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Author Topic: Low budget tank  (Read 5382 times)

Offline yorkiemad00

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Low budget tank
« on: July 06, 2012, 08:05:44 pm »
Thought I would start a log to document the setting up of my second tank. (Even if most of it is set up now and not really mine either)

I have been having great fun setting up the tank. I am a science teacher and after setting up an aquarium at home a few months ago, decided I would like one in my teaching lab at school. I should have taken picture as I went along but I guess I will have to start now *oops*

The main aim of this tank was to be interesting, low maintanance and most importantly cheap. It had to have a good lid with no gaps that teenagers could stuff things into.

Finding my tank
After looking around for cheap tanks, I managed to source one from within school so it was entirely free *applause*

Turned out to be two tanks, four filters and a heater.

The main 60L tank was last used to house a couple of fancy goldfish a year ago and had since sat dry and filthy in the sixthform common room completely unloved and being cursed as an ugly eyesore.


Cleaning
I got it moved into my lab and started the long job of cleaning it up. Most of the 'dirt' was limescale due to our local water being liquid chalk. Concentrated HCl from the chemical stored took care of that, but it took alot of rinsing to get rid of the HCl smell after. Any traces left would be neutralised by the hard alkaline tap water.

Lights, filters and heater worked *applause*. Chose to use the filter that came with the tank mainly because it came with a case that had space for the heater and extra biological filter media, tetra easy crystal and 50W heater. discovered Im really bad at using a screwdriver and can't put bulbs back in properly. Luckily we have some amazing technicians who are always happy to help.


Setting up
Next step was to move the tank to its final location and add gravel I had removed from my tank at home. Very pretty gravel but it kept raising the pH of the water. I'm hoping it won't have any effect on water that already has a pH of 8. Then finally water using tetra tap safe. Not sure I like this tap conditioner, it turned the water very blue.


Planting
The next dilemma was sourcing cheap plants. This was solved by a year 7 pond dipping lesson. Why not use some from the school pond. I had heard of hornwort being used in tanks, the pond is full of this and some elodea crispa.

Took some cutting of what looked to be the most healthy and soaked them in a (probably too concentrated) solution of potassium permangante. Im hoping it has killed of not only any nasties but also some of the pond's algae.

After a good rinse in fresh water, I planted them in the gravel and left the light on timer.


Stocking
I had already made the decision I wanted cherry shrimp in this tank. I'm told they breed quick and I'm fond of watching the antics of the one in my home aquarium.  I went back to the guy I got mine from and bought a few extra. They will stay at home until the tank has cycled.

While I was there, I notice the guy also was selling some guppies/endler hybrids. Managed to get 6 fish and 15 shrimp for the price of £15 *bounce* My aquarium seems to be coping witht he extra fish and all the fish seem to be getting along happily. The guppies seem to teaching the minnows to steal the cory's food though  :censored2:
They only have to cope together for another 6 weeks.


Cycling

This was my biggest dilema. I wanted to do a fishless cycle, I don't want to spend my summer holiday at school but I wanted to add fish at the beginnning of september
Solution: The second, smaller tank! Its only 30L but deep enough to hold the filter and heater box.


Today (06/07/12)
Right I have brought the small tank home, with the filter and heater to set up in my living room to run a fishless cycle where I can monitor it and add more kleen off when needed. The filter can then be transported, fully cycled to school in september. In between I might use the tank to try to get my corys to spawn?

Now the computer is up to date. *grin*
70L tank (Juwel Rekord 700)
7xSalt& pepper corys, 10xPygmy corys 8x wcmm.
some red cherry shrimp and a few snails & a couple of limpets
Tetra 60L with 2 guppiexendlers + fry

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    Offline yorkiemad00

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    Re: Low budget tank
    « Reply #1 on: July 06, 2012, 08:06:44 pm »
    If anyone is bored enough to read this, I would appreaciate any comments, especially if anyone has spotted a hole in my plan
    70L tank (Juwel Rekord 700)
    7xSalt& pepper corys, 10xPygmy corys 8x wcmm.
    some red cherry shrimp and a few snails & a couple of limpets
    Tetra 60L with 2 guppiexendlers + fry

    Offline yorkiemad00

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    Re: Low budget tank
    « Reply #2 on: July 06, 2012, 08:32:54 pm »
    Set up the filter.
    Added alfagrog to the bottom of the unit to replace some tired and dirty bioballs. Replace the silly filter cartridge with some filterfloss and some medium foam.
    I had to use the frame from an old one to hold the stuff in place. The cartridge said it should be replace every 4 weeks with a new one, chucking away all that good bacteria :mad:. Silly idea plus they are too expensive for my low budget tank. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tetra-T8482-Crystal-Filter-Cartridge/dp/B000XA6RVI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1341601752&sr=8-2

    I will wash the floss in tank water every water change and clean the foam every 4 weeks.
    70L tank (Juwel Rekord 700)
    7xSalt& pepper corys, 10xPygmy corys 8x wcmm.
    some red cherry shrimp and a few snails & a couple of limpets
    Tetra 60L with 2 guppiexendlers + fry

    Offline yorkiemad00

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    Re: Low budget tank
    « Reply #3 on: July 06, 2012, 08:35:49 pm »
    Right, Filled up the tank with tap water and water conditioner.

    Added some ammonium hydroxide. Will test levels tomorrow to see if I need to add some more.

    Also gave my filter media a squeeze into the water. Water has gone cloudy and a bit brown. Hope this will be enough to give it a kick start.
    70L tank (Juwel Rekord 700)
    7xSalt& pepper corys, 10xPygmy corys 8x wcmm.
    some red cherry shrimp and a few snails & a couple of limpets
    Tetra 60L with 2 guppiexendlers + fry

    beanoir

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    Low budget tank
    « Reply #4 on: July 06, 2012, 09:27:48 pm »
    Pics pics pics!! Sounds good and I love reading tank logs!

    Offline Atargatis

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    Re: Low budget tank
    « Reply #5 on: July 07, 2012, 08:50:08 am »
    I do hope the kids appreciate all the effort that has gone into this! There are a couple of other teachers on the Forum who have done the same   *applause*

    I have a spare 60l tank complete with filter which I offered to my son's teacher friend. Interest was nil, quoting opposition from Senior Management/ health + safety etc etc GRRR!

    It's a Junior school maybe that made a difference. I was disappointed as I do want said tank to go to a good home not just snapped up by all + sundry on Freecycle who just want a freebie!  :mad:
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away

    Offline yorkiemad00

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    Re: Low budget tank
    « Reply #6 on: July 08, 2012, 01:03:27 pm »
    I will have to take some pics on monday.

    A few members of my form were a little excited, mainly one who has a couple of platies at home. I hope I'm teaching enough KS3 biology to make use of it in lessons. Great for talking about reproduction and classification.

    Was also told I can charge anything I buy to science  *grin* Will prob need to get some food in september. The tank came with soooooo much food. Goldfish stick, tropical flakes/pellet things and a brand new packet of algae wafers but they are all atleast a year out of date.
    70L tank (Juwel Rekord 700)
    7xSalt& pepper corys, 10xPygmy corys 8x wcmm.
    some red cherry shrimp and a few snails & a couple of limpets
    Tetra 60L with 2 guppiexendlers + fry

    Offline yorkiemad00

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    Re: Low budget tank
    « Reply #7 on: July 08, 2012, 01:14:18 pm »

    I have a spare 60l tank complete with filter which I offered to my son's teacher friend. Interest was nil, quoting opposition from Senior Management/ health + safety etc etc GRRR!

    It's a Junior school maybe that made a difference. I was disappointed as I do want said tank to go to a good home not just snapped up by all + sundry on Freecycle who just want a freebie!  :mad:

    Thats a real shame. Mine is a secondary school, its nice to have living things in the labs to talk about. Almost a shame I dont get to teach about the nitrogen cycle  *grin*
    70L tank (Juwel Rekord 700)
    7xSalt& pepper corys, 10xPygmy corys 8x wcmm.
    some red cherry shrimp and a few snails & a couple of limpets
    Tetra 60L with 2 guppiexendlers + fry

    Offline yorkiemad00

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    Re: Low budget tank
    « Reply #8 on: July 08, 2012, 02:31:43 pm »
    Yay, Cycle has started. Nitrites are starting to show. 0.25ppm within 48H *applause*
    70L tank (Juwel Rekord 700)
    7xSalt& pepper corys, 10xPygmy corys 8x wcmm.
    some red cherry shrimp and a few snails & a couple of limpets
    Tetra 60L with 2 guppiexendlers + fry

    Offline yorkiemad00

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    Re: Low budget tank
    « Reply #9 on: July 08, 2012, 02:51:57 pm »
    While waiting for the filter to cycle, I thought I would add up what I have speant on this tank so far. It was meant to be pretty low budget.

    Tank, filter, heater and light = Free disused tank in school
    Aquarium gravel = free
    Plants; Hornwort and elodea crispa = free from school pond
    Bucket for water change = free

    Filter material
    Sponge = £0.10
    filter floss = £0.10
    alfagrog = £3.74

    Stock
    Guppys, endlers and hydrids x 6 + 1 fry = £5
    Assassin snailsx2 = free
    MTS= free, in the gravel
    70L tank (Juwel Rekord 700)
    7xSalt& pepper corys, 10xPygmy corys 8x wcmm.
    some red cherry shrimp and a few snails & a couple of limpets
    Tetra 60L with 2 guppiexendlers + fry

    Offline Thyseus

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    Re: Low budget tank
    « Reply #10 on: July 09, 2012, 01:13:38 pm »
    Get some pics up of the tank :)

    Sounds like a nice bargain project
    Fluval Roma 90
    Juwel Lido 120

    Guppys, Corys, Tetras, Danios, Cichlids

    Offline yorkiemad00

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    Re: Low budget tank
    « Reply #11 on: July 10, 2012, 09:20:43 pm »
    Cycle is going brilliantly! *grin* Ammonia is down to 0.5ppm and nitrite is up to 2ppm possibly higher. 2ppm and 5ppm sort of look the same to me. Guess its time to start testing for nitrates and to top up the ammonia.

    Pics are on the way as soon as I get a quieter day at school.
    70L tank (Juwel Rekord 700)
    7xSalt& pepper corys, 10xPygmy corys 8x wcmm.
    some red cherry shrimp and a few snails & a couple of limpets
    Tetra 60L with 2 guppiexendlers + fry

    Offline yorkiemad00

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    Re: Low budget tank
    « Reply #12 on: July 10, 2012, 09:28:25 pm »
    Nitrates are 20ppm, same as out of the tap  :down:
    70L tank (Juwel Rekord 700)
    7xSalt& pepper corys, 10xPygmy corys 8x wcmm.
    some red cherry shrimp and a few snails & a couple of limpets
    Tetra 60L with 2 guppiexendlers + fry

    Offline Ahmotorsport

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    Re: Low budget tank
    « Reply #13 on: July 10, 2012, 09:38:31 pm »
    Bargain going on here. As said, pictures up.

    Elodea Crispa wont fair well in a tropical tank, that is for ponds and cold water set ups.
    28L - Male Siamese Fighting Betta (Thor).

    100L - Bristlenose (Maverick) L002 Tiger Plec (Loki) 2x Orange Venezuelan Cory, 8x Neon Tetra, 5x Black Neon Tetra, 2x M Guppy, 1x M Bolivian Ram (Aragorn)

    Offline yorkiemad00

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    Re: Low budget tank
    « Reply #14 on: July 11, 2012, 07:04:47 pm »
    I suspected as much but it was free so I thought I would give it a go.

    Just working out how to add pictures now

    70L tank (Juwel Rekord 700)
    7xSalt& pepper corys, 10xPygmy corys 8x wcmm.
    some red cherry shrimp and a few snails & a couple of limpets
    Tetra 60L with 2 guppiexendlers + fry