Advice for a 15 gallon planted tank?
Hey everyone, whilst browsing through petco for the first time since I became addicted to fish keeping, I couldnt resist the clearance section, and grabbed a 20 pound bag of activ-flora planted tank substrate for 5 dollars, and a nutrafin co2 system for 8 dollars, they had a few of each, so I'm guessing it was just clearing stock or something, but to me it sounded like a good deal(I know I can make a co2 diffuser, but for 8 dollars, I'd rather buy one that looks half-decent)
I set up a 15 gallon tank I've been debating on with the substrate, the co2 diffuser, a 75 watt flourescent bulb(not sure how great it is for planted tanks, it's an under-cabinet flourescent light fixture with a mostly transparent but removable shield, and I don't know if the bulb is full spectrum or not, but it was 8 dollars for the whole schpiele so I figure at worse I have a ballast and I can replace the bulb)
I made a slew of clippings from the bacopa plants that were within an inch of the top of my 55 gallon tank, and I put in my java ferns, and some chunks of java moss that I thinned out and put halfway through a small pvc chunk to anchor them, along with some random rocks for decor.
I plan on putting a good handful or three of my lava rocks from my established 55 gallon tanks sump filterto add plenty of bacteria to make the tank healthy enough for fish, but I'm not sure what my best bet is for fish in the tank.
I currently have an aqueon 20 filter to clean up the cloudiness in the water, and I would prefer to have the tank without a filter once it's cleared up, but if it's absolutely necessary I will leave it on there depending on the fish, but my preferance is to keep the tank healthy by being heavily planted and the biological filtration from the seeded lava rocks.
I've got some fish in mind, but I don't know if some would be better than others for a planted tank, or if some would be smaller bio-loads for the tank not having a filter.
One male betta
Several female bettas
Several neon tetras
Several blue long finned danios
The several part of it is just because I don't know if they would do better in a group of 3 or 15, or if there would be a number that would be good for the 15 gallon tank. I plan on just doing a species tank so I can just have a small number or a specific fish, to keep the bio-load small, and because its a small tank to begin with.
I'm kind of leaning away from guppies, just because I don't want the tank to be overpopulated, and it seems like that would happen quickly unless I stopped it, which I wouldn't be able to bring myself to do.
The substrate also contains copper, so inverts are out of the picture unfortunately.
I would love to have a colorful tank, so neon tetras or blue long finned danios sound good, but I don't know anything about keeping them so I figured I'd ask the people who have experience.
I also would prefer fish not uprooting and eating my plants, so a fancy goldfish is also out of the picture.
(Forgot to mention that I have a stealth 50w heater to use if I need the tank warmer, but the 55 gallon tank it's right next to is normally 75-77 degrees, so I would imagine it's around the same, but if I need warmer I can put the heater in there)
I think with that sort of setup you're going to be happiest with a small group of something. But I'm not a Betta person, so if you are that might not be true.
Your minimum on the neon tetras is gonna be six. With a 15g tank you could probably do 12 without much trouble. I'm also not a neon fan, so I'd do some digging into the profiles that are linked above. Second button from the left on the blue bar. Take a look at Pristella Tetras or something like that. If you want to do a species tank in 15g you have hundreds of options. Anything fairly small that gets along with members of its own species really.
Suppose I'll go poke through the fishy store tomorrow, find something(s) I like, come back and do some checking, and grab em.
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