Fill My Tropical Fish Tank

That’s a 31 gallon tank, which is bigger than I expected you to have, honestly.

From my husband:

He suggests tetras, despite you not particularly wanting them. Perhaps you can find some that most people don’t keep. For example, if most people have Neons, you could get Serpaes, Glowlights, etc. I think Rummynose Tetras are one of the very prettiest fish.

If you’re adamant about tetras, Rasbora Heteromorpha (and other rasboras, like scissortails), Australian rainbows, Apistogrammas (I really wanted a Cacatuoides after seeing one in person), Kribensis, the beautiful Pearl Gourami, Dwarf Gourami (one of my favorites), maybe Tiger Barbs.

He wouldn’t recommend guppies. He suggests Zebra Danios to start the tank out.

He says you can go with Angelfish, but they do get pretty big and would be able to eat a number of the other fish I listed.

Corydoras julii is my favorite of the corys because my name is Julie. Yes, I’m shallow. :smiley:

Here is a link about tank cycling. Make sure your tank is fully cycled before you add a bunch of fish. Start with hardy fish like danios. They are cheap and will usually be able to survive any ammonia spikes. Cycling should take about 4-6 weeks. It sounds like your tank is a 29 gallon tank. I would stick smaller tropical fish. In my 29 gallon, I have hatchetfish, mollies, danios, cardinals, neons, tetras, and guppies. Be aware that some fish are livebearers, and will have babies constantly.

Your first choice is what type of tank you want. People generally choose between African Cichlids, S. American Cichlids, Brackish Water fish, Goldfish, or Non-Aggresive Tropical Fish / Community Fish. Generally, you should stick to one group. Some tropical fish are semi-aggressive (many types of Barbs). While you can mix them with community fish, you have to be very careful. The same goes for Angelfish (which are Cichlids). They can be in community tanks. but you must be careful. They are also very sensitive to water conditions and stress, so you should make sure the tank is ready before you add them.

After you decide what kind of tank you want, you should create a long term plan which details the fish you want to get. Some fish require different temperatures, pH, water hardness, etc. Some need places to hide, a tall tank, or lots of plants. You want to make sure you can accomodate the types of fish you want. Either way, go into the pet store, look around, do reasearch, and take your time. Go for variety. Since you tank is relatively small, you want to make sure you maximize the tank space by buying fish that swim at different levels, have different activity levels, and are not too teritorial. Some fish love to to school, others are more solitary. Try to know as much about the fish you buy as possible.

Know that you will need to do weekly water changes (including gravel vacuuming), monthly water tests (after you cycle), and light cleaning. Be prepared for a few fish to die. It happens to the best of us. Know the common diseases to look out for, and take measures to avoid exposing the fish to stressful conditions.

Don’t buy fish that will get too big for your tank. There are some common ones that you will see at your pet store that you should not house in a 30 gallon tank. For example, the common plecostomus and pictus catfish.

As far as equipment, I would go with a HOB filter rather than a canister. They are easier to deal with, and more effective for a tank that size. They are also cheaper. A Whisper 60 filter would be sufficient. It’s quiet and easy to set up. Either way, make sure you overfilter your tank. This way you can house a greater number of fish, and your water quality will be better.

I would suggest you start with 3 Danios. Then wait a few weeks before buying more fish. Some other interesting fish are leaf fish, rainbow shark, and Honey Dwarf Gouramis. You can also look in to invertebrates and other animals like, shrimp, snails, and lobsters.

To be clear, I wasn’t saying to go with Angelfish for the initial fish. I reread my post and feared it sounded that way. These were two separate thoughts.

Generally speaking, the lighter the fish load, the healthier they will be.
Killifish are colorful and easy to raise for egg layers. I enjoy White Cloud Mountain fish, tanichthys albonubes. Native fish are often interesting, although I am of course not familiar with British fish.

Okay. Another update.

The light-source is being tested down the local fish shop. Hopefully we can just get a replacement or its down to a spike in the power supply (will get a surge protector).

In the mean time I have 3 zebra danios (thank your husband please jsgoddess). Slowly introduced to the tank which is running at around 7.0pH with zero nitrates/ites/ammonia as expected.

I’ll keep an eye on the water quality and hopefully the little fellas (now named bacon,din and goddess) will get the job done.

I saw some rummynose tetras and theyre very nice indeed. They have just about all the species we have named in here.

Happy badger

Congrats! And I’m glad you got to see some rummynoses.

You’ve got your first tank started. Now’s the time to figure out where you’re going to put the next five. :smiley: (Keeping fish is addictive as hell.)

I used to keep fish. My clear favorite was the unusual Black Ghost Knife Fish

Mesmerizing to watch and very intelligent. Plus they matched my 3 zebra danios :wink:

I agree that rummynoses are very nice fish. They have a reputation for being excellent schoolers.

How are the danios doing?

A few weeks on and things aren’t too bad. So far I have 3 zebra danios and two dwarf clown plecs.
The danios are real characters. They are clearly shoaling fish cause they zip around the place like lunatics. I may have to get one or two more to help with the shoaling…
The plecs are just too shy and havent ventured out from their dark hole under the wood feature I have., (is this normal?)

One concern is the elevated levels of nitrate, approaching critical levels now. I am awaiting (any day) a pump, some dechlorinating tabs and air block and then will do some water changes. Ph and ammonia are fine and nitrite is virtually zero.

I was of the impression that the danios would fix the water for me., and whilst they seem in reasonable cheer I can’t help but feel that 100 nitrate !! reading is not doing them any favours and the water change is needed right now.

Can you give me some advice on how to proceed? What percentage water change do you advise? Do I need to treat the water (other than dechlorinating)?
Taking it down to my level as I’ve never done a water change, do I just pump out the 30% or whatever down the sink and replace with clean (cold) water? The pump I presume comes with a filter nozzle to suck out the water without taking the gravel, but then how would I filter the gravel (must have this bit wrong in my head).

p.s. I haven’t tested my local water supply to see what levels of nitrate, etc. are already present. Should I do that? I will not put any more fish in until the water is at an acceptable level. Fortunately these guys are tough as nails.