New tank ideas - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 20 Old 10-20-2008, 08:50 PM
Sand tends to clump and leave anerobic spots; gravel on the other hand lets plant roots move through rocks and gain structure. It may just be an opinion.

However, I do beleive that Eco Complete and other plant substrates are sand. You can through some Malysian Trumpet Snails in the sand to keep it stirred.
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post #12 of 20 Old 10-20-2008, 11:57 PM
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Most of the substrates for planted tanks are like a coarse sand or fine gravel but they'll often have some larger pieces mixed in.

Kribs are much hardier than rams.

This is the best way to think about aggression: problems arise when you mix two aggressive fish. Non-nippy tetras, hatchets, rasboras, danios, etc are all pretty passive fish. They're also fast swimmers. If your rams or kribs breed, they'll chase fish like these away, and the fish will get away because they're so fast. It's a good mix. However...say your kribs have fry and the ram wanders nearby. The ram isn't fast but is aggressive. Instead of leaving, he might decide to stay put and fight back. Then, you've got injured or dead fish. Cichlids can be aggressive towards other cichlids even when they're not breeding. I tried mixing a German blue ram with my female kribensis in a 29g tank and the krib attacked the ram right away. She would have killed it if I hadn't removed her. The male krib is in that tank now, and he certainly doesn't like the ram but this ram is passive enough that he just avoids the krib most of the time. So, to sum it up, if you've got a potential breeding pair problems are guaranteed if you've got any other dwarf cichlid in there. Even if you don't have a pair, problems are a definite possibility if you've got more than a single dwarf cichlid.

Note that this doesn't apply only to cichlids. I have a dwarf gourami that's somewhat beligerent and will sometimes get in scraps with my kribs, but he generally knows when he's lost and backs off before any damage is done.

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post #13 of 20 Old 10-21-2008, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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All of this information is great and extremely helpful, thank you all so much. I could not find any place near me that has any Eco-Complete, so I was wondering if I could use this stuff I found at petsmart. This stuff is called Seachems Flourite Plant Substrate. If I can use it, would it be okay to go with one 15lb bag of it and mix in some regular very small gravel? Oh, and speaking of the substrate, should I put something under the substrate to protect the glass from the rock-work I want to do? Like a grate from a flourescent light fixture?

I think I am gonna go with the kribs, I just think they will be a better match for me. I think the rainbows are the best looking ones. Does anyone keep any other breeds of kribs that are as visually appealing. Also, I like all of the suggestions for my stocking list so far. Does anyone else have any other suggestions they would like to add for a plec, bottom dwellers, mid-level dwellers, and top-level dwellers? I just would like to hear some more opinions.

Thanks again.
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post #14 of 20 Old 10-21-2008, 06:27 PM
Flourite is very good if I remember correctly. The 15lbs+ small gravel should work, but over time the sand would sink to the bottom.

You can use something on the bottom of your tank. I have eggcrate under my sand in my reef tank, for just in case the live rock falls. You could have the same setup.
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post #15 of 20 Old 10-21-2008, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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cody - what do you mean by eggcrate?
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post #16 of 20 Old 10-21-2008, 07:22 PM
It is a plastic flourescent light cover/diffusion thing... Basically small plastic boxes all put together. You can usually find it in large sheets in the lighting section at Home Depot or Lowes. Here is a picture.
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post #17 of 20 Old 10-23-2008, 12:41 PM
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Aside from the kribs:
-Pleco: 1 clown, bristlenose, or rubber lip pleco (or another variety that stays small, but these three are the most common and least expensive of the smaller plecos)
-Bottom dwellers: 8 cories, a dozen kuhli loaches, or a half dozen zebra loaches
-Mid-level: a school of a dozen small schooling fish. Any of the smaller tetras, barbs, or rasboras would work well. You could also cut the school size down some and add some livebearers, like 2 male 3 female platies or guppies or 1 male 2 female swordtails. Or you could leave out the schooling fish altogether and double those livebearer numbers.
-Top level: 6-8 hatchets or smaller danios (zebra, leopard, blue, glowlight, etc)

The stocking there is a little on the heavy side, but as long as you have adequate filtration and are good about doing water changes it should be no problem. Everything I listed aside from the pleco are all fish that are very light on your bioload.

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post #18 of 20 Old 10-23-2008, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
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I was kind of thinking about adding a school of Forktailed Rainbows. I just could not find anything about what part of the tank they inhabit. Has anyone ever had any, are they lively and hardy?
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post #19 of 20 Old 10-23-2008, 07:33 PM
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From another forum I found this post:

Although most sources say they spend most of their time around the middle and top of an aquarium I find that they spend most of their time virtually everywhere when kept in a large group. Mine seam to rarely school together though

If you don't stand up for something you'll fall for anything...
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post #20 of 20 Old 10-24-2008, 08:45 AM
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I have always used regular play sand in my planted tanks. I just put some root tabs in the sand in the beginning. Also make sure you rinse out the sand before putting it in the tank. If not it will leave a suspended haze that will not come out too easily. My most successful planted tank I also had medium sized gravel in the tank to give it a little more substrate. Although, my gravel sunk to the bottom of the tank, leaving the sand on top (others have said sand sinks to bottom). My friend swears by "Eco Complete" plant substrate. He has been pretty successful too. Just make sure you have enough lighting in there for the plants to grow, and to keep the algae away. Good luck.

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