Cycle went well, tank building nicely. Which fish next?

Maff

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In a nut shell, the fish in cycle went really well:-
Friday 15th Jan. 150 liter tank, established media filter added along with Evolution Aqua’s PURE Aquarium gel balls. Added 5 juvenile black ruby barbs.
Tank cycled quickly and within a week I'd gone through a couple of low spikes with increased feeding schedules but got it stable for four days solid with no spikes anywhere.
8 days later added 4 young guppies and only spike I had afterwards was 0.1PPM ammonia which has now long gone.
The young guppies are hanging around the top of the tank quite a lot only occasionally coming deep and the barbs are in the bottom third. Need something colourful for the centre of the tank which is quite tall at 55cm. At some point I was going to add either 2 gourami's or 2 rainbow fish but I've never kept either before so need advice.
My plans were to add neon tetras but my high PH has changed my plans (PH8), so now going for platties or swordtales to replace that particular idea.
The new total stock plan is thus -
5 black ruby barbs
4 guppies
4 platties or sword tales
2 centre piece fish gourami or rainbow fish
4 danios
4 corydoras.

That adds up to about 120 to 130cm of fish tops and I have about 135 liters after substrate and ornaments so I should be OK. Is there anything that might limit the presence of gourami's in the list as well as having a PH of 8?
The bacteria culture is coping with the ammonia tremendously well at the moment but the tank is looking quite empty due to a lot of juveniles in there. Should I put my centre piece fish in now or stick others on the list in there first? This will be 4 days after no spikes and normal feeding patterns resumed.
 

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What's the hardness of your tap water? In Pontefract, you should be with Yorkshire Water. If you are, enter your postcode here https://www.yorkshirewater.com/water-quality/check-your-water-hardness/ It will give your hardness in mg/l calcium. That unit is not used in fish keeping, so tell us the number and we'll covert into the units that are used.
It is better to keep fish which have our tap water hardness in their ranges - your high pH suggests hard water so guppies and platies/swordtails would do fine if it is hard, though many species of cory would be unhappy.
 
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Maff

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What's the hardness of your tap water? In Pontefract, you should be with Yorkshire Water. If you are, enter your postcode here https://www.yorkshirewater.com/water-quality/check-your-water-hardness/ It will give your hardness in mg/l calcium. That unit is not used in fish keeping, so tell us the number and we'll covert into the units that are used.
It is better to keep fish which have our tap water hardness in their ranges - your high pH suggests hard water so guppies and platies/swordtails would do fine if it is hard, though many species of cory would be unhappy.
9.6GH, 7.45KH
 
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Maff

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I used to keep fish before and we didn't know about GH and KH back then (32 years ago). My tap PH when I kept marine fish was 7.2 and Yorkshire water buffered it at that reading so shampoo worked properly. I had huge issues getting it to 8.3 for marine. No product on the shelf at the time would change it and I ended up with sea water which I filtered. Since then I'm on a different supply which is 7.4 out of the tap but once you've had air stones running 24 hours moves to 8 and stays there.
 

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That's right at the top end of soft, verging towards middling. It's too soft for platies or swordtails, and right at the lower limit for guppies. It's also too low for most rainbowfish, and most rainbows would be too big for 150 litres. Dwarf rainbows, Melanotaenia preacox, would be OK in your hardness and your tank. Rainowfish are also sholaing fish so you would need more than a couple of them.


If you choose the barbs or danios or cories, you need bigger groups that in your list. I would get around 10, but this means having fewer species.


Tanks cannot be stocked by the number of inches or cm of fish, there's a lot more to take into consideration - we've already looked at the hardness of the water, and the need of shoaling fish to be in a larger group. There's also swimming behaviour and compatibility. For example, danios are very fast swimming fish which would stress sedate fish like gouramis. And I'm not sure about the barbs with gouramis. We have members who keep these barbs and they would be best placed to suggest suitable tank mates, since you already have some.
 
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Maff

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I don't have GH or KH kits, someone on this forum converted it for me from Yorkshire water data. Here is the data.
Water hardness type: Slightly hard
Water hardness average: 54.3mg/l calcium
Water hardness conversion

54.3 mg/l as calcium = 9.5025 English (Clarke) degrees

Classification of water hardness​

The amount of hardness is sometimes expressed by descriptive words. The following table shows how these descriptions may be related to the numerical value of the hardness in common units.

Description​

Hardness in mg/l as calcium​

Hardness in mg/l as calcium carbonate​

Soft0 - 200 - 50
Moderately soft20 - 4050 - 100
Slightly hard40 - 60100 - 150
Moderately hard60 - 80150 - 200
Hard80 - 120200 - 300
Very Hardover 120over 300
(mg/l = milligrammes per litre = 1 part per million)
 
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Maff

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So in English clarke degrees do I have the following?
54.3 mg/l as calcium = 9.5025 English (Clarke) degrees
135.75 mg/l as calcium carbonate = 9.62 English (Clarke) degrees
 
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Maff

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From the annual report
low av high
Calcium 11.5 47.1 97.5
Magnesium 1.99 4.335 7.98
Total Hardness 14.9 54.32 111
 
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Maff

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So the platies and rainbow fish are out shall we say? Where do we go now? Rasboras?
Considered angels and got advised not to so they are out.
What am I left with for options as centre piece fish?
Corey's are out, where do I go for the bottom feeders? Small plecs?
 
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Maff

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I remember a time when we went to the LFS and bought platies, guppies, sharks, cardinals, neons and plecs because that's what was available at the time. You cycled fish in then added species one by one, 10 neons for a fiver, platies and guppies were 75p each, fair enough the guppies and platies had some attitude problems towards each other if you were breeding them but apart from that the tank seemed fine.
Now we have GH and KH which we'd never even heard of back then, we were running power heads with under gravel filters that did the job but had more maintenance.
Now its all doom and gloom, I wish I'd never gotten back into the damn hobby.
 
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Essjay

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First of all, ignore that table saying what levels are soft, hard etc. It is an established fact that water company words are always harder than we as fish keepers consider it.


The two units used in fishkeeping are dH, aka German degrees; and ppm, aka mg/l calcium carbonate. (Degrees Clark is not used, and neither is mg/l calcium)

Your 54.3 mg.l calcium = 7.6 dH and 136 ppm
In fishkeeping terms this is soft. Fish profiles will give the hardness range for species of fish in one or other of these two units.

It is too soft for platies and swordtails (their minimum is 10 dH), and a bit too soft for guppies. It is also too soft for most species of rainbowfish, though there are a couple that would be OK.
That leaves the rainbows dwarf rainbowfish (Melanotaeinia praecox) and featherfin rainbows (Iriatherina werneri) as possibilities. These are both shoaling fish, so at least 6 or more of them


Black ruby barbs, danios and cories are also possible, but at least 6, preferably 10 of each species.
Gouramis are also possible but I wouldn't mix gouramis with danios as their swimming behaviour is so different; and gouramis and barbs may not mix well. If you choose gouramis, bear in mind that dwarf gouramis are often infected with one or both of two incurable diseases by the time they arrive at the shop; and that all the colour variants of 3 spot gourami can be aggressive fish. For 150 litres, that leaves honey gouramis and pearl gouramis depending on how long the tank is (pearl gouramis, being bigger fish, need a longer tank than honeys)

If you want centrepiece fish, gouramis are better than rainbowfish as gouramis can be kept as a pair/trio whole rainbows are shoaling fish.


Since you already have the barbs and guppies, the first thing to do is get a few more barbs. This website is just about the best there is for fish profiles and you'll read that they recommend 6 to 10 of them.
I would not get more guppies, though. if you have mixed males and females, there will be fry and if there are lots of places for them to hide, you'll soon have a few more.

Cories are fine in this tank size and water - but they do better on sand or maybe smooth rounded gravel. They do not do well on sharp angular gravel. If you go for one of the dwarf species, they need to be in a group of at least 10; the larger species are OK with 6 but more is better. Although it's better to keep just one species of cory, you can mix species but there must be at least 3 of each species in the mix.
Danios are also fine in a group of at least 6, again with more being better. But if you get danios, I would not get any gouramis. Danios are fast swimming fish while gouramis are sedate fish, and the two don't go well together.



So apart from the livebearers, and most rainbowfish, most of the fish on your list are OK in your tank and water. It's really just the numbers in your list that need to be increased.
 

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