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New 35-litre tank cycling and stocking questions

This is a discussion on New 35-litre tank cycling and stocking questions within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> As for the question about guppies, they're livebearers as well so will also do well in your basic water. Have you had your water ...

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New 35-litre tank cycling and stocking questions
Old 03-16-2010, 03:48 AM   #11
 
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As for the question about guppies, they're livebearers as well so will also do well in your basic water. Have you had your water tested for hardness? If it's basic it's likely also hard, which is also good for livebearers. As for "cleanup crew" sorts of animals, you could get some sort of snail as they do well in basic, hard water as well (it's good for their shells).

Another option with hard, basic water are African cichlids. In a small tank like the 10g, you could have a pair of dwarf shelldwellers of some kind. Of course, you wouldn't want to keep them with guppies and this would be a species tank, but it's another option. Really cool fish.

You might also want to take a look at rainbows. There are lots that are native to Australia that do well in your water conditions, though you'll want to make sure the fish are appropriate for your size tank(s). You might have access to rainbow species not available here in the US as Australia's animal import/export laws are so strict.
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Old 03-16-2010, 05:37 AM   #12
 
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Thanks for the suggestions, iamntbatman. I hadn't considered cichlids because I didn't know you could get small ones. One of the aquarium shops specializes in cichlids and they all seemed big (and beautiful). I've looked up the ones you are talking about and they have them here. I'll have a look at them when I go to the shop next.

We have rainbows, but most of the descriptions have them as (I think) too big for my tanks. Maybe they have dwarf/small varieties, I'll have a better look around and do some reading.

I've had guppies before so I know they'll do well. Some people go for the fancier types of fish, but I really like guppies. My guppies seemed to have "personalities". They'd come up to the glass and seemed to interact with you. (They were probably just hoping for food, but it looked like they knew you were there.)

I saw an apple snail at the shop the other day. It was a pretty yellow colour so I wouldn't mind getting one of those. From what I've read, snails don't add (much?) to the bioload so I should be ok adding a snail after I've decided on the main fish.

As for the water hardness, the guy in the shop who tested my water the other day said the water was hard "as you'd expect" so the water here is hard as well as alkaline.

I've been put off getting tetras because most of them seem to say that they like soft acidic water. They must do ok, because they sell a lot of them, but I don't want to get something that's more likely to die/not thrive in my conditions.

I've pretty much decided to get some corydoras catfish for one (at least) of the tanks. It's quite good not having already got anything except the platies, because I can properly research the options and not end up making a foolish choice.

Thanks for the ideas.
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Old 03-16-2010, 12:06 PM   #13
 
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Iamntbatman had several good choices to match your water, and there are many more, it just takes some research before buying to avoid mistakes that usually result in fish losses or ill health.

With respect to the tetras, there are several that would also suit your water, in the larger of the two aquaria since they are shoaling fish that must be in a group to be healthy. If you check through the characins profiles on this site you'll find several listed with parameters into the basic/harder side. And there are several species ofCorydoras that are suited to your water. It just takes a bit of research.

Those that essentially require soft, acidic water will not thrive in basic, harder water long-term. The stores may as you say sell a lot of them, either because they have customers who have taken the effort to safely provide suitable water (using peat, RO, or whatever), or more often (unfortunately)people buy them and they die so they buy more. I always use the cardinal tetra to illustrate. Many with harder water will say they have had healthy cardinals for 2-3 years in their tanks, so the idea they "need" soft acidic water is a myth. My response is, that cardinals will live more than 10 years in the proper environment; they die in 2-3 years because the harder water causes calcium blockages of the kidneys. We can't see this externally; but the fish are clearly in bad health and stressed and probably suffering, or they wouldn't die prematurely. This speaks for itself. And any soft acidic water fish is very likely to have the same difficulties, even though the aquarist might think it "looks OK." You can't expect a fish programmed by evolution to live in water with zero hardness and a pH of 3.5 to be "healthy" and normal in basic, hard water. Dr. Stanley Weitzman, one of the most knowledgeable and respected ichthyologists alive has written the these tropical forest fishes have evolved over millions of years and are adapted for specific water parameters; the fact that many will not spawn in different water is evidence that the fish cannot adapt as some may think.

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Old 03-16-2010, 11:05 PM   #14
 
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Thanks again, Byron. I'm finding it difficult to find fish that are small AND like my water AND don't want a big tank because they are active swimmers, etc. etc. etc. With the schooling fish it seems difficult because of the number you need. If I've got my platies (down to 4, 1 died) and if I get the corydoras (either 5 of one sort, or 3 of 2 different sorts) then I wouldn't have room for a school of tetras as well, would I? It seems that you could make lots of selections if you were free to choose one fish of each type, but when they want a school, you are really left with only 1 or 2 choices for each small tank. Some of the tetras seem to get quite big as well, so a small school of tetras seems like that'd be just about all you could get. I've decided that I want corydoras and I've already got my platies so unless I can fit something else in with them (maybe a dwarf gourami?), that's my big tank pretty much sorted.

Those shelldwellers seem like nice little fish. I found some videos of them on youtube. But they like sand (which I don't have) and it seems like you'd need a tank which is more open than mine so you could see what they're up to. I've got ornaments and (fake) plants in mine.

Yes, your point about fish being suited to their conditions is what I thought. I can't see the point of getting fish suited for different conditions. I want to get the ones that suit what I've got. It seems like common sense that something that suits your conditions would do better than something out of its comfort zone.

I'd like to see the petshops figure out what regular people starting out should get so that when you go in they can say "you can have this, this or this". "How big's your tank? You can have X number." They could still keep a wider range of fish for experienced aquarists who know how to manipulate the conditions but for people starting out they should have basic fish suited to local conditions. They just let you pick out what looks pretty, which doesn't seem like the right way to do it. (Being cynical, maybe they want your fish to die so that you buy more.)
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Old 04-09-2010, 07:12 AM   #15
 
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Things are progressing with the cycle. I'd like some opinions on stocking levels, if possible.

I've got 4 guppies in the 35-litre. I'm interested in honey dwarf gouramis and panda cories. I've read that the honey dwarf gouramis need to be in a pair, but I've also read that they can fight, so I'm not sure whether you are supposed to get 1 or 2. For panda cories, it says on the profile here that you need to have 5 panda cories. Would I be able to have 5 panda cories as well as my guppies, or a dwarf gourami or gouramis and my guppies? Any other suggestions for something different to go in with the guppies?

In my 75-litre I've got 4 platies and 3 pristella tetras (I've got another 3 in a quarantine tank so there'll be 6). I'd like another platy (5 is a better number than 4) but I'd also like to have cories, 3 of 2 different sorts, or 5 of one sort. Would this be ok?

Thanks for any opinions. I'd rather find out if there's something wrong with my plans before I commit to them.
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Old 04-09-2010, 12:42 PM   #16
 
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A 75 litre is 20 US gallons [even though Canada is metric, I learned imperial and still think imperial measurements]. So 6 Pristella, 4-5 platy, 5-6 corys are fine. Live plants will benefit, plus regular partial water changes weekly will maintain good water quality. Wouldn't go beyond this though, as the Pristella will grow and are somewhat active swimmers needing "room." The corys will be fine.

On cory numbers, 5 is usually a good number with one species; if you mix species, you should aim for 3 of each. I have found this works best, although I do have a couple species that only have 1 or 2, due to unavailability. As long as they have other corys with them they seem to be fine, they chum around together, and act normal. I have found some species do have a preference for their own species, my pandas are like that.

On the gourami, "pair" always means male/female. It is two males that will be aggressive to varying degrees. In as small a space as 35 litres (10 gallons) I would certainly not have two males as there is not sufficient room for either one to get out of the other's face, so to speak.

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Old 04-09-2010, 09:36 PM   #17
 
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Thanks Byron. Well, that's my 75-litre sorted. I can't wait until I can get my cories. I love those little fish. I'm happy with my other fish so far as well. The pristella are a really pretty little fish. The ones I've had for a while have deeper colours than the ones just from the shop. They really are very pretty.

What do you think about the 35-litres? Is it too small to get cories in there as well? Do the gouramis have to be in a pair, or would one on its own be ok?
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Old 04-10-2010, 04:02 AM   #18
 
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A lone gourami would be fine. I think one honey gourami, 4 guppies and 3-4 cories would be ok in a 35-liter tank, especially if it were planted and you kept an eye on your nitrates.
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Old 04-10-2010, 04:14 AM   #19
 
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Thanks iamntbatman. It's not planted. I planted two stems of pennywort, but the guppies have completely eaten one of them..... The other one hasn't been completely eaten, but they've nibbled on the new growth so I don't know how it's going to go. Maybe I need to plant something different that they don't like quite as much. I know absolutely nothing about aquarium plants (either!) so I don't know what would be suitable. I might have to start yet another thread about that....
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