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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had a tank for over 10 years, but have never been what you would call an hobbiest, mostly a guy with an aquarium that bougth community fish that looked cool (gouramis, tetras, barbs, pim cat) nothing exciting, and the ones that lived is what I had in the tank. Recently I added more Cardinals and some Black Phantoms, the Cardinals died 1 by 1, including the ones I already had, one Mollie/Swordtail started chasing others, Phantoms broke out with ICK. Treated ICK by adding salt and raising temp, all thats lef is a Bolvian, a Mollie and a Buenos Aires. NOW I'm ready to start plan/design a SA tank.

Started trying to stabalize tank, packed HOT filter with foam for bioligical and added powerhead to undergravel = great flow. Even thought about small 5-10 gal sump, as I tend not to do scheduled water changes. and probably will tend to overstock (like to see lots of fish and fish activity).

Any more suggestions? What decor would help maintian 6-7 PH?

BTW, Great site, lots of good info here, learning lots, wish I had found it years ago, now I'm actually excited about aquatics. Who knows, may end up with tanks everywhere.
 

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What size is the tank you're talking about and what are your current water parameters out of the tap (better if you let the water sit aerated in a bucket a few hours) ?

You might not need to do anything to maintain this pH.

About the WCs, you do not have to have too much of a strict schedule, but just remember to do one every WE or something, this is not hard at all when you get used to it. And if you slip a bit, no problem. But if you start with the idea that you won't be doing regular water changes when you're actually looking to get/start a new tank, i'm not sure it's a good idea to do it. You know, life respect and all that. :wink: :D

Anyhow, I wish you good luck for your first planned tank. :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Every WED? I think once a week is what most recommend. I'm thinking once a month. That would be my reasoning for a sump on 20G, can't have too much filtration..
 

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Every Week End. :wink:

But anyhow, if you plan to overstock, you will need to do WCs (water changes) more often (though you won't be able to overstock much in a 20g :-?). And since the longer the tank goes untouched the more the water chemistry varies, doing a WC every month can be quite shocking (and up to deadly) for the tank's inhabitants. Of course some fish are harder to kill than others, but they won't like it.

Let's settle on once every 2 weeks okay ? :D :roll:

FWIW, monitoring your water regularly when starting this new setup should be a fairly good indicator of when to do WCs.
 

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FWIW, monitoring your water regularly when starting this new setup should be a fairly good indicator of when to do WCs.
Agreed. Try to keep your NitrAtes under 20.
Once you get a routine going, weekly maintenance isn't that hard or time consuming, especially on a 20 gal. tank.

However, as an alternative:
Some extreme heavily planted tanks go the low/no partial water change route.
You might read up on those types of tanks on planted tank websites.
They tend to stock with small schooling fish...

HTH
 
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