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Stocking and Filtration Questions

Discussion in 'Tropical Discussion' started by Pibbles, Oct 15, 2018.

  1. Pibbles

    Pibbles New Member

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    A few weeks ago, a friend of mine gave me her old ~60 gallon aquarium. It was in rough shape but I’ve got it looking much better now. Im at the point where it is time to add substrate and begin cycling. Once the substrate is in, I’ll also be able to figure out the actual volume of the tank which will be nice.

    Before I can start on the cycling, I need to get filter media for the filter that came with the tank, an Aqueon 75. I was going to add in some bits of Fluval sponge and maybe some ceramic media. Do I also need to go ahead and get some of those carbon cartridges that actually fit the filter? Should I upgrade the filter based on the potential stock list below?

    Here’s what I’m thinking of actually having in the tank:

    8 bronze Cory (or another color of fairly common Cory, depending on LFS availability)
    Maybe 50-ish cherry shrimp? I love cherry shrimp.
    3 albino bristlenose pleco
    5 peacock gudgeons
    20 celestial pearl danio (or maybe a school of some sort of tetra, again depending on availability)
    1 pearl gourami?

    I’ve had the gudgeons before, as well as bristlenose pleco and cherry shrimp. I believe I also used to have a small school or Corydoras. Would these all be fairly compatible? I don’t know my own water hardness yet, but I’m hoping to get a test kit either today or Saturday (before I start adding ammonia obviously).

    My substrate will be black sand and I will have driftwood and some low light plants in there as well.

    Oh! If I get all the fish at one time, do I need to quarantine the fish? I only have the one tank. If I don’t get all the fish at one time, do I need to alter how much ammonia I add during cycling? For example if I start with just the gudgeons would I need to add enough ammonia during the fishless cycle for just the gudgeons or for the eventual bioload?

     
  2. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    You don't need carbon in a filter unless you have chemicals in the water that need to be removed so don't bother getting carbon.

    Don't bother with ceramic beads, just use sponges in all the compartments.

    Stick a round sponge from an internal power filter on the intake of the HOB filter and it will give you more filtration area.

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    I would not keep 50 shrimp with peacock gudgeons (Tateurndina ocellicauda) because the shrimp will take all the food. 10 shrimp will be fine but 50 is just too much. The 10 will breed and you might end up with 50 but the gudgeons should have settled in by then and be able to fight for food.

    I wouldn't keep a pearl gourami or any big gouramis with peacock gudgeons for the same reason. And the gourami might cause problems for the celestials.

    There are plenty of small species of gourami that would be ok, but do not get the normal dwarf gourami (Trichogaster lalius) or any of its colour forms because they are riddled with diseases that cannot be cured.

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    Check the black sand before buying because some of it is sharp and can cut the gudgeons up.

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    If you are going to cycle an aquarium, get the ammonia levels to about 3ppm and let it cycle at that.

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    If you add all the fish at the same time you won't need to quarantine them but if you add a couple and get more later on, you should quarantine any new fish for a month before they are added to the main display tank.
     
  3. Pibbles

    Pibbles New Member

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    Thanks! I’ll cut back on the shrimp and eliminate the gourami. The gudgeons are priority. They have so much personality. I had a 20 gallon cherry shrimp tank once but I’ve never actually had them with other fish.

    How do you check the sharpness of the sand without opening the bag, by the way? I was actually considering using blasting sand since it’s so affordable and looks really nice. However, if it’s too sharp for the gudgeons I’ll just use play sand.
     
  4. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Ask the pet shop really nicely if you can feel the sand before buying it. Tell them you have a sand fetish and see what happens :) No don't tell them that.

    If the sand feels sharp avoid it. Get a few grains and rub them against the palm of your hand, if they scratch then avoid.

    Avoid blasting sand because it is sharp and designed to rip paint off metal and is not suitable for bottom dwelling fishes.
     
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  5. seangee

    seangee Member

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    Save some money on the shrimp. I ordered 10 by post. 7 survived and within 6 months I had well over 50.
     
  6. Pibbles

    Pibbles New Member

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    I forgot that they are prolific breeders. I’ll probably do just that.
     
  7. Pibbles

    Pibbles New Member

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    Thanks again! I have two shops in the area. One is a petsmart, so probably not super willing to let me touch sand. The other one may though.
     
  8. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Buy a bag of play sand from a home improvement store like Home Depot or Lowe's (no idea where you live, but assuming possibly North America as you mention Petsmart). The dark grey is best (there is also a tan colour), I use this in all my tanks. Completely safe, very natural in appearance, and plants grow well in it too. And very inexpensive. Play Sand is the most highly refined of the industrial sands and very safe.

    We/you will need to know your source water parameters before you can decide on any fish species, so check the website of your municipal water authority, or call them. You want to know the GH (general or total hardness) and pH, and knowing the KH (carbonate hardness or Alkalinity) is also beneficial as this will indicate if the pH may fluctuate. With GH and KH, get the unit they use to measure this as well, as it varies. For example, 8 degrees GH is 143 ppm, or 143 mg/l.

    From the fish you mention in post #1, I would forget Celestial Pearl Danios. This fish is small and does best in a largish group of its own, not in larger community tanks.
     
  9. AbbeysDad

    AbbeysDad Member

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    I agree with what's been posted. Over the years of experimenting with bio-media's, I believe that sponge material is every bit as good, if not better, than the ceramics and lava/pumice media's. And in drip systems, nylon pot scrubbers are every bit as good as bio balls. So save your money for better things!
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    Byron's had great experience with play sand. I have used pool filter sand and it works well too. I can't speak to black sand, but sand beats gravel hands down.
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    Your stock load is a bit heavy for a 60g tank so you don't want to add them all at once and over power the beneficial bacteria's ability to process ammonia and nitrite.
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    Speaking of ammonia and nitrite, I suggest fast growing floating plants as they will use ammonia as their nitrogen source, but you may need to supplement with modest fertilization.
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    Regardless of your filter, remember that filters merely make water look cleaner. Detritus in filters continues to break down and pollute the water. Plants help purify water, but in the closed system of the aquarium, you need routine partial water changes to keep a high quality water chemistry.
    In nature there is rain and snow melt...in the aquarium the solution to pollution is dilution in the form of the routine partial water change. Some try to get by with less, but 50% - 75% weekly is a better target. Why in some cases, breeders with fry will do 50% every other day and Discus hobbyists will often do 50% daily!!!
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    Good luck and keep posting!
     
  10. seangee

    seangee Member

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    As to your stock list I suspect the peacock gobies will make short work of the shrimp and CPD.
     
  11. Colin_T

    Colin_T Member

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    Peacock gudgeons are small and won't hassle the danios or adult shrimp, but they will eat baby shrimp. :)
     
  12. Pibbles

    Pibbles New Member

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    Oh yeah. I’m definitely getting floating plants. Four of my last five aquariums were densely planted. This one will probably get to that point eventually, but at first it will just be some easy java ferns, moss balls, maybe some grassy-looking things too, but definitely floating plants. All fishies appreciate some floating plants I think.
     
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  13. essjay

    essjay Member

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    I have peacock gudgeons and a thriving colony of cherry shrimps in my 180 litre (47 gallon) tank. I also have lots of plants, including floating plants, and wood for the shrimps to hide in. My Daisy's rice fish do eat juvenile shrimps, and probably baby shrimps as well, but there are still plenty of shrimps.

    With peacock gobies you need caves for them to spawn in and they like tight spaces. My largest male is currently guarding eggs in a section of plastic piping 1.5 cm (0.6 inch) internal diameter. He fills the space and I have no idea how the female got in there with him :rolleyes:
     
  14. Pibbles

    Pibbles New Member

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    Okay. I just went to the hardware store and got a 50 lb bag of play sand. It was the only one without major holes in the bag so I’ll go back and get another one later. I’ve got the sand rinsed and in the tank. Picked up some new sponges and some new lights, my test kit, and got some ammonia. Water is in the tank now and I’m about to get the filter situated.

    I ran some tests on my tap water to figure out hardness and those kinds of things since my city reports were not helpful and their office is already closed. According to the dip stick tests I got from the hardware store, my water is reading the following:

    Hardness: 0ppm
    Chlorine: 0ppm
    Alkalinity: 240 ppm
    pH: 8
    Nitrite: 0ppm
    NitrAte: 0ppm

    I do not know how reliable these tests are, but it gives us more information than I had before.
     
  15. Pibbles

    Pibbles New Member

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    That’s a good point about the hiding spaces. My first group had lots of nooks and crannies in driftwood and I had some absolutely crazy overgrown plants they loved to hide in. I’ll make some PVC caves and maybe get some small flower pots too.
     

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