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Old 05-25-2020, 12:57 PM   #1
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Stocking my New Tank

I just started a fishless cycle in my 55 gallon tank today, so it will be a few weeks before I can put any fish in the tank, but I want to have a game plan for when I can add fish. Below is a list of the fish I am considering stocking my tank with:

Bottom Dwellers:
Corydoras catfish (C. julii, or C. trilineatus)
Kuhli Loach (striped)

Algea Eaters:
Otocinclus
Bristle Nose Pleco and/or Hillstream Loach

Middle Dwellers/Schooling Fish:
Harlequin Rasboras
Rummy nose Tetra
Cardinal or Neon Tetras

Showcase Fish:
Dwarf Gourami
Dwarf Neon Rainbow Fish (Praecox Rainbow)

Top Dweller:
Hatchetfish

I have three questions....

1) If I stock my tank with some fish from each of the species above, does anyone foresee any issues with the compatibility of any of the species listed?
2) I will obviously be adding fish slowly in stages, starting with hardier fish first.... Any suggestions for which of the fish listed above would be best to stock first? And which are more sensitive, and should be added last once the tank is more "mature"?
3) I plan to add one species of fish at a time (whether it be 2-3, or a small school of fish) and then add a different species every two weeks, so there is time for each species to become "established" in the tank, and make sure there are no issues before I add the next species. Is this a good strategy, or is there a better strategy that I should use?
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Old 05-25-2020, 02:30 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by dpnatgeo View Post
I just started a fishless cycle in my 55 gallon tank today, so it will be a few weeks before I can put any fish in the tank, but I want to have a game plan for when I can add fish. Below is a list of the fish I am considering stocking my tank with:

Bottom Dwellers:
Corydoras catfish (C. julii, or C. trilineatus)
Kuhli Loach (striped)

Algea Eaters:
Otocinclus
Bristle Nose Pleco and/or Hillstream Loach

Middle Dwellers/Schooling Fish:
Harlequin Rasboras
Rummy nose Tetra
Cardinal or Neon Tetras

Showcase Fish:
Dwarf Gourami
Dwarf Neon Rainbow Fish (Praecox Rainbow)

Top Dweller:
Hatchetfish

I have three questions....

1) If I stock my tank with some fish from each of the species above, does anyone foresee any issues with the compatibility of any of the species listed?
2) I will obviously be adding fish slowly in stages, starting with hardier fish first.... Any suggestions for which of the fish listed above would be best to stock first? And which are more sensitive, and should be added last once the tank is more "mature"?
3) I plan to add one species of fish at a time (whether it be 2-3, or a small school of fish) and then add a different species every two weeks, so there is time for each species to become "established" in the tank, and make sure there are no issues before I add the next species. Is this a good strategy, or is there a better strategy that I should use?
I think that is a suitable stocking of community fish. I don't foresee any compatibility issues there. I would start with stocking the harlequins. They are a very hardy fish and none of the other fish you listed are very good candidates to be put into an established tank. I think that the slow stocking strategy is the best possible way for you to move forward. I have never had an issue doing so.
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Old 05-25-2020, 03:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Dallascowboys16 View Post
I think that is a suitable stocking of community fish. I don't foresee any compatibility issues there. I would start with stocking the harlequins. They are a very hardy fish and none of the other fish you listed are very good candidates to be put into an established tank. I think that the slow stocking strategy is the best possible way for you to move forward. I have never had an issue doing so.
I suspected that the Harlequins would be the best fish to start out with! Thanks!
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Old 05-25-2020, 05:32 PM   #4
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Most of those fish do best in groups of 6 or more - Cories and tetras and hatchetfish, and rainbows especially. I don't like the concept of showcase or centerpiece fish. Most fish are happier and healthier in groups or at least pairs. Otocinclus algae eaters are very delicate fish; I've never been able to keep them alive very long.
But I don't see any compatibility problems.
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Old 05-26-2020, 12:56 PM   #5
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Most of those fish do best in groups of 6 or more - Cories and tetras and hatchetfish, and rainbows especially. I don't like the concept of showcase or centerpiece fish. Most fish are happier and healthier in groups or at least pairs. Otocinclus algae eaters are very delicate fish; I've never been able to keep them alive very long.
But I don't see any compatibility problems.
I do plan on stocking 6 or more of each species... When I indicated "showcase fish", I just meant larger and possibly more "showier" fish. I did NOT mean that for those fish, I would only stock 1 or 2 of them. I know that Rainbow fish are a schooling fish, and would do best in groups of 6 or more, and that is how many I plan on adding.
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Old 05-26-2020, 12:59 PM   #6
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Just because you have problems with otos might be something on your end theirs a reason everyone loves them.

Also make sure you have a heavily planted tank or very goood are aeriation if you plan to keep hill streams and be careful they have been know to eat othe fish.
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Old 06-06-2020, 09:22 PM   #7
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Are these lists "and", or are they "or"? I'd suggest one of the types you list as "showcase", and 8 each of a smaller number of the schooling fish. I found that while 6 of each looked nice in my 29, they weren't as happy and didn't look as nice when I moved them to a 55. I had many different types and they all sort of blended together and it had the visual impact of a junk drawer.

Definitely stock the Otos last. I've had good luck with Otos. I always add them several months after I build or move a tank. I go to a reliable local little fish store, and ask how recently the Otos arrived (it's best if they've been there awhile; a tip I got from said LFS).

Then when I get them home I drip acclimate them: I open their bag, and use some aquarium tubing with a knot in it, to slowly drip aquarium water into their bag. As their bag gets full, I transfer them into a 1 gallon container, and keep dripping. Over a few hours, really. Then I take the 1 gallon container, and sort of "set" it into the tank and let the fish swim out. Otos get caught in nets a lot, so I don't use a net, even though it means putting the fish store's water into my tank.

I also keep a large number of Otos at once: like 12. Then make sure you keep the water quality stable.
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