Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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PetFishInTheSushiShop 03-17-2010 06:40 PM

30g Tank Setup Opinions?
Hello everyone! I'm new to this site and I already own a 10g with 2 guppies and a neon tetra (sad right? :oops:) I've kept several different kinds of fish in it before and I know about everything that has to go into tank care, but school has interfered with the necessary care it needs. I have more time to put into it now and would really love to buy a larger tank, possibly a 30g. I know I want 5 kuhli loaches, 5 amanos, 3 cherry shrimp, and 3 bumblebee shrimp. I'd love to get some bumblebee gobies as well. The only problem is, all of these fish are bottom dwellers and I'm having difficulty picking out some middle or top dwellers. I'd like something colorful and fun that has lots of personality. And I won't be getting the 30g for a while, so I have time to decide and all. I also kind of want a few easy plants, so which fish would you recommend that wouldn't eat them and still be compatible with the other fish?

Mean Harri 03-17-2010 07:19 PM

Welcome. Before deciding on what other fish you want you really really really should add more Neon Tetras. They are a shoaling fish and do best in groups of at least 6-8 minimum. The more the better. I'd recommend getting about 9 more. Then worry about what other fish you'll get.

There are many easy plants. Hornwort and pennywort are easy plants and can floated or planted. They consume a lot from the water column and are good for beginning a tank. Echinodorus are fairly easy, as well and Anubius and Vallisneria. Crypts are fairly easy. Bacopa Monieri, there are tons of easy plants. Have a look around here...

PetFishInTheSushiShop 03-17-2010 08:57 PM

Thank you so much! I know I should get more, I was planning to get some the next time we run to the pet store. I had him with some platies and another couple of neons, but my brother inherited them and killed them off... Poor fishies :cry:

iamntbatman 03-19-2010 03:21 AM

Welcome to TFK!

I'm not sure bumblebee gobies would be a good option for a community tank like that. For one, some species require brackish water rather than fresh but the ones that can be kept in fresh water still require hard, basic water which isn't easy to work with in terms of stocking. That, and bumblebees tend to be very picky and slow eaters so it can be hard to keep them well-fed with other fish in the tank.

That said, you could try setting up the 30g as a regular freshwater community and then set up the 10g as a bumblebee goby species tank. Do you know the pH and hardness of your tap water? That would be the first thing I'd check before coming up with a stocking list for a new tank as it's always easier to stock based on your water parameters than to try to adjust them to suit the fish.

PetFishInTheSushiShop 03-22-2010 09:42 PM

Thanks! :-D
Well, my tap water's ph is ~8.3-8.4. I have some ph neutralizer that I usually use when changing the water, though. Sorry, I don't quite know how to check the hardness and the kit I bought didn't come with that tester. I think our water is fairly hard, though. The shower heads have calcification build-up so it has to be hard enough to cause that.

iamntbatman 03-23-2010 03:20 AM

Makes sense. Water with a pH that high tends to be quite hard. Should be great for the freshwater bumblebee goby species but I still don't think I'd want to keep them in a community tank with more rambunctious eaters due to the feeding issues I mentioned.

Also, what's the pH neutralizer you're using? pH-altering chemicals can be dangerous to use as they can destroy your water's buffering capacity, which ultimately leads to a very unstable pH that can be deadly to your fish.

PetFishInTheSushiShop 03-26-2010 10:41 PM

Really? That's scary... It's called Neutral Regulator by Seachem and one of the employees at my LFS recommended it when I had dwarf puffers. It says it has phosphate buffers and conditioning salts to adjust the ph to 7, soften and condition water, and remove chlorine, chloramine, and ammonia.

iamntbatman 03-27-2010 04:53 AM

I don't think you need it. Your pH is on the high side for softer water fish but should be just perfect for things like freshwater gobies and livebearers. If you do want to keep some softwater fish, say in the 30g, a safer way of lowering pH and hardness would be using peat or something like that.

PetFishInTheSushiShop 03-27-2010 02:13 PM

What exactly is peat? Is it a substrate or an additive?

iamntbatman 03-29-2010 03:10 AM

Well, it's a type of moss but the kind you get from the LFS usually comes as pellets. You can put it in your substrate if you want, but it might be easier to just put it in a filter media bag and put it in your filter (or one of your baskets in your canister filter, if you've got one). You might want to PM Angel079 and direct her to this thread as she's used peat in tanks before (I've never had to, personally) and can give you some more details about it such as how much to use, how long it lasts and how much of a difference you can expect it to make on your water chemistry.

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