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30 Gallon Stocking (Aquascape)

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Hyr

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Jan 2, 2018
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Location
Boise, Idaho
Hi, so I have recently taken up the hobby, and I am preparing to do my first aquascape. I have a good idea of the plants I'd like to use, and they're mostly low growing plants. While I didn't struggle with planting, I can't for the life of me decide on an interesting stocking that A) don't disrupt the plants & B) are compatible together and don't have issues with rugged rock or significant flow.

FYI:
  1. plants like montecarlo, repens, and (possibly) rotala.
  2. I would like a showcase fish, e.g. like an angel or something, a schooling fish, like emperor tetras, and a sufficient cleanup crew.
  3. my maximum bioload varies, I made a custom filter so I'm not 100% sure of the maximum bioload, BUT it should be able to handle a 30 gallon (190gph)
  4. I have lots of rugged seiryu stones, which are shrimp-safe.
Thanks in advance!
 
Hi :) Welcome to the forum!

Have you started off the cycle on your filter yet and have you read about fishless cycling - if not there is a great article in the 'How to tips' section of this forum up at the top. I would really recommend it as it will save a lot of complications in the near future if you add fish too soon.

I cant give much advice on plants as I have mainly kept fish that are not compatible with plants - large cichlids, headstands, plecs etc.

I'm at a point now where Im looking to restock my tank and I've been thinking about Emperor Tetras they are really nice - i cant decide between the regular or the purple though.

In a 30g I would be wary of the Angels just because the tank could not be tall enough of them, you ideally want a 24 inch tall tank. I would look at some of the dwarf cichlids as companions, I think that Apistogramma Borelli could compliment the Emperors or Apistogramma Panduro, the males are steely blue and the females are black and yellow.

What kind of water do you have? Hard or soft? Soft is generally better for South Americans but I have been keeping South Americans in quite hard water for a number of years.

Wills
 
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Hi :) Welcome to the forum!

Have you started off the cycle on your filter yet and have you read about fishless cycling - if not there is a great article in the 'How to tips' section of this forum up at the top. I would really recommend it as it will save a lot of complications in the near future if you add fish too soon.

I cant give much advice on plants as I have mainly kept fish that are not compatible with plants - large cichlids, headstands, plecs etc.

I'm at a point now where Im looking to restock my tank and I've been thinking about Emperor Tetras they are really nice - i cant decide between the regular or the purple though.

In a 30g I would be wary of the Angels just because the tank could not be tall enough of them, you ideally want a 24 inch tall tank. I would look at some of the dwarf cichlids as companions, I think that Apistogramma Borelli could compliment the Emperors or Apistogramma Panduro, the males are steely blue and the females are black and yellow.

What kind of water do you have? Hard or soft? Soft is generally better for South Americans but I have been keeping South Americans in quite hard water for a number of years.

Wills
My tap water ranges usually from 6.5-7.5pH. So kind of on the soft side sometimes, but mostly in the middle. I haven't put anything in the aquarium yet, and I'm not planning to introduce fish for a while. (aiming for February). Just trying to get an idea of what I want. Thanks, Hyr.
 
My tap water ranges usually from 6.5-7.5pH. So kind of on the soft side sometimes, but mostly in the middle. I haven't put anything in the aquarium yet, and I'm not planning to introduce fish for a while. (aiming for February). Just trying to get an idea of what I want. Thanks, Hyr.

The pH is not always indicative of the hardness of the water, and the latter is the more significant for fish, whether soft water or hard water species. You should be able to find your GH (general or total hardness) from your municipal water authority's website, or you can call them. With the number, give us the unit of measurement too, as there are several and we need to be able to convert.

We need to know the GH before we can begin suggesting fish, but I will second a couple comments already made. A 30g is not a large space, and the filter is not all that significant when it comes to stocking. Live plants factor in, but the physical space and how it is aquascaped is the most important aspect for the fish. Shoaling species need a group, some may be active swimmers while others just cruise, etc. With this in mind, angelfish are not an option (they are a shoaling species, and get large). Emperor tetras could work, maybe, but they are rather active swimmers and I would suggest a 3-foot tank minimum. We can find options once we know the GH.

I amnot directly familiar with seiryu stone, but I gather they may increase GH/pH? This is something to consider, depending upon the source water parameters, and the intended fish.
 
The pH is not always indicative of the hardness of the water, and the latter is the more significant for fish, whether soft water or hard water species. You should be able to find your GH (general or total hardness) from your municipal water authority's website, or you can call them. With the number, give us the unit of measurement too, as there are several and we need to be able to convert.

We need to know the GH before we can begin suggesting fish, but I will second a couple comments already made. A 30g is not a large space, and the filter is not all that significant when it comes to stocking. Live plants factor in, but the physical space and how it is aquascaped is the most important aspect for the fish. Shoaling species need a group, some may be active swimmers while others just cruise, etc. With this in mind, angelfish are not an option (they are a shoaling species, and get large). Emperor tetras could work, maybe, but they are rather active swimmers and I would suggest a 3-foot tank minimum. We can find options once we know the GH.

I amnot directly familiar with seiryu stone, but I gather they may increase GH/pH? This is something to consider, depending upon the source water parameters, and the intended fish.
I'll get back to you on the hardness soon, but I believe that only fake seiryu stones (derived from limestone) increase the pH/gH. Also my tank is 3ft long. (36long,12depth,16high)
 
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I'll get back to you on the hardness in a few hours, but I believe that only fake seiryu stones (derived from limestone) increase the pH/gH. Also my tank is 3ft long. (36long,12depth,16high)
Apparently, (this isn't exact) but in my area it ranges from 8gpg-15gpg, although I don't believe that's the case for my household as my tap water tastes very similar to rainwater (which is inherently soft) but I'm not quite sure. Maybe my household as a water softener or something, as 15gpg is a bit hard.
 
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Apparently, (this isn't exact) but in my area it ranges from 8gpg-15gpg, although I don't believe that's the case for my household as my tap water tastes very similar to rainwater (which is inherently soft) but I'm not quite sure. Maybe my household as a water softener or something, as 15gpg is super hard.

This needs to be looked into. First, softeners are most often bad for fish, if they use sodium salts to remove the calcium/magnesium salts that are the primary source of the GH. Second, the conversion for gpg to ppm is 17.12 so 8 gpg would equate with 136 ppm, or 7 dGH which is moderately soft/hard. If it is at this lower end, you're in good shape for fish options, if you can bypass the softener.
 
This needs to be looked into. First, softeners are most often bad for fish, if they use sodium salts to remove the calcium/magnesium salts that are the primary source of the GH. Second, the conversion for gpg to ppm is 17.12 so 8 gpg would equate with 136 ppm, or 7 dGH which is moderately soft/hard. If it is at this lower end, you're in good shape for fish options, if you can bypass the softener.
I'll look into it..thanks for the help. So assuming I could bypass the softener, do you have any ideas on what fish I may be able to keep? Thanks alot, Hyr.
 
I'll look into it..thanks for the help. So assuming I could bypass the softener, do you have any ideas on what fish I may be able to keep? Thanks alot, Hyr.

I would want to pin down the GH and pH more, as in both cases we have quite wide ranges. The pH fluctuating from 6.5 to 7.5 is not insignificant for fish. I understand these fluctuations (pH and GH) are in the source water, but that means water changes may be affected, depending what the actual parameters are.

BTW, in testing tap water for pH, you need to outgas any CO2 to get a more accurate reading. CO2 can bee high in tap water, and this lowers the pH when it comes out of the tap, but once the CO2 outgasses thee pH might rise. The out-gassed pH is the one you need to know as it is the actual pH.
 
I would want to pin down the GH and pH more, as in both cases we have quite wide ranges. The pH fluctuating from 6.5 to 7.5 is not insignificant for fish. I understand these fluctuations (pH and GH) are in the source water, but that means water changes may be affected, depending what the actual parameters are.

BTW, in testing tap water for pH, you need to outgas any CO2 to get a more accurate reading. CO2 can bee high in tap water, and this lowers the pH when it comes out of the tap, but once the CO2 outgasses thee pH might rise. The out-gassed pH is the one you need to know as it is the actual pH.
Okay, I'll test the pH more accurately.
 
Okay, I'll test the pH more accurately.

Good. My point previously which I forgot to explain was that you may find the pH is around 7.5, and the 6.5 is due to the CO2. So that solves one mystery. However, if the GH also fluctuates so much, this could mean that the source water comes from different sources/reservoirs that may have somewhat differing parameters. Seasonal changes can cause this too, depending the source water. It is all just something that needs to be known so you can plan accordingly.
 
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Good. My point previously which I forgot to explain was that you may find the pH is around 7.5, and the 6.5 is due to the CO2. So that solves one mystery. However, if the GH also fluctuates so much, this could mean that the source water comes from different sources/reservoirs that may have somewhat differing parameters. Seasonal changes can cause this too, depending the source water. It is all just something that needs to be known so you can plan accordingly.
So I waited a few minutes, until all the bubbles were gone, and I tested the pH. I got 7.2, then I let it sit for about 15 minutes and I got 7.3, then 7.2 again. So 7.2-7.3 is a more exact range.
 
So I waited a few minutes, until all the bubbles were gone, and I tested the pH. I got 7.2, then I let it sit for about 15 minutes and I got 7.3, then 7.2 again. So 7.2-7.3 is a more exact range.

It usually takes up to 24 hours for CO2 to outgas, or you can shake it very vigorously...but your tests here seem conclusive anyway, so that is one problem solved.
 
It usually takes up to 24 hours for CO2 to outgas, or you can shake it very vigorously...but your tests here seem conclusive anyway, so that is one problem solved.
I shaked it for about 3 minutes, very hard if that counts haha.
 

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