New tank cycling

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Maxsfish

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Jun 12, 2019
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Hello, I have two tanks, a fully cycled 10 gallon with a betta, and a 29 gallon freshwater in the cycling process. My city’s water has chloramine instead of chlorine so I had some issues getting the ammonia down. Now I am reading nitrates and nitrites with nitrates bieng slightly higher(there are some nitrates in my tap water but more in the tank) does this mean the tank is almost cycled? There are no fish in it currently but there are several live plants sand and decor. My ph is neutral and my hardness is slightly on the soft side. I know I want to add 3 platies and Kuhli Loaches but am not sure how many of the loaches and what else I should add.
 

fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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Welcome to AC!

Until the nitrites hit 0, you're not done cycling. Nitrate may hit sky high, but that's ok. Just do BIG water changes as needed. You want 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite & ~10ppm nitrate (up to 20ppm). 2ppm ammonia should read 0 after 24 hours.

Platys are pretty rock solid as first in fish; kuhlis like a more aged tank & a group of 6-8+. You have lots of tank space for both...but you might want all male platys so there are no fry overpopulation issues.

A dwarf gourami or M + F pair of honey gouramis might work well & serve as centerpiece fish. What other fish interest you?
 

Maxsfish

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Original poster
Jun 12, 2019
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Welcome to AC!

Until the nitrites hit 0, you're not done cycling. Nitrate may hit sky high, but that's ok. Just do BIG water changes as needed. You want 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite & ~10ppm nitrate (up to 20ppm). 2ppm ammonia should read 0 after 24 hours.

Platys are pretty rock solid as first in fish; kuhlis like a more aged tank & a group of 6-8+. You have lots of tank space for both...but you might want all male platys so there are no fry overpopulation issues.

A dwarf gourami or M + F pair of honey gouramis might work well & serve as centerpiece fish. What other fish interest you?

Thank you! I like most fish but definitely prefer smaller colorful fish, the kuhlii are my favorite by far however.
 

Maxsfish

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Jun 12, 2019
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Thank you! I like most fish but definitely prefer smaller colorful fish, the kuhlii are my favorite by far however.
Sorry I forgot I also really like black fish, I had considered mollies going in as well.
 

fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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Well, there are black kuhlis...I prefer striped...but both were nice! If they are to be your only bottom fish you could have 10...or even 12.

Mollies aren't a fish I've kept, but again, with livebearers, go all males...say maybe 4 male platys & 2 or 3 male mollies (any colors of either...if they're male. Learn what a gonopodium looks like, that's how to tell males from females. Google it! You or lfs should be able to tell when fairly small.

Good luck! & we're going to need pics please! & if you need an excuse to try live plants, I say go for them! We can help with easy plants that are easy to find. They add to the entire aquarium experience.
 

Maxsfish

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Jun 12, 2019
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Well, there are black kuhlis...I prefer striped...but both were nice! If they are to be your only bottom fish you could have 10...or even 12.

Mollies aren't a fish I've kept, but again, with livebearers, go all males...say maybe 4 male platys & 2 or 3 male mollies (any colors of either...if they're male. Learn what a gonopodium looks like, that's how to tell males from females. Google it! You or lfs should be able to tell when fairly small.

Good luck! & we're going to need pics please! & if you need an excuse to try live plants, I say go for them! We can help with easy plants that are easy to find. They add to the entire aquarium experience.
Thank you! I do have plants, anacharis, anubis, java fern, and a moss stick. Yeah the kuhlii will be my only bottom dweller. I’m going to do some more research on the other fish as well as I’m also thinking about doing danios and another school instead of the platies and mollies since I’ve heard that the mollies may need larger tanks.
 

fishorama

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You might look at rasboras, there are a few that would work well in a 29g. Harlequins are classic, pretty & never aggressive; espei are slightly smaller & more coppery colored. Red tailed rasboras (R. boraspetensis) are longer bodied & similar to whiteclouds for color & danios for shape. There are several tiny dwarf rasboras too or maybe dwarf (NOT neon dwarf)) rainbowfish that might be ok instead.

IME danios are too active for a 30 inch tank.

You could go all Asian with say 8-12 kuhlis (all the same species), 8-12 rasboras (again, all the same kind) & maybe a dwarf gourami or pair (M + F) of honey gouramis. I'm not a fan of dwarf blue gouramis these days, they're prone to a virus & other health issues. The are pretty though.

Another type of easy plant to consider are cryptocorynes, there are lots! Some come in red, green, brownish or maroon, & most are easy to grow. Anacharis, meh, it's usually happiest at cool temps. It never grew well for me long term. But it's fine for cycling, just don't be disappointed if it doesn't last. There a few stem plants that "can" grow easily, lets save those for later after you get your feet wet ;)
 

Maxsfish

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Original poster
Jun 12, 2019
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You might look at rasboras, there are a few that would work well in a 29g. Harlequins are classic, pretty & never aggressive; espei are slightly smaller & more coppery colored. Red tailed rasboras (R. boraspetensis) are longer bodied & similar to whiteclouds for color & danios for shape. There are several tiny dwarf rasboras too or maybe dwarf (NOT neon dwarf)) rainbowfish that might be ok instead.

IME danios are too active for a 30 inch tank.

You could go all Asian with say 8-12 kuhlis (all the same species), 8-12 rasboras (again, all the same kind) & maybe a dwarf gourami or pair (M + F) of honey gouramis. I'm not a fan of dwarf blue gouramis these days, they're prone to a virus & other health issues. The are pretty though.

Another type of easy plant to consider are cryptocorynes, there are lots! Some come in red, green, brownish or maroon, & most are easy to grow. Anacharis, meh, it's usually happiest at cool temps. It never grew well for me long term. But it's fine for cycling, just don't be disappointed if it doesn't last. There a few stem plants that "can" grow easily, lets save those for later after you get your feet wet ;)
Thank you for all the advice! I do quite like the harlequins and will look more into them. I’ll check out the cryptocorynes as well. Do they need fertilizers? I’ve heard mixed information about how fertilizers could affect Kuhli Loaches.
 

fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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SF Bay area, CA
I use root tab fertilizer for crypts. My kuhlis, both species, didn't dig but they can. Shove the root tab (or even a half) almost to the bottom of the substrate, it should be fine.

Easy smallish (4-6 inch) crypts include all of the many Wendtii varieties. Lots of colors in the red, brown, green range, some have textured leaves. Mi oya is a maroon, very pretty imo.

Edit: I forgot to mention crypts often "melt" when first planted or moved. Some or all of the leaves might turn to mush but if the roots are healthy new leaves will grow fairly soon. Just remove the melted leaves & wait.
 

Maxsfish

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Jun 12, 2019
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Okay awesome, sounds good! I’ll definitely look into those as well as the root tabs. As far as adding fish I know you are supposed to add slowly(after the tank is cycled of course) but since they prefer groups of 5-6 should I add all in one school and then watch parameters for a week before adding the next or is it okay to build the schools slowly two or three fish at a time.
 
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