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Old 01-24-2006, 01:18 AM   #1
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Community tank & bottom feeders questions

Ok so i broke down, got myself a tank (yay) which is all set up and a day into the cycle (cycling with 4 comets).

It was sold as a 75 gallon but my calculations have it at almost 80 gallons (48" x 16" x 24") but really it makes little difference imo. Went with the playsand substrate, some live plants, lava rock, and driftwood.

Now we have some plans for what we want to eventually put in there, and we wanted a few opinions on whether this is a good mix.

Gourami's for the main "showcase" fish. Probably a pair or trio of *edit - meant opaline* blues/golds, and also 2 or 3 dwarfs.

Now my question is really on the bottom feeders. I definitely will have a pleco. Always been a huge fan of them, every tank of mine always has and always will have at least one pleco. I also would like a few corys, and clown loaches. Will the clowns be fine with corys and plecos? Also i might want to put a blue Botia or two to mix with the clowns, or is this a not a good idea? I'd think both being botia species might make it fine but still would like to know.

Also i would like to put either a red tail or a rainbow shark (or 3) in there. We'd thought of a bala as well but decided the potential size might be a problem.

Any thoughts?
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Old 01-24-2006, 03:50 AM   #2
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If you go with mostly gouramis, make sure the little dwarfs are introduced before the big guys. Gouramis aren't always nice to each other and the males can become nasty, so keep the population manageable.

I'd worry about putting loaches and botias in with cories. Lots of competition there with pushy fish that can easily over run the cories. Clown loaches get large too. About 7". I find skunk botias to be very suitable for such semi aggressive live plant tanks. They are the best for snail control and the gouramis can hold their own against the skunk botias. If you would rather a more peaceable loach/botia the dario botia would be good. Not as pro active on snail eating, but don't come with the attitiudes skunk botias have. They also only get about 4". Same with the skunks. They might be ok with cories because of size and less competition.

I've had blue botias in with clown loaches without problems.

Good idea to skip out on the bala because of size. A rainbow or r/t shark would do fine...just have one. The rainbows aren't so bad with each other but the r/t sharks can be agnostic with their own kind. Hard to find one at an LFS without a picked on fin...LOL.

As for plecos, there are only a few that are trustworthy with live plants. These are the bushy noses and the wide mouth plecos. Both are smaller species getting only 4". They also eat brown algae.
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Old 01-24-2006, 05:29 AM   #3
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Thanks for the input, very helpful!

The more i read up on the loaches the more i'm starting to think i may just go with a pleco and clown loaches for the cleanup crew and skip the corys, but i wonder how many clowns would be ideal for a tank my size. One or maybe a pair, or more? The botia/loaches really fascinate me for some reason, i quite like the look of the yo yo loaches too argh.

Good heads up on the gouramis, kinda noticed now that i think about it that we haven't seen the dwarfs in with the 3 spot varieties anywhere.maybe we'll pass on the dwarfs and go with blue & golds
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Old 01-24-2006, 08:40 AM   #4
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TCTFish makes a great suggestion regarding the dwarf pleco's. They are really good with a planted tank. I have a large brood of them in my tank and it's really cool to watch them "clean" small leaf plants without damaging them.
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Old 01-24-2006, 08:50 AM   #5
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Loaches are happiest in groups. I have four, and they semi-school together. But they do get large: up to 14 inches, not 7 (and I've seen one that big). On the flipside, they are slow growers, so if you get them small, it should not be an issue.

In my tank, the blue opaline gourami is my largest fish, and is about 4 times as large as my largest clown loach. They mostly ignore each other. However, the gourami, being the food hog that she is, will begin scouring the bottom of the tank for the wafers I drop in for the loaches as soon as her food is gone. Even though the loaches are smaller, they will push her out of the way when going after food. It's fun to watch.
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Old 01-25-2006, 02:37 AM   #6
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Ok after much reading, and wow does the info differ quite a bit on almost every site out there, we're thinking we definately want to go with probably 5 clown loaches.


Now with the size of our tank at 75-80 gal (48 x 16 x 24 but with some sand makes me suspect closer to 75 usable gal) i want to make sure i'm not going to overcrowd so i'm thinking we could probably safely also go with a pair of the blue or opaline gouramis, a bristlenose or widemouth pleco, and an r/t shark.

Does this sound reasonable? My best slight overestimating seems to come up with this as a safe little community numbers wise with the average sizes i can expect over a long period of time.

Now would i safely be able to add even a couple more of the opaline gouramis to the total or am i pushing capacity already with what i want to do? I'm just paranoid about overcrowding and have read the "rule of thumb" as being anywhere from 1/2" per gallon to 2" per gallon. I suppose i could also go with a few danios or something instead of additional gouramis as well.

You've been so helpful so far i just gotta pick some brains here and hope i'm on the right track.
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