Got my old 55 gal up and running. Started cycling the weekend after Thanksgiving and it finished right before Christmas. I've had 5 platies in the tank and no luck finding fish or plants since Christmas. I'm surrounded by big pet chains and none of them have restocked since before Christmas. Ventured a little further yesterday but left the store after the fourth dead fish. I was getting a little frustrated and started searching online. It seems kinda silly to spend as much on shipping as I would on a handful of fish.
Today, my luck changed. It started with a plant RAOK win and then I finally found a LFS. Took a little bit of a drive and I was just hoping for a nice store that would be better than the big chains. Well, I was pleasantly suprised. Had a nice big cichlid tank at the front of the shop. They had a nice freshwater setup with lots of independent tanks. Tanks were a little low in stock but they still had a nice selection. Best of all, they had exactly what I was looking for. I picked up 8 Harlequin Rasboras and headed home. To top top off my good luck fish day, I found a platy fry while I was acclimating the rasboras! After seeing it get pinned to my filter intake, I netted the fry and placed it in a floating breeder with some fake plants to hide in. I love those rasboras. They are active and fast... and active... and fast... fastive? factive? So happy I stuck with them instead of switching to the Pristella or Serpae Tetras that tempted me.
I've tried plants in the past. On a 20 gal I was able to keep plants alive but they never really grew. In this tank's previous life, I couldn't keep plants alive at all. Pretty sure it was all due to poor lighting. I've upgraded my lights this time to a Beamswork DA FSPEC (see Amazon). From what I've read, PAR should be low 40s at the substrate which seems to be low-mid light level and won't require CO2. The fish look nice under the light and it's doing an excellent job with my diatom bloom. I'm pretty sure it was pearling earlier. Gotta get some plants in there.
1 Keep it simple
2 Low tech planted
3 Heavily stocked with non-aggressive community fish
4 Maybe a couple of schools (Fish will be influenced by the 1.5 and 3.5 year olds who think they run the house)
5 Learn how to take decent pictures
Lighting: 48" Beamswork DA FSPEC
Filter: Marineland Penguin 350
Heater: 200 W Aquatic Garden
Fish metabolic waste
No intention to run CO2
1/5/2019 Platies are happy but a little lonely and have nowhere to hide. Lovely Diatoms. Scratches on the glass mean this tank has experience!
1/6/2019 Platy fry! It's the little white teardrop to the right of the filter intake.
1/6/2019 Harlequin Rasboras in their new home. Platy fry safe from the filter and snack time.