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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I have posted in another thread I will be receiving 6 L183 Starlight plecos and will be puting them in a 29 gallon Tall tank that I have set up at my business "Excelsior Body Mods" (Tattoo & Piercing Studio in western NY). I was told they will be around 2 inches big at most. I am hoping to add fish and/or invertabrates to the tank after I know the plecos are doing well but unsure what would be the safest yet eye catching additions to this tank. Currently Running a Fluval 205 filter (if I remember correctly) and decorated with a large piece of cholla wood (bought from MsNemoShrimp), 3 small pieces of Malaysian driftwood, 2 rocks (lfs) and standard black gravel substrate. Will be receiving xmas moss (bought from Aurie) within a week and will be making two 12x12 ss mesh moss walls for background of tank. I have a few ideas of what I may add but wanted to hear from more seasoned folks first. Will post pics if needed but not the best quality due to not having lights set up on tank at time of pictures.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you wicca. My bad I meant to say they will anywhere from 1-2 inches when I receive them. Actually already read that, more looking for suggestions on different fish breeds for the set up I have. Also would shrimp be fine in with them or should that be limited until they are older and larger?
 

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Looks like this fish is an obligate blackwater resident, so keeping them with livebearers or other hardwater fish would be a no. This may also be a problem if you have hard water, as planet catfish says that these fish are difficult to work with outside of a blackwater environment. If you do have blackwater or can easily make it, though, I bet that many tetras would work swimmingly with these.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
After hours of reading last night I decided to order some peat and alder cones (already have indian almond leaves and will be collecting local oak leaves aswell). I plan on making a black water liquid additive out of the oak leaves for water changes to combat the ph and hardness of water. I read cardinals are a fine additive to that type of water just afraid of them being far too aggressive for my little starlights.
 

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they would probably eat shrimp so i would skip shrimp, tetras, some apistos would work i would just google black water fish and see what comes up
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think I finally decided on harlequin rasboras and cardina tetras. I have been reading that a lot of people use a sand substrate for the L183's, does anyone know if that's a must or only a suggestion because currently I have just basic lfs black gravel. If sand is a must, does anyone have suggestions on a great brand to look into?
 

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Smooth gravel is fine,some of this species like to dig.
Could boil some sphagnum peat (no additves like pearlite), in stock pot and make all the tannin tea for blackwater conditon's you will need.
Can pour the tea through old T shirt or pillow case to sift out particulates after boiling?
 

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I plan on making a black water liquid additive out of the oak leaves for water changes to combat the ph and hardness of water.
Start with water that has few to no minerals. RO or DI water.
Then add just a pinch of minerals so the GH and KH are right.

THEN filter it through the black water materials to add the organic acids these fish like.

Do not depend on the black water materials to 'combat the hardness'.
 

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Sadly, it is not ph that matters so much to the black water tank as it is water hardness and especially TDS. If either of these are high, your ph will not be going anywhere, and even if it does the fish will still not be as comfortable as it could be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
As of 4 days ago my ph was 7.4 . That day tho I added a large Indian almond leaf and 3 smaller pieces of driftwood. I have oak leaves and alder comes on their way. Been debating buying a RO water devise , depending if any local stores carry ro water jugs. Curious what minerals I should add Diana ? Also gonna buy Fluval peat media for my filter unless the sphagnum peat is a better quality buy, any ideas out there?
 
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