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New 55g planted community tank

This is a discussion on New 55g planted community tank within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> Originally Posted by Noisy Kricket Thanks again you two. Im switching from dwarf baby tears to pygmy chain sword, Varkolak. Those were great suggestions, ...

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New 55g planted community tank
Old 07-07-2012, 10:25 AM   #11
 
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Originally Posted by Noisy Kricket View Post
Thanks again you two. Im switching from dwarf baby tears to pygmy chain sword, Varkolak. Those were great suggestions, thanks. Im still going over what fish to buy...Im down to just the blue ram and Pristella Tetras. Suggestions on this would be great as well. Looks like soft water at 78 - 80 F.
If you are set on the blue ram, you might want to rethink Pristella Tetra. The latter are peaceful but a bit on the active side compared to some other more sedate fish which wold be a better match with the sedate cichlids. But there is also the temperature. Mikrogeophagus ramirezi, the common or blue ram, needs warmth, 82F minimum. While this is the upper end of the range for Pristella (see the profile) this means the fish will be constantly at the high end and thus be under more effort. Temperature affects a fish's internal metabolism, and the higher the temperature the harder the fish has to work to maintain its equilibrium. Most fish are best in the mid-range for that species. And active fish are normally better suited to cooler rather than warmer temperatures because their higher activity means higher metabolism.

As an alternative to the common ram, the Bolivian Ram (M. altispinosus) is fine at the more normal tropical temperature around 77-79F. Check this profile as there are some issues but this is a very nice community cichlid, one of the best.
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Old 07-08-2012, 07:01 AM   #12
 
Thanks again byron. I think what I'll do is wait for my 30g to arrive and try a mix of blue and bolivian rams in that. As for the 55g im still compiling a list of compatible fish. The 55g has been cycling 2 weeks now and im ready to order my plants. Any ideas on a decent online store? Ive been looking at aquariumplants.com and they seem to be very reasonable and have pretty good reviews. As for fish Ive been looking at thatpetplace.com and liveaquaria.com. I will probably order my fish in another 2 weeks. I have two lfs here where I live, Petco and a locally owned store. Both of those have very little selection and I just dont trust the quality of either. Thanks again to everyone thats helped thus far.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:08 PM   #13
 
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I know a guy who tried getting a pair of blues and a pair of Bolivians in a 125gal, the yellows ended up killing the blues then mating, female ate the babies and male killed her....
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:19 PM   #14
 
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Yes, you got to this before me. A 30g is no where near sufficient for more than one species of a dwarf cichlid. And I would not combined these two anyway because the blue ram needs warmth greater than what is best for the Bolivian ram. I wouldn't mix two species in the 55g even; I had two Apistogramma species in my 4-foot 70g and the females killed one another through successive spawnings.
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Old 07-09-2012, 03:44 AM   #15
 
I'll take your advice on that, you are both much more experienced. What would be my best options for tank mates with the blue ram? Most other sites have gave me different parameters for everything I had originally selected. Also where should I purchase from? Like I said most local stores are no good and Kansas city is 4 hrs away. Thanks again
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:43 AM   #16
 
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I'll take your advice on that, you are both much more experienced. What would be my best options for tank mates with the blue ram? Most other sites have gave me different parameters for everything I had originally selected. Also where should I purchase from? Like I said most local stores are no good and Kansas city is 4 hrs away. Thanks again
If you can find a hobbyist who breeds them, that is the best with this species (blue ram). Second is a reliable store, and then find out where they came from as it is important to match water parameters. The temp must be over 80F, so tankmates must be able to manage. Cardinal tetra, rummyhnose tetra, some of the pencilfish in Nannostomus. Substrate fish if you don't especially want to raise the fry (any catfish, being nocturnal, will get either the eggs or fry) could be some of the warmer-water corys, Corydoras sterbai is one. Check our profiles. The water parameters I use for each species is what the biologists agree on.
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:43 PM   #17
 
Great thanks Byron. I already found someone thanks to my wife and her Facebook addiction...go figure right? Any ideas on plants? I think ill just over night some pots from aquariumplants.com. I'll wait a month are so before purchasing any fish. Thanks again to everyone that's helped. You've mad this process much easier and probably saved me a lot of time and money.
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:56 PM   #18
 
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Great thanks Byron. I already found someone thanks to my wife and her Facebook addiction...go figure right? Any ideas on plants? I think ill just over night some pots from aquariumplants.com. I'll wait a month are so before purchasing any fish. Thanks again to everyone that's helped. You've mad this process much easier and probably saved me a lot of time and money.
Check our plant profiles, several will be suitable. Also the fish, browse the characins and cyprinids for suitable tankmates. Water params including temp are included.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:23 AM   #19
 
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I gather you already have the Eco-Complete. Corys do not do that well over this, it may be the sharpness or it may be other things as well. Flourite is similar, I had to remove the corys from my tank with Flourite. I am also very disappointed with the lack of any perceivable benefit of these over plain sand or fine gravel.
I've half a dozen corys in a 20 high with eco-complete, and they seem to be doing well. Are their barbels injured by sharp substrate?
Eco is wonderful for plants when I can afford it. Do you fertilize sand, or do you have it over soil?

Thanks,
Wayne
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:11 PM   #20
 
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I've half a dozen corys in a 20 high with eco-complete, and they seem to be doing well. Are their barbels injured by sharp substrate?
Eco is wonderful for plants when I can afford it. Do you fertilize sand, or do you have it over soil?

Thanks,
Wayne
I got Flourite rather than Eco-Complete solely because it felt smoother in my hand, and I was able to hold both in the store. But, it became rather obvious to me that the corys in the Flourite tank were not quite right, and there were barbel issues. I moved them into the sand-substrate 115g, and presto, they came alive like nothing, and the barbels are fine.

Around this time, a professional catfish breeder and importer mentioned to me that corys and similar fish should never be put in tanks with any of these enriched substrates. I take that as sensible advice. And now that I've used sand, it is without question the best for these fish.

I just use plain sand, or plain fine gravel in one tank. Depth 2 inches max for the sand. I use substrate fertilizer tabs next to the larger sword plants, but otherwise, nothing in the substrate. A comprehensive liquid provides what's needed.

I have looked into soil and thought about trying it, but from my research I can see no real benefit except for initial CO2 from decomposing organic matter in the soil. But any substrate if left alone will within a couple months be like this anyway, so given the cons of soil I see no value.

Byron.
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