Week 6 of my new aquarium. Other than this 1st paragraph, the rest of this post was written in week 3. I wrote the post, but didn’t have any media. So, today I created the media. Note: The red fish, the Long Fin Cherry Barbs, are going to be removed today. They were not paired well from the store and they did not work out. Instead of correcting the paring I’m cutting my losses and taking them back. I’ll concentrate on plants in the coming weeks. Once the plants are established I’ll add some more fish or shrimp.
Feiya and myself visited a few tropical fish stores in Vegas before we started stocking the tank. I pointed out some of the fish I used to have back in the day when I had an aquarium. Back then I had African Cichlids. I did have one community tank and it wasn’t the most successful of my fish keeping endeavors. I took care of it well enough, but I didn’t match the fish well. I just threw in fish I thought looked cool. Not cool.
The Hobby has Changed
The hobby has changed a lot over the past twenty years. There’s a TON of information on it now. I think it’s a little over complicated. Back then I would throw some starter fish in the tank and let them swim around it for a month or two. Once the PH level hit the right level I’d throw in the fish I really wanted in it. Sure, I lost a couple, but not many.
When I emptied my last aquarium in 2002 I was living in Lakewood, Colorado. I took two Jack Dempseys that were at least six inches long and eight inch pleco mosus to a nearby pet store and sold them. Not bragging or anything, but I had a handle on things.
Since moving to our condo in Summerlin I’ve had the itch to get an aquarium going. Over the past 18 years or so I’d been moving around so much I could never have one. So a month or so ago I decided to get one. It took a couple of weeks to get everything and assemble it. I bought the tank itself at PetSmart. Yes, I know I’m not suppose to support them, but the aquarium stores in Las Vegas are pretty slim. It’s a 36 gallon tank and I’m really happy with it.
Same Setup Different Tank
I setup the aquarium almost the same I did back in the day. I’m starting the rethink that. But, I’m a long way off from any drastic changes. I installed a under the gravel filtration system. I’m really not using it, but I might by a powerhead for it in the future. For now I’m primarily using it for aeration purposes.
I then added about 4 inches of aquarium gravel on top of it. I know I’m going to regret adding that much some day. I then decorated it with plastic plants and an almost too big castle decoration. But, it works really well now.
I then have an over the back biological filter. I’m already thinking that’s going to need an upgrade soon. However, in order to upgrade my filter I’ll have to get a better hood. I’m really not in love with the hood that came with my PetSmart aquarium. So, I might have to make an investment in the not so distant future. For now I’m really happy with my setup.
I am educating myself more this time around. Back in the 90’s when I first started out I read a couple books on it. I also talked to the aquarium store people for insight. I was knowledgeable enough to enjoy the hobby.
There wasn’t a whole lot of info on fish keeping on the internet back then. I’m doing my homework and am doing some more technical things now such as water testing and water changes. I knew I was supposed to do these things back then, but just didn’t because I didn’t have any problems. Well, the only fish that survived my tanks were hardy fish. This time around I want to see if I can become a little more advanced. We’ll see how it goes.
Here is a video of my setup thus far. I have a lot of changes coming, but wanted to show where it started.
Chinese Gold Barbs
The first week I put 4 Chinese Gold Barbs in it. I had never heard of those but they looked hardy in the fish store. A few days in my tank they started turning a deep gold color with deep blacks and hints of red. They were beautiful! We all really liked how they behaved as well. And they were clean fish.
I started doing my research on them. I learned they are from Southeast Asia and live in shallow rivers and streams. They are hardy and can withstand a variety of water conditions. They like to be in schools of 6 or more.
I bought 6 more Barbs at the fish store not far from my house, Lances Aquarium. The owner is a little annoying, but he has a wealth of knowledge. I think the more I shop there the more he’ll calm down. His prices are good and his fish are well taken care of.
Feiya nad myself planned on making the tank centered around a pair of Angelfish. I wasn’t married to the idea, but Feiya was. When I did my research on my gold barbs I found they were fin nippers and not compatible with Angelfish. We decided we liked the barbs and would make a tank suitable with them in it.
The next fish I want to introduce to the aquarium in a school of Bloodfin Tetras. They’re a smaller schooling fish that will stick to the top of the tank. I’m thinking of a nice school of 15-20 should suffice. I’m hoping to see a lot of red and shimmering silvers. I think that will be a nice contrast to the Gold Barbs swimming just below them.
For the bottom of the tank I’m wanted to put a school of 10 or so Cory Cats on it. I may have to rethink that because they might not like the gravel. I’m not sure yet of which route I’m going to take.
I do know I want a Hillstream Loach to help me with algae. They are very hardy fish and will eat anything. They also won’t grow to be over 3-4 inches long. Perfect for my setup!
I’m really wanting to round out my community with a pair of Blue Rams. These are Cichlids that work well in community tanks as they are peaceful. A rarity for Cichlids. They look like they can be quite beautiful fish. They are also a little more fickle when it comes to water conditions. I’ll have to wait on these.
Here we go! Another journey into fishdom! I’m really excited about being a fish keeper again. I’m hoping with the added knowledge and with a little more sophisticated approach I’ll be able to create something special inside my aquarium. I think then I’ll really get a lot of enjoyment from it. I’ll keep you posted!