With my cycle hopefully coming to an end soon I am thinking about stocking my tank. I have been using API Quick Start and have also purchased some Tetra Safe Start if I wasn't getting a Nitrite or Nitrate reading soon. I am currently on cycle day 26. Immediately before this post was the first time I had gotten any Nitrate reading at all, and I have never gotten a Nitrite reading. So I am hoping for my cycle to complete soon.
My tank is a 20 gallon tank with LED day/night lighting. I have decorated it with a hollow log, a rock structure that has 3 holes in it, and a mound of river rock. I have also added multiple plastic plants to make it fairly dense along the back as well as a 10" long air stone. I have a BioWheel Penguin 150 filter.
With the help of the community members on this forum I have figured out that I have very unique water parameters (See Below). These are all based on API Liquid tests.
pH - 8.2
KH - 411.7 (23 drops for change)
GH - 17.9 (1 drop for change)
My other readings are:
Nitrate - 0-5 ppm (color is darker than yellow, but not quite as dark as the 1st orange on the card)
Nitrite - 0 ppm
Ammonia - .25 ppm (It's been there for nearly a week with 1 25% water change and 1 10% water change and flake food feedings daily).
Currently I have one Molly that may not make it. I think he may have swim bladder disease for which I treated tonight with peas and epsom salt. I know it is highly unlikely that he will make it, so for now I am not going to consider him when stocking my tank.
When I first started my tank I was considering 1-2 Dwarf Guaramis, 5-6 schooling fish (either tetras or long finned zebra danios), 2-3 cory's to clean the bottom, and bamboo shrimp. I was also going to leave in the Mollys if they survived.
Considering the water parameters, I am now not sure what to do. I really like fish that are colorful and don't hide too much. I like to see the activity in my tank. I would really love a cichlid tank, but I don't have the place to put a larger tank at this point. I don't really want to try to adjust the pH so much because it will be tough considering the KH, but I am willing to try to increase the GH by using Epsom Salts. Any ideas or direction would be appreciated.