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Old 09-30-2004, 05:09 PM   #1
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New fish, new enthusiasm

I might be playing the fish-shrink but I really want my apartment mates (my fish) to be happy in the small world I made for them!

I am a beginning aquarist and love it a lot. I have a cycled 29-gallon tank. I used 4 brilliant rasboras to cycle the tank. The process took 3 weeks. The rasboras were shy for 3 days but now dart around the tank in schools and are a joy to watch!


I have now added a Dwarf Blue Gaurami and 4 fancy platy. They add a lot of color to the tank. The Gaurami was very shy for a day but now almost east out of my hand and is a middle and top strata dweller. I intend to add 2 spotted Corys, 3 zebra danios and a mystery snail to the tank over the next few weeks.

Here are my queries. Any suggestion not related to these queries is welcome. I can use your experience and will greatly appreciate it.

Questions:
1) Are the species mentioned above compatible when it comes to water-quality needs? What pH, alkalinity and hardness level should I maintain?
2) The platys almost never come out of hiding. Are they not happy? I found that the water was a bit acidic at 6.4 and added a little pH booster to it. Will this help? All the other parameters seem fine right now. For the benefit of the Platy, I also added a tablespoon of salt per 10 gallons of water. Will this harm the other fish?
3) What might have caused the drop in pH? Is it because of the 15% water change I performed a week ago? I use water from an eSpring water purifier system that eliminates chlorine and metals like lead from it. Can that be the cause? While changing water, do I still treat it with detoxifier and stress coat?
4) Most of my fish except for the Gaurami like hiding and living in the lower strata of the tank. Is it a bad idea to introduce Corys? Platy should occupy middle and top strata, but they are always at the bottom.

Thanks for taking time to read and reply. Let me know if I can be of help. This is a great site and this new hobby is totally fascinating. I am proud to be in your club!
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Old 09-30-2004, 05:57 PM   #2
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I have to go soon...so I can't answer your questions right now, but I will say that your rasboras will be happiest if you increase their number to 8 or 9. They REALLY like to school.... I'm sure others will reply to your questions soon! I'm glad you want the best for your fishies. I will be back tomorrow and try to answer some of your questions too...
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Old 09-30-2004, 06:48 PM   #3
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Smallfry, thanks for the prompt reply! Really apprecaite it! The rasboras seem happy- not too worried about them. Its the Platys that I am worried about. Any suggestions?
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Old 09-30-2004, 07:14 PM   #4
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[center:ff9d80f0e3] Welcome to AA, sagar77! [/center:ff9d80f0e3]

Quote:
1) Are the species mentioned above compatible when it comes to water-quality needs? What pH, alkalinity and hardness level should I maintain?
Knowledge is the best in this hobby. I don't keep those types of fish, but you can look up fish profiles at www.liveaquaria.com very easily. Also check the fish profiles in the fish and plant profiles forum here on AA.

Quote:
2) The platys almost never come out of hiding. Are they not happy? I found that the water was a bit acidic at 6.4 and added a little pH booster to it. Will this help? All the other parameters seem fine right now. For the benefit of the Platy, I also added a tablespoon of salt per 10 gallons of water. Will this harm the other fish?
I would not add any other chemicals to your tank except for dechlor. I don't think the platies need salt--unless they are suffering from nitrite poisoning.
What is the pH of your tap water? The best way to test is to leave a glass of water out over night and test in the morning to get the true pH. If it is acidic, there are natural ways to raise the pH in the tank.
Quote:
3) What might have caused the drop in pH? Is it because of the 15% water change I performed a week ago? I use water from an eSpring water purifier system that eliminates chlorine and metals like lead from it. Can that be the cause? While changing water, do I still treat it with detoxifier and stress coat?
What was the pH before? For the most part, tap water with dechlor added is the only thing you need. You are not keeping delicate fish and they should be fine in the tap water. Check the pH and get back to us.
Quote:
4) Most of my fish except for the Gaurami like hiding and living in the lower strata of the tank. Is it a bad idea to introduce Corys? Platy should occupy middle and top strata, but they are always at the bottom.
With fish YMMV! What kind of decor are you using?
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Old 09-30-2004, 08:44 PM   #5
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The reason for the hiding might have something to do with the dwarf gourami. They are not all bullies, but many of them are, and I have had them kill all of the tankmates except cory cats in a 15-gal. You'll have to watch the tank and see if that might be it.

All of the fish you mention can tolerate a very wide range of pH, as long as it remains STABLE. I am with Menagerie that you can probably just dechlor your tap water and leave it be.

Your choices sound great, and I would also encourage more numbers for the schooling fish, and that includes the cory cats. Maybe 4 instead of 3 for them?

HTH
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Old 10-01-2004, 02:56 AM   #6
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Thanks, Menagerie tankgal! I am watching the tank carefully since I bought it. I ahve even videotaped it overnight with my webcam. Lol- I have even had a webcam webcast my tank so I can check on it from my office. In short, i am hooked!

No, the gaurami is very docile and keeps to itself. I have seen that of the 4 plays, the 2 males swim around while the 2 femaqles hide in red wag the plastic plants. Maybe its just their individual nature. I might return 1 Platy to the store.

Menagrie, my pH was fine before the water change= 7. After water change= 6.4! Poor fish! Th dechol I use is Bio Safe. I also use Bio Coat to reduce stress.

I know that Rasboras will be happier if they r more than 4. Howeevr, even now only 3 of them school closely- the fourth is a loner! Hmmm, interesting- even fish display such varied behavior!

I did not know that corys are schooling fish too. I would love to get more og them but tank-space if a restriction. I am going to return one of the red-wag Platys (I have 2) as Platys do not school and the tank will still ahve 3 Platys albiet of different color (Sunset, redwag and fancy white) Going by the 1 inch or fish per gallon rule, 3 Pltys=2.5inches each, Gaurami= 3 inches and 4 rasboras= 2 inches each, I have used up 18.5 inches. Adjusting for about 1 gallon equivalent of gravel, I am left with 9.5 inches of fish. Six inches will be used by 3 corys. What can I get in the remianing 3.5? I am inclined to get cardinal neons or zebra danios. However both are schooling fish so need to get 3, which will overload the tank. Should I just forget the corys and get 3 danios and 3 cardinals? I liked corys because they clean up the tank and uneaten food well.
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Old 10-01-2004, 03:26 AM   #7
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What kind of water filter is the eSpring water purifier system? Is it RO? Could be why the PH is so low.
The Platies do like somewhat hard water and a 7.5 PH
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Old 10-01-2004, 07:18 AM   #8
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Wow! Watching your tank on your computer at work...and my wife thinks I obsessed! I love it!
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Old 10-01-2004, 09:20 AM   #9
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I think with your fish load you could very easily have 4 cory cats and add to your rasbora school. They are not going to school if their numbers are too few, so I think you will see more schooling behavior with a few more of them.

It is very true that livebearers prefer harder, more alkaline water - good point, chasgood. It will also be valuable to know the gender of those platys, since you could have problems if you have more males than females.
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Old 10-01-2004, 09:38 AM   #10
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I think the 1" per gal rule is a general thing. I wouldn't worry about getting it to the inch. As long as your doing water changes and keep an eye on it, a few extra fish isn't gonna hurt anything. I'm not saying throw ten more fish in but if your a rasbora or cory over the limit, it's not gonna be that big of a deal. I'm guilty of overstocking. But, I do water changes weekly and don't have a problem. As long as your fish are all peaceful. HTH
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Old 10-01-2004, 11:00 AM   #11
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If you return one of the platies, make sure it is male. Another general rule is to have 2-3 females per male.
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Old 10-04-2004, 11:09 AM   #12
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Thanks guys!

The eSpring is a UV filter. I am going to get some rasboras to get my tankmates some friends. The copys, I'll first buy 3, then maybe add 1 more.

-Sagar
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Old 10-05-2004, 12:41 PM   #13
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Thanks. Y'all are a very helpful bunch and adding value to this new hobby!
I bought some Zebra Danios (3) and will add 2 later. I found that they do not offer much contrast in color to the brilliant rasboras. I am thiking of returning the school of 4 rasboras and replacing them with a school of 6 cardinal tetras. My tank could use soem blue and red. I ahve heard that cardinals are not meant for beginners and very intolerant of water conditons. Is that true? if it is what other species will you recommend that are small can add some color to the tank?
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Old 10-05-2004, 12:43 PM   #14
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A quick follow-up question: Do different types of danios - like the golden, zebra and leopard variety- school together?
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Old 10-05-2004, 12:54 PM   #15
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I've heard they will all school with eachother. I have 5 danios and they are complete spazes! Which is something I love about them. However, in my 10 gal they don't school as much, more just chase eachother playing their normal game of tag. I've heard they will school in a bogger tank in groups of 5-10.
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Old 10-06-2004, 10:08 PM   #16
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Neons and cardinals are among the more colorful of the small schooling fishes, but harlequin rasboras are very nice, and if you want pure red go for a school of serpae tetras. They are spunky and if you have at least 7 of them they will school together and add a lot of color and movement. I like white cloud mountain minnows but some don't find them colorful enough.

I don't know if this is true for the whole country, but at least where I am cardinal tetras are somewhat delicate, though they are one of my favorites. A mature tank with an established biofilter and maintenance schedule is important, and once you have that in place, in several months, you could get some cardinals. If you want them, just wait and keep what you have for now.
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Old 10-07-2004, 10:32 AM   #17
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Thanks Tankgirl,

I will go and take a dekko at serpaes today. Decide between them and harlequins.
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