View Full Version : Would like opinions......
01-04-2007, 01:57 PM
I would like to tell you guys about my new tank and get some feedback....
We have a 150 gallon tank. This is our dream tank and was quite a financial investment for us so we sure don't want to mess up.... We got good advice on the initial set-up and cycling so all that went well. We have put in the following fish:
2 silver-tip sharks
5 black skirts
4 gold skirts
4 red minor tetras
4 bleeding hearts
3 black phantom tetras
We have the following live plants:
Acorus (green and white)
We also have a piece of driftwood in now with 3 more pieces going in this week. We are adding fish slowly and tonight we are going to get some tiger barbs and clown loaches and maybe a catfish of some sort or two. I know that tiger barbs have a bit of a bad rap but my brother-in-law has a 55 gallon tank with about 8 tiger barbs along with black skirts and other community-type fish so we are going to get some too because I really like them. I read on one of the sites where you buy fish that tiger barbs are more aggressive in small numbers and if you get a larger number then you have less of a chance of problems. We were also told that having such a large tank kind of changes the rules on who you can put together. Our guy at the Petsmart told us that we could put community fish together with semi-aggressive if we put the community fish in first so they could establish their territory first. We are giving them plenty of places to hide also. I also want bala sharks and rainbow sharks. We are planning on adding some dward gouramis also. So I would like to know what you guys think and don't worry that conflicting opinions might be confusing becuase I like to have an overabundance of opinions to think about.
Thanks in advance because I know from my short time here that you guys all have great advice and opinions....
01-04-2007, 02:05 PM
Bala shraks can be up to a foot and need a school too big for a 55. You can try the tiger barbs if you get at least 8 or so to start with, but be ready to take them out if need be. Double check those silver-tip sharks. If they are the ones I am thinking of thay are brackish and need to come out of there. Is it this (http://www.elmersaquarium.com/image_fish/01%20shark_colombian.jpg) shark? If so that is the brackish one and it needs to be in the proper setup. Most little community fish won't establish a territory, but they will simply settle in to the tank, whereas if the semi-aggressive are there first they will stress out the community guys before they settle in. Anytime when you are talking about compatibility like this, it comes down to this rule: it depends. Some will get along fine, others will tear eachother apart. It is safest to not mix, but if you want to give it a try, be ready to separate as needed.
01-04-2007, 02:06 PM
What filtration do you have on there? What water change schedule do you have?
01-04-2007, 02:32 PM
Just to clarify... I have a 150 gallon... my brother-in-law has the 55 gallon.
The picture you linked to is the silver-tip sharks that I have but at Petsmart they have them in a regular freshwater tank. I will check into that more.
As far as filtration goes I have a Rena Filstar XP3 canister filter. It says that it will do 175 gallons. The schedule we had decided on was 30% water change every other week. We haven't done a water change yet because we have not had the fish in there two weeks yet.
01-04-2007, 02:58 PM
How long have you had the tank? By "new" I am thinking this was a family Christmas present? If so, you need to ensure your tank is completely cycled first before adding more fish, and by that I mean ammonia and nitrites should read 0. If you don't have a test kit, you need to buy one and take daily readings until your tank completes cycling. Download the Free Aquarium Ebook on this site; here's the link http://www.aquaticcommunity.com/aquariumforum/showthread.php?t=1602. It gives some great info on setting up a new tank, especially the nitrogen cycling process.
In short, fish waste and food breaks down into ammonia, which is very toxic to fish. Bacteria grow that converts the ammonia to nitrites, which is also very toxic to fish, but not as much as ammonia. Additional bacteria grow that converts the nitrites to nitrates, Nitrates are used by live plants as a nutrient. Nitrates are also toxic to fish but are removed by the plants and by regular water changes. Here are links to some useful charts about the toxicity of ammonia and nitrites and the corrective action you need to take when they start to endanger your fish.
Here's a link from about.com about the nitrogen cycle with additional links about ammonia and nitrite poisoning. http://freshaquarium.about.com/od/startupcycle/Step_5_The_Cycle.htm
Ammonia chart: http://freshaquarium.about.com/library/begin/xcolorammoniachart.htm
Nitrite chart: http://freshaquarium.about.com/library/begin/ncolornitritechart.htm
Second, mondo grass is not a true aquatic plant, despite what Petsmart/Petco tell you. It will not survive being fully submerged and will eventually die off in a couple of months. You will need to pull them out as they start to die off or they will pollute your tank. If you want something that looks very similar to mondo grass, try dwarf saggitaria (also known as Sagittaria subulata). This is from personal experience....I bought 2 bundles of mondo grass thinking it was dwarf saggitaria but when it started dying off I did some research and found out mondo grass is often sold mistakenly as an aquatic plant by chain pet stores so you keep coming back to buy more to replace. It's a pretty easy plant to grow and care. It will eventually send out root runners under the gravel where new plants will emerge, about 1 per month. Here's a link about the Dwarf Sagittaria http://www.aquahobby.com/garden/e_subulata.php
Clown loaches also do better in groups and like hiding places, a large one where they can all hide together preferrably.
Your most important task at hand is to have patience while your tank completes cycling before adding more fish.
Good luck with your new tank!
01-04-2007, 07:33 PM
Thanks a bunch for that info. We first put water in the tank on Dec. 22. We treated the water with Cycle and put in plants the next day. We added our fish on Dec. 26 but hadn't tested the water at that point. We added more plants on Dec. 28. I tested the water today with the strips and nitrite is at 0. For the ammonia I have a meter that hangs inside the tank and changes color to show the levels. A few days after the fish went in it changed from 0 to 0.02. I checked the charts that you linked to and it looks like 0.02 shouldn't be a big deal. 0.02 doesn't seem that far off from 0.
Those links are great and I'm putting them in my favorites for sure. I have read the e-book here and it is great too.
01-04-2007, 07:44 PM
Reptileguy hit the nail on the head for you.
Silver tip sharks are most certainly brackish water fish and need to be in a brackish tank.
Tiger barbs can be nippy and generally don't cause too much of a problem, but as Reptileguy said, they may have to come out...
One other thing I may add is that filters should be rated about twice what you need.
The XP3 will most likely do the job, but I would add another filter rated at least for another 75 gallons.
Do you have city water or well water?
Check your PH of your tap water in relation to the PH in your tank.
If there is too much of a difference, then I wouldn't do extremely large weekly water changes.
Stick to about 25 to 30% weekly. It's all you need
Sounds like a nice setup!
01-04-2007, 08:09 PM
Sounds like you plan on having a beautiful tank...in time. As mentioned, be patient since you didn't fishless cycle it will take some time for the bacteria you need in there to counteract the ammonia and nitrite to form. Seeing as how you have a relatively small group of fish in a large tank you aren't going to see high ammonia amounts like some with smaller tanks and more fish, but you still need to let the cycle take it's course. You will probably see higher ammonia over the next couple of weeks, and then readings of nitrites before you can safely say you are cycled. As for the product cycle....I have heard good and bad, and have used it as a boost, but like you, started with small amount of fish in large tank, plus had decor from an established tank to help. Read up on cycling and check out previous posts....everyone here has great knowledge that has been shared many times over.
Make sure when you start stocking again that you do ask Q's, and research your fish, as you have been doing. Clown loaches like groups, and can get up to 10-12" so you want to make sure you leave room for them to mature or you will be looking for another large tank! :)
01-04-2007, 08:15 PM
Thanks Kimmer.... okay I have to throw up my hands for a minute in confusion. I always tend to overthink a lot of things and flood myself with lots of info and I guess I'm a little bit confused.... I thought I did do fishless cycling because of using the "Cycle" product and using live plants and waiting to put the fish group of fish in. Am I wrong? Did I not wait long enough before putting in first fish?
01-04-2007, 08:26 PM
After about 3 weeks with fish in your tank the only plant that will be left is the Sword.
01-04-2007, 09:03 PM
After about 3 weeks with fish in your tank the only plant that will be left is the Sword.
Why do you say that?
01-04-2007, 09:16 PM
Cycle is not a very good product, really. The best on the market is bio-spira under refrigeration at the pet shop. If you can't get it for some reason, the Stress Zyme would probably be a second choice.
Bala's not only get big but go nuts. They are fun and get along with everything but do tend to disrupt everything else in the tank due to their sheer size and the speed in which they swim. Slow movers in the tank will be stressed by them. 150 is a great size for them but personally, if I had them and planned to keep them to maturity, I would have nothing in the tank with them and 3-4 of them. They are noted to not breed in captivity.
I disposed of my 2 last week before I ran into all the problems they create. They were only 5 inches.
With all those plants in there, you may have no problem doing the cycle at all and may not need to do anything. You should have a test kit, however, so you can check on the ammonia and nitrites.
Good luck. Your tank will be awesome.
01-04-2007, 09:19 PM
Thank a bunch, Hobbs. I might be re-thinking the bala sharks. Do you know if rainbow sharks are the same? I liked those too.
01-05-2007, 12:34 AM
Big tanks like that will not cycle the way smaller ones will, depending on stocking they may never go through a detectable cycle. So it is very possible that you will never read any ammonia or nitrites if you stock slowly, but you need test kits to ensure that is what is happening. Your water changes should be weekly and absolute minimum needed are whatever it takes to keep the nitrates below 40ppm absolute max (which may be 20%, it may be much more when you are fully stocked) much lower preferably. But that is absolute minimum and better is always better.
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