Please help a new guy with his new 30g!
Hello everyone. New to the forum and kida new to fish keeping. Had tanks growing up so I know how to setup and maintain, but not so familiar with a lot of species. Also I never had real plants or inverts so I need some advice!
I got a 30gal off craigslist. I cleaned it with a vinegar/water solution and it looks brand new. Should I do anything else to make sure my tank is disease free? It came with a top fin 30 filter but I was going to get a whisper 40 or 60. Also I threw out the old filter media since I was unsure how long ago it was used and what was on it.
I want to make this a really nice tank with plenty of rocks, driftwood and plants. I was also going to paint the back of the tank black so I don’t have to deal with backgrounds and tape.
So here is where I need your help! What plants do you suggest for a beginner (I don’t want to have to go crazy with lighting, but I plan on doing a DIY co2 setup)? And what should I stock? I am in love with the clown loaches at the LFS but fear I cannot have them in my tank since they get so big (won’t be able to upgrade the tank for at least a year). So I was thinking 4-6 yoyo’s? But what would work with them.
If loaches are a no go then what about cichlids? What could I keep in a 30g? Any other suggestions? What kind of shrimp?
Sorry about the long post with ‘noobish’ questions. I just want to get the tank started in September and I greatly appreciate the knowledge and opinions of other people so Im asking a lot so I can try and learn a lot.
P.S- I remember cycling tanks and I have read about it and understand. I would want to cycle with my live plants and some gravel/filter media from my friend’s tank.
Hi, and welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.
I suspect you have cleaned the tank thoroughly, and I agree, throw away the filter media.
My first suggestion is to forget the CO2 bit as that sets up a totally different "balance" need. There is a 4-part series (what we call "stickies" ) at the head of the Aquarium Plants section that outlines my method for a low-tech natural planted tank. Rather than repeat bits of that, perhaps you could have a read. It will explain better. And the photos of my aquaria [under "Aquariums" below my name on the left] shows the results of that method.
On the filter, as it mentions in that series, filtration should be solely based on the needs of the fish. But before we can consider which fish, what are your water parameters out of the tap (assuming that is your source water)? Hardness [your water company can tell you this, perhaps on their website] and pH (they again, or a test kit, a pH test is good to have around). Also, it is useful to test for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate--some water supplies have one or more of these and it is helpful to know ahead of time. A test kit for these three things plus pH is a good investment; API make a combo.
I agree, a 30g is much too small for clown loaches. Yo Yo Loach is getting closer, but at 6 inches they should have a 48-inch aquarium. And all loaches are shoaling fish that need to be in groups, so when deciding on shoaling fish always bear in mind that you need several of them. We have fish profiles here, second tab from the left in the blue bar at the top, or in posts you can click on the shaded name to see that fish's profile.
Cichlids are possible, but only the dwarf SA species in a 30g. Perhaps a pair as "centrepiece" with characins, catfish, etc? But here again, not knowing the water parameters makes it impossible to start deciding on these.
Hope this starts you off, I will have more when I know the parameters.
Here they are
Sorry it took so long, just crazy getting ready to move. I have spent more time online and at the LFS's and im super excited but i can still use your help.
It also took long cause i needed a test kit:lol:
Ok so my ph is 7.2 Ammonia between .25-.50ppm, probly closer to the .25 side. Nitrate and Nitrite both 0ppm. This is from the tap, however i am moving, but not too far so shouldnt be that much of a difference.
I found a guy at the LFS that seems very down to earth and helpful. It seems he knows what he is talking about. I really like cichlids but im sared my small tank size and ph levels may not work. Dont really wanna have only a breeding pair either. If cant do that then i wanna community, maybe like 10 tigerbarbs and some other things????
Glad you said do away with the co2, and i read those other threads. I was looking at a plant package at sweetaquatics.com. They seem very helpful, they said they will help me pick out the plants depending on my substrate, lighting and fish.....the problem is i dont have anything yet.
So I really just think i am over thinking everything and stressing out. Im just super excited to have fish again. One day I get a game plan to keep a community of this with some inverts then the next day im leaning toward something else.
Ok Im sorry I keep blabing. Everyone just says get what you like but I wanna make sure I start right, so there is less stress on the fish, and myself:-)
Thanks for your help
Finding out the hardness of your tap water (or where you will be moving to) from the water board will help. Some fish need hard basic water, others need soft acidic water, still others can adapt somewhat as long as it is not extreme.
Once you know the water parameters (tap water), it will be easier to decide on fish. Plants are generally adaptable. Tiger barbs are not really "community" fish but a group of 10 (that's a good number for this species) in a 30g would work, with maybe a group of 5 of one of the smaller loaches for the bottom level. We have fish profiles here, second tab from the left in the blue bar at the top, where you can find out about many fish, their water requirements, compatibility, tank size, etc.
Here they are
Well im in philadelphia and just moving right outside the city, and it looks like the same water co supplys the water there. So my parameters should be about the same. It says my water is moderately hard, "The hardness of Philadelphia's tap water is typically around 100 to 150 parts-per-million, which translate to about 6 to 9 grains per gallon."
I gave up on loaches, my LFS only really have clowns and I dont wanna shove fish in the tank that are gonna be unhappy. So Im interestedon some type of dwarf cichlids, i like your idea of a pair as a centerpiece.
Hello, neighbor. I'm right outside of Philadelphia too. Langhorne, PA. I can suggest a few other LFS once you move that might be good for finding a variety of fish. Some LFS have loaches that will fit your 30g nicely.
I will b moving to Feasterville-Trevose, right by route 1 and street road if you know where that is. The lonly LFS i have really been to outside the chains is The Hidden Reef. Where might you suggest?
I grew up in Bensalem, moved to Feasterville-Trevose for a year then bought a house in Langhorne :-) I know exactly where you are. small world. I personally won't shop at the Hidden Reef anymore except for dry goods. It went under new management about 8 months ago, and ever since then whenever I go into their freshwater fish section, I see dead or sick fish. The last few fish I bought there have died and they have no guarantee. There are several places around that are pretty good. Petland (not the best but healthy tanks but small variety) is pretty good and they have buy 1 get 1 every Wednesday. They are located in Levittown(?) by the old WalMart. There is a place in Bristol called The Fish Factory. It's kind of hit or miss with them, but i've never had an issue with fish purchased from there. There is a place in NJ about 15 minutes away (Take route 1 to 29) called Allquatics. I got my angelfish there who happened to be the male to my female ( ;-) ) and I ended up with a breeding pair. I also got my albino bistlenose pleco there that is doing wonderful. Also, if they don't have something in stock that you are looking for, they will special order it for you. If you're willing to drive about 35 minutes, there's a place called Captain Nemo's in East Norriton (down the Turnpike). They have a very nice selection and a nice shark tank inthe middle of the store that is quite entertaining. I've only gotten my Zebra Loaches there, but all 8 are doing great.
I didnt know that about the hidden reef. My friend and his dad went there for years, even before they moved out of phildalephia. I heard the owner was really nice but took a bad hit when the old store caught fire, I guess now the new management is worse. I went to nemos, and did like them alot, but it just seems that each and every store has some good and some bad. I didnt really like the people working there when I went. The sharks were pretty amazing.
My boss may let me out of work early since we are slow today, maybe Ill take a trip to NJ. Weird I never saw or heard of the Fish Factory even though i know exactly where it is, Im actually down the street from it right now!
Thanks for the info, now just to decide what I wanna get.
Lisa has you set on stores, so that's good. And as she mentions, there are a couple of suitable loaches for a 30g. The dwarf loach would work, or Botia striata (Zebra loach). Check out the profiles (click on the shaded name) and see if you like either.
With this hardness and pH you have a pretty good field to select from. But I would go one way or the other; either soft slightly acidic water fish (with the pH lowering below 7), or harder basic water (livebearers). Obviously there are more options with soft slightly acidic. And South American dwarf cichlids are possible.
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