Originally Posted by eaturbyfill
My most recent water test showed a PH of about 7.2, alkalinity low to moderate, and the water is pretty soft.
I am not sure whether or not I want to do a planted tank, so if it is best for the fish I decide to get, I will do a planted one (even though I know practically nothing about it, everyone has to learn sometime!).
I am considering any fish that would do well in these conditions
If you could give me a number for the gH or kH that would really help. Plants
A planted tank has many benefits, and not very many negatives. The plants will soak up ammonia faster than your bacteria will, allowing you to put more fish in the tank without over stocking it.
Plants use ammonia, nitrate and other harmful chemicals as food. The more the fish put out, the more they grow.
The main issue with plants is lighting. Without good lighting you have no chance of having good healthy plants. With stock tanks, all low light plants will do fine. Java Fern
are my two favorite low light plants. They both grow slow which makes it hard to judge their health; but if their green their good...and they look beautiful.
The biggest issue people run into with planted tanks is over exposing their light. With too much light you will get algae. It is best to start off with a few low lights plants and see how they do. Then get a few more.
Fertilizers and C02 are not needed. In the case where you do have a decent amount of plants OR high light plants, you could get Flourish Comprehensive by Seachem. It is an all around fert for plants. It is liquid based and you use VERY little of it per dosage. It covers both rooted and floating plants. Fish
I always use this thread as a reference. You can keep any fish on this list in their respective groups. All Schooling fish should be kept in a group of AT LEAST 5 fish. Nano Fish
Now for my personal recommendations hahaha.
A 30 gallon tank is going to give you a lot of options, but here is what I would do with it:
6-8 Kuhli Loachs or Cories
20 Cardinal Tetra
1 Dwarf Gourami
OR 2-3 Dwarf Cichlids like Cockatoo or Bolivian Rams