Stocking advice - New to the hobby

andyleesy

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Hi all,

I am new to the hobby and instantly hooked.. It all starts with good intentions and we have made a few mistakes to get to this point but I am really looking for stocking advice for a future tank 60/80 or 110l.

Current tank is a 30litre Superfish Qubiq 30
Standard filter, 7ph, 25degC, medium hardness water. Large plant, some good hiding spaces.

Cycled the tank for a month before buying our first fish. Pets at home allowed us to buy a clown loach(!!) alone and a couple of Mollies. We had them in for a few days and researched that the tank is way too small for fish of that size, so we returned the loach and one mollie. Unfortunately we were not given good advice...

We actually kept one of the mollies as he was really dosile and now also have 8x male guppies, established for a month without any issues. We do regular changes to the water (5-7 days), approx 20% at a time and managed a gravel change during this period too! (Aestics).

I've read lots of conflicting information about what we can actually keep in this tank and as a result decided in the near future we will get a larger tank. I'm looking at 60 / 80 or 110litre tanks.

My question is if we add our current stock into the 110l, what else could we have?
I like the idea of some miniature shoalers like Rasbora or/and neon tetras, but our mollie has really won us over with the personality too.
Just a guideline on what else we could add would be great. We have a large Nerite Snail too so rules out most loaches?

Advice appreciated.

Thanks,
 

CryptFan

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I would just go with maybe a couple more mollies or other male livebearers, you could also go with 6-8 Cory catfish. you Should probably do at least a 50% water change once or twice a week because you have too many fish for that size tank
 

essjay

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Never listen to anything a fish shop worker says, especially those at Pets@Home. So many of them haven't a clue and will make up any rubbish to get a sale.


The first thing we need to ask is - what is the hardness of your tap water in numbers? Unfortunately words are misleading; my water company says mine is 'slightly hard' but the number is 5 German degrees which is soft as far as fish keeping is concerned. Look on your water company's website. If it's Severn Trent, enter your postcode here https://www.stwater.co.uk/my-supply/water-quality/check-my-water-quality/ They'll give your hardness in several units, you want the one called 'hardness German'

The reason I ask for this is that fish need to be kept in water with hardness similar to their native water. You currently have livebearers which need hard water; rasboras and neons need soft water. Once we know your hardness we'll be able to suggest fish suitable to your water.

I agree with CryptFan, water changes should be at least 50% a week; more with a heavily stocked tank.
 
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andyleesy

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Thanks for the replies - water is 10.37 Hardness German.
Pets at home use a 'fish point' system which is horrendously mis leading hence our issue now. They would've been happy for us to have gone home with a Rainbow Shark or Angel Fish too!!
I'm sure it'll be a 110l tank, sounds like the water may not suit Tetra?
 

Byron

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Welcome to TFF.:hi:

First, can you post the dimensions of the tank? Assuming it is 110 liters, that is equivalent to 30 gallons, but the length and width are equally important as many (but not all) fish tend to swim horizontally so space can be important.

On the hardness of the water, 10 dGH is in the "moderately hard" range though this is a subjective term. But 10 dGH is at the lowest end for mollies who will do better in harder water. As you have the one and like her, it might be best to stay with just the one and hope she is able to manage. With the hardness is also a need for a basic pH (basic meaning above 7). The pH here is given as 7, and it may naturally lower to the acidic side which will not bode well for mollies (or any other livebearers).

As for tetras, some need soft water while many others are OK in the "middle" around 8 to 10 dGH. So there should be options here, but let's get the tank dimensions pinned down first. I will mention though that among tetras and most other family groups there are fish that are active swimmers, fish that are maybe moderate swimmers, and fish species that are more sedate and rarely swim much at all. Generally speaking, you cannot successfully combine these levels, because the active swimmers can really annoy sedate fish, and that means stress which is the direct cause of 95% of fish disease problems.

I concur with the advice to do larger-volume water changes. I change 60-70% of the tank's water once every week, and have for a couple decades. Nothing leads to healthier fish like substantial water changes.
 
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andyleesy

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Hi,
Yes the one I am currently looking at is 76.5cm (l) x 36cm (w) X 53(h)
Re-checked pH this morning and it's a solid 7.0.
Thanks for the reply.
Is 76.5cm long enough for the guppies and mollie that I have?
 

Byron

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Hi,
Yes the one I am currently looking at is 76.5cm (l) x 36cm (w) X 53(h)
Re-checked pH this morning and it's a solid 7.0.
Thanks for the reply.
Is 76.5cm long enough for the guppies and mollie that I have?
Re tank dimensions, the guppies are obviously fine, the molly is at the mininimum so with just one that is OK. Mollies attain 3-4 inches (male) and 5 inches (female) with 6-inch females recorded.
 
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andyleesy

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Update:
Got the 110 (118l) aquarium.
Split the established filter in the 30l to help boost the cycle on the new tank, whilst putting 4 of the guppies in too. Daily water changes and monitoring.

Levels have now settled at 0-0.25 ammonia, 0 Nitrite, 0-20 Nitrate. Quite a few live plants in there too.
Lost one guppy out of the old tank (jumped :().
Now we have in our tank:

7x male guppy
1x Mollie
2x Dwarf Gourami (1m, 1f).
6x Otos. (As of yesterday).
4x Nerite Snail

So we are going to need some algae which I'm hoping with the lighting and plants will not be a problem. I have algae based food anyway as I've read that Otos are sensitive in terms of diet.

I'm really hoping the Otos do well (I'd love them to breed but that sounds unlikely).

Any other suggestions or comments on the stock levels appreciated.

Thanks
 

essjay

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My main comment is that your hardness of 10 dH is too soft for mollies - they need a minimum hardness of 15 dH. Guppies are also hard water fish but your harness is at the lower end of their range so they could be OK. I
I would strongly suggest you rehome the molly though.

Keep an eye on the gouramis. They are commonly infected with an incurable disease. Should yours have it, don't replace them with any other gouramis.
 

Colin_T

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Otocinclus catfish should not be put in new tanks. You need a layer of algae and biofilm on the glass and ornaments for them. They also need driftwood in the tank.

Mollies and Guppies need hard water and with GH above 200ppm for guppies (250ppm for mollies), and a pH above 7.0. The other fishes you listed come from softer water.
 
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andyleesy

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My main comment is that your hardness of 10 dH is too soft for mollies - they need a minimum hardness of 15 dH. Guppies are also hard water fish but your harness is at the lower end of their range so they could be OK. I
I would strongly suggest you rehome the molly though.

Keep an eye on the gouramis. They are commonly infected with an incurable disease. Should yours have it, don't replace them with any other gouramis.
The Mollie was a mistake but unfortunately he was pre-research. Is there anything else I should watch for or just re-home?
I have heard about the DG illness too but thanks for mentioning.
 
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andyleesy

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Otocinclus catfish should not be put in new tanks. You need a layer of algae and biofilm on the glass and ornaments for them. They also need driftwood in the tank.

Mollies and Guppies need hard water and with GH above 200ppm for guppies (250ppm for mollies), and a pH above 7.0. The other fishes you listed come from softer water.
Tank is 3 weeks in with fish in for 2 and a half weeks so not brand new, I'm not sure if this counts as "new" or not but it has been cycled...?

We do have driftwood in and rocks, plants and ornaments all from another tank which was well established so will have plenty of Algae and biofilm already but appreciate the comment.
I have read that guppies are happy at 9-12dGh and mines 10. Otto's range 5-15dGh and Gourami 3-12 so all these guys should be ok?

Thanks
 

essjay

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For otos it counts as brand new I'm afraid. They need a mature tank which is usually defined as one that has been running for at least 6 months. This gives a tank time to grow the algae and biofilm that otos feed on. Otos can be very picky eaters, often refusing to eat algae wafers, and can starve themselves to death.

Re the molly, it is likely to suffer from lack of calcium in the water and may develop a condition called the shimmies where it appears to be swimming on the spot. It will not live its full lifespan in water that is too soft.
 

seangee

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I waited 5 months before adding otos and still had to supplement their food. Blanched spinach leaves work well for me and they are more likely to take these because they look like plants. Wash young fresh spinach leaves, place in a saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Remove from heat once it starts bubbling and teave to cool to tank temp. Weight it down and place in tank. Replace every 24 hours.
 
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