First Aquarium, Suggestions/thoughts
I have finally managed to get myself an aquarium. It's a Fluval Roma 125 which is a 125 litre tank. I have setup the tank with the decor and just started the fishless cycle. Attachment 17684.
Apart from the decor, I have two live plants, one is Java Fern and the other Java Moss. I also put in a Interpet Airvolution AV3 air pump connected to two air stones and is very quiet, thankfully. I have got the ammonia level currently upto 2ppm. I'm thinking of using Tetra SafeStart and use Homebase Household ammonia as its source rather than fish. Fingers crossed as to how it will go :).
Before I put in the ammonia, these are the water readings (tested with API liquid master kit):
NO3: 40-80 (troubling me, what should i do?)
After i added NH3, the readings are as follows:
Temperature: 27 Celsius
It's just been a day or two since i added NH3, but will add TSS today and leave it for 5-7 days before i test again. Hopefully, according to what i read 2ppm ammonia will not kill the TSS bacteria. Any suggestions always welcome.
I want to stock gouramis or angel fish, Guppies, Platys, Mollies, Neons (not if i have angel fish) and any algae eaters (red cherry shrimp any good?). I have read a lot about stocking size requirements, considering the adult size of the fish as a requirement and the like. I would appreciate your thoughts on the number of each species i mentioned i can have for my tank (125l - 33 US gallons). Please be considerate as i'm a newbie and i'm not planning to overstock my tank. Please also advice fish stocking on the basis of different areas of the tank
Nice set up!
Now if you are new for your stocking I would not suggest any gourami or angelfish. Neon tetras should not be with platys or guppies for they have different pH requirements. Judging on your pH platy, mollies and Guppies are your best bet. Now what I say is more plant's no ammonia...If you replace every one of your fake plants for a real plant and add nutrients then you do not need to wait for a cycle just add in the plants the fertalizer and wait a few days for them to get rooted. Then add a fish or two in. Plants will help with your parameters and under hte right light won't die and cause any spikes. I would suggest lowering the ammonia before adding more plants as they might die from it.
Good luck nice start by the way
A comment on the nitrate reading, since you asked. Using the API liquid test kit, the regent #2 bottle has to be shaken for at least 2 minutes before adding the drops to the test tube. The instructions say 30 seconds, but this will frequently result in a faulty reading and one that is higher than the actual level of nitrates. Shaking #2 for 2+ minutes should give a more accurate (and lower) reading.
Second, you should test your tap water on its own for nitrates. Also for ammonia and nitrite just so you know, although zero in the tank probably means the tap water is free of both. But nitrates in a tank with no fish at the beginning is most probably coming from the source water (tap water). Test that following my suggestion above and post the number. Then we can suggest any action if necessary; nothing to worry about, nitrate is tap water is somewhat common and can be dealt with.
Thanks guys for the replies.
@Byron -- Thanks for the 2+ minute shaking tip. I have tested my tap water for NO3 following your directions and the reading still came back as between 40-80. I might take a sample to LFS and ask them to test it for me.
@pretzelsz -- I'm definitely going to get guppies, mollies and platys. But as far as i was reading, dwarf gourmai would be OK to stay with the above as dwarf's are very docile. As always correct me if i'm wrong please. The reason i wanted to get at least dwarf gourami or an agelfish (which i'm not getting) is i wanted a big enough fish in there. Also could you suggest on any algae eaters? I have read that red cherry shrimp are algae eaters, and my wife loves their colour.
I might not be able to get more plants as i did not add any substrate to the gravel. i only wanted to go with easy plants which i can attach to driftwood, as i'm still a beginner and dont want to worry too much about plant care and also to limit the expense. I read Anubias also grow on driftwood and if thats the case and if they dont need any substrate, then i would probably get them as well, but overall i'll not be having many plants in there.
Btw, i have also added the Tetra SafeStart yesterday and will take a reading in 5 days time.
On the SafeStart, this is good stuff, it is 100% live bacteria. But it needs "food" or the bacteria will die off within several hours. Food being ammonia and nitrite. I would use SafeStart when the first few fish go in the tank. Follow directions on the label. With enough live plants, this will not really matter, as plants consume ammonia (as ammonium) for their prime source of nitrogen, a macro-nutrient. With lots of plants at the start, a few fish would be fine; you will not even have a "cycle" that is detectable.
On the gravel, by substrate do you mean some sort of enriched plant growth stuff? This is unnecessary; plants will grow fine in plain gravel, I have that in my tanks and have for 20 years. You will need a liquid fertilizer for any type of plants, they need food (nutrients); Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Supplement for the Planted Aquarium is in my opinion the best. Anubias like Java Fern attaches to wood or rocks. But these are very slow-growing plants. Some sword plants in the gravel would be good as easy plants.
On the gourami, check the profiles; the Honey Gourami would prob work better that the Dwarf Gourami, as it explains in the profiles of both fish.
I agree with Byron. The plants will grow in the regular gravel. The swords are very easy plants to care for, as well as the wendit plants those are two of my favorites the wendit comes in red, bronze, and green which is nice to add colors to the tank. Also if you want a floating plant which the honey gourami will appreciate Pennywort is very nice and also an easy plant.
Sorry about the late reply! I'm kind of having a bad day as my car broke down and left with a £270 bill :(. Anyways back to fish,
@byron - Thank you. I'll have a look at prime and get it. gravel wise thanks for the explanation. As far as i have read, i always thought i needed additional substrate other than gravel to have any substrate plants. But now i'll look into more plants when i can afford them.
@calmwaters - thanks for suggesting additional plant types. I will certainly look into them and add them to the tank.
Some one suggested me to look at rams as well instead of gouramis. I have actually fell in love with GBR now, but my current pH level is 7.6, any chance i can have it or any other varieties?
If you add a good size piece of driftwood it will help lower your Ph. You would need to do smaller water changes so as not to shock the fish with a big ph change. I would say 20% water changes weekly. I am sorry but what do you mean by GBR I just can't figure it out right now as my mind is a little fuzzy from some pain meds I am on.
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