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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! I'm new here and I've been browsing the forum lots in the past week as I set up my first community planted aquarium. I just finished setting everything up yesterday and I'm very happy with how things turned out. Such a joy to watch everyone interact :)

Here's my 55G setup:
  • sand, driftwoods, rocks, and various live plants
  • 2 blue gouramis
  • 8 tiger barbs
  • 12 rummy nose tetras
  • 4 kuhli loaches
  • 1 red tail black shark
  • 2 bristle nose plecos

I'm fully aware that the bioload is way over, however, all the fish are juveniles so based on their current size, we're still under bioload. For example, the bristle nose plecos are less than an inch big. My plan is to sell them as they grow up to their full size to maintain a healthy bioload. I can't wait for the plants to grow out more and fill the tank as well.

Plant Water Terrestrial plant Organism Grass
 

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6g office nano, 20g aio cube, 2 x 40g breeder community and 75g
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Looks nice. Love the tiger barbs. I just got the last 8 rummy nose the fish store had on Black Friday. It took the guy almost 20 minutes to catch them out as they were in with guppies.
 

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. . . I'm fully aware that the bioload is way over, however, all the fish are juveniles so based on their current size, we're still under bioload. For example, the bristle nose plecos are less than an inch big. My plan is to sell them as they grow up to their full size to maintain a healthy bioload. I can't wait for the plants to grow out more and fill the tank as well.
Welcome to the forum. I'm not at all convinced that you're overstocked. You'd be surprised how much live plants can help with that.
 

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Looks beautiful. And any tank with kuhlis gets my instant approval. A favorite of mine since I was a boy.

One concern, just checking: if I read your post right, you just set up the tank in the last week, and put the fish in... is the tank cycled at all (to establish bacteria to convert ammonia-->nitrite-->nitrate)? If so, please disregard this concern. If not, you will likely over a few days build up toxic levels of ammonia so you may need to plan to manage that until the beneficial bacteria settle in.

Welcome to the forum!!
 

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One concern, just checking: if I read your post right, you just set up the tank in the last week, and put the fish in... is the tank cycled at all
Yeah, I just reread that, yesterday you set this all up? I'm hopping you mean something other than this brand new tank of 36-48 hours has fish in it. Not to be overly anything, but if that's the case you're going to have some work ahead of you in the very nowish future to keep those fish healthy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Soo much sand... just want to throw in Corys. lol.

This looks good though. Can't wait for the wood to sink, guessing it will evolve to level 2 at that point.
I know hahaha...I bought 4 bags of 20 lbs pool filter sand. I added 3 and realized it was a bit much already. I think 2 bags might have been enough 😂

I was also hoping the Kuhli loaches would aerate the soil but I haven't seen them go under the sand yet and perhaps they're still too small to be able too. Maybe I'll get some Malaysian Trumpet Snails to help with the sand

Level 2? What does that mean?

Looks nice. Love the tiger barbs. I just got the last 8 rummy nose the fish store had on Black Friday. It took the guy almost 20 minutes to catch them out as they were in with guppies.
Yes! The tiger barbs are so fun to watch. I was also planning on only getting 7 but the store just had 8 so I felt bad leaving one behind so I just got them all!

Looks beautiful. And any tank with kuhlis gets my instant approval. A favorite of mine since I was a boy.

One concern, just checking: if I read your post right, you just set up the tank in the last week, and put the fish in... is the tank cycled at all (to establish bacteria to convert ammonia-->nitrite-->nitrate)? If so, please disregard this concern. If not, you will likely over a few days build up toxic levels of ammonia so you may need to plan to manage that until the beneficial bacteria settle in.

Welcome to the forum!!
Yeah, I just reread that, yesterday you set this all up? I'm hopping you mean something other than this brand new tank of 36-48 hours has fish in it. Not to be overly anything, but if that's the case you're going to have some work ahead of you in the very nowish future to keep those fish healthy.

I had the water, wood, and plants set up and added in Fluval Biological Enhancer the first 3 days as well as a dose of API Aqua Essential just to be safe. They both say on the bottle that adding them allows me to add fish right away so I thought it'd be alright 👀

I bought an API Master Test kit and tested the water two days ago and everything was at 0. I'll test again today or tomorrow to double check! 🤞
 

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Level 2? What does that mean?

I had the water, wood, and plants set up and added in Fluval Biological Enhancer the first 3 days as well as a dose of API Aqua Essential just to be safe. They both say on the bottle that adding them allows me to add fish right away so I thought it'd be alright 👀

I bought an API Master Test kit and tested the water two days ago and everything was at 0. I'll test again today or tomorrow to double check! 🤞
Level 2, I just mean that once the wood sinks, the rocks will likely come down to the substrate. Plants will have filled in a bit by then. likely you will have made another change or two by this time too, so... Level 2. lol, just threw it in there in the moment.

As far as the stuff you added, I get what you're talking about. I would have done one group of fish at a time still with those just to avoid any issues. I do similar stuff, mostly use sponges from other tanks and plants from other tanks. But still, take it easy with the bioload for a couple weeks. Small group of small fish or snails at the very least on day one. But I don't fully stock a tank until closer to a month in.

Regardless, we were just looking out for you, the fish, your wallet, your emotions. Lol. I'm glad you at least have looked into these things. Please look into the Nitrogen Cycle if you haven't already. It will help create common sense for you in regards to aquariums.


Good Luck and Have Fun!

Edit: sometimes those products that are meant to help stabilize a tank don't remove stuff, but bind it up for a time. Like Ammonia, can be bound up to Ammonium but given enough time where the bacteria can't take care of it, there is an inevitable spike in ammonia and the like.
 

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. . . I had the water, wood, and plants set up and added in Fluval Biological Enhancer the first 3 days as well as a dose of API Aqua Essential just to be safe. They both say on the bottle that adding them allows me to add fish right away so I thought it'd be alright 👀

I bought an API Master Test kit and tested the water two days ago and everything was at 0. I'll test again today or tomorrow to double check! 🤞
Unfortunately you can't believe everything you read on labels. While some people report good results with the various brands of "bacteria in a bottle", others say they're useless. I'd keep a close eye on your parameters and do water changes as needed to keep the ammonia and nitrites low (combined definitely below 1.0 ppm, and ideally less).
 

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Right. If you don't already have one, get an API or similar brand test kit for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. I got the master test kit which has other stuff too. Check ammonia and nitrite daily, and be prepared to do largish water changes if necessary. Have conditioned water on hand, dechlorinated, and preferably close to tank temp. Even if it's just a bunch of water in buckets set out overnight to degas the chlorine (presuming your water is chlorinated), it's good to get ahead of the need.

My tank is big (90 gallons) so I have two 45 gallon totes always filled, aerated via airstone, and warmed with heaters since I use "mostly RO tempered with bit of tap water for minerals" for my fish. I have to plan ahead since my tap is liquid rock, but my aquarium is a soft water environment.
 
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