New 15 gal help plz
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New 15 gal help plz

This is a discussion on New 15 gal help plz within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Hello all, I am going to be starting up a 15gal(24"x12"x12") tank. All 4 sides are exposed! Gravel only, 1 driftwood item (11Lx9Wx8H and ...

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Old 03-07-2010, 12:26 PM   #1
 
New 15 gal help plz

Hello all,

I am going to be starting up a 15gal(24"x12"x12") tank. All 4 sides are exposed!

Gravel only, 1 driftwood item (11Lx9Wx8H and 1 smallish rock formation(6Lx5Wx4H).
I will be using the Aquaclear 20 hob with a sponge (2"x3"?)on the intake spout.

I would like to try and make work 1 Betta, 2 or 3 Otto cats, then 3-4 of a smaller school type fish maybe mollies,black phantom tetra or white finned rosy tetra. Something to that effect anyway.

Moderate planting (easy care at 1st)maybe 8 plants?? I really don't know how many to put in.

My Q's are about Lighting and Carbon.

Lighting for basic plants for now Java... Anubias, Najas, water sprite type plants.
I have read that these plants seem to need at least 2wpg. But then I read that for low to moderate plants that included some I listed said to stay in the 1.5-1.7 wpg range or risk algae issues. I am trying to decide on 2x 15w 6500k daylight or 2x 20w 50/50. Or go low at 2x 13w 6500k daylight bulbs (all Fluorescent) any opinions please!!!

Then the carbon issue(if any) I have read in a couple places that some people do not use the carbon pack/filter when they have plants in the tank. Aquaclears 3 stage filter system seems to be able to make this happen if needed(just don't put the carbon pack in and use the foam and media packs only?) Any truth to this or am I reading to far into things this early in the game?

How long after I put my Betta in the new tank 3-4 weeks from now can I start to add more fish. I read to not put all fish in at 1 time.

Thanks for your time and I'm sure I'll have many more Q's as things move foreword.
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Old 03-07-2010, 01:15 PM   #2
 
I'm still pretty new with all of this stuff, so take everything I say with a grain of salt, but it seems like with all of the fish you plan on having in the 15 gallon tank it would be overstocked.

Also, as far as I have seen and heard about bettas, once they live on their own in a tank for awhile they will become aggressive towards most any fish, so I would personally suggest introducing the betta as one of the later fish into the tank.

You will definitely want to make sure the tank is cycled, I made the mistake of buying a bunch of fish and a tank not knowing anything about cycling, but there are great guides on cycling here,
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...ium-cycle-252/

That shows you the different ways of cycling, it seems like the shrimp method tends to get preferred as easiest, but supposedly the ammonia method is supposed to be one of the most accurate ways of doing it.

From what it seems, it sounds like you've got all tropical freshwater fish there, which should be good as far as water and temperature, but they all do best at temperatures above 74(I believe) so you would probably want to get a heater suitable for the tank.

As far as filtration and plant life goes, from what it seems, enough living plants will be fed by the ammonia your fish will give off, which is taken care of by the bacteria that are grown on the biological filters, even with the plants, you should still have a filter though, and no matter what you should be monitoring the water quality throughout the cycling process. Basically if you go through the cycling information, it'll break down into you needing an ammonia source to develop the first bacteria, which will bring the ammonia level to 0, and create nitrites, the nitrites will feed the second bacteria, bringing the nitrites to zero, and will in turn release nitrates. The nitrates are the main reason for the water changes(which should only be partial water changes) and the nitrates are much less harmful to the water and fish than the ammonia or nitrites.


So to sum up everything I can say(which of course should be double checked by someone who knows)

Make sure you don't overstock the tank! (seems like 1 inch of fish per gallon is the rule, and this measurement should be the adult size of the fish)
Make sure the water can be at proper temperatures for the fish!(Betta can survive in room temperature water, but will do best in a heated tank, and is especially advised for your other species)
Make sure to properly cycle the tank before you stock it!

Adding fish seems like its been suggested as 2 fish once the cycle is done, and like 1-3 every week or so after that until you are stocked to what you want(but not overstocked of course)

As far as the plants I can't offer any advice for lighting or a carbon filter, but I'm sure there's already a few pages in her: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...nt-topics-257/ that can offer you plenty of advice on both a new tank, and the plant life.


And from a fellow newcomer, welcome to the forums, and hopefully everyone is as helpful for you as they were with me!

Anthony

Last edited by Castro235; 03-07-2010 at 01:18 PM..
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:37 PM   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Castro235 View Post
Also, as far as I have seen and heard about bettas, once they live on their own in a tank for awhile they will become aggressive towards most any fish, so I would personally suggest introducing the betta as one of the later fish into the tank.

You will definitely want to make sure the tank is cycled.


From what it seems, it sounds like you've got all tropical freshwater fish there, which should be good as far as water and temperature, but they all do best at temperatures above 74(I believe) so you would probably want to get a heater suitable for the tank.

As far as filtration and plant life goes, from what it seems, enough living plants will be fed by the ammonia your fish will give off, which is taken care of by the bacteria that are grown on the biological filters, even with the plants, you should still have a filter though, and no matter what you should be monitoring the water quality throughout the cycling process. Basically if you go through the cycling information, it'll break down into you needing an ammonia source to develop the first bacteria, which will bring the ammonia level to 0, and create nitrites, the nitrites will feed the second bacteria, bringing the nitrites to zero, and will in turn release nitrates. The nitrates are the main reason for the water changes(which should only be partial water changes) and the nitrates are much less harmful to the water and fish than the ammonia or nitrites.


So to sum up everything I can say(which of course should be double checked by someone who knows)


As far as the plants I can't offer any advice for lighting or a carbon filter, but I'm sure there's already a few pages in her: http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...nt-topics-257/ that can offer you plenty of advice on both a new tank, and the plant life.

Anthony
Yep.

On the lights, do you need screw-in or tube type bulbs?
If it's tube, then you probably only need one tube, and not HO or anything. I think it's called T5? Get cool white 6500k.

Definately go to the aquarium plants forum and look around-
Angel just did an experiment by cutting her lights down dramatically (less than 1 WPG, and she has a LOT of plants. She single-handedly threw the WPG rule out the window.

As far as the Betta, he can be the first fish, just keep his bowl. When you're ready to add more fish, take him out and put him in his bowl, and then add the new fish and rearrange some of the decor. Then add the Betta, and it won't be "his" territory anymore. :)

School fish need to be kept in at least 6 for the behavior to come out, but it can still work-
Your betta, 2 Ottos (unfortunately, you'll need to wait several months before you add them. They are very sensitive fish- no new tanks for them. Maybe try a dwarf bristlenose pleco?) and 6 Ember Tetras-
Ember tetras are just a hair under an inch long, and have a relatively small bioload. (I think they'd work.

Maybe replace the Ottos/BN with some other scavenger... maybe some Red Cherry Shrimp or Mystery Snails?)

You're right that you probably don't need carbon. Since you mentioned adding the fish in about 4 weeks, are you cycling now?
If so, go ahead and buy the plants and plant the tank. You don't need to cycle it for them.
May I reccomend SweetAquatics.com? great site. I'd say that for about 17-20 dollars (total with shipping) you'll have a nice jungle in a 15G.

(If you decide to use mollies or another livebearer, for now, I'd reccomend only getting males. My main 10G was originally going to be a community biotope tank. I got guppies first, and within a month I has three times as many guppies as I started with because two females were already pregnant.)


the only "correction" in the above post, the ammonia paragragh was kind of confusing. Ammonia is the preferred form of nitrogen for plants, that's why, if you can, you should plant the plants and setup the lights as early as possible in the cycling process. If you wanted to go get something hardy (maybe the betta would work) you could put it in the tank at the same time as well. (plants will absorb MOST of the ammonia- the bacteria will just convert what's left over. the nitrifying bacteria that break down ammonia can actually compete with plants, hurting plant growth. You PROBABLY will need a filter (small planted tanks often don't need one, don't know if a 15G is small enough though)
Good luck. :)

Last edited by redchigh; 03-07-2010 at 03:52 PM..
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Old 03-08-2010, 03:01 AM   #4
 
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Welcome to TFK!

Otos prefer to be in groups so I'd get more like 4-5 of them, but be aware that they are picky eaters and might starve unless you can provide them with a steady supply of algae. Others are less picky and will eat other types of green veggies or even prepared algae-based foods. Depends on the fish. In any case, they are very sensitive so I'd suggest adding them only after the tank has been running and stable for several months at least. If your main concern is algae control rather than the look of the otos themselves, I'd suggest getting a single bristlenose pleco instead of the otos as they're hardier, not picky when it comes to eating and can be kept singly.

Basically, any non-nippy smaller schooling fish would work. I would avoid really small fish that might get eaten by the betta, too.
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:53 PM   #5
 
Thanks all. I'll soak this up for a bit and I should be adding water to the tank on Friday.

I changed to the Aqua Clear 30 and I ordered 2x 20w 65k cfl's = 2.7 wpg
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