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Old 12-23-2015, 02:14 PM   #1
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Building a Community Tank with (MAYBE) Fancy Goldfish?

Howdy,

(Just wanted to add that I am a novice, so I will likely make some mistakes with terminology and information - please correct me as I'd like to make sure I'm doing this right!)

I am new to this forum and am looking for sound advice on a good beginner freshwater tank.

I plan to purchase a 125 gallon tank and will have a freshwater aquarium. I am hoping that by purchasing a larger tank, I can give my future aquatic pals a lot of room to roam free (and also be able to have three layers of fish).

But what I'm stuck on is how to actually build my community. It seems like all the fish I want (goldfish, plecos, catfish, pufferfish, etc.) are basically little assh*les who don't really get along with other fish.

I am especially in love with fancy goldfish - particularly Oriental and Moors goldfish. However, I know these are very gentle/fragile and aren't good with fish like "common" plecos. However, I'm having a hard time on finding which fish in particular will go well with fancy goldfish (if that's actually possible). I'd love to have a bottom-dweller fish and some dragonfish and puffer fish, but I also want to make sure the tank I have is safe and non-stressful. In all honesty, I'd be willing to forego getting any fancy goldfish if it means I can have a more diverse tank.

So what I did was create an itemized list of fish I would like to own and I was hoping that someone on this forum could take a look at my list and tell me what a good group would look like from that (if it's possible). Even if that group does not include fancy goldfish - I'd like to make sure that I can have a diverse and low-stress environment tank.

I just want to make sure I'm not putting fishes in danger.

I have given myself a 1,000.00 budget on fishes and starter supplies (of course maintenance is a long-term cost and I am prepared to afford that). Is this enough? Or should I save up more first?

Any help would be wonderful! I believe the pdf file is attached, but if not, please pm me and I can e-mail you a copy.

Thank you so so much!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Dream Team of Fishes.pdf (1.38 MB, 30 views)

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Old 12-23-2015, 02:39 PM   #2
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Pufferfish just don't go well with anything. Very few are truly freshwater as well. They're best for a species tank- kept by themselves or with their own kind.

Fancy goldfish can be kept with a few other kinds of fish but have different temperature requirements than most fish.

Honestly I don't see a good way to make the fish on your list fit. There's a lot of incompatibility.

If you really want fancy goldfish, I would do maybe 5 or 6 of them with 5 or 6 dojo loaches.

Is there another fish you want the most?

Finally, are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle and how it works in aquariums?

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Old 12-23-2015, 03:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by sinibotia View Post
Pufferfish just don't go well with anything. Very few are truly freshwater as well. They're best for a species tank- kept by themselves or with their own kind.

Fancy goldfish can be kept with a few other kinds of fish but have different temperature requirements than most fish.

Honestly I don't see a good way to make the fish on your list fit. There's a lot of incompatibility.

If you really want fancy goldfish, I would do maybe 5 or 6 of them with 5 or 6 dojo loaches.

Is there another fish you want the most?

Finally, are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle and how it works in aquariums?

Welcome to AA!
Thank you for the warm welcome, Sinibotia!

First off, thank you for being honest about my fish list. I was afraid it would be a tough group - but I would rather have a safe fish tank than one that I selfishly put together that is stressful and full of fighting. I am glad that someone is giving it to me straight. I want to be a competent owner.

After reading your response I have to say that I am 100% okay with NOT getting fancy goldfish after all. I have been reading other threads on this forum and wasn't aware of all the health issues that they bring over with them due to their forced breeding I think ethically it's better to go with another breed altogether like you said.

The four other fish I find really interesting and beautiful are the
Archer fish, the Dojo Loach, Reticulated Hillstream Loach, and/or the Zebra Pleco.

If I were to get a Loach or Pleco, are there tinier fish I can buy to compliment the community? A loach and an archer fish actually sounds like a dream!

I am familiar with the nitrogen cycle, but I have read varying lengths of the time it takes to prepare your tank for inhabitants. Can you shed some light on this process for me? Or perhaps recommend some books/articles that you find to be helpful?

Thank you so much for your honest feedback! I really do appreciate this!
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Old 12-23-2015, 03:08 PM   #4
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Well, the thing about hillstream loaches is that they're best kept with other hillstream loaches in a very specific community. They need a ton of flow, cool water, and a lot of oxygen. Most fish will get blown around in a tank built for hillstream loaches, but you can keep stuff like danios, or some species of barbs. There are a TON of kinds of hillstream loaches though, so you could do a mix of a ton of different kinds.

I believe most species of archerfish are brackish so that wouldn't work with the rest of those.

Dojo loaches need cooler water but otherwise get along well with anything.

Zebra plecos I do not know much about.

Here's an article I recommend for cycling:
The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling - Aquarium Advice
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Old 12-23-2015, 03:33 PM   #5
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True zebra plecos cost hundreds I believe. If it's less than a few hundred it's probably a false zebra.

Dojo loaches!!! Amazing fish I have a few and they are just the best hands down.


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Old 12-23-2015, 07:27 PM   #6
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Regarding the cichlids you have on your list you have different kinds from different areas of the world. The largest groupings there are consist of new world and old world cichlids. Then it goes down to South America and African cichlids.. And so on. When doing cichlids it's advise to keep 1 lake of fishes with itself and not to mix and match. Especially as a beginner.. But cichlids are extremely colorful and completely freshwater

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Old 12-29-2015, 06:42 PM   #7
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Hi funny,
I'm basically just going to repeat what everyone else on here is saying. Some basic "kinds" of tanks:
Cooler water (goldfish and dojo loaches)
Peaceful community (tetras, danios, cories, plecos, rainbowfish etc)
Semi aggressive community (SA/ca cichlids, barbs, some loaches)
African cichlids (Tanganyikan, Malawi, Victorian, misc)
You have a completely varied list of fish, not only compatability wise but quite a few of those will be hard to find. I would skip the goldfish...tropicals give you a great combo variety to work with.
Try plugging in some on aqadvisor.com, it's a good starting point for beginners to check compatability.
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Old 12-30-2015, 03:36 AM   #8
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I would get clown loaches for a tank that big.

Or a TON of angels that would also be fun.

OR OR OR - GET A PAIR OF OSCARS!
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Old 12-30-2015, 09:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Desacrator View Post
I would get clown loaches for a tank that big.

Or a TON of angels that would also be fun.

OR OR OR - GET A PAIR OF OSCARS!
A pair of Oscars and a ton of angelfish both sound like bad ideas for a beginner. I love the idea of clown loaches but I also wouldn't recommend them.
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Old 12-30-2015, 09:56 AM   #10
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Hey bud! Just looked at that fish list, whoo that was a lot! lol

Puffs are cool fish, but really not for everyone. They require very specialized feeding, pristine water quality and lots of entertainment to keep them occupied (they will get bored if there's nothing for them to explore!)

Archer fish get huge (12"+!) and actually require brackish water. This is where water isn't fully saltwater, but not fully fresh either. You need to have live food for it prey on, as what it does is shoot a stream of water into the air at the animal and knocks the prey into the water. I don't recommend these as a fish here, especially if it's your first tank.

Let us know what you do, a huge tank like this interesting!
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Old 12-30-2015, 11:17 AM   #11
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Like previously mentioned, there are some big problems on that list of fish you want.

Archer fish get very large and require brackish water (fresh and saltwater mix) so will only do well with other large, brackish fish likes scats or monos.

Dragon gobies are also large, brackish fish and they need special feeding care as they are basically blind and can't see their food.

Puffers like the fahaka can get huge and need specialized care. They are very aggressive and can easy rip apart their tank mates. They also need to be fed live invertebrates with hard shells such as snails and crayfish to keep their teeth worn down. I currently have a figure 8 puffer doing absolutely fine in a community tank, but rarely does anyone have this luck.

The jack Dempsey and other cichlid are both very aggressive cichlids that need their own specialized tank with other cichlids and could terrorize a community tank.

Dojo loaches and goldfish are cold water fish that need a tank designed for them; not many other fish go well with them.

Hill stream loaches are also cold water fish but need lots of rocks and extremely fast flowing water to replicate their natural environment. The only suitable tank mates would be zebra danios, white clouds, and brook stream loaches.

One zebra pleco is the cost of about half of your budget.

Having so many plecos in even a large tank that size is not a good idea as they can be aggressive toward other bottom dwellers and are poop machines.
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Old 12-30-2015, 03:20 PM   #12
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I think hold off until you know your list of fish. Research aggression and ask more questions once you research more. These fish are either aggressive, hard to keep. Wait till you have a specific list and ask any questions on them thread.


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Old 12-30-2015, 06:14 PM   #13
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Hi Funny,
You are somewhat unusual in starting out fish keeping with such a large tank but this is a good thing. So many start out with a small tank which is harder to keep stable due to the small volume of water. So you are starting off well.
You are going to need some heavyweight equipment to run the tank - heater stats, filters, lights etc. Do your research well as replacing inadequate equipment is expensive.
Look on web pages and in books and decide what look or theme you want for your tank. Heavily planted? Rocks? Bog wood? Then choose your fish to match your theme and water conditions. Sticking to a geographical area, such as the Amazon or one of the African Lakes, and selecting fish that naturally live together. This will provide the best conditions for the fish. Also, research how many of each fish are needed (shoals) for them not to be stressed or bored. Big fish get bored easily.
But finally, recognise the natural food chain. Big fish eat small fish which eat smaller fish which eat small shrimp etc etc.
When you come up with a plan let us know, if we can help we will.


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