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Old 02-02-2009, 05:05 PM   #1
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Hi folks!!

Hi all,
Just joined today, and wanted to pick peoples brains. I have kept fish for about 9 years now. Started with a Juwel Rekord 90 tropical, then upped to a Trigon 190 with Malawi cichlids. After running this for a while I changed it over to a reef setup. Unfortunatly I did so following advice from my LFS and used an external for bio filtration and ocean rock in the tank. This ended in disaster with a total wipeout.

I was so gutted that I changed back to tropical Freshwater untill about 18months ago I once again setup as marine. All was well, but with a little one, and the credit crunch I could not afford to run it, so have downsized to a Wave45 nano reef...and love it.
Right....to the purpose of the post, I have just acquired a 70L'ish(60Lx40Hx30W) tank, and am looking to setup a freshwater tropical. I have a tetratec in600 internal filter and a 20w t8 light, 150W heater . I want some fairly easy to maintain fish and fancy going planted.
Questions...
What would be the best substrate? Should I add a layer of fertilizer?
and
Whatfish would people suggest? I'd like bright, interesting, possibly things that might breed?
Suggestions Welcome
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:36 PM   #2
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Welcome to AA!

Going the planted route will mean at least upgrading the lights. What you have now is barely adequate for Java ferns & other ultra-low-light plants. You can keep some plants, but really won't have a planted tank.

If you are going to keep your stock light & just have a few plants, then there is no need for any special substrate & definitely no fertilizer. You don't have enough light for fast plant growth, so you don't need any fertilizer apart from what the fish is producing. Adding ferts will just bring on algae. And the low light easy plants don't need special substrate. (Plants like Java ferns & anubias are not even planted ... they attach to rocks & stuff & grow from a rhyzome. Others float free.)

As for fish, I think you need to narrow down the choice base on your likes. You might want larger center piece fish, or maybe schools of smaller fish. Give us some idea of what look you are after & we'll give you some ideas.
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80 gal FW with 30 gal DIY wet/dry/sump.
9 fancy golds, 1 hillstream loaches, 1 rubber-lip pleco (C. thomasi), 3 SAEs, small school of white cloud minnows, planted.
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Old 02-04-2009, 02:21 PM   #3
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Thanks jsoong.
Lights, well I'm kinda stuck with these at the moment, I've had the go ahead from the good lady, as long as it costs, next-to-nothing to set-up. So, for now, low light plants only.

Fish, maybe live bearers like mollies (I like sailfins), Guppies and the like. But not sure what to stock in the lower zones of the water. I love cichlids Kribs, Rams, but most need a larger tank than this I believe.

Still researching at moment, so ideas welcome
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Old 02-04-2009, 03:34 PM   #4
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With hiding places, kribs could probably do ok - but it you get a pair they'll likely beat up anything within range of the homestead...
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Old 02-04-2009, 03:35 PM   #5
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Bolivian rams maybe?
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Old 02-04-2009, 05:26 PM   #6
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Do they need soft acid water? Our tap water is pH7, not sure on the hardness. But, after a brief google session they look and sound cool. Are they any easier to care for than the usual 'ram'.
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Old 02-04-2009, 05:40 PM   #7
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Bolivian Rams are a more robust fish and will do well in a community aquarium until spawning happens....Tap water with a ph of 7.0 is something most of us would kill for.
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Old 02-04-2009, 06:18 PM   #8
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Yeah pH is great, smells like it's got enough Cl to bleach the toilet though.
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Old 02-12-2009, 09:53 AM   #9
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Ok, as of last night the Tank is now set up cycling away. I have used a black sand on the base, and the back is painted black. Quite impressed with the second hand filter, absolutely silent. I have it running on full power, rated at 600lph. Is this too much, I'm use to running a reef tank at 1500lph for a 45L? So plenty of time now to sit and think about stocking. So far, I like the idea of a trio of guppies, a pair of honey gourami's, maybe another trio of livebearer (like sailfin mollies...too big?) like mollies or swords, and maybe some cory's for the bottom, or some bolivian rams. Would this be fully stocked at that point or would a small group of neons be ok too.

I want plants of some description in there, so after reading peoples advice, and other posts, I think I'll try Java moss, some java fern and anubias attached to peices of wood/root, possibly some corkscrew val or cabomba too. Would some floating plants shade the others too much?

What do you think of the plan?
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