4/5/2011: It’s finally a fish tank!

Just be glad I didn’t say it’s “o-fish-ially a fish tank”

After having a lovely 55-gallon fish tank in my office for almost two months without fish in it, it’s finally changed, and yes, I have pictures.

I should start by updating from last week:

1. Ruckus’ eye is completely healed and he can see fine out of both eyes (as far as I can tell).

2. Unless something really bad happens, the two tangs in quarantine will make it into the display tank this weekend. I think I’m going to start a slow acclimation on Wednesday. There will be pictures, and I’m trying to get a picture/video of them because they do something kind of cute when they think they’re going to get fed.

3. The cycle issues I was having when I updated last have been solved. It turns out that it’s a good thing I waited to add fish, because due to a bunch of chemical reasons that I halfway understand, and the softer-than-usual water that comes out of the tap here, I had a pH crash in the 55-gallon tank. Everything has been fixed and taken care of, and the problem won’t happen again. If you want to read all about it, there’s a thread on the aquarium forum I go to that deals with it — turns out that two other people on there from Virginia were having the same problem I was at the same time.

4. I think I’m finally happy with the aquascaping in that tank, I ended up getting some more rock and a different piece of driftwood that doesn’t float (this one was expensive, but it was totally worth it, you’ll see it in the pictures). As far as the floating piece of driftwood goes, I’m going to stick it in a 5-gallon bucket filled with water, and leave it in my backyard all summer. If it doesn’t sink after that, I’m not sure what I’ll do with it. If it does sink after that, I’m still not sure what I’ll do with it.

So here’s the deal with the 55G tank: I’m going to stock the tank with everything except the rams now, and I’ll wait as long as I need to wait in order to find a healthy pair of rams for the tank. Yesterday night I bought 53 fish for the tank:

22 (+4) neon tetras
6 (+4) black neon tetras
25 glowlight tetras

Those (+4)s; the four neons, four black neons, and Torpedo; are still in the planted tank. I’ve ordered the shrimp for that tank and when the shrimp arrive, I’ll move those fish over to the new tank. At that point, there will be 61 tetras and Torpedo in the 55G tank, and it will be fully stocked except for the rams.

Time for some pictures! I’ll start with my best attempt at a full-tank shot.

I’m not quite happy with the quality of some of these, the problem is that the room is small enough that it’s difficult to get far enough away from the tank to get the whole thing in the picture. It’s going to take me a few more tries to get a full-tank shot I’m happy with, hopefully I’ll get it figured out some day. More pictures:

I’m pretty happy with the aquascaping, especially on the left side of the tank with the rocks and that awesome piece of driftwood. Also, I’ve taken another fast-forward video of the lighting system in action. It’s decent quality, but I think that the orange lights don’t show up on the video as much as they do in real life.

I’m pretty sure that as I figure out the best way to take pictures of this tank without using the flash (since that kind of destroys the lighting effects I have going), you’ll be seeing more dramatic (and less blurry) shots of the 55-gallon tank.

This is an exciting week for all of my fish tanks, and this is the first update of many. There will be more pictures, hopefully a few more videos, and a lot of happy fish.

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