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Beginner's Circle This forum is dedicated to helping people new to the hobby. If you need help, this is your starting point.

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Old 06-18-2019, 04:41 PM   #1
Karin
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First picture from a month ago - couple days after I got the fish. Have added two plants and a backdrop since.
Now finally swapped out the substrate.
Next on the list is getting some snails to sift through the sand, add driftwood and more plants so i can get rid of the plastic ones.
Will likely need a stronger light, too.
I am still debating on the merits of a 3d background - 12" isn't really enough room for a large piece of wood and a background as well...
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Old 07-05-2019, 06:25 PM   #2
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Added more wood.... not sure about the sand. The plecos leave a lot of "dust bunnies" to clean up all the time....20190704_092440_1562361930088.jpg
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Old 08-29-2019, 05:03 PM   #3
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Awesome photos. Any updated ones? 🙂
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Old 08-29-2019, 07:27 PM   #4
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Added some plants and more driftwood... it's a bit of a mess right now because, well, some nameless mystery snail escaped and I tore the entire tank apart looking for him, whilst he was hiding several feet away behind my desktop PC.

The green stuff at the top are episcia cuttings I was trying to root and grow over the tank edge. Haven't quite figured out how to anchor them (properly) yet....
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Old 09-15-2019, 05:26 PM   #5
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Apply some silicone on the edge and let cure. Put a dab of crazy glue on the silicone and then the wet roots....VIOLA!

The reason for the silicone bed is to allow the removal of the crazy glue dab. Otherwise it will be permanent.
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Old 09-17-2019, 02:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wtac View Post
Apply some silicone on the edge and let cure. Put a dab of crazy glue on the silicone and then the wet roots....VIOLA!
I like that idea. With a minor edit. I think I'll try gluing the plants to suction cups. Got a box full here somewhere....
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Old 11-11-2019, 02:46 PM   #7
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Here's an update from today.

Two of the female guppies gave birth to upwards of 100 fry.
In a knee jerk reaction I rehomed all males on the spot. Have given away upwards of 80 fry so far.
Yeah the females are still pregnant. I know.

So as I was debating how many of the fry I should aim at keeping, and whether to keep some males in a separate tank. It turns out, that the stocking calculator at aqadvisor believes I am already overstocked.

3 clown plecos
5 guppies
1 mystery snail

My water parameters are so close to perfect it's not even funny. Despite not having done a water change in 2 or 3 weeks. Heck, the nitrates are actually low enough I've had to add fertilizer tabs.

So, I'm wondering what your take is on stocking. Go by numbers & calculators or add an amount that seems right with the environment you've got?

I was thinking of keeping 10 guppies and seeing where that takes me. May alter the numbers when I find a male clown pleco. Unless I can trade a female for male with someone.
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Old 11-13-2019, 11:17 AM   #8
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Stocking calculators are always going to be imperfect, and rely on assumptions that may not apply. One size does not fit all. For one, they assume that the filter you specify is the only thing filtering the tank. In a mature tank with plenty of circulation, the filter might not even do most of the filtering, as beneficial bacteria grow on all surfaces including the substrate (and more plants = more surface area), and plants can also uptake waste. In particular, if you have fast-growing plants (or just many plants), you're probably always going to have low nitrates, possibly even lower than tap water. That's not the only thing to worry about though; fish also secrete hormones and other waste products, and mineral abundances can change over time, which is why we still do water changes. The more fish you have, the faster those variables change, and the more water changes you need to do. Also keep in mind that the more fish you have, the more waste is produced, and even if you have enough plants to take up all that waste, it's still a "high-energy" system--lots and lots of nutrients moving through the system. That means that if something happens, like some plants die off, or you put in more fish than the plants can accommodate, you'll get an excess of nutrients and therefore algae problems.

As far as appropriate stocking levels, I think it really depends on the needs of the fish. Some fish do okay with lots of fish around and less swimming room, and others really need to not feel over-crowded. That's a big part of why the tank footprint actually often matters more than the volume--more square feet = more swimming space. When I'm deciding on stocking levels I try to research as much as I can about the fish, and then go with enough for them to feel sociable but not so many that there's a risk of crowding. Your guppies and snail are almost certainly fine with having more tankmates in a 30G like yours. I'm less sure about the clown plecos, though--not much experience with them.
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Old 11-13-2019, 11:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphaparrot View Post
Your guppies and snail are almost certainly fine with having more tankmates in a 30G like yours. I'm less sure about the clown plecos, though--not much experience with them.
thanks, yeah, i didn't really want more than 3 clown plecos, that's borderline too much for the "real estate" i have. i thought the odds of getting one male and one female in 3 were pretty good, but apparently not. i will see if someone will trade me a male for a female, but realistically, what am i thinking breeding them if i don't want more than 3 anyways...
on the catfish forum, i was told by a breeder they had a group of seven in a ten gallon, if i remember right - it's all about creating separate caves and spaces for them, still think that's a bit much.
I think i will aim at keeping a total of 10 guppies. as the babies grow up, i'll see how the tank develops with them and if i need to rehome more.
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