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Byron

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On the "space" concern in the smaller quarantine tank--not an issue. The fish will be small as I previously said, and for a few weeks it will not be an issue. However, make sure you have floating plants, covering the surface. Water Sprite, Frogbit, Water Lettuce, Salvinia, a stem plant like Pennywort--whatever. Even duckweed if that is all you can get. This has a crucial role, first it shades the tank and the fish will be more "comfortable" which means less chance of ich, and the floating plants will gobble up ammonia as fast as the fish could ever produce it, even if you overstocked the tank ten times.

As for the 55g, you need floating plants here too. The fish mentioned all need this, they are forest dwellers and that means no bright overhead light. It really does make a significant difference (benefit). Stocking is fine, whichever. Just add all of the intended number of a species at the same time. Example, all 14 neons together, then all panda cories together (try to get the entire number if you can).
 
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djlombar

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On the "space" concern in the smaller quarantine tank--not an issue. The fish will be small as I previously said, and for a few weeks it will not be an issue. However, make sure you have floating plants, covering the surface. Water Sprite, Frogbit, Water Lettuce, Salvinia, a stem plant like Pennywort--whatever. Even duckweed if that is all you can get. This has a crucial role, first it shades the tank and the fish will be more "comfortable" which means less chance of ich, and the floating plants will gobble up ammonia as fast as the fish could ever produce it, even if you overstocked the tank ten times.

As for the 55g, you need floating plants here too. The fish mentioned all need this, they are forest dwellers and that means no bright overhead light. It really does make a significant difference (benefit). Stocking is fine, whichever. Just add all of the intended number of a species at the same time. Example, all 14 neons together, then all panda cories together (try to get the entire number if you can).
I've got red root floater (one of your original suggestions) in both and they are propagating very well already. The 55g needs more but I am adding more.
 

Byron

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I've got red root floater (one of your original suggestions) in both and they are propagating very well already. The 55g needs more but I am adding more.

Yes, get a good cover of floaters and you will not have issues, guaranteed.
 

emeraldking

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Hey all, especially @Byron @Wills @Rocky998 @emeraldking. Coming back with an update! I've got both tanks hardscaped and planted. The 14g quarantine tank is officially cycled and I added a few nerite snails and some cherry shrimp (some ghost shrimp made their way in so 2 or 3 of them too). The 55g tank is still being cycled but I was able to jumpstart it with some extra filter media from the 14g so I have nitrates already and ammonia is dropping (though nitrites are still too high so not stocking anything yet).

I'm thinking once the 55g is ready I will start with Neon Tetra (maybe 14 or so) and Panda Corys (start with maybe 6-8 and add more on down the road). Curious what your thoughts are on starting stocking. I was thinking of two options:
  1. Getting 6-8 Panda Corys now and putting them in the quarantine tank. Let the 55g finish cycling (probably another week or two) and adding the 14 Neon Tetra to that 55g tank. Once they pass their 6ish week "quarantine" (since they would be the first fish in there) I'd move the Corys over.
  2. The reverse: start with the Neon Tetras in the 14g and Panda Corys (definitely more than 6 if this route) in the 55g.
I like #1 more just because the Corys can help do some cleanup, though I love shrimp and wouldn't be opposed to adding more as cleanup crew. Thoughts?
Regardless of which I do I am curious as to something like 8 Panda Corys in a 14g. It would definitely not be their permanent home but if they're in there for up to 8 weeks of quarantine will that be ok for them? And similarly something like 14 Neon Tetra in 14g for 6-8 weeks.

View attachment 168048
Looking good!
 
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djlombar

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Welp I added 7 Panda Corys to my quarantine tank. I did the aquarium coop med trio. Mistake. Ammonia has spiked to 1. Two casualties so far...
 

Byron

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Welp I added 7 Panda Corys to my quarantine tank. I did the aquarium coop med trio. Mistake. Ammonia has spiked to 1. Two casualties so far...

Do not use "meds" on fish unless you know fairly certainly that they have "x" issue. The stress from netting, transport and a new environment is significant and meds only worsen this. And, I did say have floating plants in the QT...ammonia should be zero if you did.
 
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djlombar

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Do not use "meds" on fish unless you know fairly certainly that they have "x" issue. The stress from netting, transport and a new environment is significant and meds only worsen this. And, I did say have floating plants in the QT...ammonia should be zero if you did.
I've got floating plants. Ammonia and nitrites were 0, nitrates 5-10. I had tested for over a week to add a tiny amount of ammonia and it would drop to 0 overnight. It did not spike until adding the fish and doing the med trio.
 

Byron

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I've got floating plants. Ammonia and nitrites were 0, nitrates 5-10. I had tested for over a week to add a tiny amount of ammonia and it would drop to 0 overnight. It did not spike until adding the fish and doing the med trio.

You were adding ammonia to this Quarantine tank? With live plants and floaters that was not necessary, and it could have killed the plants. Did you do major 100% water changes before adding the 7 panda cories?
 
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djlombar

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You were adding ammonia to this Quarantine tank? With live plants and floaters that was not necessary, and it could have killed the plants. Did you do major 100% water changes before adding the 7 panda cories?
Small amounts of ammonia to ensure it was cycled. Up to 0.5ppm. I did a 20% change prior to adding the Corys.

My 55g tank is now cycled so I am moving them. Has to be better than the QT at this point.
 

Byron

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Small amounts of ammonia to ensure it was cycled. Up to 0.5ppm. I did a 20% change prior to adding the Corys.

My 55g tank is now cycled so I am moving them. Has to be better than the QT at this point.

I'm sorry you lost some of them. May very well have been the ammonia, or the "meds," or the combination. Hope those left make it.
 
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djlombar

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I'm sorry you lost some of them. May very well have been the ammonia, or the "meds," or the combination. Hope those left make it.
Me too I feel awful for them. It's a struggle with how many conflicting suggestions and opinions there are. I definitely made sure not to introduce anything without being sure it was cycled.
 
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djlombar

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I had one more loss but the rest are doing well in the 55gal now. I ended up getting two more so I have 6 total. Two of them looked like they had some sort of infection and a couple had some fin rot. The water quality is staying great in the new tank and they seem to be doing well now. Once the quarantine tank settles again (almost there) I'll get at least 6 more that will eventually make it into the 55gal.

I think the source of the slight ammonia rise in the 55gal was some plant die off. My Bacopa Caroliniana were struggling to stay rooted so I think the replanting caused them to die off (I at least clipped the new growth off the top so I have some very short stems now).

The Corys don't swarm to the food when I add it in which concerns me a bit but it is all getting eaten eventually (not in 3-5min). I try to drop it near them and they'll casually pick at it.
 
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