stocking suggestions for my 220g
I am not really new to AC but have been away for some time. And have lost my old account info and have since changed my E-mail address. I have been keeping fish since the mid 1980's. But have never kept a community style tank, I think that is my next project
I was informed by my wife that I am changing my livestock in "my" 220g in wall tank. I currently have north American natives. ( bluegill, green sunfish,and a Chanel catfish) these fish will be transferred to my outdoor pond soon.
I am working on my heating system now. As my natives need no heating. I am going to build a heating system using two hot water heater elements and redundant temperature controllers.
I would like to stock the tank quickly so once I transfer my current stock I will not have to re-cycle this tank.
I want to stock with a lot of small fish. Would like to have some bottom dwellers as well as some that tend to stay in the middle and upper levels. My wife would like some schooling fish and the more colorful the better....
Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance.....
Liking the inwall setup, your water parameters and the amount of maintenance you are willing to perform on your tank are the two biggest factors (besides your budget) on what livestock you'll be keeping.
220 Gallons gives a large amount of room to play with and considering you aren't new to this hobby I'd say you're a step above most of the crowd.
Before I give some suggestions, are you going with a planted tank/substrate etc or are you planning on keeping the relative aquascape and just adding fish?
Well maintenance is not an issue as I do 20-30% water changes at least weekly. I don't currently monitor ph level but my guess is that its slightly less than 7 (I remember testing it a while back) and should be stable as I am on a well system. All my other levels are good and very stable....
As far as the aquascape prolly will change a bit. But will probably stay with the sand/small gravel substrate with no live plants.
The aquascape likely will change to meet the needs of my livestock...
As far as budget.... I have set aside $300-$500 for this project. I need to get my heating set up done with that also. Which I think I can do for about $100. I am going to run this in a 50 gallon drum for a week or so to test and make adjustment. And to make sure I don't cook my tank. .
With 30% weekly changes you should be fine to house most stock IMO depending on your feeding regiment.
You said that you want lots of small fish so what naturally comes to mind are tetras. 220 Gallons can house a lot of small fish and most of them carry small bio load so your main issue in this tank is going to be tank mate compatibility in which semi aggressive fish should negated by hiding spaces/share mass of water.
A single species rainbowfish school would look great and that would take care of your upper mid- upper level dwellers for most rainbowfish. You could go with multiple species of rainbows but different species of rainbowfish will breed with each other in your water once they reach maturity, if you don't mind that that would give great contrast to the top region. Banded, emerald, irians, they're so many colors and variations to pick from and they are relatively cost efficient.
I would play with the ratio of rainbows to tetras, if you were going planted I would have suggested some dwarf cichlids.
Mid level you could do a 2-3 medium size schools of tetras, neons/cardinals, congos and rummy noses come to mind, I particularly think those rummy noses would add great personality to the schools. Tetras are also a great way to keep cost down and get more 'bang for your buck' in terms of numbers.
Bottom level you could go with loaches (clowns are nice but should be in groups of at least 6) or corys and if you have some driftwood maybe a gold nugget pleco.
May I ask why you're doing custom heating? Two 300 watt jager heaters should do the job if you have adequate circulation. Both should run you about 48 bucks. I'm not sure what filtration you have but I'm assuming a sump. If there are any dead spots I strongly suggest getting a powerhead and make sure that massive amount of water is getting proper circulation. Any questions regarding my suggestions feel free to PM me or post them on here and I'll do my best to respond, great looking tank btw I can't wait to see it with the new stock.
Thanks for all the suggestions. I hadn't thought about the rainbows, is there a reason you mentioned them in a single species tank? Do they not play well with others? ....lol
The reason for the custom heating is, well, there are two main reasons.
First is the tank is actually in the garage which is not heated and the temps out there gets down to 40° f in the winter. So the way I figure I will need about 1500-2000 watts of heating. (Could probably go with a bit less but I don't want to run the heaters constantly) I have had bad experience with some of the higher wattage heaters. And with my custom set up I will be able to replace elements for about $10 each and the temperature controllers for about $30 each.
And reason two is I like doing things myself and making something that is designed for my specific situation. It also allows me to play with the wattage and run time inexpensively . I could add more elements which would decrease run time and again these elements are around $10....
Thanks again for the input, Scott
With that size tank, you can really have fun with some larger fish.
If you are not doing a planted tank, then going with a larger cichlid tank could be a lot of fun!
South American Cichlids - Flowerhorns, Red Devils, Tiger Oscars, could look good.
Or a community type with lots of Silver Dollars and Tin Foil Barbs
Most of these fish would also do well in a non-planted.
Discus are awesome fish if you can keep up with the demands, it could be a great discus tank.
If you wanted to do more community fish: Denisons Barbs, Angelfish, Pictus Catfish, Green Neon Tetras, Lemon Tetras, and Rummy Nose tetras, and just do large number schools.
You could also go a more exotic route, and do a tank with freshwater stingrays, arrowanas, knife fish, tiretrack eels, and synodontis catfish.
Possibilities are really endless.
I personally seems addicted to larger community based planted tanks. SO I would do a natural driftwood and planted tank with larger schools of my favorite comminute fish. Odessa Barbs, Buenos Aires Tetras, Bosemani Rainbow fish, Black Neon Tetras, Sterbai and Leopard Cories, Gold viel Angelfish, and a big fancy pleco.