Aquarium – Getting set up

After about 20 years of not having an aquarium, I decided it was time to set a new one up. I have been thinking about it for a couple of years now and with the COVID19 pandemic and a permanent change to working from home the time was right. There was a good deal on a 35 Gallon bow front aquarium on Kijiji so that’s where I started. This was mid January, a good project for the new year.

The bundle I picked up off of Kijijji.
Pulled out the filter, Kermit hopped in to check out the view.
The seller on Kijiji had said that the filter that came with the aquarium didn’t work right so I went and bought a new one.
A planted tank doesn’t need a charcoal filter insert so I picked up one for removing ammonia.
The heater was missing suction cups, so picked up some replacements
The plan was to have all live plants, so bought some fertilizer tabs
Water Conditioner to remove chlorine
Have to have a thermometer
A couple of kits for testing water. I ended up buying some additional ones later. In retrospect I should have just invested in the API Master Test Kit.

I knew that I wanted to go with all live plants. To do that I needed something better than typical Aquarium gravel. After doing some reading on a couple of Aquarium websites, I decided to go with CaribSea Eco-Complete. It was a little more expensive at $60.00 a bag, and I needed three bags but it seemed like the best for what I wanted. It’s interesting because it comes wet. It’s packaged in a liquid Amazon black water solution that helps jumpstart the biological cycle in the aquarium. So far it’s worked well, my plants are growing nicely. I couldn’t find anyone locally that had it in stock, so I ended up ordering it off Amazon. It was one day shipping with Prime, so it worked out well.

Made room on the shelf next to the television
Loaded with the substrate and a couple of the decorations that came with the tank
Another view of the tank

For the plants, I went with another local vendor that I found on Kijiji, Calgary Aquatic Plants. I spent $50 on plants and another $30 on some tools and accessories. I particularly liked the Glass Planter that sticks to the side of the tank and allows you to put some small plants higher up. I stuck with fairly basic plants, Siamensis, River Buttercup, Rotala, Red Ludwigia, Taiwan moss and Weeping Moss. I would later add a few additional plants

Putting in the plants. I shouldn’t have filled the tank quite so full before getting the plants
Arranging everything
And the plants are all in. I initially had also purchased a small Stargate ornament. It wasn’t too long before I would replace it with a larger version.
Everything is set up. Now just need to let it cycle for three weeks before adding fish.
And, with an upgraded Stargate
For comparison, this is how the plants looked six weeks later
And this is how it looks at 10 weeks.

After a minor disaster to be describedlater, I added a small three gallon quarantine tank to the shelf under the main tank. Which also let me make use of the original small Stargate as well as some of the gravel, plastic plants and other ornaments that originally came with the big tank.

Both tanks
The small quarantine tank. Temporarily housing the Tiger Nerite. It had fallen off the side in the big tank and hadn’t moved for a day or so. I though it might be dead but decided to put it in the small tank just to be sure and it started motoring around again. It eventually went back into the main tank.
Added two more glass pots on the back of the tank.

At this point, the tank set up is pretty much done, it’s into maintenance mode with minor adjustments here and there, and probably some plant trimming soon.

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