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Stocking for new tank 55ish gallon
Picked up a used tank off craigslist last week. Long story short, it's actually a Juwel aquarium from europe and is 240 liters or ~58 gallons.
I've always had a 20g tank around the house with a couple molly's, some cory's and a few tetras, but I'm looking at doing a planted setup with the new tank (my first). I'll be starting off with 80 watts (Fixture that came with the tank), and depending on how things look bumping it up to a 110-130w compact fluorescent light.
I was hoping to do a carpet of dwarf baby tears, and throw in some java fern(Microsorum pteropus), anubias, and a marimo ball - just because i think they're cool. Probably some other stuff depending on what else i can find from my local fish stores.
Here's my current thoughts on fish though.
2-3 oto's for algae maintenance
8 ghost schrimp or red cherries if i can get them for a good price
6 x-ray tetras
possibly another school of tetras
For fish I'm considering. (I'm pretty sure i won't have room for everything, and may change my mind but this is what i'm thinking of)
2 dwarf gourami's
3 blue ram's
3 bolivian ram's
2 Boesemani rainbows - I don't now how well they would do with only 2 considering they school.
Is this going to be too heavy a fish load for the size of the tank?
Also, I've read that those plants should be okay with a lower light, non CO2 setup but being new to planted tanks any thoughts are welcome.
Except for the drawf baby tears plant of which i know nothing because I've never kept it, 80 watts of full spectr4um light over your 58g tank will be very adequate for the other ploants; any more light and you will have algae problems, unless you have considerably more plants that require more light, and then the CO2 and nutrients will have to balance or again algae will flourish. Take a look at my aquarium photos to see what's possible with 1 watt of light per gallon and no CO2 addition.
Re your fish suggestions, the rams will fare better in a mated pair (blue ram) or singly (bolivian ram), although if there are adequate hiding places and tank separation (so the various fish can "escape" the eyes of the others) a trio may work. The rainbows might be too large for ths setup; they do best in groups as you mention, 6-8 is recommended by Seriously Fish, along with more alkaline water than the tetras and rams would like.
Byron gave you great info, but i will add my 2 cents...The dwarf baby tears probably will require a little more light than 80 watts.........I had a 52 watt setup over my 37 gallon hexagon tank and my first try with baby tears didnt go well, they were slowing dying off, i just upgraded to a 72 watt setup and in 2 days i can see new growth on the baby tears......I dont know if it was not enough light for the baby tears or if it was the depth of the tank........Maybe another member can chime in on that...........As far as the fish go, the only thing i can say is, if your going with otto's for algae control, wait a few months for the tank to establish itself and for some algae to grow for them to feed on........They like a well established tank
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