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foxgirl158

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I just learned about a fish expo/swap near me that I hope to be going to. I am not currently looking for any more fish, however I do want to redo my tank soon. I want a more natural look, as at the moment it is all plastic. I would like some opinions and advice on what would be the best substrate, plants, and decor based on my tank size, pH and water hardness, and current fish.

Tank size: 30g bowfront
pH and water hardness: pH is 8. I am having trouble finding my exact water hardness online. I will do more digging when I have a chance. I believe that it is on the hard end.
Current occupants: One half dollar sized nerite snail, 4 female platies, one small, stunted fancy goldfish. (Yes, I know the tank is rather small for him but he is not going to grow anymore and I do not have a pond, please don’t yell at me.)

It currently has a whisper 50 HOB filter and a heater. I’m not sure what the brand or wattage is. I need to test it because I think it might be going out. If it is, I’ll get a new one.

The current appearance of the tank is really gross and tacky. It has black gravel mixed with neon gravel, with one large bright blue plant and several smaller fake plants that look somewhat realistic. It also has a barrel cave with a bubbler, which I don’t mind terribly and will probably keep when I change it out. I should mention that I got this tank secondhand and didn’t buy any of the stuff separately except for the barrel.

I’m unsure what I want the final layout and design of the tank to look like, all I know is I want to fix it from what it is now. I do know that I would like small/medium rocks for the substrate, with some larger river rocks and possibly some driftwood depending on how much of a headache it might be. I have no clue on what plants I want, but this will be my first foray into plant keeping so some hardy plants would be better.

Picture is of my tank a couple of months ago. Nothing has changed except I lost one platy due to an internal parasite and added three others a month or two later.

Suggestions?

8CC579B1-E38C-4261-B311-B26225F1809A.jpeg
 

NannaLou

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Google ‘images’ of fish tanks to get an idea of what sort of layout/look you like and then work from there to make a shopping list.

I like this website
https://www.aquaessentials.co.uk/cr...Path=255_447&zenid=mgrm7ij10fkjb43rpr89b63k30 as it gives a simple guide to placement/light needs etc.

This site


Also has good plant information and an ‘Inspiration’ section where you can add a tank size etc. and it will show you layouts .
 
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foxgirl158

foxgirl158

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Anything organic. Driftwood, plants, almond leaves etc. Reduce your water changes down to 25%.
Alright sounds good. I’m looking at redoing my tank and adding plants and driftwood, any suggestions? More details in my main post.
 

OliveFish05

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You could look for a natural river pebble/gravel with some larger sized river stones. Sand would be an option. I would avoid anything smaller grained than pool filter sand, goldfish forage around the bottom of the tank, rooting around for food. If the sand is super fine, they’ll ingest it.

For driftwood, it depends if you want a branchy look or a chunky look. Manzanita is a great choice if you want a branch, Malaysian is very nice of you want a chunk. Every piece of driftwood has its own little details that give it character, find one that you love! If your goldfish has a tendency to run into things or get stuck places, a chunk of driftwood may be better than a branch that may take up more space…

It looks like you’ve got very low lighting on the tank? Some options would be Java moss, Java fern, or anubias. Those would have to be stuck to larger rocks and driftwood of course… if you wanted something rooted, some options would be hornwort, anacharis, maybe pennywort, maybe ambulia. These are all rather fast growing. You could also give amazon swords a try, if you are comfortable with how big they are capable of getting. They can get absolutely massive, I had some that got 14 inches tall personally, though others have had their grow MUCH larger. It does take time of course. If you got better lighting (I am happy to link a very affordable brand), you could consider more options much more easily.
 

GaryE

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pH of eight is too high for freshwater fish. The pH needs to be closer to seven
Don't mess with pH - this info is wrong. Platies will thrive at 8, as will most livebearers and your snail. The high pH will generally reflect hard water.

I've tested water where platies and mollies come from - absolute freshwater in Belize, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico. The general pH was around 7.8 and 7.9. So relax. Tannins won't do it - just stick to hardwater fish.

This is a bit subjective as a thread. Choose a substrate that pleases you. @OliveFish05 has nailed the plant choices, as long as the goldies doesn't eat the floaters. Java ferns are tough, as are most Anubias, and they stay off the dinner plate. I would consider Vallisneria, though it can end up as salad. It's cheap, and if it survives the goldie, it can be used to draw the focus where you want. Consider an inverted V. Open end facing out. If you arrange the rocks, driftwood and plants so the narrow V at the back is slightly off centre, the eye will go to that point. If you do some drawings and play with it a bit, you can make a tank look bigger, smaller, etc. You may want to draw things away from the edge because the bowfront distorts.
 

Rocky998

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I agree with @GaryE. Don't attempt changing the PH. It will do more harm than good. As it is a higher PH is good for these fish because they come from harder waters anyway. But even if they didn't it would still be ok because if you make the PH swing from high to low, the fish may go into a PH shock and die. This is why a stable PH is better than a fluctuating one. I have soft water with high ph of 8.1 and keep fish that do well at a 7.0-7.5 but they are breeding in my aquarium. So your fish will be perfectly fine with the PH.

I also agree with @OliveFish05 on the Java ferns and anubias! I have them in my tank and they went through a cycling tank with 3ppm ammonia (no fish of course) and not one leaf turned brown.
 

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