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Stocking a 60 gallon tank

Discussion in 'New to the Hobby Questions and Answers' started by Gourami36, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. Gourami36

    Gourami36 New Member

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    I have a 60 gallon tank with the dimensions of 48 inches long 12 inches wide and 24 inches high. The tank will have 2-3 inches of sand and will be planted. The filter is a SeaChem Tidal 110 and a sponge filter or two. The tap water has a gh of 2 and a kh of 2. Ph is 7. I can raise gh and kh to 4 if necessary. Could I have the following fish:
    -6 boeseman’s rainbowfish
    -6 yoyo loaches
    -6 corydoras sterbai
    -1 male and 2 female pearl gouramis
    -8 congo tetra, colombian tetra, or red eye tetra
    -3 upside down catfish
    -1 green phantom pleco
    I saw this stocking online for a similar size tank but want to check if it’s ok and ask how many percent water change I should do.

     
  2. Byron

    Byron Member

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    There are some issues with the combination of species more than the numbers alone.

    The rainbowfish (Melanotaenia boesemani) is an active swimmer so these should not be combined with sedate fish like gourami. And a few more in the group will allow the males to be more colourful.

    Loaches and cory catfish should not be combined. The loaches, and here the species is Botia almorhae, are more aggressive at feeding and interacting. I suggest either the loaches (this or another species, like Botia kubotai or Botia strigata) or a group of cories, but not both.

    On the cories, the larger the group the happier/healthier they will be, and you have the space so 12-20 would be better. You can mix species, but try to have a few of each species if possible, but again it is the total number that matters most to the cories.

    The upside down catfish should have a larger group, five or six minimum. You mention plants, so make sure there are some larger-leaf species such as the Amazon Swords, and chunks of wood with crevices.

    The Congo Tetra would be lovely in this tank, but a group of 10-12 as you have the space and this allows more interaction. I would not have either of the other mentioned tetras, they can be a bit fin nippy. Something the gourami would not appreciate either.

    The pearls are fine, and the Congo would not be too active to cause issue here. Without the rainbowfish though as mentioned earlier. I would increase the size of the Pearl Gourami shoal if you go with this species, perhaps five to six (2 male, 3-4 female) or with another male and female (eight). Some of the rasboras would be good tankmates instead of the tetras.

    The rainbowfish, or Pearl Gourami, or Congeo Tetras, whichever one of these three, would be the centerpiece in this tank.

    Water changes. Regular (once each week) changes of 50-70% of the tank volume. Partial water changes are intended to maintain solid stability in water chemistry, and lesser volume/frequency will do just the opposite.
     
  3. Gourami36

    Gourami36 New Member

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    I was told on another forum it was fine...
    I can’t have any species of loaches with corydoras?
    I don’t like mixing species so I will just get one species of corydoras.
    I will be getting some amazon swords and larger anubias. Definitely will have driftwood and most pieces have crevices.
    The tank is big enough for 5 upside down catfish? Can I buy 3 first then another 2 later?
    Is there any rainbowfish I can have with pearl gouramis or are they all very active?
    Could I have 2 schools of fish if I didn’t have rainbowfish?
    Would 2 male and 4 female pearl gouramis be fine?
     
  4. Byron

    Byron Member

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    No, it is not advisable. I know there are those who will say different, fine; I listen to the ichthyologists and experts who know, and Ian Fuller who owns/runs Corydoras World and has published several articles says no loaches with cories because the loaches tend to be more dominant and aggressive feeders and cories often lose out. Another aspect is the natural behaviour of the fish. Loaches and cories in nature are pretty much on their own, and you will have more natural interactive behaviours when this is replicated. And healthy fish should be our aim.

    Yes on the five or six, no on adding separately. Shoaling fish are always better when the intended number is added together at the same time. Primarily, they will settle in faster with less chance of ich or other issues. With hierarchial species (not especially the case here) this also avoids one fish becoming dominant initially and rejecting subsequent additions. Whenever you want a number of a species, they are best if added together.

    You mentioned one of the larger rainbowfish species; there are other species that are smaller, some very much so, requiring different conditions (all are shoaling so a group is needed).

    You can have two schools of fish with or without rainbows, it is the species that may cause issues. Different species can have very different behaviours, temperaments, degrees of normal aggression, etc. I was only responding to the specific species you mentioned.

    I would add one or two more females. Male gourami, even a peaceful species like the Pearl, are still territorial. And there should be more females to provide less chance of one or both males spending too much attention on the few females.
     
  5. Gourami36

    Gourami36 New Member

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    Someone on another forum said it’s ok and he keeps them together. The lfs also said it’s ok but I know not to trust lfs all the time. I can’t have kuhli loaches either?
    I’ll add 5 at the same time.
    Which one can I have?
    I forgot to mention there will also be bolivian rams. I have 2 currently, and will buy 4 more to try to get 2 pairs. I have a 29 gallon tank if one or two of them don’t get along. Would this change any of the things you said earlier?
    I didn’t know I could have that many. 5 females and 2 males?
     
  6. Byron

    Byron Member

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    The LFS often only cares about selling fish, their life is of no consequence. I am not going to argue what a nameless person thinks, you asked for my advice, and I gave it.

    This has issues. First, Bolivian Rams must select their own mate, they will not accept any male/female. The only way to do this is to find a pair that appear to have bonded in a tank of several. If they do not bond, they may or may not get along for a time, and can even spawn but then it turns nasty and one (usually the female) will be killed.
     
  7. Gourami36

    Gourami36 New Member

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    I know how they form a pair... which is why I’m buying more than I actually want. I have 2 together in a29 gallon (used to be 36 gal but it leaked). The one I think is female is very aggressive (even bites my gourami) but never actually does damage. The suspected male is less dominant, but did fight back a few times but never did any damage. I’ve haven’t heard of them killing each other. Out of curiosity have you seen them kill each other? If they are aggressive I have 3 backup tanks (1 set up, 2 can be instantly cycled by moving a sponge filter).
     
  8. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Yes, a male I had turned on the female overnight and killed her.

    On that point you don't seem to grasp the point I tried to make. The individual fish must select a mate from a tank of say 10 or more, and they will bond. Discerning male and female is very difficult especially in juvenile fish as one normally sees in stores.

    Aggressive fish between species is a serious issue you should resolve. It is one thing for a normally aggressive species to exhibit that behaviour...angelfish, discus, rams all do this; unless it becomes heightened it is normal interactive behaviour. One fish like the ram targeting a gourami is a very different thing, and should be stopped. Even if there is no physical contact, the gourami is under stress; fish release pheromones and allomones that are like chemical signals that other fish read, and this can cause severe stress even when no actual physical attack occurs.
     
  9. Gourami36

    Gourami36 New Member

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    They will not pair if there’s 6 of them? Should I buy 8 more to get some pairs?
    Someone on another forum said this about what you said.
    “Who said this? On this site? I have four bolivians together in a tank nearly 10 gallons smaller than yours* and they are completely fine, despite the fact that they breed every two weeks. They do have territorial disputes but no damage is ever done and they quickly back away after an initial conflict. They also tend to chill together at times. They are social fish, similar to geophagus species, and many people recommend to keep them in groups of at least 6. Many people start off with 6 initially in tanks smaller than yours and dwindle the stock when pairs form. It's very rare to buy paired rams and even if you do, they might unpair when introduced to a new tank. Your two rams weren't a pair and they aren't dead in a 29g tank. That info is just wrong.”
    *my 60 gallon tank. His tank is about 50 gallons.
    I am not sure who to listen to.
    I do know how to sex them but I also know they are hard to sex.
    The gourami is fine now; the ram only does it when there’s vegetables and the gourami goes to the bottom. For some reason this ram is very defensive about the vegetables even though it never eats them.
    I don’t want to sound like I don’t trust you but how do you know for sure the male killed the female?
     
  10. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I see no purpose in arguing with a nameless individual on another forum. I will say that my ten years of research has taught me that several points that individual makes are in error. They are not "social" fish; observations made in their habitat suggest they live in isolation, only pairing to spawn. And fish in small tanks never behave normally because of the stress. Third point, it is wiser to assume fish will behave according to the norm for the species rather than forcing them to somehow change, which is scientifically impossible, as one who has studied ichthyology can attest. And it is cruel to the fish.

    As for my Bolivians, they were in a 5-foot 115 g Amazon riverscape, and I introduced the female to the male already in the tank. Looking back with the benefit of subsequent research I can see that the signs were there from the start. In spite of four spawnings, they never really "got along" as they should have had they accepted one another.

    Rams are substrate-level fish, that is "their" space. Gourami and cichlids should never be housed together because they are so much alike in behaviour and temperament. The gourami descending to the substrate is invading the ram's territory, hence the reaction.

    It is up to you whose advice you take.
     
  11. Gourami36

    Gourami36 New Member

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    I’m not trying to argue.. just showing different opinions because I don’t know who is correct. If you researched 10 years you are probably right about a lot of things related to fish. Do you know anyone on this forum who keeps bolivian rams who could give a second opinion? Not because I don’t believe you, but more opinions are better. The ram only bites the gourami when there’s vegetables.
     
  12. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Your water is too soft for rainbowfish, especially Melanotaenia boesemani, which come from a lake with hard alkaline water.

    Red-eye and Columbian tetras are fin nippers and might cause issues to the gouramis.

    Don't have 5 gouramis in the tank. Have 1 male and 2 females and leave it at that.

    You can mix some species of small loach with Corydoras but you need a big tank and small species of loach.

    If you want a pair (male & female) of cichlids in the tank, get a group of 6-10 young fish and grow them up together. Let them pr off and remove the prs to different tanks. Or leave 1 pr in the tank and remove the others.

    The tank should be high enough (24 inches high) for gouramis and Bolivian rams.
     
  13. Gourami36

    Gourami36 New Member

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    How much would I have to raise gh and kh for rainbowfish? Do they need alkaline water?
    I didn’t think I could have 5 gouramis. I was only doing 3 (1male and 2 females)anyway.
    Is 60 gallon big enough for kuhli loaches and corydoras sterbai?
    The bolivian rams I’m buying are around 2 inches. Are those too old?
    Can I have have multiple pairs? It will be heavily planted with many things to break line of sight.
     
  14. Gourami36

    Gourami36 New Member

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    Also @Byron could you post a link to the article(s) about corydoras and loaches if you don’t mind? I’m interested in reading them.
     
  15. Gourami36

    Gourami36 New Member

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    @Byron which species of loaches do you keep?
     

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