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Old 10-11-2013, 06:09 PM   #1
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Stocking my new 120g, plans for the future?

Hi guys. This is my first post on the forum, I thought I would see what some of the more experienced guys think about my current stocking and how everyone will grow up and get along as they grow bigger. I may have been a bit ambitious in my hopes that everyone will get along long term...

The tank is a 120g, 6' long and 18" deep. The stocking is as follows, by order of how attached I am to each:
1 Electric Blue Jack Dempsey, 3" currently. Very hearty and happy at the moment. Not all that shy, but not tank boss currently.
1 Tiger Oscar, 4.25" currently. Tank boss, rarely challenged. He does well at the dominant role, clearly asserting his dominance on a fairly regular basis, but not really harassing anyone. He did kill one of the target fish, but I kind of expected it. The barb he took out was stupid and would loiter right next to the oscar all the time. He is probably the least attractive in the tank, but so much personality, you cant help but love him.
1 Jaguar Cichlid, 2.75" currently. Happy and very friendly, has always been submissive to everyone else (besides the target fish and the cat), but still hearty. I think I may have to worry about him in a few months... but I'm hoping that by the time he catches up to everyone, he will be used to living with tankmates. I got him very small, 1.25", and has always been happy being submissive (grew up with the Oscar).
1 Sydontis Ocellifer Cat, 2" currently. Shy and slow grower, but never really harassed by anyone. I think he has a good chance of flying under the radar with all the more aggressive guys.
1 Electric Blue crayfish, 3". Pretty invert, great cleaner, may get huge. Not really worried, nice colorful addition for the time being. May need to be rehomed in a year or two.
7 Tiger Barbs, 1-1.5" designated Target fish, a role they fill perfectly. Add lots of color, school close enough and move quick enough that the big guys rarely land agressive attacks, but still gives them a target to chase around. Used to be 8, but one was stupid and got taken out by the Oscar. I expected to loose atleast one.

Currently everyone seems happy, but I know there is ALOT of growing coming. I recently got the EBJD, so I havent had much time to see his growth rate, but he eats pretty hearty. The Oscar and the Jaguar are growing like weeds, the Jag doubling in size within probably two weeks, the same for the oscar. Even the tiger barbs grow fairly quickly.

So, what do you guys think about the stocking? Am I crazy thinking these guys will be able to make it for a couple years in this setup? I have my suspicions that someone will get a mean streak once they get a bit bigger, the Jaguar being the primary worry. I'm hopping that growing up being the bottom of the tank hierarchy, that by the time he gets big enough to actually pose a threat to the EBJD or Oscar, they will have spent enough time together that it will just be a shift in the pecking order, not the Jaguar going crazy and killing everyone.

Anyways, I have said more than enough. I want to know your opinions.

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Old 10-13-2013, 12:17 AM   #2
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Whats your filtration like? How much filtration do you have? Well, anyways I would say your pretty overstocked as is. My concern is the Jag, I can see him has the main aggressor and not the oscar, I would just keep the oscar, EBJD, and the catfish. I left out the cray because the oscar might see him as a late night snack, the tiger barbs will become food sooner or later. And this is all assuming you have enough filtration.

125g South American..
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:57 AM   #3
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Next spring, when the jag hits that 10" mark, u may very well be left with the jag, catfish, and a punching bag (the oscar). At some point the jag will challenge the Oscar for top rank and if the Oscar isn't up to the challenge, things could go downhill very quickly. The tiger barbs/crayfish will be easy snacks and I don't see the ebjd growing fast enough or being tough enough... your catfish may be ok though. Had a featherfin catfish in my 125 with my jag for a while and the jag never bothered him because it wasn't a threat or an easy meal
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Old 10-13-2013, 12:49 PM   #4
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Filtration should be more than enough for the tank, its a bulk 4 stage filter /w biowheel, powered by a 250 GPH (maybe 300 actually) pump. The tank was previously set up for messy saltwater fish. I have a protein skimmer I could throw in as well, but I kind of broke it cleaning it and havent gotten around to fixing it. So far, I havent seen any need to. I also vacuum solid waste off the substrate basically daily (black sand, everything just sits on top).

Nobody seems to think the crayfish will survive, but pretty much everyone leaves him entirely alone. He was harrassed by the EBJD and oscar when he was first added, but they each got a pinch to the face and have left him alone since. I am hopeful he might make it, he is super paranoid and very fast when threatened.

The Tiger barbs have made great target fish so far. You really think they wont make it as everyone gets bigger? I have heard stories of oscars and JDs making friend with danios and tetras that were feeder fish that they just didnt decide to pick off. I'm hopping that having them around as they grow up will maybe grandfather them into a stable place in the tank. Is it really THAT unlikely? If so, what would make a good target fish? I have tried giant danios, but theyre just so boring compared to the tiger barbs, and not nearly as pretty. Maybe a couple tinfoil barbs? I think they grow significantly bigger, so maybe just a few? Or what about my convicts that the JD and Oscar grew up with? One is about 2", the other about 1.75", though they both act twice their size. I have seen the smaller one force the regular JD(3"+, taken out of the big tank because he constantly raised hell) he is tankmates with to back down in a little "intimidation battle." They stay pretty small, but are super hearty, and have gotten along with everyone in the past. Not to mention they are probably one of my favorite freshwater fish.

Yaaaah, I suspected the Jag might cause problems. I chose him because of how pretty they get, originally he was going to be the queen/king of my setup, but I have grown so atttached to the oscar, and the EBJD is just so pretty, thats not really the case anymore. I would probably be most willing to part with him out of the three big guys (The oscar, the EBJD, and him, the Jag). My hope is that it is a female and maybe that will make big tankmates possible. If its a male... from my understanding it will basically have to be on its own, with maybe a cat or pleco. Are the chances of the jag getting along with everyone really that slim? They get so pretty, i really would like to have one..... but one main fish for a tank that size is kind of a huge commitment. :/
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20 gallon, stock, stocking

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