My tank (a custom 50 UK Gallon Bowfront) has been up and running since August 1st, 2010, but I'm only just beginning to get serious. I'll explain why. The tank was dumped on me by a friend, and in my excitement of having a pet, I stocked it quickly. None of my fish died, fortunately.
I have lots of questions, regarding things like stocking level, breeding, plants, all of the basic stuff.
The tank is an area tank, the area being Asia. My current stocking level is: 2 Snakeskin Gouramis, a Three Spot Gourami, a Gold Gourami (juvenile), 4 Bala Sharks (temporary, and juvenile), 4 Pakistani Loaches, 10 Kuhlii Loaches 10 cherry barbs, and 6 tiger barbs. I have had no aggression in this tank.
My tank equipment consists of 1 Fluval 3+ filter, a 150w heater (which keeps the tank at 78F), and two 25w T8 daylight bulbs.
My first question regards my equipment. Am I filtered enough? If not, what filter should I upgrade to?
My next question: Are my lights enough to grow plants? If not, what wattage, and colour bulbs should I have? T5, T8?
Next is the stocking level. I am aware of the adult size of the Bala Shark, but I should have a second tank set up just after Christmas for them. Taking them out of the equation, am I overstocked?
I have recently received a small 'Moss Ball' from a friend, and I am at a loss as to how to care for it. Could I please get some information about moss balls?
I'm interested in breeding my cherry barbs, if I'm not overstocked. How would this be achieved?
Lastly, one of my Snakeskin Gouramis has recently started breathing a little unusually for a labyrinth fish; through the water. My other gouramis breath directly from the surface, as is the normal, but this one breathes as a tetra would. What is the cause of this, and is it detrimental to it's health?
Sorry for so many questions, but I finally want to do things right.