I purchased three tanks for breeding Dwarf Gouramis. Buying them new would be too expensive so I posted a wanted add on Craigslist.org and let the tanks come to me. I ended up with a 29 gal [110 ltr] main tank and a 10 gal [38 ltr] rearing that I purchased from a young woman in Beverly, MA as well as another 10 gal [38 ltr] breeding tank from an estate sale in Marblehead, MA. All three tanks plus plenty of accessories came to only $85. Money well spent if you ask me. New, they would have cost hundreds of dollars for the three. Instead I put my money toward the specialty things I would need especially for breeding like sponge filters, air hoses, heaters and brine shrimp eggs.
The two small tanks are not yet set up and won’t be for some time; after all I don’t even own the Dwarf Gouramis yet.
To set up the main tank I added about 1.5 cups [350 ml] of gravel from my established 10 gal betta tank. On top of that I laid a full 20 lb. [9 kg] bag of Tahitian Moon Sand. At this time I only have artificial plants and some live floating plants so I didn’t add anything special to my substrate. Later, when I plant the tank, I will add fluorite to the sandy bottom.
I then connected a 36″ flexible bubble wand by Marineland to a pretty heavy-duty air pump. The air hose goes through a 5-Way air control valve, which I will later connect the breeding and rearing tank to once the fry are free swimming. Of course, I made sure my reverse flow valve was in place. Wouldn’t want any accidents.
Next I put my 100-watt Ebo Jäger heater in place. It is not completely submersive so that I can easily control the temperature without getting my hands wet. I placed it near where the filter would later be placed and also where the air bubbles would be pushing water around. This will allow for even dispersal of heated water. I filled the tank and set the heater to 79˚F [26˚C]
I then set up the filter, which is a Penguin 200 power filter with bio-wheel by Marineland. It’s a little more powerful then the one I originally wanted but the store was out of Penguin 170s and I was getting restless. The current is quite strong and I may need to fashion something to dampen it. Since there are no fish in the tank, I’ll save that project for another day.
After everything was set up I tested and recorded my tank parameters. They were as follows
I didn’t bother testing the toxins because I hadn’t added any ammonia to cycle the tank yet. Once I begin the process I will begin testing. I will also add some additional filter media from an established tank.
Since my desired GH level is between 3dGH and 6dGH I have added a pH Pill made from Plaster of Paris. I will watch for changes in pH, kh and gh over the next several days. If the pH becomes too alkaline I may have for forgo the pills and just hope for the best with a less then ideal GH.
The next step: Tank Cycling…