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Stocking advice for 15 gallon tank


Lama
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I am not getting any new fish yet, but instead am trying to plan ahead.  We have a 15 gallon columnar planted tank.  It has Fluval stratum substrate, Nikko rocks for several caves, and a piece of wood.  It is cycled.  As of now, we have 7 Harlequin Rasboras, 3 Corydora hasbrosus, 3 cherry shrimp, and several snails (Nerite and river).  I was wanting to get some more corys eventually.  And I was thinking it would be nice to have some Otocinclus to help with algae on plants.  How many more Corys and how many Otocinclus would our tank comfortably be able to house?  We change water every week to two weeks and keep an eye on the parameters frequently/sometimes daily (since we are new to this hobby).

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On 9/14/2021 at 8:51 AM, Bullsnark said:

You could always add some kuhli loaches if you watch the tank at night/ low light conditions. They love hiding especially in little caves and underneath things. I have 6 in my rock tank and they found the hollow stone and took up residence. 

I didnt even think of those but they would be Kuhli!😋

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Oh!  I had thought about maybe adding Amano shrimp, since I had read that the Amanos are better at algae clean up.  The Nerites, so far, don’t seem to be keeping up with algae on the plants.  I let the back side of the tank grow stuff and the Nerites tend to hang out back there mostly.  The cherry shrimp seem to make their rounds on various plants of the tanks.  But the moneywort (especially) is growing some brown algae.  Also, this is the second batch of Nerites since the first ones expired; unfortunately they were subjected to our tank cycling (before I knew about that process).  These Nerites are pretty but, they don’t seem very active; they fall from the glass side and then we have to flip them over since they can’t right themselves on our substrate.  The river snails seem great though!  Would the Cherry shrimp would get the brown algae if we have more of them working?  Kuhli loaches are interesting to us too!  

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My water is around 12 KH and 16 GH, but I think they tolerate some wide parameters. Everywhere I tossed them in, they have been breeding. 
 

One time I had putted some in a spare tank to sell. Didn’t catch all of them apparently when I sold them. After a few weeks I had new babies in the tank without doing anything (no feeding, no waterchanges). 

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I wouldn't worry too much about the brown algae, it's one of the easier ones to get under control. Almost every tank ends up with some brown algae during the first few months of setup, and it will dissipate over time as you get your lighting and fertilizers dialed in. If you start seeing green algae or gray algae, that's a more serious concern. If you are reading 0 nitrates, you should increase your Easy Green dosing. I try to aim for around 20 ppm nitrates. Your KH is probably okay, but the GH is more of a concern in my experience. I'd aim for higher than 5 or 6 GH, but I'm honestly still trying to get that dialed in within my own setups. The khulis sound like a good idea, they would love that pile of rocks you have going on.

Maybe a crazy idea, but what about a betta in there? If you managed to get one with a good temper, it would probably occupy the top part of the tank and leave your bottom-dwellers alone. You currently don't have anything to fill that top level of the tank, and bettas are always winners. I've had community tank bettas before and it was a lot of fun.

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Well, GH is at 3…I haven’t tracked down Equalibrium locally yet.  I was told that I could buy mineralized water from the store and add it into the water when I do water changes to bring the mineral content up.
 

I believe we have some other sort of algae that is fuzzy and not green (maybe white or gray?).  The fuzzy algae started up last week when I ran Maracyn and ich-X, or at least that’s when I noticed it.  It’s on the stems and roots of plants.   The med routine is also why the nitrates are so low, since we had to do water changes with the ich-x.  We are treating the rasboras for suspected mouth fungus.  It feels like there is a lot going on in our little tank!  I have posted in the disease section for help with the rasboras.

It’s technically supposed to be my son’s tank; his priority has been the shrimp.  When I suggested a beta, he was not fully on board since they can have sort of a mean reputation.  I agree it would help give the tank an extra pop.

He does like the idea of kuhli loaches!  And so far the shrimp seem to be doing well.  They’ve been growing and molting.

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On 9/14/2021 at 9:19 PM, Lama said:

Well, GH is at 3…I haven’t tracked down Equalibrium locally yet.  I was told that I could buy mineralized water from the store and add it into the water when I do water changes to bring the mineral content up.

Maybe I’m missing something here, but can’t you mix tap water with RO water? Or is tap water where you live not suitable for tanks?

 

My tap water is very hard, GH en KH wel above 20. So I mix RO and tap water 50/50 to get good parameters. And actually since over a year ago I switched from RO water to rain (collected threw my roof). 
 

About the withe fuzzy thing, sometime it comes out of driftwood, if this is the case, it will disappear on it’s own. In my experience, as long it’s nog hair algae or spot algae and it’s soft, shrimp wil get it. But you need more then 3 shrimp, because they probably have enough on the left overs of the food you put in there. 

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We are on a well and the water out of the ground is pretty hard; 14 KH and 13 GH with a pH of 7.2.  I wanted to first take a water sample to the county for testing to make sure of what exactly contains.  On a previous topic I had posted,  someone told me I could mix in well water, but with caution. As an example, their well water is very high in CO2.  I suppose the water should have been tested before we got an aquarium (since we use the water for ourselves), but out of sight, out of mind.

I had previously seen the white fuzzy stuff on the mopani wood and thought that it may be the same thing growing on the stems and roots now.   I was hoping it might be from that!

The shrimp are well fed (for sure) and they come running when we put the Repashi community blend food in the tank every couple of days.

Thanks for all the input, Del!  I really appreciate it!

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I would definitely start mixing in some of that well water if I were you, I think the shrimp would probably like it a lot. Alternatively, try tossing in a small Wonder Shell, those things will do a great job of bringing up your GH if that is the goal. If your shrimp are molting an happy though, I probably wouldn't even worry about it. It sounds like aside from the mouth fungus, you have a pretty healthy tank and happy critters.

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I have this same kit tank 

 

I like it a lot! Also just posted some pics and info in my journal. Anyway…Otocinclus like it acidic, they tend to like to have a lower hardness. Cory just did an Oto video. If wood was the central theme I think they’d be a good choice. With rocks and hard water from your well that you may be mixing in I’d stay away. Neocaridina like the extra minerals and amanos can handle that as well. Also the shrimp have a low bioload. Kuhli loaches are great as well they will get bigger eventually so the small footprint at the bottom could be a long term issue.
 

I think your best bang for the buck would be doubling your habrosus as they’ll use the whole tank. They’ll school with your rasboras. they’re awesome and I am very fond of all the pygmy corys! 
 

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On 9/14/2021 at 10:44 PM, Lama said:

We are on a well and the water out of the ground is pretty hard; 14 KH and 13 GH with a pH of 7.2.

Those are kind of the parameters I get when I mix RO with my tap water. My thanks do really wel with these parameters. I don’t know about the CO2, but based on my research on CO2 (I had CO2 running in one of my tanks for almost 2 year), I think it wil evaporate anyway. Maybe you just can store it a few days in a bucket before adding it to the tank. But I have to say, I’m certainly not an expert on water parameters. I do know consistent parameters are the very important, also this is an argument for well water I think. 
 

If you do change your water to your well water, if you can, test it first with a thank where there is not a lot you can loose. 
 

Good luck with it!

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