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Old 11-06-2016, 02:52 PM   #1
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CPDs in a Nano tank, dillemma

Hello AA, new to the hobby and really enjoying the community here. I fear that I am making a typical rookie mistake and hoping for some advice moving forward. I just finished cycling a Fluval Spec V, planted, and then transferring in my only fish - an albino cory catfish. This fish I had in a 2.5g with a betta that passed away recently. My plan was to make the spec V heavily planted, and then put in either:

1) 5 Celestial Pearl Danios
2) 2 Endler Livebears
or
3) 2 Least Killis

I learned that my local Petco got in a bunch of CPDs, and I saw them and fell in love with them. Later in the day I went back with my wife and daughter, and found out that someone purchased all but 3. Very disappointing. So I ended up buying the remaining 3 and they are doing fine on their first day. Of course I am still learning, and my mistake is that I have purchased 2 males and 1 female.

I'm very concerned that either the female is going to get too much attention, or one of the males is going to become the 3rd wheel. So I have a few options.

option 1. return one of the males
option 2. return the female
option 3. buy 2-3 more females the next chance I get
option 4. other?

So far the 3 seem to be doing OK, but I worry that in time things will go south.
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Old 11-09-2016, 06:38 PM   #2
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They should be fine. The tank is planted and has objects to keep the boys at bay. You can get more from several sources including The Aquatic Arts, Bob's Tropical Plants. I deal with the Aquatic Arts folks and they are great to do business with. You can also check with Cara at Cara's Facy Fins-Tell here Craig from Craigstropicals sent you. All the above sources are vetted ad excellent to deal with.
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Old 11-10-2016, 01:17 PM   #3
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Like henningc said, they should be fine since you have plenty of cover for them. When you're ready to get more, I'd stick with only getting females though. A total of 4 to 6f & 2m would be good in that tank.

On a side note, you tank and inhabitants look great!
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Old 11-11-2016, 03:41 PM   #4
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Thank you, henningc & jessipanda. Turns out a different LFS carried CPD's, so I picked up 2 females. Unfortunately, they died after about 36hrs The store believes my ph (7.5) and nitrates (20-40, hard to read the color chart) are too high. My previous CPD's and Cory seem fine, but I guess the new ones couldn't adapt.

To get my PH down, I am adding a layer of Fluval stratum substrate over my existing Eco-complete. Eco-complete apparently raises PH. I did 1/3 of the tank along with a big water change, and my reading is now 7.2. Nitrates also came down to 5. The plan is to wait a few days in between each substrate change to not disrupt my bacteria too much. What a pain it is to make substrate changes in an established tank!

The lfs also recommended I switch out my rocks with something else, but I really like them. Hopefully the substrate change will be enough...
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Old 11-15-2016, 08:49 AM   #5
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While eco-complete can raise pH, it's usually a temporary thing when first established...supposedly. I was suckered into buying it by my LFS, and though I like the look of it, it did raise my tank pH permanently making water changes vital and dangerous. At first, my pH was up over 8.0, but has settled between 7.6 - 7.8 after a year. To put this into perspective, my well water is 6.8 - 7.0 (depending on time of year).

Doing a gradual substrate change to correct your pH is a good idea, but I would go even slower if possible to help prevent any major pH swings.

How did you acclimate the newer fish? They may not have been able to handle the sudden pH difference depending on your process.

As for the rocks, you could always give them the vinegar test. Take one out & spray/pour white vinegar on it. If it fizzes, it very well may be raising your pH levels.
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Old 11-16-2016, 04:31 PM   #6
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I do also like the look of the eco-complete, especially when compared with the Fluval stratum. It's much more natural compared with the little round balls. But after some time I am getting used to the Fluval. My pH did drop from 7.5 to 7.0 now that the substrate change is complete. I probably should have made the change more gradually but so far my fish seem OK.
I believe the ph of my tap water is around 6.5. So if having the rocks in brings it up to 7.0-7.2, then I think the tank is in good shape.

My nitrates are still high though at about 30ppm. I was feeding the fish 2x per day, which I am learning is probably too much. I slowed it to 1x per day, did a 25% water change last night and haven't fed them at all so far today. I'll test again tonight. If I don't see any progress, I guess i will need to reduce feedings to every other day. Hoping this is not the case, since my daughter really enjoys feeding the fish

For acclimation, I did the following:
1) Float them in the bag from the LFS (top open) for about 20 mins
2) Add about 10ml of tank water to the bag and wait for 20 mins
3) Add about 10ml of tank water to the bag and wait for 20 mins
4) Use a net to bring each fish into the tank

Thinking about it now, I should have tested the water from the bag to see how far off their parameters are to my tank. Do you think my method was too fast?
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