Newbie setup questions? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-13-2013, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Newbie setup questions?

This is my first post as a complete newbie to fish keeping, please escuse me if this is posted in the wrong thread and feel free to move it. My wife has kindly bought me a Fluval Edge 23L (halogen bulb) tank, which came with 5 Neon tetras (which unfortunaltey due to a algae problem, that now seems to have subsided we only have 4), nothing like being thrown in at the deep end.

The tank came with some multi-coloured gravel (which is not to my taste) and plastic plants (which I would like to change for real ones). The lights and filter are the standard and the heater that it came with the Fluval Edge didn't work, so I have bought a Fluval E 50w which is doing really well.

My plan is to slwoly but surely add the following:

5 Neon Tetras (I already have 4, but want to make sure they are happy and have read this should be the minimum)
5 Galaxy Rasobras
4 Red Cherry Shrimp

Java Moss (for carpeting)
Java Fern (on driftwood)
Anubias Bateri (on driftwood)

Is this combination of fish compatable and is it to much?
Which substrate would be best (I would preffer something either light or dark, prefferably sand)?
Do I need to add additional chemicals for the plants?
Do I need better lighting, if so what would be good and prefferably keeping the fixings as standard as possible)?
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-14-2013, 06:26 PM
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im very new to this but i hope i can help a bit:

you can use this to help with the fish stocking/compatibility
also if there is specific fish you can search the forum or google

substrate - sand pool filter sand (light) or flourite sand, comes in black
substrate info -

and id advise checking out this section lots of info:

additional info:
i could link you to all kinds of reading material, but i would suggest using
search or googling. if you cant find answers or dont understand something
post a question, lots of helpful people here. gl

hope that helps out a bit.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-14-2013, 06:56 PM
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AqAdvisor is a great site to answer your fish stocking questions. I would imagine your lighting is sufficient as those plants have low light requirements. Welcome to the Forum. Good luck with your tank
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 06-15-2013, 12:00 AM
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Welcome to the hobby. As for your questions...

Your tank is 23 liters (6 gallons). Normally a rough estimate of how many fish you can have is 1 inch of fish per 6 gallons. Other things factor into this as some fish are messy or have a larger bioload than others. The fish you suggested are good beginner fish and like to be kept in schools of at least 5. I would stick to just the neon tetras for now, and maybe get your school up to a total of 6. Having both of those schools in a tank your size would be overcrowded and possibly make it hard to keep everyone alive and healthy.

As for the shrimp, the only 100% shrimp safe fish is the otocinclus, any other fish may try to eat or harass the shrimp. They can be kept together but sometimes it doesn't go well. Cherry shrimp are normally very easy to breed but any babies you have will be eaten by the tetras for sure. The adults may survive and do ok. The more plants the better so they have more areas to hide. If you wanted to have shrimp, I would suggest doing a shrimp only tank, as that would be very doable in a tank your size and you could have a breeding colony of up to around 50 or more shrimp in that size tank.

As for plants, the ones you listed are good starter plants. Plants in general lead to healthier tank and help oxygenate and clean the water a bit. Other good starter plants are hornwort, anacharis, and frogbit. I keep all 3 of those and they are easy to keep even with my black thumb, haha.

As for substrate, a darker substrate will help bring out the colors of the tetras and/or the shrimp. You could get some black sand or even small sized gravel. Make sure its aquarium safe stuff though and rinsed well.

As for chemicals, wait and see how the plants are doing, generally they will get most of what they need from fish waste. Let us know how your growth or condition of plants are doing, and other can help suggest fertilizers if needed. Less is more generally in this hobby, especially when you are starting off. Don't want to have to make some chemical soup to complicate things. If you can keep it simple that will help.

As for lighting, I'm not sure about what kind of light you have. The main thing you are looking for in lighting is for the color range to be about 6500k. This is generally preferred by most plants. If your tank came with a light fixture it is probably bright enough to support most starter plants. But if its not the right color range (6500k, or close) it won't support healthy plants. If it's not, you should probably be able to replace just the bulb to get a better more plant friendly color range.

You have the right idea to start with of adding things slowly. Patience is your best friend in fish keeping, and will lead to happier and healthy fish/shrimp. Reading and research will also be your new best friend. There is a lot of info here on the forums to help you out. Use the search function to help find out anything you may be wondering. And of course post any questions you need to elaborate on. I hope this helps and let us know if you need any more help, good luck. Welcome to the plantedtank.
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