My WIP 6.5 Gallon tank, thoughts?

EnlightenedOne

Hello,
New to the forum, seems like a great place for resources and such. I wanted to share my build on here and get feedback. I've done a lot of research and LOVE the build so far. It's not quite done yet in terms of plants but I believe my bioload is at it's limit with what I have in there. I've planted dwarf grass, java fern and floating for now is anubias frazeri and finally some water spangles at the top. Future plans maybe for some java moss on the cave. I have a Sponge filter in the back with ceramic beads in the filter I also have another filter that is in there to pick up some bacteria in it's filter for future use in other tanks. It's pretty neat as it is basically all in one with an airstone in it. These are what I have in the tank:


1652532340573.png

My chemical levels are:
pH - 6.8
Ammonia/Ammonium: 1ppm
Nitrite: 0ppm
Nitrate: 5ppm
Temp: 78F

Now my chemical levels are still in the middle of cycling. Being a noob, I bought fish then realized that fish in cycling sucks for the fish. I've done daily water changes and they seem okay for now. I've done a lot of research since and I am treating the water with Seachem Prime and Stabilize so these numbers may not mean anything atm. The ammonium/ammonia did spike at 2ppm which is pretty bad but the API water test doesn't differentiate between ammonium/ammonia and the fish are healthy looking and actively foraging all the time. I'm attributing to the slight tannin release from the driftwood(Cured and boiled for hours until water was mostly clear) The mood in the tank is great! The betta stays at the top foraging through the spangles and sometimes goes down to eat the algae wafer with the loaches and tetras. The Rose Petal Betta fish I got has a great temperament. The tetras stay at the bottom and middle of the tank and don't seem bothered by any other fish. The loaches went crazy at first but now they are out during the day and forage all around the tank and seem to sleep at night, weird because I thought they were nocturnal.

Now originally the tank had a Marbled Crayfish that petsmart had in their shrimp tank. They gave it to me for free. Before molting and growing the crayfish seemed okay. No aggression. The kuhlis and other fish seemed oddly on edge. Betta fish staying up top, Kuhlis constantly trying to find hiding spots and the tetras just frozen in the middle of the tank. One morning I noticed stress stripes on the Betta fish and his fins were shredded :( I have since moved the crayfish into a separate tank by herself. Since the move everything in the tank is getting along great! No more crayfish in fish tanks ever unless I get a huge tank with small fast schooling fish. Unfortunate since I've heard some good stories about people keeping them with bettas. I guess it's a lot of factors, mostly being cramped space and being near each other a lot.

I'd like some experienced members or fish keepers thoughts on this long term. I do have a 10 and a 20 gallon tank coming for future projects. This tank I want to keep as is and was wondering how this will fare long term with me keeping up with water parameters and fish health. I've lurked around and the consensus would normally be that I've got too many fish in the tank and they will not be happy. Is what I am doing not good or as long as I keep checking on these little guys I'm good? Thanks for reading!

1652533791226.jpeg
 

StarGirl

Welcome to Fishlore! :)

I wouldnt rely on AqAdvisor too much, there are so many factors they dont calculate. It does feel like too many fish to me.

The Glowlights may be your biggest issue, being only 3 they may not be happy. They are schooler and the more you have the happier they are. Same with the Kuhlis. They may or may not just hide all the time. I guess if the Betta isnt attacking them and you seriously keep up on your water they may be just fine.
 

Seasoldier

Hi & welcome, have to agree with StarGirl above, the tetras & Kuhlis need to be in bigger groups to feel safe & secure. Also small tanks are much harder to control water parameters in than larger ones & things can go wrong quicker so you'll need to stay on top of your maintenance with the bio-load you have. Personally I'd just have the Betta & Ghost shrimp in such a small tank, I'd shift the tetras & kuhlis into the 20 gallon when you get it & make their groups bigger.
 

EnlightenedOne

Thanks for the feedback. It does look a little cramped. I will most likely move the Glow Light Tetras into the bigger tank. Possibly even into the 10G tank with the crayfish(named Bourbon) since they are fast and don't seem to be bothered by the cray. And add a few more so they can school in peace. I have noticed one of the Tetras, named Beans not eating and looking much thinner. He won't go for bloodworms flake or the algae. He's been here the longest and originally was mistakenly given to me with Neon Tetras(The Neon Tetras x 2 died in the tank.... not sure why. All water parameters were fine when I added them.) I've not lost any fish and they all seem healthy. Just not eating today. Could it possibly be from the school not being big enough? The other two newer GlowLights are just a bunch of fatties and try to eat anything that floats. They will even eat off the bottom if they are hungry. So does my Betta(Named Soma).

I've been hyper away of the water parameters. Since adding the Seachem Prime and Stabilize the water has cleared up and everybody is showing good health and behavior. No one is freaking out in the tank or acting funny other than the Beans. He was always the odd one out and doesn't seem to school closely with the other two(He didn't school with the Neon Tetras either). My girlfriend seems to think I'm being over protective of the fish but I really do want to do this well since I already made the mistake of not cycling before getting the fish.
 

StarGirl

Thanks for the feedback. It does look a little cramped. I will most likely move the Glow Light Tetras into the bigger tank. Possibly even into the 10G tank with the crayfish(named Bourbon) since they are fast and don't seem to be bothered by the cray. And add a few more so they can school in peace. I have noticed one of the Tetras, named Beans not eating and looking much thinner. He won't go for bloodworms flake or the algae. He's been here the longest and originally was mistakenly given to me with Neon Tetras(The Neon Tetras x 2 died in the tank.... not sure why. All water parameters were fine when I added them.) I've not lost any fish and they all seem healthy. Just not eating today. Could it possibly be from the school not being big enough? The other two newer GlowLights are just a bunch of fatties and try to eat anything that floats. They will even eat off the bottom if they are hungry. So does my Betta(Named Soma).

I've been hyper away of the water parameters. Since adding the Seachem Prime and Stabilize the water has cleared up and everybody is showing good health and behavior. No one is freaking out in the tank or acting funny other than the Beans. He was always the odd one out and doesn't seem to school closely with the other two(He didn't school with the Neon Tetras either). My girlfriend seems to think I'm being over protective of the fish but I really do want to do this well since I already made the mistake of not cycling before getting the fish.
Yep the best thing to be in a fish in cycle is over protective! :) Keeps the fish safe.
 

EnlightenedOne

Okay so everyone was right. HAHA! I'm glad for it though. It confirmed my suspicions about my tank being overstocked. I have moved the Glowlight tetras out. I noticed one with a fin missing. I suspect my well tempered betta didn't like his crowded space being invaded. So I have moved the tetras temporarily to the 10 gallon tank with precycled media and filter. They are happily swimming along with 2 others making their school 5. My girlfriends tank has also some fancy guppies and mollie tankmates and a clown pleco. The ten gallon is cycled so I am waiting on the 20 gallons supplies to come and and do a fishless cycle on that. The ten gallon is still being dosed with Seachem Prime and Stability since the bioload for that is increasing. But again that is temporary. The attacked tetra is actually moving along fine and eating as if he isn't missing a fin. I also noticed since they were not in a big enough school they were starting to bully each other. Now they are fine in the bigger tank... Hopefully.

Now my tank is

1652663844044.png
My lfs had tiny little baby kuhli loaches! They are the smallest loaches I've ever seen and I happened to see them in the tank by accident. They weren't on sale but the store had no idea that they were in there! They were pale and possibly in poor conditions but since adding them to the tank are feeding in the day time and regaining much of their orange color! As they grow I will add them to the 20 gallon. So far so good. This hobby is super addicting... Thanks for all the advice. Any is super helpful.
 

JustAFishServant

I wouldnt rely on AqAdvisor too much, there are so many factors they dont calculate. It does feel like too many fish to me.
I don't know, I really like aqadvisor. They tell you school size (says kuhli & embers must be in groups of 5+), their minimum for goldfish is 40G, 5 for a betta. They tell you if it's overstocked, how large and frequent of a WC is needed, good stocking choices for your tank size, whether fish will get along, what to watch out for, pH & temp suggestions (C & F) etc. If that's not a good site I don't know what is! Well besides Fishlore of course...

Also, quick tip for anyone finding this comment: Aqadvisor suggests your tank is stocked below 85% but won't alert of overstocking til over 115% if I remember correctly. But 107% is obviously more than 85%.

Just did a calc on aqadvisor and a 20 long could house 10 kuhli, 10 glowlight tetras, your 2 ghost shrimp & the betta. I suggest the tetras & loaches have a larger school, as this will bring them out :)
 

EnlightenedOne

I don't know, I really like aqadvisor. They tell you school size (says kuhli & embers must be in groups of 5+), their minimum for goldfish is 40G, 5 for a betta. They tell you if it's overstocked, how large and frequent of a WC is needed, good stocking choices for your tank size, whether fish will get along, what to watch out for, pH & temp suggestions (C & F) etc. If that's not a good site I don't know what is! Well besides Fishlore of course...

Also, quick tip for anyone finding this comment: Aqadvisor suggests your tank is stocked below 85% but won't alert of overstocking til over 115% if I remember correctly. But 107% is obviously more than 85%.

Just did a calc on aqadvisor and a 20 long could house 10 kuhli, 10 glowlight tetras, your 2 ghost shrimp & the betta. I suggest the tetras & loaches have a larger school, as this will bring them out :)
I do like aqadvisor as a guidepost on what I can handle. It seems to try to keep things simple and easy. I've been reading a lot and it seems more experienced people can keep more fish together. I understand the risks as well, e.g. power failure but we don't have that problem so much where I live. It's like advise on how to raise pets and what parameters right there. But not all fish are the same and neither are the owners. Some are capable and some are unlucky. So many things in play and the less you need to juggle the less could go wrong. I think I can handle it though.

The loaches don't seem to mind coming out. I think they feel pretty safe in the tank. The only time they go crazy is when the lights are first turned on. Need to really ramp lighting up slowly for these guys. Jumpy fish but when they are out, they are out eating without a care in the world. My betta, Soma, doesn't seem to mind them swimming in his space, even the worm sized kuhli loach babies I just got. It's fascinating. I always wonder why the betta seems so cool and calm around them. He even shields them when they eat or curiously pecks at the algae wafers they are munching on. It's awesome. I think I got pretty lucky on the Betta, he doesn't pick on the shrimp unless they are going for the blood worms he is trying to eat.

So on to my tank now. I've taken all your input. I'm relatively new to this hobby. 2 weeks. Haha! I've moved the tetras out. Soma, the betta, did not like them in such a small space. So I have since moved them out. Now my 6.5 Gallon is :

1652916232708.png
The Ammonia levels seem to be dropping. I am using Prime and Stabilize to help the tank cycle without stressing the fish out. All parameters are within what the fish enjoy.
pH 6.8-7.0
Ammonia is .1 down from .25 since yesterday.
Nitrate 0
Nitrite 5.0
The new Kuhli Loaches are growing pretty fast. I can already see them growing and their color coming in. The plants I hope will keep the Nitrites down.
So far this is what it looks like. I'd like to keep planting and hope these plants grow into things the Kuhlis can hide in. They don't seem to mind coming out in the day while I'm working and grazing.
I have a sponge filter with biomedia in the bottom half of the sponge running off of a airpump rated for 10 gallon tanks. I think it's a 2.8 watt. So Filtration should be more than enough.

1652916919939.jpeg

The Tetras I have moved into a 20 gallon stocked with:

1652917165407.png
That one has a sponge filter with biomedia on a pump rated for 40 gallons in the tank as well. I have seeded the tank with a filter with floss and carbon from my tank that was cycled. I smashed it between where the sponge takes water in so it seeds the sponge faster. It's a little cloudy still from the sand, I washed the sand till clear but pouring water in seems to make it cloudy anyways. It should clear by tomorrow. The 20 gallon long isn't nearly where I need it to be. I have more drift wood coming in for the fish to hide in and glue those java ferns on. They're just rooted into the sand atm. Water test on this one has no ammonia yet. I will see tomorrow since it's a new tank. This tank is also dosed with Seachem Prime and Stabilize, just in case the media is not enough.

1652917528103.jpeg

I have java ferns, anubias frazeri, water spangles. I have some hornwort ordered for some taller foliage where fish can swim through. So far I think I'm going to just monitor what I have and see where I can go from there. The tanks the limit here haha! Thanks for the responses!
 

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