Cycle is complete!

Tank is finally cycled, finished up with a few more decorations and added the Malaysian driftwood. 10 Serpae Tetra, 3 Panda Garra and 2 Marimo. Decided to do the Neons last as they are the ones that will stress the most during the ride home. Plus I’m going to get them from a place a bit closer to home so that the drive isn’t as long.

PetSmart has the cleanest and nicest tanks that I’ve seen thus far. Plus I like the stickers with the fish info on them, which let you know if they’re community fish, semi aggressive, minimum tank size, foods they eat etc. etc. etc. Most of the non-chain/privately owned LFS that I’ve gone to have tanks that are borderline nasty, and the fish do not look healthy at all. Stickers have no information about the fish either, so I’ve added a saved link on my cell phone to The Aquarium Wiki for quick references.

Had to go 20 minutes out for the Panda Garra due to no one close having them (much less heard of them). They’re SO adorable, too!! A bit on the spastic side, but they’re still cute as hell. You can’t really see them as they’re small, but they should grow to roughly 4 inches or so. Trying to get a picture of them is going to be painful I think!

More fish coming soon! Click on images for larger view.


Completed cycle


Completed cycle

Fishless Cycling While Aquascaping

New 30G tank is still cycling, so it will be a tad bit longer till I get fish to put in the tank. Right now I’m focusing on getting things aquascaped. The very center is kept open for a large piece of Malaysian driftwood that is being soaked in a bucket so I can remove some of the tannins. Bought another 25lb bag of Este’s Spectrastone Gravel to finish off the aquascaping, but I haven’t added it yet. The idea is to make a hill going upwards to the right side of the tank (perhaps just half of the new bag). This should raise the cute little pagoda up a bit. I think it will look awesome. Not sure yet if the center back part will need more plants. Will have to wait and see. I’m also still unsure of what kind of background to stick on the back of the tank. Doug thinks a nice solid color would look good, but I’m leaning more towards a background picture of plants for a more natural look. Again, will have to wait and see. ;)

One of my stocking ideas (not definitive):
6 Harlequin Rasbora
7 Neon Tetra
6 Rosy Tetra
10 Serpae Tetra
3 Panda Garra

Check the Aquatics page for more info on this 30G setup! Click on the picture for a larger view.

Aquascaping while fishless cycling

Aquascaping while fishless cycling

Fluval C3 Power Filter

Received my packages from Amazon today, but was disappointed to find that the filter was cracked. Doug filled out the online paperwork needed for the return, printed the return packing slip and we’ve got the box ready for UPS to pick it up tomorrow. UPS will pick up packages right from your house to be sent out. How cool is that?

I also received the Dr Tim’s One and Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria along with the Ammonium Chloride. Extensive research and reading tons of reviews shows the One and Only to be some seriously good stuff for fishless cycling. Should take less than a month with this method (7 to 8 days). Much better than waiting 6 to 8 weeks.


I began this journey around the beginning of January of this year, and have made quite a few newb mistakes. ie; not researching enough, cycling with fish, listening to the LFS (local fish store) and probably a few others that I can’t recall at the moment. At any rate, I’ve already battled Ich which I treated successfully with high heat and aquarium salt. Up to this point I had been doing a 20% PWC (partial water change) every other day, and performing water parameter tests right before the changes. Happy to say that the cycle has fully completed and all params are good. PH is a bit high right out of the tap (8.0), and has stabilized in the tank to roughly 8.2. I’m not going to add any chemicals to lower it as it would be a never ending battle that would get too expensive. The fish are happy and eating well, and from what I understand they will acclimate to PH levels as long as they remain constant and aren’t fluctuating.

Now that I know that Tiger Barbs require at minimum a 30 gallon tank (and I’m now attached to the little beasts), I’ll be moving them to a new setup soon. The new Fluval C3 filter and some items for cycling by Dr. Tim should arrive sometime today. However, I cannot begin to set up the new tank until after Doug and I swap out our offices this coming weekend. Kind of excited about that as I’ll be getting the loft that overlooks the living room downstairs for my office. The office I’m currently in just gets too hot in the summer, and Doug wants to be able to have a closed off room for conference calls. Being able to shut the door will allow for a quieter space for him.

Everything you need to know about my current setup and the upcoming new setup can be found on the Aquatics page.