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01-05-2014, 07:54 AM #1
Feeling overwhelmed with stocking information
I am new to aquariums with anything other than a typical goldfish that I keep in my classroom. After many years of wanting one for home my husband finally caved and bought me my first! (incase it helps with answers It's 48L x 13d x24H) The whole length of it is done with bubble wands, I have only real plants, I believe there are 6 or 7 and black sand substrate.
I should backtrack for a second and say that an aquarium was donated to my classroom with several fish already living in it ( I believe it was a 20g). 3 neons and two african algae eaters. I did some reading and found out i need more neons for these to be happy and found nothing at the time to suggest what i was soon to find out. a little girl in my class brings me 2 grey fish from her home for the aquarium. Her mom said they were neons and living in a bottle on her table for decoration. (wow.. but yeah...)they looked healthy aside from their lack of color so we added them and that made the number of neons just barely the minimum for a school. I couldn't figure out why they had no color at all, but chalked it up to stress living in a bottle.
I was in the process of cycling my aquarium at home when winter break started. (3 weeks in) I had left my classroom fish with a timed feeder and planned to check on them. So i am doing a ton of reading on cycling, stocking tropical community aquariums and the types of fish that are passive. Somehow I came across a chinese algae eater which looked exactly like my african algae eaters and have a very scary transition in their tastes for food as they grow. (the ones in my class were about 3 and 4 inches long) So I am now terrified for my classroom fish. I am calling trying to find anyone going in or that can let me in and finally i find someone there. The scene is awful. A floating chewed up corpse, the fish that were alive huddled into a corner with fins chewed up, an eyeball missing. Horrified I took them out leaving the algae eaters. I put the half eaten fish in my tank at home. Within a few hours the grey ones changed colors. After some digging I found that one was a white cloud and one was a bloodfin tetra and that they prefer schools as well. My fish from school seemed to have made their own hodge podge school. they follow each other around and stay close.
I have 7 corys and 2 clown plecos. I recently got 4 white clouds and 3 neon tetras to help de-stress my traumatized fish. (the neons went right to the other neons! the white clouds are babies and just big enough not to go into anybodys mouth and aren't schooling with the older one yet) I plan to get more but don't want to freak out the chemistry going on in there by adding a ton of fish at once. (bringing their numbers to 5 white clouds, 5 neons and still only one bloodfin) They haven't had any bloodfins at my LFS. We live in alaska and getting things here can be such a pain. I would like to add more neons and white clouds. I was also hoping to get mollys or platys, something with more color. However after reading a ton of stuff saying how peaceful bloodfins are I came across a few threads today saying they can be aggressive. (tomorrow I was planning on making the hour drive into anchorage to check petsmart and petco for lack of a small mom and pop store with the bloodfins.) I am attached to my classroom fish, they have been through a lot and are really thriving in my tank at home. I am just worried about not finding the right mix of fish to maintain a peaceful environment for everyone. I would love any ideas. Will the bloodfins be okay? So many conflicting information and I understand that you occasionally get fish that act out of the norm and you can't predict that. I would be extremely thankful for any advice.
01-05-2014, 10:37 AM #2
01-05-2014, 12:33 PM #3
She said clown pleco not loach, P. Maccus, L104 or L162, which are fine for the tank at home.
All these fish are in your home tank right? The dimensions you give add up to a nearly 65 gallon tank which means there is plenty of room for more fish. Before you add any fish, is the tank cycled? If the tank is cycled, I suggest adding 2 or 3 more fish to the white cloud and neon groups and hopefully you can find enough bloodfins to make a proper sized group for them. Then don't add any more for two or three weeks. If the tank is not cycled do not add any more fish until it is.When I go fishing I just place a sharp rock in the water and sit there waiting for all the dead fish to float to the top... Kingfisher
Brutal honesty will be shown on this screen.
I think my fish is adjusting well to the four gallon, He's laying on his side attempting to go to sleep on the bottom of the gravel.
Tolerance is a great thing to have, so is the ability to shut up.
I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.
01-05-2014, 12:52 PM #4
+1 with above - and whatever you are using to test your water parameters at home, perhaps can be used on this tank in your classroom, unless it's easier to get another test kit (hope you are using a master kit and not test strips).
Hope you have adequate filtration for the bigger tank - it's important to have double - meaning if the tank is 65 gallons, two filters providing at least 130 gallons of filtration.46 gal fw tank with black skirt tetras, neon tetras, spotted corys, green corys, 1 guppy, cherry barbs, otoclinus, snails & 4 amano shrimp - plastic & live plants
5 gal QT with green corys & 2 guppies
01-05-2014, 01:14 PM #5
Looks like this was your first post with us - Welcome to AC!
01-05-2014, 03:44 PM #6
All of these fish are in my home tank. I left the algae eaters at school for now.
The temp stays at 72-74.
In alaska our water is hard. We have been trying to figure out a good way to soften it. It's a well. This is concerning to me but the LFS assures me all of the fish we buy here have been acclimated to it. Which seems odd. I like hot showers. If suddenly I was only able to take cold ones I'd suffer through them but it doesn't mean I'd be comfortable. I imagine it would be the same for fish to?
I have 2 filters but one was leaking at the bottom and i plan to exchange it today.
I have been using the strips since the LFS doesn't have the kit but I am hoping to get it today if petsmart has gotten any in, otherwise i might order it online but with that it could be a month if not more before i see it. lol. Our LFS uses the kit and since i find a reason to go almost every day they have been testing my water also after reading the strips are less reliable.
The clown pleco is supposed to grow around 3 inches which i imagine there is some give or take to since genetics are a crazy thing. (we have 3 boxers and none are the same size lol) They seem to be very tolerant. The corys will sometimes check to see if the one I'm able to see is hording food. It barely notices them. The other I have no idea where he is hiding. I haven't seen him since he was added which seems to be the norm.
I believe the tank has cycled but still want to add fish gradually so everyone involved has minimal stress assuming it makes a difference to them?
I am worried about my bloodfin and would like to get more to make him more comfortable even though he seems to enjoy schooling with the group from my classroom (plus the baby neons following the classroom neons around lol) the white cloud has no interest in the others i bought for her. Is it because they're babies or because she schools with the bloodfin and neons? The LFS in town had only super tiny white clouds that looked like fish food, however the lady catching fish was so nice to try and catch the ones large enough not to be eaten. I am hoping she notices them soon. (or he?)
So if i bring the white clouds, bloodfins and neons up to around 12 should I just leave it at that and not worry about stocking to capacity or should I add something else? If so what would go well with these type of fish?
I know this is going to sound super nerdy but I have a notebook I keep with me that I write down the names of fish I see that I like and then come home and read up and fill out their needs so when I go back I will know. There are so many conflicting finds though it's almost scary to add anything else. lol I was thinking of adding a honey or pearl gourmi since it seems like they are the most peaceful. I like the platys but read they do well with some salt added to the water and as far as i know nothing i have shares that preference. I also read that many people keep them without adding salt and they do fine? (I don't really feel comfortable bringing something home and just not giving it something it's said to need) I have also been reading up on the clown tail beta. It seems like having one per tank with peaceful fish that won't nip fins. Some sources say neons and bloodfins nip and some don't mention it. I have read that if they have a school large enough they won't. This is confusing. lol (not that it takes much lately to confuse me)
I am new! Thank you for the welcome and patience<3 You guys have been a huge help as I have been reading posts for awhile now in some attempt to untangle the overload in my brain. lol
01-05-2014, 04:16 PM #7
At a beginning level it is generally not recommended to mess with water parameters, as they are complex and unless you thoroughly understand how pH, alkalinity and hardness work and how they relate to each other,
actions to change water parameters may have unintended, harmful consequences. It is a controversial area in the hobby, but I do believe that the majority of originally softwater fish in the trade, those that have been raised and bred in captivity for countless generations, are adaptable and able to live in hard water without significant stress, as long as extremes are avoided. therefore, as long as you stick with common species, you should not have many issues.
In my experience of white clouds, babies do not school with adults until a certain size. it could be a mechanism to avoid being eaten, or when larger than that, to avoid agression from the adults. male white clouds can be quite obnoxious to each other, youngsters as well as females for no apparent reason. your fish could also have been living alone so long that it has affected its behavior. a lone white cloud I rescued from a school tank never properly schooled with the other minnows I possessed, possibly due to its long isolation.
having 12 each of the 3 midwater schoolers, the cories and the plecos still gives you a fair amount of room to put in other fish. a pearl gourami may eventually pose a danger to the neons, as they can certainly exceed 4 inches.
honey gouramis are small and peaceful enough that you could skip the "1 gourami per tank" rule and put multiple fish in your tank. I currently have 2 males and 4 females in an aquarium of the same dimensions.
not all fish prefer soft water. certain species including platies actually do best in hard water, making them perfect for your aquarium. as long as the water is hard, platies do not require salt added.
a betta may not do well in a community. even if it is not attacked, the long floppy fins put it at a disadvantage against the faster fish in the race for food.
the reason fish kept in a larger school do not nip other fish is because their attention is kept within the swarm. basically, in a big school, a nippy species can bicker amongst themselves while
a smaller school may lead to bored(?) fish seeking stimulation by harassing others.
01-05-2014, 06:14 PM #8
I agree, I have been reading about the use of chemicals and how once you start raising and lowering ph you can get into all sorts of trouble. I am staying away from putting chemicals into the tank aside from something to make tap water safe and prime.
aww I hope mine do school when they're older. i was thinking it was maybe because they're babies but the neon babies went right to the 2 older ones. Its so cute how they trail around behind them.
Thank you so much for the information! :)
01-05-2014, 08:34 PM #9
You definitely have a lot of room to play with once your schools are filled out more. The advice given already is great. Platies will definitely be fine in your tank...and they will breed like crazy. Making sure you have a predator like honey gouramis will help thin out the masses of fry. Maybe one more school of larger tetras for some size contrast and fry-killing power. Take your time and check things out...add the schools slowly. You may find that very large schools of the same fish you already have are satisfying.
Have fun dreaming about all the possibilities! :)20 gallon with a male betta, neons, glowlights, and red cherry shrimp. (work in progess) Recently added a few LIVE plants and driftwood, Woooohoooo!
Welcome to the community Simplicity! Hope all goes well with your new aquarium! It sounds as though you have actually done research and care which is wonderful, unlike the person who kept those poor three neons in a jar. (*sigh*) Anyways I adore White Clouds and I hope they end up doing alright! Keep in mind that White Clouds are on the lower end of the temperature range so don't mix them with high-temp loving species. I know it's hard but remember to introduce new fish gradually so you won't have a mini-cycle and also to not buy on impulse. Good luck! (Sorry I didn't have time to read everything so I hope my reply is helpful to your situation.) :D-Ivy
Any time any person tells me they own fish, I automatically ask them a barrage of questions. "Please tell me it is not a bowl." Do you know what the Nitrogen Cycle is?" "Do you have a filter? What kind?" "How often do you replace water?" "How many fish do you have?" etc etc. Then I continue a discussion for about 20 more minutes before I realize I tend to be the only person that cares.
• 15 gallon long: One betta fish. Still working on it. Will be a planted aquarium.