Just getting started - 16 gallon bow front - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 28 Old 06-12-2012, 09:22 AM Thread Starter
KPainter's Avatar
Just getting started - 16 gallon bow front

Hi all! I'm new here and fairly new to keeping fish, but I've been doing a lot of reading on the site and hopefully am doing this right. My tank is up and cycling and while that's going on, I'd love some input on my plans.


So far I'm thinking 5-6 dwarf corys, another 5-6 tetras, 2 centerpiece fish (gouramis maybe) and some ghost shrimp. How does that sound? I'm totally open to suggestion.


I don't have any plants yet, but plan on getting some. Just not sure what. Tank lighting is florescent. Am thinking along the lines of java moss, anubias, java fern, wysteria, maybe some spiral valisneria. Again, open to suggestion!
KPainter is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 28 Old 06-12-2012, 10:13 AM
Geomancer's Avatar
Hello and Welcome!

I wouldn't add the Gourami, there isn't room. They can also be aggressive with each other. Stay with the school of Cory's and a school of Tetras.

For plants those are fine, make sure you get a daylight bulb (6500K color temperature). The fish you have picked though are soft water fish, and Vals don't do too well in soft water, they like at least moderatly hard water.

Do you know your GH & KH? That dictates your options for fish, and somewhat on plants.
Geomancer is offline  
post #3 of 28 Old 06-12-2012, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
KPainter's Avatar
I have an API Master test kit ordered so I'll know those answers shortly.

I'd really like to have more than two schools of fish in the tank. Is there something besides gouramis I can add? Just one or two of them. Swordtails maybe?
KPainter is offline  
post #4 of 28 Old 06-12-2012, 10:41 AM
thekoimaiden's Avatar
Welcome to the forum and the hobby! Unfortunately your tank is too small for two schools of column-swimming fish. There just won't be enough physical space. Swordtails would get too big for your tank anyway. In a tank that small, you're limited to the smaller species of tetra and corydoras. Once we know your GH and KH we will be better able to suggest species of fish. You can often find your GH and KH online through your local government's website. It's usually listed under the local water quality report.


Sitting by the koi pond

writings on fish and fishkeeping

thekoimaiden is offline  
post #5 of 28 Old 06-12-2012, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
KPainter's Avatar
What do GH and KH mean exactly? Trying to locate this info on a website, but not coming up with much.
KPainter is offline  
post #6 of 28 Old 06-12-2012, 11:13 AM
Geomancer's Avatar
GH is general hardness, and KH is carbonate hardness.

The general hardness is in a nut shell a measure of how much minerals are disolved in the water. The KH is what buffers the pH, the higher it is the more it will resist being changed. Typically both GH and KH are fairly close to each other.

Soft water is 8 dGH or lower, the d stands for degrees. 1 dGH = 17.848 ppm GH

The API Master Test Kit does not contain a test for GH and KH. Those numbers don't change from your tap water, so there is little need to do a test more than once. That's why if you can get it from your water supply utility you'll save yourself the expense. If they don't know, you can take a sample to a pet store for them to test, but they'll probably use strips which are not very accurate. You'd at least get a ballpark number though (make sure you get the number, not just 'fine' or 'hard' as those words have no meaning without actual numbers).
Geomancer is offline  
post #7 of 28 Old 06-12-2012, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
KPainter's Avatar
Thanks for the explanations!(I tried to find a glossary of terms and abbreviations for this site, but couldn't.) Does it matter that we have a water system on the house? I would think that would alter the numbers.

This is what I found for our area:

What is the water hardness? 6-7 grains of hardness equals 103-
120 milligrams per liter total hardness.

What is the PH level? 8.7

Nothing about General Hardness or Carbonate Hardness.
KPainter is offline  
post #8 of 28 Old 06-12-2012, 11:54 AM
Geomancer's Avatar
You would want to use the water before the water softener, the softener as you've stated just adds salts to the water which isn't good for the fish.

mg/L is the same as PPM. "Grains per gallon" is close to degrees. 1 gpg = 17.12 ppm.

You have 5.8-6.7 dGH water (assuming that number is your tap water, not after your softener), which is on the upper end of soft, but still soft. If your KH is similar you can expect that 8.7 pH to drop over time. That's a high pH though.

Last edited by Geomancer; 06-12-2012 at 11:57 AM.
Geomancer is offline  
post #9 of 28 Old 06-12-2012, 11:58 AM Thread Starter
KPainter's Avatar
I'd have to buy water since the system treats the whole house and that's not practical since I'm not going to buy water every time I have to do a water change. This is getting a lot more complicated than I anticipated. Starting to get frustrated. Especially since I can't even have fish until the water is cycled!
KPainter is offline  
post #10 of 28 Old 06-12-2012, 12:05 PM
redchigh's Avatar
I disagree that your tank is too small for 2 schools of fish, but the ideal fish will be quite hard to find.

3-4 pygmy cory or dainty cory are a good choice for the substrate. You could also go with 4-5 pygmy loach.

For the fish, I'd go with a school of 6 Dario Dario, Badis Badis, Ember Tetra, Flame Tetra, or even endler's livebearer. I don't think you'll have room for a centerpiece fish though.

Alternatively, you could go with the cories, 3-4 Endlers, and a single dwarf gourami.

Originally Posted by Christople View Post
^^ genius

Soil Substrates Guide:
Part 1
--------- Part 2

redchigh is offline  

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
46 gallon bow front build JohnnyD Saltwater Journals 67 06-11-2010 10:13 AM
54 Gallon Corner Bow Front JoshnAmelia Beginner Freshwater Aquarium 22 01-31-2010 11:11 AM
Clown Loaches 30 Gallon Bow Front JokerBoyX Freshwater and Tropical Fish 1 04-19-2009 01:45 PM
Questions in regards to making a new lid for a 46 gallon bow front tank ChiLady DIY Aquarium 1 10-12-2008 01:59 PM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome