What would light stocking look like for a 30 gallon? - The Planted Tank Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-06-2016, 09:08 PM Thread Starter
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What would light stocking look like for a 30 gallon?

I set up a 30 gallon (36"x12"x16") Walstad inspired tank a couple of months ago, and am waiting for plants to grow in prior to adding fish. I run a powerhead when the lights are on, and added some fast growing stems to get the tank going; there is some hitch hiker duckweed too. Valisneria (Italian val I think), java ferns, and various crypts (mostly melted atm) are also in the tank, and pennywort is staring to emerge from the water. I don't have a filter on the tank; may add a sponge filter on the powerhead, but am interested in trying a "filterless" system with a heavily planted tank (thus letting plants mature prior to adding livestock). I am using tap water, high pH and high total hardness.


I know I need to stock lightly if I try the filterless method, but what is "light" stocking for this system? I was thinking a trio of female bettas, or maybe a trio of platties or swords (don't want fry though), or trio of pseudomugil rainbows, or pair of dwarf cichlids, or a pearl gourami?


My primary interest with this tank is trying out plants in a low tech dirted tank; fish are secondary, but I will want a few eventually.
Thoughts on what light stocking might look like and ideas would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-06-2016, 09:32 PM
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Of the fish you mentioned, the live bearers are the least sensitive to cycling.
I'd just buy males if you don't want babies. I keep all my males and females separately.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-06-2016, 09:54 PM
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Female Bettas are very hardy fish. I've kept them for many years. They are aggressive, so keeping them may limit your choice of other fish you may want to keep in the future. I've kept dwarf Gouramis, female bettas, otos, corys, white cloud mt. minnows all in the same 29g without issue. Bettas like to sit still on leaves and the like, so having some active minnows gives more interest to the tank. Neons have nipped at their tails, so I quit them. With an abundance of healthy plants you should be fine with the minnows, as they are a little less hardy to ammonias. Once established, you could add otos and corys. But getting food to them that the Bettas don't snag is the only problem. Bettas are pigs, and will eat anything up quickly. The minnows are fast enough to get in there. I feed my otos and corys at night/lights out, algae wafers. Every week the otos get zuchini. Seems to keep them fat and happy.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses; I appreciate it. I had thought about male only live bearers, or some kind of natural fry predator (not sure what would work well in this system). I wasn't sure about ottos and cories in terms of pH/hardness; figured I'd see how stable the tank is in 3-6 months; would that be a long enough "run in" most likely? I know these two fish are more sensitive, and I haven't kept them before. In terms of getting food to bottom dwellers, in the past I have used plastic pipettes and in a pinch, the turkey baster.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 01:44 AM
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Turkey baster! Never thought of that. What a great idea! I'm going to give it a try. I believe I was remiss in your 'light stocking' question, however. In the case of a Betta tank: 1 dwarf Gourami, 7 female bettas, 6 mountain minnows, 3-5 corys, 3-5 otos may not be considered 'light stocking', in a filterless, heavily planted tank. I think just 3 female bettas may cause more aggression/in fighting. 7 seems to be a good number for these aggressive fish. But this many fish works in my 29g filterless.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 03-07-2016, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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A word of advice if you try the turkey baster method: if there are other kitchen users in your household, it is adviseable to have a designated fish tank turkey baster to preserve domestic harmony.

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Originally Posted by AWolf View Post
I believe I was remiss in your 'light stocking' question, however. In the case of a Betta tank: 1 dwarf Gourami, 7 female bettas, 6 mountain minnows, 3-5 corys, 3-5 otos may not be considered 'light stocking', in a filterless, heavily planted tank. I think just 3 female bettas may cause more aggression/in fighting. 7 seems to be a good number for these aggressive fish. But this many fish works in my 29g filterless.

Interesting. I was assuming I could only have 3-5 beta sized fish total, maybe up to 8 if I added the sponge filter and the plants were doing really well. Maybe I was thinking ultralight stocking.

Last edited by Darkblade48; 03-07-2016 at 12:56 PM. Reason: Please use the edit function for back to back posts to keep threads cleaner
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