Newbie Questions....stocking....stress....shrimp


Every week it feels like I'm being hit with a different issue with my aquarium. I have a couple of questions if anyone can help. Apologies in advance but I have a lot of questions

My Tank
0ppm ammonia
0ppm nitrite
5ppm nitrate
X2 water changes per week

When I first started the hobby in July I did my research on the stocking levels based on Pets at Home
Based on my tank size (54l) they advised I could stock up to a maximum of 27 points, so I proceeded to stock with with 2 female dwarf gourami, 1 male swordtail, 1 female swordtail, 3 corydoras and 3 endlers (19 points). I wanted to add more but my mum said the tank is full and I had too many fish, she suggested I find and a forum where I can get advice which led me here. Feedback I got on this forum suggested I was at my max capacity.

Due to too not cycling the tank correctly I lost 1 swordtail, 2 endlers and both dwarf gourami. After the tank stabilised in parameters I purchased 3 endlers. Initially I thought I had picked three females which would make the total 3 females 1 male. Over a few weeks 2 coloured up and were actually male. This was fine until a month ago when the males started harassing the female. I went on a hunt for female endlers which led me to Maidenhead Aquatics where I purchased 3. A week ago the original female endler had fry but I only saw the 1, either she had a small batch or the others were eaten. On Friday the pregnant swordtail got sick (Columnaris) and I was advised to euthanize .

I'm trying to learn from my mistakes and would like a little guidance. As I'm still monitoring the tank to see if anybody else has Columnaris (so far nothing is appearing) I am not looking to add to the tank for a while, however.......

Aqa advisor says my tank is 61% filled with current stock of 7 endlers, 1 fry, 3 corydoras. Whilst I understand whatever formula they use is it necessarily correct

1. Could I get another fish to help with population control? Or am I my at my max? My local pet store will re-home any fry I do not want, but a little help would be great (it was near impossible to catch the 1 fry)
2. If I can get another fish can you advise what would go well with my community. I do love of swordtails however I don't want a female as she is likely to be pregnant and the males can be aggressive.

2 of the newer female endlers eyes occasionally turn black then they go back to normal within a few minutes. All I can find online is this can be due to aggression, stress or poor water conditions. I check my water parameters with each water change and they have been stable for over a month now. From what I've seen they are not being picked on and there are plenty of spaces they can hide.

3. Has anybody come across this before?
4. What could be stressing them out?

For my Christmas present I have asked for red cherry shrimp. As I want it cycled correctly I have added a sponge filter in my tank which I will use to cycle a new tank. I only have the space for a 12l tank therefore or not looking to get many shrimp, my sister has said if the population explodes she will keep the babies in her shrimp tank. As shrimp have low bioload,

5. Would the load from the shrimps be enough to maintain a cycle?
6. Could anything else other than snails which I'm afraid of be kept in the 12l to maintain the cycle?
7. What is a suitable number of shrimp for a 12l?
8. Are there any plant fertilizers that you could use with shrimp? The one I'm currently using contains chelated iron which I've heard isn't great for shrimp.

As always thank you in advance


I can't say what is stressing the guppies. Seems a consensus is 5 cherry shrimp and they WILL breed. Find a place you can bring fry. Nilocg Thrive makes a shrimp safe fertilizer. It's actually pretty good because it is a all in one.

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