04-18-2012, 10:13 AM
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To plant, or not to plant?
Good Day, Everyone.
I'm fairly new to these boards (and anything larger than a baby biorb), but already received an incredible amount of credible information. It's unfortunate how overpopulated the internet is with incorrect or misconstrued information regarding freshwater fish and their tanks. Thank goodness I found this place!
I set up a 20 gallon tank a week or so ago. Tested the water every couple days to ensure proper quality, and purchased fish for the tank.
- Dwarf Gourami (1)
- Dwarf Red Fire Gourami (1)
- Dwarf Powder Blue Gourami (1)
- Emerald Cory (1)
- Julii Cory (1)
I have a few questions.
- When we purchased our dwarf Gourami's the attendant suggested some live plants for the tank. Which ones would be best? I've attached a picture of our current tank setup for comparison. I have no experience with live plants, so plants that would be suited best for Gourami and a beginner would be best.
- I have a second tank - a Baby Biorb. However, currently there are four guppies (2 males, 1 female, and 1 unknown) and an albino cory in it. We're going to move the albino cory into the larger tank with the Gourami, but wanted some advice regarding the guppies. I've read that it would be wonderful, others say they will be slaughtered, and some say it would be a great idea since the Gourami will eat the fray. Conflicting, to say the least.
Thanks for any and all feedback/advice given.
04-18-2012, 10:27 AM
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Hello and welcome!
For your questions on fish compatibility I'll point you to the fish profiles here on the site. Almost all of them are referenced from published books and journals so you can trust the information presented. The link is on the top of the page, blue bar, second link. If you type out the name the same way it is listed in the profile, it will be shaded in your posts and you can just click on that. For example Blue Gourami. You may have trouble with having multiple Gourami in the same tank.
I will note that Cory's are a shoaling fish, which means they like to be in a group of their own species
. With mixed species in a tank, it is still recommend to have at least 3 of each species. Singletons will be stressed, and with stress disease is more probable.
Do you know your water parameters (pH, GH, and KH)? Your guppies need hard basic water, all the others prefer soft acidic water.
I have a 20 gallon tall tank like the one you have pictured (I like your aquascape by the way). The standard fixture that it came with had an 18" T8 fluorescent bulb. That is going to be low light. Some good plants are Java Fern, Java Moss, Anubias, Amazon Sword (several varieties) and Crypts. Floating plants are good to have for all fish, Water Sprite and Amazon Frogbit are good ones. Just make sure they don't completely cover the top as the Gourami will need access to the surface as all Anabantids do.
This is mine:
04-18-2012, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Adamson
I don't know if it is just the type of plants I have, I think it is my "floating plants" which are to blame, but the leaves just get all over the place. My filter intakes get clogged with leaves and I honestly kind of which I would have just not done plants.
I have a few leaves on my filter intake at all times as well. It isn't a problem as long as you are getting water through it and plenty of flow.
The good of the plants outweigh the few negatives in my opinion.
04-18-2012, 11:01 AM
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Hey Sybil, welcome to TFK... this place is awesome, and everyone is super friendly and helpful!
Firstly, like the others have said I would have a read about dwarf gourami in the profiles here as from what I understand they should only be kept in sexed pairs, so like Inga mentioned you could have trouble in there.. (I have never kept them, just info from what I have read)
Definitely get some more corys, they are awesome fish and like to be in larger groups. I currently have 3 in a 29g and would love to get another 2 or 3. most entertaining fish when they are active!
The most important thing you need address is the quality of your tank water, Personally I would get some live plants in there pronto! anything will do, but the likes of green cabomba and Anacharis are fast growing and super easy. Thats what I started out with, well and some others as well! if you can get them, the floating plants apparently are great for ammonia and nitrite/nitrate absorption.
After 1 week your tank will not be cycled, there is a good article about aquarium cycling on here...http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/f...m-cycle-38617/
hope that works!
I managed to keep 7 glow light tetra from the second week of my new tank and seemingly bypassed the whole cycle process by having loads of live plants in my tank from the get go.
Cant recommend live plants enough, they look great, are beneficial to the fish and the water, and keeps things interesting in the tank as when you reach your stocking limit, no more fish can go in....so you can stay interested with adding new plants and making things look as good as possible! heres a picture of my tank so far, its now around 8/9 week mark from a brand new tank... and my first one!
I have around 13 different plants in there at the moment, green cabomba, java fern, java moss on bog wood, small swords, pigmy chain sword, anubias, wisteria, anacharis, giant vallisneria (I believe) and a couple I'm not sure what they are... I love heavily planted tanks, the more the merrier I say!
04-18-2012, 01:54 PM
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Just had to share a bit too. I love my Gourami. My dwarf is a bit of a hound and is forever flirting with my Opaline who happens to be the most peaceful fish alive. She just ignores him for the most part but is never aggressive with him, thank Goodness.
I feed them once a day and do 70% water changes every 5 days or so. It is more because of my want for crystal clear water though. The water is never off on the numbers with all the plants. I also don't over stock like some people do. I prefer fewer fish with more room to swim and heavily planted but we all have our likes and dislikes.
I feed my fish a variety of foods, not just flakes or pellets.
Oh, and never apologise for trying to learn proper care for your much loved pets. That is what makes a good mama/daddy to the fish. :)
Sorry had to show off one more of TwoTone, my Flame Dwarf Gourami.
Last edited by Inga; 04-18-2012 at 01:56 PM..
04-18-2012, 02:38 PM
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Those photos (and the fish in them) are beautiful Inga.
And for that matter, all the tanks in this thread are lovely.
Sybil, to your plant questions. Plants like fish have differing requirements, though most (but not all) are normally much more adaptable. But light is crucial. you have a 20g tank, what is the current light fixture (incandescent being screw-in bulbs, or fluorescent tube)? And what bulbs/tube do you now have in it (there will be some printing on the base of bulbs or one end of the tube)?
A complete liquid fertilizer is recommended. Nutrients for plants occur naturally from fish food (through the waste) and tap water at water changes, but depending upon the plants and light this may or may not be sufficient to balance. I recommend either Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement
[make sure it is the Comprehensive, there are several products under the Flourish name] or Brightwell Aquatics' FlorinMulti
. With the latter again make sure it is this one, there are several products with "Florin" in the name.
What are your water parameters out of the tap? GH (general hardness) you can ascertain from the water supply folks, they may have a website. And pH too. These are more important for fish than plants, but there are some common plants that do better or not depending upon the GH and related pH. You should have a pH test kit, and most of us here use API. You can buy the Master Combo which has pH, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate that are the essentials to test especially initially.
One suggestion on water changes, increase the volume to 40-50% of the tank every week. You can never really change too much water--unless the tank water and tap water are miles apart in parameters.
Guess I should add a photo to show a simple-approach planted tank, so here's my present 70g flooded Amazon forest setup. And, before I forget, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.
Last edited by Byron; 04-18-2012 at 02:42 PM..
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