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Old 12-08-2009, 02:09 AM   #1
Kittysnax
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Returning N00blet


I have been out of the fish hobby for ohh....6/7 years now. I used to have a 500 gal saltwater reef tank (yes I said 500, not 50) and a 90 Gallon Tall african Cichlid tank that was the headboard for my bed when I was a teenager (6/7 Years ago). Those tanks are now sittin in my parents shed, and since we moved back in with them, I have limited space.

My husband has finally agreed that we go look for a new aquarium on Friday and I will probably return home with a 20-30Gallon Aquarium. I want to try my hand at plants, but I also would like to have some fish as well. I used to breed Cichlids(like they were hard, right? LOL) and almost every live bearer known to mankind. The hardest thing I was successful with was a pair of yellow banded maroon clownfish that I had in my saltwater tank. I would like to try my hand at angelfish, but I have a feeling 30 gallons would just be too small for them. Id kinda like to be able to turn a couplea bucks while enjoying my fish, like I used to. Them having babies would just be a super plus. So any nice easily-bred community fish would be nice to know about! (Dont suggest a live bearer please, I dont really want them again lol!)

My green thumb hasnt always been shiney...I think the best plant I ever grew was typical standard anacharis. So I am kinda lookin for a hardy plant. Lighting will have to come later, like...probably around Springtime cause the T8 lamps I have in the shed are too big and I dont feel like mounting them to the ceiling in this room lol! That said, I dont know much about plant care and the stuff I DID know, I kinda forgot...especially freshwater-wise.

So I guess I'm just lookin for nice mesh-ideas. What would be a good mix of plants and fish for a 20-30 gallon tank? Because I just cant seem to make up my mind! 0_o I'd plan to have a few 'tester" fish in it in maybe a week or so and then just slowly and gradually adding a couple of things every 1-3 weeks. ANY suggestions are welcome! <3 Kitteh

New Questions:
12/8/09
What are some good substrate choices as far as low/medium light plants? I prefer to NOT use topsoil.
What is the hardiest brand of C02 injectors available for a decent price?
Would a Over-the-back power filter be alright, or should I dump some extra $$ into a canister?
I must admit I have never used a canister filter before, are they messy, hard to clean, and easy to fix?
What is the standard Plant Bulb being used nowadays? Can it be attained at a petco/smart?

Last edited by Kittysnax; 12-09-2009 at 01:25 AM.. Reason: Dated/Colored new questions.
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Old 12-08-2009, 02:13 AM   #2
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Welcome to TPT!

A 20-30gal tank would be perfect for a pair of Rams. And if you liked African cichlids, you'll love Rams . Huge cichlid personalities in tiny colorful packages!

A pair of Kribs also would work.

Plant selection depends largely on your lighting and CO2 setup. If you want a very low maintenance tank, stick with low light/low tech. If you want to be able to keep a wider plant variety, then mid-to-high light and you'll need to use CO2.
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Old 12-08-2009, 02:27 AM   #3
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I completely forgot about kribs ;3 I might have to go with them, considering I wont have room for Electric Blue HapAhlis(?) again :<

I just cant get away from the darn angelfish I'm seeing around now. There are even some new species of Dwarf Shrimps poppin up that are reelin me in! :<
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Old 12-08-2009, 04:50 AM   #4
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Oh careful about shrimp, they're totally addictive!

Only thing is, dwarf shrimp and cichlids usually aren't a great combo. Unless you like feeding expensive snacks...

Apistos would be yet another option...
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Old 12-08-2009, 04:40 PM   #5
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lol i know! My old HapAhlis picked and ate a pleco I had to death (4inches!) so I know thats a bad idea! lol! I was really kinda interested int he yellow shrimp, the Crystal reds(c/d grade...I like the transculent parts heh), blue tigers, and cherries...I guess I could throw some cherries in the 5 gallon I have currently, but Id kinda like to have some sort of live plant in there for them.

5 gallon: Marineland Hex 5
Lighting: AquaCulture 15w Aquarium Plant Growth Blub. (Incandescent = L.O.L)
Temp: I would predict around 76-82 (My thermometer is MIA, and my heater doesnt have presets)
Filtration: Typical Marineland Biowheel that was built for the tank.
Aeriation: Just a VERY old (10/15yr) air pump that I added cause the water looked "too calm"
2 Plastic plants
Fiji-Mixed gravel. Nothing special.
1 CTM Betta

I would kinda like to have 5 or so shrimp but Im hesitant due to the fact it is such a small tank and I do worry about bio-shock. Would a java fern or somthing do okay in those settings? Shrimp or not, I like plants ;3

**I highlight my general questions case I tend to ramble lol!
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Old 12-08-2009, 07:21 PM   #6
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I think you should breed betta
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Old 12-08-2009, 07:57 PM   #7
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I think Java ferns would be a great choice for that 5gal. I'd probably go with Amano shrimp rather than the smaller shrimp to reduce the risk of becoming Betta snacks, though.
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:03 PM   #8
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Laura,
I read in another thread that you use Flourite Black and Onyx sand for your substrate. Do you put 1" of one then top with 1" of the other, or can/do you mix it all together? I dont like the idea of using the potting soil as another poster stated just seems...messy and bleh lol.
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:13 PM   #9
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If you're going to layer substrate, IMO in most cases you might as well mix it together right from the start, since it will get mixed over time and this way you have a more "uniform" look LOL

I've never mixed Flourite black and Onyx sand together. The Flourite is definitely black, but Onyx sand is grey. I do have Onyx sand mixed with black ColorQuartz in my 10gal, and the look is fine with me...

The main reasons I mix substrates is either to cut costs (especially for big tanks), add something special to boost nutrient content (I do sometimes add a super thin layer of peat since my well water is liquid rock), or just b/c I have it on hand and want to use it up LOL
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Old 12-09-2009, 01:05 AM   #10
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I just ran a quickstrip on our tap water:

0 Nitrate and Nitrite
75 hardness
0 cholrine
120 Alk
7.8 Ph

That is tap water from good ol Baytown Tx.....crazy high PH 0_0
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Old 12-09-2009, 02:33 AM   #11
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Yeah, you guys are on a limestone aquifer, too. I can relate LOL
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