Starting over with my tank - looking for stocking ideas
I'm new to this site. I've been browsing for ideas to stock my tank.
I'm not new to fish keeping, I've had fish tanks since I was a child and have had all sorts, from small, desk-top, neon tetra tanks, to large 6 foot long 500 litre set-ups.
My last set-up was a smallish Tanganyikan tank. I had some julidochromis and neolamprologus ocellatus (shellies), with some dwarf neon rainbowfish at the top as dithers. I'm not sure what caused it but the rainbowfish were thriving, then after about six months started dropping from a mysterious disease...possibly fungal/bacterial, and no treatment seemed to work. Eventually I lost all of them except for the julidochromis (which seemed immune). All water parameters were stable throughout. Very odd.
Julies on their own are quite shy if there are no dither fish, but I didn't want to risk buying more to just see them all die, so I decided to start over from scratch.
Yesterday I took my julies back to the store and came home only with a selection of plants. I've cleaned out the tank completely, scrubbed all the rockwork in hot water and vinegar, boiled the gravel and sand, and cleaned the filter so it looks new. The tank is now re-set and settling.
Over the next few weeks I will decide what to stock it with. My limitations are:
115 litre capacity
Eheim Professional 3 (the tank is massively over-filtered) with spray bar, turned to around 75% strength at the moment, fairly quick water flow, but I can lower the speed even more if necessary
crushed coral and sand substrate
new plants (being given two drops of liquid CO2 per day)
water in this area is hard and alkaline
I'd really like a change and go for a community tank of three or four species. I was going to start with a few peppered cory catfish to begin with, maybe a little gang of 5 or 6 to shuffle around the bottom. I'm not sure where to go from there. I know that my water would suit guppies down to the ground and was considering just getting a mass of them (would need to slow the water for these guys I would assume), but was a bit concerned they may be a bit boring - any other ideas? I love the look of cherry barbs but I'm not sure if they will thrive in alkaline hard water.
I have also considered a large school of tiger barbs as they look wonderful in larger groups, but again, would I be pushing it with the water qualities?
Any ideas would be brilliant.
If I have the right filter found for you, then you basically have a 30 US gallon tank, with a filter pumping out 450 gallons per hour. I would rate this just about overwhelmingly over filtered. But is a plus, if you ever want to upgrade to something larger, tank wise.
So, 4 community specie in a 30. High flow rate on the out flow.
Bristle Nose Plecos, 2
Corydora, 3 minimum, no more than 6
Tetras, school of 10-15 or 15-20 of maybe either Lemons, Silver Tips, or Bloodfins
A couple mystery snails maybe--they're here just to fill out your 4 specie requirement.
Tetra will occupy both mid and top, and will look great.
On a side note, add these fish slowly and only after your tank is cycled. If not read yet, please read the following articles in my signature, Cycling with Fish and the Fishless Cycle by Lady Hobbs.
Thanks very much. Yes, I chose the filter so that I can easily upgrade the aquarium if I wanted, and also because it's so easy to control (flow rate). I used an Eheim Classic before that but I didn't find the flow rate enough (my tank is quite deep) to really move the water enough at the bottom.
I've looked up your suggestions and very much like the look of the lemon and bloodfin tetra. Are they similar to rummynose tetra? They have them in my local store and they caught my eye so that might be worth considering?
Were any of my shortlisted fish suitable? Cherry barbs? Tiger barbs? I'm still unsure.
I'll definitely get a group of corys. I'm not sure about plecs as they tend to uproot all the plants in my experience so I'm less keen on that idea as I'm trying to keep this tank planted.
I've read the articles with thanks and am already doing a fishless cycle (only in day 3 at the moment so adding a few fish flakes to start the process).
My assassin snails seem to be very much enjoying the place to themselves!
Originally Posted by ~firefly~
In my experience, Rummynose are more difficult to acclimate to a tank than other tetras. Especially if they're wild caught. If you do go the Rummynose route, make sure to drip acclimate.
The concluding paragraph outlines the drip method.
Also, I've only had one bristlenose pleco, but I never had plant uprooting issues.
Tiger Barbs are nippy in smaller shoals, but Cherry Barbs are more of a docile specie. So, if going for a community, I would put Tiger in the unsuitable category and the Cherry in the suitable.
But Cherry is suitable if you do a planted tank with shaded areas. IMO, Tetra would be easier to keep. Especially the Blood Fin, Silver Tip, and Lemon variety.
Davidsrego - thanks for that tip. I might speak to the shop to see where they are sourced, and how they might fair. I've read the article on the drip technique and I'm pleased to report that I already do this with each introduction.
Bignellm - thanks for your advice. I have a few plants in the tank that I'm hoping will take. I may need a few more large plants to create shade for cherries if I do go with them. Still undecided but may go for a browse (no buying) this weekend for my shortlist.
Thanks again for your informed advice.
How are you going to cycle your filter? Fishless, I hope.
Yes. Fishless. I did it last time with nothing but a few fish flakes and it only took three or four weeks which was surprisingly quick but monitored throughout.
I'm a week in now on this new cycle but still had zero readings on ammonia today despite adding feed. This cycle may be different due to planting? I'm not sure. Anyway, today I picked up some straight household ammonia and have dosed the tank to 3ppm to speed things up a bit. I'm hoping this won't kill my two assassin snails though?