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Old 12-01-2011, 11:36 AM   #1
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Location: Bridgeport, CT
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Stocking plans for my first 38g freshwater community

So after about 3 weeks worth of extensive research on numerous aquaria forums and articles I decided to start my very first freshwater community tank. I ended up going with a 38g tank because that was the biggest I had space for. Would have loved to get at least a 55g but not enough space for one... It has tan sand substrate, a few pieces of Malaysian driftwood, a few fake plants, marineland emperor 400 HOB filter w/ ceramic rings in the extra media trays, a whisper air pump model 60 w/ airstone and a aqueon 150 watt heater that I'm going to switch to a eheim jager 200 watt since it's getting very cold here in Connecticut.*

I stared the tank somewhere around Sept. 25 of this year and even after all the research I did I decided to go with a fish in cycle because I really didn't want a decorated tank with no fish sitting in my living room even though it probably would have been for the better... I know that is frowned upon. Even now at about 2 months later it's still cycling and it's been in the nitrites phase for about 3 weeks now. I've been testing the water and doing pwc 10-15 gallons every single day depending on how high the nitrites are. (my fiancť is a little upset at me for this saying that I love the fish more than her. Lol) ammonia is 0ppm and nitrates are still 0ppm and ph is around 6.8-7.0 can't really tell.*

At any rate, bought 6 zebra danio to start cycling my tank and on impulse also bought 3 ghost shrimp because they were ridiculously cheap and super adorable. But I did also read in a few forum threads the shrimp were very hardy and can be used to cycle tanks with caution. If I'm wrong please let me know even though there isn't much I can do about that at this point. For the past 2 months since I've added them they are all very much alive, very active, looking very well and all 3 shrimp have molted at least once (even though I can't seem to find one of my shrimp that just randomly disappeared 2 days ago ).*

So here is what I would love to stock my tank with on top of what I have already.*
7 cherry barbs (2 male 5 female)
6 julii corydoras
6 platys (all female) *
1 clown pleco*
4 cherry shrimp*
4 amano shrimp
3-4 Malaysian trumpet snails

I know from what I've read that's really kind of pushing it and will probably be overstocked for the space I have but if it can work that'd be awesome! Is everything on the list compatible with eachother? They're all peaceful and have the same water parameter requirements. If there is anything I should remove to keep the stocking level fair please tell me.*

Also I was wondering with the platys seeing as they're social with their own species and need a group. Do I have to get them all the same color or can I get one of each color and they'll be fine? I was thinking for example 1 red, 1 red wag, 1 twin bar, 1 sunset, 1 Mickey mouse, and 1 bumble bee platy. Would that work and they would school/be social and happy or should I get all one color. *

I know this was really really long and I'm sorry but I wanted to give as much information as possible to get the best possible answers to my questions. Thank you soo soo much in advance for your time and help. Any advice and help will be very much appreciated.*

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Old 12-01-2011, 06:44 PM   #2
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HI and welcome to AA!

Your stocking would put you a tad overstocked but nothing major so I'd say it would be fine. Just keep up with a good water change schedule; I'd say at least 50% weekly once your tank cycles. Unless your nitrates call for more pwc.

Your nitrites should be dropping soon. Is your PH always 6.8-7 or has it dropped? What's your tap water PH? Cycling can cause PH fluctuations and if it drops too low it can hinder the cycle.

Let us know if you have any other questions. Good luck!

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Old 12-02-2011, 07:13 AM   #3
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Thank you so much! Changing that much wouldn't be a problem weekly once it's cycled seeing as I've been doing it every day so far.. And yes it is usually at 6.8-7 sometimes I see it around 6.6 but the colors on the test chart are so similar in that ph range that its kinda hard to tell for sure from the tube to te paper. My tap water ph is the same somewhere between 6.8-7. I just checked that yesterday to be sure. My tap water is very soft kh is 0-1 and my gh is about 1-2. Thats how many drops it took to change color on the API kh & gh test kit. Can't remember what te exact values for that many drops is. I've read that using a small amount of crushed coral in the filter can help raise the kh, but would it also raise my ph too high? Would it be ok to add a little bit so I have some kind of buffer to keep my ph stable and make my water a little bit harder?

Thanks again for the help!!
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:09 AM   #4
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38 Gallon? IMO it is a little overstocked. You should try a trio of platies, which will give you a leser bioload overall on fish. Your shrimp may have disappeared. You have quite a few fish in there that could possibly have eaten them.

You can add CC, but slowly. Too much and you'll have a pH swing that'll lead to pH shock. That stuff is potent IMO.
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:26 AM   #5
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Yeah 38 gallon... I thought that would be overstocked. It is quite possible that the shrimp got eaten but all i have is 6 Zebra Danios that are about 1 1/2 inches each and the shrimp are between 3/4-1 inch each. For the past 2 months they just ignore eachother and the shrimp roam the tank without a care in the world. Sometimes even scaring the fish away from their flakes that make it to the bottom during feeding. And those Danios aren't scared of nothing. But maybe one of them did decide to have a snack because I haven't seen that shrimp for the past 3-4 days.. He was the smaller one and I did see shrimp carcas floating around when I did pwc yesterday I thought he just molted and is hinging.. No ammonia spike so I don't think he's dead.

And thanks bruinsbro1997 I will try adding a little bit of cc and see if it helps.
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