Just getting started.
Cycled 40 gal tank and after nitrites and ammonia levels dropped to zero, gradually added fish.
Over the course of 5 weeks, I added fish. Nine have died and were replaced. I now have these:
4 zebra danios (had 7 but 3 died early on)
4 bleeding heart tetras
3 platies (had 4, but 1 died 2 weeks ago)
6 neon tetras
3 peacock gudgeon
1 powder blue dwarf gorami
1 oto cat (bought 3, but 2 didn't last even one day)
1 zebra nerite snail
2 shrimp (had 7, 5 died recently)
Is this too many fish for my 40 gal. planted tank?
Using the 1 inch of slender fish per gal, it isn't, but it looks a little crowded at times.
I'm doing a 20% water change every week and vacuuming the gravel (while avoiding plants).
The filter is a Aqueon® Power Filter QuietFlow 55/75.
Keep the water around 78 degrees.
PH is 7.6. A little high, I know.
Feeding flakes and occassionally, freeze-dried brine shrimp. Tried blood worms, but they sunk immediately and the platties and the gorami didn't get any.
It is looking pretty good, but I don't like it when stuff dies. I guess I'm just wanting confirmation that I am doing okay or suggestions on how to improve things.
Its not overstocked but it is a bit overcrowded...
You really should pick a few schools and try to narrow down if you can. You have the danios and tetras in too small of schools.
Here is what I recommend you try to do:
8 of either danios, bleeding heart, or black neon (pick 2 schools)
1 dwarf gourami
4 otos (but only after you notice algae... like in a few months)
3 peacock gudgeon (i don't know about these guys, someone else can comment on them)
If you want you can keep the platies... they will breed though
The shrimp will be eaten unless they have many many many small hiding places that fish can't get
Edit* I also think you are unfiltered... I would recommend two filters that size for that tank
I had first time fish acquiring syndrome too. Then as fish died (I didn't know about fishless cycles!) I started recognizing how happier my fish would be if I just settled on a few species and made sure their numbers were good. I have 10 danios (4 zebra and 6 celestial pearl) they all school together 3 Cory's (2 julii and 1 hold over panda) and a Bristlenose pleco. I love seeing the danios happy to be with their fish pals and now they leave everyone else alone!
I think it's a good idea like Hardy said above, to just pick a few species, get their numbers right and see how they flourish!
all advice is good on adjusting your schools to 2 but I don't think you're under filtered. the Aquean 55/75 is rated for a 90 gallon tank. So, it would seem you have double filtration for your 40 gal which is what you want to aim for. If you add another filter I'd get another smaller one just for a back up and to have on hand for when you want to QT new fish. Then you'll always have an extra seeded filter and the extra filtration will be great for the 40
30 g FW planted:corys, female ABNP, blue angel, harleys, zebra danios, rummies, mystery & assassin snails
15 g FW planted:2 male guppies, neons, pygmy corys, clown pleco, 4 types of shrimp, mystery & assassin snails
90 g FW planted:congos, rainbows, roseline sharks, kribs, male ABNP, peppered cories, assassin snailss
90 Gal Journal: http://bit.ly/1vC7gVX
fishless cycling: http://bit.ly/1DARf3T
fish in cycling: http://bit.ly/1ILvcfp
advice on making a few schools are perfect. Maybe the reason for the deaths is how you acclimated the fish? And I would increase your water change to at least 50% per week.
Thanks, everyone. I think givemean_a had it right... first time fish acquiring syndrome.
I will work on establishing just two schools plus the dwarf gourami, otos, and gudgeons.
2nd filter is a good idea, too!
Water change of 50% per week is a little problematic. According to the local aquarium shop owner, my water's ph is too high for tropical fish. It is 7.8 at the tap.
fishmommie: I also live in Iowa!
Most tropical fish wont have a problem with 7.8 ph, as long as its stable. Your water change percentage and frequency should be dictated by your nitrate readings, preferrably to bring your nitrates down to about 5, ie if your nitrate tests at 20, you need a 75% water change, if they test at 10 50% and so on. Your ammonia and nitrites must remain at 0, or you have either lost your cycle or have never completed it. As a general rule ,your fish are not troubled by any size water change as long as the ph and temperature are very close to whats in your tank