15 Gallon Stocking Options
I have had a 15 gallon aquarium going for 6 months with 3 large platies (2 1/2 inches) with lots of babies probably 10 ranging from 1/4 inch to 1 inch. I am have found these to much to handle (with the constant babies) so very soon i will be taking them in to my LFS.
I am planning on getting a school of 6-7 green neon tetra's along with 6-7 lambchop rasbora's (espe's rasbora).
I am also planning to add in peat moss to the filter to soften the water but i don't know how much or how long i need to keep it in for.
Any advice or your thought are appreciated.
If you want to stop the baby boom then you need to remove any male platys as soon as you can identify them. In a breeding cycle or two you should get their numbers under control. If you're planning on getting rid of them though don't worry about it.
As for your stocking plan, I say go for it. You've picked two very calm docile fish. They'll stay small so you won't be overloading your tank. I might suggest some shrimp or even a few of the smaller cories.
As for the moss, you'll have to run it permanently. Any time you change the water you'll need the peat to resoften it. In fact if you're going that route I'd stick to small water changes < 20%, and do them more often to avoid PH shocking your fish.
Thanks - what cories would you suggest.
And as for peat moss does it 'wear out' over a period of time and need to be replaced?
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Yes, as it releases tannins it will eventually run out and be useless. Depending upon your water hardness (and corresponding pH), more or less will be needed to lower the hardness/pH to the desired level. You don't mention the hardness and pH of your source water (tap presumably) or the aquarium, so I can't say much more on that.
Of the two fish you mention, the rasbora Trigonostigma espei while certainly preferring (and thus doing better in) soft acidic water will adapt to slightly basic medium water. The acceptable range is given in our fish profile [click on the shaded name, or access profiles through the tab second from left in the blue bar above].
As for the Green Neon Tetra, Paracheirodon simulans, they are much more sensitive. This fish is still wild-caught as far as I know, and they occur in many of the waters of the cardinal tetra. Again our profile gives the preferred range for this species, and it is very soft and acidic. Their habitat has a pH of 3.4 to 4.8 and zero or near-zero hardness. But the aquarium need not be that extreme, as noted in the profile.
If your source water can be lowered to these levels (assuming it needs to be) the fish will be fine. I'm assuming the platy will be gone (parent and fry) as they will not manage in such soft water. And I agree with Tyyrlym's advice on smaller water changes to lessen pH shock. And these fish need plants, even if only floating to make them feel secure; they are not fond of bright light.
Thank - my current ph is 7.4 but i don't have a test kit for hardness. The platies will also be gone. The tank is currently quite well planted and as for floating plants i like the look of small lilies. I have been researching but all the ones that i have found so far grow to be quite large. Are there any that stay smaller. Also on the topic of plants what would you suggest to attach to driftwood that would grow almost like a carpet over it.
If Tyyrlym doesn't mind, I'll respond to your previous question about cory species; I would stay away from the three (or four) dwarf species only because they can be fussy with water, same as Corydoras panda. But any of the 2-inch and under species would work. They must be in a group, minimum 5 of a species, but if you want to mix species I have found that 3 of each works well. There are several in our profiles that would work, without my mentioning all of them if you don't mind having a look there. They are obviously under Catfish; using the scientific name will allow you to see all the Corydoras together, easier to review one by one.
Lilies are not that easy in an aquarium; I suspect you like the flower aspect. Better floating plants would be Water Sprite (Ceratopteris cornuta). Other floaters like duckweed and Salvinia will thrive though not as "nice" as Water Sprite perhaps and they can thicken up quite fast. Amazon Frogbit can be temperamental. Many of the stem plants do well floating, Brazilian Pennywort I like this way.
On wood, Java Moss works once it is attached and will carpet the wood and can be trimmed to keep it low. Java Fern and Anubias grow attached to wood (or rock), larger plants but nice on wood bits.
Java fern is a plant I'll recommend, especially for a "low light" tank. I've had one in my tank doing quite nicely for more than a year now. Even with my 8W non-plant bulb on my Eclipse 6 it's grown nicely. Maybe not explosively but enough that I know it's doing just fine. Same with my crypt. It's bushed out nicely and is doing very well.
For the corys, well I will never recommend pandas to anyone. I consider myself to be a fairly adept fish keeper and I just can't keep them alive. I will say that the pepper corys I've taken in recently are doing well, they're active and doing fine in conditions that had pandas dropping left and right. Julii corys are another smaller species that I've seen for sale locally. All the others easily obtainable are those that are 3" or more. Take a look at the catfish section of the profiles though. There's a lot of variation in their appearance so find one you like.
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