Hoping someone can guide me in my exuberant desire to have a tropical fish tank! I want to create a tetra tank as i think there are many gorgeous variations of tetra. I have a AquaArt Explorer 60 tank (60l) and based on the general size of tetras (about 2-2.5 cm) i think i could probably have quite a number of fish but i want to keep it on the lower side, ie 20-25 max.
I live in a hard water area and i read an article that suggested hard water would be bad for tetras generally and wondered if its feasible to use mineral water instead? If not, mineral water, what water can i use to ensure its not too hard for these little beauties?
Tetras are usually around the 4-5 cm size when fully grown, and it's that size that you need to base calculations around. You'll see from http://www.seriouslyfish.com/knowledge-base/ what size the various species of tetra grow to, plus their requirements in terms of water hardness, tank size, minimum shoal number, etc.
Off the top of my head, x-ray/pristella tetras are the only ones that seem to do ok in hard water - your water/utility website will be able to tell you what your water hardness is for your postcode in CaCO3 or German degrees hardness, the two most important values in fishkeeping.
My tank is a similar size to yours and I wouldn't keep any more than 2 species, 8 per species/shoal. If nitrates don't rise more than 20ppm above your tap water level per week (assuming you'll be doing weekly water changes), then you might be able to manage 10 of each - but that would be at a real push.
Hi there and thank you for such an informative response. Yes I had realised about their sizes after I posted, I was reading inches as cm! I will check regarding the water as I don’t think the RO water route is an option for me!
I have another quick question for you if you don’t mind. I have a garden pond and the ammonia, nitrite and nitrate levels are spot on most of the time. Would it be feasible to use some of that filter media to start off the cycling process for the tropical tank or would it not work because it’s cold water rather than tropical?
RO Water - not sure if this is allowed, so apologies if it isnt, please remove.
I found a compact reverse osmosis water system that can do 50 GPD at a very reasonable price if anyone needs to purchase one. The site is nothing to do with me but prices for these units seemed very high until i found this one https://www.osmotics.co.uk/products/Compact-50GPD-Reverse-Osmosis-(RO)-System.html?gclid=CjwKCAjwuO3cBRAyEiwAzOxKsjcj84o_DlODVD9feVESp5lXvzWrAkZK8FMJQ2-AJ7Zv-EjkXVDnCRoCkn8QAvD_BwE
so RO is back on the table because of the fish i want to keep.
Incidentally - is it possible to store RO water - just for a few days in prep for a water change?
Yes, you can store the water. I use 2 x 100 litre slimline water butts for mine. Each has a powerhead and heater in so I can get my added minerals mixed thoroughly and bring the water up tp tank temperature before using it.
I’m guessing you’ll be able to tell me this too Fishlady - sorry to bug you but it’s easier than consulting my books! I know I’ll slso need to add “stuff” ie minerals etc to the ro water but for tetras what should I be looking for and are they readily available online?
The tetras I’m looking at need soft water with a ph of 6-7.
Once they’ve settled in I’m thinking of adding a small pleco/suckermouth if I have room and the one I’m looking at also needs soft water and a ph of 6-7.