Planting help and stock levels in a 60L tank

LCFC_Rallsie

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Hi everyone,

Much help needed - so thanks for any input!

I had a tank many years ago and seems lots has moved in and I have forgotten the rest (!)

I am planning to set up a tropical 60L (c. 16 US / 13 imperial Gallons) tank, measuring c. 40 (w) x 40 (l) x 45 (h)cm (c. 16 x 16 x 18”)

I was planning on cycling the tank before adding fish, it’s for my sons birthday (April) so would ideally like it ready to add fish at that point.

Do I cycle the tank to correct levels, then add plants (suppose it’s what plants you add!) or, go straight in with planting?

Planting

I would like to have some live plants and would welcome your advice? Photos below of what I think the set up will be... again, if I should change anything - let me know?

Photos

Sorry for the dodgy mock up! This is the rough size marked out - the height is the paper at the back so have quite a lot at the top.

1762C157-3160-4374-83D0-B9121D603D93.jpeg

9FAEFAD5-8239-4981-A2CD-245281C29BD6.jpeg
3645139A-3186-4434-AF7D-250E9C7F0C27.jpeg
0A50CEC4-1B90-4F71-9436-8C6211B71F98.jpeg


I have:

• ‘Blue Dragon’ - Seriyu Stone
• Red Moor roots
• Crimson sea fan (*fake* sorry! Can always remove!)

Was hoping to attach planting with some Ada Riccia line I have?

Stock Levels

Appreciate I will use up some capacity with the decorative items, but was thinking (sorry if this is way over limits / under recommended group size)

• 5 x Cardinal Tetra
• 2 x Dwarf Gourami (x1 male x1 female? - or x2 male ok?)

3 x Otocinlus Catfish
•2/3 x Cherry shrimp

Reading on here this may be too much...

Wanted some top and middle swimmers with something to help with cleanup.

Thanks again!
 
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Essjay

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There are two ways you can cycle a tank, depending on just how many plants you intend.
If there are a lot of fast growing plants, you can do a silent cycle. We don't have a sticky for that yet, but this is a work in progress and will be a sticky soon.

If you only want a few plants it is better to do a fishless cycle, then plant the plants after it is complete. This is the method we recommend on here.


You will have time to finalise the fish during cycling, whichever method you decide on. The first thing we need to ask is - how hard is your water? The fish you mention are soft water fish. I know large parts of south east England have hard water, though Surrey might be different. Can I suggest you look on your water company's website for hardness. You need a number and the unit of measurement (there are several they could use). Ignore any words as UK water companies make the water sound harder than fish keepers consider it.

Your tank is an unusual shape, being 40 (w) x 40 (l) x 45 (h)cm (c. 16 x 16 x 18”). It does not have much swimming length which will restrict the fish you can keep. Most tetras, for example, need 60 cm/24 inches swimming length, but there are fish that will be OK in this tank.

The fish you mention:
Cardinal tetras do need a longer tank, I'm afraid, but soft water fish that would be OK include ember tetras and chili rasbora - in a group of at least 10.
Dwarf gouramis are usually infected by one or both of two incurable diseases by the time they arrive at the shop. Honey gouramis (1 male and 1 female) would be a better choice - IF you have soft water.
Otocinclus are also shoaling fish which need a group of at least 6. The problen with these fish is that many of them will eat nothing but certain types of algae and unless your tank can grow enough of the right type they starve. But again these are soft water fish.
Cherry shrimps are fine on both soft and hard water. I would get half a dozen, and a mix of males and females.



But the first thing is your hardness. If you have hard water, I have to tell you that you'll need to rethink the fish selection. But there are hard water fish that would work fine in this tank - endlers (males only), or one of the Pseudomugil rainbowfish spring to mind.
 
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LCFC_Rallsie

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There are two ways you can cycle a tank, depending on just how many plants you intend.
If there are a lot of fast growing plants, you can do a silent cycle. We don't have a sticky for that yet, but this is a work in progress and will be a sticky soon.

If you only want a few plants it is better to do a fishless cycle, then plant the plants after it is complete. This is the method we recommend on here.


You will have time to finalise the fish during cycling, whichever method you decide on. The first thing we need to ask is - how hard is your water? The fish you mention are soft water fish. I know large parts of south east England have hard water, though Surrey might be different. Can I suggest you look on your water company's website for hardness. You need a number and the unit of measurement (there are several they could use). Ignore any words as UK water companies make the water sound harder than fish keepers consider it.

Your tank is an unusual shape, being 40 (w) x 40 (l) x 45 (h)cm (c. 16 x 16 x 18”). It does not have much swimming length which will restrict the fish you can keep. Most tetras, for example, need 60 cm/24 inches swimming length, but there are fish that will be OK in this tank.

The fish you mention:
Cardinal tetras do need a longer tank, I'm afraid, but soft water fish that would be OK include ember tetras and chili rasbora - in a group of at least 10.
Dwarf gouramis are usually infected by one or both of two incurable diseases by the time they arrive at the shop. Honey gouramis (1 male and 1 female) would be a better choice - IF you have soft water.
Otocinclus are also shoaling fish which need a group of at least 6. The problen with these fish is that many of them will eat nothing but certain types of algae and unless your tank can grow enough of the right type they starve. But again these are soft water fish.
Cherry shrimps are fine on both soft and hard water. I would get half a dozen, and a mix of males and females.



But the first thing is your hardness. If you have hard water, I have to tell you that you'll need to rethink the fish selection. But there are hard water fish that would work fine in this tank - endlers (males only), or one of the Pseudomugil rainbowfish spring to mind.
Hello!

Thanks so much for this.

I will cycle the tank then and add in the plants later as have the time to do so.

Was only planning on some Java moss / fern and not too heavily planed, so will follow your guide - thank you.

It looks like I could be scuppered with the hard water - indeed we have hard water (table below which doesn’t make much sense to me !)

FD76985C-C8C7-4946-B820-654433AD6372.jpeg


Using an API test kit it is colouring blue between 120/180 GH ppl (mg/L)

I don’t know what livestock maybe compatible in this case (and how the local stockist keep their fish?!)

I can see you can lower hardness, but looks pricey and very time consuming !

thanks for your input - gratefully recieved
 

Essjay

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I did say there were several units they could use ;)

Fish keeping uses just two units; fish profiles will give the species' hardness range in one or the other. The two we use are ppm, also called mg/l calcium carbonate; and dH or dGH, also called German degrees. Your table gives both of these units so all you need to remember is:
dH = 12.32
ppm = 220.

Some so called soft water species will be OK in this, but not many.

While you are cycling, can I refer you to https://www.seriouslyfish.com/knowledge-base/ This is the most reliable fish database, and the profiles will tell you just about everything you need to know, from water requirements and temperature to minimum tank size, suggested tank mates (and those to avoid) and any quirks the fish might have.
 
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LCFC_Rallsie

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Thank you very much - will take a look on there!
I just want to get it right from the outset, luckily - time is not pressing so can set it up right (hopefully!!)
 

ClownLurch

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Welcome. Essjay is right to point you in the direction of seriouslyfish.com it’s an excellent science backed treasure trove of essential info that’s accessible while shopping for fish to avoid any disastrous rash purchases.
I returned to fishkeeping myself after 20+ yrs last year and you’re right the new thinking was mind blowing but this lot and seriously fish.com got me through.
To the extent that MrsLurch now also has a similar sized tank to yours with seven distinctive colourful male endlers collectively known as The Magnificent Seven. They’re crackin little fish that we’d highly recommend for kids as they’re all identifiable as individuals thus easily named.
Have fun.
 

itiwhetu

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I would remove the large flat stones at the front to make more room for plants, you really only want about 25% of the base covered with rocks or drift wood, the rest of the space is for plant.
 
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LCFC_Rallsie

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Welcome. Essjay is right to point you in the direction of seriouslyfish.com it’s an excellent science backed treasure trove of essential info that’s accessible while shopping for fish to avoid any disastrous rash purchases.
I returned to fishkeeping myself after 20+ yrs last year and you’re right the new thinking was mind blowing but this lot and seriously fish.com got me through.
To the extent that MrsLurch now also has a similar sized tank to yours with seven distinctive colourful male endlers collectively known as The Magnificent Seven. They’re crackin little fish that we’d highly recommend for kids as they’re all identifiable as individuals thus easily named.
Have fun.
Thanks for the advice - they look great and may well do the trick. Especially as identifiable as you say. Thanks again!
 

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