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How To Make A Stable Aquarium? Question

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by Gohi, Apr 24, 2019.

  1. GohiNew MemberMember

    How can I make a stable 15 gallon aquarium which will take less time for its maintenance. Ammonia,nitrite 0, nitrate less than 20.
    I have tried small school of neon tetra they died after white mouth spot.
    Installed fan as temp goes above 89 in hot summer days. Now it's below 86(mostly around 82-84 or lower).
    added soil substrates and lots of live plants and hiding spots.
    Again a new batch of neon tetra but they also did not last long.
    Ph was increasing to 8+ after few days so decreased it.
    Added new batch of neon tetra still has the same problem.
    SO few questions:-
    1. I add RO water(PH around 7.5, tds max 40) to the aquarium but after few days(1-3) the ph rises automatically to 8+ even if I do not add anything. Tap water also exact problem except its tds is around 200. What should I do to lower and maintain the ph as so? I can add buffers or the aquarium ph reducers, may be the leaves but I want to naturally(aquarium ph reducers) low the ph without any black water coloration(the leaves).
    2. As maintaining plants are also overwhelming removing the dead leaves, daily checking for leaves and most importantly algae. Take a lot of time. SO How can I add fish that do not need plants or can stay with artificial pants. Hiding spots will be there.
    3. Some fish species that do not fight or chase each other and add color to the aquarium.
    4. Few species that are interesting and would like a combination:- panda cory, rummy nose tetra, Penguin tetra, longfin leopard danio,Neon rainbowfish, white cloud mountain minnow, GBR, Kribensis.(Please suggest how many of which type will make the tank lively and colorful ).
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
  2. 86 ssinitWell Known MemberMember

    Well welcome to fishlore:). Thing is neon tetras have problems to begin with. They’ve been overbred and just aren’t healthy. So it probably had nothing to do with you. Panda Corys have similar problems. Trying to change your ph is worse than having a high or low ph. Most fish will adapt to your ph.
    A nice small schooling fish is the forktail rainbow. Not very popular but a great little fish. But with your high heat cardinal tetras would do much better and look like neons. Gbrs will be good. Danios wcmm like colder water.
    If you don’t want to deal with live plants use the artificial ones. Fish will still do good. As for maintenance. Figure an hour a week cleaning and a half hour a week just for daily maintenance.
  3. Meganrae8148Valued MemberMember

    Hey I'm a begginer but I know cappa leaves help lower ph alot. Drift wood I have drift wood it does discolor the water but not to the naked eye. Mainly can see it wen u do a water change and dump the bucket in a white sink. I've always had issues with neon tetra my self and small tetra in general. Tiger barbs in a 10 gal. They were crazy active and to much for a tank that small they lived and thrived through the highest ammonia levels.I gave them to someone with a bigger tank that could handle there bioload. Right now I'm trying guppys bc I have issues with my tap water it's got ammonia and nitrates in it of own.... So far so good maybe try a hardier fish add some cappa leave and see how that works.
  4. GohiNew MemberMember

    HI thanks for the reply, Will the neon rainbow fish will be a good choice?
  5. candiedragonWell Known MemberMember

    If your pH is rising that means there's some kind of calcium carbonate that is buffering your pH alkalinity. Common items in the hobby that are used to buffer alkalinity are coral, limestone, and argonite. Or however you are re-mineralizing the R/O water, you're adding something that buffers the alkalinity. If your tap has 200 TDS (which is pretty low as it is), maybe it has heavy calcium deposits, which can buffer the pH.

    If you want more acidic water, you need more acid-releasing components. Peat moss, some types of driftwood, dried leaf litter, a lot of organic mulm are commonly used in the hobby to buffer acidity naturally. Unfortunately, though, tannins are released acids from the decaying process so the best you could do is boil the tannins out. Honestly though, I'm not sure how that affects the amount of acidity buffering capacity off the top of my head.

    Fish don't NEED plants, but plants are what's helping you create a natural self-sustaining ecosystem. The more fish you add, the more plants you need to take up the nutrients that the fish produce via wastes/nitrates. I can't imagine how you could have a self-sustaining ecosystem setup without plants unless you are running an open system; as in, fresh water is constantly flowing through your setup. Remember, a tank is a closed system, which is why we should maintain them to keep it balanced.

    I'm assuming you mean for the most part, non-aggressive and non-territorial fish. I'm not sure if you would also consider sparring and breeding behavior though, as that also entails chasing and flashing—personally, I think all the aforementioned behaviors are what makes an aquarium interesting. If you don't want any of that kind of behavior though, I think the only fish that don't do anything like that are corydoras lol. Even danios and neon tetras do some kind of sparring and chasing. So that just depends on what you mean.

    I definitely wouldn't do a kribensis and penguin tetra in a 15 gallon tank. Penguin Tetra get on the larger side for tetras, and if you get the wrong species (there's two that can are commonly mislabeled in the hobby) then it might be the more aggressive one. Kribs are also a little mean machines as well, and would do better in a way bigger tank in a community setting.

    Rummy Nose are a warmer water fish compared to most of your list besides the GBR, so if you go that path then that stocking would be more appropriate. Otherwise you have a couple more stock combination possibilities with the others.