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KMW1954

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Hello people,
My name is Kevin and just recently started into the hobby and of course have a bazillion question to ask in time. The wife and I already have two tanks going. Hers a 29g with plastic plants and mostly tetra glo a couple sharks and two Dwarf Gourami. Mine is a 36g Bow front with a plenum under ground filter with a layer of dirt and then small round stone as a substrate. Huge piece of wood and assorted larger round rocks. I also have a small corner box filter hidden and a tiny submersible filter at top. It is planted with one Amazon Sword, two types of Java fern, Anubias barteri and some staurogyne repens. Tried some Alternanthers reineckii and dwarf hair grass but they didn't last long. Though it looks like the grass is trying to come back.

Current residents are a Rubber mouth pleco, 2 Chinese algae eaters, 5 Amano shrimp and some Cherry and Blue shrimp.
 

Slaphppy7

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Welcome to TFF

Are your tanks cycled?

Also...those CAEs can be problematic, they'll fight each other, and attack/consume the slime coat of other fish, by latching onto them....that pleco is in peril
 
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KMW1954

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The planted tank was set up and kept empty for just over a month before I added live to it. During that time I was doing frequent water changes because of the tannin staining and was also trying to give the plants a head start.

those CAE are already triple their size and much larger than I understood them to get. Pleco stays pretty well hidden and with the shrimp doing so well the CAE may be looking for a new home.

Wanted to put the gourami in this tank but fear they will eat the Cherries.
 

Slaphppy7

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The planted tank was set up and kept empty for just over a month before I added live to it. During that time I was doing frequent water changes because of the tannin staining and was also trying to give the plants a head start.

those CAE are already triple their size and much larger than I understood them to get. Pleco stays pretty well hidden and with the shrimp doing so well the CAE may be looking for a new home.

Wanted to put the gourami in this tank but fear they will eat the Cherries.
The CAEs would attack the gourami...usually happens at night, when no one is watching the tank...I'd rehome them ASAP

Allowing a tank to run for a period of time will not cycle the tank; cycling is an active, ongoing process that must be monitored by the fishkeeper...see here for more info: https://www.fishforums.net/threads/cycling-your-new-fresh-water-tank-read-this-first.421488/
 
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KMW1954

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The CAEs would attack the gourami...usually happens at night, when no one is watching the tank...I'd rehome them ASAP

Allowing a tank to run for a period of time will not cycle the tank; cycling is an active, ongoing process that must be monitored by the fishkeeper...see here for more info: https://www.fishforums.net/threads/cycling-your-new-fresh-water-tank-read-this-first.421488/
Yes I have read that thread and w/o knowing beforehand that is basically what I had done. The pebble substrate I am using came with the used tank and was only rinsed so it should have contained many good things. Currently all parameters are testing very well with my biggest headache being my water hardness.
 
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KMW1954

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WhistlingBadger

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Sometimes a dirted tank will cycle itself without further input from the keeper, so maybe you got lucky. That's part of the reason I like dirted tanks. :)

I agree with Slap: Get rid of those CAEs! Nasty, mean, useless, terrible little jerks. (I don't much care for 'em.)
 

Slaphppy7

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Get the liquid test kit linked above; paper strips can be inaccurate and unreliable, especially if aged.

It is best to work with the source water you have available; throwing chemicals into a tank to try and adjust ph or hardness merely complicates your water chemistry.
 
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KMW1954

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It is best to work with the source water you have available; throwing chemicals into a tank to try and adjust ph or hardness merely complicates your water chemistry.
Agreed, I hate having to use chemicals which is why I am trying to collect rain water.
Currently using very hard well water, no softener.
 

Slaphppy7

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Agreed, I hate having to use chemicals which is why I am trying to collect rain water.
Currently using very hard well water, no softener.
Understood...the problem with using rainwater is obvious, though...it doesn't always rain...and storage can be an issue, as well as the possibility of pollutants
 
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KMW1954

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Yes looking to collect directly and not as runoff. Then to keep bugs and garbage out.
 

AmyKieran

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paper strips can be inaccurate and unreliable, especially if aged.

I actually disagree with this, I think the consensus that test strips are awful is untrue. I do believe that they shouldn’t be a replacement for liquid test kits. But I think they give a pretty good ball park figure, not bad for a midweek/ between water change test. I’ve actually tested a few out of date ones too, to which show similar results to indate and even liquid tests. Buying a test strip pack and cutting them in half is a pretty cost efficient way of getting a roundabout idea of your water quality. But like I say, not a replacement for liquid tests
 

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