Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tank Build: 35g Hexagon

I wasn't too diligent about getting a lot of pictures of the whole tank building process but then again, it was fast and easy build. I bought a second hand 35g hexagonal tank a few month back (tank, stand, hood, and about 50lbs of brown gravel). Jen and I decided that it would become our first planted tank and include angelfish as the center piece. Here's the tank as I bought it (except the log which was from my 29g cichlid tank):
The first thing that I did was start up a Hydro-sponge III filter in my 55g tank. I let that sponge run in the tank for a little over a month to seed it with nitrifying bacteria that would break down the ammonia and nitrite produced by the fish waste. By seeding the sponge ahead of time in an already established tank I didn't have to wait the normal 2-8 weeks for the nitrifying bacterial colonies to grow in my new tank and I was safe to add fish within a few days. (Here's a link to the Aquarium nitrogen cycle in case you are thinking of setting up a new tank Next, I threw away the old gravel that the tank came with and got my hands on 64lbs of live, red planting sediment. I filled the tank up to a 3 inch depth for planting and then filled the tank with dechlorinated tap water, installed the heater and sponge filter, and added to slabs of slate the will serve as the main structure for which I will plant around.
After I let the tank sit for 2 days so that the water could adjust to the right temperature and I could monitor my water parameters to make sure that I was reading 0ppm for ammonia and nitrites I purchased 6 spotted corydoras catfish, 2 large amazon sword plants, 2 java ferns, an Argentina sword, and chain sword from my LFS. While I acclimated the corys, using the bucket method, I planted all the plants. The whole process of acclimating the fish and planting took me an hour.

The final step was to add the angelfish, I allowed a week to pass so that the little corys could become comfortable in the tank before adding the big angels. Jen picked out a Koi angelfish and a Leopard angelfish which she named Hanz and Andrew.

So far the tank is going great and the angelfish are already very interactive with both of us and they are always hungry.

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