. I'm starting up my first fish tank (since I was a kid), and have been doing lots of internet research for the past few weeks! I'm a marine biologist just finishing up my PhD. Although my study species (seals and sea lions) are much larger than the ones you'll find in my aquarium, I've always been interested in all marine life.
I just set up a 20 gallon freshwater tank, and have been doing fishless cycling for about a month. My levels are now 0 ppm
ammonia, 0 ppm
nitrite, and ~5 ppm
nitrate. I haven't added any fish yet so I'm still adding ~2 ml ammonia to the tank every day to keep the cycle going. My pH is on the high side (8.2) and I know that I have "hard" tap water -- but my API kit doesn't have a hardness test so I'm not sure of the exact levels.
I added two live plants to the aquarium but confess that I didn't do quite enough research before adding them so I'm not positive of the species and I'm not sure that my tank conditions are adequate. I've been using Aqueon plant food, but one of the plants is turning a little brown around the leaf edges -- possibly the tank lighting that came with my setup isn't good enough?
My main question for now is -- any stocking suggestions regarding species and number of fish? I've read that fish like platies, guppies, rainbow fish, and mollies do well in hard water, high pH environments. I think my tank is almost ready to be stocked, once I decide which fish to get!
Sorry for the long post! Thanks in advance for any advice, and I'm happy to be joining the community!