Currently in the Nitrites Spike phase of the cycle. Ammonia is near zero the last 2 days (between the 0-.25 API color reading) and nitrates is steadily rising. I dosed ammonia to .5 and 1 ppm, respectively to keep the ammonia bacteria alive. Nitrates is up to 40 ppm this morning. We are out for some family fun tonight, so I will do a water change tomorrow morning to dilute the Nitrites/Nitrates. I am hoping the cycle will complete, so we can get fish next weekend. I am like a kid in a candy shop right now, so tamping that excitement down a little.
I am weighing my stocking options now. I have a post in the fish forum where I floated my initial ideas.
Not sure about the cross-posting etiquette at this forum. Do people prefer to link over to other threads or is it better to just post the details inline?
Here is the thread:
And, here are my initial stocking thoughts along with a summary of modifications I am making based on advice offered:
My TEEN is actually interested, so I want to incorporate his input. He requested swordtails and kuhli loaches.
I want a community tank with some color.
I have never kept Gouramis and this fish will be the "showcase" fish for this tank.
Initial Stocking Plan:
5 x Cherry Barb (Puntius titteya)
5 x Kuhli Loach (Pangio kuhlii)
3 x Blue Gourami (Trichogaster trichopterus)
10 x Neon Tetra (Paracheirodon innesi)
4 x Panda Cory (Corydoras panda)
1 x Swordtail [Male] (Xiphophorus hellerii)
3 x Swordtail [Female] (Xiphophorus hellerii)
6 x Leopard Danio (Danio rerio)
I do not want to overstock. Using AquaAdvisor to do some validation.
Modifications (based on feedback);
Swap out danios for another to swimmer option due to temperature mismatch. Looking for ideas. Bloodfin Tetras?
Increase neon numbers (12?)
Increase cory numbers (6-8)?
Not fully set on the best gouramis to add, but still like them as centerpiece fish; current plan is 1 male and 2 females, but quantity and mix will change based on the type.
First fish will probably be swordtails and cherry barbs. I am monitoring the swordtail feedback on that thread, but will need to make up my mind soon on that one.
Loach and cory additions are planned down the road. I had hoped the plant carpet might offset the potential substrate issue. I have planned to leave the front of the tank open (free of plants and hardscape) to maximize viewing. Will look into adding some sort of black sand in that area before stocking these fish. My substrate isn't super deep, so rather than remove what I have I may just Move it around to support a good-sized sandy section on the left center part of the tank.
Nothing is set in stone--just enjoying the planning stage for now and gathering information.