So far I've found this site really helpful and as I am trying very hard to make my new tank work, I really appreciate all the advice I've been given on here....and I need some more :P
Ok first here's a brief overview of my situation.
I have two tanks, a 5 gallon hospital tank and a 15 gallon which I've recently set up. The hospital tank currently contains my angelfish, who has a bad eye (it's bulging slightly and has a white patch inside it) and I am treating him with melafix (started yesterday). he was acting very odd yesterday and the day before, having these sort of spasms where his fins would jerk uncontrollably for about 5 seconds, same thing sometimes happened with his gills. he wasn't scratching on anything. I think the melafix may be helping because he's not having the spasms today.
the 15 gallon I set up on Thursday evening (I don't know what that translates to if you're in the US/UK) and left overnight, the next day I put my gourami and 3 panda corys into it. the tank looks beautiful and the fish are swimming around happily. I didn't want to treat the angelfish until the other fish were safely housed elsewhere.
so that's just an overview (sorry for long post!)
I have had to revise my original stocking plan several times since I first decided to set up the 15 gallon. my current stocking plan is the gourami, 6 corys (i want to get 3 more to add to the 3 I already have, but if I'm going to be overstocking I won't), the angelfish (if he recovers) and a bristlenose catfish. I'm thinking I might get an albino bristlenose since they are supposed to be slightly smaller. are there any other differences between albino and normal bristlenoses?
I have driftwood in my tank. also a large java fern and some floating elodea. it's a bare bottom tank. the filter is a homemade one (from my old tank), I've noticed it provides more water flow in the larger tank compared to the 5 gallon, presumably because the bubbles have further to travel to reach the surface?
temperature is set to 27 Celsius but the thermometer is staying at a fairly steady 25-26. that's ok by me, since the catfish are supposed to prefer cooler temps.
pH is around 7.5, actually a bit on the alkaline side which is odd because I'm used to tanks being acid. I guess the tapwater has buffers in it. it will probably get more acid over time. (do the tannins from driftwood make it acid?)
what I want to know is, will my tank be suitable for a single bristlenose or is it way too small? I promise I won't get one if it's too small because I trust everyone's advice :) and will I be ok getting 3 more corys? the 3 I already have are very happy, scooting around eating everything they can find. I don't think the floor of my tank has ever looked so clean, haha.
another thing that's sort of unrelated but I might as well ask it here, what are people's experiences treating pop-eye and other diseases with melafix?
thanks in advance for your help :)