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My 30 gallon open top tank jourrney

3144 Views 83 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  marple
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It all started with a small tank, giving me the chance of making mistakes, learning and finding out I really like it:
Plant Vertebrate Water Organism Pet supply


Very soon I started dreaming of something bigger giving me space to more sorts of fish species and experimenting with emerse plants. So then I got my (about) 30 gallon tank, 50cm x 80cm x 30cm so wide and shallow. I wanted something wide because I really liked the idea of having some sort of island in the middle where the fish could swim around, create room for different territory's for the fish and different perspectives for me. This was how I started:

Egg crates to protect the glass from the heavy load of the rocks
Rectangle Wood Floor Flooring Grille


The two elevated areas. I filled the bottom with expanded clay pebbles and put fine gravel on top.
Wood Staple food Gas Cuisine Soil


First plants. As you can see the wood is all dry,in the heat of the moment (it was quite hard to get a stable pile of rocks) I forgot that it would float, oops 馃檭. Luckily most pieces are stuck between the rocks...
I reused the substrate of my old tank which became a mixture of sand and dirt which I augmented with some mixture of sand and soil I bought in a LFS. I topped it of with a thin layer of sand. Not sure it this is enough to call it a dirted tank, but after my anaerobic fish killing substrate adventure I was a bit scared of using too much dirt.
Wood Rectangle Drawer Hardwood Art


The result on day two, this was about five weeks ago


All the inhabitants moved to the new tank, including my blackworms
Water Insect Fluid Organism Wood


After three days it was looking a lot better already
Water Plant Wood Organism Underwater


Plant Plant community Ecoregion Natural environment Organism

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Your plants certainly seem to be coming along nicely. Hopefully, this infection will just run its course without any fatalities.
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Your plants certainly seem to be coming along nicely. Hopefully, this infection will just run its course without any fatalities.
They do! Apart from the weird swords most plants are doing very well. When I compare it to the photos at the start it is getting nice and green.

So far no more casualties so I'm happy about that. The apisto and the rosy loaches are sometimes swimming in front of the glass as if they really want to get away, not sure what can be the reason for that but they are eating and lively so I hope it will just pass by.

Today I introduced a lovely female friend for my apisto. His reaction was awesome. He is normally very cool, doing his thing, kind of looking bored and treating any fish as air to him. But when he saw her froze for a moment, looking very very attentive at her. Then he swam towards her enthusiastically and started to dance. His colors became more vivid and he followed her everywhere. I would not be surprised at all @johnwesley0 if he was indeed bored.
I will keep an eye on them if he is not annoying the female too much, in that case I would need another female. I prefer not since I think my tank is a bit small for two females, but we'll see.
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They do! Apart from the weird swords most plants are doing very well. When I compare it to the photos at the start it is getting nice and green.

So far no more casualties so I'm happy about that. The apisto and the rosy loaches are sometimes swimming in front of the glass as if they really want to get away, not sure what can be the reason for that but they are eating and lively so I hope it will just pass by.

Today I introduced a lovely female friend for my apisto. His reaction was awesome. He is normally very cool, doing his thing, kind of looking bored and treating any fish as air to him. But when he saw her froze for a moment, looking very very attentive at her. Then he swam towards her enthusiastically and started to dance. His colors became more vivid and he followed her everywhere. I would not be surprised at all @johnwesley0 if he was indeed bored.
I will keep an eye on them if he is not annoying the female too much, in that case I would need another female. I prefer not since I think my tank is a bit small for two females, but we'll see.
My experience is that female apistos can defend themselves pretty well so long as the male is just being a pest. Where did you get your female? My grandkid looks like it may be a male, too:
Water Organism Underwater Fish Terrestrial plant


Water Plant Fluid Organism Aquatic plant
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My experience is that female apistos can defend themselves pretty well so long as the male is just being a pest. Where did you get your female? My grandkid looks like it may be a male, too:
Your grandkid looks exactly like my male! All the photo's in my topic are of him, haven't been able to make a photo of the female yet. She is from a LFS, no idea if she is wild or from a breeder. I'll try to make a nice photo of both together.

For a long time I was in doubt if my male was a indeed a male, but I guess that's proven now 馃槉. So I wouldn't be surprised if your grandkid is a male as well.

Good to know the female can defend herself, this morning I noticed she sometimes follows the male as well. They are just a cute couple I guess... She is a quick learner as well, yesterday she wanted to grab a piece of sinking food, looked at it for a few seconds and was beaten by a galaxy rasbora picking it away right in front of her. Next piece of food she just went for it 馃槃
And mr Apisto is so much more active now, very interesting to see the difference in behaviour.
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