Advice on equipment and stock for a new 40g tank.
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Advice on equipment and stock for a new 40g tank.

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Advice on equipment and stock for a new 40g tank.
Old 06-25-2012, 03:00 PM   #1
 
Advice on equipment and stock for a new 40g tank.

Ok so...a friend has a 10g tank that she is ready to upgrade to a 40g breeder. The current stock list is: 2 Platies (+4 fry in a breeder net), 2 Cardinal Tetras, and 2 Danio Glo Fish.

The plan for the tank is fish only (sand substrate) and to add about four Cardinals as well as 4 more Danio Glo Fish and a currently unknown number of Platies. As far as stocking, she isn't really sure what else to add. She has her eye on German Blue Rams and Angelfish but I am not sure about their compatibility with the other fish mentioned. Does anyone have any idea about their compatibility? She really likes how "interactive" and colorful the Platies are (swimming to the front of the tank when she gets near it, etc) and is also looking for something similar in those aspects.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:03 PM   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tadi View Post
Ok so...a friend has a 10g tank that she is ready to upgrade to a 40g breeder. The current stock list is: 2 Platies (+4 fry in a breeder net), 2 Cardinal Tetras, and 2 Danio Glo Fish.

The plan for the tank is fish only (sand substrate) and to add about four Cardinals as well as 4 more Danio Glo Fish and a currently unknown number of Platies. As far as stocking, she isn't really sure what else to add. She has her eye on German Blue Rams and Angelfish but I am not sure about their compatibility with the other fish mentioned. Does anyone have any idea about their compatibility? She really likes how "interactive" and colorful the Platies are (swimming to the front of the tank when she gets near it, etc) and is also looking for something similar in those aspects.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I believe the tank is too short for angels, I remember looking into them when I got my 40g breeder(36x18x16) and was told that. Full grown angels might also eat the cardinal tetras.

I'm not terribly sure on the Rams as I've never had them before, but I'm sure someone will chime in and be able to help you out :)
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Old 06-26-2012, 01:08 PM   #3
 
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Agree this is too small a tank for a group of angelfish, and angelfish are shoaling fish that are best in a small group (5+) unless it is a breeding pair, but clearly this is intended as a community display tank.

Rams might work, but that means increasing the temperature, and while the cardinals would be fine, the Glofish would not. And platy would be better cooler too.

Also, what are the water parameters? Livebearers must have medium hard or harder water with a basic pH. Cardinal tetra will not live long in this, being a very soft and acidic water fish. Knowing the GH and pH will help us suggest compatible fish.

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Old 06-27-2012, 11:22 PM   #4
 
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Agree this is too small a tank for a group of angelfish, and angelfish are shoaling fish that are best in a small group (5+) unless it is a breeding pair, but clearly this is intended as a community display tank.
I figured as much. She has also decided she is not as interested in them anymore.

Quote:
Rams might work, but that means increasing the temperature, and while the cardinals would be fine, the Glofish would not. And platy would be better cooler too.
After reading into GBRs more we did realize the challenge and incompatibilities that they would have in the tank. Buttt she is now looking at Bolivian Rams. They seem to be a slightly better match and she does like that they are more social as well.

Quote:
Also, what are the water parameters? Livebearers must have medium hard or harder water with a basic pH. Cardinal tetra will not live long in this, being a very soft and acidic water fish. Knowing the GH and pH will help us suggest compatible fish.
pH is 6.6-6.8 regularly. I am unsure about the hardness to be honest. Every time that I have looked for a kit in local stores they are either sold out or the store just doesn't carry them. Would a kit like
this this
be alright?

Also, I know that AqAdvisor isn't perfect, but it's a start: here. As far as it can show, there are not any parameter problems.

Thanks for the help!

Last edited by Tadi; 06-27-2012 at 11:26 PM.. Reason: AqAdvisor Link added
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Old 06-28-2012, 07:06 AM   #5
 
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pH is 6.6-6.8 regularly. I am unsure about the hardness to be honest. Every time that I have looked for a kit in local stores they are either sold out or the store just doesn't carry them. Would a kit like this be alright?

Also, I know that AqAdvisor isn't perfect, but it's a start: here. As far as it can show, there are not any parameter problems.

Thanks for the help!
What Byron mentioned about Cardinal Tetra and Livebearers (Plattys being one) is correct. They are kind of at opposite ends of the spectrum for water hardness. The Cardinals are also shoaling, so numbers of 6+ with them as well. You'll find that's the case with the majority of small softwater fish.

That kit you linked would work, but there is no need to buy one if you don't plan on actively adjusting GH and/or KH. Those numbers will not change from your tap water so you'd likely end up using the test kit once and never again.

Most water supply utilities can either tell you, or they have it on their water quality report (should be on their website if they have one). Look for something like "General Hardness" which is GH, or "Carbonate Hardness" which is KH. Give them a call if they don't have it listed.

If for some reason the person on the phone does not know, you can take a water sample into a pet store for them to test. Most will use the test strips which will only give you a vauge notion. Just get the number from them, don't accept "hard" or "soft" as an answer, as that means different things to different people.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:24 PM   #6
 
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I agree with Geo on the hardness/kit issue. Save your money.

On the Bolivians, yes they are better community fish. Now, there are issues with this fish as noted in our profile: Bolivian Ram. One fish is fine; but if 2, they must be a bonded pair, and that means the male has selected his female from a group of fish and they bond. Otherwise, they will tear each other apart in time. A 3-foot tank 9assume this 40g is that) can hold a bonded pair, but not more than one otherwise.
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:21 AM   #7
 
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What Byron mentioned about Cardinal Tetra and Livebearers (Plattys being one) is correct. They are kind of at opposite ends of the spectrum for water hardness. The Cardinals are also shoaling, so numbers of 6+ with them as well. You'll find that's the case with the majority of small softwater fish.
That makes sense. Unfortunately, we didn't really consider water hardness when she got those I suppose. At this point I am not really sure what can be done about that. As for the shoaling issue, she was planning on increasing the number of tetras to 6+ (probably around 8).

Quote:
Most water supply utilities can either tell you, or they have it on their water quality report (should be on their website if they have one). Look for something like "General Hardness" which is GH, or "Carbonate Hardness" which is KH. Give them a call if they don't have it listed.
Good idea. Their site says that the hardness is 50ppm which I am honestly unsure of how the conversion works (or even what units are used). I used a converter to get it to dH and was given 2.8dH but again, I am unsure of this result. Am I doing something wrong here?

And after the comments on the Bolivians and finding out that she could not have more than a pair or so she is asking me to ask about Germans again. She want's to know if setting the temperature to somewhere in between the requirements of the GBR and the Platies would really cause that much of an issue (assuming that the GBRs and Platies were the only fish in the tank). She likes the appearance of the GBR a lot more and would be fine with a single pair.

Just a side note: on AqAdvisor if you set up a tank with only Platies OR only Cardinals, it shows the same water hardness . I guess that is part of the reason that I didn't give it too much thought previously.
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Old 07-02-2012, 07:50 AM   #8
 
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2.8 dH is correct, for aqueous solutions parts per milliion is equivalent to mg/L and 17.9 mg/L GH per degree

this is soft water, good for the cardinals, not so much for the platys
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:09 AM   #9
 
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2.8 dH is correct, for aqueous solutions parts per milliion is equivalent to mg/L and 17.9 mg/L GH per degree

this is soft water, good for the cardinals, not so much for the platys
+one (agree),

I would not put much stock in a site ,or advice,, suggesting that cardinal's and platy's enjoy same degree of hardness.
One species or the other wil be NFL (Not for Long).
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:48 PM   #10
 
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Originally Posted by Tadi View Post
That makes sense. Unfortunately, we didn't really consider water hardness when she got those I suppose. At this point I am not really sure what can be done about that. As for the shoaling issue, she was planning on increasing the number of tetras to 6+ (probably around 8).

Good idea. Their site says that the hardness is 50ppm which I am honestly unsure of how the conversion works (or even what units are used). I used a converter to get it to dH and was given 2.8dH but again, I am unsure of this result. Am I doing something wrong here?

And after the comments on the Bolivians and finding out that she could not have more than a pair or so she is asking me to ask about Germans again. She want's to know if setting the temperature to somewhere in between the requirements of the GBR and the Platies would really cause that much of an issue (assuming that the GBRs and Platies were the only fish in the tank). She likes the appearance of the GBR a lot more and would be fine with a single pair.

Just a side note: on AqAdvisor if you set up a tank with only Platies OR only Cardinals, it shows the same water hardness . I guess that is part of the reason that I didn't give it too much thought previously.
Quantum and 1077 have responded on some of this, and I agree with them.

On the rams temperature issue: the suggestion does not work. Each fish species has evolved over thousands of years for a particular environment, and their internal physiology only operates well within the specific parameters. Temporary fluctuations are obviously possible for most fish species, after all these occur in their habitats, but maintaining the species permanently outside their preferred range for temperature will cause problems for the fish.

Maintaining fish at higher temperatures makes them work much harder just to "live" and function properly. Same thing happens in reverse. Only when the temperature ranges overlap can those species be together (as far as temperature goes, there may be other issues too). However, into this equation must go the problem that maintaining fish at the higher end of their range is also going to affect them physiologically, and likely shorten their lifespan and cause other health issues along the way. The ranges in our profile are simply the temperatures at which the species can manage.

Now back to the hardness. Livebearers should not be maintained in very soft water, which you have. I have the same, i stick with soft water fish, of which there are many to choose from.

A caution on the blue rams. Here too you need a bonded pair. But this will work in a 40g tank. How you get a bonded pair is to have several rams in a tank and allow them to pair off, which many will. The males will select a female, if they find one of course, and by observing the behaviour of the fish in the tank for a while you can readily see the pairs. The female will be close to the male who will allow her to be next to him, while driving away other males and sometimes other females. But the accepted female will always be closer than the others. You can do this in the store tank. Then buy that bonded pair.

Byron.
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