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Old 05-19-2013, 07:51 AM   #1
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Join Date: May 2013
Location: Perth, WA
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New 70 litre (~20 Gallon) Tank, need advice!

Hello Everybody. I just made an account on your wonderfully helpful website, and i has wondering if any of you would please help me set up a new tank.

OK, so I received a 1.4 litre tank a few months ago as a gift. At the time i did not know a thing about fish, so i got some guppies and an oto catfish. i listened to the guy at my LFS and let the tank run for a day before i put my new fish in. Unfortunately, the guppies looked ill at the time and died. My Oto was alone for a long time, so i decided to get 2 Black Phantom Tetras for company. They got on really well until i topped up the water a little too much one day and one Tetra jumped. I now have first hand experience of that "Coming home to a dried up fish" experience So, my 2 remaining fish are now the best of friends and are inseparable from the back corner of my tank.

I decided to get a larger tank, so i left after doing some research hoping for a 40-50 litre tank. I got to the store, decided 40 was too small, was pretty much set on my chosen 50 litre, and then noticed a 70 litre Blue Planet tank on sale for 10 dollars less. Naturally, i got that one instead. I also picked up a fake plant and a gravel vacuum. My parents used to keep axelottles, so i scavenged some of the items from that unused tank (Bell, Cave Urn, Plants).

So, i got home, did my research and decided on some stocking options, which is where i need you established/pro keepers. I decided that i would like a mixed school of Black Phantom Tetras and Black Skirt Tetras, so my current Tetra isn't so lonely anymore, 1 bristlenose pleco, a school of 5-6 cory cats, my one remaining Oto and an Angelfish. This is probably overstocked or incompatible, so i decided to get your opinions aswell. I will attach a photo or 2 of the tank tomorrow, to help you decide. Just google Blue Planet 70 litre to get the one i have, except mine has some ornaments in it. At the moment it is just sitting there cycling. I have already cleaned everything and i know about the nitrogen cycle and all that.

Also, my LFS guy seemed to know his stuff, and he helped divide the fish into sections of avoid, maybe avoid and preferable at the shop. I dont want any cichlids, except maybe the Angel, and i am willing to go for mainly Tetras. He also said that i should let the tank run for 4-5 days then add my current fish to the tank. Would that be alright? I think it would classify as a fish-in cycle, but its only around 20 gallons so that might be enough time? I don't want to lose my 2 survivors now, when they are so close to being happy Oh yeah, i'm going to convert the 1.4 litre tank they are in at the moment to a betta tank when they are out of it.

Dont think ive forgotten anything, so, if you guys could please take a look at my tank, give me your opinions, and give me your opinions on my fish choices, i would be super grateful
Thanks!
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Old 05-19-2013, 09:25 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome!

Are you sure your current tank is only 1.4 liters? That's only a half gallon which isn't really suitable for fish.

Good choice on upgrading. Your stock seems ok.....6 black skirts, 6 black phantom, 6 smaller corys (like Pandas), maybe get a couple more otos to keep yours company. The BN pleco is probably doable in a 20; some say a 30+ would be better. You'd be somewhat overstocked but if you keep up on weekly water changes it might be OK. I don't know that I'd add an angel to that mix though; they can get fairly large as well and a 20 gal may just be too small for an adult angel. Also plecos need to munch on driftwood in their diet so you might want to get a piece if you don't already.

In terms of cycling, letting the tank run won't cycle it. If you want to do a fish-in cycle, you could add the filter media (or the filter itself) from the current 1.4 gal and add it to the new filter on the larger tank, then add your current fish from the 1.4 gal. Then from there add fish slowly; maybe one school of one of the tetras, then test the tank daily for a couple of weeks with a good liquid test kit (API Master is best). Any time you see ammonia or/and nitrite go over .25, do a water change to get it down. Once ammonia and nitrite stay at 0 for at least a week, then you can add more fish. I'd add the Otos next to last and the pleco last. Here's some guides if you haven't seen them yet:
I just learned about cycling but I already have fish. What now?! - Aquarium Advice
Guide to Starting a Freshwater Aquarium - Aquarium Advice
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Old 05-21-2013, 04:49 AM   #3
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Um, I think it is actually 1.4 Gallons, must have misread somewhere
Anyway, I have decided not to go for a BN or an Angel, and maybe just go for the Black Phantoms and the Black Skirts, with the Cories and maybe 3-4 Otos (including current one). If it looks like there is space for any more fish, maybe 1 sole guppy, as i don't want to overstock, and i don't want a billion little guppy fry :P. I will attach some photos of the tank now, so you guys can decide if it is suitable for those fish, and if it looks nice and whatever. Anyway, if i was to get those fish, what kind of food would i need? At the moment, i have baby Gammarus shrimp that i need to crush up or they float, some TetraVeggie flakes, and some TetraMin flakes. I think i will need some frozen bloodworm/brineshrimp, but is that all i would need foodwise? Also, How many more days whould i need to wait before i would be able to add my current fish? They look really lonely and cramped, and that makes me sad
So, here are my tanks. Any extra info at all is welcome
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:22 AM   #4
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Your new plan sounds fine. What kind of substrate do you have, it's hard to tell from the pic? Is it sharp? Corys have sensitive barbels that can get infected easily so the substrate should be either sand (preferred) or round gravel without any jagged edges.

You can add your current fish now I'd say. If you can add any media from the smaller tank to the larger filter that will help seed the new tank with bacteria. Then just keep testing the tank daily for ammonia and nitrite. When both stay at 0 for more than a week you can then start adding new fish SLOWLY as I mentioned above and continue testing.
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Old 05-22-2013, 07:13 PM   #5
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Ok, I will add them in tonight, and do a fish in cycle. Yesterday I took a trip to my LFS to see what they stocked. I couldn't see any Black Skirts in their tanks with fish they were selling but I could see one in a display tank. Not sure if they stock them, so would Black Neon Tetras work instead?

I had another look at my gravel, and it might be a little rough for Cories. It is Blue Planet Rock artist 3-4mm speck gravel, so it might be a little rough? If so, my stocking plans are: 6 BPT, 6-7 Black Neons, 3-4 Otos, and maybe 1 Borneo sucker? Of course, if they are any Cories that I could keep, i would like to know what they are, but I might need to skip out on them for now So, does that plan sound safe? Is it overstocked? Are they all compatible? Thanks!
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Old 05-26-2013, 01:22 AM   #6
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Ok, so yesterday i picked up: 2 sailfin mollies, 1 more Phantom and a Borneo sucker. At the moment they are happy together, but the mollies seem to eat everything. Any way to guarantee the feeding of the other fish? Also, would i be safe to add 4 more Phantoms and 1 more oto? once that was done, my tank would be finished. Anyone got any opinions?
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Old 05-29-2013, 05:49 AM   #7
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Alright, i think my tank might be done now
It has:
2 sailfin mollies (both male)
2 Black Phantom tetras (1 male 1 female)
2 Ornate White Tetras (1 male 1 female)
1 Borneo Sucker
1 Oto cat
1 Yoyo Loach
And some decor/plants. Not sure if i can add anything else, though, because i know the mollies will grow a bit. I am contemplating adding 1 more tetra, or something of a similar size. Pics below. Any feedback is welcome. I think my tank is complete, although i feel like 1 more plant would do it justice, If only i could convince the family...
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