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Old 09-28-2015, 08:14 PM   #1
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Red tail shark stocking advice

Hi guys,
I've been thinking about picking up a new 55 gal tank, and I've spent all day researching different stocking ideas. I'd really like to do something a little different from the usual dwarf cichlid/schooling fish/bottom feeder set up. I've been looking a lot at red tailed sharks and I think they're really cool. My current stock plan is as follows

1x red tailed shark
10-15 assorted barbs

I'd also like to add a BN pleco, but I've seen mixed results online, seems about half say it works and half say it doesn't.

Any ideas? Any other cool/different stocking ideas I should consider?


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Old 09-28-2015, 09:57 PM   #2
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Being semi aggressive, hence being a shark...

I would suggest a big school of tiger barbs. Very fast and like little harmless piranhas at feeding time.


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Old 09-28-2015, 10:20 PM   #3
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Cherry barbs will do well also. Although smaller they are fast and pack a punch. I have a rainbow at nearly 6 inches and he couldn't eat a cherry, definitely not a tiger. Tigers can be nippy but should do well with a shark. Good suggestion.
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Old 09-28-2015, 10:35 PM   #4
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I do really like tiger barbs, I saw a video of a big school of them in a planted tank and they looked awesome. Might mix some green tiger barbs in there for variety? I think they're the same species.

Any ideas about the pleco? None of my usual scavenging clean up crew will work. Plus my gf had one as a kid...nostalgia.


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Old 09-28-2015, 10:46 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by JaminBen View Post
I do really like tiger barbs, I saw a video of a big school of them in a planted tank and they looked awesome. Might mix some green tiger barbs in there for variety? I think they're the same species.

Any ideas about the pleco? None of my usual scavenging clean up crew will work. Plus my gf had one as a kid...nostalgia.


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Pleco are by no means a "clean up crew" IMO.. They make much more waste than they clean up... If you want a pleco you get it because you like the pleco itself.

If you do want a bottom feeder that's quite active, I would suggest pictus catfish. In groups it's like throwing bouncy balls into a tank they are hilarious!


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Old 09-29-2015, 12:12 AM   #6
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Anyone keep picture cats in a 55? Found recommended tank sizes online varying from 30gal all the way up to 75gal. I would have to find something other than barbs, seems like the barbels would be easy targets. They do look really cool but I've been reading stories online about RTS bullying them.


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Old 09-29-2015, 12:24 AM   #7
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Anyone keep picture cats in a 55? Found recommended tank sizes online varying from 30gal all the way up to 75gal. I would have to find something other than barbs, seems like the barbels would be easy targets. They do look really cool but I've been reading stories online about RTS bullying them.


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Naw... I know someone who keeps them in a 55g(I think it was?) that has cichlids in it. 2 green terrors, a male Jack Dempsey, the cats are fine.

I've kept them a couple times in a 75g without issue.


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Old 09-29-2015, 12:32 AM   #8
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Pleco are by no means a "clean up crew" IMO.. They make much more waste than they clean up... If you want a pleco you get it because you like the pleco itself.

If you do want a bottom feeder that's quite active, I would suggest pictus catfish. In groups it's like throwing bouncy balls into a tank they are hilarious!


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Plecos do poop alot but they do clean the glass and other things all you got to do is vacuum that poo broooooo lol

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Old 09-29-2015, 01:02 AM   #9
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Plecos do poop alot but they do clean the glass and other things all you got to do is vacuum that poo broooooo lol

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I'm on point with my water changes, and poop bothers me less than algae and uneaten food at the bottom, but I'm on a bit of a pictus bender right now. I'm thinking something like

5 pictus
10ish tiger barbs
And maybe a red tailed shark? Still worried about aggression, but I'm liking how this looks.
For decoration I'm thinking sand, lightly planted and more emphasis on hardscape.


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Old 09-29-2015, 01:07 AM   #10
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Go all red tail sharks than, I've seen alot together and they don't seem to bother eachother. Cichlids are by far more aggressive and I have them. I say test it out and if any signs of aggression other than chasing a little should be fine.

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Old 09-29-2015, 01:15 AM   #11
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Go all red tail sharks than, I've seen alot together and they don't seem to bother eachother. Cichlids are by far more aggressive and I have them. I say test it out and if any signs of aggression other than chasing a little should be fine.

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Can you do all redtails? Everything I've read says they should be kept alone. I guess its like cichlids where you add them all at once so they cant set up a territory?
I use a small LFS in downtown Vancouver, I wonder if they ever bring in large amounts of red tailed sharks.
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Old 09-29-2015, 01:27 AM   #12
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Ive never seen more than a single adult rts stocked successfully. They are fine when they are young, but get ornery when they get older. You could givenit a try, but be warned you might have to rehome them eventuallu
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Old 09-29-2015, 01:31 AM   #13
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Ive never seen more than a single adult rts stocked successfully. They are fine when they are young, but get ornery when they get older. You could givenit a try, but be warned you might have to rehome them eventuallu

+1 it's recommended only one shark per tank for this reason.


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Old 09-29-2015, 01:45 AM   #14
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That's kinda what i figured, thanks for the help guys. I'm gonna do something like this,

http://aqadvisor.com/AquStockImage.p...:200909300186:
I'm going to ask my LFS to make sure they can take back the pictus just in case they get too big, I've seen some stories of them getting huge.
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Old 09-29-2015, 02:00 AM   #15
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That's kinda what i figured, thanks for the help guys. I'm gonna do something like this,

http://aqadvisor.com/AquStockImage.p...:200909300186:
I'm going to ask my LFS to make sure they can take back the pictus just in case they get too big, I've seen some stories of them getting huge.

Looks fine. You could even tack on another tiger barb or two.

I would highly recommend the use of Quarantine for all new arrivals.

I can't say I've ever seen a pictus cat over 5-6 inches you should be fine.


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Old 09-29-2015, 02:06 AM   #16
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Well in that case I suggest a solo red tail at least the same size as the inhabitants. I'm just saying that I've seen a bunch together and you may be right on the cichlid method of more is better for aggression.

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Old 09-29-2015, 03:35 AM   #17
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Firemouths are a good tank mate for RTBS. My buddy is currently housing them successfully and has been for the last year. The RTBS, Bruce, gets chased around by the Blood Parrots, more than it shows aggression to anything else. And please whatever you do, do not put more than one RTBS in the same tank.
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Old 09-29-2015, 07:24 AM   #18
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I have a red tail with bn plecos. Not only have I not had a problem, but my plecos have bred in that tank. I also have opaline gouramis, black phantom tetras, and cherry barbs in there.

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