Need help choosing how to stock
Hello! I am new to aquariums, but for the past few weeks I've been doing plenty of research to make sure that when I do finally set up a tank I'll be prepared and will be able to give my fish happy and long lives.
Tomorrow I will be buying a 15 gallon tall tank (it's the maximum size my apartment will allow), which comes with a heater, filter, and thermometer. I don't know the wattage of the thermometer, or the strength of the filter as I'm buying used, but if that's necessary information to get the answers I need, I'll post those details tomorrow after I buy it.
I plan on having the tank pretty well planted, and it will be cycled for at least 2 weeks before I add fish (as well as very well cleaned, of course).
Now, I am looking for some assistance on deciding what fish I will eventually end up putting in it. I'm trying to avoid overcrowding while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing assortment, and trying to make sure I won't have any aggressive species.
Here is a list of the fish I like, with the number of them I'd have in a tank, obviously I won't have all of these fish, and that's what I need help with. I'd love it if someone could give me some advice on what species look and act well together and how many I should get without overcrowding (I know having too many fish can cause aggression and depression/skittish behavior).
Zebra danios (6-8)
Gold white cloud (6)
Long fin white cloud (6)
Silver tipped tetra (6-8)
Serpae tetra (6-8)
Red phantom tetra (6-8)
Penguin tetra (6-8)
Orange van rio flame tetra (6-8)
Glowlight tetra (6-8)
Bottom dwellers: (will have sinking algae pellets for them)
Albino cory (3-4)
Panda cory (3-4)
Clown loach (3)
Black Kuhli loach (2-3)
Dwarf gourami (1-2)
Betta (1 - only if I can find a good combo for one)
Swordtail (1 male, possibly with 2 females)
African dwarf frog (2-3)
Ghost shrimp (3)
Although I've done a lot of research, I am far from an expert or even experienced at all, so any bit of information or tips would be greatly appreciated! I do know that I should only introduce around 3 fish at a time, so I'm aware it will take some time to fully stock my tank, which I have no problem with.
Here are my thoughts, I hope they help you narrow things down.
Zebra danios are out. They need a much larger tank because they are very active fish.
White clouds are cold water fish and would not mix witht the tropicals you have listed.
I would go with a school of either neon tetras or galaxy rasboras. You could easily have a school of 10-12 in your tank.
Either the khulis, dainty cories, or otos. If you get otos, wait until your tank is well established otherwise they are likely to starve. They need lots of algae.
Absolutely no clown loaches. They grow to around 14 inches.
Of your miscellaneous fish, I would go with either a small gourami such as a honey or dwarf neon, but only one.
A betta would look great in your tank and they have tons of personality, however they do not always take to company, so have a back up plan if you go this route.
If you go do get shrimp, get something with color. You will never see the ghost shrimp, but also keep in mind some of your fish may find them tasty.
Hopefully I have made some helpful points that will help you stock your tank. If you have more questions, please feel free to ask. We are always happy to help.
Someday, when I have all the fish tanks I want, I hope to be featured on an episode of animal hoarders.
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Agreed, I would skip the zebra danios, clown loaches, minnows, and only one dwarf gourami. Also probably avoid otos. They do better in groups, and, like rmiller said, need a lot of fresh algae. Wafers will not do.
Never put a betta with a gourami.
The frogs are adorable but can be hard to keep fed. They don't see well, but can be trained to find their food if it is in the same spot every time. Might have problems mixing other bottom feeders with them, from a food standpoint. If you are willing to do the work, you could have a small herd instead of cories. Very fun to watch!!
Cories are awesome too though. Get a MINIMUM of 4 though, all the same species. They are omnivores, so drop them a shrimp pellet or two every now and then. The fact that it is a tall tank is a problem, real estate wise. They will survive in a small group, but are much more natural in large groups. If you can find the truly small ones though, go for it. Avoid green and bronze for your tank, they get too big. I am not sure, but I think albinos are the bronze species, so they will get too big as well. Pandas are good I think.
If you get swordtails, have a plan for all the babies. You will have lots and lots of babies, even with most getting eaten. Also may be a problem with a betta.
If you are trying for a betta tank, and keep in mind that every betta is different, you can try small tetras and bottom dwellers. Nothing with flowy fins. My betta and frog get along great. There is a thread all about betta compatibility in the betta section if you want more specifics.
Tetras are pretty much all good, as long as the school is big enough. I have heard serpae tetras are fin nippers, so maybe avoid those if you do fish with flowy fins.
1 gallon with a veiltail betta.
20 gallon with 7 female black phantoms, and 12 neons.