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  1. #21

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    0 Not allowed!
    Hello Robert, welcome to the AC!

    I hope you will allow us to follow along on your journey. It sounds like a fascinating one.

    I'm subscribed.
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  2. #22

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    0 Not allowed!
    @ mbkemp - The Black Ruby Barb, Odessa Barb, Diamond Tetra, and Serpae Tetra are some of my favorite Barbs, and Tetras aesthetically, but the Columbian Tetra not so much. While I do find the Tiger Barb's coloration to be beautiful the primary reason that I selected the Tiger Barb as the species to build my aquarium stocking plan around was the manner in which the species schools together. I have never, in all my years, seen any aquarium housed mid to top level species school together the way that I have seen the Tiger Barb school together. I have seen a school of Tiger Barbs easily in excess of fifty fish swim in such a tight school that I literally could not see through the center of the school. Yet I have seen schools of other species easily in excess of 100 fish spread out so thin that they did not even appear to be schooling together. I want to build a setup for my aquarium based around a schooling species comprised of 24-30 fish that will form a tight school, and my in person experiences with the Tiger Barb are what led me to choose this species specifically. However, I would prefer a peaceful community aquarium that did not include any semi-aggressive species, and I am open to any suggestions that fulfill my schooling desires. Also, the Diamond Tetra was at the top of my list, but I had strong doubts that the Tiger Barbs could overcome the temptation to nip the Diamond Tetra's fins. I assure you that the Diamond Tetra is going to be the first new addition to my stocking plan that I make if the Tiger Barb ends up getting removed from my stocking plan.

    I was worried that would be the case concerning the German Blue Ram. It was the right size, the right temperament according to the majority of what I read, and had a beautiful coloration. Plus, blue was not a color represented by my aquarium's stocking plan once I replaced the Blue Dwarf Gourami with the Flame Dwarf Gourami. However, what I was reading on the German Blue Ram sounded so good that I did not believe what I was reading. Unfortunately, I was correct not to believe.

    @ mermaidwannabe - I definitely want to utilize live plants. My experience has been that the added benefit of live plants far outweighs their additional upkeep. In all of my previous aquariums, after my initial introduction into the hobby, I used live plants exclusively. However, there are two reasons that I am considering a 70% live to 30% artificial ratio. 1) I do want a heavily, heavily planted aquarium. With an emphasis on the adjective heavily. Granted I want several appropriately sized open spaces for the Cory to swim on the bottom, as well as, an appropriate amount of open water for the mid to top level swimmers to enjoy. However, the sheer size of the aquarium that I am interested in combined with how heavily I want to plant the aquarium forces me to consider supplementing the live plants with some artificial plants. However, I do not actually want to do this. I would prefer to stagger my live plants in an attempt to avoid needing to tend to everything at the same time. This is something that I have never needed to do before considering the smaller sizes of my previous aquariums. 2) I have never utilized live floating plants in my aquarium before, and several of the fish species that I have selected for my aquarium's stocking plan require them. I am concerned that my inexperience with live floating plants will be accompanied by a learning curve that might prove problematic for the fish species that require them to thrive in their environment. However, if I choose to stagger the live plants to spread out my upkeep rather than mixing live plants with artificial plants I will have more time before I begin adding fish to the aquarium. This added time might be just what I need to become accustomed to keeping, and maintaining live floating plants.

    Concerning which live plant species I will select, I have made no decisions as of yet. I had hoped to develop a stocking plan for my aquarium, and have an idea of the assortment of different types of plants that I would require before I started researching the different species of plants that I would prefer to use over others.

    As far as substrate is concerned I know that I want a soft sand that will not cause harm to the Corys, but beyond that I have given the subject no further consideration. The same goes for filtration. I was waiting until I had a stock plan, as well as, an aquascaping plan in place before researching a suitable filtration system.

    @ SueD - Honestly, I just want the shrimp, and the snails to add a little extra character to my aquarium. I will survive without them if they are not suitable, but if I decide to remove the Tiger Barb from my stocking plan I may revisit the idea of including shrimp, and snails in my stocking plan again. I have always enjoyed the Cherry Shrimp. The only reason that I was considering the Red Crystal Shrimp is because I find the banding in their coloration quite interesting. Speaking of adding character to my aquarium, does anyone have experience with freshwater clams?

    I will have to give the Bristlenose Pleco another glance. I actually like this Pleco, but I understood this species not to be compatible with the differing water hardness ranges that I am hoping to maintain. Any clarity on this issue? Also, I believe that I read somewhere that the Bristlenose Pleco was known to attach to, and suck on scaleless fish species. Any clarity on this issue? I will add that I am not interested in the Clown Pleco. I like the pattern of their coloration, but when I have seen them in person I have always felt that they had a sun faded appearance. I have also considered a small group of LDA25 Plecos, but I thought that might be a little over the top when combined with the Corys.

    @ steeler58 - As I mentioned throughout my previous responses in this post I am attracted to the Tiger Barb more for the schooling tendencies that are demonstrated than I am for the appearance. I will probably add more Cherry Barbs, another Tetra species, or another Dwarf Gourami species, if I remove the Tiger Barb from my aquarium's stocking plan.

    To everyone else that has responded with encouragement, suggestions, or both I am appreciative. I am taking everything into consideration, and making an attempt to digest all of the information. I am only responding to the first four posts within this post. However, it is my intention to respond to everyone who has opened the door to discussion, but it takes time.

    -Robert

  3. #23

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    2 Not allowed!
    Your plan with plants is a very sound plan. You are exactly right that doing it that way will allow you time to develop your own preferences (as far as which plants you wish to try out, and also the overall look you wish to achieve) all the while allowing your fish the comfort of having cover (with the artificial plants).

    You may even determine an artificial (or three) that your inhabitants enjoy so much, that you decide to keep it in.

    I fully share your line of thinking that introverts add a nice dimension of interest to a tank. Perhaps you might consider some of the larger shrimp -- many members here keep some -- that I think someone has already mentioned above. I couldn't find it when I skimmed, but feel sure that another member has suggested either bamboo/wood shrimp or amano shrimp. As @SueD suggested, perhaps you could keep a colony of Crystal Red Shrimp in a small setup of their own. Then you could just transfer some adults, if you wished to house some in your large tank. That way at least you could sustain a breeding colony.

    I keep RCS, which are an easy shrimp. I find them endlessly fascinating to watch. In thinking about your plans, I can't help but feel the tiny shrimp would be 'visually' lost in such a large tank. Of course, "your tank, your way" is the path to follow on your journey. If I personally were contemplating a large tank such as yours, I would stock a mass bunch of rummynose tetra for my schoolers, and perhaps even also consider the tiny shrimp just as you are doing! Point being, hike your own hike, as they say.

    You are being wise to research so much and to discuss, thinking things through. I'm really excited for you on this build!
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  4. #24

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    1 Not allowed!
    @ angelcraze2 in response to post #6 - Ok, I am just trying to confirm my understanding of your response just in case I am actually mistaken. Are you suggesting that the Amano Shrimp would be a suitable addition to my aquarium's stocking plan, replacing the Red Crystal Shrimp, even if I proceed with the Tiger Barb, or are you suggesting that if I replace the Tiger Barb with a more peaceful species that the Amano Shrimp would be another shrimp species to consider besides the Red Crystal Shrimp?

    You mentioned keeping twelve to fifteen each of the other fish species. I was wondering, if I can get the different Cory species to school together would I be able to keep six each of three different species, or would I still need the twelve to fifteen each. I could possibly add six of each species, and watch to see if they begin to school together. Then I could add six of a third species if they do school together, or I could double down on the species that I already have if they will not school together. I want, at the least, two species of Cory. However, I do not want more than twelve to sixteen total Cory.

    LOL!!! 10-100 snails you say. Try hundreds of snails. It has been so long ago that I can not remember the species of snail that I was keeping in my aquarium, but I do remember the outcome. I started with maybe five yellow snails about the size of a shooter marble, and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere I had more snails than individual pieces of substrate. Ok, I might be exaggerating, but you can formulate a mental picture. Therefore, I now have two rules concerning the addition of snails to my aquarium 1) I will never add more than one snail 2) I will only add a male, or female snail. The reason that I like the Apple Snail is because they are male, or female, and they can reach 6".

    I really like the coloration of the Kribensis, and a beautifully colored male paired with an albino female would contrast extremely well. However, I was concerned about their temperament towards both the bottom dwellers, and the cave dwellers, as well as, their propensity to nip the long flowing fins of their tank mates. Also, unlike the Tiger Barb I have not come across any evidence that there is a way to neutralize, or subdue their fin nipping behavior. Can anyone provide insight concerning this topic?

    I hate to hear that about the Whiptail Catfish, but nature is the way nature is. By any chance, does anyone know if any steps can be taken concerning the environment, or habitat to entice Whiptail Catfish to become more active? I have the same problem with the Tiger Pleco that I have with the Clown Pleco. I prefer fish species that have a deep contrast to their coloration, and I have always found the Tiger Pleco to have a sun faded appearance. This may be due to poor conditions surrounding the specimens, but it really has turned me off to several species of fish including this one.

    @ RiversGirl in response to post #23 - I am going to look into the Bamboo Shrimp. This is not a shrimp that I am familiar with, but I am interested in identifying as many possibilities as I can. I prefer to make an educated decision, as opposed, to an uneducated guess.

    Concerning all the potential Tiger Barb replacements, as well as, tank mates that have been suggested, I have two questions. 1) If I were to add both the Tiger Barb, and the Serpae Tetra to my stocking plan would I need to remove the Cherry Barb from my stocking plan 2) Would Diamond Tetras, and Bleeding Heart Tetras be safe from the Tiger Barbs, or a combination of the Tiger Barbs, and the Serpae Tetra.

    -Robert

  5. #25

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    2 Not allowed!
    You found it, yes! It was @angelcraze2 who brought up an amano shrimp. This type and also the wood/bamboo shrimp are quite a bit larger than the CRS you are considering. I do believe that @Slaphppy7 has kept both. Perhaps he will chime in with his experiences too.

    Quote Originally Posted by angelcraze2 View Post
    Caridina shrimp grow larger than neos, but it's not a good idea for your stocking plans IMO. My swarm of serpae tetras (9 of them) tore apart a cricket in a pack like piranhas to give you an idea. You might see adult females here are there, but they will most likely be always hiding anyway. I keep amano shrimp with my angelfish and they are out quite often, especially the big females.
    The various warnings regarding stocking CRS with the rest of your stocking plan are more about trying to prevent you from unintentionally feeding your fish very pricey snacks. That is no treat for the keeper to watch.

    You've probably already read within this site, but in case you've not stumbled across it: www.planetinverts.com/Bamboo_Shrimp.html
    It has some interesting reading.
    Last edited by RiversGirl; 07-11-2018 at 02:37 PM.
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  6. #26

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    0 Not allowed!
    I've never kept an apple snail. I've only seen them (huge! Baseball sized, I can see why you're interested for your big tank) and read about them. From what I understand, there is a type of apple snail that is a problematic, invasive species in Florida. (I do not recall if it is only one species, or several of them) It seems like I read that it is illegal to sell that/those particular type/s there, but legal elsewhere. Point being, be careful what you purchase. Identify before you buy -- and please don't rely on the seller's identification. Mislabeling/misidentification of creatures and plants are common throughout this hobby.

    I've also read that they can be voracious plant eaters, but I am not sure if this applies to all apple snails or just certain species. I can't differentiate between different types, but did find this guide. Please disregard if you already know this information. http://applesnail.net/

    edit: I'm not sure why my link isn't working. The bottom of the first paragraph reads
    "How to recognise an apple snail: basic guide to discriminate between apple snails and other freshwater snails."
    which contains the link to follow.
    Last edited by RiversGirl; 07-11-2018 at 03:00 PM.
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  7. #27

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    2 Not allowed!
    In reading and poking around the links above, I have found myself making all sorts of errors in the previous post. Apparently, I have indeed had apple snails.
    I'll just leave my apology here. Sorry if I have spread my own confusion.

    Hopefully you can sort through. I can not seem to differentiate between apple snails and "mystery" snails.

    My intentions on this site is to be friendly, encouraging, supportive and hopefully also helpful.
    Last edited by RiversGirl; 07-11-2018 at 03:24 PM.
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  8. #28

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    0 Not allowed!
    Going only by reputation - not personal experience - the serpae tetras' and tiger barbs' penchant for fin nipping would worry me with respect to the fins of the Diamond tetras. Diamond tetras are a boisterous group so they can hold their own in that regard, but they have really nice finnage that could be easily tattered by those inclined to nip.

    https://www.seriouslyfish.com/specie...obrycon-eques/
    https://www.seriouslyfish.com/specie...rus-tetrazona/

    --------------------------

    Snails: in general, these really creep me out. However over the years I have finally become used to the fact that adding live plants will often bring these critters into my tanks. My nightmare is the Malaysian Trumpet snail, of which I have hundreds over a few tanks. So I add assassin snails to keep the MTS low (eradicated in two tanks). The assassins were breeding for me several years ago and I was able to move them around to other tanks as needed. Lately, however, they don't seem to last too long for me so I keep buying a new supply when needed.

    The only other snail I do keep are nerites. They are the most effective at eliminating certain algae that build up on surfaces and they come in some pretty patterns. They will not breed in fresh water but the females will lay tiny white eggs that stick to the glass/driftwood/decor and this bothers many people. I don't find them a problem and for me the benefit outweighs the drawback. Fortunately, the assassins don't seem to target the nerites as they do the MTS or pond snails.
    Last edited by SueD; 07-11-2018 at 04:45 PM.

  9. #29

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    1 Not allowed!
    I'm sorry @RetroBob my post was not clear. I'm typing on a phone and going back and forth between windows! I do hope I'm less jumpy this time!

    I have noticed my angelfish do not bother with the larger amano shrimp or bamboo shrimp. My angelfish did investigate the shrimp, causing them to hide at first, but now they co-exist well. I cannot speak for tiger barbs from personal experience, but if I may liken tiger barbs to serpea tetras (which I have kept), I think amano shrimp and bamboo shrimp could work if tiger barb school numbers are kept high (~20). No less than 15 IMO. The amano shrimp love caves and to pick at algae in the lower plants, the bamboo shrimp will find a perch somewhere close to current (like the filter spraybar or powerhead) to spread it's particulate-catching net paws. I don't think keeping a potentially expensive fish snack that will most likely always hide is a good idea, so I would say no to CRS :( There are other large shrimp species out there that I have not kept yet, like Vampire/Rock, maybe even ghost shrimp? Look for shrimp that reach 2.5-3" and above. Just my

    I'll just say, and it's completely how I keep my own fish, I don't mind a little nipping. My lemons are often nipped and banged up, they are fast swimmers that often use the entire length of the tank to squabble. But they, for the majority of the time, stick to their group. I cannot confirm they ever nipped an angelfish with flowy fins. I've found the same way goes for the serpea tetra, if kept in large schools. I think the Columbian and hy511 tetra (maybe diamond, I have no experience) are large and boisterous enough to coexist with the large tiger barb school, but are not nippy like a tiger barb. I would keep those other tetra schools in 10 or above schools (I changed that number, it's only a suggestion to help them feel comfortable. The more the merrier with tetras and you have room in a 120g)

    Now cories, I don't keep, but again, the more the merrier. My mother keeps them and different strains/species of cory act differently then others. Her cories did not school as tightly (or at all) with different cory types. In her case, it was albino and peppered, which may even be the same genus. Her peppers were always hiding and albinos were out all day foraging. Again, purely my opinion and please take it as a suggestion, a large school of one (or two strains max) would look stellar in a large tank. I was told how they seem to create rolling clouds of fish along the substrate, something many aquarists don't see due to tank size restrictions. I think for you, based on what you wrote, six of each might be best, see if they school and double-down or triple-down on one. You'll get an idea of how they act in the aquarium and will know better by then what you prefer.

    FYI I can't keep cories in my own tanks with angelfish because the temperature is kept too high. Cories are also not fans of tall tanks with lower surface area (ex. Column style tanks) or I would have some too.

    If you don't want any nipping, I would reconsider keeping even lemon tetras. Serpea tetras and (I guess) tiger barbs are even worse. Go with an alternative main fish school to replace the tiger barbs. Those 5-band barbs look really close! Other docile tetras that would make good tankmates should you replace the tiger barb with a less aggressive/nippy one is red and/or black phantom. Others I don't have experience with as I prefer larger fish. Honestly though, my h511s (a rosey tetra variant) were never that bad. Same with columbian tetra. They are bigger and more boisterous, but I wouldn't call them nippy.

    I kept a pair of kribensis on their own, but I don't notice them having nippy behavior. They are a cichlid like GBR, although from Africa instead of South America, do best with a neutral pH shed are beautifully colored like GBR. They are not as shy at feeding time once they get used to the tank and would tolerate more active tankmates unlike GBR. They will take over a cave when breeding and protect an area, but they don't seek out fish to nip or anything. They are rougher and bigger than GBR, but are also "built" to take the beating. Cichlids all have individual personalities, one specimen could be overly aggressive, but generally that's the way it works with cichlids. When they are not breeding, they may be boisterous looking and not so delicate, but they are a pretty docile cichlid overall and can definitely work in a large tank with caves foo the other bottom dwellers.

    This is a link to a good article on kribensis
    https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&sourc...XSMiu50cPqt4-Y

    I don't find my tiger plecos were washed out, I'll try to find a pic later, but keep your eye open, you never know when you'll come across a cool little pleco type to keep. Bristlenose/bushynose plecos are probably once of the most common smallish plecos around for a decent price. There are even super red and longfin variants if you are looking for something that stands out better. As mentioned, my female BN are always out foraging and cleaning the aquarium. Males look awesome with their nose spikes, but tend to be more skittish as they age.

    Hope this info fits together better.
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  10. #30

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    1 Not allowed!
    One of my bamboo shrimp in my 90g. Most of them are not this dark, more of a reddish color. He's always been that color...


    Amano shrimp in my 90g. A female has just molted and male amanos are excited.


    And finally, a close up of my male BN pleco in the 90g.
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