Garbage Collector

The little space of a writer, tinkerer, and a coffee addict

Getting into the fish keeping hobby

Getting into the fish keeping hobby
My aquarium - license CC-BY-SA

Two weeks ago, it was my birthday (and as you may know, a geek doesn’t age, he level up). A friend who set an aquarium for himself asked me if I wanted one. After some hesitations (where would I put it ? will it need too much maintenance ? etc), I’ve finally said yes and it was the birthday present from my friends.

It’s not a big one, it’s a 60L tank (around 60x30x45cm), a starter-kit for tropical fishes including the filter, the heater, some accessories, and a hood with a LED light. I’ve bought later two other accessories, a cleanup sponge/net and a timer for the light that simulates the day cycle.

The first content I’ve bought was the rocks, roots, and the substrate. There are four different rocks : the “arizona” (the red one), the “landscape” (the blue one on the front right), another one I’ve forgot the name on the back left, and a “dragon” on the back right. The “arizona” rock needed more cleanup because it’s a very friable one. I’ve plunged them into a water tank for a week, cleaned them every day until the water was clear. Some small parts detached themselves, I’ve used them too as a complementary decoration.


The arizona rock, with some quartz inside, very beautiful.

dragon rock

The Dragon rock

During the last week end, I’ve bought the plants I wanted to install inside. There are eight different ones :

These plants are supposed to be placed in the back, middle or front. The tallest one are in the back and they’ll growth until they hide the filter and the heater.

We’ve started the tank filling and set the content. First, we cleaned the substrate and disposed it in the bottom, and then we’ve installed the plants. After filling the water, the first cleanup step was mandatory because some substrate was floating.

with floating substrate

The substrate was floating and turning around the water flow, photo taken 3 hours after initial setup.

The next day, I’ve cleaned the bubbles on the glass and re-planted the runaway plants, because of the water flow. As you may see, I haven’t put any branches yet because I couldn’t prepare them. I didn’t had a bucket large enough for this so I’ve lend them to a friend who plugned them. But I think I’ll just put one root on the left, because the space is already well used.

For the light timer, I’ve designed and 3D-printed a coffer, so I can attach it to a wall.


The model is available on Thingiverse.

And about the future inhabitants ?

I’ve chosen the following species :

At first, I’ve wanted to mix two Tetra species but the vendor told me my tank is not big enough for this, so I had to make a choice. I was hesitating with the Tetra Cardinalis (shiny blue ones) but as a penguin lover (don’t ask), the choice has been made.

The fishes will be taken later, the aquarium is currently cycling so I still have time to set my mind for the others.

And yesterday, I’ve found I already have a first resident !


These kind of snails are always present in the plants.

I’m very happy of the result ! The filter is very silent, there are no noises, the whole setup is quiet and serene. I think I’ll love to stare at it and maybe take photos of them. Damn, I’ll have to invest on a macro lens I think…

More photos on my gallery :

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