Hey all! First off, let me say I have some experience when it comes to taking care of fish, both in ponds and aquariums. I know a few things about them, but I'm essentially a beginner.
I have a 20 gallon tank lying around (30" long x 12" deep x 12" wide) and I plan to buy some fish. I have all the necessary equipment, too. I just need the fish. I want some cool fish to watch.
I currently plan to buy the following fish (although I want your advice and opinions, too):
Tank Temperature: 75 F.
Tank pH: 7.5 (What's the cheapest way to measure alkalinity?)
Tank filled 9" so the frogs don't jump out.
For the bottom of the tank:
3 Kuhli Loaches
1 Golden Weather Loach
2 or 3 3" or so shrimp (I saw some at petsmart but I don't remember the type. It deifnitely wasn't ghost shrimp)
OR half a dozen or so ghost shrimp (it's okay if they're food)
2 African Dwarf Frogs. I plan to have a middle platform that makes both a cave for the loaches underneath, and an easy resting spot for the frogs on top. This will be about 8" long.
3-4 Golden Apple Snails. I want them to reproduce, since the young will provide food for the loaches. Right?
For the living space near the top:
5-6 Zebra and Leopard Danios and Glo Fish.
I am also looking for another schooling fish (3-5 fish) that will not mix with the danios, and instead form a second school in the tank.
I also plan to have many live plants around the sides and at the back, a sort of partial ecosystem. How will plants affect the pH? A shift towards acidity or alkalinity?
I plan to use a smaller 1-2 gallon tank to breed water fleas in. I also hope to make a safe spot for water fleas in the main aquarium so that they can breed in there and provide food for everyone. I doubt they would reproduce fast enough to supply 100% of the food (right?) but it's better than nothing. I will also feed them goldfish flake food.
How does that sound? It might be a little crowded, but I figure the loaches will stay on the bottom 2" of water, leaving the rest essentially free.