Starting a 75gal tank, want some second opinions

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Vineheart01

Aquarium Advice Apprentice
Joined
May 10, 2024
Messages
11
Location
Lincoln Nebraska
Decided to get back into aquariums, as ive had them before but its been like 12 years or so. Never had a rather big tank and ironically the only place in my house that makes sense to put a fish tank can easily fit a 75gal with room to spare.

The problem im having is theres several things i'd like to do that i know i cant do at once, and some are more important to me than others while also feeling more limited...hence the need for some advice.

I want to use live plants, i prefer the more jungle-y looking tanks as opposed to the open water type. Though due to the size of the tank and where it will be in the house i was thinking of half open half planted, but that mostly depends on the fish i put in there. More interested in making an interesting landscape than a tank that happens to hold a fish.
I also want shrimp in there, probably cherry shrimp or amano shrimp, since i like seeing more than just fish shapes swimming around and theyre both great algae eaters and arent massive pains in the butt. Not sure if i can get ahold of fully aquatic crabs, and crayfish would be cool and i did find a fish store that has some blue crayfish but uh my understanding is they wreck live plant tanks so big pass on that one heh.

The shrimp is the main problem. Every time i toss the shrimp idea out i end up going back to it for the simple fact that its a different shape in the tank moving around. But, pretty much all of the medium fish i'd want for a "centerpiece fish" is a really bad idea either for sheer size vs the other shoaling fish, as i definitely want a dense tetra swarm among the plants, or actively would hunt the shrimp like betta fish. I think Angel fish are fine, but personally i really dont like angelfish for some reason...not sure why.

What else could i get that would be more of a centerpiece fish and wouldnt harm my shrimp?
 
What are your water's parameters? That will play a big part in what kind(s) of shrimp you can use and type of fish to mix with them.
 
I was expecting to have that be pH of 7 and around 78F temp with low flow.

Use of sponge filters since i heard theyre better for shrimp tanks.
 
I was expecting to have that be pH of 7 and around 78F temp with low flow.

Use of sponge filters since i heard theyre better for shrimp tanks.
With that kind of setup, you may want to consider a school of small fish as your " centerpiece" fish instead of one particular fish. A school of say, green neons ( Paracheirodon simulans) or Ember Tetras or the microrasboras such as Chilie rasboras would be your best bets since they have small mouths. Also Endlers livebearers ( not standard Guppies) would add some color to the tank as well. Algae eating fish like otocynclis and some plecos will work as will some oddballs like the Farlowella catfish could also work. You don't want fish that are fast feeders because they can out compete the shrimps for food. That eliminates a lot of fish species you may have been thinking about. Also, most medium to large fish will most likely be carnivores so they will eat the shrimps.
A mix of heavily planted and open water areas would be ideal for these species so that they will have swimming space and places to hide to sleep with security.
With that temp, IMO you would be better off with the cherry shrimp over the Amano types since that is really the upper range of their tolerance which means they will not live as long. You always want to choose fish and/or invertebrates where your parameters are their mid range of acceptability.

Hope this helps. (y)
 
Yup that pretty much confirms what was going on in my head that i should stick with schools.

Not set on numbers yet, but probably ~10 shrimp, 6 ottos, ~15neon tetras, and i had never seen those Endlers before and i like them so i might grab 2-3 males and 6-9 females if i can find them. I initially wasnt going to get a pleco but its a 75gal tank so i might get one and see how big the guy gets. If i can find them i'd want a few, probably 5-6, swordtail males.
That seem a little excessive? i know i had that problem in the past of thinking i had plenty of room and quickly realizing i overcrowded.
Obviously not all at once, i know enough to go slow at this.
 
Yup that pretty much confirms what was going on in my head that i should stick with schools.

Not set on numbers yet, but probably ~10 shrimp, 6 ottos, ~15neon tetras, and i had never seen those Endlers before and i like them so i might grab 2-3 males and 6-9 females if i can find them. I initially wasnt going to get a pleco but its a 75gal tank so i might get one and see how big the guy gets. If i can find them i'd want a few, probably 5-6, swordtail males.
That seem a little excessive? i know i had that problem in the past of thinking i had plenty of room and quickly realizing i overcrowded.
Obviously not all at once, i know enough to go slow at this.
Let me throw a caviat into this mix. The Tetras suggested are omnivores and as such, will eat meat as well as plant material. If you are looking to grow more shrimp, you may want to skip the tetras I suggested in my previous post as they will most likely go after the baby shrimps. Once they see that meat is available, it's unlikely they will stop going after it even if you offer other foods. I'd stick with more plant feeders with the shrimp and make the shrimp the " centerpiece" fish. There are some different plecostomus that are vegetarian only species as well as other sucker mouth fish that are plant or wood eaters only. Swordtails will most likely either go after the shrimp or the shrimplettes. I definitely wouldn't do them in your selection. There is also the option of trying to reduce the temp and do multiple species of shrimps that get along instead of fish. Then again, you could eliminate the shrimp in this tank and do all fish in which you open yourself to whole bunch of other options for fish.
Just something to think about. :unsure:
 
Yeah...that discussion makes me not want shrimp again.
Like i said i wanted them because its a different shape in the tank but man, its really limiting everything.

I might go with the original plan when i was still working with a 30gal in mind then, where i have a betta fish and numerous tetras/ottos/swordtails and toss in a pleco.
 
Yeah...that discussion makes me not want shrimp again.
Like i said i wanted them because its a different shape in the tank but man, its really limiting everything.

I might go with the original plan when i was still working with a 30gal in mind then, where i have a betta fish and numerous tetras/ottos/swordtails and toss in a pleco.
For what it's worth, unless you are talking about a female Betta, males with flowy fins really do not do well in large aquariums. They are not designed for them. They exert a lot of energy when they swim because they have to combat water flow, getting to the bottom or the top from the other direction, and just overall motion. ( These new fin shapes were designed for fish in small tanks or bowls. ) Since females do not have the overgrown fins, they don't have those issues. Now with females having as many colors as males, the only thing you'd be missing would be the bigger fins. :unsure:
 
Yeah i wasnt aware they breathed air, i just learned that.
Axe'ing that too. But, i think i can figure it out on my own now that im abandoning the shrimp. Thanks alot.
 
Still bouncing around ideas...
Thought about doing clown loaches since they look awesome and i thought 75gal would be enough for 5-6 of them. Upon further research, nope i need 100gal wide which probably will ever so slightly hang over the table i have already so thats out. Could fit a non-wide 100gal, but i read they need a lot of width.
Ended up going back to redtailed shark again, and my only issue now is im struggling to find something to take care of algae.

Finding that these fish seem to be fine with redtails:
Neon tetras
Congo Tetras (doubt i can find these but i hope i can they look awesome)
Mollies/Swordtails
Dwarf/Honey/Pearl Gourami
Angelfish apparently, im assuming it was the uncovered tank last time i had a redtail as to why it went away and not the angelfish beat him up.

Some fish ive found supposedly work fine with them but im skeptic:
Tigerbarbs (arent these fish little pricks, arguably more so than the redtail?)
Danios (red fins are bad i thought but i see this one mentioned all the time)
Silverdollars (supposedly these are really bad for planted tanks so probably bad idea)

What could i get for an algae eater that the redtail wouldnt just demolish? Is a school of ottos still good? i dont want a pleco because i read they uproot plants a lot and apparently even a 75gal is too small for one.
Or is there a snail i could get? Course if i get snails i'd avoid the gouramis
 
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You are correct that the clown loaches would be better off in a long tank than a high tank so not a good choice for a 4' long tank. Of the Gouramies, I'd go with the Pearls because the dwarfs and honey have a higher instance of the iridovirus than the Pearls do. There are other Barbs besides Tigers that aren't as aggressive ( i.e. Cherry Barbs, Gold Barbs, Checkerd Barbs, Odessa Barbs....) that could mix in. Congo Tetras are a fairly common fish now so you should be able to find them. Silver Dollars will nibble on some plant species but not all but again, they get large and should really be in a longer tank. There are Pleco species in the bristlenose family or rubberlips that do not get excessively large and shouldn't dig up plants if you give them places for them to hide. ( They are more nocturnal so they will like to hide during the day.) Redfin Danios are a color morph of another smaller Danio species so aggression shouldn't be an issue but they will be quick feeders so could intimidate other slower feeding fish. I'm biased on Angels so of course they could ( should ;) ) go but if you did get them, I'd forget about the Neon Tetras. (y)
 
If i can get the Congo tetras i wouldnt be heartbroken about losing the swarm of neons, theyre that pretty to me. Not quite the same thing to have a school of ~8 small fish as opposed to ~20 tiny fish but cant have everything of course.
Wasnt aware there are plecos that dont get ginormous so i'll have to see if i can find one of them.
Pearl Gouramies were probably my favorite of those 3 so i like the idea of going with them. The speckle pattern they got looks pretty.

Course now im curious about overfilling since pretty much all those fish are schoolers. Redtails get decently sized and other than the Congo the others also get to 3-5 inches and need to be in groups, with the congos still being a couple inches.

Seems like my numbers are:
1 Redtail
1 Pleco of some kind that doesnt get huge
3 Pearl Gouramies
10 Congo Tetras
1-2 Angelfish
4 Swordtails (1male 3fem)

I'm not used to visualizing the space of a 75gal tank so that feels like too many fish to me. Maybe ditch the swordtails.
 
You should visualize where in the tank the fish are gong to swim. Congos will be mostly middle and top water. Pearl Gouramis are also at the top. ( Get either all males or 1 male and 2 females. 2 males will fight if there is only one female there. ) Pleco on the bottom and all over the tank walls where there is algae. Swordtails will be mid and lower areas. Angel(s)... either do 1 or do more than 3. 2 is not advisable unless they are a mated pair and in that case, should not be with other fish. Angels live in a hierarchy society so one will be dominant and stress out the other one. With 3 or more, #1 pecks at #2, #2 pecks at #3, #3 pecks at #4 and so on just to keep order in the school. Domestic Angels have lost that schooling need so one can live alone just fine. I do suggest tho it be the last fish you add and that you do not get a small. Stick to quarter to silver dollar size body at a minimum. Dime and nickel body size fish will be too fragile with your group. (y) Angles will stick mainly by hiding areas so bottom to mid level depending on your decorations.
In a pinch, you could reduce the Congos to 6 with no real issues. They do get nice size so even if they are small when you get them, they will grow. (y)
 
Sounds like a plan, i'll see where i feel im at when i get to the angelfish then.
Think i'll go with that plan. Time to start buying equipment i think! Thanks!
 
I'm no expert, so I'll defer... but curious why you couldn't do Bamboo Shrimp with some of the species you mentioned (like some Angelfish, Bristlenose Pleco, Pearl Gouramis, etc)... If I remember correctly Bamboo shrimp get up to 3.5 inches, since they are larger and the fish mouths smaller, I wouldn't think there would be a predatory problem.... but again, I'm no expert and don't even know if water parameters would allow the mix.
 
Bamboo shrimp are usually warned against having aggressive fish, which the redtailed most definitely is and angelfish aint no angel either despite the name.
Given the size of the tank i could probably get away with it but i'd rather not risk that
 
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