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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
i have a 26 gallon tank that will have light-medium planting, i am currently running an AquaClear A615 in the A600 version with a 100 watt heater, an air bubler and a 0900303 SunBlaster 36" light and need fish stocking ideas.
 

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Depends what you are looking for... so many options.
Are you looking for color, variety, odd balls? What is your level of experience? How much time or money do you want to invest?

Could do a couple of groups of nano fish such as Chili Rasboras, CPD's (Celestial Pearl Danios), Neon Tetras, or Ember Tetras. Throw in three or four Cory's and or a BN pleco along with some Neocardina shrimp (Cherry, blues, etc.). Would be an active and colorful setup and would look great with a lot of plants.

Another option could be one group of the above fish and a little larger centerpiece fish such as a dwarf gourami, ram, or an apisto. Could still do a BN pleco as well as a mystery snail for some variety.

Last you could do a species only setup. A few thoughts:
  • A single paradise fish and lots of greenery.
  • Dwarf puffers
  • Convict cichlids.
  • Dwarf crayfish

Good on you for planning ahead. Pick what you want and build around it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Depends what you are looking for... so many options.
Are you looking for color, variety, odd balls? What is your level of experience? How much time or money do you want to invest?

Could do a couple of groups of nano fish such as Chili Rasboras, CPD's (Celestial Pearl Danios), Neon Tetras, or Ember Tetras. Throw in three or four Cory's and or a BN pleco along with some Neocardina shrimp (Cherry, blues, etc.). Would be an active and colorful setup and would look great with a lot of plants.

Another option could be one group of the above fish and a little larger centerpiece fish such as a dwarf gourami, ram, or an apisto. Could still do a BN pleco as well as a mystery snail for some variety.

Last you could do a species only setup. A few thoughts:
  • A single paradise fish and lots of greenery.
  • Dwarf puffers
  • Convict cichlids.
  • Dwarf crayfish

Good on you for planning ahead. Pick what you want and build around it.
this is my first tank, i have a couple of plants in the tank as of right now hornwort, watter lettuce, dwarf bacopa, water velvet, alternanthera reineckii, ludwigia repens, ludwigia glandulosa and some taiwan moss. i also have a budget of about 100$ in terms of fish.

i also have what i think is medium grade pea gravel as the substrate

thanks for the advice.
 

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Since this is your first planted tank I will be upfront and say you are likely to get nutrient spikes and fluctuating water quality. I would steer clear of finicky species that need stable water params. Luckily there are a ton of hardy species that are bred to survive PetCo and will thrive in your tank, even with the occasional swing. For a tank, your size I would recommend getting fish in 3 different groups.

  1. Clean-up crew: A few dwarf cories or otocinclus will do a great job of entertaining and keeping the tank clean. Both like traveling in packs so get no less than 3. Neocaridina are also a good option.
  2. Schoolers: a handful of minnow types to swim around and keep things busy. Smaller is better here since what you want is numbers and you don't want to push your bioload too high. Chilis and tetras, like the previous poster mentioned, are good for this category. But I would recommend Endler guppies for you since they are tough as nails, beautiful, and will likely breed for you.
  3. Show stoppers: For this I would recommend 2-3 larger fish(2-3 inches) that command the space they are in. They swim around like they own the place. Honey Gourami, Bettas, Swordtails or Platys all provide color and charm.
 

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Since you're new to the hobby, @fish man, it's not a good idea to consider adding shrimp to your tank until you have more experience. Give it several months and do a bunch of reading in the Shrimp section of the forum before taking that route.

Make sure you read all the beginner threads here on the forum. Check the stickies. Then read through each section for a while to help you get a better understanding of everything. The Tank Journals section is a great resource and allows you to see tons of photos while getting a feel for how other members keep their planted tanks.

A really great fish that hasn't yet been mentioned: White Clouds. There are a few color variants available in Canada and they're really hardy fish that are active and fun. A large group of them in a tank like yours would be awesome. Beginners and long-time hobbyists alike keep them because they're so vibrant. Definitely consider them.

Corydoras need to be kept in groups of 5-6 at least - they're all schooling species and are healthier in more natural, larger groups. Just two or three is unfortunately cruel to the fish and not ideal. Once you have some more experience, you may be interested in smaller species of Cory like Corydoras habrosus - they're just about an inch long and will be more suitable for your tank size than larger species. Keep in mind that Corydoras aren't really clean-up crew fish and shouldn't be considered such. Need to consider their individual requirements and have bottom feeder foods for them.

Important to note that Endlers aren't Guppies - they're Endlers. That leads to a ton of confusion for newcomers in the hobby - so keep that in mind when searching the forum for information about them. They're great for a beginner, though, as long as you're aware of how much they reproduce. It's possible to end in disaster with hundreds of fish if one isn't careful. It's fun to keep a group of all males, though, because they're really colorful and active.

Keep in mind that Bettas generally do best in a tank on their own with no other fish. There are a few exceptions but they're likely not for the beginner in a community tank - just when they're in a single species tank. They're an aggressive and territorial species that need special care considerations to be made for them. I think they're worth it, though.

Don't get Otos unless your tank can truly support them - lots of algae or specialized foods for them to feed on like Repashy. They're not really a beginner fish and do best in larger shoals, not just a couple here and there. They live in almost green water conditions in the wild and don't always do well with beginners.

Don't keep Crayfish with fish or other invertebrates unless you want become a potential meal for the Cray.

You have a 26 gallon tank. As long as you're careful, you're not going to have fluctuating water parameters. Just don't over feed, change 20% of your water each week and test until you've got the hang of it. Don't let that worry you.
 

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@somewhatshocked
I have heard that whiteclouds don't do well in hardwater and i live in an area with harder water would they still do well?
Do you have a kH and gH (hardness) test kit? If not, pick one up so you know where your parameters sit.

I'm betting your water will be suitable for them. I live in a hard water area and they thrive here for a lot of people. I've found them to be one of the most forgiving and adaptable species I've ever kept.

White Clouds typically won't require a heater because they're a cooler water species. So they're slightly less expensive to maintain than some other fish in the hobby. Definitely worthy of consideration. (So much so that I'm now thinking about starting a new tank for them.)

Another small fish - possibly the smallest in the hobby - is the Least Killifish or Heterandria formosa. They're a livebearer like Guppies and Endlers but don't reproduce as quickly or in large numbers. Certainly not colorful but they're pretty neat if you're a nerd like me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
@somewhatshocked
i don't have a kh or gh test kit but will consider getting one so if i were to get one what would you recomend and also what would i need to do if the gh or kh got too high for the fish?
 

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@somewhatshocked
i don't have a kh or gh test kit but will consider getting one so if i were to get one what would you recomend and also what would i need to do if the gh or kh got too high for the fish?
You'd just focus on keeping fish that are compatible with your water parameters as a beginner. I promise it's not too complicated or confusing. Most fish that are common in the hobby will probably work for you. I'm betting your water isn't quite as hard as you think it is. It may be hard in terms of leaving water spots on dishes or in the shower but probably isn't too hard in terms of planted tanking. I took a look at public water reports for your area and they look pretty good to me - but there's no way for me to know where your water supply comes from.

In Canada, you should have access to several different brands. Get liquid test kits, as they're more accurate. API is the cheapest and will work well enough for your purposes. Sera brand is more expensive (but only about CA$12-15 each, about twice as expensive as API) but is my favorite because they're easier to read. If you decide to stick with the hobby a long time, they may be something to consider. There are several other brands, as well, but they tend to be more expensive.
 

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@somewhatshocked

i get my water from the glenmore resivoir

mg/L CaCO 3grains/gallon


21214.8
Your local water hardness fluctuates throughout the year based on what I've seen. And what comes out of the tap can be a bit different than you see in reports. Sometimes there can be a huge difference. Which is why having your own test kit can be important.

But based on local data that's published, your water certainly isn't too hard for White Clouds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
oh ok i wanted some originaly but then i read that they don't like hard water and had heard previously that calgary has hard water

thanks for the clarification
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
yeah i think i might do some dwarf corydoras, and either helquin rasboras or white cloud mountain minnows if the harlequins and the whiteclouds aren't compatible
 
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