Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site
Tropical Fish Forums
Aquarium fishkeeping around the world!
 
ChatChat  HelpHelp   Search BoardSearch Board   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups 
 ProfileProfile   Check your private messagesCheck your private messages   Log inLog in   RegisterRegister 
New aquarium imminent, compatibility advice needed!
 Forum Index > Freshwater Basics  Reply to topic   Post new topic
Author Message
sjb10
New Members


Joined: 07 Aug 2012

PostPosted: 2012.08.08(Wed)15:52    Post subject: New aquarium imminent, compatibility advice needed! Reply with quote

Hi all,

I'm helping put together a brand new tropical aquarium setup for a family member, but while this is something we've wanted to do for a while, we don't actually have any previous experience of stocking/keeping/maintaining an aquarium!

The tank has already been bought - an Aqua One Acquience 800 (175 litre) - complete with filter and heater. We also have about 20kg of small pebbles for the bottom (not put in yet).

I've tried to do some research and have spoken to a couple of people at aquarium stores regarding some fish compatibility issues, but not since coming up with a list of fish that we want.

The plan is to place real aquarium plants, driftwood/bogwood, and stacked stones to create plenty of cover and caves for the fish, while also leaving plenty of open space and clear ground for the various fish to use.

This is currently the desired setup, which I need reviewing for potential issues - apologies if I've missed something glaring in my research:

1 x Bristlenose Pleco
1 x Butterfly Pleco (might change this to clown, or second bristlenose for breeding if necessary)
1 x Synodontis Petricola (I forget the common name)
3 x Adolfo's Cory
3 x Panda Cory
2 x Redline Torpedo Barb
9 x Guppy (3 x male, 6 x female)
5 x Harlequin Rasbora
5 x Glowlight Tetra
5 x Diamond Neon Tetra
5 x Neon Tetra

As it stands that is a total of 40 fish. We were initially looking at a 125 litre tank, which we were advised would hold up to 35 fish, which I'm assuming is pretty dependent on fish size! The largest in the above list are the Torpedo Barbs at 15cm max. Even the plecos are "dwarves", so I'm hoping this is still feasible.

All the fish will be quite young when bought, and therefore nowhere near full size. Again, this could be me being stupid, but I've come up with a temperature of ~26 degrees C, at ~6.5-7 pH, and soft-moderate hardness.

What I would like to know is:

1) Is this realistic, or have I missed something silly?
2) Are the fish compatible (socially/biologically)?
3) Any advice on how to set up the aquarium (how to create correct eco-system pre-fish, what order to put fish in, upkeep, etc.)?

Obviously I'm not looking to stunt or harm any of the fish to achieve a varied community, but we would like to keep this variety and interest if possible.

For reference, other fish available locally that we liked but rejected either due to apparent compatibility or just preference for other species are:

Albino Glowlight Tetra
Bentosi White Fin Tetra
Long Fin Neon Tetra
Rosy Tetra (I've heard they nip fins more than other tetras)
Ghost Catfish (Due to size/numbers required)
Hoplo Catfish (V Nice, but possibly clumsy with other fish?)
Lace Catfish (Acts nocturnal?)
Longfin Bristlenose (Interchangeable with regular BN as far as I can see)
Bronze Cory
Electric Blue Ram
Polkadot Loach
Red Blue Endler
Silver Hatchet

Feel free to tell me I've screwed up my research! Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Marcos Avila
Moderators


Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Santo Andre (Brazil)

PostPosted: 2012.08.08(Wed)17:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations on the planning and research. For a newcomer to the hobby you came very close to a good population plan for your tank. The main incompatibilities are:

1 x Synodontis Petricola - no way, this is a hard & alkaline water fish (pH 8.2)

9 x Guppy - also prefer alkaline water (pH 7.4), and generally don't mix well in community setups. In a tank like yours they tend to become discolored, have their fins shredded and live short lives.

I would drop these from the list and increase the population of torpedo barbs to 5.

As for the tank preparation, it's obviously better to do fishless cycling:

http://www.aquahobby.com/articles/e_fishless.php

Good luck!
_________________

Success with a fish/tank is measured in YEARS, not months or weeks...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
sjb10
New Members


Joined: 07 Aug 2012

PostPosted: 2012.08.08(Wed)19:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks very much, Marcos.

I think I made a fairly naive mistake, assuming it was easier than it actually is to alter water hardness. I live in an area that produces fairly hard water - I did a bit more digging and found some actual stats for you:

7.6 pH
12 dH

So it's hard, but not terribly so, and almost neutral/slightly alkaline. As I understand it aquariums naturally become more acidic with fish and plants etc living inside, and features like driftwood lower water hardness slightly. I'm not sure exactly how extreme the effects of these factors would be, but does this new information make a difference to my selections?

As for the guppies, I was sort of concerned if that might be a problem. Unfortunately I think this may be an area of compromise I'm going to have to look at, my partner in crime loves the guppies but isn't that aware of the potential problems.

The Torpedo Barbs are the most expensive on the list for me, they definitely look great but for the cost and eventual size I'm uncertain about getting 5. What's the reason for 5 being a better idea? If 2's not right then I may have to remove them for now - possibly add in 5 as you suggest at a later date.

Thanks for the link to the fishless cycling guide too, big help!

EDIT: Just managed to dig out a profile on the Barbs - I now see your point! Potentially aggressive in small numbers, not great company for smaller fish, and quite specific water-flow requirements. That's a shame, thought they'd make a good centerpiece to the aquarium! Can anyone recommend any alternative fish to fill their void?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
diademhill
Advisors


Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2012.08.09(Thu)1:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually I would take out the torpedo barbs as the tank is rather small for them and the number of fish only applies if all are guppy sized.
Synos - no.
Corys - choose one species and use sand instead of pebbles. For harder water look for species which have been tank bred for generations - bronze rather than panda or Aldolfoi.

Look up Odessa barbs which are a nice 8cm mid water swimmer.
Rummy nose tetras ( often seasonal in stores and need a mature tank so you have time to find them) swim in the lower half or choose one tetra species and get a shoal of 8 - 10.
Harlequins are good.
A common bristlenose ( in the various varieties) are the best option.

About 20 fish is plenty especially until you get some experience.

What are you planning to use to cycle the tank?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Marcos Avila
Moderators


Joined: 05 Feb 2003
Location: Santo Andre (Brazil)

PostPosted: 2012.08.09(Thu)15:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

sjb10 wrote:
As for the guppies, I was sort of concerned if that might be a problem. Unfortunately I think this may be an area of compromise I'm going to have to look at, my partner in crime loves the guppies but isn't that aware of the potential problems.

I think you'll both be a lot happier (not to mention the fish) if you compromise by setting up a separate 40-60 liter tank just for the guppies...
_________________

Success with a fish/tank is measured in YEARS, not months or weeks...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
sjb10
New Members


Joined: 07 Aug 2012

PostPosted: 2012.08.09(Thu)16:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi diadem,

We've made some adjustments to the list based on advice and research from here and elsewhere, and now feel a little more aware of things, and therefore closer (I hope) to getting this sussed:

Removed:
9 x Guppies (all males a possibility, put off by breeding habits of a mixed group - for now)
5 x Neon Tetras (seem to prefer very soft water - unsure of their adapability)
1 x Butterfly Pleco (Not a plec, and has fairly specific requirements)
1 x Synodontis Petricola (Assuming my water's still a little too acidic for this one)
2 x Redline Torpedo Barb (Expensive for a big enough shoal, risky to keep only a pair - good call!)

Complete New List:
6 x Harlequin Rasbora (up from 5)
6 x Diamond Tetra (up from 5)
6 x Glowlight Tetra (up from 5)
5 x Ghost Catfish (Top dwellers, apparently!)
1 x Hoplo Catfish (Replaces syno)
1 x Bristlenose Pleco (unchanged)
5 x Adolfo's Cory (up from 3)
5 x Panda Cory (up from 3)
1 x Siamese Fighting Fish (1 x Male, or 1 x male + 2 x female)

This is assuming the Syno is still a little too alkaline-based for my water. The siamese fighters were something we liked immediately but were told we couldn't put in if we wanted guppys, so now we're not so sure about the guppys we've switched to them possibly!

If I've worked it out correctly, this gives a good balance of top:middle:bottom dwellers (spot on 12:12:12 unless I've mistaken a couple), and I think they're all compatible/suitable. If any others are problematic we're also just checking out a few swords, pencils, gouramis, danios and barbs (including odessas - thanks) as alternatives, just in case. I'm not sure about specifics though - profiles seem to suggest quite a few species might fit - or even Discus possibly?


As for cycling (checked the article Marcos provided) - definitely going to be doing fishless, far too cruel doing the "traditional" method! I'd be perfectly willing to use either some commercial or household ammonia, but also noticed a comment about using prawns in a stocking - does that really work?

The article also mentions its good for the plants to be present during cycling - I assume this means it's safe for any driftwood/stone too?


EDIT:
We looked at bronze corys, but fell in love with the adolfo's and pandas. I also thought most cory species are quite social with each other too - is it a problem keeping these 2 together?

Likewise with the tetras - we've turned down neon and rosy tetras largely out of necessity - the sheer number of different but equally impressive tetras is almost impossible to round down. Will 2 types be a problem there too?


Marcos Avila wrote:
I think you'll both be a lot happier (not to mention the fish) if you compromise by setting up a separate 40-60 liter tank just for the guppies...


I think that's a good call, they look great but it just doesn't seem worth sacrificing so much variety for. The tetras and rasboras will still look fantastic in their shoals even without the guppies.

Getting closer...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
diademhill
Advisors


Joined: 18 Apr 2007

PostPosted: 2012.08.09(Thu)16:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

Far too many fish. About double the stocking I would consider plenty.

Hoplos are peaceful but will eat fish that fit in their mouths = tetras & guppies.
Take out the ghost catfish - they are not top dwellers but top half dweller and are quite delicate and can be tricky to feed with hungry tetras around.
Diamond tetras are nippers and not suitable with Bettas.

Panda cories will not thrive in your pH . C.Adolfoi are hardier but not as hardy as bronze.
Once the tank is established you could have a Dianema urostriatum instead of cories.

Only one male Betta - if kept with females there will be scrapping.

The tank is too small for Discus and at only 80cm long it will not suit fast swimming fish.

Your list has well over 70 inches of fish - not allowing for the extra bulk of the pleco & hoplo. Work on 36" max at adult sizes until the tank is very established and you have your eye in to spot the slightest change in fish behaviour.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
 Forum Index > Freshwater Basics All times are GMT - 6 Hours Reply to topic   Post new topic
Jump to:  
  You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2008 phpBB Group

oF <=> oC in <=> cm G <=> L