Cycled 55gal long aquarium, planted. Info and opinions on fish choices?
So I've been stalking this site for like a year and finally made an account! I have a 55 gal aquarium that's been up since June and had several black mollies, neons, and a 13in pleco in it. I say had because my mom did something to the filter and every fish died over the weekend, that was about September. I put some feeder fish in it to re-cycle it after cleaning out all the dead and removing one filter. It now has an Emporer 280 Bio-wheel and 14 neon tetras. I use Prime water treatment. I added the neons one week ago and they seem to be doing great, but they don't school much and every once in a while it looks like they are almost fighting?
There is a ton of plants(well.... 10? Two are pretty big as I've had them 3yrs+), not sure what they are all called but I know I have java moss x)
Sorry about the lack of plant info.
The plants all appear healthy as far as I can tell, aside from a few brown slimy leaves on some, they are dead. But some leaves die off naturally, right? I just pull them off when they do that..
My substrate is the standard gravel at pet stores/walmart. Is that ok? About 3 inches deep in some spots, I want to add more because I think some of my plants need more coverage.
Water is 77F
and according to my "quick dip test kit" (a stick thing) the parameters are...
20-30ppm on nitrate (due for a water change).
I do partial water changes about every two weeks with a gravel vac, but I don't get too close to the plants because of their roots. I just try and get the biggest stuff/ dirtiest spots.
I've heard the water tests are more accurate? Like with drops and stuff.. but my petstore can do this when I go in if I bring a sample. Would it be worth buying some or is this test sufficient?
SO... my big question is what kind of a community tank would be good? For the longest time I was having issues with mollies, the black ones did great but all other strains died off slowly :/
I really like all the livebearers, dwarf gouramis, and betta fish. I was thinking about having a betta and some guppies but if he was aggressive to the guppies I wouldn't want that, and it does happen in several cases. I want more plants, and some water sprite, but is my gravel ok for them?
I'm not sure what will work well :oops: Again, I have 14 or so neons already. Is the filtration good?
Thanks!! ANY criticism is loved, I won't be offended. I'll try and get pics.
Hmmm ok. I might get a better test kit after I get paid and ask the people at the fish store what they use.
And I liked those when I had them in the past, I will think about it. Thanks :-)
Just go to my photobucket site if you can.... they are really big and awkward to post on here because of the difficulty I'm having with the image function :/
If you notice the dark green algae/moss/growth stuff on some of the fake plants and the one lava type rock, what is it and should I remove it? Personally it doesn't bother me so I haven't touched it. But it seems to be growing on one leaf of a plant I have in the tank. Some pics also show the "melting" leaves on a few plants. Not all leaves do this so I assume it's normal?
Thanks, and someone please post if you can access that album and see the plants.
**ALL plants are real except the one with the close up of the dark green growth on it.And the one floating at the top. I'm removing that for a live one soon.
I now one thing. On the lava rock you have black beard algea. It isn't bad as far as my knowledge goes, but it does have a tendency of taking over the tank.
First, welcome to TFK forum; glad you joined us.
I would suggest you not acquire livebearers, but consider more soft water fish that will work better with the neon tetra you now have. A GH of 100ppm (= 5.5 dGH) is fairly soft water. This perfectly suits soft water fish but livebearers which require harder water to be healthy long-term will struggle. And the pH at 7.1 is likely to lower below 7 (become acidic) as the aquarium matures, and this also suits soft water fish and not livebearers. The Alkalinity is the bicarbonate hardness and it is relatively low too, and it will allow the pH to lower a bit. All of this is not bad, just so you know; it is very good--for soft water fish.
Water changes should be done weekly, without fail. The amount (volume) can vary depending upon the aquarium (live plants and the number and species of fish affect this) but generally a change of 1/3 to 1/2 of the tank volume is advisable, and every week. Nitrates should not be over 20ppm, and with live plants should be lower than that. The increased water changes will help stabilize this. Nitrates are often assumed to be harmless but this is not correct; no fish we maintain in aquaria naturally occur in water containing nitrate above 1 or 2 ppm at most, and many of these watercourses have nitrates so low it cannot even be measured. Here again, the long-term effects of nitrate on some fish can cause problems and is best avoided. Prevention is always the best cure.
And when you do the water change, don't disturb the substrate. The breakdown of organics (from waste) by snails and bacteria is very important and should be left alone. This also will help stabilize the water conditions.
I will have some suggestions on your plant issues and algae control but I need to know about your light and plant fertilizer (if any). Describe the light: the type, manufacturer, number of tubes/bulbs, kelvin, wattage, etc, and how long it is on daily. And on fertilizers, are you using any and if so, which and how often?
Ohhhh :/ How should I get rid of it? The tank has been up for over six months but it has only recently appeared.
Ahhh ok. I think that as long as I've had the tank the pH is always stable at 7, but I will consider this information, thanks!
I will also do more frequent water changes, before I have heard that if you do it too much it can make your fish stressed out, and possibly kill bacteria/do more harm than good. So no gravel vac? Just water? what about the poop and stuff that settles on the bottom?
On plants/lights: I used to use flourish but don't now. The lights are two tubes/bulbs, one came with the tank and the other is a replacement for the second bulb that was on it. One is an Aqua Rays, Fresh & Saltwater, F15T8-AR-FS (model number, I used this to find out the wattage as it is kinda hard to read on the bulb), 15W. It also says 2007 on one side so I assume that's when it was made. Here's a link to what I found when Googling the model number.
The other... Eclips, Natural Daylight, F15T8, made in germany for marineland. I think this is the old one... Likely over 5 years old and no date/wattage. From googling, I think it is 18w.
The lights are on about 7-11 hours a day. Depends.
SOOOOO... I have heard I need 2W per gallon? If so I'm surprised my plants are alive at all :/
Oh and thanks for the welcome Byron :D I've seen your posts a lot and they've always been super informative.
PLANT INFO... So I did a little picture surfing and the plants I THINK I have in my tank are..
1. Some kind of Anubius. 2. Java Ferns 3. Large Moss Ball (Java) 4. Amazon Sword 5. Some plants with long stems that go up, and arrow-like shaped leaves. Almost like this >. Go to my pics above if anyone thinks they can help identify some... Thanks!
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