Saturday, March 6, 2010

Playing Catch Up

So here goes, time for me to catch everyone up on the beginning and current status of this tank. Bear with me if it's a little choppy in the beginning, trying to remember that far back isn't that easy anymore ;).

Starting back in 2007 while living in Pennsylvania, I had bought a 20 gallon tank and stand with very modest equipment. It was meant to be viewed as a "family" present for our living room for my wife and 4 children at the time. At the time all I had was a measly filter that came from the tank, a cheap heater, some cheasy decorations and about two pounds of cheapo aquarium gravel from the store. I let it cycle for maybe about a week (which was no where near in time, but I didn't have this information at the time) and then proceeded to start buying fish. It all started with a couple of Neon Tetras (Paracheirodon innesi), a Peppered Cory (Corydoras paleatus), a Flame Dwarf Gourami (Colisa lalia) and a Gold Gourami (Trichogaster trichopterus). The neon's didn't last long due to the fact the tank wasn't anywhere near cycled yet, so I bought a set of 5 Pristella Tetra's (Pristella maxillaris). There were a couple other fish I know that went through the tank, one being a beautiful African Butterfly Fish (Pantodon buchholzi), but I just couldn't keep them alive due to my inexperience. It's not like I didn't have any tanks when I was a younger child, I remember a few my father had set up for us through the years, but when I went out and splurged on this tank I thought it was gonna be a breeze. I soon found out it wasn't as easy as it seems and began to do more research.

Eventually in October of 2007 we moved to New Jersey, I brought the tank and fish with me, lowering the tanks water to within inches and tried to save as much of the old water that I could. It was only about 140 miles, but I was worried the fish wouldn't make it or god forbid the tank would crack. However, it all went smoothly and immediately when we arrived at our home I set the tank up and filled it up. The tank once again went through another cycle. I had made the stupid mistake of not only filling it with new water that was completely different in chemistry, but I had thought with a new placement and home of the tank that it deserved a thorough cleaning, gravel, filters and all. Say good bye beneficial bacteria =). For two and a half weeks the tank looked as if someone had poured milk inside, I hadn't seen anything like this when I had first set it up due to poorer lighting, so I had no idea all I was witnessing was a bacterial bloom. I started to believe that maybe it was algae, so I started to do some internet research on what it could be, I did eventually find out that it was just a bacterial bloom, but along the way while posting on some different forums someone had mentioned adding live plants to the tank to help the tank cycle along. This is where it hit me like a ton of bricks and where my obsession began....

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