60 Gallon Tank Colourful planted tank to interest a toddler - Page 2

bermese2002

So I've found myself in a position where I have a pretty much empty planted tank. I have minimal fish in the tank at the moment, so now seems like the best time to do a restock and essentially start from scratch.

At the moment I have:

1 Harlequin Raspbora
1 Bumblebee platy
4 Kuhli loach

There may or may not be a bristlenose pleco - I honestly couldn't tell you at the moment.

I have a two year old son, and another on the way, so I'd quite like to go for some brighter colours/potentially slightly bigger tropical fish than I've had previously.

Does anyone have any suggestions for stocking? Here is a picture of my tank for inspiration:
 

bermese2002

All of these ideas are cool but hear me out.

Step 1 large plant/central island design in the center of the tank to encourage "lap swim" + the rest of the plants, messy is fun. Make sure to get some lily, little minds like to look upward at a tank and the pads are like clouds to get the imagination going.

Step 2 half a dozen (it is a 60 gallon after all) mystery snails of various colors. If they breed, they breed.

Step 3. 40-50 Cardinal tetra, or rummynose, or, neon, or royal tetra. You could also do multiple schools of 20-30 each in the harlequin rasbora variants (black/blue morphs+common).

3.1 One large ram pair or Gourami or less fancy betta to keep them moving.

3.2 a few male endlers of varying hybrid/line to do tank exploring duties, they will hang out and pick away at stuff in the areas the other fish ignore.

Step 4. Colony of various shrimp. If your centerpiece/"predators" pick away at your colony and numbers cannot sustain, simply add low profile hides like flat rock huts for the shrimp to shelter in/around+heavy planting like dwarf chain swords.

When the younger children come visit I've noticed they sit low and look up at the tanks, surface plants roots and lilly pads and floaters are immersive to an active imagination. Little details on the bottom of the tank catch attention, imaginations like to group colors so various colors of shrimp and snail give the mind something to morph into a story, they will pick their favorite characters and come back often. Massive schools of reflective or patterned fish add a motion to a tank that is imposible ignore.

Just my thoughts on a tank the little ones would watch. Idea number 2 is a shell dweller tank, also gets h the imagination going, but it needs a very different set up.

Thanks so much for your ideas, it sounds incredible!

I really like the island idea so might have a look at rearranging the aquascape. I’ve tried floating plants before but I honestly don’t know how to combine filtration and floating plants. They just end up being buffeted around the tank. Any suggestions on how to solve that problem? I currently have the outtake from the filter at the surface to create surface agitation

I also like the idea of a big school of fish, but I would like to keep the fish I already have.

So how would you adapt your suggestion to incorporate my current fish?

1 Harlequin Rasbora
1 Platy
4 Kuhli Loaches
1 Bristlenose Pleco (maybe)

I love red cherry shrimp - can they live with kuhli loaches?

For instance, could I do the following stocking:

40 Harlequin Rasbora (maybe a mixed school as you suggested)
1 Pearl Gourami
3 Platies (instead of endlers)
15 Kuhli Loaches
Mystery snails and red cherry shrimp

Khuli loaches are mostly shy and I feel like they will be more confident with a bigger school. And the more you have, the more you will get to see them. 10 Khuli loaches and 8 Panda corydoras with the other fish is a little bit overstocked but is okay. Your tank has a lot of plants and good filtration. If you can keep up with the water changes I think you're good. When feeding, you can do 2 pockets of food so that all the fish will get an equal amount of food.

Thanks what do you mean by 2 pockets of food?
 
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Delcos

First fish that comes to mind for me is tiger barbs, very active and colorful, and they are big enough to grab the kids attention.

If you wanted to have a smaller fish with a ton of them then I would say livebearers like guppies or endlers so that they can watch them have babies or my person preference, White Clouds. WCMM are very entertaining to watch plus they are super cheap so if you want a bunch it doesn’t hurt to bad.

also I have a 19 month old and my neighbors 3y/o and 4y/o come over at least once a week and they all love my dojo loach the best. Pretty cool and different fish like a Kuhli but he is always out and active and if they stick their fingers in the tank he will go up and give them “kisses”. I am pretty sure a dojo would work with everything people have suggested too.
 
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John58ford

Thanks so much for your ideas, it sounds incredible!

I really like the island idea so might have a look at rearranging the aquascape. I’ve tried floating plants before but I honestly don’t know how to combine filtration and floating plants. They just end up being buffeted around the tank. Any suggestions on how to solve that problem? I currently have the outtake from the filter at the surface to create surface agitation

I also like the idea of a big school of fish, but I would like to keep the fish I already have.

So how would you adapt your suggestion to incorporate my current fish?

1 Harlequin Rasbora
1 Platy
4 Kuhli Loaches
1 Bristlenose Pleco (maybe)

I love red cherry shrimp - can they live with kuhli loaches?

For instance, could I do the following stocking:

40 Harlequin Rasbora (maybe a mixed school as you suggested)
1 Pearl Gourami
3 Platies (instead of endlers)
15 Kuhli Loaches
Mystery snails and red cherry shrimp
I think that would work. There's a chance a khuli will eat small snails but I don't think they are known to be particularly aggressive, just opportunistic. I've read they work with shrimp too but I can't say personally.

I would give that stocking a go, the temperature "perfect" spots aren't lined up but they never are, it doesn't seem like 78 would be in the extreme for any of them, maybe the platy is close but they are hardy.
 
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bermese2002

Update: I picked up 14 Harlequin Rasbora today to start the restock of the tank. They all seem to be happily swimming around, and my solo rasbora seems overjoyed with his new friends.

Slight downside is that one of them appears to have a distended stomach and a wound on its belly. My plan of action at the moment is to do daily 25% water changes for the next week or so and keep an eye on the water parameters. I’m hoping clean water will help the rasbora heal. Wish me luck!
 
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bermese2002

In good news, the fish that looked sick is looking much better today. It’s almost like they had been fed far too much food or something because it’s difficult to even identify which fish it was that I was worried about yesterday.

I’ve held off feeding them this weekend and will do so tomorrow once they’ve all had a chance to digest.

What sort of time frame does everyone normally leave between adding fish? Until the water parameters are stable? I was thinking a few weeks to let everyone settle in properly. Then I’ll decide what to add next
 
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LHAquatics

In good news, the fish that looked sick is looking much better today. It’s almost like they had been fed far too much food or something because it’s difficult to even identify which fish it was that I was worried about yesterday.

I’ve held off feeding them this weekend and will do so tomorrow once they’ve all had a chance to digest.

What sort of time frame does everyone normally leave between adding fish? Until the water parameters are stable? I was thinking a few weeks to let everyone settle in properly. Then I’ll decide what to add next
I usually wait a week
 
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mattgirl

In good news, the fish that looked sick is looking much better today. It’s almost like they had been fed far too much food or something because it’s difficult to even identify which fish it was that I was worried about yesterday.

I’ve held off feeding them this weekend and will do so tomorrow once they’ve all had a chance to digest.

What sort of time frame does everyone normally leave between adding fish? Until the water parameters are stable? I was thinking a few weeks to let everyone settle in properly. Then I’ll decide what to add next
This is good news. I am happy to hear the little guy is alright.

I let my test results determine. As long as both ammonia and nitrites are holding at 0 you can add another fish. I would wait at least a week between additions. That should be long enough to determine if there is enough bacteria to handle the bio-load.
 
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John58ford

When I'm adding fish into tanks (or combining tanks) that already contain hundreds of dollars of stock with time invested, I don't consider new fish as "possibly safe" for 3 weeks, and "safe" for 2-3 months.

Everyone does this differently though.

Personally thinking (and how I actually do it), nothing in your list is too big for a 10 gallon in appropriate sized groups; I would set up a 10 gallon long term quarantine, cheap pool sand and leftover plant trimmings to make it a comfortable place. All future stocking would come in quantities that could be kept in that 10 for 3 weeks before hitting the main display. Then you will have a better chance at not having to risk medicating a large tank with various stock that are all more susceptible to different things with different safe treatment options. Cool part about a 10 gallon as a qt is they can be put just about anywhere, only the cheapest of Walmart furniture would have an issue with an 80lb-100lb tank.
 
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bermese2002

Small update for anyone interested: fed the fish today and spotted 6 kuhli loaches this time!

So that brings current stocking to:

15 Harlequin Rasbora
6 Kuhli Loaches
1 Bumblebee platy

I’m now fairly certain there isn’t a bristlenose in there now. But I will continue to build my stock as if there is, just in case.

Not totally sure where I’m going with this stocking, but I’m interested in bulking out my Harlequins with some black Harlequins next I think
 
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bermese2002

Unfortunately we lost the sickly Harlequin, so we're down to 14. I'm asking around my local fish shops about Black Harlequins, but failing that, I've found somewhere online selling them - for over £60 for 15, plus delivery!

I've been thinking about adding some Otocinclus Catfish - do you think I could build these in to my stocking plan?

My stocking at the moment is:

14 Harlequin Rasbora
1 Bumblebee platy
6 Kuhli Loach

I'm planning on adding:

1 Dwarf or Pearl Gourami
16 Black Harlequin Rasbora
3/4 more platies
9 Kuhli Loach

Could I add a small school of say 6 Otocinclus?

Temperature is maintained at 24 degrees
 
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Yeoy

Unfortunately we lost the sickly Harlequin, so we're down to 14. I'm asking around my local fish shops about Black Harlequins, but failing that, I've found somewhere online selling them - for over £60 for 15, plus delivery!

I've been thinking about adding some Otocinclus Catfish - do you think I could build these in to my stocking plan?

My stocking at the moment is:

14 Harlequin Rasbora
1 Bumblebee platy
6 Kuhli Loach

I'm planning on adding:

1 Dwarf or Pearl Gourami
16 Black Harlequin Rasbora
3/4 more platies
9 Kuhli Loach

Could I add a small school of say 6 Otocinclus?

Temperature is maintained at 24 degrees
Black HQ's are awesome but they do seem impossible to find sometimes. You could look at either Espei or Hengeli Rasboras as an alternative (they're both similar to Harlequins but also distinct enough visually).

I find the pygmy corys a good alternative to otos. They're not really algae eaters but they're cute little silver dudes and they are a lot more active and interesting in my opinion, and great scavengers.
 
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John58ford

Bummer the purple/black/blue harlequin are hard to find in your area. A contrasting tetra could work in lieu of but not quite the same effect.

I don't think a handful of Otto would push your bioload too far, and since they are stealthy they won't distract but can be fun to hunt for. Counting ours can take a good amount of time if one has the focus and patience.
 
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bermese2002

I’m holding out for the black harlequins, it’s my birthday coming up so I might treat myself to ordering online if I don’t manage to locate any locally. But we’ll see.

In the meantime I’ll focus on my other stocking


I find the pygmy corys a good alternative to otos. They're not really algae eaters but they're cute little silver dudes and they are a lot more active and interesting in my opinion, and great scavengers.

I do like Pygmy Corys as well, but I’m really after the otocinclus for their algae eating abilities, now that I don’t have a bristlenose anymore. I’ve got the kuhli loaches as my bottom scavengers so I’m hoping the otos will fill a different role.

I don't think a handful of Otto would push your bioload too far, and since they are stealthy they won't distract but can be fun to hunt for.

Do Otos like a school. I was thinking about 6 of them. Do you reckon that would be a good number?
 
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John58ford

Do Otos like a school. I was thinking about 6 of them. Do you reckon that would be a good number?
I've only had at most 5 in a tank (29 gallon). I wouldn't say they school but they do hang out together. Usually 3-4 will be within a few inches of each other sitting on leaves etc. and one will be scouting around nearby. When they get excited it is fun to watch them squiggle around as a group but otto "schooling" isn't the typical back and forth fluttery constant motion you may be expecting like traditional schooling fish. I see them excitedly squiggle together maybe every other week on their own or when I presoak some wafers and dump them in, but the squiggle is quickly over once they reach the destination and latch on for a snack.
 
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bermese2002

So I added to the tank today. I did find a local shop that was selling "Purple" Harlequins, but a number of them were deformed - with bent backs and only one tail fin. It was quite sad to see.

I visited another place that doesn't have any in at the moment but will let me know when they do. But while I was there I picked up 6 Otos, plus 3 guppies (woops!). I swear guppies are my weakness. I'm loving the little Oto's already. They got straight to work on the algae.

Anyway, I got 1 male and 2 females, so my next addition to the tank will be a pearl gourami I think (population control). They look quite grey in the shop - do they get more colour once in a healthy tank?

So stocking at the moment is:

14 Harlequin Rasbora
3 Guppies (1m, 2f)
1 Platy (still young but I think 1f)
6 Otocinclus
6 Kuhli Loach

Final stocking I think I'd like to be:

1 Pearl Gourami
14 Harlequin Rasbora
10 Black Harlequin Rasbora
3 Guppies (1m, 2f)
3 Platies (3f)
6 Otocinclus
15 Kuhli Loach

What do you think?
 
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SouthAmericanCichlids

By the end, I don't think you'll end up with 3 platies and 3 guppies. Livebearers can store sperm, so your platies will most likely become pregnant. And your guppies will definitely have babies.
 
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bermese2002

By the end, I don't think you'll end up with 3 platies and 3 guppies. Livebearers can store sperm, so your platies will most likely become pregnant. And your guppies will definitely have babies.

Totally agree, but I’m more than happy to sell on the babies if they survive in the community tank. From experience in the past not many have. My platy was born in the track when I had 2m 3f in the past, and she is the only one.
 
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bermese2002

So will this stocking work do you think?

1 Pearl Gourami
14 Harlequin Rasbora
10 Black Harlequin Rasbora
3 Guppies (1m, 2f)
3 Platies (3f)
6 Otocinclus
15 Kuhli Loach
 
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Noroomforshoe

How about a tiger barb tank,
3 regular, 3 green, 3 albino, 6 glofish barbs of mixed colors
And a few rabbit snails.
 
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BibiLee

When our daughter was 3 we had two fish tanks. The larger one had angel fish and gouramis. She didn‘t even look at the tank much, as these are slow fish with little action. We put a mix of platies and guppies in the tank in her room and they were very colorful and active and kept her attention at least once a day for more than 5 minutes (yay)!
 
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bermese2002

When our daughter was 3 we had two fish tanks. The larger one had angel fish and gouramis. She didn‘t even look at the tank much, as these are slow fish with little action. We put a mix of platies and guppies in the tank in her room and they were very colorful and active and kept her attention at least once a day for more than 5 minutes (yay)!

That’s the dream! 5 minutes of peace
 
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BibiLee

I did‘t know harlequin rasboras before, now I have some I‘m discovering that after the first two months of intense activity in the tank, they‘re claiming down and hiding under the big leaves in the dark parts of the tank, they don‘t move very fast anymore and don’t school as much so unlikely to take the attention of a toddler for very long… I have some neon tetras now who are very active and provide lost of mating dances and activity in the tank, but that‘s because they don‘t have active neighbors. I wouldn‘t put neons with guppies. I think you need to make up your mind if the tank is for you or for the kid. That‘s why we had two separate ones :) Also, if you go for gouramis, I‘d have at least two, they tend to like to hang out together.
 
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bermese2002

I did‘t know harlequin rasboras before, now I have some I‘m discovering that after the first two months of intense activity in the tank, they‘re claiming down and hiding under the big leaves in the dark parts of the tank, they don‘t move very fast anymore and don’t school as much so unlikely to take the attention of a toddler for very long… I have some neon tetras now who are very active and provide lost of mating dances and activity in the tank, but that‘s because they don‘t have active neighbors. I wouldn‘t put neons with guppies. I think you need to make up your mind if the tank is for you or for the kid. That‘s why we had two separate ones :) Also, if you go for gouramis, I‘d have at least two, they tend to like to hang out together.

I’ve never found that with my Harlequins. They’ve always been the most active in the tank. Ive had some in every tank I’ve had for over 10 years. How many do you have in your tank?
 
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carligracee

So I've found myself in a position where I have a pretty much empty planted tank. I have minimal fish in the tank at the moment, so now seems like the best time to do a restock and essentially start from scratch.

At the moment I have:

1 Harlequin Raspbora
1 Bumblebee platy
4 Kuhli loach

There may or may not be a bristlenose pleco - I honestly couldn't tell you at the moment.

I have a two year old son, and another on the way, so I'd quite like to go for some brighter colours/potentially slightly bigger tropical fish than I've had previously.

Does anyone have any suggestions for stocking? Here is a picture of my tank for inspiration:
Definitely a school of rainbow fish! They get gorgeous!

Plecos are eye catchers. Any brightly colored or uniquely spotted plecos would be amazing!

A brightly colored, large school. Around 50 snakeskin rasboras would be so cool.
 
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bermese2002

How about a tiger barb tank,
3 regular, 3 green, 3 albino, 6 glofish barbs of mixed colors
And a few rabbit snails.

I’d love to do a tiger barb tank one day, with some other slightly more aggressive fish.

I’ve always played it safe and stuck with a peaceful community
Definitely a school of rainbow fish! They get gorgeous!

Plecos are eye catchers. Any brightly colored or uniquely spotted plecos would be amazing!

A brightly colored, large school. Around 50 snakeskin rasboras would be so cool.

I don’t know why, but after looking into rainbow fish they just didn’t appeal. Maybe I’d change my mind if I saw them in person rather than just photos.

Love the snakeskin barb, I’ll definitely keep them in mind for future. I’ve never seen them before!
 
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SouthAmericanCichlids

Yeah, I haven't been a huge fan of rainbows, but I hear they have good personality. But that all changed when I saw the furcata rainbow, one of my fav schooling fish.
 
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bermese2002

Yeah, I haven't been a huge fan of rainbows, but I hear they have good personality. But that all changed when I saw the furcata rainbow, one of my fav schooling fish.

Okay, they're pretty cute, like tiny aquarium dragons :p
 
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bermese2002

I thought I’d update you all on how the tank is doing :)

A lot of fat tummies and activity in the tank today. The lights died a couple of days ago and I did a water change yesterday. When the new lights went in today I saw Harlequins spawning for the first time ever! At least I assume it was spawning. I’ve attached a quick video of what I could catch on camera below.


The guppies and platy are having a field day going through the leaves and the platy has a pretty good impression of a balloon molly going on. I’d assume in a community tank the chances of any fry surviving is slim to none.

No changes to stocking as I just can’t decide what to do next! Tested my water yesterday as well and it was measuring at 0.25 ammonia, 0 nitrites and 5 nitrates so I feel like I’m ready to add a few more.

Current stocking stands at:

3 guppies
1 platy
14 Harlequin Rasbora
6 Otos
6 Kuhli Loach

Where I’m stuck is that I was considering Pearl gourami, but then I read it’s best to have 4 (1m 3f). But that obviously limits other school numbers and I don’t know how I’d get females anyway. So I’m undecided right now. Any thoughts?

Took a quick look at Blue Acara but thought that would likely be a disaster with my current stocking.
 
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Noroomforshoe

I have had pearl gourami, I think you would be fine with 1 or two. I have kept 3 pairs at different times. 2 out of three were peaceful and stayed together all the time like best friends. one pair did not work, I had to rehome one. They were not super aggressive, no harm came to either in the 3-4 weeks I had them. But they were always chasing each other away, clearly not happy.
FYI, the females are duller, less of a red stripe on the belly. It's hard to tell in the store, they are all young, stressed, and pale. I had a male pair at least once that were best buds until one died and the other seemed to die of stress missing his friend a week later. I might have been overthinking it, who knows.

Other fish you might like =
hatchet fish, american flag killies, celebese or threadfin rainbows, pencil fish, A brown ghost knife fish, Not black , they get too big.
 
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bermese2002

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I can’t get over how much plant growth there has been in the past month
 
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TClare

So, regarding the filter outflow, one of my tanks (about the same size as yours) came with a top filter built into the hood, it had a submersible pump to operate the filter and a spray bar which runs across the top of the filter. I don’t actually use that pump but connect the outflow of the canister filter to the spray bar, it is above the water level, the water filters through some filter floss and flows back into the tank through a hole at the other end.
Its actually difficult to get a photo that shows this well.,

The big tank (160x60x60) was built from scratch by my husband and son, and they designed the top with space for similar top filters. For one
half of the tank they made a perspex box that can be filled with filter material and the spray bar from the canister lies along it. They other half is a modified version of this filter:
BOYU UF 230 Power Aquarium Filter Price in India - Buy BOYU UF 230 Power Aquarium Filter online at Flipkart.com.

And my smallest tank uses this filter as sold, except with an extension and sponge prefilter on the inlet.

My husband and son are both very practical, so this sort of thing might be harder for you to set up, and might not fit on your tank, depending what kind of top it has, but anyway, if nothing like this is possible just twisting the spray bar so that the holes are on the top or against the black glass should help a lot.
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I don’t think these photos will be very helpful, but might explain what I am talking about...

I hope your little boy is enjoying the fishes?
 
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bermese2002

So, regarding the filter outflow, one of my tanks (about the same size as yours) came with a top filter built into the hood, it had a submersible pump to operate the filter and a spray bar which runs across the top of the filter. I don’t actually use that pump but connect the outflow of the canister filter to the spray bar, it is above the water level, the water filters through some filter floss and flows back into the tank through a hole at the other end.
Its actually difficult to get a photo that shows this well.,

The big tank (160x60x60) was built from scratch by my husband and son, and they designed the top with space for similar top filters. For one
half of the tank they made a perspex box that can be filled with filter material and the spray bar from the canister lies along it. They other half is a modified version of this filter:
BOYU UF 230 Power Aquarium Filter Price in India - Buy BOYU UF 230 Power Aquarium Filter online at Flipkart.com.

And my smallest tank uses this filter as sold, except with an extension and sponge prefilter on the inlet.

My husband and son are both very practical, so this sort of thing might be harder for you to set up, and might not fit on your tank, depending what kind of top it has, but anyway, if nothing like this is possible just twisting the spray bar so that the holes are on the top or against the black glass should help a lot.
You must be registered to see images
You must be registered to see images
You must be registered to see images

I don’t think these photos will be very helpful, but might explain what I am talking about...

I hope your little boy is enjoying the fishes?

Thanks for explaining all that. I think I understand the concept, but as you said, I'm not sure I could fit it under the hood on my tank. Definitely something to consider in the future though.

I think I'll order a spray bar for now and see how it goes :)
 
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bermese2002

So it's been another couple of weeks, and the tank is looking really good!

I added quite a few fish today, so I need to keep an eye on parameters to make sure I don't get any spikes.

Stocking is now:

3 Platies (3f - panda, bumblebee, red wagtail)
3 Guppies (1m2f)
6 Otocinclus Catfish
13 Harlequin Rasbora
22 Kuhli Loaches

There were a couple of extra kuhli loaches in the bag when I got home from the LFS today - I suppose they're hard to count :p

All is looking good, except for one platy who seems a bit stressed. I'm hoping she calms down by the morning, but I'll keep an eye out.

Here is the tank now:

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Motherlovebetta

Looks great. Curious if you used play sand? I think I need to redo my substrate in my big tank.
 
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bermese2002

Looks great. Curious if you used play sand? I think I need to redo my substrate in my big tank.
I used Unipac silver sand :)
 
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