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Old 10-11-2016, 11:13 AM   #1
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Opinions on fish compatibility for 46 gallon tank, stocking & fish care questions

Hello! I wanted to get some opinions on fish compatibility for my 46 gallon bow front tank. This is a new tank that I did a fish-less cycle for 2 months after a fiasco with a mysterious white filamentous growth that may or may not have been what killed my initial fish (see my first post): Help with mysterious white funk

So after the 6 neon tetras died within 12 hours, I returned the little pleco to the pet store, cleaned and scrubbed the ornaments in hot water, did a 90% or more water change to the tank, and started a fish-less cycle per the great directions from this site. Until joining this site, I had no idea that you could do a fish-less cycle!

For a dechlorinator/conditioner I am using Seachem Prime.
I have the API Master test kit for testing parameters. I also have some old test strips (Tetra easy strips) that I don't trust fully but have used after partial water changes to check that it is reading zero for chlorine.

Disclaimer: my 2 month fish-less cycle did not fully complete. I was getting ammonia --> nitrite --> nitrate but the cycle did not complete within 12 hours like was suggested, it was still taking days to convert all the ammonia. Nitrite was not zero yet. I was generating nitrates so I think both types of bacteria are present but not robust yet. My husband was getting very impatient with the empty tank so we decided to get a small number of fish and slowly continue building up the cycle until it is robust.

Before purchasing fish, we did large water changes until the water parameters were:
ammonia = 0 ppm
nitrite = 0 ppm
nitrate = 5 ppm

Temperature is 78 F, pH is 7.4-7.6

We currently have 4 x Sunburst Platy & 1 X Clown Pleco. We obtained fish 2 days ago and I have been testing water daily, still at ammonia, nitrites = 0, and nitrate = 5. I plan to do some partial water changes every few days even if the ammonia and nitrite parameters stay at 0, just to be safe.

***Apologies, this is quite a long post. My specific questions are at the bottom.***

Below, see some info from aqadvisor.com regarding a theoretical community tank.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aquarium Equipments & Supplies:

"46 Gallon bow front"
Dimension Length(inch) 36
Depth(inch) 15
Height(inch) 20
(46.8gUS)
Filter 1 Marineland Penguin 350 Bio-Wheel

Selected species:

10 X Platy (Xiphophorus maculatus)
1 X Clown Pleco (Panaque maccus)
1 X Betta [Male] (Betta splendens)
10 X Bloodfin Tetra (Aphyocharax anisitsi)
  • Suggestion: If you want to keep more than 1 Sunburst Platy, minimum recommend male to female ratio is 1:2 (M:F). You will be less likely to experience problem if you get even more females.
  • Note: Clown Pleco needs driftwood.
  • Note: Betta [Male] may jump - lids are recommended. They can become stressful under presence of too many shoaling species. Try to keep under 1 shoal if the tank is small. Individual bettas may exhibit varying degrees of aggression and care should be taken that exceptionally aggressive/territorial fish be separated from a community before any damage may occur.
  • Warning: Betta [Male] is not recommended to be with Clown Pleco - further research is highly recommended.

Recommended temperature range: 24 - 25 C. [Display in Farenheit]
Recommended pH range: 6 - 7.5.
Recommended hardness range: 5 - 15 dH.

You have plenty of aquarium filtration capacity.

Your aquarium filtration capacity for above selected species is 125%.Help on Filtration capacity
Recommended water change schedule: 23% per week.
Your aquarium stocking level is 80%.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

QUESTIONS

1) How frequently should we add new fish to this new set up?
2) Unfortunately the pet store gave us 3 male Platies and 1 female Platy, so far the males are not bugging the female. We plan to add more female Platies, do we have to add the same variety (Sunburst) or can we add different colour variations?
3) Why do you think aqadvisor stated that would not recommend Clown Pleco with Betta?
4) I have only previously kept Betta in their own tank and never in a large community aquarium. Do you think the waterfall action from my filter (HOB Marineland Penguin 350 Bio-Wheel) would be too turbulent for the Betta? The filter waterfall is on the right side of the tank so the left side has less current.
5) Does the Clown Pleco need real driftwood or will it be satisfied with veggie treats (e.g. Romaine lettuce) and 'algae wafers'? If it would be happier with real driftwood too (we just have artificial driftwood in tank currently), where can you get safe driftwood? I have only previously had common pleco and they ate algae from the surfaces and also the fish flakes.
6) Comments/concerns regarding stocking this community tank? I want to get peaceful bright fish. I know Bettas can sometimes be aggressive with tank mates but I am hoping that the Platies don't trigger any aggression despite bright colours. Worst comes to worst I could set up a small tank for the Betta if it needs to be by itself. I am hoping that the Betta can be the centerpiece of the tank, however.

Thanks for your time!
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Old 10-11-2016, 11:21 AM   #2
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Here is my tank
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Old 10-11-2016, 05:16 PM   #3
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Can't think of any reason a betta and clown pleco would be a problem together. Clown plecos do need wood though. My biggest thing would be to watch that the bloodfins don't nip the betta, some of them are real fin nippers. Also, with platies, do you some way of dealing with all the babies? Because you will end up with more of them than you'd think if you don't.

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Old 10-11-2016, 08:59 PM   #4
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Thanks Toad,

Thank you for your response! Do you have other suggestions other than the bloodfin tetras?
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Old 10-11-2016, 10:47 PM   #5
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Mixing bettas can be tricky, sometimes you get a betta that can't be with anything or it goes after them, other times you get a betta who gets torn up by other fish. I would have a back up plan just in case the betta doesn't work out regardless.

Google fin nipping fish and see what tends to pop up. I know black skirts can be bad about it too.

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