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Originally posted by bigdohbeatdown
Hey dude. I don't know a lot about aquariums..
But I reckon just go to the pet shop and pick out like 20 fish. Me thinks you could fit maybe 20of those guppies in that tank.. from my very rudimentary knowledge... I've seen more overloaded tanks.
Other tropical breeds worth considering are swordtails and platties. These two breeds co-exist extremely well, as they do with guppies and mollies - collectively, these four breeds are known as live breeders and don't lay eggs as such and are well suited for a starters tank.
My questions are, are there any other fresh water tropical fish that would be good in a tank that are relatively easy care? ...What kinds of fish (other than those mentioned) would go together well, and which ones would be best avoided?
As for how many?? Your dimensions allow for around 40lt of water, the general rule is around 1cm of fish per 1lt of tank water... for example, this suggests around 5 x 8cm or 8 x 5cm fish at maturity.
How many fish would be adequate for such a space without overloading it?
It's best to start off with plastic plants until the tank is established, live plants alter water Ph and water quality in general, however they are beneficial in providing oxygen uptake in the tank.
Would it be worth having live plants in a small space, or would it be better to have plastic plants?
Avoid all ocean rocks, pebbles, shells or driftwood from any source... although, crushed coral is beneficial as a layer of the substrate, yet best left for now.
Any specific gravel/rocks/ornaments I should go for or avoid?
The most important tips are to set up the tank prior to introducing any fish and allow the water to mature - correct Ph and water temperature for your choice of fish species with near zero ammonia, nitrates and nitrites being detectable is preferred.
Any other little tidbits that would be useful.
Start slowly with a few fish of each sort.
Guppies, platies, mollies and neons will all live very happily with each other.
4 or 5 max of any type of fish is enough. (Males and females will breed)
Do Not overload with any one type of fish.
That is a monoculture and will quickly deteriorate.
Try to get a biological balance, so that the tank cleans itself mostly.
Snails, "Suckerfish" etc clean the glass walls for you and keep algae down.
Read as much as you can and involve your daughter from the very start.
Always get an external Filtersystem, and always get one for roughly twice the capacity as your tank, otherwise you end up cleaning it every other day, preventing you from reaching a stable balance as described above.
A single beta, being aggressive, is okay but make sure your other fish do not have long flowing colorful fins or they will not survive the attacks
I've heard they grow to sandwich size in warmer water.