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Old 06-08-2012, 04:49 PM   #1
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30 Gallon Stocking Ideas

So I've been thinking about starting a new tank for my room for a while now. I've been deciding on size and location and whether to do saltwater or freshwater. I think I've settled on a 30 gallon freshwater tank now.

I want to do a natural tank (all those sunken ship design make me roll my eyes), so I have a few questions, as this will be my first community freshwater aquarium. I have some betta tanks so I do have experience in it, though, but these are my questions:

1. I need some stocking ideas. I want to learn as much as possible about the following fish, so I just want some opinions based on your experience: mollies, rasboras, zebra danio, cory cats. I will definitely want to add neon tetras and maybe some other kind, as they are one of my favorites. I also am considering moving one of my bettas into the tank so please keep your suggestions in favor of the betta fish.

2. I've never done a planted tank before. What are their basic requirements? Will I have to add CO2 into the water for photosynthesis? What plants do you recommend?

3. Where can I get some good driftwood? Also I have no idea what care requirements there are for driftwood (if there are any), so all help is appreciated.

4. What are some cool invertebrates I can add? I'm a big fan of snails, but those might eat my plants. What about shrimp? What's a good invertebrate for keeping algae in check?

5. What would a good flow rate be? I'm not sure if flow rate is as important in freshwater as it is in saltwater. Is it?

That's all I can think of for now. I will do my own research too. Thanks!
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:27 PM   #2
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So i've been doing some more research
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:31 PM   #3
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So I've been doing some research and have come up with some fish I might want to add:
-6 Neon tetras
-6 Zebra danios
-1 koi swordtail
-1 betta
-3 gold dust mollies
-6 Cory cats
That would equal 23 fish. How does that sound? Is that too much?

Also what CO2 supplement do you recommend for plants?
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Old 06-08-2012, 07:46 PM   #4
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Your stock sounds pretty good, I think (although let someone else confirm this too lol). I'd be careful with the betta in there though; neons can be too active for bettas to tolerate and mollys tend to have large fins which may cause aggression in the betta (or vice versa). You could try it, but have a backup plan for the betta if it doesn't work out.

For the Corys, I'd go with a smaller variety (either Pandas, Dwarfs or Pygmys).

For inverts, either snails and/or shrimp would be fine I think. Nerite snails are good freshwater snails; they do not eat live plants, keep the tank clean and can't breed in freshwater so you won't be overrun with them.

Plants will largely depend on your lighting. What light do you have on the tank and do you know the watts (should say on the bulb)? If it's the bulb that came with the aquarium they are generally T8 florescent (unless you have LEDs). You might be able to grow some low light plants like anubias, java ferns and mosses. You don't need CO2 unless you want it but then you have to have a good balance of CO2, fertizilers and light or else you can develop algae problems.
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Old 06-08-2012, 08:49 PM   #5
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Hi thanks for replying

I don't have the tank yet, so for lighting, I'm not sure. I'll get whatever lighting best suits the plants I decide on.

My LFS is selling plant packs that come with:
-Choice of micro sword or dwarf hairgrass
-choice of anubias nana or anubias barteri round leaf
-java fern
-choice of red cryptocoryne or green cryptocoryne
-watersprite
-choice of anacharis or hornwort

what do you think? If I do get the pack, what would good lighting be?

Can you recommend good plant substrate? I got a few recommondations for some things off Dr. Foster and Smith.

The betta I have is pretty passive but I will be careful with him. If it does fail, I already have the tank he's currently in. But since one of my bettas is stuck in a tiny one gallon (i had to take him in at last minute), i thought I'd put the passive one in the tank and then move the other into a bigger single tank.

Yeah, I like panda corys. I'll go with those.

How can I add CO2 into the water? And I also heard that adding CO2 can badly affect pH levels. Is this true and how can I prevent it?

Thanks!
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Old 06-08-2012, 09:57 PM   #6
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Your stock sounds pretty good, I think (although let someone else confirm this too lol). I'd be careful with the betta in there though; neons can be too active for bettas to tolerate
I have a freshwater planted 29 gallon tank with only 2 neons (the other 4 died off from a disease that got into my tank) and a male crowntail betta in it and they all do great together. I've had all of them for months (Actually, the neons have been in my care just a few months short of a full year now) and they haven't caused me much trouble. I'd say go for it!

I think your stock list looks great! Plugged it into AqAdvisor and you shouldn't have any stocking problems even with the adition of a snail or some shrimp (both are great and fun to observe). Plants are fun and no where near as hard to care for as some like to express - I only add some "Tetraplant - FlorPride" by the Tetra brand whenever I do a water change and my four plants are doing great!

Not sure about anything to do with CO2 and it's PH problems, I do have a low PH right now so if yu get any adivce on how to take care of it I would be interested in sharing i on the information. Best of luck with the 30 gallon!
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Old 06-08-2012, 10:06 PM   #7
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I'm really excited to do this. It'll be my first freshwater community tank ^__^

Is Tetraplant FlorPride CO2 for the plants?

I think I'll add a nerite snail. Those seem nice. I might also get some cherry shrimp or ghost shrimp. I love shrimp! I have a couple of scarlet cleaner shrimp in my saltwater tank and they are the funniest little critters. They literally think they own the place lol.

I will have to look more into the CO2 pH issues. I read it on Live Aquaria so lemme have another look and I'll report back.
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:05 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bettafanatic
I'm really excited to do this. It'll be my first freshwater community tank ^__^

Is Tetraplant FlorPride CO2 for the plants?

I think I'll add a nerite snail. Those seem nice. I might also get some cherry shrimp or ghost shrimp. I love shrimp! I have a couple of scarlet cleaner shrimp in my saltwater tank and they are the funniest little critters. They literally think they own the place lol.

I will have to look more into the CO2 pH issues. I read it on Live Aquaria so lemme have another look and I'll report back.
Nerites need tons of algae
Cherry shrimp may be eater
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:15 PM   #9
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If the snails do, I'll wait until algae starts growing more and see if I need them.
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:18 PM   #10
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The only problem I see with the stock is one of the swordtails or mollies turning aggressive and nipping the betas fins.
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