Another one of my recent hobbies is keeping fish. I have some fish in the office and I’ve kept fish in a small 5 gallon tank at home. In the last year that I really got into this, I found that the 5 gallon was extremely limiting in what I can keep. I honestly wanted a community tank stocked with different fish (and one centerpiece fish). The 5 gallon meant that I could have a single Betta or Gourami, or small shoaling fish (and even then it wasn’t ideal).
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I finally sprung for a 20 gallon long that was on sale. I was so excited. I remember dragging my husband with me to the Brooklyn store. We traveled via train, walked a mile, and then browsed, picked up items, and used an Ubercab for the first time. It was the same weekend they were trying to encourage people to use it in NYC outer boroughs, so they took off $20. It was perfect. (On a separate note, Uber was ok, except one driver called me, asked me to canceled and it took forever to get another driver. We were literally almost waiting wondering what to do for 30 minutes. And then it took another 20-30 minutes for the final driver to get here. That being the said, the driver that got us was so nice, and we were so thankful that he drove all that way. Later, Uber waived my cancellation fee from that other driver. I explained to them that the driver actually asked me to cancel. (They waive the first cancellation fee without you asking – since they figured you did not know about the fee.) Overall it was a mixed experience. Uber is more expensive, and hard to catch currently in the outer boroughs, but it is easy to use and the customer service is pretty good. < / long tangent >)

I bought a separate hood, the filters, etc. It took a couple of weeks to assemble all the parts in an affordable way. And I’ve been looking to stock this new aquarium for a long while. I cycled it with guppies I had in the office for the first month after buying the filter. (I have the Penn Plax Cascade 150 and a 20G sponge filter. Then, I traveled to Oregon, etc. So, I didn’t want to add new fish and abandon it so I left the guppies and waited a few more weeks. Of course throughout, I tested with the Master API liquid kit to make sure ammonia was 0, nitrite was 0 and nitrates were low.

I had the rough gravel left over from my 5 gallon and my dark fine gravel is the Caribsea Eco-Complete, which I used because I wanted to experiment with some plants. You can see some Java Fern and Anubias, which are low light plants. The Anubias had a little flower, which wilted, while I was in Oregon (since we left the lights off). The castle and all the fake silk plants were from my 5 gallon.

At work, another coworker hooked me up with someone in my office who was looking to get rid of his neon tetras, since he wanted to try something else. We actually did a fish swap with the guppies that breed at my desk. I gave him one male, 3 females (2 were pregnant), so that should get his swarm of feeder guppies going. I never wanted neon tetras before, but they are gorgeous in the tank. they are so bright blue with that flash of red. Also, I think 2 of them are actually cardinals instead. They are so skittish. I brought them over between Tuesday and Wednesday, so it’s been 2-3 days and they are just starting to come out. Whenever anyone walks by the aquarium (my floor creaks), they still run away, though. I am hoping after a while they come out of their shell a bit more. I am also considering getting more, because I’ve heard larger shoals/schools give them more confidence. I may pick up like 3 more.

There is still more I need to do. I want to make a background for it out of styrofoam and concrete, but I want to get some black backing to start to hide the wires and the wall. I want to add some more color. I think a Gourami center piece and some colorful Platys (bumblebee?). Once day, I would LOVE to get a German Blue Ram, but I think I am going to wait. I want to plant this tank more, too. I want to change the hood light to glolight and get it a bit more heavily planted. I also want to fill the 5 gallon with a dwarf puffer fish and plant it. I have some other projects in store for that one.

There is still a guppy in there that I can’t catch. One also gave birth in there so there are 7 fry that I can count. They are a little larger and quicker, so I don’t think they will get eaten anymore. I’ll see. I would want to take them out once I stock it a little more.

Any comments/feedback is very much appreciated!

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