New tank, debating on fish/plants...

Non puffer freshwater discussion. Don't tell your puffers, they'll be jealous!

New tank, debating on fish/plants...

Postby CaptainMorgan_SOS on Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:02 pm

It's been a really long time since I have been on here. I had to take down my tanks because I moved and then when I was just about to set them back up I got orders for a deployment. So I just got back in January and have decided to set up my tank. I got rid of my other, smaller, tanks and now I have a 45 gallon.

I have not decided what to put in the tank yet, fish/plants, but I do know that I had to have this piece of driftwood, the thing was huge so I had to cut it up and modify some of the branches (meaning screw them onto different parts to achieve the look I wanted) because my tank is only 18"x18"x36" (inside the tank measurements). These pictures do not even come close to doing the driftwood any justice. It has sooo many nooks, crannies, crevices, and holes in it for fish to swim around in. I was at a petstore and I was looking for some driftwood. They wanted INSANE amounts for the sinking driftwood ($45 for a peice that was 14"x6"x7") so instead I decided to go check out the reptile wood. I found this piece which was 23" long x 24" tall x 20" deep that had a huge hole that went right through the middle, amazing hollowed out tree stump, for $20. So I took it home and sure enough, this thing could be used as a life preserver if someone couldn't swim. So I went to Lowe's and got a 16"x16"x2" concrete block and drilled a few holes in it, screwed it to the wood, and then tested it out in the bathtub. Viola! It no longer floated.
DSCF0781.JPG

DSCF0785.JPG


I then had to set up the tank. I got some pure laterite to put below the sand, play sand from Lowe's ($4 for a 50 lb bag!) so that the plants, if I got any, would have something to get at least some nutrients from besides fertilizers. I laid this first, after rinsing of course, and then put about an inch of sand on it, also after rinsing, and mixed them together.
DSCF0779 (1).jpg


Then I put in the driftwood, which weighed a TON (more like 50-60 lbs) on top of this and then slowly put in more sand, and random lace rock pieces around the driftwood until I got the look I wanted, may need some more rocks though, we will see.
DSCF0788.JPG

The glass got a little messy in the process...
DSCF0790.JPG


My cat watched the whole time (Me and my wife named her "The Peach". Not "Peach", not "Peaches", just "The Peach"). She's pretty creepy sometimes... :shock:
DSCF0792.JPG


This is what the tank looks like so far. Kinda cloudy still, I know. I went to set up the filter and when I plugged it in... nothing happened. I dropped it on concrete when I was doing the final cleaning on it before I left for "the sandbox" and I thought it would still be ok, but it wasn't... RIP Fluval. So I am now waiting on one I just got off ebay (kinda iffy on it because it was Really cheap, $60, and a brand I have never heard of, Jeboa), until then, I will just have standing watter in the tank.
DSCF0794.JPG

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Here is now my cats favorite place in the whole house... sitting, and even sleeping, on top of the tank light. I think she likes the warmth.
DSCF0803.JPG

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So now I am open for opinions. I am thinking either:
- One GSP (my wife hates this idea because she thinks it is stupid to have 1 fish in such a large tank, her opinion, not mine)
- 2-3 Figure 8s with 4-8 BBGs and maybe 1-2 Knight Gobies or maybe even a Dragon Goby
- 10-15 Dwarf Puffers and 6-8 Ottos
- 8 Dwarf puffers, 6 Ottos, and 2 German Blue Rams.
- Or *GASP* no puffers at all :shock: . 2-4 German Blue Rams, 10-15 Raspboras, Neon Tetras or Rummy Nose Tetras, some Zebra Nerite Snails, and an Albino Brushynose Pleco. Another maybe is a Red-Tailed Shark.
- I could always do the above, with just 2 Rams and no Red-Tailed Shark, 10 Raspboras, the Albino Brushynose Pleco and put 2-4 Dwarf Puffers in there too.

As for plants, I am thinking just some large Java ferns as well as some Anubias to attach to the tree stump. May add some fake plants also, but still unsure. These will do well in both freshwater and brackish setups, so I will probably have all of the aquascaping done well before I make any decision or I get any fish.

So what do you think? Any opinions on the fish or plants? any ideas that I did not think of that you think would be cool? Let me know.

-Dave
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Re: New tank, debating on fish/plants...

Postby CaptainMorgan_SOS on Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:17 pm

Here are some more views of the tank:

Left side:
DSCF0808.JPG


Right side:
DSCF0809.JPG


Behind the tank:
DSCF0810.JPG


View from coming down the stairs:
DSCF0811.JPG
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Re: New tank, debating on fish/plants...

Postby FADE2BLACK_1973 on Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:55 pm

- 10-15 Dwarf Puffers and 6-8 Ottos
My choice, with lots of lives plants :D . Btw, The filter that you got off ebay (Jeboa) it is the one that looks like an Eheim or one of the others? I been looking at them and might buy one for myself but not sure which one. But anyways I think your tank is going to look really good when you get finished.
Chris,


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Re: New tank, debating on fish/plants...

Postby Pufferpunk on Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:57 pm

That wood's the coolest! Your cat will probably wind up in that tank one day...
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

"The solution to pollution is dilution!"
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Re: New tank, debating on fish/plants...

Postby CaptainMorgan_SOS on Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:11 pm

FADE2BLACK: Yea, I really like the idea of the 10-15 DPs and Ottos but I am just not sure... In the past I had DPs and had THE HARDEST time getting them to eat anything but snails. And even then the snails had to be on a plant, they would not even touch a snail if it was in the sand... It's like they thought it was contaminated or something. The filter looks like the Eheim. I did a search and different forums have good things to say about these. The one thing that really seems to be consistent about the comments is that you should be very careful with it because some of the parts are not so high quality. But if you are careful, these filters supposedly work AMAZINGLY. $60 for a filter that will do 265 GPH? YES PLEASE!!

And PP: I absolutely love this piece of wood! All the tannins already leached out of it so I am just waiting on the sand to settle and the water to clear (this would be much easier if I had a filter...). My cat used to ALWAYS sit on top of the tank when I originally had it set up so she won't get into it. She did actually fall into it once though... but I am pretty sure she walked on water to get out, I have never seen anything move so fast as she did to get out of the tank. It was awesome! I have a glass cover that will be going on top when I get everything right and setup anyways so hopefully that won't happen again. But what is your opinion, what do you think would be best for stocking the tank?
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Re: New tank, debating on fish/plants...

Postby c333davis on Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:12 pm

CaptainMorgan_SOS wrote:It's been a really long time since I have been on here. I had to take down my tanks because I moved and then when I was just about to set them back up I got orders for a deployment. So I just got back in January...


I'm so glad you posted! I just read through the Meet & Greet posts the other day, and I saw your signature info, and I wondered how you were doing. I'm glad to hear that you're back from the war. Thank you so much for your military service! And my thanks to your family for their support of you while you serve!

As far as fish, I vote for the gsp. I've had people say the same thing to me about "just" having one fish in "such a large" tank... he's worth it to me, though. I've heard of other people successfully having other aggressive fish with a gsp, like a clown, but then, that's in a marine setting, and your driftwood makes me think you're doing freshwater...

Good luck with the tank setup, whatever you decide. And keep posting picture along the way!
~ Candice
With the following creatures in various tanks:
1 GSP with live rock and red mushrooms (viewtopic.php?f=9&t=25686)
1 Red-ear Slider Turtle—32-yrs-old!
1 African Cichlid - not sure of species
2 Green Terror Cichlids
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Re: New tank, debating on fish/plants...

Postby Pufferpunk on Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:43 pm

I like the GSP idea too.
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

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Re: New tank, debating on fish/plants...

Postby CaptainMorgan_SOS on Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:48 pm

Thanks for the support! And believe it or not, I had alot of fun. Met some great people and did a whole lot of cool things! The media portrays everything over there as being terrible and hard... in some places, like where I was, it really isn't that bad. Things are definitely better than they were when this started. The people are really appreciative to what we are doing too.

I really like the idea of a GSP, my wife does not though... But they are the only puffs in stock in my local area for now so I may end up getting one. They look kinda rough but I could "save one" even though it would give the wrong message to the store thinking they could sell more yada yada... They have no idea how to take care of the puffers they have. They are housed in the same tank with oscars!! They feed them feeder fish!! WTF?! I would have to "train it to eat right."

Will the driftwood really do that bad as I increase the salinity? I hear it doesn't do well in the higher salinities but what would happen? Would it break to pieces or what? Are there any plants that could survive the high salinity? I really like live plants, I've always had them in every tank setup I have done. I have so many questions!! Going full marine makes me soooo nervous as I have never tried a saltwater setup...
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Re: New tank, debating on fish/plants...

Postby CaptainMorgan_SOS on Fri Feb 04, 2011 11:00 pm

Pufferpunk: Of course you like the idea of a GSP! I have read up on and seen the pics of your GSPs, which are gigantic and awesome btw...
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Re: New tank, debating on fish/plants...

Postby Pufferpunk on Sat Feb 05, 2011 12:10 am

Yeah, that wood will break down pretty quickly in salt.
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

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2 T biocellatus
C valentini
C coranata
C papuan
Also kept:
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burrfish
T niphobles
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Re: New tank, debating on fish/plants...

Postby c333davis on Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:02 am

CaptainMorgan_SOS wrote:Things are definitely better than they were when this started. The people are really appreciative to what we are doing too.

That's good to know!

CaptainMorgan_SOS wrote:Going full marine makes me soooo nervous as I have never tried a saltwater setup...

I know what you mean! I was uncertain, too. I set up my first sw tank at the end of December... there's a thread about it in the Brackish Water section of the Forum.

From what I've read, in full marine, your plant options involve macroalgae. I'm sure PP and RTR et al can point you to some great online references.
~ Candice
With the following creatures in various tanks:
1 GSP with live rock and red mushrooms (viewtopic.php?f=9&t=25686)
1 Red-ear Slider Turtle—32-yrs-old!
1 African Cichlid - not sure of species
2 Green Terror Cichlids
2 Jack Dempsey Cichlids
~30 Jewel Cichlids
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Re: New tank, debating on fish/plants...

Postby Pufferpunk on Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:59 am

Even when working in fish stores for 8 years, I stayed away from SW. Totally terrified me. As my GSPs got higher BW & with 50% WC on a 55g tank, I was using 10 cups of salt weekly. It wasn't hard to make the decision to go a little higher to SW. I kept the HOB filters & added a skimmer. Then I started adding live rock & removed the filters. The rest is history.

Here is where I wound up:
Image

Caring for SW seems 2nd nature to me now.
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

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2 T biocellatus
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C papuan
Also kept:
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Re: New tank, debating on fish/plants...

Postby RTR on Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:11 am

But the driftwood will rot faster than you can imagine in SW. If you want the wood, go FW.

Lots of plants and DPs would be good. Will your wife deal with live blackworms? My DPs lived and bred through a few generations with a diet of snails and live blackworms.

The blackworms are kept in blackworm boxes with a bit of water over the worms. They can be kept in the refrigerator - except my wife will not allow such. I used my son's cast-off bar refrigerator from college to keep them downstairs until it died, then I just kept them under the sink in the tank room and rinsed daily - a possible spouse issue there also. The worms are fed via a worm cone - clear plastic with tiny holes which the worms wiggle through - perfect for feeding DPs - as they fall through the water the DPs get to examine them carefully. I kept a small terra cotta saucer below the feeders to catch missed worms - which also gives DPs low on the pecking order a chance to get worms and also keeps them from infesting the gravel. It worked for me but i wonder if you wife would work with the worms - she could use a plastic spoon to life them out from the box to move to the cone, but that may be not her thing. My wife would not do such a thing, I know.
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Re: New tank, debating on fish/plants...

Postby Pufferpunk on Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:46 pm

Hubby doesn't complain about worms. ;) He does though complain that there is no room for his food in there.
You are getting sleepy... you only hear the sound of my voice... you must do water changes... water changes... water changes... water changes...

"The solution to pollution is dilution!"
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Punkster, the 4" red T miurus
Mongo, the 4" A modestus
2 T biocellatus
C valentini
C coranata
C papuan
Also kept:
lorteti
DPs
suvattii
burrfish
T niphobles
Location (country): USA, Chicago

Re: New tank, debating on fish/plants...

Postby CaptainMorgan_SOS on Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:29 pm

I am not sure how she would deal with the worms next to her french onion dip ;) but I am pretty convincing, soooo...

I just had another idea... what about Carinotetraodon Irrubescos?? Could I do 2-4? 1 male and 2-3 females? I see that they need 20 gallons a piece but what if I have this tank double-triple filtered (45 gallon tank with a filter doing 265 gph that is meant for a 100 gal tank)? Would they tolerate any tank mates such as a bristlenose pleco? And where would I get these puffs at? My LFS does not carry them and I am not sure they are competent to order them and/or have the right sexes that I order.

Has anyone had any success of ordering puffers online? If so where have you gone through? Can they be delivered this time of year with the cold weather and all? Have I asked enough questions yet? Why is the sky blue?
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