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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,
I haven't purchased my tank yet and am still in the planning stages. I was thinking of getting either a 29 or 40 gallon tank and going heavily planted low tech. So far I'm planning on stocking it with Kuhli Loaches, Red Cherry Shrimp, and probably some Tetras. I plan on having just the plants for a while to let them get settled but any advice for someone just starting out? Any other freshwater fish you would recommend that are interesting? I'm looking at getting the Finnex Planted+ 24/7 for lighting and not planning on any CO2.

Thanks!





 

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A fishless cycle is always a great place to start. My general recommendation is plan your layout before you buy everything, starting with hardscape, then plants. A fishless cycle also allows your filter to cycle anything harmful to your fish out of the water before you stock it. Depending on your filter, your tank may take up to a week or more to cycle. One week is usually a good rule of thumb.
 

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I think the 40 breeder is a better size tank. Better for planting and gives you more options for stock choices. A couple of other items you should consider are a python water changer (really handy for that size tank) and the API Freshwater Testing kit (this one is really necessary). What are you planning for substrate/hard decor?

A fishless cycle using ammonia will probably take 3-4 weeks, and sometimes a little longer.

If you're going the tetra route (love them - they make for a nice, generally peaceful tank), some of my favorites are Diamond tetras, emperor tetras, Bentosi tetras, rummy nose tetras and silver tips (very active). But there are hundreds to choose from, so while you're cycling your tank, take some time to see what might be available locally for you, and do your research on what appeals to you. And don't forget the corydora for the bottom. Lots of cory species to consider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for all the tips. I was planning to go with either Aquasoil or just sand because I know the Kuhli like to be able to dig around. I've heard that you can just sprinkle Osmocote under deeper substrate as fertilizer so I was thinking of going that route. For decor I really have no idea. Probably some driftwood pieces or any natural looking rock formations I can find. I like the idea of having some schooling fish swimming around and maybe a betta as well as some larger fish. Any good mid-sized fish you would recommend?
 

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If you're doing Kuhli loaches, you might want to go with a sand substrate. Also, depending on the tetras, they will go after the shrimp. You might be able to get away with neons, but you'd be better off with smaller tetras like ember tetras. But if you're doing a 40g, you might want a bigger fish.
 

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The best advice that I can give you is to plan everything out. Fist start off with what you plan to have in your tank. Remember, a fish tank is a life support system for the livestock. So figure out what you plan on keeping, then design the system around that. For instance, Bettas do not do well with high flow, but high flow is needed for hillstream loaches. Some fish need low PH, while others need a high PH.

Just about any fish that you put in the tank will eat some baby shrimp, so keep that in mind.

Best of luck!

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I heard here that the little kuhli loaches you see in pet stores are just babies and they get too big for a 29 or a 40. You should look it up in Google under kuhli loach care. Kuhli Loach

Oops, guess I was wrong about the adult size.
 

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fyi- if you put fish and RC's together, the RC's will become "lunch" as soon as they fit in the fishes mouths....thus any babies will be goners....
I learned it the hard way so that you don't have to....lol...
 

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Look into some of my other posts for the fish less cycle.
Ditto the above comments about fish and shrimp. Small fish are generally a better choice with shrimp, but even some small fish can eat shrimp.
Large fish + shrimp = large fish
Kuhlies are just fine in tanks down to about 20 gallons, I have kept them in a 40 breeder and they were all over the place having fun.
 
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