Hello! I'm new here and found this through the betta site. :) I've only had bettas in the past, and I've finally gotten a community tank!
So since I'm new to this community tank thing, I was wondering if I could get any tips. I've had my tall 30 gallon for a few months now. I'm currently at 3 large danios, 3 zebra danios, and 1 platy. His platy friend died due to a temperature decrease when I was gone for a few days and I'm hoping to get one or two to replace him tomorrow, actually. I keep the tank around 78. No undergravel filter, but I do have a filter, of course. I try to do water changes once a week. And I vacuum out some of the gravel, depending on where I can reach without moving around the decorations.
I do have a few questions, though, and would love some tips.
So, since I'm used to bettas, I know that I have to change a certain percentage of water based on size, filtration, and plants. I'm sure it's probably listed somewhere on this site, but since I'm already asking a few questions, I might as well add it on here. Am I changing this often enough? And how much should I change? I usually do about 1/3, to make math easy because then that's only about 10 gallons. And like I said before, I do it around once a week and vacuum the gravel a little.
Approximately how many more fish can I add? Can I get examples of basic fish I can find at a petstore that I could add? I'm hoping to add a little more color and I'm not sure which fish will be the best combination at a cheap price. Keep in mind I'm new at this so I would prefer fish that are a little more hardy. I know fish prefer different levels (although the danios are great at covering them all, providing me much great entertainment) and have different temperaments and needs, but this is kind of overwhelming figuring this out. So if anyone can provide me with some ideas of what I should add that fits these parameters I would appreciate it. :)
The filter is probably the most confusing. My dad put it together for me (he's had fish since he was a kid, but he doesn't know specifics as he has learned these things based on experience) and I'm kind of curious and lost here. Bear with me and my lack of terminology. There's the netty type of thing in there and behind that is a bag full of some sort of rocky thing. (If you could please tell me what they're called! It's hard to Google search for a name based on that. Haha.) How often do I need to clean and change those? I know my dad mentioned something about when it overfills on the other side of the filter. Mine only has the one waterfall going so I can't go by that.
Finally: the zebra danios give me a mini heart attack every time I clean my tank! All of the danios do, actually, including the large ones. They aren't shy at all; in fact, they're very curious every time I clean. And nip at the bubbles that form along my arm from the bubbler. And it's scary, mostly for the zebras as they're so small. I'm always scared I won't be able to see one and will vacuum it up, especially since I take the hood off while I'm cleaning and so don't have a light shining on it. Plus it gets cloudier, of course. Am I just paranoid? Or do you have any tips on how I can make sure I don't suck up any of the poor fishies?