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Thread: My Adventure begins

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Shepparton Vic
    Posts
    159

    Default My Adventure begins

    I have never kept fish before now, this is totally new to me...

    We have a 3ft tank donated by our boys teacher. Since receiving the tank we have stocked it with Silver Sharks, Tetras, Cory's, Betta, Bristlenose, Silver Dollars, Mystery snails and the latest addition a Clown Loach that my boys named Jeffrey.

    In hindsight this was probably not a good idea, but we were blissfully unaware until the fish started eating the snails, poor things.

    Anyway we now have two lots of snail eggs and our boys want to let them breed.

    I had since purchased a couple of tanks so decided to get one ready to take the predators out of the soon to be breeding tank !

    Photos will show the journey so far.

    Lots of snail eggs, one lot seems a bit dry despite me sealing the top with tape to keep moisture up.

    The next tank had a 3d background which was looking pretty ordinary so I decided to renew it, I mixed a plain mortar with a water base paint colour to create different colours.
    I am an amateur and the results show it lol.

    After drying I filled with water and tested PH, wow off the chart high bright purple !

    Water change straight away, PH from tap is about 7 so according to Google the mortar mix is pushing up the PH level.
    Well I thought it would be good idea to add some 'Constant PH 7' to try and control it.
    Again not my best idea, woke the next morning to a plethora of white 'stuff' growing on the new background.

    Google indicated this was not a real problem so I started 100% water changes each afternoon.

    I think I am on change no 4 today and the white 'stuff' has reduced a lot, the PH is still high before each change.
    Hope it settles soon as we are running out of time for the snails hatching, another week is about when they will start hatching according to Google etc.

    This is a huge learning experience, but loving the challenge

    We are hoping to sell any raised snails to the local fish shops but if they don't want them I will let Jeffrey loose to clean them up ! Adult snails removed of course....

    aq (2) by , on Flickr
    aq (1) by , on Flickr
    IMG_20161204_091246 by , on Flickr
    IMG_20161204_091221 by , on Flickr
    2 by , on Flickr
    1 by , on Flickr
    IMG_20161211_201140 by , on Flickr
    IMG_20161211_201146 by , on Flickr

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Perth WA
    Posts
    613

    Default

    Hey Salt
    If you havent sealed the mortar with a fish safe sealer then the leaching of the lime (PH UP) will continue for a long time. By adding a PH reducing agent before the motar has fully set, and this takes weeks, you will be breaking down the mortar. This is the same, but not as severe, as a brickie using an acid wash to clean the mortar off bricks when he finishes a job.
    This is the bit that you may not want to hear. Pull the background out and let it fully dry, depending on the temperature a couple of days. Get something like Crommlins clear pond sealer and give it 2 coats and let it dry for 7 days. Put it back in the tank and start with fresh water.
    Good luck mate.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Shepparton Vic
    Posts
    159

    Default

    Thanks Merv, I have much to learn

    I will try and pull the background out but I think it will wreck my mortar job. Might leave it in and wait the weeks and seal. The white stuff should be gone by then.

    Hmm, plan B

    I can make the frame for the curved front 4ft tank and get it running, was always going to be in the lounge room so wont hurt to not have the cabinet doors/sides on for a while.

    Or rip that background out and throw it...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    ACT
    Posts
    13,910

    Default

    You could use the tank to house some Africans (fish... ) rather than trying to change up the background... They like it alkaline etc. You can still have some tough plants etc.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Shepparton Vic
    Posts
    159

    Default

    Hahaha so pleased you said fish

    I will get the big tank ready, trying to work out how I can make the frame in a short time.

    I am planning to make the corners part of the frame so need to get moving on this quickly, lucky i finish work tomorrow...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Shepparton Vic
    Posts
    159

    Default Plan B Begins !

    I have been busy making the frame for the 4 foot tank.

    I priced some hardwood and to get it local quickly was going to cost over double what I would normally pay from the timber mill.
    Plan B, drove to our work yard and grabbed a heap of 90 x 45mm pine we salvaged from our concrete formwork jobs.

    Seems I am doing a lot of plan B's lately lol.

    Then dressed the best pieces to 85 x 41mm.
    I think the tank, gravel, rocks and water will weigh around 400 kg so needs to be sturdy. I don't trust pine and would much prefer hardwood.
    Anyway lots of bracing, 10g x 100mm screws and waterproof polyurethane glue in all joins. Probably over engineered but it should last.

    My first question about the tank, is the plastic top brace enough or should I silicon some glass across there ?
    The glass is 10mm thick and tank measures 1200 x 470 x 650 mm high, I calculated approximately 300L plus the gravel, rocks etc.

    Some pics as to where I am at now, have stained the frame so it will better blend with the Blackwood skin when I make it.

    Couple of coats of clear sealer to follow tomorrow and then I can clean the tank and get it set up !

    IMG_20161204_091311

    IMG_20161204_091406

    IMG_20161220_161343

    IMG_20161220_161417

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    ACT
    Posts
    13,910

    Default

    Good work. Your planting technique is fine.

    With that purple plant, try it in a pot outside.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Shepparton Vic
    Posts
    159

    Default

    I grabbed a couple of unusual looking plants today and a large piece of driftwood.

    Bored a few holes in the base of the driftwood for the Bristlenose to hide in.
    It wants to float so I will leave it to soak int the other four foot tank until it sinks.

    Don't know how long it will take, small bubbles still coming out of it after a few hours.
    Hopefully not weeks ?

    Anyway I cant find the name of these plants, can any of you guys identify them ?
    Thought the lfs guy said palm something, I really wasn't paying attention

    IMG_20170103_190248 , on Flickr

    IMG_20170103_190258 , on Flickr

    IMG_20170103_190543 , on Flickr

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    ACT
    Posts
    13,910

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    Looks like a Banana lily to me.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nymphoides_aquatica

    With the wood, is it brand new? Weigh it down with a big stone etc.

    Looking good.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Shepparton Vic
    Posts
    159

    Default

    Cool thanks Rebel.

    I did see the Banana lily yesterday but was not sure if it was the same one.

    Yes brand new wood, I have it wedged under the glass braces of the tank, seems a bit less buoyant this morning and still has air bubbles coming out of it when I turn it over.

  11. #11

    Default

    Wood can take a long time to sink... but it will sink..

    I love the iron sand and I just noticed your DIY stand - good work right down to the rounded corners and finish. Very nice.

    Silver dollars and plants often don't go well together... so enjoy the plants while the fish are small. There are plenty of cheap plants to keep adding for that splash of green - you might find one they don't like.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    ACT
    Posts
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    Quick tip with wood, don't wedge it hard against glass. It can expand when soaked and can crack the glass.

    Beginner plant keepers shouldn't keep silver dollars with plants. It causes a process known as saladification. 😜

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Shepparton Vic
    Posts
    159

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Grubs View Post
    Wood can take a long time to sink... but it will sink..

    I love the iron sand and I just noticed your DIY stand - good work right down to the rounded corners and finish. Very nice.

    Silver dollars and plants often don't go well together... so enjoy the plants while the fish are small. There are plenty of cheap plants to keep adding for that splash of green - you might find one they don't like.
    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel
    Quick tip with wood, don't wedge it hard against glass. It can expand when soaked and can crack the glass.

    Beginner plant keepers shouldn't keep silver dollars with plants. It causes a process known as saladification. 
    Thanks Grubs, the cabinet is not finished yet, it will have a Tassie Blackwood cover and doors when I get time to make it !

    Thanks Rebel, I didn't explain very well, the wood is under the top glass braces to stop it emerging from the water.
    No pressure on the glass other than the buoyancy weight.

    Saladification lol yeah the Silver Dollars do nibble on the Ambulia but are leaving the others alone.
    I am keeping them well fed, they are growing fast !

    I have bought a 5 x 2 x 2 tank that will eventually house the Silver Dollars, Clown Loach and Silver Sharks once they are too big for this tank.

    Well I had typed a much more detailed reply and our internet decided to stop working and I lost the lot

    Anyway I was just comparing the plants from my post 4 days ago and how much they have grown already
    The Elodea and Ambulia have grown a couple of inches or more already...

    IMG_20170104_184135, on Flickr

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Shepparton Vic
    Posts
    159

    Default

    I was looking in another lfs today and they had an Electric Blue Yabbie around 2.5" long.

    How would a Yabbie go with fish ?

    We have...

    Silver Dollars x 6
    Silver Sharks x 3
    Clown Loach x 1
    Dwarf gourami x 2
    Siamese Fighter x 1
    Bronze Cory's x 3
    Pepper ? Cory's x 2 ( Very small 1.5 cm 'ish )
    Neon Tetras x 12
    Some kind of bronze Tetras x 5
    Bristlenose x 2

    Holy crap I just realised we have 37 fish in the tank !
    Doesn't seem that many when watching them go about their business...

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    ACT
    Posts
    13,910

    Default

    Superb shroud. I can't make out the exact plan for it using the pictures. #6 and #7 appear to be not completely consistent. :P I am keen for more explanation if you care to provide it. You can take up to 9 months to provide the said explanation. :P

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