply to you, but not your original post....
 
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AcornTheBetta

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Sanderguy777 said:
You young whipper snapper! How dare you talk back to me?

Did you mention something about a pleco? It shows it in my reply to you, but not your original post....
Lol. I am quite the "whipper snapper" (IDK what that means lol) I don't follow rules lol. I did, I edited it in.
 
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Fae

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Lilthuglet said:
I've hardscaped the 70L with concrete..
Be careful using concrete, it can leach chemicals into your tank and also changes the ph I believe
 
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AcornTheBetta

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Sanderguy777
whip·per·snap·per ˈ(h)wipərˌsnapər

noun whipper-snapper
  1. a young and inexperienced person considered to be presumptuous or overconfident

Is that really me?
 
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Sanderguy777

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AcornTheBetta said:
Sanderguy777
whip·per·snap·per ˈ(h)wipərˌsnapər

noun whipper-snapper
  1. a young and inexperienced person considered to be presumptuous or overconfident

Is that really me?
Ok, you're SUPPOSED to use Urban dictionary (which that AIN'T [don't look that up if you dont already know]).
And you ARE pretty confident and you did presume I DIDN'T know the definition of whipper snapper. In which you're absolutely, 100%, correct! Or maybe i just forgot cause I'm old...
 
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AcornTheBetta

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Sanderguy777 said:
Ok, you're SUPPOSED to use Urban dictionary (which that AIN'T [don't look that up if you dont already know]).
And you ARE pretty confident and you did presume I DIDN'T know the definition of whipper snapper. In which you're absolutely, 100%, correct! Or maybe i just forgot cause I'm old...
Lol. I kinda like it. Maybe I'll put that on my highschool applications cuz that will defiantly get me into Harker, Crystal Springs, and Priory.
 
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Fae said:
Be careful using concrete, it can leach chemicals into your tank and also changes the ph I believe
Thanks for the info Fae, is there anything I can do to protect from that? I used it on recommendations from this forum and a load of youtube videos from people who seemed pretty knowledgable.
 
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AcornTheBetta

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Lilthuglet said:
Thanks for the info Fae, is there anything I can do to protect from that? I used it on recommendations from this forum and a load of youtube videos from people who seemed pretty knowledgable.
IMO buying hardscape is better than concrete. If you want to go the very cheap way, buy bulk slate. BTW Sanderguy777 and I are sorry for derailing your thread.
 
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Lilthuglet

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AcornTheBetta said:
IMO buying hardscape is better than concrete. If you want to go the very cheap way, buy bulk slate. BTW Sanderguy777 and I are sorry for derailing your thread.
No problems on the derail, I needed the smile this morning. :)

RE the hardscape... in that case any advice for getting siliconed in polystyrene, covered in concrete out of a tank? I was trying to do a design of my own and concreted it all into the tank. It's not so much the price on the concrete, it was the flexibility to build a full background.
 
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Sanderguy777

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Lilthuglet said:
Thanks for the info Fae, is there anything I can do to protect from that? I used it on recommendations from this forum and a load of youtube videos from people who seemed pretty knowledgable.
Yes, we are sorry.

I THINK I heard somewhere that you can get certain latex paint and paint over the concrete and it will seal the bad stuff in. Also, setting the tank up a few days after the paint dries, and definitely after the concrete is, then fill with water and empty it a few times over a couple days. That will keep the excess chemicals to a minimum if they do make it past the paint. Just make sure you use fish safe latex paint.
 
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Fae

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I think for aquariums, people usually use a special type of concrete that's been coated in an epoxy resin, but in your case you should also be able to use something called plastidip. It's a spray on plastic coating that makes anything tank safe.

You'll have to drain your tank, clean it and let it dry. Then spray a few coats and dry between them. It will probably take at least a day or two, and you risk crashing your cycle, depending how new your bio media is. But it's better than possibly getting your fish sick!
 
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AcornTheBetta

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Lilthuglet said:
No problems on the derail, I needed the smile this morning. :)

RE the hardscape... in that case any advice for getting siliconed in polystyrene, covered in concrete out of a tank? I was trying to do a design of my own and concreted it all into the tank. It's not so much the price on the concrete, it was the flexibility to build a full background.
Yeah. I don't think your speaking my English IDK what those words mean. Someone else will have to take this.
 
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Sanderguy777

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Lilthuglet said:
No problems on the derail, I needed the smile this morning. :)

RE the hardscape... in that case any advice for getting siliconed in polystyrene, covered in concrete out of a tank? I was trying to do a design of my own and concreted it all into the tank. It's not so much the price on the concrete, it was the flexibility to build a full background.
I have no idea if it is still wet, you could get a putty knife in there and scrape it off, but the rocks in the concrete will scratch it any way you do it.
 
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AcornTheBetta

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Slate for cheap:
 
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Sanderguy777

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I think the plasti dip is a good option if you can get it (especially if it comes in a decent, fish aquarium friendly color!).
 
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Lilthuglet

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The tank is empty, I hadn't finished setting it up so no worries about the cycle. I was planning to plastidip spray it anyway then fill it and soak, empty, fill a soak repeat a couple of times to be on the safe side anyway.

I was happy with that when I thought concrete was ok, if it isn't I don't want to risk poinsoning anyone so I think I need to ditch the guppy tank idea altogether til I can get a new tank for them, and as I don't have them yet, that will be well below two new tanks for the fish I do have in the list.
 
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Sanderguy777

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Lilthuglet said:
The tank is empty, I hadn't finished setting it up so no worries about the cycle. I was planning to plastidip spray it anyway then fill it and soak, empty, fill a soak repeat a couple of times to be on the safe side anyway.

I was happy with that when I thought concrete was ok, if it isn't I don't want to risk poinsoning anyone so I think I need to ditch the guppy tank idea altogether til I can get a new tank for them, and as I don't have them yet, that will be well below two new tanks for the fish I do have in the list.
I think the plastidip idea would work. Just make sure the concrete is totally set before you spray it and you should be good to go.

I have never seen anyone use plastidip on a tank before, so it would be cool to see the before and after of the concrete and the final product.
 
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Lilthuglet

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Sanderguy777 said:
I think the plastidip idea would work. Just make sure the concrete is totally set before you spray it and you should be good to go.

I have never seen anyone use plastidip on a tank before, so it would be cool to see the before and after of the concrete and the final product.
Thanks :). I've been documenting the progress along the way here: New 20gallon build - DIY background | 471779 | Freshwater Aquarium Builds I'll keep it up to date as I go. It's going more slowly now as I'm working full time and I'll be spending more time on the new tanks for the guys I have than the new project.
 
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