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Stock My Freshwater Tank. Help Stocking :)

Discussion in 'Freshwater Journals' started by cooledwhip, Mar 20, 2016.

  1. cooledwhip

    cooledwhip Member

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    Hey everyone I have a 20 gallon long freshwater planted tank that I've had for about 2 months now. It is cycled and the plants are doing AMAZING. 
     
    Throughout the course of the 2 months I had lots of trouble with the plants and didn't think they would grow but they are flourishing now and I am propogating them to the point where I have a 10 gallon setup so I can put more plants in...
     
    Anyway. In my tank I have a bristlenose albino pleco (he is like half and inch now he's a baby but I got him a week ago and he's doing fine)
     
    And a single blue moscow guppy. I am ready to stock my tank and want some ideas as I am new to the hobby. I think angelfish are beautiful fish but I've read they only do well in  larger tanks.
     I really want some guppies in the tank too
     
    Any suggestions about what fish to put in? Thanks much.

    I really like this fish: http://nanoaquatics.co.za/edr/
     
  2. Byron

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    It will help members to suggest fish if we know your water parameters, meaning the hardness (GH) and pH, and you might as well find out the KH (Alkalinity or carbonate hardness) as well.  Check your muncipal water authority's website, as such data is often posted.
     
    This can be important, more for some fish and less for others.  The species you linked, Celestichthys erythromicron, will not do well in soft or acidic water as it says in the data there, so knowing the parameters will help.
     
    You are quite correct, that an angelfish cannot manage in a 20g long tank.  While fish in stores are small, they do grow, and this one will if healthy easily reach six inches in length, with a vertical fin span of 8-9 inches.  And while I'm on this aspect, fish grow continually and need sufficient space to do so properly, or they can become stunted; so it is important to have the necessary space available early on.
     
    Byron.
     
  3. cooledwhip

    cooledwhip Member

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    Thanks. I have a freshwater master test kit which only includes PH nitrate and nitrite and ammonia. Can I get the GH, and KH at the store? I live in chicago so we get lake michigan water. I'll hopefully get the numbers tomorrow.
     
  4. Byron

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    I found it, on the Chicago Water Management site
    http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/water/WaterQltyResultsNRpts/ccReports/CCA_2015_Q123.pdf
     
    It has the hardness in the low 140's in mg/l which is the same as ppm.  So this equates to around 8 dGH, which is moderately hard but close to soft.  Quite good for many fish.  The pH they give as on average 7.7 so that is pretty good too.
     
    With these numbers, the linked Celestichthys erythromicron should have no issues; this is a shoaling fish, meaning it lives in groups, so I would suggest 9-12 of them.  Males are the more colourful, and try to get a mix roughly half male/female.  Guppies are livebearers which need moderately hard water, so they will work; I would not consider most other livebearers though, because they get larger and there is not that much space.  Endlers are small, and more colourful than guppies.
     
    Byron.
     
  5. cooledwhip

    cooledwhip Member

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    I found it, on the Chicago Water Management site
    http://www.cityofchicago.org/content/dam/city/depts/water/WaterQltyResultsNRpts/ccReports/CCA_2015_Q123.pdf
     
    It has the hardness in the low 140's in mg/l which is the same as ppm.  So this equates to around 8 dGH, which is moderately hard but close to soft.  Quite good for many fish.  The pH they give as on average 7.7 so that is pretty good too.
     
    With these numbers, the linked Celestichthys erythromicron should have no issues; this is a shoaling fish, meaning it lives in groups, so I would suggest 9-12 of them.  Males are the more colourful, and try to get a mix roughly half male/female.  Guppies are livebearers which need moderately hard water, so they will work; I would not consider most other livebearers though, because they get larger and there is not that much space.  Endlers are small, and more colourful than guppies.
     
    Byron.
     


    Thanks a lot for that information. I live in a suburb of Chicago (like half an hour drive to chicago). It's really nice to know that information and it's another reason this hobby/community is really great. Now with knowing that information, are there any other fish you would put in the tank? I have decided now that I want a small fish tank, like tetras/guppy/ and the 'shoaling fish'. Are there any other types of fish I could put in there? I really like endler's livebearers too but they are pretty expensive and I have only seen them online.
    I think I'll for sure get the rasboras, maybe some tetras too. Is there any way to make water softer? This summer I planned on taking a small tub and having a little guppy pond outside.
     
  6. cooledwhip

    cooledwhip Member

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    Could I get a german blue ram in there too? I want  a couple schooling fish and maybe a centerpiece fish. Either the blue ram or a dwarf gourami (I don't like gouramis too much tho)
     
  7. Byron

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    When considering fish, tank size is obviously important, but there are other factors.  And your mention of the common or blue ram brings up the issue of temperature.  This fish likes it warmer than many, around 80F.  Not all "tropical fish" will manage well at this high a temperature on a permanent basis.
     
    I know many aquarists think a centrepiece fish is nice, but in small tanks this can be tricky if not impossible.  As soon as you get into larger fish, say over 1.5 to 2 inches, you are making real changes.  I personally would stay with smaller shoaling fish.
     
    As for softening the water, this is not easy.  The only way is to dilute the source (tap) water with "pure" water such as that passed through Reverse Osmosis (which can get very expensive) or rainwater if this is safe to use (industrial pollution).  Then there is the matter of weekly partial water changes, which would mean a store of such water on hand.  It is certainly easier to stay with what comes out of the tap.  And what you have is not too bad.  There are many fish that will be fine.  Most of the common tetras for example, like Pristella, glowlight, etc.  However, if you move into any of these, I would forget guppies as things are going to get crowded.  The tetras are shoaling fish, requiring a group; six is usually suggested as minimum, but the fact is that more will always be better for the fish.  Then there is the rasbora initially mentioned, also a shoaling species.  And something on the small side for the substrate to add some lower interest may be good.  The tank is soon getting full.
     
    Byron.
     
  8. cooledwhip

    cooledwhip Member

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    Ok I understand. I will for sure get the tetras and rasboras. I want a couple shoaling species. As for the "centerpiece" fish, any recommendations? I have a fluval 150m (designed for 40g tanks) and my water is 79 right now. I'm sure I could get 80. But then again there is gotta be other fish I can put in with the tetras and rasboras. I already have a bristle nose albino pleco who is tiny right now. The single starter guppy I have I plan to move.
     
    There is a LFS near me (not petsmart or petco it's a mom and pop shop) and they have a giant container of water, I think it might be reverse osmosis? idk I can check though.
     
    What else could I throw in? I plan on getting like 6-8 of the mentioned rasboras and maybe 6-8 of some kind of tetra. (looking at blood nosed, harlequin, cardinal, neon)
     
  9. Byron

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    Go slow with this.  Here is some reliable data on the emerald rasbora:
    http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/celestichthys-erythromicron/
     
    It mentions suitable tankmates, but also suggests a large group, say 20.  So there won't be much space left for other fish.  I had this species once, some years ago, and they were on their own.  When numbers dwindled, I put them in with some other quiet rasboras and they seemed OK.  But in my view, and given the data on SF, it might be best to consider this tank as a species tank for this beautiful fish alone.
     
  10. cooledwhip

    cooledwhip Member

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    Okay. Wow I didn't realize that. That species looks really nice, but I think I'll have to save that fish for its own tank sometime in the future maybe.. As for this tank, what species should I put in? I want a nice community with 2 species or more. Any suggestions? 
     
  11. Byron

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    I would look at several of the smaller tetras, like the glowlight, Pristella, black neon, neon, black phantom.  There is alos the common Harlequin Rasbora.  These should be OK with your water.  All are shoaling fish, so a group of no fewer than six, but I would suggest 7-8.  Two of these species in a planted 20g long should be fine.  And then you could have a small group of substrate fish like the corys, save 5-6.  I know you already have one albino bristlenose, so this is OK.
     
  12. cooledwhip

    cooledwhip Member

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    Sounds good. would I be able to put some balloon mollies in the tank or guppies? Just a couple.

    What about the blood nosed tetras? I like the harlequins, and the blood nosed tetras. 
     
  13. Byron

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    No, for two reasons.  First with the mollies, they should have harder water to be healthy.  But even so, this is not a small fish, with males reaching 3 inches and females up to 5, some even 6 inches.  And as with all livebearers, you would need only males, as females can produce several batches of fry at monthly intervals.  The guppies, are OK size wise (the male/female issue remains) but if you are intending a group or two of tetras or rasbora, I would not include guppies or anything else for that matter except the corys.  A 20g may seem large empty, but it is actually not a lot of space.
     
    As you mention them, the balloon molly is not a fish anyone should buy.  These "balloon" types are not natural but man-made, and it is in my view a cruel practice.  It deforms their spine, and so far as I know causes internal problems in all cases.  It is not a responsible practice, and none of us should encourage it by purchasing the fish.  If no one bought them, the practice would soon stop.
     
     
    I suppose the rummy nose tetra would be OK; I would prefer even softer water, but your GH is not bad so you could.  This fish needs more in the group, at least 8-9, and I would suggest 9-12.  These and a group of 7 Harlequin Rasbora, plus a group of 5 corys, would work if you are diligent with regular weekly partial water changes and do not overfeed.
     
    The thing about getting too many fish, or more accurately, pushing the limit a bit, is that you have less room for error, should anything go wrong.  But each species of fish has needs that must be met if it is to be healthy, and one of these is sufficient numbers.  A group of five rummynose for example will not be as healthy as a group of 9, all else being equal, so if one wants this species, you have to have the numbers to allow it to function as nature intends.
     
    Byron.
     
  14. cooledwhip

    cooledwhip Member

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    Thanks much. I didn't know that about the balloon mollies. I promise to you I will stay away from them. As for the cories, they aren't really my favorite.. I don't like them too much. Could I maybe get a Yo yo loach? or some kind of substrate species other than the cories? 
     
  15. Byron

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    Loaches are highly social fish, so they need a group.  There isn't sufficient space for the regular loaches that attain close to 4 inches for the smallest (the Yo Yo is Botia almorhae, and it gets to 6 inches).  The kuhlii loach could work, a group of 4-5, if you like those.  Understand that they need hiding places, such as chunks of wood with tunnels and crevices, and they tend to not come out much in the daylight.  They will likely remain hidden at first anyway.
     

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