Return to the tank!!!!

sp4ngel

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I can't work out what sub-forum to post this under as this post will cover a lot of things.

Hi guys, I'm Kayleigh.
I'm not a new newbie but am returning to the hobby after a mass tragedy that only happened 9 months into my first tank last year, unfortunately my family had a holiday abroad booked that could not be rescheduled and have to leave my fishies in the care of a neighbour- they all died. I believe my neighbour massively overfed them and didn't clean out leftover food which led to the filter clogging and subsequently dying and killing the fish with it. I decided to de-construct the tank and put it into storage, but now I feel ready to return to it as i really enjoyed caring for and lookng at my tank.


The tank is 70 litres long, looking for low tech planted community tank. I have the tank, a heater, a net, syphon and black gravel. Any suggestions for cheap but good plant substrate would be greatly appreciated. I will be purchasing a new filter, again any suggestions would be great.


Onto set up, for plants i want to skip the CO2 due to running costs and complexity, I am looking at getting some: java moss. anubias, crypts, java fern and jungle val. Would these be suitable for low tech and what others could I add? Also, would fertiliser be needed?


Stocking, after doing a fishless cycle (I cycled with 6 zebra danios last time(I know it's not good but they all survived happily btw)) I am looking to stock with: 5 kuhli loaches, and that's all I've really settled on. What would be some good tankmates?


My water is hard and according to my water company is 323mg/l total hardness. The tank is not set up yet, so anything said is a plan and subject to change because I want to get everything sorted first and wait until after I finish my GCSE's so I have a longish period of time to set everything up.


Thank you in advance for all your help, ideas and support, sorry for the long post.
Kayleigh
 

aliray

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Welcome to the forum and very glad you joined us. All the plants you listed should be fine with in a low tech set up. I only use river pebbles for gravel because they are smooth, but other do sand or sand and dirt mix .I am sure others will be along with help for you. Sorry you lost your other fish. Alison
 

Lchi87

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I've heard cannister filters are great but a little more complicated for beginners. I haven't quite gotten to that level so I'm not much help there, sorry.

In terms of stocking, I'd avoid too many bottom feeders since they will compete with the loaches for food. I've read on here that kuhli loaches should only be added to super established tanks since they are extra sensitive to big swings in water parameters, so I'd go with the other fish you decide on first till your readings are stable.

Do you have a reliable testing kit and dechlorinator?
 

Jaxsco

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I've heard cannister filters are great but a little more complicated for beginners. I haven't quite gotten to that level so I'm not much help there, sorry.

In terms of stocking, I'd avoid too many bottom feeders since they will compete with the loaches for food. I've read on here that kuhli loaches should only be added to super established tanks since they are extra sensitive to big swings in water parameters, so I'd go with the other fish you decide on first till your readings are stable.

Do you have a reliable testing kit and dechlorinator?
Canister filters aren't that complicated. Imo, if you can handle a fish tank, a canister should be no problemo!
I would do prime as a dechlorinator. I agree with everything else you said!
 

Sarah73

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Thanks for your reply!
How big is the 70 litre? It doesn't sound that big, but kuhli loaches get 4 inches each. The plants you named are low tech plants and they don't need food tablets to grow better. Just light and fish poop. Also have you cycled the tank?
 

blakeugan

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Okay I'm not great at these conversions, but is that a 20 gallon long? If so, that's my specialty and I can answer any questions on it and give suggestions
 
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sp4ngel

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I have prime as a dechlorinator and i have a testing kit that was reliable last time i used it, but i will have to check the date on it and may have to get a new one, what testing kit would you recommend? Thanks for the info on the kuhlis, i'll add them last then.
 

RubyGem

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Sorry to hear about your loss. But great to have you back on board, It really is a great hobby. One thing you could consider are CO2 tablets... They are cheap and very efficient I own all the plants you stated and they thrive with just 2 tablets a week; I just pop 'em in the filter and let it dissolve. I really do notice a difference. Helps the plants strives therefore helps water condition and ammonia digestion. To answer your fertiliser question, quite simply no. If you notice any deficiency in the plants reduce your water changes to increase ammonia. Ammonia is one of if not the best and most natural fertiliser you can safely get your hands on. Better yet your little fishies are producing it constantly. Kuhli loaches occupy the bottom of the tank... So look into some mid to surface fish: gourami, guppy, sword tails, goldfish, tetras, barbs, ect. If you decide on getting a more sensitive fish, water can be softened with chemicals. Water can also be naturally levelled as you cycle the tank. Wish you luck
 
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sp4ngel

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Yup it is roughly 20 gallon long, i think it might be a little bit less on volume due to conversions though. Any advice/answers to questions on the original post would be great!
p.s great avatar :'D
 

Lchi87

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I have prime as a dechlorinator and i have a testing kit that was reliable last time i used it, but i will have to check the date on it and may have to get a new one, what testing kit would you recommend? Thanks for the info on the kuhlis, i'll add them last then.

Api Master Test Kit is what a lot of us on here use!
 
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sp4ngel

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70 litre is roughly the equivalent of a 20 gallon long, and the tank isn't set up yet but will be fishless cycled once everything is sorted. I'm just planning at the moment.

What would a recommended CO2 tab be? Is it safe to increase ammonia that way, on behalf of fish safety? Thank you

I believe prime is the dechlorinator i had before so its good that its still recommended, What canister filter would you recommend, how would do the maintenance on it? What plant substrate would you recommend too? Thank you.
 

RubyGem

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What would a recommended CO2 tab be? Is it safe to increase ammonia that way, on behalf of fish safety? Thank you
I buy 36pcs CO2 Tablet Carbon Dioxide from
http://geek.wish.com/c/56a5bc4beba8dd0e075ef59c


If you make sure the readings are still 0 yes it's safe. What I mean is slowly decrease your water changes until you have a readable level of ammonia then reduces it just until it's 0. So the plants are getting as much as they can break down. If you do it slowly it should be fine... What do other people think?
 

blakeugan

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Yup it is roughly 20 gallon long, i think it might be a little bit less on volume due to conversions though. Any advice/answers to questions on the original post would be great!
p.s great avatar :'D
Thanks! I'll tell you about my tank first.
My stock
8 tiger barbs
6 albino Corys (look great on the black sand)
2 kribensis
1 dwarf gourami
I only have the barbs in now, cause I'm cycling.
When I get home I'll send a pic for some decor ideas.
Filter wise, the aqua clear 50 works great, is quiet and is an amazing overall filter. I run it with biomedia, 2 layers of polyfil, and a sponge. Your plants sound good. I have an Amazon sword, anacharis, bacopa caroliniana, and an Anubias. If you have any specific stocking questions just ask me!
 

cjbart1009

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Sorry to hear about your loss. But great to have you back on board, It really is a great hobby. One thing you could consider are CO2 tablets... They are cheap and very efficient I own all the plants you stated and they thrive with just 2 tablets a week; I just pop 'em in the filter and let it dissolve. I really do notice a difference. Helps the plants strives therefore helps water condition and ammonia digestion. To answer your fertiliser question, quite simply no. If you notice any deficiency in the plants reduce your water changes to increase ammonia. Ammonia is one of if not the best and most natural fertiliser you can safely get your hands on. Better yet your little fishies are producing it constantly. Kuhli loaches occupy the bottom of the tank... So look into some mid to surface fish: gourami, guppy, sword tails, goldfish, tetras, barbs, ect. If you decide on getting a more sensitive fish, water can be softened with chemicals. Water can also be naturally levelled as you cycle the tank. Wish you luck
I wouldn't soften the water with chemicals. It'll be bad for the fish. If you're looking to naturally soften your water you can add some Malaysian driftwood and/or peat moss to your filter. But these only soften the water a tad bit and won't be noticeable. To really have soft water either invest in your own RODI unit or you can buy them from stores.

Since you only have a 20g long. Doing 10g weekly water changes with RODI water and rodi water being about 5 cents a gallon. You would be spending $2 a month for that. But it's all up to you. I would contact the store you're buying fish from and ask. Most captive bred fishes are raised in medium to hard water.

For tank mates I would suggest sparkling gourami, Cardinal tetras, CPD's, ember tetras and some (optional) top dwelling fish like a gardneri killi.

Canister filters aren't difficult at all. You just need some media and you're all set. If you're looking into purchasing a canister I suggest the Eheim 2215 or 2217 although I feel like the 2217 will have too much flow. If you're into DIY project you can attach a ball valve to the return so you can control the flow. I suggested 2217 because it's bigger and you can put more media. But if you're gonna be doing a weekly or bi weekly water change then the 2215 is fine. If you don't wanna use a canister I would look into the Aqua Clear HOB's.

For a low tech planted tank you don't really need ferts however you might need to dose excel if algae starts to grow. What light are you thinking of using? My roommate has a 22g long and is about 40" long and it's a high tech tank. He uses two T5ho bulbs (one 6500k and one 10000k). He still experienced algae so now he just reduced it to 1 6500k bulb and the plants are still doing great.
 
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