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Old 04-30-2019, 02:44 AM   #1
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Stocking 26-Gallon Bowfront

tl;dr because I like to ramble: Questions I actually need answered are in bold. The rest is a big ol' ramble. Sorry!

A little exposition: I currently am in a class that requires taking care of a fish tank as an ongoing project, and though I switched classes to a later period (and therefore moved tanks from my previous tank to another group's tank), I've absolutely fallen in love with my new group's fish. I don't think they have perfectly optimal living conditions, however; I was not the one to pick them, so I couldn't sway my new group on any of their choices. 90% of this class is, uh... Slightly—if not majorly—uneducated on fish and their needs.

The tank currently has two Neon Tetras, two Cherry Barbs, three Tequila Sunrise Guppies (with four living fry, as well as more on the way), a Bristlenose Pleco, and a few Pond Snails that snuck in and are multiplying (there's an adult and three babies right now). The tank is what I believe to be a 20-gallon, though it might be a bit bigger. It's slipping my mind at the moment.

Anyway, point is, I'd like to take the fish home when the class is over. They don't seem to be too stressed, the water is clean, and they are doing well—which means that the teacher gladly wants to give them to me since I've... Proved my basic skills of not killing small animals, I guess, and I'm the only one in the group willing to take them.

Hooray!

So, I have a 26-gallon bowfront tank that I just recently set up for this occasion, and I'm currently getting its nitrogen cycle up and running. I'm blanking on the filtration (it's late, and I'm not getting out of bed to check, haha), but it has both a regular filter and an undergravel filter, and I plan to do my water changes either biweekly or even weekly depending on how the fish do. I am aware that the Bristlenose produces a lot of waste, so I'm going to monitor that and see what I need to do.

The tank is not planted, but I may fill it with plants in the future, as soon as I can get some money set aside for plants. Rest assured that there is no colorful gravel or faded SpongeBob decor despite the tank not being planted! Joking, joking. But seriously, there's black gravel substrate, a simple black backdrop, and some big fake plants + a large rock cave. There's plenty of space to hide, and it's somewhat natural looking for artificial decor, I guess. The green's all a bit too bright for my taste, but it's all the store had, so whatever. I'm also looking for some real driftwood to place halfway inside the cave and halfway outside it in order for the pleco to have something to rasp on, both inside his hidey-hole and outside it, and I plan to add a few more taller plants in the back. A picture of the tank is attached; obviously I plan to add more to it, but you get the picture.

So, I will take most of my fish home in a few weeks, and I'm wondering if the stocking I have in mind needs any edits. I am gladly open to any advice, but keep in mind I can't upgrade my tank—funds only allowed a 26-gallon.

I plan to have:
- 6 to 7 Neon Tetras (Adding extra because I want them to have more of a school)
- 6 to 7 Cherry Barbs (Adding extra for the same reason as above)
- 1 Dwarf Gourami (Kind of a random addition, but he'll be stolen from my old first tank; he's being abused by the old group and I don't want to leave him in that situation. :/ The other fish have already died after I left, because my classmates only took the class to get a credit and don't care about the tank. He's the only one left in there. Fingers crossed he makes it.)
- 1 Bristlenose Pleco (My favorite fish in the history of all freshwater fish!! I can't leave him behind, even though he's a big hassle. Please don't tell me to get rid of him. I will remove an entire school if that's what it takes to keep my little Succ™.)

I'm removing all guppies because frankly I hate dealing with live-bearers and they would quickly overstock the tank. I'm also obviously not taking the pond snails, because they invaded our tank in the first place.

With all this information in mind, is the stocking reasonable? Should I add fish or remove fish at all? How many of the schooling fish can I comfortably fit in the tank? I would like them to have as many members as possible for comfort. I don't really care about having a lot of fish, I just want them to feel safe. Thanks for any future help and advice!
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Old 05-02-2019, 09:39 PM   #2
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That sounds about right to me. You can probably add 2-3 each more of the neons and barbs -- they're both pretty small.
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Old 05-04-2019, 12:12 PM   #3
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That sounds about right to me. You can probably add 2-3 each more of the neons and barbs -- they're both pretty small.
Thank you for the response! I'll look into adding a few more barbs and neons. A school of ten would be really cool; I'll see how the original number does and add more of them over time if they look healthy.
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Old 05-04-2019, 03:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by greahound View Post
I'll see how the original number does and add more of them over time if they look healthy.

Good move. Patience is the aquarium-keeper's best friend.
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Old 05-04-2019, 04:35 PM   #5
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Good move. Patience is the aquarium-keeper's best friend.
So I've heard! I'm not actually a very patient person, but I really don't want to hurt these fish, so I'm trying to research as much as possible. I used to have a stereotypical "I-Don't-Know-What-I'm-Doing" aquarium back when I was younger, and I don't want to repeat my past mistakes.
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