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Old 05-10-2010, 11:37 PM   #1
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Question Adding schooling fish?????

Okay they say that once your tank is cycled, you should only add a few fish at a time to prevent bio-overload. What about schooling fish? I want to add my cherry barbs first, and they are said to prefer groups of around 5 or 6 at least. Will it affect them negatively if I add, say, 3 at a time? Or will they be just fine?

I hope my billions of questions don't bug you guys, I have a lot and I like to know what I'm doing I wish there was some classes to take on this
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:41 PM   #2
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It depends on the size of your tank and also the length of time it has been cycled. People normally cycle with a few black mollies because they are just so resilient to every type of water and are a cheap 3 for 2 dollars so it won't hurt if they kick the bucket. But no, 5-6 fish generally won't hurt a sufficiently large tank.
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Old 05-11-2010, 12:01 AM   #3
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I only have a 10 gallon. Do you think they will still school together if I had them 3 at a time?
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Old 05-11-2010, 12:04 AM   #4
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I would suggest not going with cherry barbs at first as they really need to have a good ratio of male to females to avoid the battering of the females (2 females for every one male). They really need a group of 8 to thrive IMO. Whats your other stocking looking like?
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Old 05-11-2010, 12:12 AM   #5
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Well I was originally planning on 5 cherry barbs, 2 otos and 4 scarlet badis but the more time I have to think about it, the more I am not sure what I want to do. The Scarlet Badis are supposedly picky eaters, and even though I want to get them really bad I think I should wait until I have some more experience and a bigger tank. I just looked up Black Mollies and I like them, but I am not sure if my tank is big enough for 5 or 6 of them with a couple other kinds of fish. I'm going back to the drawing board. The only thing I know is I am getting my otos no matter what!
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:01 AM   #6
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They should be fine with a smaller group for a short while. Just don't leave it too long before introducing the other fish.

The problems can come if your tank isn't fully cycled or the water chemistry isn't right, if they are in a smaller group they will be more stressed, it might not do any harm on its own but if there is an additional factor present then it may.
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Old 05-11-2010, 04:04 AM   #7
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PS. I introduced a black molly together with a sailfin molly cross, and the black molly died after two weeks. I think from starvation, he just never figured out how to eat.

The other molly is going strong and is by far the most active fish in the tank!
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Old 05-12-2010, 02:35 PM   #8
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i could be wrong... but from what i hear, the amount bacteria that grow during the cycle are directly affected by how "hard" you cycled the tank.... depends on the amount of ammonia introduced to start/keep the cycle.

the bacteria can only handle a bioload consistent with that which cycled the tank as first, though it will grow accordingly as long as you add fish over time.

someone with more knowledge chime in here and fix my scatter thoughts into an understandable sentence.
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Old 05-13-2010, 07:35 AM   #9
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It's quite simple really. The population of bacteria (or any population). Will only grow as large as the resources (i.e. ammonia) available to support them.

Now if you fishless cycle with a large amount of ammonia doubtless your filter will be fully populated and you can put in a large amount of fish immediately if you wish.

However if you, say, only add one fish and then leave it, over time part of the bacteria will die off as there will be insufficient food to maintain all of it.

Then as you add more critters the bacteria population will increase again.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:15 AM   #10
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I was thinking add 2 at a time, just because I don't want them to get sick from their bioloads. Is there any way to tell about how much bioload each fish has, equivalent to ammonia? That would be pretty awesome. As of right now I am thinking of adding the panda cories 2 at a time but I might decide to add platies first if they are less sensitive than* the cories. Plus I am trying to get my hands on this 29gal tank and if I do that then I will get the cories for that instead of having to move them.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:38 AM   #11
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I think it will be fine to add a couple fish at a time. Try to add 2 females first and then a male and a female later. For a group of 5, I'd try for only 1-2 males and the rest females. Otherwise the males will chase the females constantly.

What is your final stocking for this tank going to look like?
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:04 PM   #12
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Well I am going to pick up a 25 gallon on Saturday, so I eventually want to move the cories to there and have 6-8 of them. For now for the 10G I would like to end up with 4 panda cories and some red wag platies, maybe 5 or 6 if I can get away with it. I am also planning on trying to plant it with some java moss and maybe watersprite.

I have been changing my mind a lot though, too much time on my hands to think about this. I was thinking maybe I can eventually move those fish to the 29 gal(platies and cories) and then get a solitary type of fish like a dwarf puffer, or something that goes in pairs maybe for the 10 gallon. I am getting a 5G QT tank tdoay for a late mother's day present so I will have 3 tanks already ! yay!
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:50 PM   #13
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Just to clarify, my number and female/male suggestions were for the Cherry Barbs. Panda Cories are cute. I found that they were less shy and more active in groups of around 8+.....that would be a good number for a 29g.
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:29 PM   #14
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And I didn't see anyone else mention it, but with mollies and puffers (i'm pretty positive) it's recommended that you add salt to the tank because they thrive in brackish waters. just thought you'd like to know, i decided against them for now for that reason (i originally fell in love with puffers--my friend got like 10 little guys for her 125g and i was sooo jealous, so we went and started buying tanks!)
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Old 05-13-2010, 02:47 PM   #15
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I know they are so cute! I want one so bad, but as with everything else I want bad I am worried that I don't have enough experience yet to take care of him/her properly.

So what exactly is Brackish water anyway? I have been wondering this for a while. Is it just the salt that is added to it? I probably won't get a puffer anytime soon, until I have the basics down. I am getting impatient waiting for my tank to cycle though; I really want my fishies! It's like when I was pregnant, I saw everyone with their babies but I had to wait for mine! lol
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Old 05-13-2010, 08:22 PM   #16
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brackish water is sort of like a salt and fresh water mix. it's like the kind of water you would find at the mouth of a river or something, where the river is mixing with the ocean (someone correct me if i'm wrong). for aquarium purposes, it's a freshwater tank with a scoop of salt mixed in. people use different types of salt, i've heard of people using aquarium salt, marine salt, and even table salt, i'm not sure which is best or what the differences are. puffers also need snails to eat to file their teeth down or they will overgrow. i definitely want to get puffers some day, but for now i'm just trying to get a single tank up, running, and cycled.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:29 PM   #17
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Me too! There is just so many different options to what you can do, and I just want to do it all right now. Of course that won't lead to good things, and I want to be succesful with it so one step at a time lol. It's hard not to get ahead of myself though.

Brackish water sounds pretty easy, but I think I will wait to mess with that.
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:46 PM   #18
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Dwarf puffers are strictly freshwater. They won't thrive in brackish water. They also don't need to have their teeth filed, but small snails are a good treat for them. There are larger puffers that have to have snails....and some that need brackish water. Dwarf (pea) puffers do not though. Mollies will thrive in freshwater too.

To get brackish water you need marine salt by the way. There are alot of cool brackish water fish. Many people add aquarium salt (very different than marine salt) as a conditioner but in most cases its not needed.
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:07 PM   #19
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So what would you just add like so much salt every week or so?
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Old 05-13-2010, 11:41 PM   #20
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You need a hydrometer or a refractometer to measure the salinity of the water....and adjust either way until you get the right specific gravity/salinity. It depends on what fish you are keeping in the brackish tank, but most people keep their's around 1.005-1.010. Just to compare, full saltwater salinity is 1.022-1.028 or so. You would mix the water in a bucket for around 24 hours, check the salinity, and if its right, add the water after you take some out during your water change. You want to keep the salinity around the same each time you change the water.
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