Newbie!

Hotchoccie

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Hi all!

I'm a newbie to all of this but loving it so far!

I have a 252 litre freshwater tank (66ish US gallons?)

It's fully cycled and has been up and running for about 3 months now.

As of this morning -
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - 20
Temp - 24 degrees celsius

I currently have in my tank... 6 different live plants, 3 moss balls, lots of wood, a few big stones and some fake plants/cave too (started out with these but will eventually probably just move to all real plants)...

I also have -
7 platys
7 zebra danio
4 adf
4 amano shrimp
2 bamboo shrimp
2 african fan shrimp
2 clown plec

Is my tank overstocked? - it looks quite bare still but I don't want to add anything else if it's going to cause any problems!?

I feel like I only ever really see the frogs, platys and danios and everything else seems to hide!

Ideally I'd love some hillstream loaches and maybe another small community of fish to swim around?

Thank you so much for any advice/constructive criticism! :)

(I know the water doesn't look great - I did a 20% water change yesterday and have been doing these weekly... I think it's mainly tannins causing the colour!?)
 

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Hello to you from across the pond. Welcome to the forum. You'll find all you need to know about the water keeping hobby right here. You have a larger tank and that's a good thing. The larger the tank, the better your chances of success. Water changes should be large and frequent to remove dissolving fish waste and replace nutrients the fish and plants use. I've been in the habit of removing and replacing half the tank water every few days. If you're not yet at this point in the water changing process, you really need to be. I suggest changing a little more water every time you perform a water change until you reach 50 percent at least weekly.

Have fun!

10
 
What are the tank dimensions (length x width x height)?

What is the GH (general hardness), KH (carbonate hardness) and pH of your water supply?
This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website (Water Analysis Report) or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).

Depending on what the GH of your water is, will determine what fish you should keep.

Angelfish, discus, most tetras, most barbs, Bettas, gouramis, rasbora, Corydoras and small species of suckermouth catfish all occur in soft water (GH below 150ppm) and a pH below 7.0.

Livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies), rainbowfish and goldfish occur in medium hard water with a GH around 200-250ppm and a pH above 7.0.

If you have very hard water (GH above 300ppm) then look at African Rift Lake cichlids, or use distilled or reverse osmosis water to reduce the GH and keep fishes from softer water.
 
Hello to you from across the pond. Welcome to the forum. You'll find all you need to know about the water keeping hobby right here. You have a larger tank and that's a good thing. The larger the tank, the better your chances of success. Water changes should be large and frequent to remove dissolving fish waste and replace nutrients the fish and plants use. I've been in the habit of removing and replacing half the tank water every few days. If you're not yet at this point in the water changing process, you really need to be. I suggest changing a little more water every time you perform a water change until you reach 50 percent at least weekly.

Have fun!

10
Hello!

Thanks so much for your message and advice :)

Oh wow - 50% every few days?! My LFS told me 20% weekly 😶 I'll up my water changes then - thanks!
 
What are the tank dimensions (length x width x height)?

What is the GH (general hardness), KH (carbonate hardness) and pH of your water supply?
This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website (Water Analysis Report) or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).

Depending on what the GH of your water is, will determine what fish you should keep.

Angelfish, discus, most tetras, most barbs, Bettas, gouramis, rasbora, Corydoras and small species of suckermouth catfish all occur in soft water (GH below 150ppm) and a pH below 7.0.

Livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies), rainbowfish and goldfish occur in medium hard water with a GH around 200-250ppm and a pH above 7.0.

If you have very hard water (GH above 300ppm) then look at African Rift Lake cichlids, or use distilled or reverse osmosis water to reduce the GH and keep fishes from softer water.
Hello,

Thanks for the reply!

Dimensions - 105cm x 40cm x 60cm

I live in a hard water area and when measuring the water in my tank, it is - GH 200, KH around 200, PH 8 (high I know)

With the fish etc I already have, I'm pretty sure I can only have smallish community fish etc in the tank? I love angelfish but my water isn't right for them and I don't think they would mix sadly...

Thanks again! :)
 
Hello!

Thanks so much for your message and advice :)

Oh wow - 50% every few days?! My LFS told me 20% weekly 😶 I'll up my water changes then - thanks!
Most folks perform 20-50% weekly depending on how heavily the tank is stocked.
 
My LFS told me 20% weekly
Never ever believe anything a LFS says until you have checked it yourself. Most are trained in how to make a sale and how to make things up to get a sale. Especially important is suitable fish. Always research before choosing fish - the website Seriously Fish is the best place to start research.
 
Never ever believe anything a LFS says until you have checked it yourself. Most are trained in how to make a sale and how to make things up to get a sale. Especially important is suitable fish. Always research before choosing fish - the website Seriously Fish is the best place to start research.
Thank you - I feel like between working and looking after my 6 year old daughter and my 6 month old son, all I do research all things fish/general aquarium related 😅 I feel both pretty clued up on things and also completely overwhelmed and clueless at the same time. I'll check out seriously fish - thank you!
I think the problem I find is, there is sooooo much conflicting info on the Internet and everyone seems to have completely different opinions and ideas on literally everything, so I find it hard to know what to believe!
 
We have a sticky written by one of our experts (who has now sadly passed away) which explains why water changes are important.


The trouble with the internet is that anyone can set up a website and sound like an expert with no actual knowledge. On a forum like this, there are enough members to correct poor information; and there are some reliable websites like Seriously Fish which are written by experts. Seriously Fish is the go-to site for most of us on this forum. And there are a few other good sites for specialist areas such as catfish, corydoras, loaches etc.
 
We have a sticky written by one of our experts (who has now sadly passed away) which explains why water changes are important.


The trouble with the internet is that anyone can set up a website and sound like an expert with no actual knowledge. On a forum like this, there are enough members to correct poor information; and there are some reliable websites like Seriously Fish which are written by experts. Seriously Fish is the go-to site for most of us on this forum. And there are a few other good sites for specialist areas such as catfish, corydoras, loaches etc.
Thanks so much! I will stick with this site and seriously fish for my research from now on :)
 
Welcome to TFF...:hi:
It's for sure not overstocked yet...
 
If you have any female platies they could populate your tank with their offspring!
Your water is a little hard for the hillstream loaches. They also require fast moving water that is slightly cooler, and sand.
For your small midwater fish you might consider a group of endler's livebearers or a 10-20 shoal of pristella (x-ray) tetra.
 

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