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Old 08-07-2012, 05:08 PM   #1
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Location: LA
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Advice on stocking changes to 75gal

I recently lost my fire eel (sniff sniff posting pics below) and I had an oxygen crash in the tank (even though I have 2 airlines going in there) so I am thinking about making some changes to stocking and would like some advice.

My Tank:
75 gal acrylic dimensions 48"Lx15"Wx24"H
Filter: Rena filstar XP3
Heater: Aqueon 300W - I keep my tank at 80F
Substrate: pool filter sand
Decor: large piece of driftwood, slate rocks, fake plants and some real plants (anubias and java fern) and an air pump (rena air 400) with 2 lines going in the tank.
Tank has been set-up a little under 2 years but I recently (2 months ago)moved apartments.
PWC schedule: 25-35% weekly and "full cleanup" (meaning I take the drifwood and some of the fake plants out to do a good vacuum, scrape the algae out and stir the sand) once a month or so. I clean the filter as needed but never at the same time as a "full cleanup" and by clean the filter I mean, clean the impeller, squeeze the crud out of the sponges that do the mechanical filtering and leave the ceramic pieces that house most of the bio filter alone - I soak those on old tank water while I clean the rest of the filter)
Fish:
- 2 red tail tinfoil barbs
- 1 giant danio
- 2 tiger barbs
- 2 spotted leaf fish (leopard ctenopoma)
- 2 bristlenose plecos (1 albino and 1 regular)
- 1 raphael catfish
- 3 peacock eels

Things that I know are wrong with this stock:
1) A bit overstocked
2) Tinfoils are too big for this tank (they are 10" and 2 years old so I think they are fully grown)
3) Danio, tiger barbs and tinfoils are schooling fish and should be kept in schools of no less than 5. The lone danio schools with the tiger barbs.
4) Bottom dweller heavy
5) I've read mixed things about keeping spiny eels in groups (clearly I have a thing for eels, I had to stop going to petsmart because I keep buying eels to "save" from starvation since they dont feed them the proper food - also posting a pic of the 2 eels I saved about a month and a half ago). Mine get along fine though, since my set-up has plenty of hiding spots so they each claimed their own, they sometimes hang out together inside the PVC tube.

What I am considering doing and my misgivings about each:

1) Finding homes for the leopard ctenopomas (I barely see them, they like to hide in the driftwood most of the time and only come out for food) and increasing my school of TBs to 5 - this does not solve the stocking problem
2) Finding homes for the leopard ctenopomas, all the barbs and the danio and getting a school of either 5 angelfish or 5 boesemani rainbows (2 male 3 female) as centerpieces. Misgivings: I am not sure I can find a good home for the tinfoils - I think it would have to be someone with at least a 120gal tank. So yes, I know my tank is small for them but it's better than the LFS for sure, who know who they will go with. Also my husband really likes them and they make great center-pieces so I will be sad to see them go. I will only do this if I am sure to find them a place that is better than mine.
3) Doing nothing and just letting the fish live out their natural lives after all I committed to care for these when I bought them.
4) This one is long term: I want to keep another fire eel eventually but I think two of the peacock eels would need to go to make room for it and I am not sure I can part with them.

I am having a really hard time deciding what is best for my fish:
a) stay where they are even though conditions are non-ideal
b) try to find a new home for some of them. Taking them to the LFS is not an option since I know they will merely get resold and who knows where they end up? However I don't know anyone else keeping fish that would take them and I am afraid that if I post something like "free fish" on craigslist I'll get all sorts of replies and how will tell who has the right tank? So I would probably post it here on classified or something. Any advice on finding homes for my fish if I go that route?

Thanks for reading
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-Ximena
75gal: 3 peacock eels, 2 TBs, 2 leopard ctenopoma, 1 raphael cat, 1 giant danio, 2RTTF, 2 BN pleco.
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