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new 250 litre, alkaline water - fish suggestions?

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new 250 litre, alkaline water - fish suggestions?
Old 07-28-2010, 08:31 PM   #11
 
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I'm assuming the numbers from the water people are correct. You might want to get a sample of tap water tested somewhere just to confirm.

Water changes depend upon two prime things: fish (both number and type) and plants. If live plants are present and in numbers, fewer water changes are necessary. Moderate fish load also means less water changes. However, the down side is that the pH will slowly lower and not have anything to stop it. I have that in my tanks, even with weekly 50% water changes because the hardness here is near zero so there is very little buffering. My aquaria are at pH 5 or less, but I have wild-caught soft water fish. In two aquaria I buffer the water myself with dolomite and crushed coral in the filters; just half a cup or less maintains a stable hardness at 2 dGH (from < 1 dGH out of the tap) and a pH of 6.2-6.4.
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tanker (07-30-2010)
Old 07-30-2010, 06:05 PM   #12
 
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Thanks. I find it all pretty confusing. The water in my existing tanks has the same pH as the tap water, so it presumably hasn't been falling.

Here's what I've been considering:
5 neon rainbow
1 angelfish (or something else? Gold gouramis look nice, but it seems they can be a bit aggressive? More aggressive than angelfish? Would an angelfish be ok in this size tank?)
7 black neon tetras (I've got 5 already)
5 panda cories (already have)
5 other sort of cories
another school of tetras or something? What?

How does this sound? Enough? Too many? Compatible? Ok with my water?

I've planted some plants - ambulia, ludwigia, water sprite (that's what the guy in the shop called it, although it's different to the one I have in my other tank, it's a finer leaf), Brazilian pennywort and some other plants which weren't labelled (I'll post photos in the plants sub-forum to find out what they are and whether they are suitable).

Any feedback gratefully received.
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Old 07-30-2010, 07:04 PM   #13
 
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How long has the tank been running with fish? I reset my 70g recently and filled it, the pH of our tap water is 7.0-7.2 but less than 1 dGH and KH, so no buffering to speak of. It is now 2.5 weeks and only yesterday did the pH lower to 6.6 (having been 6.8-7.0 previously). So it takes some period of time, depending upon the hardness and other factors. In the past I have found tanks tend to settle in 2-3 months, but again I have near zero hardness and you have some so that will slow the lowering.

On the fish. Angels are shoaling fish--I just revised the profile day before yesterday, so have a look, I took considerable care to include details on compatible fish, etc. You will probably have the Scalare Angelfish, Pterophyllum scalare; it is the most common, widely available, and tank raised unless you have an importer. The other two species, P. altum [a real beauty] and P. leopoldi will be wild caught and very rare, although Altums are showing up here more frequently, all direct imports of course. Shoaling--that means a group, 5 would be fine in a 66g (250L) tank. Never, never alone, these are social fish and should only be out of a group when spawning. The aggressiveness is covered in the profile, note esp the bit about getting all five at one time to avoid problems with dominant fish.

Gourami are very similar, note the profile info. I do not recommend combining gourami and angels, so in my view one or the other. Rainbows the same, either make them the "centre" fish, or the angels, or the gourami. Note that Rainbows prefer basic harder water, the only fish in your list that does, so given the water parameters that you have I would tend to stay away from Rainbows in this tank.

Tetra are fine, just get them sooner rather than later as small tetra can become snacks for angels [if you go with them]. Other tetras in the Rosy Tetra clade [Hyphessobrycon species, several are in the profiles under characins, use the scientific ordering and they'll appear consecutively in the list] are good with either angels or gourami. And corys, fine. Groups of five per species is ideal.

You have room for some other "odd" bottom fish, like one of this or that. Whiptail cats, a smaller-sized pleco (some max at 4-5 inches; the common pleco is 18 inches, not good in a 66g), etc. Corys manage fine with any of these, and I always like some bottom interest. Hatchetfish for the top, but not with gourami; angels are OK with the larger hatchet species like the Silver Hatchet, although in Carnegiella the marbles would probably do OK, Carnegiella strigata.

On the plants, the Water Sprite may be Ceratopteris thalictroides which is finely pinnate compared to the more common (and lovely floating plant) Ceratopteris cornuta. And floating plants are a good idea with all forest fish including angels and gourami.

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Old 07-30-2010, 07:38 PM   #14
 
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Thanks.

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How long has the tank been running with fish?
Since early March.
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On the fish. Angels are shoaling fish
Oh. I thought they tended to fight with each other, that's why I was thinking of having one alone. I read your advice to get a group at once, so that explains that.
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--I just revised the profile day before yesterday, so have a look, I took considerable care to include details on compatible fish, etc.
Thanks, I've had another look.
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You will probably have the Scalare Angelfish, Pterophyllum scalare; it is the most common, widely available, and tank raised unless you have an importer.
Yes, that's the one they have here.
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so given the water parameters that you have I would tend to stay away from Rainbows in this tank.
That's a shame. They are the ones I really like.
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Tetra are fine, just get them sooner rather than later as small tetra can become snacks for angels [if you go with them].
Noted.
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Other tetras in the Rosy Tetra clade [Hyphessobrycon species, several are in the profiles under characins
They have some White Fin tetras at the shop and I quite like the look of them. Maybe those?
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You have room for some other "odd" bottom fish, like one of this or that. Whiptail cats, a smaller-sized pleco (some max at 4-5 inches; the common pleco is 18 inches, not good in a 66g), etc
I like bristlenoses; could I have a bristlenose?
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Hatchetfish for the top
Hmmm, I don't think I've seen those here. I was going with the neon rainbows for the top, but if I can't have them, I'll find something else if we don't have hatchetfish. I wonder what....

So, do I have enough room for a shoal of angelfish, 2 shoals of tetras (I've already got black neons) AND something for the top, or am I misunderstanding?
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On the plants, the Water Sprite may be Ceratopteris thalictroides
Yes, that looks like it, thanks.
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Old 07-30-2010, 08:09 PM   #15
 
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My advice is always select fish with near-identical water parameters; it makes life so much easier in the aquarium. That's why I do not endorse Rainbows in this instance.

A group of 5 angels, your 7 black neons, a group of 7 of the Rosy Tetra clade [and yes, the white-finned is one of these, without more info I can't say if it is Hyphessobrycon rosaceus or the (recent) "white fin" variant], 2 groups of 5 corys, a BN or another "oddity", and a group of 7 hatchets sounds fine in a 66g planted aquarium with minimal filtration and floating plants. It may seem weird, but these last two items are very significant to the success of such fish. Scientific studies are now beginning to show that significant water flow from filters in tanks with forest fish is stressful and this can lead to shorter lifespans. And floating plants shade the light for these fish that do not occur in brightly-lit environments.

I've posted this some time back, but here is a short video on angels in one of their habitat rivers. Note they are in a shoal, and among thick branches for protection--and it is very dark, and this is at mid-day in Amazonia.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tysGxRYRubk
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Old 07-30-2010, 08:27 PM   #16
 
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My advice is always select fish with near-identical water parameters; it makes life so much easier in the aquarium. That's why I do not endorse Rainbows in this instance.
Yes, it makes sense (but I still want them)

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with minimal filtration
The filter does 1200L/hr. It comes with a spray bar and a duckbill. I've just used the duckbill. Is this ok? So I shouldn't get an airstone?

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and floating plants.
Maybe I need something else as well. It'll take a while for the pennywort to reach the surface, I suppose.
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Old 07-31-2010, 09:37 AM   #17
 
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Pennywort makes quite a good surface plant if just left to float (entire stem). The leaves will all turn to face upward with the roots extending downward, and then it grows along the surface. I'm using this now in my 90g and it is quite lovely. One advantage is the lower leaves never die back because, well, they are not "lower" on the surface.

Can you explain the "duckbill"? And no, you certainly do not need or want airstones in planted tanks.
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Old 07-31-2010, 10:24 AM   #18
 
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I bought a couple more plants today and got a water sprite (the other one you mentioned, not the fine-leaved one) to float. I've planted the pennywort, but I could always pull a bit up as well.

The duckbill is just an attachment at the end of the filter outlet shaped like a duck's bill (narrow on one end, fanning out on the other) EDIT; a rather odd duck, though. The water from the filter comes out of it and is dispersed in the fan shape.

The white fin tetras are more expensive than the other tetras. I am thinking I might get black skirt tetras instead.

Also, the hatchet fish can be specially ordered, but they are also expensive. We have gold medakas available here and they seem to be surface dwellers. What do you think about getting them instead of hatchets?

The light I bought says to only have 8 hours light a day so I'll do that and see how it goes. I'll soon find out if it isn't enough, I suppose.
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Old 07-31-2010, 11:03 AM   #19
 
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On the light, I suspect the manufacturer is thinking plant-less tanks; light on a tank with no live plants means algae. If the light is suited to the tank, it should be on for 10-12 hours daily, using a timer so it is consistent (this is important for fish and plants).

On the filter, I would use the spraybar at one need, with the filter intake at the other end if that can be done. The pint is you want as little water flow as possible, both for the type of fish you are intending (forest fish) and plants. However you achieve this is up to you, but from what you've mentioned I would think the spraybar is the best way. I have mine along the end wall with the row of holes directed against the glass to further reduce the flow impact. Works very well.

If you are getting angels, I would not recommend black skirts. They are nearly identical in pattern and colour, so no contrast, and they can be nippy.

Ceratopteris is ideal, you won't need Pennywort floating as well. The former will cover the surface completely once it is established, and in my experience this is 2-3 weeks then bang. I'm usually pulling out a handful every water change. Daughter plants will form on the leaves, I pull these off when they are maybe 3-4 inches and float them and depending how many, I chuck the parent plant. Surface plants grow very fast, because they are close to the light, they obtain CO2 from the air (so no issues like submersed plants with slow CO2 uptake) and the nutrients from the water column (liquid ferts mandatory).

I have never seen medaka to my knowledge, at least if I did I never paid much attention. Odd that I can find out so little about them online too. What I have tracked down is that they are small (4 cm) and occupy all water levels. With angels I see problems here.

One needn't get all the fish at once; I have waited months to find what I wanted. Just plan for it, and don't overload the tank with "others" to make up.
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Old 07-31-2010, 11:52 AM   #20
 
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I originally set up the spraybar, but the fixtures aren't very good so I swapped it for the other one. I know from my other tank that it also gets clogged up a lot with plant debris and stuff.

There's a fish compatibility site I looked at and it said black skirts were compatible with angels. Sigh. I wish it were easier to know things for sure instead of getting conflicting information from different sources.

I am now wondering whether the angels would have enough room. With this enormous bit of driftwood and rocks I've put in there, there might not be enough room for fish that get so big.

What's available is pretty much what's available. You can order stuff that they don't keep in stock but what they keep in stock is pretty much the same sort of stuff. I don't want to spend a fortune on special orders only to have them die. Losing a $3 fish is easier than losing a $14 fish.
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