Wednesday, May 30, 2012

  Well there is some good news.  The nitrites are exactly where they need to be, and the nitrates aren't bad either.  Now if I could just get the ammonia to cooperate we'd be good.  It's starting to really get on my nerves, but there is still time. 

  According to my reading most tanks take three weeks to cycle completely.  This is day 14 so I've still got 7 more to go before I can really start getting angry.  Haha. 

  We bought the background for the display tank, and installed it.  It looks really nice.  We decided to go with a plain black to match the substrate.  The black on black really makes the colors of the plants pop, and I'm sure it will do wonders for the fish colors when they finally make it in. 

  We also got a gravel vac for when we do our water changes.  That'll make things much easier.  For some reason I have some algae growing on the wood.  Not much, and I'm hoping it stays that way.  At least until I get some bottom feeders in there. 

  While we were at the pet stores we looked at possible candidates for a quarantine tank.  I guess we're just going to go with a 10g and buy all the stuff that goes with it separate.  PetLand wouldn't give me any used media for some reason which gets on my nerves.  So I guess I'm just going to have to wait until my display tank cycles completely to finish up with the quarantine tank. 

  Anyway, the fact that the nitrites have peaked is encouraging.  I'll be jumping for joy as soon as the ammonia starts to work for me. 

Later readers!

Monday, May 28, 2012

I know, I know.  It's been four days since I've had an update, but as you're about to see there really hasn't been much need for one.  I've been keeping a chart of my tank's progress through the cycle.  Here it is:

And that's all I've got.  The ammonia levels went down, down, down, then WAY back up.  Now it is on it's way back down again.  The nitrates I'm happy to say are gradually going up.  As they go up I'm sure the ammonia will have no choice to go down.  I have no idea why it is so crazy, and no one on the forums really has a good answer to the 'why' question.  I'm just going with the flow for now.  If the growth of the Nitrites stops, or goes down, and the ammonia goes up again I'm going to do a water change. 
I tell ya I really didn't know just how much patience it takes to have an aquarium, and do it the right way. 

On Day 12. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Oh my gosh you guys.  I'm starting to get annoyed at the amount of time that I have to wait to put fish in my tank. 

It's not helping that we keep going to whatever fish section every store we go to has.  Lol.  We bought two more plants today, and I'm fairly certain we're done with it.  Now we're just waiting for the wood to saturate, and for the levels to run through.  I've been curbing my impatience by watching documentaries on the ocean.  They are really nice to watch right before bed.  It's also nice to sit in the chair in front of the tank and just watch the plants sway. 

The addition of fish will make it perfect!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Little Less Empty

So yesterday we finally got our tank decor set up.  Sam pressure washed the driftwood and the rocks.  Then later in the day we made a visit to Petland where we picked up a plant called a Red Wendth and most importantly a test kit. 

As far as liking Petland the fish there all seemed to be in good condition, but the guy who was helping us, (aka sort of annoying us) knew less about fish than I did.  He tried to get me to buy something that would allow me to put fish in the tank and therefore give him a bigger sale.  I then explained to him for the second time that I was waiting for my tank to cycle, which can't be sped up.  He kind of looked at me in a confused way, and I said, "You know, the Nitrogen cycle?"  He then agreed.  Haha, poor guy.  We also got a new thermometer from there. 

We then headed to Walmart where I got some more Aquasafe and gravel.  Walmart's fish conditions were deplorable.  They actually downsized the tanks, and had so many fish crammed in them.  It was awful.  All the tanks had dead fish in them.  DO NOT buy fish from Walmart!  Well, I guess I'm tempted to save some from that torture, but I'm afraid I'll get some disease in my tank if I do. 

ANYWAY, here is the result...

I know the pic isn't that great, but I find it difficult to get my camera to take a good one of it.  The bricks of course are not part of the decorations, but they are there to hold the wood down until it is completely saturated.  They will probably have to be in there for a few weeks.  All in all I'm satisfied with it.  I'm going to get a few more modest plants so they don't end up taking all the swimming room.  I'm so excited to get some fish in there.  I know that patience is what is going to make a successful tank though, so I'll wait. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Hunting We Will Go!

Today we visited the local backwater to hunt for driftwood.  We ended up finding four good pieces that we really liked, but ended up discarding one.  It was too far gone really, and had lots of rot on it.  We've scrubbed them in the creek, soaked them in hot water, scrubbed them again, and are letting them soak overnight.  Tomorrow they will be pressure washed, wiped down with a little bleach, and then rinsed well.  I hope to arrange them in the tank sometime tomorrow in which case I'll be posting more pictures. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Timeline Update

Ya know, I think I might make a cute little picture timeline.  Anyway, here's the update. 

5/17 set up tank
5/18 ammonia peak, and added betta
5/19 official start of my cycle, cloudy water, removed betta
5/20 Ammonia level drops from 6.0 to 4.0

Really chomping at the bit to get that big test kit tomorrow......

Saturday, May 19, 2012

My Oh My

My tank has reached the beginning of it's cycle.  I woke up this morning to a VERY cloudy tank.  My ammonia levels are still high, which is good considering I don't have a kit to test my nitrites and nitrates.  I will have to get one soon.  I decided to return the Betta to his tank just incase the levels and cloudyness would cause him any kind of discomfort.  I'm opting for a fishless cycle, which in theory will take less time. 

So here's my timeline:

5/17 set up tank
5/18 ammonia peak, and added betta
5/19 official start of my cycle, cloudy water, removed betta

Also, my son Johnathon has named the Betta Roo.  Should have asked him in the first place...

Friday, May 18, 2012


Okay, I have sketched two ideas for my aquascape.  I do realize these are poor sketches, but use your imagination please.  I would REALLY like your opinions on which one you think I should do for my tank.  Take a look!


Let me know you guys!

It's Finally Here!

   Yeah, yeah I'm in my pajamas.  Don't judge me.  Lol!  This OBVIOUSLY isn't finished.  Not even close. 
Still to come:
CO2 Defuser
More Gravel
Fresh Water Plants
Drift Wood
A new thermometer (We screwed up the one we had...)
And of course Fish (you people are going to kill me when you see them)

We got it set up last night.  I'll try to briefly try to describe the steps we took...

First of all this was not the first place we put the tank.  It was originally placed on top of my roll top desk.  It was way too high for me to be able to take care of it, so we moved it on the TV stand. 

We installed the filter.
We cleaned the inside of the aquarium and the gravel with water only. 
We inserted the gravel, then began adding water. 
When the water was about halfway up we installed the heater.
We filled the tank up the rest of the way, and turned the filter and heater on. 
We then added two and a half boxes (which was the correct amount) of a cycle starter. 

As most of you aquarium owners probably know, you have to cycle your tank before you add your fish.  This is a process that developes ammonia eating bacteria in your filter media.  If you do not have this bacteria the ammonia put off by the waste from the fish can be deadly.  The cycling process can take up to 4 weeks.  The boxes we added are SUPPOSED to help speed this up.  We shall see. 

Our PH last night was 'Acidic', and our ammonia level was 'stressed'. 

This morning the PH was at an 'acceptable' level, and the ammonia level was 'dangerous'.  This is good on both points.  The ammonia level in the water has peaked, which will actually speed up the development of the good bacteria.  When the ammonia level finally reads 0, we can begin adding other fish. 

On another note I have added my Betta to the tank.  He will help to keep the ammonia levels low, but stil feed the bacteria when they start to grow.  Bettas are extremely tough fish, so don't worry.  He's okay in there.  Not to mention the fact that we tested his water in his tank and it also read 'dangerous'.  This has made me seriously consider buying him a tank with a filter.  I hate for him to be in that small tank with the levels constantly like that.  Anyway, he is currently enjoying the big tank, and seems to be hanging around the heater.  Poor little guy.  :( 

There's my little buddy!  He still doesn't have a name people, and I haven't gotten any suggestions yet. 

So let's see... My time line.

5/17 set up tank
5/18 ammonia peak, and added betta

I'll update that as we go. 

That's about it for now! Please comment if you have any questions.  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Species Reconsideration

Okay, I know in my first post I stated that I KNEW I wanted Guppies as my main species.  After my trip to Mocha Pet in New Boston, Ohio, and observing the way the Guppies behave I may change my mind.  The Guppies were just scattered throughout the tank, and they didn't seem to swim with any sort of purpose.  It basically looked like a tank with a bunch of fish that had no reason for what they were doing.  It gave me the general impression of an unorganized and messy tank. 

I don't want that in my tank.  One of my goals for the tank is to provide a comforting and relaxing scene.  I just don't think the Guppies will cut it. 

Another thing is that the Guppies are sooo small.  As you know I'll soon be purchasing a 55 gallon tank which has a lot of space.  I'm thinking I need something more substantial, but wouldn't be a threat to a few different types of fish. 

After doing some research I think I may have settled on a species. 

Meet the Discus fish!  Beautiful isn't it?  A school of 5 or 6 of these would do nicely in my tank.  They come in many different varieties, and are considered to be one of the most lovable species of fish out there.  Apparently they will actually eat out of your hands.  These fish are also schooling fish, like the Guppies, but the difference is that these fish actually swim together in groups.  They also form a pecking order, and have been described as graceful and deliberate.  Sounds perfect to me!

Now for the issues....

These are sensitive fish, so there would be more to keeping them alive.
I don't remember seeing any of these in any of the pet stores I've visited. (Although I wasn't really looking for them.)
And I have no idea what these would price for. 

I could of course buy them online and have them shipped, but I like to see what I'm buying in person before I bring it home.  I wonder if I could order some through a pet store.... Now that's a thought. 

Anyway, that's what's on my mind today. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I have confirmed that we WILL be purchasing a 55 gallon tank!  I couldn't be happier.  It is just the perfect size.  Now I don't know if I'll be getting the one I was talking about earlier, the one I had a lead on, or if I'll be getting the one at Walmart.  Thursday is the big day! 

  I've also found out that I can buy only male Guppies so that they don't breed.  I'm not sure if it would be more fun to raise the babies though.  Any thoughts on that?

Small Beginnings

Welcome to my new blog!

I've never actually kept up with a blog before. and I've had a few.  Haha, maybe this will be a first.

I've decided to start this blog, because I'm about to undertake a project that I'm very excited about.  I'm getting a new fish tank!  Yes, people who know me know that I've had fish tanks before, and that I even have a small one now.  The difference this time will be the effort I put into it, the size of it, and my general knowledge about it.

Here is what I know so far:
1. I want a tank that is 20 gallons or larger.
2. The tank will be fresh water, tropical.
3. I will be using sand as my substrate.
4. I will use live plants.
5. Fancy Guppies will be my main species.
6. I will be using ghost shrimp, and cory catfish as my waste eaters.

That's about it... Lol!

I have a lead on a 55 gallon tank for only $40!  I am currently waiting on a friend to get back to me with more info.  I've got my fingers crossed though.  I really couldn't hope for a better deal than that.  I just hope that the tank is in good condition and with a lid.

With a tank that large I might try my Betta in with the others.  I know, I know probably not a good idea, but don't worry.  If something didn't work out I'd put the Betta back in his own tank.  I'd really love to be able to use his tank as a fry (baby guppies) tank.  I may end up just getting a trap tank though.

I'll leave it at that for now.  I look forward to learning with you!

Above is my Betta tank.  Anyone have any name ideas???