Sunday, June 30, 2013


Having just recently come back to the hobby of Aquariums and fish keeping after 20 years, I discovered there were advances in many things.  Technology advances, fish identification advances, a wider variety of tank types plus the internet has opened up communication making certain items and fishes easier to locate and obtain.
My son, who is now 16 yrs old, has had a 20 gallon fish tank for about 6 years now.  He lost interest years ago and the tank turned into a green gooey mass of algae on every surface.  Fake plants.....covered, driftwood............covered, gravel bed..............covered, glass.............covered.  You could barely see the tank occupants, 3 Austrailian Rainbows, 3 corydoras aeneus catfish and one ancient orange platy.  Sometime in January 2013 the old platy gave it up.  But when the albino aeneus died in March 2013 way before his time I decided it was time to change ownership of the tank.
I did a 60 % water change, taking all of the ornaments out of the aquarium.  I made a decision to turn it into a naturally planted tank.  I scraped as much algae off the glass as I could and went to town to just about the only store available, Petsmart. The next day I found an actual aquarium store in Spokane. Between the two stores, I purchased Water Wisteria, Scarlet Hygro, Micro Sword, Java Moss, Java Fern, Anubius plants, Bacopa, 4 Otocinclus cats, and one fat female green C. aeneus.  I also purchased a bag of Flourite gravel and a pack of root tabs.  That night I transformed the swamp into this next photo.

If you expand this photo you can still see the algae on the back and side glass, on the driftwood, rocks and gravel.  The airline is one mass of algae.  I decided the little otocinclus needed some assistance in algae removal and I purchased an albino female Ancistrus, 2 young Rainbows, 5 Zebra Danios and 2 Nerite snails.

Within the week the  C. aeneus, which the two 5 year old male original tank occupants had NEVER been with a female, decided to spawn with the newly provided female.  Guess they weren't THAT unhealthy, even with the lack of water changes and green tank............  Of course the big Australian Rainbows peeled all the eggs off the glass.

Every other day after that the Rainbows and Zebra Danios would take turns spawning and eating each others eggs.  Then I'd do a water change and the aeneus corys would spawn again.

I purchased a test kit at Petco to find out the parameters of my well water.  In the process of testing I discovered my nitrates were off the charts!  It took me a week of 25% water changes every other day to get the nitrates down to 20!  I also discovered during testing we have amazing water here for Corydoras.  PH 6.8-7.0 hardness 120 ppm with an alkalinity of 80.  I decided I needed more Corys.