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Old 02-08-2010, 06:04 PM   #1
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planted tank inhabitants

So I have a pretty new planted 20gallon long. It's quite well filtered, lots of plants, a powerhead which I plan to remove. So, I currently have tons of snails, three platys, and 5 ghost shrimp. I have had about a trillion different ideas for who will eventually make up the community in this tank and I need to settle on one. I am pretty much set on getting a bamboo shrimp in a month or two. Aside from that, I was thinking I could get maybe 10 red cherry shrimp, and then another fish (probably one that is larger than the platys). So, I was thinking maybe a male betta, but he might not like that there are two filters on the tank thus not many good places to avoid the constant water flow. I would love to get a kribensis if I can find one, but then I would feel like I needed to get it a mate, and that might make the tank too crowded (?). OR I could abandon the cherry shrimp idea, thus freeing up a little more space and get the kribensis pair, or another fish if I can't find kribensis. Your thoughts? Let me know!
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:41 PM   #2
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If I remember right, you're here in CO yes?

Try Sherman Tank , I think on Wadsworth, err maybe Federal. If they don't have Kribs, Aqua Imports in Boulder will.

There's so many ways you can go with that tank.

Shrimp are mainly bottom dwellers, so you can "fill" the middle and upper parts. Maybe hatchet fish for the upper water column. Rasboras, neons, forktail rainbows, threadfin rainbows, white clouds (depending on the water temp, though mine do fine at 78), all will go mid to top.
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:56 PM   #3
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rcs arent going to do much to your bioload at all... you could almost forget theyre in there when stocking (but dont forget them when it comes to fish that could eat them lol)
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Old 02-09-2010, 02:02 PM   #4
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Would kribensis dig in my substrate? It's play sand so that would be a huge mess. Also, are they ok at 80F or does it need to be lowered ?
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Old 02-09-2010, 03:27 PM   #5
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Hi Evaunitone, kribs are great fish which are full of personality. My tank that the kribs are in is also set to 80F and it hasn't caused them any harm. As for the substrate they like to dig pits in which they will keep their babies as they are growing so they may attempt to do that in your tank. I do recommend them though
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:10 PM   #6
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they do sound like awesome fish. I don't really mind if they dig around in the sand but I'm just worried that they will uproot my hairgrass and continually make a mess for me. Plus my sand has some verrry fine particles in it which cloud up the water when it's disturbed. Hmm, this is a little tricky. I want the fish but I don't want my tank to be cloudy all the time or have my plants uprooted either..
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Old 02-10-2010, 09:45 AM   #7
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If you do get a pair of kribs and they decide to breed (which is a very strong possibility) the tank might be too small to avoid confrontations with the other fish. Kribs get very territorial when protecting their young and since they like to take the family for strolls around the nest that 'territory' is going to cover the whole tank. It is unlikely that you'll lose fish but it could make for some tense moments.

As for uprooting plants, kribs shouldn't be a problem. They'll take mouthfuls of the sand and blow it back out to sift for whatever. Should not be too much of a mess.

I think bamboo shrimp are terrific and they would enjoy the high water flow you've described. They like to filter particles out of the water though so if your two filters are keeping the water crystal clear that might be a problem. They are resourceful enough to pick through the substrate, its just not their first choice.

In a way, combining a bamboo with a krib would probably be good. The krib can stir up the sand a bit and the shrimp can filter the particles out as they pass by!
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Old 02-11-2010, 02:13 AM   #8
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I would def. stray away from kribs in a tank the size of yours. Their min is about 30-40 gal because they breed quite easily and become very territorial during this time. I have a 20 gal long and ive got harlequin rasboras, neons, cherry barbs, a female betta and some ottos. I dont have much experiance with shrimps but most non-cichlids dont dig (there are exceptions so do your hw).
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Old 02-11-2010, 10:42 AM   #9
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I highly recommend using some of your stocking on algae cleanup crew. I bought a dozen oto from a fantastic dealer through a friend (NONE died from acclimation...virtually unheard of with oto's). I had planned on having 4-5 after the initial die off, but instead I had a dozen healthy oto's. I'm now down to about 7 due to putting some in another tank, and they do a fantastic job of keeping the tank and glass clean. I also have a bristlenose pleco (Ancistrus, probably mispelled that) which I highly recommend as a tankmate. Can consume huge amounts of algae, doesn't get larger than ~4", and is relatively shy until dark. So with a 1/2 dozen oto's and a BN pleco you can be sure to keep normal healthy algae types (diatom/green spot/etc) at bay while getting some understanding on plants.

Your 3 platy unless all the same sex will become 50 in a couple months. My tank after slowly losing my initial stocking to old age was restocked with 3 platy and 5 guppy. I now am horribly overcrowded and am waiting on the warmer weather so I can add them to a local river as a humane way to get rid of them (fish food for larger fish).

The combination of a cleanup crew (which are cool in their own right and serve a very important purpose) and the expected population boom from the platy IMO don't really leave options for more fish unless you are willing to do frequent large water changes (I do 50% twice a week at my current stocking level).

If I was to have your tank and wanted a bit more color I'd think about 3-4 cherry barbs. 1 female to either 2-3 males would give you some nice variety. They stay small, are very peaceful for barbs, and shouldn't bother your current or future planned stocking.

Goodluck!
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Main (20g) - A throng of guppy and platy, Pressurized CO2, Ferts, All Live Plants (Very old pic, new one forthcoming)
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Old 02-11-2010, 04:04 PM   #10
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Well this is a drag. I'm not really interested in neons or barbs or any of those types of small schooling fish. It sounds like some of you think those are the only kinds of fish appropriate for a 20 gallon tank. I'd like something a little more interesting than your standard platys, guppies (definitely not), and bettas. Some of you say yes to kribs, some say no. Now I really have no idea what to put in there. I'd prefer it be something at least kind of cool.

Sorry 7Enigma, but the clean up crew isn't going to work. I am planning to add to my small colony of ghost shrimp, plus I have two otos and about a trillion snails. I have to say changing 50% of your water twice a week sounds insane (as does releasing your fish into the wild).

Isn't there some kind of fish I can get that will eat the platy's babies?? Getting a larger tank is not an option at this point. There has to be something that will work in my tank. I really wanted rams but couldn't find any good ones, and now I really want kribs but apparently that won't work either? This is kind of sucky...
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Old 02-11-2010, 09:41 PM   #11
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I hope I didn't come off as rude to you [7Enigma], I apologize.

Anyway, I was just looking at my tank and I suppose kribs probably wouldn't work in there even if they were the only fish in the tank. It does seem too small for two territorial fish and their babies, plus I have no idea what I would do with the babies. poopy. Oh well.
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Old 02-12-2010, 08:10 AM   #12
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Don't worry you didn't. I would just hate to see you start posting in the planted tank section about bad algae issues, but I also didn't know you had plans for oto's/ghost shrimp. In my experience snails don't really do the cleanup job in terms of algae, they are more likely to be eating the food you feed. They also SIGNIFICANTLY increase the bioload of a tank due to their poor digestive systems. If you have a trillion in there , you might want to think about manually removing as many as possible. There are several ways to do this relatively quickly (sink a piece of lettuce at dark, wait a couple hours, and then pull out the lettuce with the snails on it, etc. Many people also go the loach method, but I don't like introducing fish just for a temporary reason as you risk disease to your tank.

As for the platy, they eat their own fry. Most other fish will also try to eat the fry. The problem is once they hit a specific size it appears the other tank inhabitants stop seeing them as food. Since I'm heavily planted with lots of moss and Riccia, they can hide well enough that the numbers keep increasing. In a bare-ish tank you might not have the same problem but I think it's a gamble.

And don't get me started on the water changes. I do it because I know it's needed, not because I like it. I've tried to find other outlets for the fry but no one wants average looking guppy/platy. Only about 10-20% are really spectacular specimens, the rest have worse coloration than the parents. Once they hit juvenile maturity it's pretty easy to see who is going to stand out and who is not.

Since I can't kill or flush my own fish, my only option is to find a natural outlet for them, and the best I can come up with is releasing into a local stream/lake where nature will take its course. Any other options I've missed would be greatly appreciated, but I haven't thought of any.
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Main (20g) - A throng of guppy and platy, Pressurized CO2, Ferts, All Live Plants (Very old pic, new one forthcoming)
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:06 AM   #13
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Releasing aquarium fish into the wild, unless the fish you are releasing are indigenous to the area you are releasing them is irresponsible, dangerous, and in most areas illegal. Introducing a species into an ecosystem that is not prepared for it, no matter what you believe the consequences will be, can have terrible and uncorrectable effects. You could be causing or may have already caused irreparable harm to the eco-system. I don't mean to be hateful or sound dramatic but the possibility of dire consequences is high. There are many instances of this throughout history were it has been done on accident and on purpose and very rarely works out well. Please stop doing this. This is exactly the reason that keeping certain species require special licensing or is banned all together. When something like this happens it only gives officials reason to ban more species or activities. Sorry for carrying on. Rant-off.
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:20 AM   #14
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Both platy and guppy are. Please do a little homework before making accusations....such as looking at my location under my name, and learning a bit about the species mentioned, including where they originated and are currently found.
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Old 02-12-2010, 10:26 AM   #15
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I didn't know, that is why I qualified my statement with the whole indigenous species thing. I just didn't want someone getting the wrong idea. Sometimes people's hearts and bigger then there brains. The kill 1000 to save 1 kinda thing.
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Old 02-12-2010, 03:03 PM   #16
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Platys originate from south america lol, but I suppose its possible they are now found in the wild in Pennsylvania
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:17 AM   #17
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They have been present in both Americas for quite some time. The hardiness of adapting to different temps and water conditions and probably most importantly the prolific breeding is likely the reason as opposed to introduction through the fish trade, fortunately they are small enough in size that their numbers don't get out of control due to natural predation from larger fish.

Also, all of my fish have been tank bred (I started with 5 and now have about 50) so they likely haven't adapted to the "real world" survival like wild-caught and, hopefully, will be a quick snack for a nice trout.

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