Totally new and have some questions

NofishB4

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My daughter and I have decided to try our hand at fish keeping. We bought a 38G (24x12x36). Currently we are very close to the end of our cycle:

Ammonia-0 (dosing to 2ppm)
Nitrite-5 (just did a water change and still 5 so going to do another tomorrow)
Nitrate-10
PH-8.2

Our planned stock includes:
8 three stripped cories
5 Platies
6-15 Guppies
1 bolivian ram

We have not decided whether we are going to do all male guppies or an assortment of males and females as I am afraid of having to deal with a population explosion but also don't want to be buying guppies every other day as I've heard guppies can be fragile.

What fish would you recommend adding first and how many???
 

Amazoniantanklvr

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Hello and welcome to fishlore.
The ram/s would eat the buppy fry and help keep the population under control.
 

david1978

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Platies are still a pretty tough fish still so I would do them first. Guppies are good if you can find a good suplier but yes the quality of pet store guppies has gone down. Personally if you don't want the trouble of what to do with the extra guppies go male only. So I would add then second. Once you get past the learning curve add the cories and the ram. Overall it sounds like a light stocking so it will allow some margin for error.
 
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NofishB4

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Unfortunately it is only planted with fake plants right now. I am TERRIBLE with plants and wanted to kind of ease into fish keeping. Plus the horror stories of algae (especially BBA) and snail explosions are daunting. Our plan is to re-evaluate the tank and our skill/maintenance routine in about 6 months and maybe try to mix some water feeders like java fern with our fake decor. We are going to add a couple pothos stems to the top once we get all the fish
 

JettsPapa

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NofishB4 said:
Unfortunately it is only planted with fake plants right now. I am TERRIBLE with plants and wanted to kind of ease into fish keeping. Plus the horror stories of algae (especially BBA) and snail explosions are daunting. Our plan is to re-evaluate the tank and our skill/maintenance routine in about 6 months and maybe try to mix some water feeders like java fern with our fake decor. We are going to add a couple pothos stems to the top once we get all the fish
Live plants will help with the algae, since they take up nutrients that would otherwise be used by algae. I can understand that it can be overwhelming but I'd encourage you to consider using live plants. You can always get help here. I get almost enjoyment from watching my plants grow as I do from the fish, snails, and shrimp (yes, I don't mind snails). Also, if you do get algae, not all snails will reproduce in fresh water.

And welcome to the forum.
 

KinderScout

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yep it will take some months for your tank to settle and mature - our's took the best part of a year. We added plants - some of them worked, some not - they are easy to add and remove - we went through several iterations and eventually found plants that suit my black thumbs ;)
Now I do more gardening each Sunday in our living room than in the garden.

...and with plants and hiding places you can get amano shrimp - they are entertaining and will help with algae and general tank maintenance if you get enough - they don't really add to the bioload so no need to skimp on fish. From what I've read they should be on with your Ram too.
 
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NofishB4

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KinderScout said:
yep it will take some months for your tank to settle and mature - our's took the best part of a year. We added plants - some of them worked, some not - they are easy to add and remove - we went through several iterations and eventually found plants that suit my black thumbs ;)
Now I do more gardening each Sunday in our living room than in the garden.
What kind of plants did you add??? We have black sand and a tube light of some sort. A new LED light is on my list of upgrades I'd like to get. Like I said I want to make sure it's something we really enjoy before committing to even more maintenance
 

JettsPapa

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Although I've seen a few people have trouble with it, water wisteria is pretty near bullet proof. Below is a picture that all comes from a single plant I bought last fall, and I've probably given away, or thrown away, that much more.

0217201910.jpg


It's the tall group of plants near the center. The shorter plants are crypts and an anubias, and you can see the roots of water lettuce. They're all easy plants also.
 

kansas

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With some plants, you can make cuttings and plant them to help fill your tank for less money.
 

Amazoniantanklvr

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JettsPapa said:
Although I've seen a few people have trouble with it, water wisteria is pretty near bullet proof. Below is a picture that all comes from a single plant I bought last fall, and I've probably given away, or thrown away, that much more.

0217201910.jpg


It's the tall group of plants near the center. The shorter plants are crypts and an anubias, and you can see the roots of water lettuce. They're all easy plants also.
I'm one of those people who kill wisteria! lol
 

JettsPapa

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Amazoniantanklvr said:
I'm one of those people who kill wisteria! lol
I don't know what to tell you. More than once I've seen a single leaf floating in the tank start growing roots from its base.
 

Amazoniantanklvr

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JettsPapa said:
I don't know what to tell you. More than once I've seen a single leaf floating in the tank start growing roots from its base.
Oh well. I'm doing a south American theme tank so I really don't care if it dies now.
 

KinderScout

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KinderScout said:
yep it will take some months for your tank to settle and mature - our's took the best part of a year. We added plants - some of them worked, some not - they are easy to add and remove - we went through several iterations and eventually found plants that suit my black thumbs ;)
Now I do more gardening each Sunday in our living room than in the garden.
The only plants left from when we started is echinodorus (Amazon swords I think) - stay away from red leaves we lost all those - noe we have aponogeton and cryptocoryne wendtI and some moss too.
You will get algae - just push through it it happens then eases off as the tank matures.
 

emilydupree17

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I would do the platies, then guppies, then the cories and ram. If you want male and female guppies do four or so females per male and if you do an all male frat do at least 6 so they don’t bully one individual male. There are some very hardy plants out there that can survive even the blackest thumb lol! Algae can be kept at bay by having real plants, or by snails and shrimp. Nerites are great snails to keep! They don’t reproduce in freshwater, unlike some other snails.
 

KinderScout

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If you do decide to add shrimp though, wait six months until your tank is pretty mature. It will also give you plenty of time to get a feel for where you want to go - no tank is ever finished!
 
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NofishB4

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emilydupree17 said:
I would do the platies, then guppies, then the cories and ram. If you want male and female guppies do four or so females per male and if you do an all male frat do at least 6 so they don’t bully one individual male. There are some very hardy plants out there that can survive even the blackest thumb lol! Algae can be kept at bay by having real plants, or by snails and shrimp. Nerites are great snails to keep! They don’t reproduce in freshwater, unlike some other snails.
Would you add all 5 platies at once? Those we are for sure doing all male so should we up that number to 6 as well?
 

emilydupree17

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NofishB4 said:
Would you add all 5 platies at once? Those we are for sure doing all male so should we up that number to 6 as well?
I honestly would. A group of male platies can get along fine as long as there are absolutely no females around to cause aggression and dominance. Platies eat fry so if you do end up getting male and female guppies, they’ll pick them off. I’d just honestly do an all male or all female tank as it will curb aggression.
 

Islandvic

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Either add the fish all at once and perform frequent and large WC's as the cycle catches up, or add some at a time but quarantine fish you add after the first batch.

An easy quarantine setup is a 5 gallon bucket, a cheap 50w adjustable heater and a cycled sponge filter from the main tank.

Quarantine new fish for at least 10 days and watch for Ich. Easier to treat Ich in a 5 gallon bucket versus the entire 38g tank.

Consider adding a sponge filter now. They run off an air pump.
 

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