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Grown Up Birthday Tank + Stocking Plan = Rasbora/Cory advice

aec34

Member
Joined
10 Oct 2020
Messages
167
Location
Gloucestershire
Big birthday coming up, so time to treat myself/ask for a new, bigger tank specifically for fish. After killing a pair of goldfish in my 20s and now realising everything I did wrong, I want to get it right this time and get a good plan together - though likely not setting anything up til the summer given imminent major DIY. Help please!

I’ve got a jungly 20l shrimp cube going well I’m thinking of getting something in the 45-70 litre range, either Dennerle nano scaper’s tank or superfish scaper (though open to suggestions). HoB filter, prob Seachem tidal 35. No idea about heater or light yet. One thing at a time...

I’m trying to strike a balance between something fairly small so water changes and impact to house isn’t massive, but big enough for fish. I know bigger is always better, but if use rain water for changes (as I do now), I can’t go too big.

Current thinking fish-wise from what I’ve read is a number of chili rasbora, or dwarf rasbora, or harlequin - and/or panda corys since they are amazingly cute.

So... questions:

- how tolerant of higher ph are these fish? I read a lot that rasbora like v soft water, though captive bred are more tolerant. My tap water is hard + TDS from tap currently around 200, but I’ve access to rain water. I’ll also go for some leaf litter and plenty of wood. Haven’t thought through substrate and its effect yet. On pandas, seems that they are pretty tough? Thinking is that if I can use part tap water for changes I figure I can manage a bigger tank.

- stocking levels/shape of tank. Is long better than deep, and how many fish can I reasonably keep in this size? How much is size about bioload, or swimming space? Is aiming for two species in something this small a bad idea?

Many moving pieces... Thoughts from seasoned fish keepers would be appreciated!

EDIT: the plan is to plant heavily with at least some wood as hardscape
 
Last edited:

dean

Member
Joined
6 Apr 2012
Messages
1,415
Location
Warrington, Cheshire
2 species is minimum id go with
It all depends where the fish swim in the water column
Bottom, Mid or Top, I prefer one in each
Is this going to be scaped at all ?
Obviously hard scape reduces actual water volume and swimming space
If fish are the reason for this purchase and you want to make it easy to maintain then it’s much easier to buy fish to suit your (tap)water parameters

Definitely the bigger the aquarium size the better when it comes to a fish only aquarium

Shape of an aquarium is a personal choice but if it’s tall then taller bobied (rounded shape) fish look better than they would in a shallower tank

My advice
make a short list of fish that really interest you
Can’t beat looking through books or visiting all your lfs (within an hours drive not just ones on your doorstep) for inspiration

Then see if any on the short list match your water then see what tank size they need and if you can easily do what is necessary to meet their care regime, tank size, food, decor etc


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Karmicnull

Member
Joined
6 Sep 2020
Messages
270
Location
Cambridge
- how tolerant of higher ph are these fish? I read a lot that rasbora like v soft water, though captive bred are more tolerant. My tap water is hard + TDS from tap currently around 200, but I’ve access to rain water. I’ll also go for some leaf litter and plenty of wood. Haven’t thought through substrate and its effect yet. On pandas, seems that they are pretty tough? Thinking is that if I can use part tap water for changes I figure I can manage a bigger tank.
I did a bit of research on this as my water is pretty hard. It's much more important to have hard water for hard water fish than the other way round. That said, if you have soft water fish in a hard water tank you will be shaving their life expectancy as their kidneys etc. aren't designed to handle the amount of calcium in the water. I came to the conclusion that I would only take fish who were happy with 268ppm or more. Seriously fish was my friend. Then @castle ran a script that pulled details automatically, giving around 400 high-hardness fish. Which I have been slowly annotating ever since. Rasbora definitely like softwater and don't make it into the list (apart from Rasbora Vulcanus). Panda Corys are fine, though.
Here's my 'top 100' of happy hard-water fish.

Latin NameFriendly NamesizeLow TempHigh TempPHHard LowHard HighLevelMin. NumFin nipper?Cherry Shrimp?Long finned?FoodFlowNotes
CichlidsAmatitlania nigrofasciataConvict Cichlids
15.0​
24​
28​
6-8.0
90​
447​
1​
Not a good community fish :(
CatfishAncistrus sp.Bristlenose Catfish
12.0​
21​
26​
5.5 - 7.5
18​
268​
bottom
1​
Yshould consist of around 85% plant matter and 15% protein. Sinking dried foods, frozen Daphnia, mosquito larvae, chironomid larvae (bloodworm), and prawn/shrimp, for, example, plus some fresh fruit, parboiled potato, etc.
soft algae, cucumber, mushrooms, shelled garden peas, spinach, zucchini(courgettes), catfish pellets and flake, small amounts of bloodworm or chopped earthworm occasionally. Juvenile fish will lean towards a more meaty diet to include small live foods like brine shrimp and daphnia.
Relatively peaceful but territorial with conspecifics and similarly-shaped species. Good Algae Eater. Should be ok with Cory if tank is reasonable size; can cause havoc with plants if you're not careful
Aphyocharax anisitsiBloodfin Tetra
5.5​
18​
28​
06-Aug​
54​
447​
top half
6​
yPeaceful enough but may nip a little at long-finned or slow-moving tankmates. Can do a mixed shoal with other characids
KillifishAphyosemion splendopleureSplendid Killifish
6​
22​
26​
6.0 - 7.2
54​
268​
Jumper, v peaceful
KillifishAphyosemion gabuneseGabon Killifish
5​
22​
25​
6.5 - 7.2
89.5​
268.5​
Jumper, v peaceful
Barbodes semifasciolatusGolden Barbs
7.5​
16​
24​
6.0 - 8.0
36​
357​
bottom-mid
10​
nSlow flowing and standing, dense vegetation; schooling; semi-aggressive
BettaBetta Splendens
0​
7.0​
22​
30​
6-8.0
18​
268​
Mid
1​
nyLowSiamese Fighting Fish - house with peaceful non-nippy, well planted shady aquarium; excellent jumper
Brachydanio albolineataPearl Danio
5.5​
16​
25​
6.0 - 8.0
18​
357​
Upper
8​
n
DaniosBrachydanio rerioLeopard Danio
3.0​
22.0​
27​
6.9-7.1
18​
357​
Upper
6​
DaniosBrachydanio rerioZebra Danio
5.0​
18​
25​
6-8.0
90​
357​
Upper
6​
Not Giant; schooling
Celestichthys erythromicronEmerald Dwarf Rasbora
2​
20.0​
24​
7.0-8.0
215​
357​
Mid
20​
will accept dried foods of a suitable size but not be fed exclusively
Daphnia, Artemia and suchlike.
Small live foods as an initial diet, dry and frozen products introduced as the fish become settled.
LowHeavily planted; low flow
Celestichthys margaritatusCelestial Pearl Danio (Galaxy Rasbora)
2.0​
20.0​
26​
6.5-7.5
90​
268​
6​
Y
Chaetostoma sp.Bulldog Plec
12.0​
20.0​
23​
6.8-7.8
144​
447​
Bottom1-2Yomnivorous, plenty of greenstuffs, blanched spinach, courgette and cucumber slices, etc. live and frozen foods such as bloodworm and brine shrimp. will also take algae wafers and other dried foods.FastNeeds fast flowing water
corydorasCorydoras aeneusBronze Cory
7.5​
21.0​
27​
6-8.0
36​
268​
bottom
6​
yfine sand or rounded gravel
corydorasCorydoras juliiJulii Cory
5.0​
23.0​
26​
6-7.8
36​
447​
bottom
4​
Check - SF has 215
corydorasCorydoras melanotaeniaGold Cory
6.0​
20.0​
23​
6-7.2
36​
268​
bottom
6​
Also green-gold
corydorasCorydoras pandapanda cory
4.0​
20.0​
25​
6-8.0
36​
358​
Bottom
6​
Omnivorous and easy to feed. Use a good quality sinking pellet or tablet as the staple diet. Supplement this with live and frozen foods such as Daphnia, Artemia, bloodworm and similar.
corydorasCorydoras pygmaeusPygmy Cory
3.0​
22.0​
26​
6.4-7.4
36​
268​
middle
8​
Ysmall,might get eaten, not as healthy as regular corys
corydorasCorydoras SchultzeiVenezuelan Black Cory
7.5​
22.0​
28​
6-8.0
36​
268​
bottom
6​
corydorasCorydoras schwartziSchwartz's Cory
7.0​
22.0​
24​
6-7.5
18​
268​
bottom
6​
Omnivorous and easy to feed. Use a good quality sinking pellet or tablet as the staple diet. Supplement this with live and frozen foods such as Daphnia, Artemia, bloodworm and similar.
corydorasCorydoras splendensEmerald Green Cory
9.0​
20.0​
27​
5.8-8
36​
268​
bottom
6​
Yneed 30-50 gallon tank
corydorasCorydoras sterbaiSterba's Cory
6.5​
24.0​
28​
6-7.6
36​
268​
bottom
6​
Crossocheilus atrilimesSiamese Flying Fox
7.0​
20.0​
26​
6-7.5
18​
268​
bottom
6​
compatible with botia
Dermogenys pusillaWrestling Halfbeak
7.0​
24.0​
28​
6.5-8
179​
358​
Top
5​
YDoesen't like big wcs; 1 male or lots ; can easily damage its long lower jaw by bumping into the aquarium glass when startled. This can be prevented by positioning plant vegetation along the sides and back of the aquarium walls. Is a proficient jumper, so a secure lid or at least plenty of surface vegetation is necessary in the aquarium.
Gambusia affinisWestern mosquitofish
4.0​
18.0​
27​
6-8.0
90​
560​
2​
YSluggish flow, heavily planted, don't keep more than one male
Hemigrammus BleheriFirehead Tetra
5​
23​
26​
5.5-7
36​
268​
mid
10​
YSee Rummynose - no separate detail. needs well planted tank; tightly shoaling so worth getting a few; may not do well in high PH; need lots of shrimp hiding places
Hemigrammus ErythrozonusGlowlight
4​
24.0​
28​
5.5-7.5
36​
268​
mid
6​
YPeaceful; good community fish; shoaling; less colourful in alkaline water Borderline for Shrimp - should be ok in well planted tank but no guarantee.
Hemigrammus rhodostomusRummynose Tetra
5​
24.0​
27​
5.5-7
34​
268​
10​
yOmnivorous and will accept just about anything offered. Feed a mixture of dried flakes and granules and small live and frozen foods. A varied diet is essentialneeds well planted tank; tightly shoaling so worth getting a few; may not do well in high PH; need lots of shrimp hiding places
Herotilapia multispinosaRainbow Cichlid
10.0​
22.0​
28​
7-8.0
0​
358​
nCan go higher
Heterandria formosaLeast Killifish
2​
20​
26​
7.0 - 8.0
90​
358​
6​
Gentle
TetraHyphessobrycon equesSerpae Tetra
4​
20.0​
28​
5-7.5
18​
358​
mid
6​
yNcan nip slow moving fins
GudgeonHypseleotris compressaEmpire gudgeon
12.0​
20.0​
35​
5-9.5
36​
447​
1​
nLow flow;
Inlecypris auropurpureaInlecypris auropurpurea
8.0​
20.0​
24​
6-8.0
54​
268​
All
8​
nLikes floating plants
Jordanella floridaeFlorida Flagfish
5.5​
18.0​
30​
6.5 - 8.5
36​
357​
nplenty of cover, mild filtration, shallow, weedy freshwater habitats including backwaters, marshes, canals and ditches ; likes algae. Individual males require space to form territories but in most cases two or more can be kept in the same aquarium.
Paradise FishMacropodus opercularisParadise Fish
8.0​
16.0​
26​
5.8 - 8
90​
537​
all
1​
n1 male or 1:2 female. Likes it cold, esp during winter.
Marosatherina ladigesiCelebes Rainbowfish
8.0​
22.0​
28​
7-8.0
179​
386​
6​
2-3 females per male; heavily planted; high water quality well areated, slow moving
Melanotaenia affinisNew Guinea Rainbowfish
12.0​
20.0​
30​
6.5- 8
144​
537​
6​
heavily planted, seasonal changes
Melanotaenia fluviatilisAustralian Rainbowfish
10.0​
20.0​
25​
6.5- 8
144​
357​
6​
nslow moving water; heavily planted, seasonal changes
Melanotaenia lacustrisLake Kutubu Rainbowfish
12.0​
20.0​
25​
7-9.0
278​
357​
6​
Heavy planting
Melanotaenia maccullochiMcCullough's (Dwarf) Rainbowfish
7.0​
20.0​
30​
5.5-8
142​
268​
6​
Heavy planting
Melanotaenia praecoxNeon Rainbowfish
7.0​
23​
28​
6.8-7.5
90​
289​
6​
don't handle stress well
Microrasbora rubescensRed Dwarf Rasbora
3​
20.0​
24​
6.0-8
54​
268​
Top
8​
Moenkhausia sanctaefilomenaeRedeye Tetra
7​
22.0​
26​
6-8.0
54​
357​
8​
nHeavily planted; might be a fin nipper if not shoaled
PencilfishNannostomus beckfordiGolden Pencilfish
3.5​
21.0​
27​
5-8.0
18​
268​
10​
YSluggish flow (4-5x), heavily planted
Neolamprologus brevisNeolamprologus brevis
4.5​
23​
27​
7.5-9
140​
468​
1 or lotsShell dweller
Neolamprologus leleupiLemon Cichlid
10.0​
23​
27​
7.5-9
140​
446​
1 pairrockdweller rocks caves and sand
Oryzias celebensisCelebes Ricefish
4.5​
23​
27​
7.0 - 9.0; .
90​
447​
Oryzias woworaeDaisy's Ricefish
3.0​
23​
27​
6-7.5
90​
268​
8​
Y
Parambassis rangaIndian Glassfish
8.0​
20.0​
30​
6.5 - 8.5
142​
358​
6​
ySlow water
Pethia conchoniusRosy Barbs
10​
18​
23​
6.5-7
90​
357​
all
8​
yjumpers; will nip the fins of slow-swimming and long-finned fish, so they need active companions
Pethia nigrofasciataBlack Ruby Barb
5.5​
20.0​
27​
5.5-7.5
36​
268​
bottom
6​
nHeavy vegetation; bottom feeder
BarbsPethia padamyaOdessa Barb
8​
16​
25​
6.5 - 8.5
90​
357​
middle
5​
ynThe Odessa Barb can be aggressive with other Odessas in the same tank and it is usually the males bickering over a dominance position within the school. They may nip at slower moving fish with larger fins,
Petruichthys brevisInle Loach
6.0​
18.0​
24​
6-8.0
54​
268​
bottom - mid
8​
YGood for aquascapes, pref keep with Cypranids; not too much flow
Phenacogrammus InterruptusCongo Tetra
8​
23​
28​
6-7.5
54​
322​
mid
8​
ny
Pimelodus pictusPictus Catfish
12.0​
22.0​
25​
5.6 - 6.8
18​
268​
bottom
6​
nNeeds a big tank (240L), will eat smaller fish
Poecilia latipinnaSailfin Molly
12.5​
21.0​
26​
7-8.5
269​
626​
YVariant of Sailfin Molly. that these are highly vegetarian fish so any soft-leaved plants may be destroyed. Allowing some common green algae will provide additional food for the fish. ay pick on smaller fish as it mature. Salt is not necessary, as it is the “hard” minerals (calcium, magnesium) that are crucial to the long-term health of this species
LivebearersPoecilia SphenopsBlack Molly
10.0​
21.0​
28​
7.5-8.5
179​
447​
All
6​
Will accept most foods offered but a good proportion of the diet should be composed of vegetable matter such as blanched spinach or vegetable flake.splt 50/50 mail femaal
Poecilia SphenopsSaffron Molly
12.5​
21.0​
26​
7-8.5
269​
626​
Variant of black Molly
Poecilia wingeiEndler's Livebearer
4.5​
24.0​
30​
7-8.5
267​
534​
yInterbreeds with Guppys
Pristella maxillarisX-Ray Tetra
4.5​
22​
28​
6-7.5
35​
358​
mid
6​
Y
Pseudomugil cyanodorsalisNeon Blue-eye
3.5​
21.0​
31​
7-8.5
179​
447​
8​
yCan Jump, easily outcompeted, timid. Shoaling
Pseudomugil furcatusForktail blue-eye
6.0​
24.0​
28​
7-8.0
268​
322​
8​
Y
Puntius denisoniiRed Lined torpedo
11​
15​
25​
6.5-7.8
90​
447​
mid
6​
care should be taken to keep them with species that are similar or larger in size. Live plants can be problematic, as they may be uprooted by darting denison barbs.
BarbsPuntius snyderiSnyder's Barb
7.5​
18.0​
24​
6-8.0
36​
357​
8​
nLikes water movement
BarbsPuntius titteyaCherry Barbs
4​
20.0​
27​
6-8.0
36​
357​
mid-bottom
6​
YSmall live and frozen foods such as bloodworm, Daphnia, and Artemia, Brine Shrimp, Bloodworms, Blackworms, Copepods, quality dried flakes and granules, at least some of which should include additional plant or algal content.
spirulina,
Decap brine shrimp eggs
Golden Pearls (300 – 500 micron & 500 – 800-micron set)
Cobalt Fry Food (for adults – might be able to crumble for fry)
Freeze-dried tubifex
Frozen (or freeze-dried) mysis shrimp
LowCan get less but their colours won't be so good - get mixed gender and they like lots of foliage, shallow and calm water
RasboraRasbora VulcanusRasbora Vulcanus
4​
23​
26​
6.4-7.5
26​
268​
Top
8​
GobysRhinogobius nantaiensisTaiwan Goby
5.5​
18.0​
28​
6-8.0
90​
268​
4​
nflowing stream conditions; need 2 male and 2 female
BarbsSahyadria chalakkudiensisSahyadria chalakkudiensis
12​
15​
25​
6.5 - 7.5
90​
357​
5​
mediumaggressive
BarbsSahyadria denisoniiRed-line Torpedo Barb
11​
15​
25​
6.5 - 7.8
90​
447​
6​
medium
Sawbwa resplendensAsian Rummynose
3.5​
18.0​
22​
6-8.0
54​
268​
6​
Yaggressive interactions between rival males. Males tend to be engaged in a continual battle for dominance, particularly when maintained in small numbers or in the presence of few females. to minimise this behaviour purchase more females than males; a ratio of 4:1 or more being ideal
LoachesSchistura pridiiMini Dragon Loach
4​
18​
24​
7.0 - 8.5
90​
268​
2​
yhigh
LoachesSchistura savonaHalf-banded loach
5​
15​
24​
6.5 - 8.5
36​
268​
2​
yhigh
LoachesSinibotia pulchraGolden Zebra Loach
11​
20​
25.5​
6.5 - 8.0
36​
268​
3​
LoachesSinibotia reevesaeSinibotia reevesae
10​
20​
25.5​
6.5 - 8.0
36​
268​
4​
LoachesSinibotia robustaKansu Loach
10​
20​
25.5​
6.5 - 8.0
36​
268​
3​
LoachesSinibotia superciliarisSinibotia superciliaris
10​
20​
25.5​
6.5 - 8.0
36​
268​
4​
CatfishSinogastromyzon wuiSinogastromyzon wui
10​
17​
6.5 - 8.0
90​
268​
medium
CatfishSynodontis nigriventrisUpside down catfish
10.0​
24.0​
28​
6-7.5
94​
354​
4​
will eat smaller fish
CatfishSynodontis PetricolaDwarf Petricola Catfish
11.0​
24.0​
28​
7.5-8.5
179​
600​
bottom
4​
nwill eat smaller fish
MinnowTanichthys albonubesWhite Cloud Mountain Minnow
4.0​
14.0​
22​
6-8.5
90​
357​
10​
n
TetraThayeria boehlkeiFalse Penguin tetra
6​
22.0​
28​
5.5-8
0​
357​
8​
nHeavily planted; iffy on shromp
GouramiTrichogaster ChunaHoney Gourami
5.5​
22.0​
27​
6-7.5
36​
268​
4​
YWill accept dried products but should also be offered plenty of small live or frozen foods such as Daphnia, Artemia, or bloodworm regularly to ensure development of optimal colour and condition.LowLikes lots of surface cover and tall stems. Slow-moving and will easily be intimidated or outcompeted for food by larger or more vigorous tankmates. Avoid keeping shrimps with them as they may get eaten. Natural habitats undergo seasonal fluctuations in water volume, chemistry, and turbidity due to the annual monsoons which occur between June and October.
GouramiTrichogaster labiosaThick Lipped Gourami
10.0​
22.0​
27​
6-7.5
90​
268​
2​
Undemanding. It will accept the vast majority of foods offered, but is particularly fond of small live and frozen varieties such as bloodworm, daphnia etcLowPeaceful, slow flowing, 1:1 male:female
GouramiTrichogaster laliusDwarf Gourami
7.5​
22.0​
28​
6-8.0
90​
318​
Middle-top
2​
yaccepts most foods offered in the aquarium, good quality dried food is acceptable as the staple diet. Supplement this with regular meals of small live and frozen foods such as bloodworm for the fish to develop the best health and colouration.Lowdon't house with fin nippers; good for temperature swings; Buy a male and female pair; heavily planted; slow flowing; good water quality; don't keep with barbs
GouramiTrichopodus LeeriPearl Gourami
12.0​
24.0​
30​
5.5-8
36​
537​
1​
YUnfussy and will accept most foods offered.Do not keep the pearl gourami with aggressive or very vigorous fish or it will become withdrawn. Can get 1 male and 2-3 females
GouramiTrichopodus TrichopterusGold Gourami
13.0​
24.0​
30​
5.5-8.5
57​
626​
1​
shoal away from tender plants; quarrelsome;
GouramiTrichopsis vittataCroaking Gourami
7.0​
22​
28​
5.0 - 7.5
18​
268​
Low
SwordtailsXiphophorus helleriiSwordtail
16.0​
16.0​
28​
7-8.0
179​
447​
Middle
4​
ny1 male for several females;
PlatysXiphophorus maculatusPlaty
7.5​
20.0​
25​
7-8.2
179​
537​
middle - top
5​
Male only to start with, livebearers; 2:1 mail to female
LoachesYaoshania pachychilusPanda Loach
6​
20​
23.9​
6.5 - 7.5
36​
268​
4​
yn
corydorasAlbino Cory
7.0​
22.0​
26​
6-8.0
35​
447​
bottom
4​
fine sand or rounded gravel
CatfishBanjo Catfish
15.0​
20.0​
29​
5.0-8.0
90​
340​
bottom
1​
nNight feeder, burrower, may eat snails and inverts; can tear up plants

Cheers,

Simon
 

shangman

Member
Joined
13 Jul 2020
Messages
243
Location
London
Is it a high tech or low tech tank? I think that makes a difference, as with lots tech you can get away with smaller water changes once it's established which might make you more likely to use some rainwater. I have a 60L pure rainwater tank, I change 20L a week and that's been no hassle at all. I have a 20L water carton to collect send move the rainwater.

If I went back in time for when I got the 60L <I'd get a tank like this> with that extra 10cm of depth, it means you can have bigger schools of the 2 fish you want, and have more depth to play with scape-wise. If it's lowtech, you could quite easily change 20L rainwater and 20L tapwater a week, or less, without it being too much hassle. If it's high-tech, that's only a bit more tap water on top.
 

aec34

Member
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Is it a high tech or low tech tank?
Hi @shangman, definitely no plan for CO2, just lights and filter. I’m a bit spoiled in that WC for all the tanks at the mo is only about 15-20 litres, most from tap - so it’s easy (and weirdly relaxing).
I think the advice I’m getting here about following my tap parameters is really sound.
 

Jaceree

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I was wondering how old you are and what you consider a 'Big' birthday as im 50 in may so thinking of a similar treat for myself haha.
 

shangman

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Hi @shangman, definitely no plan for CO2, just lights and filter. I’m a bit spoiled in that WC for all the tanks at the mo is only about 15-20 litres, most from tap - so it’s easy (and weirdly relaxing).
I think the advice I’m getting here about following my tap parameters is really sound.
Oh somehow I thought I read you did rainwater, apologies!

If you can just do tap it's definitely easier, and I know what you mean with the nano tanks, it is especially easy. I still find a 60L easy and relaxing too, it's usually just one full bucket's worth. :)

Apparently a lady never tells... but 40..
Happy birthday!! 🎆🎈🎉🎁
 

dean

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I think the bigger the tank the easier it is
I use a hma filter attached to my shower
I have 10metres of pipe with a tap on the end
Connect it all up
Take pipe to my tank hook it over turn tap and sit back

So so easy


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

aec34

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Thinking a 55l or 60l tank might be the right size for me. On fish to suit my tap water (not been to see any fish in real life yet), contemplating:

emerald dwarf rasbora (celestichthys erythromicron) x 15 (??)
+
panda corys x 6 (??)

I’m not about to buy anything, just work towards a kit list.

OR maybe I should just bite the bullet and go full black water with rain water with chili rasboras, which I really like... and lots of wood and leaves is definitely my thing.

All depends on what quantity of weekly WC I need to do - moving 10l of rain water at a time is easy enough (5l bottle in each hand): I guess doing that twice would give me a 30% change, but is that likely to be enough? Would this just be a rod for my own back? I think the answer is probably yes, but it’s worth asking the question.
 

Karmicnull

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I'm kitting out a 60L cube - at the moment I'm using it as an underwater potting shed for plant storage. I'm doing 50/50 rainwater and tap water to let me have softer water fish. I have 2x10 litre jerry cans which aren't too heavy and I can do one of rainwater and one of tap water, fill them up the day before so they get to room temperature overnight, and that's a 33% WC weekly, which is plenty for low tech and not particularly onerous. I could probably get away with a 20% wc (12L); in my bigger 130L tank I do 23% 'cause that's a convenient 30 L barrel. The bit I've steeled myself for with this tank is when winter comes back round and it's a howling gale with torrential rain, and I need to go fill that 10L jerry can. That will truly be a labour of love!
 

aec34

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Hi @Karmicnull, so 30% weekly is reasonable for (small) fish then? I do about 30-50% weekly on my shrimp tank - fish just really feel like a step into the unknown, and everything I read seems slightly different/openly contradictory. I already draw my rain water at least a day before, so this would just mean moving more into the house. Any excuse to brave the elements is a good one 🙂

Have also just tested my tap and it’s at KH 9, GH 10 (ish).
 

Karmicnull

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All hardness measurements in PPM (1 dGH = 17.8ppm)
everything I read seems slightly different/openly contradictory.
Completely agree with that! I think there are lots of different ways of doing things, and so there's a ton of advice out there all from people who've found a way that works for them. I can only speak for myself, but the logic that made sense to me is:
  • if you don't change water, you have an input only system and gradually there will be a build-up of something that is undesirable. For example if your plants are not quite using up all the ferts you give them you'll get a gradual build up of ferts. Or there might be something in fish waste that isn't getting broken down and is building up. We change water regularly to stop the build up.
  • In a high energy tank, with EI dosing, everything is happening much faster, so you need to change more water to keep things in balance. Or change water more frequently.
  • The same goes for tank size - larger tanks have more water and more plants to act as a buffer. so change happens more slowly. Smaller tanks can swing faster if something goes out of kilter. So you need to change a little more water or a little more frequently for a small tank. That's why I'm going for 30% rather than 23%. But I stress this is all trial and error - it needs to be what works for you. In my case water container size is the deciding factor :).

A lot of posters in ukaps forums say that after several months a tank will 'settle down' and become stable, as it's ecosystem locks into a groove. So they do more frequent WCs at the beginning and then gradually ease off. The other thing I've noticed is the commercial focus on pandering to impatience. Add x, y, and z to your tank and then you can have fish after just 3 days! I favour a more natural route. Have plants for a while. Let the plants establish, the mulm build up and the filter get colonized with archea. After a few weeks add some shrimp. They'll help with the diatoms youll have by then. Give them a few weeks to settle in, and then add the first group of fish. then add subsequent fish a few weeks apart. At each point the tank gets plenty of chance to adapt to the changed bioload without being overwhelmed. And you get plenty of time to work out how much food the fish need, which plants aren't going to make it, which is your problem algae and how you want deal with it, etc.. But like I said, this isn't the only way of doing it, and there are many other approaches that people use extremely successfully. And there's a lot of people with way more expertise than me!

Cheers,

Simon
 
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Ash_bash

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I always think smaller fish look better and give the tank a more natural feel, also look at the fishes behaviour, some are more interesting than others, I like to pick fish mainly based on this as it keeps me interested in what's going on the tank, like watching my own live little nature show!

I've got a group of pygmy Cory's that have some funny antic's as they swim around in there little pack, to my surprise they even bred! The little ones seem to like to school in a different pack to the grown ups, go figure!

I have a few Scarlett baddis that have bags of character for such a small fish. Setting up little territories and constantly examining every millimetre of the tank for snacks.

I also have a group of blue cherry shrimp, it's nice To watch the colony grow and seeing what colour morphs come out.

hope this helps :)





 

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