My 30 Gallon Freshwater Planted Cube

  1. bigCEE

    bigCEE New Member Member

    Hello Fishloreans, my name is Calvin. After several years away from the fish keeping hobby (mostly saltwater fish, inverts, and corals), I've been bit by the bug and decided to start a planted freshwater tank.

    I'll be going for a relatively "low tech" set-up consisting of:
    - Oceanic 30Gallon cube (20"L x 18"W x 20"H)
    - Beamswork EA FSPEC 0.50w LED Light
    - Sunsun 402B Canister Filter w 9W UV Sterilizer
    - Odyssea 200 watt heater

    Aquascaping will be 'minimalist' in design with 40 lbs of black CaribSea Eco-Complete substrate, Mopani wood and 3-4 more plants in addition to the 3 that I already have (dwarf baby tears, Ludwigia Mini 'Super Red' (not really red IMO but okay lol), and Red Flame Sword (which turned out to be mostly green))
    I'm thinking:
    - staurogyne repens
    - dwarf hairgrass
    - java fern
    - amazon swords
    - water wisteria
    - as well as a couple of plants with color like Telanthera and red crypts (sensing a theme?).

    Based on some things that I read I decided to add a few plants as the (Dr.Tim's All In One and ammonium chloride) fishless cycle was coming to an end then add fish. I really do miss the colorful variety of fish that exist in marine aquaria and I'd like to have some of that in my tank. I started by adding 6 bloodfin tetras now I'm considering getting some of the following

    - 5-6 Glofish Danios (their colors are calling my name!)
    - 1 or 2 Boeseman's Rainbow Fish or German Bllue Rams
    - 1 or 2 American Flag Fish
    - 4-5 Sterbai Cory(doras) or Kuhli Loaches
    - 10-15 Crystal Red Shrimp
    - 10-12 clown killifish
    - 1 or 2 Galaxy Rasboras

    Of course, the tank would be built over the course of 2-4 months. Suggestions and opinions are welcome but a few specific questions that I have are:

    1) Is my current Beamswork LED light considered low, moderate, or high? If I was interested in keeping plants with high(ER) light needs, would adding a second (identical) Beamswork light bump it up to the next level? (Due to a shipping error [​IMG]Amazon sent me 2!)

    2) Are there any fish on my list that I should avoid (or that I can't keep with some of the others on the list)

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Coradee

    Coradee Moderator Moderator Member

    Welcome to Fishlore :)
    Your tank looks lovely I like cube tanks, plenty of footprint for 'scaping

  3. OP

    bigCEE New Member Member

    Thanks. The tank is being "repurposed" from my saltwater/reef aquarium days. I like it as well. Offers almost 180 degrees of viewing if the room allows :)

  4. freshwaterfanatic

    freshwaterfanatic New Member Member

    I think your fish stocking ideas could work, however any rasbora specie really does do better, as well as act more 'natural' in a school of at least 6. The Boesemans would also prefer a larger group, therefor I PERSONALLY wouldn't put them in there, others may disagree, as I don't have too much experience with rainbows :).
    If I were you, I would do the 4-5 Cory cats, increase the Galaxy's to at least 6-7, and add a cool 'centerpiece fish, such as the Rams you want, or a smaller gourami. Just my opinion:) I think your tank would look awesome with the stock IMO. Best of luck!

    You could put a few shrimp in there too as they don't add much bio-load are fairy comparable with the above fish

    Compatible* :)
  5. OP

    bigCEE New Member Member

    I like your suggestions and will definitely incorporate a few of them, especially the adding the Corydoras, Rams and increasing the Galaxy Rasporas (which I learned have been renamed to Celestial Pearl Danio) to a small school of 7-8.
    I think this will also work nicely since my current livestock was updated to include 4 Gold Barbs and 1 Albino Tetra that a local aquarist needed to 're-home' due to incompatibilities with his other fish.
  6. freshwaterfanatic

    freshwaterfanatic New Member Member

    I think that's a perfect idea! I'm not too experienced with barbs, but I THINK that should be just fine :)
    Also the tetra would want some friends, ideally, but if you said he wasn't in the best situation in his previous tank , well then maybe it will still be a step up for him :) good luck! Sounds like a cool tank
  7. freshwaterfanatic

    freshwaterfanatic New Member Member

    I just realized one thing that looks a little iffy, the gold barbs like lower 70F water temp, while German Rams like lower 80F water, if you really want this combo, then I would but the temp a little closer to the Rams needs due to their reputation of sensitivity.
    Another option that might work better if you really want dwarf cichlids (which I think you should do cuz dwarfs are awesome!) is consider Bolivian Rams instead of Germans, they get a little bigger, not much, but their reputation is that of a much more hardy fish.
    ....Or.... Sorry my imagination is taking me away:)...... My PERSONAL favorite, look up some of the Apisto species such as cacatuides, borellii, or agassizi. They are my fav dwarf chichlid and have just as much, if not more personality and color than rams IMO, and they would do perfect in a tank like that. Plus they are also known to be hardier (generally) and you could put a harem of 1M to 2-3F in there, or just a pair. Personally, I think your tank would be a better match/ have a cooler 'personality' if you added one of those three Apisto spec. vs the GBRs, however you could probably pull off the Rams as well. Just my opinion :) either way you go, I think all those options COULD work. As you probably know, fish have individual personalities, so you can never be too sure until you try it :) that's my rule
  8. OP

    bigCEE New Member Member

    Thanks fanatic. Great point about the temperature needs/preferences of the German Rams. I will take a closer look at the Bolivian Ram. I definitely want to make the right choice(s) from the start.