Would These Fish Work in My 55 Gallon Show Tank?

The Masked Shadow

Jack Dempsey
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Jul 19, 2020
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Hi!

I am The Masked Shadow, and am wondering a few things about fish keeping. You may have seen my other post, but A member shut that post down (since it was to long). When I logged back onto my account, I figured it out, and I was pissed.

I love this website, but some people can be pretty rude :/.

Aince I am new to the fish keeping hobby (only having experience with a betta 🤩), I am going to ask about things that are A blank to me.

1. how do I set the correct temperature with the heater?
2. What and why do I need gh (growth hormones) in my tank, (again, Asking how to set up :))))))
3. I am starting with plastic plants, and may be switching over to live plants. What live plants are easy, and good-looking for the fish types I’ve listed in question 5?
4. I have a hang-on-the-back filter, and a Whisper 40 Aquarium Air Pump. It spurts air in the tank to make it oxygenated. I ordered a Biochemical Sponge Filter to go on the end of it. Will that work?
5. Will these fish work:

-13 Platys
- 5 Cardinal or Neon or Penguin Tetra
- 2 Starlight Bristlenose Pleco
- 3 Dojo Loaches
- 3 Pearl Gourami
- 1 Dwarf Gourami
- 2 Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami

6. I have a 17 gallon tank I got for free, and I want something simple (like Ramshorn snails *hint*) that will feed the Dojo Loaches and eventually the Gourami’s. Any suggestions?
7. I have Play Sand as my substrate. How much of it should I use (in inches)?
8. I am getting fish on August 16th, should I start cycling in a few days?
9. Would a steady 74 or 75 degree temperature work with these fish?
10. What should the pH Level be and how do I put it in and keep it that way?

Thank you, but I have a request. (not to be rude), but you guys always stay on the topic of new tanks or fish. Could you please answer my questions about gH and pH etc. first? Kelly_Aquatics Kelly_Aquatics , could you please answer some questions too? You’re so helpful!

Thanks Everyone

T The Masked Shadow
 

deeda

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T The Masked Shadow , I answered some of your questions in green font, hopefully you can see it just fine.

1. how do I set the correct temperature with the heater? Does the heater have temperature numbers on it? What brand heater is it? Do you have a thermometer?
2. What and why do I need gh (growth hormones) in my tank, (again, Asking how to set up :)))))) GH does not mean growth hormones, it means General Hardness and the only way to know what the GH is is to buy a test kit. I recommend the API GH test kit.
3. I am starting with plastic plants, and may be switching over to live plants. What live plants are easy, and good-looking for the fish types I’ve listed in question 5? Plastic plants are fine for now. I would wait for a while before trying live plants or others can make some suggestions.
4. I have a hang-on-the-back filter, and a Whisper 40 Aquarium Air Pump. It spurts air in the tank to make it oxygenated. I ordered a Biochemical Sponge Filter to go on the end of it. Will that work? Yes a sponge filter should work just fine. Do you already have the hang on the back filter running?
5. Will these fish work:

-13 Platys
- 5 Cardinal or Neon or Penguin Tetra
- 2 Starlight Bristlenose Pleco
- 3 Dojo Loaches
- 3 Pearl Gourami
- 1 Dwarf Gourami
- 2 Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami

6. I have a 17 gallon tank I got for free, and I want something simple (like Ramshorn snails *hint*) that will feed the Dojo Loaches and eventually the Gourami’s. Any suggestions?
7. I have Play Sand as my substrate. How much of it should I use (in inches)? I like to have about one inch to 1 1/2 inches of substrate in the tank.
8. I am getting fish on August 16th, should I start cycling in a few days? I recommend to start cycling your tank now. Do not buy any fish until your ammonia and nitrite are Zero and you have a reading of nitrate over 5 ppm. You need to purchase a test kit, I recommend the API Master Test Kit.
9. Would a steady 74 or 75 degree temperature work with these fish? 78 degrees is the usual recommendation for tropical fish.
10. What should the pH Level be and how do I put it in and keep it that way? I don't recommend changing your pH. 1st you need to know what the ph is of your tap water.

Thank you, but I have a request. (not to be rude), but you guys always stay on the topic of new tanks or fish. Could you please answer my questions about gH and pH etc. first? Kelly_Aquatics Kelly_Aquatics , could you please answer some questions too? You’re so helpful!

Thanks Everyone

T The Masked Shadow
 
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duanes

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I will speak to pH, (and a little temp) and certain fish, as besides being a fish keeper, I was also a former chemist.
pH is reflective of acids or lack thereof in water and often has a relationship with the hardness of water, although this can be tricky.
pH below 7 is acidic, 7 neutral, and above 7 considered basic
Certain fish do well in soft, low pH water.
Cardinal and many other Amazonian tetras have evolved to live in soft,low pH water, pH 5, to not above 7, they also prefer temps around 80.
Certain fish do well in high pH hard water
Platys and other Central American live bearers and fish, have evolved in high pH hard water, mid 70s water temps are fine.
The gouramis you mention are neutral pH water fish, as is the bristle nose, mid 70s aregood.
Th dojo loach is not really a tropical fish, coming from parts of Asia where cool temps are common, a goldfish temp tank is more to their suiting.
Many of these species will not kick the bucket if pH, and temps are out of their norm, but get too far out, can cause stress, which can lead to disease, and an unsuccessful aquarium.
Before choosing fish, knowing your tap water pH, and researching the water they come from will help determine if a certain fish is right for your tank, or not.
Many fish are adaptable, especially those long bred in aquariums.
Cardinals are one of the types, that are usually wild caught, and tend to flounder in water parameters out of their normal range.
 
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Gourami Swami

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Good posts above. Here's my take

1. how do I set the correct temperature with the heater? If it's an adjustable heater, turn the knob to desired temperature. 78* is good for most tropical fish

2. What and why do I need gh (growth hormones) in my tank, (again, Asking how to set up :)))))) You don't, I would not add any "growth hormones"

3. I am starting with plastic plants, and may be switching over to live plants. What live plants are easy, and good-looking for the fish types I’ve listed in question 5? I like Anubias, java moss/fern, valisneria, and cryptocoryns for beginner plants.

4. I have a hang-on-the-back filter, and a Whisper 40 Aquarium Air Pump. It spurts air in the tank to make it oxygenated. I ordered a Biochemical Sponge Filter to go on the end of it. Will that work? Sponge should replace air stone at the end of the tube

5. Will these fish work:

-13 Platys
- 5 Cardinal or Neon or Penguin Tetra
- 2 Starlight Bristlenose Pleco
- 3 Dojo Loaches
- 3 Pearl Gourami
- 1 Dwarf Gourami
- 2 Powder Blue Dwarf Gourami

All the gouramis may fight, they can tend to be a bit aggressive especially since only males are usually available in the hobby for most species. You may be OK since it is a midsize tank and you will have a good number to spread aggression out. You can give it a shot, or keep one pearl and one dwarf (should look different enough to ignore each other imo) and go for some other midsize fish instead.
Your fish prefer some different pH levels, hardness, and temperature. But are all fish that have been in the hobby and bred to the point where they should all be OK in water that is around neutral.

6. I have a 17 gallon tank I got for free, and I want something simple (like Ramshorn snails *hint*) that will feed the Dojo Loaches and eventually the Gourami’s. Any suggestions? Ramshorn snails sound like exactly what you want.

7. I have Play Sand as my substrate. How much of it should I use (in inches)?
Anywhere from 1-3 inches should be fine. I would rinse the sand well, play sand is very dusty.

8. I am getting fish on August 16th, should I start cycling in a few days?
I would cycle the tank before buying fish, if you haven't started yet then it is not likely to be ready by august 16th. Cycles can differ in time but average time is more like 4 weeks. If your tank is still cycling, adding your fish will throw your cycle out of whack and the fish will likely die. Also, adding the fish slowly would be much better than adding all of your fish at once.

9. Would a steady 74 or 75 degree temperature work with these fish?
Yes

10. What should the pH Level be and how do I put it in and keep it that way?
Around neutral would be OK for all your fish, which may prefer it a bit higher or lower depending on species. I would test your tap pH and see if anything needes to be done.
 
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The Masked Shadow

Jack Dempsey
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Jul 19, 2020
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Encinitas, California
dear all,

YOU GUY ARE SO HELPFUL!!!

My water pH is between 7.2-8.3. Do I need the API thing? Gourami Swami Gourami Swami , thanks for answering all my questions! duanes duanes , thanks for telling me about pH! That is SOOOOO helpful 😶. D deeda , I can see the green just fine :). Do I need to buy a test kit? Thanks for honoring my request! You guys can debate about about what fish I should get now ō_ō.

I know some people on my other posts were saying “DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH”, but you guys gotta understand, I am doing as much as I can. With my sister bugging me 24/7, I’m trying. You guys are so helpful, and I love how everytime I ask a question, one of you always replies with a detailed answer! I would have been lost without all you. You guys don’t understand how appreciative I am to you!

Thanks Everyone

T The Masked Shadow 🥳
 

The Masked Shadow

Jack Dempsey
MFK Member
Jul 19, 2020
227
40
31
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Encinitas, California
My new stats:

pH level is 7.2-8.3.
The hardness of my water is hard. Not soft or extra hard, just hard.
I am fine if their is controversy of some fish in their. I noticed no one talked about the tetras. Are tetras good in their?
For my cleaning fish, I will start with 1, then go to 2 Starlight Bristlenose Plecos (SBP).
I don’t think I mentioned this, but I also want 5 Peppered Cory Catfish.
So I didn’t really get a clear answer (from my point of view [not to be rude]), but would 3 Dojo Loaches work in my tank?

Thanks for everything! ❤

T The Masked Shadow
 

deeda

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T The Masked Shadow , YES you need to buy a test kit and I recommend you do it as soon as possible.

How do you know what the pH and hardness is of your water?
 
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Gourami Swami

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Agree with above, you need a test kit, otherwise you won't be able to track your progress on the cycle and won't know when the cycle is complete.
Here is a nice video on the basics of the nitrogen cycle:
 
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The Masked Shadow

Jack Dempsey
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Jul 19, 2020
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Encinitas, California
Gourami Swami Gourami Swami , That’s awesome! Thanks for the tips. D deeda , Ok. I will order the one you suggested. I will add fish sporadicly, since I barely have any money left for the fish 🤥. I will start cycling tommorow, since that’s when the filter and kit will come. Thanks for everything, and jjohnwm jjohnwm , I’m not a troller or a hacker! I just need help 🧸

- T The Masked Shadow
 
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