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Coldwater tank- fish and plants

(5 Posts)
headlesshorseman Sat 03-Aug-13 17:01:02

Does anyone have a coldwater tank?
I have a 70l tank that I am planning on running as a coldwater system with white cloud minnows and maybe some red cherry shrimp.

So firstly, do I need to have a live plant in there for the shrimp? Iv read that Asian Ambulia is good for the conditions I will have, but also that keeping plants alive is much harder than keeping fish alive hmm

Also, how many minnows shall i get? Not going to put fish in for at least 2 months to get it well cycled but the shop said that I can put 10-15 in 70l, which seems like a lot (even tho they are small).

Or would it be better to not bother with shrimp and plants, and just stick with the minnows?

TIA smile

EauRouge Sat 03-Aug-13 18:12:48

You don't need plants, but they'll look good and the fish and shrimps will appreciate them smile It's not hard keeping them alive as long as you choose the right ones to begin with. I'd probably go with some java fern on a bit of bogwood, it's pretty much bulletproof. I've had a lot of luck with cryptocorynes too- they grow fairly slowly and most of them stay small enough to not take over a 70 litre tank. Any kind of aquatic moss is great for shrimps, the babies hide in it when they are titchy. You could get a mossball or two as well, shrimps seem to love those.

Asian ambulia is like a lot of other plants that are touted as beginner plants- they are easy to grow only because they grow so fast that it's hard to kill them. I don't like having to hack loads of foliage out of the tank every week (I have a 60L) so I stick to slow growers that stay pretty small.

If you are planning on live plants then using a fertilising substrate underneath your gravel/sand will make a lot of difference- if you've already set up with a fertilising substrate then you can get root tablets to stick around the roots of your plants. Also liquid additives like flourish excel give plants nutrients but it's not an essential (I find it keeps the hair algae down though).

I wouldn't go for more than 8-10 minnows myself, but I like lightly stocked tanks because I'm lazy and I don't want to make extra work for myself grin Some people like to pack fish in more tightly but I don't think it looks any better and sometimes you can get behavioural problems if they are too crowded (not to mention water quality problems if you don't do umpteen water changes a week).

A fishless cycle will save you loads of trouble in the long run!

Hope that helps smile

headlesshorseman Sun 04-Aug-13 10:19:36

Thnks for the advice on slower growing plants, I was worried I might spend all my weekend hackin back weed
s smile
Could I get away with 5minnows and 5 danios do u think?
In starting from scatch again once the tank is scrubbed so should I get it all planted up before I cycle or can I start cycling then gradually add plants etc?

EauRouge Sun 04-Aug-13 10:26:42

I wouldn't go for two species in a tank that small and 5 is a bit small for a shoal anyway. If you get a decent sized shoal (6 or 7+ at least) then you get to see all the cool scrappy behaviour where they sort out who's boss and who spawns with who- great fun to watch! It also ensures any aggression is spread out more evenly and there's not just one fish that gets picked on.

Most people add plants before they start the cycle. That gives the plants a chance to settle in and also gives you a bit of leeway for changing stuff around if you don't like how it looks- it's much harder to do that once the fish are in.

headlesshorseman Sun 04-Aug-13 12:37:23

ok that makes sense smile
thank you!

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