37 gallon stocking suggestion - Page 3 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #21 of 29 Old 04-15-2009, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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my tap water ph is around 7.4 i havbe a fluroescent light wiht one tube. And i thionly dwarf chiclids tank but i am unsure yet
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post #22 of 29 Old 04-16-2009, 10:43 AM
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my tap water ph is around 7.4 i havbe a fluroescent light wiht one tube. And i thionly dwarf chiclids tank but i am unsure yet
This will work fine. Make sure the flourescent tube is full spectrum with a rating of 6500K or higher. These are more expensive to buy than the "regular" tubes sold in hardware stores, but they are much stronger (which means more intense light that will penetrate the water and reach the plants), they have the right spectrum (closest to midday sun whch is what the plants need) and they look better (colours of the fish are best under full spectrum). Any good fish store will carry these tubes; to ascertain the length of tube measure between the end brackets in the light fixture. There are some newer types of tubes out now that provbide more light at less wattage than even 10 years ago. Any of these will be fine, just make sure it is full spectrum light.

To the plants suggestions. Almost any of the amazon sword species (Echinodorus) will be good. Some get big, others stay small. Several will send out flower spikes from time to time; these don't usually flower (the plant needs to be grown partly emersed, or requires much more light and CO2, etc) but plants will form at the nodes and you can either let them float along the spike in the water, which looks realistic, or when they grow a bit break them off and plant them as new plants. Most of the swords have dark green leaves, some have reddish-brown which is a nice contrast. If you look at the photos of my two aquariums, most of those plants are Echinodorus, and I have several species. They should be OK in your pH. Dwart cichlids will feel comfortable with these plants, they live together in nature at least during the floods. Arrange your rock work where you want it (and a piece of bogwood would be very nice) and then plant the plants around it. Make sure none of the rock or wood is dead centre in the tank, it looks odd and unrealistic.

Echinodorus bleheri is a good plant for along the back and sides, it will grow close to the water surface in your tank, and probably send out flower spikes. Easy to grow. Echinodorus tenellus is a small sword that will send out runners and little plants will root themselves in the substrate, and in time could cover the bottom of the tank (I have these in both tanks, the light green plants along the gravel). You can break off the runners and move them around. Nice plant, and does well with the light it will receive. Echinodorus osiris is a nice specimen plant, looks better on its own off to the side (never put a plant directly in the centre of a tank, it looks very artificial). Slightly wavy leaves, about 8-10 inches long; you can see one on the left front of my 70g.

Vallisneria will grow in your water, it has long strap-like leaves, and there are several varieties. Saggitaria is a very similar looking plant. Most of the bunch plants (the ones you buy as stems tied in a small bunch) require more intense light. However, I have good luck with Brazilian Pennywort, you can see it in the rear corners of my 90g. It grows very fast, has to be trimmed every second week or it would cover the surface. You can break off the stems and stick them in the gravel and they will root and grow. Once started, yuou'll never run out of this plant. I throw bits away every week after I've trimmed it.

Be careful with surface plants; they look nice, but reduce the light getting down to the rooted plants, and with only one tube I would stay away from surface plants. The light won't be too intense for the fish.

Rooted plants like swords are heavy feeders, but I find that liquid fertilizer keeps them growing fine. Seachem's Flourish Comprehensive Plant Supplement is good, as is Kent's Freshwater Plant Supplement. You want a basic trace elements fertilizer like these; they also make many others that are specific to this or that mineral, but the trace element one is mandatory and all you'll need. Use the recommended amount after the weekly water change. If the plants start developing yellowing leaves or leaves that become transparent (like cellophane), do a second dose midweek. I've experimented with mine, they are fine with two doses per week, but if I cut back to one they start showing it.

A last note on the gravel; get the smallest-sized grain of gravel you can. In most fish stores you can buy this in bulk (rather than the bags) which is much cheaper. Whatever type you like, but the darker or tan coloured are more natural looking for both the plants and the fish. Plant roots are best in the smaller gravel, and it will not trap uneaten food.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #23 of 29 Old 04-16-2009, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Wow thanks a ton. I have already groen some of these plants before and they are doing great. The pygmy chain sword, is it easy to find i havent seen it before. Is it similar to liliaeopsis. i dont know if i spelled that right. Would anubias nana work well also.Shoud i use java moss at all.

Last edited by jimmyhoye; 04-16-2009 at 12:08 PM.
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post #24 of 29 Old 04-16-2009, 12:23 PM
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Wow thanks a ton. I have already groen some of these plants before and they are doing great. The pygmy chain sword, is it easy to find i havent seen it before. Is it similar to liliaeopsis. i dont know if i spelled that right. Would anubias nana work well also.Shoud i use java moss at all.
Yes, Anubias nana would be good, sorry, I forgot that one, and I have some in my 70g at the far left side, the dark green plant. Java moss grows on rocks, wood, I have some in the 70g attached to the wood on the left at the front and the wood standing behind; just place a piece on a piece of wood or rock and it will root and grow fast (you might have to weigh it down until it roots, a small pebble or something, otherwise it can float off).

The pygmy chain sword is well known and you should be able to find it, or if you have a good fish store they may be able to track it down. I've never kept Lilaeopsis but according to my plant encyclopedia it is a bit similar but very thick like a grass lawn, in fact, the common name in the book is New Zealand grassplant. The book says it needs strong light, which may not be so good in your tank (nor in mine frankly).

If you've had success before, you'll do great with your new tank. Keep us posted; and ask questions, we're all here to assist where we can. Good luck. Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #25 of 29 Old 04-16-2009, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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If i put java moss in, is there a way to keep it in a desired location or will it just spread uncontrolably
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post #26 of 29 Old 04-16-2009, 05:12 PM
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Hi jimmy , Just seen your post . I think the rasboras are too aggressive for the chocolate gourami and really the chocolates i kept liked the lower third of the tamk much like the dwarf cichlids so i doubt it will work. Chocolates are extremely difficult to keep. The cichlids go well in mopst tanks as long as water parameters allow for it, they do like hte floor to themselves. If your basing your decision on stats that say chocos like 7ph they're wrong, thye like it in the low 6's and breed in high 5's. Whats more they can be scared to death. Perhaps a sprcies tank for the chocos.
Ditto these comments. Chocolates are extremely difficult feeders and generally require a species tank. This is not a fish to take lightly. I consider my marine systems to be much easier to care for that this fish.
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post #27 of 29 Old 04-17-2009, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Ditto these comments. Chocolates are extremely difficult feeders and generally require a species tank. This is not a fish to take lightly. I consider my marine systems to be much easier to care for that this fish.
a few posts after that one i decided to not do chocolate gouramis
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post #28 of 29 Old 04-17-2009, 10:43 AM
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If i put java moss in, is there a way to keep it in a desired location or will it just spread uncontrolably
Once it roots on a piece of bogwood or rock, it will keep spreading but not overly fast, and each week when I do the partial water change I run the siphon through it to pull out the bits of food and dirt that will naturally settle in it, and some of the jave moss usually pulls apart and into the hose. You can also just take hold of a bit of it and pull it off and start it somewhere else or chuck it out. It's good stuff for a fry tank, if you ever have fish spawning.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #29 of 29 Old 04-17-2009, 03:21 PM
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I suggest you focus more on the decor rather than the fish. Just get some glamorous brightly colored fish and focus on making a central theme. I have decorated about 20 30 gallon tanks in my life(as a part time job when I was in college) and each has a different theme. The most popular one was the retro style and the roman style. But to get the decor youd have to visit many stores. Like: petsmart, petco, walmart, k-mart, target and preferably a local pet store.
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