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Hi I have a flu Al flex 15 g tank (I neglected it for a while but I’m getting back into the hobby) with 2 white skirt tetras , 1 neon tetra, and a 2-2.5 in green fish with red fins (not sure what it is) I would like to get 4 more white skirt tetras, 5 more neon tetras, a cleanup crew, 6 white cloud minnows, and lots of plants. I am currently using a mixture of sand and fluval stratum for substrate. Will I be able to fit the white cloud minnows? Any substrate suggestions? Any recommendations for cleanup crew? Any plant suggestions?

Thanks,

Jack

Edited by Jack Hanson
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Welcome to the community and back to the hobby!

I would probably skip on the white clouds and up the school of tetras to the sized groups you are planning to total to. 6 of each tetras with that one oddball. (pictures would help with ID)

For cleanup crew, I would do 6 pygmy corydoras. I would add the groups of fish at separate times to gauge the bio load. Maybe start with the plants and corydoras, then add the first group of tetras, whichever variety you're more fond of first.

Depending on your water parameters and amount of work you want to do I have several different sets of suggestions. I like to use tropica's "inspiration" layouts for picking groups of plants. You can sort by easy, medium, advanced, and tank size. Makes it easier to gauge the space needed and how many hours per week you may need to spend to maintain appearance.

As for substrate; I've got no experience with the stratum. But I've used UN soils mixed with eco-complete plant substrate and sand. I have two other tanks that are just sand and one other that is sand and big box awful gravel that I wish I could go back in time and remove. I like having deep substrate. I'll probably never do a tank with less than 3 inches again. Just easier to plant and fertilize in my experience.

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I have a 20 gallon High tank that has 3 neon, 3 glowlight tetras, 1 male swordtail, 2 peppered corydoras, 1 clown pleco, and 7 female guppies. Oh and way too many snails.

Overstocked? Technically. But because of my filtration and plants (and maybe the snails) it's been crystal clear and requires only a monthly water change. Nitrates stay at below 20. I only feed once a day, and feed the corydoras and pleco every other day.

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On 4/10/2022 at 12:02 PM, Jack Hanson said:

Will I be able to fit the white cloud minnows? Any substrate suggestions? Any recommendations for cleanup crew? Any plant suggestions?

I would use the stratum you have, just make sure you cap it and then you're set.

Bottom feeders or cleanup I would add some corydoras for food on the bottom and bottom activity, but in terms of a cleanup crew I would just have as many amano shrimp as you can in there.  None of those fish would be bothered or bother the shrimp and the shrimp will do everything you're looking for.

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I'm with @Minanoraon skipping the white clouds. As much as I absolutely love them, there's only so much room for schooling fish in this tank. Plus they tend to like it cooler than the other species nentioned. I think you're on the right track with the tetra numbers. IMO skirt tetras get a little too big for a 15g, but you could probably make it work. I'd probably complete one school of tetras first, then a school of small cories (pygmy or dwarf) for bottom feeders (I've only had sand, maybe someone who's used stratum can comment on keeping cories on it).

I think it's probably best in this tank size to pick 2-3 schooling species or 1-2 schooling species plus a centerpiece fish.

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I look forward to seeing photos of your changes! I would definitely learn about the plants you fall in love with before you buy them. Some plants are picky about their water parameters. I recently decided to keep a lot more "easy" plants in my 75. Just to help me enjoy it more. I spent a lot on plants before and watched them fail. It was really frustrating.

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@Minanora I’ll keep you updated how how the tanks going and what plants I choose. This weekend I’m going to go to the LFS and get my substrate and hard scape. Next week I’ll get the plants and Cory cats. And in 3 weeks I’ll get the first batch of tetras, I’ll get the second batch the next week. 
If everything goes as planned it should be great.

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Posted (edited)

@Minanora Friday I added a couple plants (ones a Cryptocoryne, the other a rotala) new sand substrate with fluval stratum underneath, some new hard scape, and 5 little yo-yo loaches (I know they get big but I heard they grow extremely slow). I would like to get get some java fern, some more Cryptocorynes and a pleco next time.  
Also, do you think I have a neon tetra or cardinal tetra?image.jpg.d4b294c7915c6c304782488a3743d4e2.jpgimage.jpg.8a2c043628c929115fa745741c493494.jpg

Edited by Jack Hanson
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On 4/18/2022 at 10:30 AM, Minanora said:

This is true. If you do that you may actually wind up putting shrimp with the yoyo loaches, too. Eventually. 🤣 They can increase their numbers rapidly in the right conditions.

That’d be great, I could have a breeding and and just keep adding more in if they get eaten. 😂

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