It's been along time since I had native fish. Back then it was saltwater fish I caught while living in Virginia Beach. I'm interested in freshwater fish now and am looking for some insight how to best use my current equipment.
I have a 30 "long" that currently houses 3 cardinal tetras, 4 zebra hovering loaches, a clown loach, a catfish, a bnp and 4 amano shrimp. It has an emperor 280 and a coralife light with dual bulbs. It is chock full of annubias (3 types), java fern (long leaves) and a nice ball of subwassertange. I like planted tanks but have had zero luck with any other types of plants. Not sure why, but I tried low tech planted for several years with little success. Even the easy plants never grew. This is the only tank I have in service right now. I plan on keeping these fish as they have been with me for over 5 years.
I bought a 20 long with a stand and a conventional flourescent bulb. It came with an aquaclear 200 HOB and an aquaclear 30 powerhead on an UGF. I have a 20 high with an emperor 280 HOB and a coralife light with twin bulbs. I have an penn plax cascade 700 that I have never used. I just bought a lustar hydro III sponge filter. I also have 2- 10 gallon tanks and a 15 gallon tank that I bought used from my LFS going out of business.
I would like to have no more than 3 going as I just don't have room and work 60 hours a week. Not too excited about species only tanks, I really prefer "community" tanks that contain species that you might find together. Maybe 3 kinds together. I would likely have amano shrimp for algae control. I understand thayey are better than ghost shrimp for that use.
I would love to have a darter tank with minnows as dithers. They remind me of the blennies and gobies I used to keep from the Chesapeake and Atlantic. I also like the look of the least killies, pygmy killies, blue fin killies, flag fish, the various small sunfish (pygmy and black banded/blue spotted). I like smaller fish. And like most folks, I like diverse colors. I am not really interested in breeding, only having a comfortable home for a grouping of fish/invertebrates.
So, any suggestions on how to best use my existing equipment? What fish combos for which tanks?
I had thought to put the existing fish in a smaller tank (maybe the 20 high with the 280 hob) and use the 30 for darters/minnows. How much filtration do I need for that sized tank? That would leave the 20 long for some combination of Florida species.
Thanks for your help. I'm sure there are numerous threads in here on this topic. If you point me there that would be helpful. Looking for help from the experts!!