How do YOU decide to stock your tank?
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How do YOU decide to stock your tank?

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How do YOU decide to stock your tank?
Old 01-09-2011, 10:51 PM   #1
 
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How do YOU decide to stock your tank?

I have recently really gotten into the idea of stocking tanks according to regions. Where all plants and fish etc or from the same area, and would naturally be found together. Unfortunately all my tanks are full and no sign of getting new ones any time soon.

In the past I have tried to have fish that look alike (IE tiger barbs and clown loaches) or just an all cichlid tank, or various kinds of barbs. I have also done tanks where I find one fish I would really love to have, and then build the tank with whatever would go well with that one fish.

So what method do you guys use? What do you think about each of the methods explained above?

One other problem I must overcome is that I am really into fish, and my gf is kind of into fish. She likes the looks of big anchors, and skulls, and other decor and no live plants. I on the other hand have found that I am liking more and more a more natural look. real wood, rocks and plants, natural colored substrate, etc.

Anyways, just thought it would be an interesting convo.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:00 PM   #2
 
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Originally Posted by cbirk View Post
One other problem I must overcome is that I am really into fish, and my gf is kind of into fish. She likes the looks of big anchors, and skulls, and other decor and no live plants. I on the other hand have found that I am liking more and more a more natural look. real wood, rocks and plants, natural colored substrate, etc.

Anyways, just thought it would be an interesting convo.
LOL, I had to laugh when I read this! When I first got into fishkeeping my B/F keep saying how he wanted a "Diver Dan" in the tank. Never going to happen!

I usually just pick the fish I like and then build the tank around them. Doing this has resulted in me now having five tanks, instead of just one. There's just tooo many fish that I like, and unfortunately they all can't be kept together.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:05 PM   #3
 
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Originally Posted by aunt kymmie View Post
LOL, I had to laugh when I read this! When I first got into fishkeeping my B/F keep saying how he wanted a "Diver Dan" in the tank. Never going to happen!
.
This in turn made me laugh a lot as it is EXACTLY what she is looking for. She wants to find one of the really old ones to put in her tank, but she can't find them for under 100 bucks, which luckily she is not willing to pay haha.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:08 PM   #4
 
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Diver dan... Ha!

My boyfriend always wants me to get a sunken ship for our tank at home. But i'm content to leave the tacky decorations to my officetank, where i have a triceratops bubbler, unicorn, castle, and other junk. :)

I don't do too much planning in advance... Well, i do and i don't. My first fish was a guppy, and the decision went a little something like this...

Coworker: you should get a guppy.
Me: k let's go to petsmart at lunch.

Other than that... I pretty much just spot a fish i like when i'm shopping for other pet needs, and then go hme and see if it'll work by checkinng aqadvisor.com and the fish profiles here and on a couple other sitex... If ii'm not sure, i post about it here to get more input.
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Old 01-10-2011, 12:18 AM   #5
 
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I used to do a lot of species tanks, I had Piranha an then I had Yellow labs. Now I tend to pick one fish I like and stock around that fishes needs/preferences. I would really like to do a tank that mixes multiple species from a single rift lake, something large around 100-150 gallons. Tank size also plays a huge part in my stocking decision.


I always try to get my tanks pretty natural, but you have all reminded me of my first tank when I was 11 years old and the treasure chest bubbler that I had to get when I first started out.
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Old 01-10-2011, 01:23 AM   #6
 
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I first look for fish that will do well with the water from my tap. I then try and build the tank around the fishes needs or as close as I can come.
Many of the fishes I keep for only a few months,before I trade them for store credit to allow room for others.
Sadly,,some of the fishes I would like to try , would not fair well with the water I am most easily able to provide.
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:07 AM   #7
 
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I picked "nice" fish. None of my fish in my big tanks is a fighter/territorial. My main requirements were "nice" and healthy. I don't really care what I've got, as long as they are "happy" and healthy. I love cories, so I've got them in both of my tanks.

My bettas have their own tanks.

I love tank kitsch. It's so cheerful and good fun.
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:12 AM   #8
 
I've only got one tank but i knew i wanted amazon fish in it as i love tetras. My plants however are a bit of a mix from all over the world and a couple of amano shrimp (asian) have crept in, so its not a real amazon biotope. I get a satisfaction from knowig my setup is quite close to the natural habitat these fish come from and hope my fish enjoy it too
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Old 01-10-2011, 02:33 PM   #9
 
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As several have mentioned, water parameters should be the over-riding criteria. If the fish in an aquarium share identical or near-identical requirements for water (temperature, pH and hardness) then they will be healthier right from the start. As going "geographic" or "biotope" ensures this will be met, my tanks are almost all geographic*.

After that, consider the behaviours of the fish, and ensure they are compatible. Many fish need specific numbers (shoaling fish, dwarf cichlids...), caves, leaves, plants, etc. The activity level must be considered; placing active swimmers in with sedate fish will stress the sedate fish, leading to poorer health. The water movement is important; some fish need current, so a stronger filter works, but many prefer still water so minimal water circulation from the filter is better for these. In a large-enough tank, you can do a bit of accomodating for both, but in smaller tanks (under 4-feet) this is not likely to work. And water movement stresses out fish that don't want it.

I also try to fill all levels in the tank; if all the fish naturally spend their time in the lower 1/3 of the aquarium, the tank will not have a balance. Plants can help out in this too, but you still want some motion throughout.

*To explain the difference, biotope is an exact (or as exact as possible) replica of a specific stream or river or lake, with the fish, plants and decor [substrate, wood, rock, leaves...] only what one would find in that particular water system. Geographic I use to mean all fish and plants (and decor with some flexibility) occur in the same geographical area, say the Amazon basin, or a SE Asian pond, etc.

Byron.

Last edited by Byron; 01-10-2011 at 02:36 PM..
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Old 01-10-2011, 09:04 PM   #10
 
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My fish tank usually gets stocked by starting with a type of fish I know I want and then building around it with compatable tank mates.
This last time, I knew i wanted cichlids...from there I decided which cichlid I wanted the most...and am now stuck with really only being able to house CA Cichlids.

As far as decor goes...at one point in time I liked the whole "themed" decor things...my previous tank was atlantis themed. Now I too prefer the natural look. I got mad at myself this last time and didnt think it through and got blue gravel, and now wished I would have gotten natural pebbles. I still might change it, but who knows as everyone seems to love the blue gravel in the tank (people wise).

My hubby is into the sunken ship and big dragons...of course he likes the expensive decor! lol
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