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Old 09-23-2013, 10:21 AM   #1
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New tetra & plant keeper

Hi everyone,

I have just signed up to AA after finding lots of helpful advice on setting up tanks during all my recent research. I am getting in to the hobby with a 30 litre tank (8 US gallons) in which I intend to keep tetra. I am as interested in the plants as much as the fish.

I cycled my water with the plants in the tank and seemed to have completed it within 7 days, which seems really fast, but I did a big water change, added some fish flakes to get the NH and NO2 levels up - overnight they'd converted to 0 and reading of ca.20 NO3. Took the water to a fish shop at the weekend and they said it was fine, so I introduced some fish on Saturday (21st September)

My set up is:

30 litre tank
1 inch flourite substrate
gravel top layer
filter
heater
Temperature - 78 F
pH - 7.5
Water hardness >10d

Flora and fauna so far are:

Amazon sword (though not sure of the type) attached to wood
Dwarf sag
Crinum calamistratum
3 glowlight tetra

I intend on adding 2 more glowlights, 5 neons and 10-15 various shrimp (red cherry, tiger, amano)


How do you guys think I am doing? Does this all sound like a suitable set up? The glowlights seem quite happy after a few days, very active around all the plants, but they don't seem to have much of an appetite. They have maybe one small flake each both times I've fed them.

I have a couple of questions:

Can I add a couple more fish every week?
How long before I can add shrimp? (fish shop guy said not for another 3 months)
Do I need to supplement with CO2 for the plants?
Is a 20% pwc twice a week enough?
Should I have put gravel on top of flourite? Can I just vacuum over the gravel? Don't want to mix up the layers by pushing the tube through both layers


Any and all help you can offer would be appreciated. I want to do this well!

thanks.

D.
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Old 09-23-2013, 10:50 AM   #2
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Sounds like a lot of fish for an 8 gallon. Have you discovered AqAdvisor? Google it. It gives a lot of help and guidelines for how to stock your tank. You can put in the specs of your tank and the stock you have.

My understanding of shrimp is that they really feed on the biofilm in a tank and it's stuff. So you need 3-6 months for that to build up.

That's awesome if your tank really did cycle that quickly. Just to be sure, I would do twice daily water parameter checks. That sounds like a lot, but even in a big tank like mine (55 gallon) it can get out of hand quickly if you're not properly cycled or something happens to your BBs. Smaller tanks can get out of whack even faster.

Best of luck and keep us informed.

BTW, you are using the API master Kit for your tests? It's way more reliable than the strips. Available for $15 to $20 on Amazon.
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:09 AM   #3
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Hi Jen.

Thanks for the reply.

I was wondering whether that was too many fish, but a couple of fish shop people told me 10-15 fish would be o.k. My first inclination was to get just 6-8 neons. I definitely wouldn't want more than 10 in total.

I have seen Aqadvisor but haven't put all my details into it yet. Will have a go tonight I expect.

Advice on shrimps noted. thanks, that's the extra bit of detail I need to know. Trying to be as patient as I can be - although taking water readings has been entertaining enough so far!

I have been using strips, which is why I took the water for a test at the shop, but their readings came up the same (or roughly enough for them to say it's ok).

Going to do another test tonight, 20% pwc and another test after to see how things are going.
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:31 AM   #4
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Yeah I agree 10-15 fish for a 8 gallon tank is too many
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Old 09-23-2013, 11:52 AM   #5
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I just looked up my setup on AqAdvisor and it said I would be overstocked if I got all that. I also reduced it to suitable fish species and it took all the fish away, except for betta.

Would you agree this tank is too small for any fish at all?

Sad times.


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Old 09-23-2013, 12:29 PM   #6
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I think that you can keep what you have the 3 glows. and the shrimp you want to add later. max I would put is 2 more neons that's it.
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Old 09-23-2013, 02:38 PM   #7
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In a small tank, 10-15 NANO schoolers is perfectly fine
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:31 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies so far. It's almost unanimous, but still clear as mud!

I did a 20 % water change. Before I did it NH and NO2 both at 0, NO3 at 10. An hour after the change NH came up to 0.5, NO2 at 0 and NO3 still at 10. Will check again tomorrow see if that NH has dropped.


The other big question I had was about CO2 supplements. Do I need to add anything to keep the plants healthy or will they be ok without? If they start to suffer I'll try some I guess.

Thanksthanks.
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:40 PM   #9
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With your plants that you have, you don't really need much.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:29 PM   #10
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Ok cool, thanks!
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