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Stocking ideas for 75G

This is a discussion on Stocking ideas for 75G within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> First on the spawning/fry question. In a community-type tank, many of the fish will spawn but you will rarely if ever see fry. The ...

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Stocking ideas for 75G
Old 04-09-2009, 09:47 AM   #11
 
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First on the spawning/fry question. In a community-type tank, many of the fish will spawn but you will rarely if ever see fry. The characins are very quick to sense spawning by other fish and will eat the eggs the second they are released. In thickly planted aquaria I have on only a couple of times had an egg survive within the fine-leaved plants and hatch and the fry actually survive as well, but it is not common. The only way to successfully rear fry is to remove the spawning pair to an individual tank, and then you need to take precautions to prevent the parents from eating the eggs which they will do in the case of almost all tetras. Cichlid parents usually will not, and actually tend the eggs and fry, but in a community tank this is usually too much work for them and at some stage the other fish manage to beat the cichlid defenses.

Second on the rams, yes the Bolivian Ram (Papiliochromis altipinosa) is somewhat hardier that the common ram (Papiliochromis ramirezi). According to collector's observations from the natural habitat, the Bolivian ram appears to live in solitude and therefore is suitable to be kept singly (I have one in my 90g, and I've had single ones before) which is suggested for smaller aquaria. They do not form bonded pairs except when ready to spawn. A small group would be OK in larger aquaria like your 75g, but if you decide on more than one I would suggest three or more; with just two you might have squabbling because the fish is territorial with its own species whereas a few would probably prevent bullying of one fish; it does not usually pay much if any attention to other fish in the aquarium. It is not easy to distinguish males and females; some authorities say that older males have slightly longer fin rays.

The common ram is best maintained in pairs (male and female); the male's dorsal fin spines are a bit longer, and the female has a noticeable pinkish belly and is fuller. If there are several in the dealer's tank, it is often worth spending a few minutes to observe them, as they will frequently pair off and you can see the difference easily between male/female and the male will keep chasing other rival males away. If you observe this behaviour, get the clerk to catch the pair. Males and females do not always pair, so it is better to let them choose their mates. They will readily spawn in a community tank, and defend the eggs and fry as best they can, but as mentioned earlier the other fish are usually too many and too quick, especially at the fry stage when they are moving around. But it is fascinating behaviour to observe. A pair will usually leave the other fish in the tank alone, except when defending their eggs and fry.

Both species (Bolivian and common) are fussy about water conditions, although the Bolivian somewhat less so. The common ram in particular should only be added to well-established aquaria after the biological equilibrium has stabilized, not recently setup tanks, as they require stable water conditions and are intolerant of fluctuating water parameters.

Other dwarf cichlids from South America (species of Apistogramma, Discrossus and Crenicara for instance) are similar to the common ram and make very interesting and suitable fish for a community aquarium with small characins, rasbora, corys. All of these are best acquired as a pair (male and female) and there is a marked sexual dimorphism in adult fish but sometimes less so in juveniles, and in my experience all are like the common ram in requiring established tanks with stable water conditions. The pH should be slightly acidic for all of these, rams included, although aquarists are able to maintain the rams in neutral to very slightly alkaline water if gradually done. The Bolivian ram is supposedly more tolerant of a pH in the 7 range, although I have always kept them in the mid 6 range.
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Old 04-09-2009, 06:34 PM   #12
 
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wow, lots of info. thanks for your post. what are these kribs everyone keeps talking about? I googled but found no matches. makes me wish i had a real pet store where i live. only place i might be able to purchase such fish is online.
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Old 04-09-2009, 06:45 PM   #13
 
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in your opinon, what would be the hardiest dwarf cichlid that would be suitable in a community tank?
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:01 PM   #14
 
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Tropical Fish for Freshwater Aquariums: Kribensis Cichlid

Kribs, there are other varieties as well. They are african, but do not need high ph requirments like most africans do. I have seen them in many community tanks.
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Old 04-09-2009, 08:29 PM   #15
 
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MBilyeu has answered your kribs (kribensis) question with a link to some info. The only thing I would mention is that they do grow to 4 inches which is rather beyond a typical "dwarf" cichlid, but in your 75g that isn't a problem; but remember that the bigger the fish the more it affects the bioload in the tank and in time that can limit the number of fish you can safely house.

I've never kept kribs myself, but I understand they are fairly hardy fish. The Bolivian ram also is, as I mentioned previously. The other SA small cichlids need stable water (not that the ram or even krib doesn't as well, but they seem to be a bit more forgiving), but once your tank is fully matured (give it 5+ months) and if you are doing regular weekly partial water changes (critical) and the pH is stable and slightly acidic, you shouldn't have problems with them.
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Old 04-09-2009, 10:10 PM   #16
 
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how about serpae tetras. i have read that they can be aggressive, tail nippers. i dont want bullying fish.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:55 AM   #17
 
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Sorry that I can't answer you tetra question, but I have no experience with serpaes. Since you have a not so good pet store that you are going to, I would suggest that you see what fish are available to you, and really get a feel for what they look like, and how they swim. Pick 3-8 different type of fish that you like from your local store, and we can tell you if they will all work together, and how many of each fish would be best. I know that ordering online will be a waste of money since you wont be able to buy too many fish, and you are not looking for specialty breeds. I think it would help tremendously if we knew just exactly what type of stock we are working with.

Also, if it is a smaller store, then you might want to talk to someone about making requests on what fish that the store can buy. If they don't have rams, and you tell them that you will put money down for three if they will order some. If they have control over what is ordered for the store, and you aren't asking for rare strains that may not be sellable, they will probably try to oblige you. Places like Petsmart, Petco, and WalMart wont do this though because they have no control over what is shipped to them, a regional buyer usually makes those decisions. Hope this all made sense, I had a few distractions while typing the reply...
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Old 04-10-2009, 08:00 AM   #18
 
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its not that i dont like the pet stores, they dont exist here. the only store within 30 min drive is Walmart. right now i am going to hold off on the rams. once my cycling is done i am just going to order some schooling fish, tetras and such. maybe the rams would come later.
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Old 04-10-2009, 09:36 AM   #19
 
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I understand that, by not so good I meant "limited by selection". Sorry if that came out wrong. If you don't mind me asking, where is your general location? Maybe we could help you find an unknown store around you, or a club that you didn't know about.
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Old 04-10-2009, 10:07 AM   #20
 
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Serpae tetras have gone through some name changes, and it is not always a certainty which particular fish might be in the tank labelled "serpae tetra." Similar fish also appear under names like "red minor tetra" and "callistus tetra." The scientific name of each fish is the only way to ensure the fish is this or that, but of course the supplier or store might get the scientific name wrong. This fish has ben known as Hyphessobrycon serpae, H. callistus, and H. minor. In the most complete work to date on the characidae, "Characoids of the World" (1977) by Jacques Gery, this fish is within the Hyphessobrycon serpae complex which includes four forms difficult to tell apart, H. serpae, H. minor, H. heraldschulzi and the "red minor." It was the view of the late Dr. Gery that this genus and indeed the characidae in general are in need of a review, and this is now in progress.

The serpae tetra has a reputation as a fin nipper, although some writers maintain this is only within their own species. In my view, the caution should be taken seriously, and I would avoid putting this fish into a community tank unless you have separate tank space to place the fish on its own should trouble in the community tank occur. It is not just the possibility that the fish might nip at others, but if the fish is somewhat bullying towards other fish, even if no actual physical damage results, the other fish might be severely stressed and thereby succumb to disease and eventual death. I once acquired a group of rather small fish for one of my large tanks, and everything was fine for a couple of days; on the third morning I noticed that most of the other inhabitants in the tank were hidden among the plants, and during the day I realized that they never came out into the open. Then I saw why; the small fish I had added simply chased them, never nipping or doing any physical damage, but the other fish became so hounded that they literally hid shivering and shaking in the plants. I removed the offenders and things returned to normal within a day, although an outbreak of ick ensued, undoubtedly brought on by the stress to the fish.

I would stay away from serpaes; there are several similarly-shaped and coloured tetras that are perfectly safe, fish like Rosy Tetra, Bleeding Heart Tetra, Red Phantom (and Black Phanton) Tetra, Flame Tetra, Roberts Tetra, etc.

MBilyeu has good advice on stores and thinking ahead before buying any fish. The ideal thing is to have a good reputable aquarium store and make it your "headquarters" and get to know the staff. In such stores the staff are frequently hobbyists themselves, and their advice can be invaluable. Pet departments in major stores are usually not so knowledgeable; I remember going into one such store near me, and the two employees in the fish section knew that the little critters swimming in the water were "fish" but that was the extent of their knowledge. Not a good place to buy fish from in my view.

You mention there are no fish stores near you, so perhaps you could find a good one that you can get to once in a while, and keep in touch with them. The manager or staff probably have email, and in most cases wouldn't mind corresponding with you if you want to know what fish they are getting, or if you would like them to try and get some, as MBilyeu said. Always know what you are buying before you buy it. You don't want to buy a nice looking fish only to get it home and discover it killed all the others overnight.

While writing this, I see MBilyeu has responded, and another good suggestion; tell us where you are and we may have suggestions.
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