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robs_seven 09-18-2013 09:46 PM

Newbie NC-1st aquarium

I live in the foothills of NC and I am completely new to the aquarium idea. I bought a 2 gallon goldfish tank for my little girl when she was 2 and mainly had it for her to look at. The fish was extremely hardy and one day while in the local pet store wrangling a 1 yr old and 3 yr old my wife and I decided to buy a 36 gallon starter kit. Having no experience at all other then the goldfish, and I am still not sure what made us jump on board. I can say this... we made the biggest mistake I think that most average people do, buy the aquarium, set it up, read about the water cycle, ignore the water cycle, buy fish, fight water levels, get frustrated, then read about the water cycle again and realize we were dumb. For the record we have enjoyed it since day one even with the constant self induced headache.

Well after about 2 months things calmed down and we got into the groove. We started with all artificial plants and with our tank at a comfortable level of fish I toyed with the idea of live plants. Next thing I know she comes home with new living plants once a week.

At this point I am trying to look into creating the best habitat for the plants and fish, which I may be doing completely wrong and that is why I am here now.

I have a 36 gallon bow front, standard filtration and light that came with the kit. I added an LED light bar with blue night lights.
2 Silver Hatchet
2 Dalmatian Mollies
2 Dwarf Gourami
2 Swordtail
3 Serpae Tetra
5 Neon Tetra
2 Ghost Catfish
1 Algae (not sure exactly but a small one)

I think that may be a bit much but it has been staying stable for a few months now. Any thoughts on this?

As far as what plants I have, I am sorry but I have no idea what the exact names are being my wife picked them out. One thing I have noticed is a few have began getting a few brown spots on the tips. I have been reading about the plants and I think its time to upgrade the lighting and CO2? Any thoughts
My favorite fish so far, while my wife likes the Hatchets


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