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Old 08-18-2013, 01:58 PM   #1
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I thought cycling would be the hard part...

As the title states...I thought cycling would be the hard part. Stocking, now this one will drive me crazy. Where to even begin. I have been all over this forum and its amazing how much knowledge most of you have. Anyhow, I guess this is ,yet, another "help me with my stocking" thread.
I would like to have a very rounded stocked aquarium. Some top dwellers, nice active mid dwellers and some bottom feeders. I have a 36 gal. bow front. I think the bottom is around 30" long, by my tape measurer its a touch over 31". The width is about 13" on the sides but the middle measures around 17". 21" high.
I would really like to have some glass catfish in the stock and maybe some guppies. I like the swordtails but seems like they have a large bio load. I like the looks of the hatchets as well simply because they look unique.

Can anyone help steer me in the right direction?
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Old 08-18-2013, 02:15 PM   #2
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A school of neon or glowlight tetras would look great
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Rule number one: Always research a fish before you buy it.

Rule number two: Always cycle your tank.
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Old 08-18-2013, 02:59 PM   #3
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Glass Cats are great fish but will like some plant cover. Mine always tended to school very tightly and hang right at the edge of the plants. They like and feel more secure with a larger number so if you could get 6 at least IMO they'd do better. Guppies and Hatchets both tend to use the upper water levels. You could do Cory Cats or small Loaches like the Dwarf Chain Loaches which are smaller, fun, and very active little guys perfect for your size tank. Then a mid-level schooling fish like Neon, Cardinal, Rummynose, or Lemon Tetra would be good. Or if you don't like Tetras you could do Harlequin Rasbora's or my favorite Purple Harlequin Rasbora's.
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Old 08-18-2013, 07:06 PM   #4
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Glass Cats are great fish but will like some plant cover. Mine always tended to school very tightly and hang right at the edge of the plants. They like and feel more secure with a larger number so if you could get 6 at least IMO they'd do better. Guppies and Hatchets both tend to use the upper water levels. You could do Cory Cats or small Loaches like the Dwarf Chain Loaches which are smaller, fun, and very active little guys perfect for your size tank. Then a mid-level schooling fish like Neon, Cardinal, Rummynose, or Lemon Tetra would be good. Or if you don't like Tetras you could do Harlequin Rasbora's or my favorite Purple Harlequin Rasbora's.
Been checking out liveaquaria.com on your fish suggestions. They all look great. So I'm thinkin'....

3-4 guppies
4-5 dwarf loaches
3-4 marble hatchets
? cory cats(are they algae eaters)
5 glass catfish
maybe a shrimp or 2?

Is that too much for my tank? Is it balanced out?
any advice will be greatly appreciated!!
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:10 PM   #5
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IMO I'd do the loaches over the cory cats as doing both would be a lot of bottom dwellers/users. I'd up the Marble Hatchets to at least 6 but the rest of the stock is fine.
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Old 08-18-2013, 08:33 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Thumper828 View Post

Been checking out liveaquaria.com on your fish suggestions. They all look great. So I'm thinkin'....

3-4 guppies
4-5 dwarf loaches
3-4 marble hatchets
? cory cats(are they algae eaters)
5 glass catfish
maybe a shrimp or 2?

Is that too much for my tank? Is it balanced out?
any advice will be greatly appreciated!!
I'd up the Marbled Hatchet and Glass Catfish numbers to 6 or above. If you want an algae eater, get some Amano Shrimp
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Old 08-18-2013, 09:30 PM   #7
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If you have Hatchets, consider a screen cover for the tank. Any fish can jump but surface swimmers do it more often. It's depressing to find a dried up fish on the floor.

Guppies are pretty, but the way they breed would shame a rabbit. Same with most live bearers. You get way more female babies than males as a rule with guppies, or Endlers, though modern female guppies are much more colourful now than they used to be. Endler females are not at all colourful, but the boys are lovely, and tiny, so you can have several of them if you want to.

Cories are not specific algae eaters. They eat many things, like a varied diet, with some live food now 'n then. Many shrimp eat algae. Amanos, Ghosts, Cherries.

But snails eat many algaes happily and are better at cleaning it off leaves, rocks, glass and wood. MTS snails [ malaysian trumpet snails] are actually surprisingly effective at algae cleanup, though they are small. They do reproduce fast, and you'd have to harvest some now and then. They also burrow in the substrate which can help prevent it from getting gas pockets underneath it. No eggs, they bear live young fully formed, which they release at the water surface usually at night. They often end up in filters as a result where they seem to live quite well until they grow big enough to escape the filter.

Nerite snails are my fave, and cannot hatch their eggs in fresh water, so you don't get population explosions. Mystery snails are larger, come in some pretty colours and don't eat plants, only dead stuff and left overs. Eggs are laid out of water, so are easy to control.

I'm rather fond of snails, I think they are essential clean up crew members. Ramshorns come in some nice colour morphs, as well as the usual brown, also very effective clean up crew. Not as prolific as bladder snails. Rinse your plants well, avoid some bladder snails that way, but you will get them sooner or later, most of us do.

Oto cats are quite charming, and are specific algae eaters, but often die before you've had them long, because of the way they are caught and handled before being sold. Best to buy after they've been in the store for at least a week, preferably two or three if possible. The weakest will have died by then, leaving the strongest with the best chance.

Once Otos manage two months in a tank they can live many years, and will eat algae tabs or pellets if the tank hasn't got enough algae for them to graze on.
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