The large aquarium matures

It is two and a half months since the large 250L aquarium arrived and was set up. It has matured and is home to a variety of well established aquatic plants, my mature male Bristlenose Catfish, one solitary Otocinclus and a shoal of colourful male Guppies. Unfortunately it has become home to some uninvited guests also. I have a nuisance snail infestation despite dipping all the new aquatic plants in bleach solution prior to adding them. I also have an algae bloom that has resulted in green water. Most experts would tell you that both are a result of overfeeding.

After repeated regular water changes ranging from a quarter to a third and almost half the water being changed at any one time the algae is still present. I have finally decided a little more intervention is required and purchased an additional internal filter and green water treatment online today. I have been removing the snails by hand several times a day and will probably use some kind of green vegetable to entice them to group and assist in their removal.

I love the new larger aquarium and it was a real bargain price given it’s size, however the filter that was supplied with it is not adequate nor functioning very well. The pump struggles to pump the water far enough up into the spray bar in the hood filtration system. I have never had a problem with green water in any of my other aquariums before and believe that the internal filters simply take the particles out of the water. I have had nuisance hair algae stifling my aquatic plants on the odd occasion though.

I have not introduced any new fish stock to my aquariums as I have been using one of my 60L tanks as water change feeder for the larger aquarium. I treat the water to get rid of the chloramine with water conditioner then allow the water to stand for at least 48 hours before adding it. This tank would be used as the quarantine tank for any new fish purchased as the other 60L tank is housing all of my Platys, Emperor Tetras and most of my Guppies.

I have not used my 20L breeding tank since the loss of my remaining pair of Neon Tetras. I would love to replace these fish along with the Otocinclus I have lost but need to cycle and establish a quarantine tank well in advance. This is my intention once the algae bloom in the large tank has been dealt with effectively.

The good news is that there has been some interest in the surplus Guppies and Platys that I have bred and wish to sell. Should I succeed in selling some it shall free up more space for a larger variety of occupants. It has always been my plan to have more algae eaters and tetras.

Should I get all four aquariums operational and cycled again, I shall have more control over the prolific breeders. The large aquarium for example is only inhabited by males therefore the tank will never become home to fry at present. Separating the genders will work to control the live bearers but will take some time as pregnant females can continue to have broods without males present. Having a separate fry tank can allow me to segregate pregnant females so they are not again fertilized by maturing offspring.

At present my 60L community aquarium has both genders of all three species it is home to and developing Guppy and Platy fry. It is my intention to leave only the pregnant females in this tank and move all of the male occupants to the larger tank. This is because the smaller 60L tank makes the removal of the young fry much easier and they can be raised in a separate tank.

So this is my latest update, there haven’t been very many in the last couple of months as I have pretty much left my tanks alone other than the occasional filter clean and water change. I blame the loss of my Neon Tetras on too much interference from myself and have learned from this mistake. There are still times though when some maintenance and intervention is unavoidable.

 

Planting the 250 L Community Aquarium

The gravel and aquatic plants arrived yesterday for the new aquarium. I boiled and rinsed the new gravel and added it. I then soaked the plants in a solution of tap water and Sodium hypochlorite for a few mins before placing them in a small sterile tank with tap water and conditioner to remove the chlorine. I did this because I did not want to introduce snails or their spawn to my new tank and know from experience that you almost always get a few hitch hikers when adding fresh plants. I left them soaking overnight in the conditioned tap water and today I began planting my aquarium.

I bought 100 live tropical aquatic plants. Pruning, removing dead leaves and planting is taking some time but the results will be well worth it. I have ensured everything I am adding to the new tank is sterile, by boiling for twenty minutes or soaking in solution. Hopefully I have done enough to ensure a snail free environment.

Plantedtankedit

This is the beginning of setting up my aquarium, it will not be cycled properly for some time yet. I always begin by trying to establish aquatic plants in the environment. Some plants may not survive and I must admit I have been more brutal with what I used to soak them this time but the snail away product I used in the past did not seem very effective. Time will tell if this method will be. I do not want to add any fish until I have completely eradicated the snails from my other aquariums as it is very easy to unwittingly net snail spawn at the same time.

 

The new aquarium has arrived

The new 250 L aquarium arrived three days ago. Many thanks to my Dad who built the flat pack base for it. The thought of such a task had me in a panic. It was very large and heavy and exceeded my expectations in size. It took both of us to lift it onto it’s stand and my daughter and I started filling it almost immediately. It is still just slightly more than half full of water.

I added all the gravel I put aside for it but bought another 5 kg yesterday as it needs a little Fishtankeditmore. I will purchase lots of aquatic plants for it but have discovered it is so large that I cannot reach the bottom of it. The tank itself is around half my height and on it’s stand it reaches above my shoulder so it is going to take some initiative when it comes to planting it. It is possibly the most exciting development in my fish keeping journey to date.

The top tray filter system had me very confused, not only had I never used one before but it came with no instructions. I have set it up as best I can, finding a picture of very vague instructions somebody got with it in a fish related forum. I believe I need the water level a bit higher for it to function properly. I spent half the day yesterday attempting to assemble it and just hope I have done so correctly. Today I added some water conditioner to it although possibly didn’t need to as I intend to cycle it using aquatic plants for some time before I add any tropical fish.

I finally have the tank of my dreams and am really looking forward to seeing it planted and occupied with fish. I will need to draw on all my patience as a new set up this large will take some time to cycle and become stable enough for fish. It has just brought my hobby to a whole new level and will bring challenges and new learning opportunities my way. I haven’t stopped smiling since it came through the door.

 

The Big Day

The big day has finally arrived. I ordered the tank I have been dreaming about for years today. I am very excited about it. A huge thank you to my mum for making this possible. A 250L aquarium will enable me to have the larger community tank I have always wanted. It will bring the total number of aquariums in this house to four but will be by far the most superior. Along with the increase in capacity it will bring with it so many new and exciting possibilities.

It will take a while to get established, gravel and a variety of aquatic plants will be on my shopping list long before any new fish are introduced to it. I eagerly await the day it does become home to an even greater variety of fish though. Don’t think my smile could get any broader right now.