Fish advice? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-16-2020, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Fish advice?

Hey all! I've been lurking for a while and have taken lots of advice. My tank is thriving, and I'm pretty obsessed with it. I've been trying to be patient and only move when I should, so I'm trying to stay grounded. That being said, I'm looking for the next step.

I'd like to get some fish soon. My tank is 20 gallons and (as far as know from what I've read) is cycled. The parameters are:

PH: 8.2
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10
Kh: 8
Gh: 11

My stock is:

1 Nerite
4 Amano
3 Amazon Swords
1 Water Wisteria
Java moss carpeting

I have two HOB filters.

Fluval Aquaclear 30
Sponge
Fluval Biomax
Seachem Purigen

Fluval Aquaclear 50
Sponge
Seachem Matrix
Filter floss

I have a Fluval Aquasky lighting it, and I keep it low/medium for 6 hours a day due to a diatom bloom that is almost gone!

That all being said, I would like some guppies to add to the tank. If not those, what might you recommend? I'm super open to learning as this hobby is super interesting. I want some fish, but I want to make sure I get the right fish for what I've set up. What are your thoughts?

Also, please feel free to give me any advice on my current set up.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-16-2020, 11:39 PM
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Sounds nice. Post some pics! Guppies are great. Best advice is to pick fish you like and stock your tank as gradually as possible. And have fun!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2020, 12:09 AM
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Is this a 20g long or 20g high?

I think 3 amazon swords will eventually be way too much for a 20g tank (either long or high). They grow very, very large and have a large root structure. I had just one in a 26g bow front tank years ago and when I tore it down to upgrade, the roots on that thing covered just about the entire footprint. Should you decide to add some different plants, take a look at some crypts like crypt wendtii green or bronze. If you have any hardscape in the tank - rocks or wood - you could also look at some anubias or java fern to attach to that.

Guppies are nice fish, colorful, active, not shy. If you have both sexes, though, you could be overrun in time. Maybe consider a male only tank or have some idea where all the fry will go eventually.

What type of substrate do you have? You could consider some cories in addition to the guppies, although your PH is a little high. Do some research on that. It could be that they can be acclimated to that level.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2020, 01:13 AM
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This is a common mistake. We should be designing and building ecosystems for the fish we plan to stock amd not build something that looks neat and throw some fish in it. This is backwards. At this point my only advice is to either figure out how to lower your PH to open up options for livestock or find livestock that you like in that PH. Also, use a product called Microbacter to help minimize any minicycling. Good luck!

This isn't rocket surgery
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2020, 01:35 AM
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Yep, thatís some pretty hard water. Does it come out of tap that way? Iíd start cutting change water with a gallon of distilled to get it down a bit to 7.6-7.8PH and GH 8-9.

Definitely no softwater fish like most tetra, gourami, betta etc.

Glowlight Danio would be a good one.


Celebes Rainbow also.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2020, 01:53 AM
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I don't particularly think there is any mistake here - no mention was made of a strong desire to have fish that prefer lower pHs! That said, it's good to be aware that 8.2 is quite high, so it's something to bear in mind when choosing what fish to keep.

SeriouslyFish is a great resource for this kind of information - https://www.seriouslyfish.com/specie...ia-reticulata/ - and guppies will definitely be okay with that pH!
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2020, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice!

Sorry, I know I've been making mistakes as I've been learning, but I'm making it so far and my ecosystem as it stands has been thriving. I've definitely got a lot to learn still as I'm far from a professional.

I'm using the fluval stratum substrate and the tank is a 20 gallon long.

Appreciate the thought about the Swords. I've been thinking about taking one or two out anyway, but I've been clipping them and such while watching their health. You may have swayed me into removing one.

My ph is high. And does come out the tap like that. Admittedly, I set up the tank initially without testing the ph of the tap water, so that was my bad. While it was cycling, I tested with strips (not a fan) and attempted to lower the ph, but hadn't stumbled upon more correct ways to alter the ph until AFTER I decided to get amano shrimps. After reading, watching, and talking to people more knowledgeable than I, I've decided it's best keep the water conditions consistent while maybe tapering off the hardness and ph and such over time. Is that right? If not, definitely open to advice.

I'm in no way tied to any particular fish. The guppies appealed to me since I've read they're fairly hardy and will do well in my water conditions. Thanks for the other fish recommendations! I really appreciate it.

I appreciate the help! I know I'm not doing things perfect, but I'm still excited that my ecosystem is thriving!
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2020, 11:36 PM
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Your on right path, sometimes you just have to work with what you got as far as water parameters go unless your willing to invest in buying a RO unit.

sphenops and gold dust molly would also be good choice for your water parameters.


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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-18-2020, 11:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! I think an RO unit will be in the cards for the future. Right now, it likely isn't possible.

And thanks for the advice on the molly fish! I'd looked into those as well as they might thrive well in the environment I have. My only concern is their potential size. Since my tank is only 20 gallons and I already have amanos, would those be manageable? 4, for instance? I so worry about overcrowding.

Again, thanks a ton for the advice!
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-19-2020, 12:18 AM
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Platies are another option which come in many color variations. Could also look at threadfin rainbows. As with guppies, platies are prolific breeders, so maybe consider all males. I haven't had the rainbows so I don't know about those.

I've had an all male guppy tank before and it was really enjoyable. I started with a male/female pair in one tank that quickly got out of control with fry. I kept removing the males to another tank as soon as I could identify them, but that was a lot of work. Fortunately, my LFS took all the extra guppies I had but I kept the male tank going for a long time.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-19-2020, 12:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for that! I hadn't looked much into platy fish to be honest, but I am now. It seems as though they would do well in the environment I set up. I do like that they're smaller. Also, good call on the breeding. I'm not at the point where I can really control massive fry populations, so the all-Male population is endearing. As you've done this before, had you had any issues with aggression at all?

Thanks again?
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-19-2020, 12:40 AM
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Bare in mind that all fish come with a "recommended" set of water levels but those are not hard and fast and I find many, many good fish do well in my hard alkaline water. I run about 7.8-8.0 much of the time and find guppies and lots of others which are shown to have lower PH recommended will still do quite well.
I think you are far better to sweat over keeping the water clean than to overwork on trying to keep the PH low as it tends to lead to wild swings that are far harder than letting the fish adapt as they need.
My first big item to worry about is that this is a hobby for me to have fun on, not a challenge course that has to be run to certain specs. That allows me to try a lot of things that I might like---if they work. But if they do not work, I'm very open to moving that plant or fish out for somebody that does work out better.
Treat 'em like a roommate and if they turn out bad, move 'em out!
Four of the above would be fine for my tank.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-19-2020, 12:52 AM Thread Starter
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Hey thank you for that. You're right about it being an enjoyable hobby, trying things that work and such. I love the roommate analogy lol. Thanks a ton!
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-19-2020, 03:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumstixer View Post
Hey all! I've been lurking for a while and have taken lots of advice. My tank is thriving, and I'm pretty obsessed with it. I've been trying to be patient and only move when I should, so I'm trying to stay grounded. That being said, I'm looking for the next step.

I'd like to get some fish soon. My tank is 20 gallons and (as far as know from what I've read) is cycled. The parameters are:

PH: 8.2
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10
Kh: 8
Gh: 11

My stock is:

1 Nerite
4 Amano
3 Amazon Swords
1 Water Wisteria
Java moss carpeting

I have two HOB filters.

Fluval Aquaclear 30
Sponge
Fluval Biomax
Seachem Purigen

Fluval Aquaclear 50
Sponge
Seachem Matrix
Filter floss

I have a Fluval Aquasky lighting it, and I keep it low/medium for 6 hours a day due to a diatom bloom that is almost gone!

That all being said, I would like some guppies to add to the tank. If not those, what might you recommend? I'm super open to learning as this hobby is super interesting. I want some fish, but I want to make sure I get the right fish for what I've set up. What are your thoughts?

Also, please feel free to give me any advice on my current set up.


How about add on some neon tetras or cardinal tetras ? Those are beautiful for planted tank.

Bump: Click image for larger version

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Female koi guppies .
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 05-19-2020, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumstixer View Post
Hey thank you for that. You're right about it being an enjoyable hobby, trying things that work and such. I love the roommate analogy lol. Thanks a ton!
I see way too many folks who feel they have to set up a permanent arrangement with fish, snails or even plants. I do tend to give them far less slack when it comes to behaving, so I have a wife that's been around for more than fifty years, a cat that has made it eight, and one fish has made it several years but the rest are still are trial and I like to keep them nervous.
Shape up or ship out!
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