A Newbie starting a new 30L tank -advice needed

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by JLP, Oct 13, 2021 at 9:04 AM.

  1. JLP


    Oct 11, 2021
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    Hi Guys,

    I'm starting a new 30L tank and was wandering the ideal way to make it into an aquascape set up.
    I'm looking for names of hardy plants and the amount of fish to put into the tank? I really like Rams, so these would be my first choice of preferred fish

    Can I go without CO2?
    Xerxes likes this.
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  3. Xerxes


    Oct 16, 2018
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    Cape Town
    As a newbie - you want to learn with easy to keep inhabitants - and move on to the next level when you've paid your dues.
    First newbie mistake - is to think that the smaller the tank, the easier it will be to maintain - not true. As it gets bigger, the more stable your water chemistry & temperature.
    Of course as the tank sizes get really big - maintenance will become a bit overwhelming for a newbie. I would say the sweet spot for a new fish keeper is about 80-100 liters.
    Quick side note - even if the box says so, or even if your dimension calculations say so - the tank will always hold less than you think. The water never goes right to the top, and the substrate, decorations and filter material take up space.
    Once you have finished your tank, physically measure the water it holds. This is the value you will use to determine stock, conditioning/medication dosing etc.

    Stock level: normal stock level rule of thumb on tropical fish is: 1cm of fish per liter of water (calculated as above). However, I would always suggest understocking as a beginner.

    In my experience, Rams are definitely not a beginner fish. Stick to your easy and hardy staples like: guppies, harlequin rasboras, some of the tetras, danios, some of the corydoras, platys, swordtails, mollys, bettas (although careful who you mix them with) etc....

    Plants: you should not be thinking CO2 on your first tank. You should be thinking easy, low to medium light species like anubius, buce, java fern, java moss, suBwassertang, hornwort, crypts etc....

    Keeping fish will teach you the meaning of patience. There is no such thing as rushing the process here. You have to learn to crawl before you can walk - as they say.
    Please take this advice - I don't say all of this to make you feel inadequate or inferior to me, but rather because I've been fish keeping for 36 years and I've made a million mistakes along the way, and killed way too many fish-friends with impatience.

    Good luck - relax and enjoy!
    Vinchilla, NOVA, A new day and 3 others like this.
  4. A new day

    A new day Moderator

    Jun 13, 2019
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    Cape Town
    Hallo @JLP welcome to the forum and to the hobby!

    Overall excellent advice given above. Yes a 30L is actually significantly more difficult ito water quality and to scape.

    Ito stocking I would probably do around 5 MALE guppies or Endlers. Defs no females in the mix as the tank is way too small for breeding. You could also consider a school of micro rasboras eg chilli rasboras but for your first tank I’d say the male guppies or Endlers. Would want to set you up for success and rams are not a beginner fish at all (and not suited for a 30L, I’d say ideally 60L for a pair).

    Then once you’re sure the bug has bitten, get yourself a 3 foot tank perhaps- then you can start introducing more than one species and play around with stocking a bit.

    Just my 2c.
  5. MariaS

    MariaS Moderator

    Apr 23, 2015
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    Klipriver, Midvaal
    Hi @JLP.

    Welcome to the Forum

    Some good advice and food for thought has been given above

    Unfortunately i have very little experience with planted tanks..

    Look for ward to how your project develops
  6. NOVA


    Mar 14, 2021
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    Hey @JLP, welcome :thumbup:

    Great info from @Xerxes, +1

    Definitely would recommend taking your time to plan out what you want and look at the options and what fish are compatible with each other. Availability and quality of stock may vary and you might have to wait a bit to get what you really want, BUT its definitely worth it.

    Wouldn't recommend CO2 for a first tank but try get a decent light and would recommend the above mentioned plants like anubias, java fern/moss.

    Wishing you all the best

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