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30 Gallon: Stocking ideas, Pleco questions, and showing off an aquascape


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Hey guys!

this is my first Aquascape that i really took seriously with the planning and didn’t rush into.

it’s an AquaJapan AJ-60 115L (30 gallon) aquarium that i’m doing a South American/Amazonian biotope in.

planted in there right now are 3 Red Flame Swords, 5 Valisnerias, 2 Staurogyne Repens (All of these are from the Co-op), some dwarf saggitaria i propagated from my Endler tank, and a “Sparkling Sword” from my LFS (looks like an ozelot sword except white speckling instead of red). There is also a Pothos cutting i stole from one of my sisters plants that is dipping into the water and running up my Mangrove root.
Because of the built in Sump system in this tank, i was able to hide my heater and my thermometer in the back of the tank, as to not interrupt my aquascape (even though i have 2 Fluval passive C02 systems there in the back by the filter outlet.)

other than showing off this aquascape (waiting for the plants to grow in a little more/for the tank to season a little better before i add fish), i had 3 main questions…

1.) my LFS has a Gold Nugget Pleco in a display tank that no one has bought yet, and i wanted to make sure it would be a good choice for this tank. I think size wise it would do well, but my main concern is if it would eat the mulm that has accumulated on my wood and some of my plants. I know that it will eat the green string algae and the brown diatomaceous stuff that has started to grow, but i want to make sure it’ll eat the ugly bits that i’m really worried about with this aquascape (will be pictured).

question #2:

stocking ideas? I was thinking 3-4 bolivian rams, 13-15 ember tetras, and the gold nugget pleco. I was debating on apistos instead of the rams, but i would want to have 2 separate caves for them and i really only have room for the 1 drift wood cave pictured. I love hearing other ideas about stocking ideas

Water Parameters:

PH 7.2-7.5

GH about 120-150 according to API test strips

KH about 80-120 according to API strips

i’m mid cycle so ammonia just started going down, nitrates have shown up but still spiked nitrites (no fish at the moment)

question #3

what do you think about the aquascape? I love constructive criticism and would appreciate plant ideas, hardscape ideas,  or any overall ego boosting about this tank xD

sorry for writing so much, don’t post on here often but i want to start becoming more active on here, and hopefully become a member soon!


here are some pictures!









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On 6/24/2021 at 5:27 PM, Jungle Fan said:

Sounds like you've got a plan, the only thing to consider though is that Gold Nugget Plecos get to be anywhere from 7" to 10" in size, not sure I'd want one in a tank under 50 gallons.

Here are some links:



Would a bristle nose pleco be a better option? The guys at my LFS said they get about that size, but that a 30 gallon could handle this pleco (my tank is 2 ft across and 16” deep, plenty of flow from the sump system as well as an air pump)

Edited by EndlersBoi
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