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Old 06-29-2012, 12:06 PM   #1
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Stocking Strategy for New Tank

I'm busy doing a fish-in cycle of my 70g tank with 5 Danios and 4 Tiger Barbs. At this stage, I want to begin planning a long term stocking strategy, to be implemented gradually after the cycling is complete, and need a bit of help with this.

As background:
a) For filtration I have a Fluval 404 and a Marineland Hot 250 Magnum. The total filtration capacity is about 140G I believe. Not that I plan to overstock, I just like the idea of extra filtration capacity. I have a lot of cover in the form of plastic plants (I will be adding some real plants later), large rocks and wood. Plenty of hiding places. I have "regular" size gravel, and am thinking about adding sandy areas for loaches. I do have very short plastic grass covering the open areas. It looks great, but is a bit "spikey" and I have a concern that it may be unsuitable for bottom dwellers.

b) I should also mention that my tank is warm. In the summer, the house's temperature is about 26C (79F), so its not abnormal for the water to reach 28C (82F). In the winter the heater will kick in to keep the temp constant. What I'm saying is that my tank will be running at the warmer edge of the spectrum.

I'll start off by mentioning my favourite kinds of fish (with no regard to compatibility), and I'd really appreciate it if you could suggest options taking compatibility in mind. Please suggest other species because my list is only a starting point.

1)Clown Loaches. I absolutely love these fish and consider these a must have - everything else needs to be compatible with them. Any other loaches recommended, because I really like this category in general?

To follow through on the plastic grass and sand. Should I remove the grass? Is there a low growing, spreading grass that would look good in the open, front area of the tank? How about creating some sandy area's - may be good for the loaches?

2) Cory catfish - a big variety. I like them, but dont want too much competition for space at the bottom (with loaches).

3) Shrimp - never kept them before, but they sure add interest.

4) Algae eaters (Otos are sometimes mentioned as good, busy housecleaners). Obviously I wont rely on these to keep the tank clean, but they may help with housekeeping. I don't want any plecs (too big).

5) Middle dwelling, active, tight-schooling fish. I currently have Tiger Barbs, and I'm unsure about their overall compatibility with community tanks. I like them, but have a concern about fin-nipping. Any other suggestions, because I can return them if necessary? Harlequin Rasbora's come to mind, although they are not the most colourful.

6) Gourami's - another category that I like. Amazing colours. I would love to attempt breeding, but I realise this is difficult in a community tank. Perhaps a few peaceful cichlids? Some tetra's (e.g. long finned red tetra's, neons, etc) would be good too.

7) Top dwelling, active, tight-schooling fish. Since I started with Danios, perhaps a few more.

As may be obvious, generally I like colourful fish although I don't have much interest in livebearers such as platty's and guppies.

On a final note, if you know of links to an encyclopedia of fishes, where I can continue my research, please share.

Sorry for the looooong post. Eagerly looking forward to your comments and suggestions.
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Old 06-29-2012, 07:34 PM   #2
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Okay! I'll see what I can address! Hopefully I will be of some help to you! lol.

Re the tiger barbs, they can be pretty nasty but I always hear that they do better in bigger groups. So you could A - get rid of them or B - up the group to say 9. They get busy chasing and "picking" at each other that often other tank mates can slip under their radar. Though not a guarantee.. I guess it mostly comes down to your attachment to them

For nice looking schoolers some personal favs are -

tetras - rummynose, bleeding heart, Xray pristella, red minor serpea and of course the ever popular neons and cardinals.

Axelrod rasboras are really neat looking, more color than a harlequin.

Some other fish I enjoy the look of, boesamani rainbows(there are actually a few nice ones but I just love these), Rams(bolivian and german blue) - they will fit your peaceful cichlids but are not very hardy fish so be ware. Flame and dwarf gourami are my favs for gourami. Badis are also very nice and angels as well.

Someone may correct me but I believe all of the above I've mentioned(excluding tiger barbs) are compatible together and with your danios. I would look into that a bit further if you decide you want to stick with a gourami because I'm really not 100% on that, especially if you go outside the smaller varieties.

All the fish I mentioned to you can find on the live aquaria site. They give a bit of info but it will def give you a good idea of their looks and some wheres to start.
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:16 AM   #3
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Thats great feedback. Just what I wanted. Thank you so much!
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Old 06-30-2012, 08:00 AM   #4
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No prob. Once you have an idea of what you would like ideally you can always post for some suggestions on numbers and further compatibility.
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:27 PM   #5
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My replies below in blue....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland6543 View Post
I'm busy doing a fish-in cycle of my 70g tank with 5 Danios and 4 Tiger Barbs. At this stage, I want to begin planning a long term stocking strategy, to be implemented gradually after the cycling is complete, and need a bit of help with this.

As background:
a) For filtration I have a Fluval 404 and a Marineland Hot 250 Magnum. The total filtration capacity is about 140G I believe. Not that I plan to overstock, I just like the idea of extra filtration capacity. I have a lot of cover in the form of plastic plants (I will be adding some real plants later), large rocks and wood. Plenty of hiding places. I have "regular" size gravel, and am thinking about adding sandy areas for loaches. I do have very short plastic grass covering the open areas. It looks great, but is a bit "spikey" and I have a concern that it may be unsuitable for bottom dwellers. Sounds good, your filtration is excellent, nice job!

b) I should also mention that my tank is warm. In the summer, the house's temperature is about 26C (79F), so its not abnormal for the water to reach 28C (82F). In the winter the heater will kick in to keep the temp constant. What I'm saying is that my tank will be running at the warmer edge of the spectrum.

I'll start off by mentioning my favourite kinds of fish (with no regard to compatibility), and I'd really appreciate it if you could suggest options taking compatibility in mind. Please suggest other species because my list is only a starting point.

1)Clown Loaches. I absolutely love these fish and consider these a must have - everything else needs to be compatible with them. Any other loaches recommended, because I really like this category in general? Clown loaches need a HUGE tank; they do best in groups and can get large, 6-8+" and are very active, so a 150+ gal tank for an adult group is recommended. You might be able to get some young ones as they don't grow fast but you would have to commit to a larger tank as they grow, otherwise I wouldn't try it.

To follow through on the plastic grass and sand. Should I remove the grass? Is there a low growing, spreading grass that would look good in the open, front area of the tank? How about creating some sandy area's - may be good for the loaches? See my reply above about the loaches. There are other smaller loaches that would work.

2) Cory catfish - a big variety. I like them, but dont want too much competition for space at the bottom (with loaches). Corys are great! In a 75 you could get a large number of them and any type would work. In my experience they do best in even numbers and the larger the group the better. Search results — corydoras

3) Shrimp - never kept them before, but they sure add interest. True. Depending on what type you get (e.g. how large they become) you'd need a large number of them to even see them lol They can become an expensive snack for some fish though and they easily get sucked up into filters so you'd need some sort of intake cover for your filters.

4) Algae eaters (Otos are sometimes mentioned as good, busy housecleaners). Obviously I wont rely on these to keep the tank clean, but they may help with housekeeping. I don't want any plecs (too big). Otos are good at eating certain forms of algae (diatoms mostly) but without any to eat they can easily starve in an aquarium. Some take to eating prepared foods, others won't. You can try them but I'd wait until the tank is established for quite a while. Freshwater snails like Nerites are good housekeepers; they eat various things off the glass and your decor and plants (invisible algae and things that we can't see) and they can't breed in freshwater so you won't be overrun with them.

5) Middle dwelling, active, tight-schooling fish. I currently have Tiger Barbs, and I'm unsure about their overall compatibility with community tanks. I like them, but have a concern about fin-nipping. Any other suggestions, because I can return them if necessary? Harlequin Rasbora's come to mind, although they are not the most colourful. For a 70 gal you have a lot of options, but that would depend on whether you're going to keep the Tiger Barbs long-term. If you are, you'd need to increase their numbers by at least double and then you'd be a bit more limited in terms of stocking tank mates as you would be without them.

6) Gourami's - another category that I like. Amazing colours. I would love to attempt breeding, but I realise this is difficult in a community tank. Perhaps a few peaceful cichlids? Some tetra's (e.g. long finned red tetra's, neons, etc) would be good too. A large school of neons would look great in that size tank but again it would depend on whether you're keeping the Tiger Barbs. "Peaceful" and "Cichlids" are almost an oxymoron lol There are types that can be more peaceful than others, mostly the dwarf variety (Rams as you've mentioned, maybe apistos) but if you get a pair and they breed then some of your other bottom dwelling fish may be at risk. Your tank is large enough that it may work, especially if you provide enough caves and hiding spots for the Cichlids, but nothing is guaranteed. You could do one as a centerpiece though.

7) Top dwelling, active, tight-schooling fish. Since I started with Danios, perhaps a few more. What kind of danios do you have again? You could fill those out, sure. There are other types of top dwelling fish but none are cominng to mind right now. Pencilfish maybe. You could look into some rainbowfish, like Boesmani Rainbows. They are very colorful but need groups. I don't remember off-hand what level they stay at although I think it's mid-top.

As may be obvious, generally I like colourful fish although I don't have much interest in livebearers such as platty's and guppies.

On a final note, if you know of links to an encyclopedia of fishes, where I can continue my research, please share.
Here you go:
Loaches Online - Community Edition — Loaches Online
Seriously Fish — Feeling fishy?
Shrimp Species List .:. Freshwater Aquarium Shrimp Species Information Pages

Sorry for the looooong post. Eagerly looking forward to your comments and suggestions.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:23 AM   #6
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I'm busy consolidating the feedback and my own research. One I have narrowed down my strategy, I'll post again to see if there are any final "watch outs".

Thank you for your feedback.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:44 PM   #7
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Well the TB are going back (they terrorised the danios)

This is my plan for stocking my tank.
I will phase in 1-2 species at a time and obviously I will need a larger tank once the loaches in particularly get large.
Please comment on possible issues you see with this combination and suggest better options:

4 Clown Loaches
6 Boesemans Rainbow Fish
5 Killifish
1 Keyhole Cichlid
1 Angelfish
1 Cockatoo
10 Harlequin Rasbora
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Old 07-03-2012, 10:12 AM   #8
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Two questions:
1) I would like 1-3 pearl or blue gouramis instead of the cockatoo but aqadvisor says they will stress my rasboras.
2) should I get more keyholes and other rainbows species instead of the American flag killis?
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roland6543 View Post
Two questions:
1) I would like 1-3 pearl or blue gouramis instead of the cockatoo but aqadvisor says they will stress my rasboras.
2) should I get more keyholes and other rainbows species instead of the American flag killis?
I don't know much about the cockatoos, key holes or killis but re the gourami you could opt for a dwarf variety or something just a bit smaller than the blue. I think the real concern is that as they get bigger they may very well snack on the smaller fish. I don't think you'd have an issue with the pearls though they are more peaceful than blues too.
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