70 Litre Community Tank

April_ht

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Hi, so I’ve recently bought a 70 litre tank and cycled for 48 hours with beneficial bacteria and de-chlorinator. Tank dimensions are around 60cm x 30cm x 50cm and type is Blue Planet 70l. Is this big enough to have a community tank? If so, what types of fish could I have? I’ve been thinking about and researching:
Neon Tetras
White Cloud Minnows
Angelfish (small-medium, not sure if can live in community tank)
Barbs (rosy barb, golden barb?)
Betta

Currently I have 9 platy fish and 2 sucking catfish, though plan to rehome 3-4 platy if community tank not possible due to fighting and 6-7 if community tank is possible. Are any of these fish able to live with platy in cold water? Or if I were to install a heater?
 

Shiverz

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I'm not the best at suggesting fish for certain sized tanks or what fish get on with others, all I can suggest there is to research. What I can say is I have a 65 litre tank, a little thinner then yours and slightly taller.

I was going to have some pygmy corries, some boraras boraras (chilli rasbora) and a couple of sparkling dwarf gourami. I believed this would've pushed my tank to near its maximum capacity if I remember correctly.

In the end I went with a little betta to roam in this tank he loves it and I won't put anything else in there with him. A betta personality can vary enormously, some are fine and prefer other fish whilst others will attack damn near anything it sees.

Someone knowledgeable will drop a comment in here some time soon no doubt :) I just thought I'd share my thoughts.
 

Byron

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With the dimensions given, this is basically a 20g high or standard tank. That leaves out angelfish and barbs (with one exception) which need more space. Before we can move forward though, can you let us know the parameters, being the GH (general hardness) and pH of your source water?

Nine platies and the two "catfish" probably fill this tank as it is. Platies are not cold water fish, depending what you mean by the term. But normal room temperature is a bit low for any of these fish.
 
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April_ht

April_ht

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The water platys are kept in is room temperature (around 18 degrees Celsius) as they were advertised as cold water fish and seem to be thriving with a huge appetite, though I may add a heater in if I see any issues with the fish. If I were to get different tropical fish, I would add in the heater if need be I just feel it unnecessary at the moment as the bills are quite high. pH is 7.5 (I have sodium biphosphate available to lower pH, came in a test kit) though I have yet to test water hardness, I will update once I have which hopefully shouldn’t be long. I’ve also used gravel from the previous tank which has not been washed to prevent losing beneficial bacteria, though waste has been removed with a gravel vacuum. Please let me know if you find any mistakes as I am quite new to the aquarium hobby/industry and want to make sure I prevent as many mistakes as I can.
 

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Are you testing for Ammonia and Nitrites..? If so, what are the readings?
 
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April_ht

April_ht

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…No, sorry. I don’t yet have a test kit for this as I didn’t know about it until a few hours ago. I do plan to get one as soon as possible though. Now I feel like such a bad fish owner, but I’ll test as soon as I can to make sure everything is healthy. I’ve heard ammonia is meant to be 0, nitrite 0 (or at least as low as possible) though not sure about nitrate.
 
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April_ht

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Also, general water hardness in my area is 105ppm, so relatively soft.
 

NannaLou

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ammonia is meant to be 0, nitrite 0 (or at least as low as possible) though not sure about nitrate.
Ammonia and Nitrite need to be zero, anything higher is dangerous to the fish. Nitrates can be as high as 20ppm, but the lower the better.

Not a bad fish owner, one, like most of us that is on a steep learning curve 🙂
 

Essjay

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2 sucking catfish,
What species are these fish? If you need an ID, post photos of them.

I am asking because sucking catfish includes quite a few species, some of which are unsuitable and some which need to be in a group.
 

Essjay

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No bacterial starter cycles a tank instantly, the best ones speed up a cycle, the worst do nothing. Until you can test for ammonia and nitrite, I would do a 50% water change every day to be on the safe side.

I agree with Byron, 18 deg C is a bit cold for platies.

Was it the fish store that said they were cold water fish? The most important lesson in fish keeping is never believe anything a shop worker says. Most of them are trained in how to make a sale, not about fish. Always research for yourself.
 
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April_ht

April_ht

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I’ve done one water change already to be on the safe side but I’ll start the daily ones until I can test the water. The fish store advertised them as cold water and since our axolotl had recently died after 3 years, I’m assuming it had something to do with moving and I was very inexperienced at the time, we saw them and just bought them. I can try adding the heater, and here are some photos of the catfish (advertised as ‘sucking catfish’) which luckily do not seem to be growing, though are fed algae wafers daily and my fish tank.
 

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Essjay

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Ahhh, those fish are chinese algae eaters. If you can return them to the shop I would do so as soon as possible. They grow quite big, needing a tank at least 150 cm/5 feet long, and as they mature they start eating the slime coat off other fish. Not a fish I would want in my tanks. This is the fish I had in mind when I said some were unsuitable.

They are also tropical fish, not cold water
 
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April_ht

April_ht

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I just found that out, I’ll take them back or at least re-home them as soon as possible. I think I’d be better off advertising them for free online to somebody who is able to meet their requirements rather than take them back where they’d probably go to another uninformed home like mine, and I’m quite sure returns are not accepted around my area in Australia sadly. I really wish pet shops would advertise as the species and list the requirements needed to have certain species of fish, would make things so much easier. Thank you for informing me though, I’ll get to it as soon as possible.
 

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I would like to make a remark about the temperature for platies overhere. Room temperature of approx. 20°C won't hurt or harm platies at all. Even 18°C won't do them any wrong to be honest. In the wild most platy species prefer even lower temperatures than higher temperatures. This goes also for swordtails. The mistake that a lot of people make is that people associate that platies and swordtails come from tropical countries. So, they must be kept warm. Just that realize that a lot of them come from subzones within a tropical zone that are more subtropical. Also altitude is in play. The higher the location of those fish occur, the less warmer it gets.
But also fancy speci9mnens of platies and swordtails adapt easy to lower temperatures. Also I keep them at lower temps and they do all brilliant.
In 2017 I've harvested swordtails in October from their outdoor tubs at a water temperature of 14°C at day (so, at night was colder). They even had young and adults and young were still vivid.
This is the commentary I gave:
Harvesting fancy swordtail fish from an outdoor tank at 13°C (55,4°F). October 2017. A large number of swordtail strains in the wild do occur in colder areas and can therefore withstand lower water temperatures. I was saying in the video that swordtails come from Mexico. But of course they aren't only to be found in Mexico but also in neighboring countries. Commentary is in dutch.
 

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