stocking advice for newbie: 48 litre tank - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-22-2011, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
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stocking advice for newbie: 48 litre tank

Hello there, I am new to this fishkeeping lark, and hopefully some more experienced posters could advise on a stocking issue.

I have a 48 L tank, set up tropical fresh water, with some artificial plants and other ornaments. It has a gravel substrate.
I have just finished fishless cycling today (used domestic ammonia) and I am doing a final part water change, with the target of placing fish in tomorrow.

Can you suggest some small fish that would live happily in this scenario? Perhaps something for the top/middle and the bottom of the tank? Some personality / activity would be good.

I know the size limits the type of fish, but if successful, I can invest more time, space and money.

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post #2 of 9 Old 01-22-2011, 10:48 AM
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Hi Maxwellm. First of all good job for taking your time and cycling your tank first! I'm not familier with the method you used so am asking how long the time period has been? And...You are smart so take the same time in figuring out what to put in there. That will give you more cycling time. Do you have a heater?
Well it all depends on what kind of fish you are interested in and that fish's requirements. So if you want an African Cichlid like a Jack Dempsey, they are aggresive and you will only put one fish in your tank. If you want to breed small fish then add a few Guppies and you will run out of room quickly. Maybe you like the Betta's and will house one colourful male... I hate those bowls they keep them in. Have you been to the LFS to see what they have in their tanks for sale? Do they have the red/green/yellow stickers on the tanks to tell you who can be put with who to help you pick something. Red has to be kept alone, greens can live calmly together.
I think the first step to deciding is to wander the store looking at the different tanks and getting a sense of what you like. Ours provide clip boards to mark down tank numbers etc. You can take that paper home as a reference even if you don't buy something, then do some online research from your list.
Have you ever had fish before? There are very important techniques to putting that new fish into your tank too. I'm not new to fish keeping but only been on here a month myself so not familiar with all the resources on here. But ask away! You do need to set the bag in the tank for awhile 30 - 45 minutes to adjust the temperature in the bag to your tank's temp so as to not shock the fish. Also you need to dribble in tank water into the bag in "little drinks" every 5 minutes to adjust your new fish to the PH level of your tank's water. Don't worry about testing PH and trying to make it perfect. Horribly hard to do and costly. Just acclimatize your new fish slowly to not shock them when released. Then the proper way to put that new fish in is to net it and not put the store water into your tank. I think a lot of us are lazy and slowly turn the bag and allow the fish to swim in. Once you have a big tank you may want to keep the little one as a quarantine tank 2-3 weeks for new fish or feeder fish (Guppies and little Goldfish) for something big like an Oscar.
So good luck, do your research!! And post here if you need more info... lots of people will help you. Great people in here!!

Every kid, regardless of what they are going through, is ONE caring adult away from being a success story. ~ Josh Shipp, Teen Behavior Expert
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post #3 of 9 Old 01-22-2011, 11:21 AM
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Congrats on the new tank.... but.... be warned!!!! One small tank can turn into several bigger tanks before you know it .
First thing you need to know about everyone on here.... WE LOVE PICTURES !!!!!!!!!
As far as fish go.... If you are looking for a small school you could do some neon tetras and if you have good filtration and are dilligent about water changes, maybe a couple of Corys, but that would max out yer tank.
I have a 5 gal with a nice male betta, a snail, and an African dwarf frog. I had ghost shrimp in there but since the tank has no lid I kept finding them on my desk . The thing is that there are more than JUST fish you can put in your tank to make it fun to watch.
Not to harp on the research thing, but, take some time to look at what is out there. You can do some realy cool stuff with this tank.

OH ...... and .... post some pics.
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post #4 of 9 Old 01-22-2011, 11:48 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the speedy reply, sorry haven't filled profile in.there is a heater in the tank. unfortunately I live in scotland , very few fish shops (well there are plenty but most sell dead fish, if you know what i mean). There is a garden centre with a sizeable selection, but it varies with each visit, thought the rasboros looked fine,b ut wondered if i needed something at the bottom to clean up. Would like severeal fish rather than one specimin fish.
Regards the fishless cycle, I added 5 teaspoons of ammonia, added some nutrafin cycle, tested and it was >8ppm, took some water out, left for two weeks,
nitrites appeared and peaked in week 2,
tested for nitrates and it was >40ppm in week 2
ammonia dropped through the floor in week 3,
tested for nitrates and it was >40ppm in week 3,
added 1 teaspoon of ammonia when ammonia started to disappear, it would then disappear in around a day.
part changed 40% water today to allow heating overnight.

One thing i am unsure of is, when i part change water for maintenance, what should i add? should it be something to take chlorine out only, or should i also add a product to top up bacteria?
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post #5 of 9 Old 01-22-2011, 12:07 PM
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Hey Maxwellm, beautiful country Scotland, I have visited many years ago! First I stand corrected on the Jack Dempsey that requires a minimum 55 G tank and will grow to 6-10 inches... 24 -40 cm. (I'm in Canada, we have to switch back and forth Imperial/Metric constantly!) (Then there are USA, CAD and UK gallons! LOL)
I, under the advice of the LFS add their product line... (maybe I have been very naive and just blindly done this). I use a water conditioner to neutralize the chlorine, then a bios support with live bacteria and also a Waste Digester. For every water change. The first two can be used weekly but the Waste digester must not ever be used alone. All three are "store brand" products so I have little knowledge of what they all are. And it works. I'm in a small town so requires a trip to the big city to get fish stuff. Then there are not a lot of choices. Big Al's is the main source where I live. I'm sure some approve and some don't, like anything.
So there are some very beautiful and amazing fancy Betta that woudl suit your tank. (heater not req). Just Google Betta images and you will be amazed. They are the ones found in little cups at the store! Good luck with your search!

Every kid, regardless of what they are going through, is ONE caring adult away from being a success story. ~ Josh Shipp, Teen Behavior Expert
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post #6 of 9 Old 01-22-2011, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Hi shadetreeme,
Do you need to put some dry spot in the tank for the frog? or does it just stay submersed all the time? Areteh frogs difficult to keep? what do they eat?
How come the shrimp get out the tank?
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post #7 of 9 Old 01-22-2011, 01:47 PM
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The African Dwarf frogs are fully aquatic.... they do come to the surface to breathe, but shoot right back down. I have had my frogs for several month and they eat sinking pellets just fine. I realy like watching them.... sometimes they come up for air then spread their "arms" and legs out and just float their in this ZEN like position.... they crack me up.
The tank on my desk is a Fluval Chi... which has no top and is kept filled to the top.... and shrimp are Dumb critters . I have both ghost and whisker shrimp in my bigger tanks and they do just fine. Well sometimes the ghost shrimp get eaten, but, that is kind what they are there for. My kids love to watch them since they are "clear", you can see them eat and watch the food fill their stomachs.
I am luck to have a LARGE fist store nearby with great prices... Ghost shrimp are $.12 each.

As for you water change question..... I use Prime to remove the chlorine from the water. Once the tank is cycled you shouldn't have to add anything else. One thing to remember... when doing your cleaning... clean you filter media in water you removed from the tank, so you do not kill any good bacteria that may be living there. I am also careful not to clean too much at once, I NEVER change all the filter media, vac the gravel and do a pwc on the same day.
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post #8 of 9 Old 01-25-2011, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Hi, I have added 5 glolite tetras to the tank, there so tiny though. What goes well with small tetras?
could i do a red honey gourami (or two), or two mollies (different species), or can someone recommend a sort centrepiece fish or two, although very cute, the tetras are so hard to find. thanks
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post #9 of 9 Old 01-30-2011, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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final line up for 48l tank


I have added a metalli yellow male guppy, a red tuxedo male guppy, a red robin gourami to the five glowlight tetras in my tank. Is this an acceptable group to keep together? Went with advice from lfs assistant, don't know how reliable she was but sometime you just have to trust people. At the moment. the two male guppies have intermittent face offs, while the gourami just doesn't sit still (bordering on manic)
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