New Setup New Start

Ogertron3000

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
Nov 6, 2017
1,299
2,764
164
Australia
I originally set up a 40G during the dark days of covid lockdowns, i hadnt had a tank for a while so was very excited. Unfortunately the lack of fish available and shops only being open sporadically meant i never really set it up as i truly wanted.
I eventually got some acaras which were cool and various other fish came and went but it never really felt like the tank i wanted. Years later my big male acara died, i let the tank become overgrown and lost interest a bit

OLD.jpg We got the house painted and i stripped it down, last weekend i set itup again, everything has been collected locally so it didnt even cost me a cent

NEW.jpgNEW.jpg A very different look and one i am pretty happy with, i have probably twice as many rocks still and a bucket of java fern , im not sure if i will use plants as i like the stone effect.
Now the fun time of picking fish, availability of different species is good at the moment here in Australia with all the usual limitations and prices are way higher than they have ever been.
My thoughts are swordtails and/or mollies with either
Rainbow/multispinosa cichlid (what i wanted years ago)
Convicts (probably would regret it eventually)
Sajica (pair or solo)

Im also thinking something different and going african with either Auratus or some type of Julidochromis but i dont know much about them. Also our water isnt very hard so would need to add something to boost it up which i probably cant be bothered with.

Any other suggestions? a solo fish that fits and wouldnt eat any dithers might work too.
 

SilverArowanaBoi

Peacock Bass
MFK Member
Sep 21, 2023
1,113
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120
Houston, Texas
I originally set up a 40G during the dark days of covid lockdowns, i hadnt had a tank for a while so was very excited. Unfortunately the lack of fish available and shops only being open sporadically meant i never really set it up as i truly wanted.
I eventually got some acaras which were cool and various other fish came and went but it never really felt like the tank i wanted. Years later my big male acara died, i let the tank become overgrown and lost interest a bit

View attachment 1542338 We got the house painted and i stripped it down, last weekend i set itup again, everything has been collected locally so it didnt even cost me a cent

View attachment 1542339View attachment 1542339 A very different look and one i am pretty happy with, i have probably twice as many rocks still and a bucket of java fern , im not sure if i will use plants as i like the stone effect.
Now the fun time of picking fish, availability of different species is good at the moment here in Australia with all the usual limitations and prices are way higher than they have ever been.
My thoughts are swordtails and/or mollies with either
Rainbow/multispinosa cichlid (what i wanted years ago)
Convicts (probably would regret it eventually)
Sajica (pair or solo)

Im also thinking something different and going african with either Auratus or some type of Julidochromis but i dont know much about them. Also our water isnt very hard so would need to add something to boost it up which i probably cant be bothered with.

Any other suggestions? a solo fish that fits and wouldnt eat any dithers might work too.
Beautiful setup! Perhaps some Dwarf Acaras?
 
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duanes

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In the spirit of "everything has been free so far". If it were me....being a very anal biotope-junkie
I'd line the back wall of the tank with (what I consider your beautiful) java fern
And collect small endemic Australian native fish, like local rainbows, gobies, or grunters, and if possible later on, add native Australian water plants and do an Australian biotope.

I realize collecting is far from free, because I collect @ twice per month in Panama, and here a couple hour day trip to a river runs over $100.
But I find a certain satisfaction in collecting my own fish, and a connection that I didn't get from simply buying them at a store,
a0dd3d6d-fd78-40c8-ab7f-c4166964ab21.jpeg
 

Joshuakahan

Redtail Catfish
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Jul 9, 2019
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I originally set up a 40G during the dark days of covid lockdowns, i hadnt had a tank for a while so was very excited. Unfortunately the lack of fish available and shops only being open sporadically meant i never really set it up as i truly wanted.
I eventually got some acaras which were cool and various other fish came and went but it never really felt like the tank i wanted. Years later my big male acara died, i let the tank become overgrown and lost interest a bit

View attachment 1542338 We got the house painted and i stripped it down, last weekend i set itup again, everything has been collected locally so it didnt even cost me a cent

View attachment 1542339View attachment 1542339 A very different look and one i am pretty happy with, i have probably twice as many rocks still and a bucket of java fern , im not sure if i will use plants as i like the stone effect.
Now the fun time of picking fish, availability of different species is good at the moment here in Australia with all the usual limitations and prices are way higher than they have ever been.
My thoughts are swordtails and/or mollies with either
Rainbow/multispinosa cichlid (what i wanted years ago)
Convicts (probably would regret it eventually)
Sajica (pair or solo)

Im also thinking something different and going african with either Auratus or some type of Julidochromis but i dont know much about them. Also our water isnt very hard so would need to add something to boost it up which i probably cant be bothered with.

Any other suggestions? a solo fish that fits and wouldnt eat any dithers might work too.
You could do a pair of neolamprologus brichardi, they breed well and form colonies
choice two sounds good too
 
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Ogertron3000

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
Nov 6, 2017
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Australia
A bunch of medium sized loaches would go well in that tank, Straita or Histrionica.
Not a bad idea, here in australia the only loaches readily available are clowns or pakistani loaches, i like both of them so something to think about.

Beautiful setup! Perhaps some Dwarf Acaras?
Thanks, i was actually inspired a bit after seeing you latest scape. I had acaras previoulsy so want something different. Really i am probably going for the mutlispinosa or convicts at this stage. I will do a LFS run on hte weekend just to see whats around and get some ideas.
When i first set up the tank the LFS recommended oscar or red terror as "its just one fish"

In the spirit of "everything has been free so far". If it were me....being a very anal biotope-junkie
I'd line the back wall of the tank with (what I consider your beautiful) java fern
And collect small endemic Australian native fish, like local rainbows, gobies, or grunters, and if possible later on, add native Australian water plants and do an Australian biotope.

I realize collecting is far from free, because I collect @ twice per month in Panama, and here a couple hour day trip to a river runs over $100.
But I find a certain satisfaction in collecting my own fish, and a connection that I didn't get from simply buying them at a store,
View attachment 1542341
I do like this idea and enjoy reading your posts about your collecting trips. Biotopes are becoming more interesting to me lately, as for an aussie setup I am in melbourne which is a cold southern state so we dont get any of the rainbows or gudgeons and such things here. Friller2009 Friller2009 might have some suggestions. We do get murray cod, tandanus catfish ,golden perch which will all get far too big for a 40G and some very nice galaxias but most of them are endangered and/or protected. Funnily enough when i see people fishing in our local creek they mainly get eels and goldfish or carp.
I will put some of the java fern back in though, especially behind the wood to obscure the equiptment.

You could do a pair of neolamprologus brichardi, they breed well and form colonies
choice two sounds good too
These are very nice, i dont know much about africans at all so should do some research. It would almost be like starting again with my fish knowledge. My main concern is the hardness/PH of our tapwater is nowhere near where it needs to be for them. I will look into ways to raise it that arent time consuming or expensive.
Basically our water is perfect for most south american fish straight from the tap. It actually wins awards for best tapwater in the world according to our government!
 

Joshuakahan

Redtail Catfish
MFK Member
Jul 9, 2019
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Not a bad idea, here in australia the only loaches readily available are clowns or pakistani loaches, i like both of them so something to think about.



Thanks, i was actually inspired a bit after seeing you latest scape. I had acaras previoulsy so want something different. Really i am probably going for the mutlispinosa or convicts at this stage. I will do a LFS run on hte weekend just to see whats around and get some ideas.
When i first set up the tank the LFS recommended oscar or red terror as "its just one fish"



I do like this idea and enjoy reading your posts about your collecting trips. Biotopes are becoming more interesting to me lately, as for an aussie setup I am in melbourne which is a cold southern state so we dont get any of the rainbows or gudgeons and such things here. Friller2009 Friller2009 might have some suggestions. We do get murray cod, tandanus catfish ,golden perch which will all get far too big for a 40G and some very nice galaxias but most of them are endangered and/or protected. Funnily enough when i see people fishing in our local creek they mainly get eels and goldfish or carp.
I will put some of the java fern back in though, especially behind the wood to obscure the equiptment.



These are very nice, i dont know much about africans at all so should do some research. It would almost be like starting again with my fish knowledge. My main concern is the hardness/PH of our tapwater is nowhere near where it needs to be for them. I will look into ways to raise it that arent time consuming or expensive.
Basically our water is perfect for most south american fish straight from the tap. It actually wins awards for best tapwater in the world according to our government!
How soft is your water? I imagine if you just kept the rocky scape and added Argonite sand, brichardi would be fine.
 

Ogertron3000

Potamotrygon
MFK Member
Nov 6, 2017
1,299
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164
Australia
How soft is your water? I imagine if you just kept the rocky scape and added Argonite sand, brichardi would be fine.
Heres what it says on the city water website

The city's water is managed by Melbourne Water, which test regularly for water hardness. Fortunately, Melbourne has soft water, with the supply's mineral content typically testing at between 11 and 38 milligrams per litre. Anythithemng under 60 milligrams per litre is considered to be soft water.

PH is between high 6 and 7s.

The sand is from the beach and has a fair bit of shell fragments and stuff in it but i dont think it will be enough to make a huge difference.
I see all the buffering powders for sale in the LFS and people sticking oyster shells and coral bones in their filters to get the hardness to rise, there is always the limestone rock too but ive never liked how it looks.
It was a trend a while back in restaurants and things to have a fake marine tank with all the dead coral and african cichlids but i never liked
 

duanes

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Isla Taboga Panama via Milwaukee
Since collecting where you live (a hop skip and jump from Antarctica) sounds more complicated than I first thought of because of Australia's vastness),
and that your water and tank size sounds perfect to me, for many dwarf Amazonians , or (if available to you) species from the soft waters of Borneo.
Seeing those parameters, and tank size, I'd consider some of the more exotic wild type mouth brooding Betta species, using some of the endemic Rasboras as dithers.
https://hosting.photobucket.com/alb...sc243ccad.jpg?width=320&height=320&fit=bounds,
Betta albimarginatta above, Betta edithae below
And with soft water species from biotopes like that, I have found leaf littler adds a interesting twist to a proper biotope.
 
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Joshuakahan

Redtail Catfish
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Heres what it says on the city water website

The city's water is managed by Melbourne Water, which test regularly for water hardness. Fortunately, Melbourne has soft water, with the supply's mineral content typically testing at between 11 and 38 milligrams per litre. Anythithemng under 60 milligrams per litre is considered to be soft water.

PH is between high 6 and 7s.

The sand is from the beach and has a fair bit of shell fragments and stuff in it but i dont think it will be enough to make a huge difference.
I see all the buffering powders for sale in the LFS and people sticking oyster shells and coral bones in their filters to get the hardness to rise, there is always the limestone rock too but ive never liked how it looks.
It was a trend a while back in restaurants and things to have a fake marine tank with all the dead coral and african cichlids but i never liked
Oh wow, ya that might be a little too soft for tangs.
 
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