The Age of Aquarium

I’ve had aquariums for most of my life, and not the goldfish and a beta kind. Professional level aquariums that people would pay huge bucks for.
 
I haven’t had one since we moved to Colorado because until recently, we didn’t own a house here. Now we do. So here is my aquarium that is being set up.
 
It will be a planted community tank, with a day cycle lighting system, a CO2 injection system, and probably about 80 fish of various types, mostly schooling types.
 
I’ll describe a bit about the tank with each picture, I plan on posting the details on my blog regularly as the tank develops.
 
For now, it’s two to four days of sitting with nothing living in the tank. The CO2 system is being shipped, so I’ll have to take the canister to a welding store and have it filled. I got a 20lb cannister, so it shouldn’t need filled more than once a year. The CO2 is for plant growth if you’re wondering.
 
The bottom of the tank is Special Kitty cat litter from Sam’s Club. Yes, that’s right, cat litter. It’s 100% clay, and I’ve used it numerous times in the past to act as a root base and nutrient source for my plants. It’s why I posted the other day lambasting what people pay for bentonite clay.
 
On top of that are rocks from the Dollar Store out in Falcon. Huh? That’s right, the dollar store. The rocks are for potted plants, but they’re already clean and work perfectly in aquariums.
 
The filter is a Marineland, and is probably twice the size I need for this tank. But I like them bigger, because not only do they filter more of the tank more quickly, but I also use them to stir my injected CO2 into the water.
 
The light that is on there now is a cheap POS that came with the tank, I’ll be replacing it with a full day cycle light that will provide different color light to the tank based on the time of day.
 
So 2-4 days like this. Then the first plants go in place, and one fish of some kind to get the ammonia/nitrite/nitrates cycle going. I told my daughters that if the water isn’t adjusted chemically, that first fish will be a sacriFISHial lamb. 😉
 
2-3 weeks then as a planted tank, then I add in a few black skirt tetras, a pair of emerald cats, and maybe a blue gourami. The fish selection is simply because I know they’re hardy, and because they’re among the first species I ever raised as a kid.
I don’t know if you’re into aquariums or not, but if you are expect more to follow. I’ve got two more tanks to set up at this level of my house, and probably a larger one in the basement at some point. The one you see here is 66 gallons. I’ve had a 180 gallon tank in the past, and I’ve found the larger they are, the easier they are to take care of, at least for fresh water.

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