Thoughts on Proposed Stocking?
It's been quite a while since I was on here. I am finally in a good position to return to the hobby. I am considering a nice-looking 90-gallon tank, and I'd like to hear your thoughts on my tentative stocking plan.
I should first note that my intent is to have a heavily planted tank with a deep, enriched substrate (probably something like fluorite eco-complete) topped with an inch or so of either very fine black gravel or sand. For fish, I am considering:
1 large school (20-30 individuals) harlequin rasbora
1 large school (20-30 individuals) neon or cardinal tetra
1 medium school (10-12) Neon Rainbowfish
6-8 cory cats (probably Bronze or Peppered)
6 otocinclus cats
some red cherry shrimp to round off the "cleanup crew"
and, for the centerpiece, pearl gouramis (probably a group consisting of 1 male and 2-3 females)
I expect I will do a fishless cycle with plants in, and start with maybe half the harlequin rasboras for my first addition, adding the pearl gouramis last, after everybody else (the shrimp especially) has had a chance to get established. Does this sound like a reasonable combination of species? Everything I've read about them suggests they are probably compatible, but I wanted to hear the voice of experience.
Thanks in advance for all your help and advice.
90 gallon is 340 liter. Hmm.. not unrealistic.
Pearl gourami and shrimp don't mix very well, gourami have a big mouth and come to think of it, so do ranbowfish.
With this much floor space I'd go for at least double the number of cory, perhaps even at the expensive of keeping the rasbora and the tetra schools a bit smaller.
Have you considered just one small schooling species? 40-50 neons looks awesome!
otocats will require algae wafers, especially when the tank is starting up.
All of these require soft water preferably a bit on the acidic side. Can you deliver that?
Thanks for your reply. I wil definitely be prepared to supplement the otos' diet, and I would figure to add them relatively late in my stocking in general so that the tank is better established for them, as I understand that they can be a bit fragile when being introduced to a new tank.
I was hoping that if I provide plenty of cover and let the colony get established first, the shrimp might survive having pearl gouramis around, but I can rethink that if I have to.
As for water parameters, the water in my area is natively soft to medium, but decidedly alkaline. It's an odd combination, to my mind, but that's what comes out of the tap. As a general rule, I am reluctant to mess much with my water chemistry. I was considering leaving things be and seeing how everyone does. However, I could certainly buy and use a pH-lowering additive if it seems necessary. Any advice about whether I should attempt such, and if so, how to best do so such that I can avoid pH-swings during water changes?
Taking into account what TD said, I think you'll be good to go if you do it as you have suggested you will.
A 90G is big, so everyone should have enough room to get away from each other assuming that you plant it really, really well before you add the Gouramis. That way everyone will have some cover, and the Gouramis will have plenty of places to claim.
If it were me I probably wouldn't risk more than one Gourami cause I'm a chicken, but I don't doubt that it will probably be doable in a 90g.
I wouldn't try changing the PH at all. Fish will adjust to PH if acclimated correctly, and you take a bigger risk by trying to change it. A stable PH is MUCH better than a shifting one, no matter the actual requirments.
130g: 7 Angelfish, 1 Bolivian, 17 Neon Tetras, 14 Serpae Tetras, 9 Kuhli Loaches, 1 Otocinslus, ? Ghost Shrimp
I've noticed that people HATE it when you point out how stupid they are, so now I try to do it politely.
Hi, Mandy. Thanks for your input! Your advice coincides with what I've heard most frequently about pH, which is why I'm reluctant to monkey around with it.
Mandy has some valid points. However with this stocklist i would still add a bit of peat to the filter. It will gently lower the ph a bit and add some tannine to the water which will be appreciated. I keep some of these species or have in the past. They will do fine in moderate hard water uptophone 8. However since i lowered mine to 7 and soft and added peat to my filter i get really vibrant colours and quite a bit of displaying.
That's definitely something to consider.
I take it that if I went the peat route I should do only small water changes at any one time, or else treat the added water if I have to do a large water change? I'm guessing that using peat as a source, rather than relying on chemical treatment will help the (lower) pH to stay more stable?
Well.. that would be ideal. If you do a normal water changing regimen, say 20-30% at a time the ph fluctuation will not be that significant. At least it never was for me. Soft water means relatively little buffering capability so the influence of peat will be significant. Which reminds, me, start slow, say a handful. Keep that in for at least a month before adding more. I see they have pellets on the american market: http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...m?pcatid=21338 much more convenient
+ 1 to a big school of Cardinals and Harlequins they contrast very well with each other.
Talldutchie brings up some great points on the benifit of adding peat to your tank.
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I remember back in the 80s when we had liquid rock here... guy had a truly amazing south american tank with stunning angels and tetras. He was running on half rain water and had covered the whole back of his tank in peat. Really dark water but boy, those fish!
Don't think we'd do that these days.