VerdantGrotto's Fresh-Water Habitat
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VerdantGrotto's Fresh-Water Habitat

This is a discussion on VerdantGrotto's Fresh-Water Habitat within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> My plan for the new 55 gallon is this... 1. Place the rinsed substrate and gravel in the tank and fill halfway with distilled ...

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VerdantGrotto's Fresh-Water Habitat
Old 12-20-2012, 07:43 PM   #1
 
VerdantGrotto's Fresh-Water Habitat

My plan for the new 55 gallon is this...

1. Place the rinsed substrate and gravel in the tank and fill halfway with distilled water.

2. Introduce the appropriate additives (Water Conditioner and Bacteria) that will be provided with the
Marineland or TopFin starter kit

3. Place a piece of driftwood with Anubias barteri attached to it. (Has been in my smaller tank for 6 months)

4. Acquire a few plants from what seems to be a Reputable Fish store near me and plant them in the tank.

5. Place all driftwood, rocks, caves and any other well cleaned decorations in the tank.

6. Fill the rest of the way with the remaining treated water.

(I also considered using the filter from my established tank with a used cartridge from my established tank on the new tank for the better part of a day. Is this a waste of time?)

(Steps 1 - 6 was planned on taking place over a weekend)


7. When the plants were purchased from the Fish Store. 2 Medium Scalare Angels are also to be ordered. Preferably Female, because the Angel I currently have I suspect is a Male.

8. Once the Angels arrive the tank should be cycled and all three will be introduced to their new habitat.

9. The following morning the Cory Cats will be introduced

10. The following morning the Ottos will be introduced

11. and finally ... a month or two later I planned on purchasing a group (6) of Diamond Tetras


any comments or suggestions are welcome

Read more: Diamond Tetra School
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Old 12-20-2012, 08:26 PM   #2
 
First Question :

I will have around six or more Cory Cats and was wondering if the Sand at say Petsmart is okay for them? I believe the brand name of the sand is Argonite or Flourite or something like that. Not the live sand for Saltwater tanks obviously. I was pondering using black sand so the Diamond Tetras and the Corys Colors stand out a little better.

Second Question :

This is more of a what's your opinion type question...
Black Sand ? White Sand ? Tan Sand ? Play Sand ? Pool Sand ? Coarse Sand ? Fine Sand ?
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:06 PM   #3
 
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First Question :

I will have around six or more Cory Cats and was wondering if the Sand at say Petsmart is okay for them? I believe the brand name of the sand is Argonite or Flourite or something like that. Not the live sand for Saltwater tanks obviously. I was pondering using black sand so the Diamond Tetras and the Corys Colors stand out a little better.

Second Question :

This is more of a what's your opinion type question...
Black Sand ? White Sand ? Tan Sand ? Play Sand ? Pool Sand ? Coarse Sand ? Fine Sand ?
There are some issues here.

First, aragonite is a calcareous sand, meaning it contains calcium and magnesium, which will raise the GH and pH of the tank water. That works in marine setups (which is what this type of sand is intended for), or for rift lake cichlids or livebearers, but with soft water fish you do not want this. A substrate of aragonite sand (or gravel) will send the GH and pH soaring.

Second, Flourite is an enriched substrate (supposedly) intended for planted aquaria. It is debatable whether this substrate benefits plants or not; I have had it in one tank for over 15 months and feel I wasted my money, given the plant growth in this tank compared to my plain sand substrate tanks. But more to the issue, it is not a good substrate for corys and loaches. I had to remove the corys from my Flourite tank, they had developed mouth and barbel issues that completely cleared within a couple of weeks after being moved into the sand tank. And I have had catfish breeders tell me never to use Flourite or Eco-Complete with corys, so I now take that advice.

Black is also hit and miss. I found the corys are more colourful over a mixed sand. I went with play sand two years ago and gradually changed over five tanks. In appearance, this is near identical to the sand in many Amazon streams over which corys feel right at home. It is interesting that mine began spawning for the first time after 15 years when I changed to play sand; I can't say this is directly related, but it is interesting, when everything else has been the same throughout.

To your second question. White is not a good substrate; none of our fish naturally live over a white substrate, and in fact it can stress them because it is not natural. Black can be used to good effect, but having black in the Flourite tank I will say that it shows detritus much more than my mixed gravel and sand tanks, over which it is invisible.

Pool filter sand works for some, but as another member cautioned yesterday it can be rather sharp, which is not what you want with substrate fish like corys.

Which brings me back to the play sand mentioned above; the least expensive, and most natural...and my plants are doing well in it. There you are.

Byron.
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:04 PM   #4
 
Thanks for the Feedback. This definitely helps.

So I had another question about driftwood.

Does all the driftwood end up dark after it's been soaked/rinsed and set into the tank after awhile?

The driftwood I have is really dark and I was wanting to put something lighter into the tank. Like a branch or something. Is there a thread that could shed a little light on this? I can't seem to find one...
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Old 12-21-2012, 07:36 PM   #5
 
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Thanks for the Feedback. This definitely helps.

So I had another question about driftwood.

Does all the driftwood end up dark after it's been soaked/rinsed and set into the tank after awhile?

The driftwood I have is really dark and I was wanting to put something lighter into the tank. Like a branch or something. Is there a thread that could shed a little light on this? I can't seem to find one...
All wood is of a colour unique to the species. While being fully submersed permanently may alter the shade some, it is not going to change significantly, at least not with the woods I have had over 20+ years.

I personally prefer the dark wood; I now use Malaysian Driftwood which is dark brown to black. Previously I have used ironwood which is black. The lighter woods, such as Mopani, grapewood and manzanita, are sort of blond or in the case of mopani a dual tone. I personally don't like these, but that is just me; drawbacks for me are that they do float (the others are heavy and sink immediately) until fully waterlogged, they seem to have more tannins, and these seem to be more problematic with toxic fungus, esp the grapewood. I also find aesthetically that darker woods tend to suit forest stream habitats better. Part of the visual "dark" that these fish prefer. Anything "light" is going to draw attention to itself.

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Old 12-21-2012, 08:26 PM   #6
 
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This is just my choice, but personally I would add the fish a bit slower than you have planned. You have a group of angelfish, a group of cories and a group of ottos all going into a new setup within 3 days. I realize you plan to plant the tank and everyone always says you can add fish without worrying about a cycle but you have some sensitive fish there and I just tend to err on the side of caution and stock more slowly. Just my personal opinion.
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Old 12-21-2012, 08:31 PM   #7
 
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This is just my choice, but personally I would add the fish a bit slower than you have planned. You have a group of angelfish, a group of cories and a group of ottos all going into a new setup within 3 days. I realize you plan to plant the tank and everyone always says you can add fish without worrying about a cycle but you have some sensitive fish there and I just tend to err on the side of caution and stock more slowly. Just my personal opinion.
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I agree. Thanks jeaninel, I got stuck on the other issues and missed the "plan."

Now that I've seen it, I would hold off on the otos until 2-3 months later when you may have some algae. This is explained in the profile. And I would up the Diamond Tetra group to 8-9.

How many corys? Also better in larger groups, say minimum 5-6 if one species (more is better), or you can mix species.

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Old 12-22-2012, 09:43 AM   #8
 
Mixing the Corys is what I had planned. Also, the diamond tetra school was minimized because I am pondering including a Bolivian Ram. Of course none of this is set in stone and I will be listening to criticism and suggestions heavily. Here is some ofthe explanation as to what fish I planned on putting in the tank and why :

Corydoras

I currently have 3 Bronze Corydoras Cats in my existing tank
I planned on introducing 3 Panda Corydoras Cats (Or something similar) in the next 6 months
This would be a total of 6 Cory Cats

Scalare Angel

I currently have 1 Marble Colored Angel (Not sure of the Coloring Name)
I believe Titsu (Teet-sew) as we call him is a male (Not entirely sure but will upload pictures this coming week). This being said, I was planning on introducing 2 Female Angels that are about the same size as him (As long as one could order a female from the the LFS)

Otocinclus Macrospilus

I currently have 3 Otos and planned on getting 1 more.
In regards to the above suggestion on waiting to introduce them to the new 55G I could leave them in the 10 gallon until the tank has matured.

Diamond Tetra

These little guys will be purchased some time in the next 3 - 6 months (Pending my willpower to wait)
I planned on only introducing 6 (4 males and 2 females) because i really want to also get a...

Bolivian Ram

1 Lone Bolivian Ram
After all of the other fish are acclimated to the tank and several months after that occurs, I was planning on placing a nice rock cave somewhere in the Tank away from where the Angels and the Corys have established there Residence and introduce the Bolivian Ram.

Last edited by VerdantGrotto; 12-22-2012 at 09:50 AM..
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Old 12-22-2012, 09:47 AM   #9
 
I came to this Roster by reading quite a few profiles and making sure their temperament , Water requirements and size was compatible with each other. I also got the count by looking at their Adult size and adding the numbers up until it hit 55. I don't want to overpopulate the tank but i would like to have a nice variety of attractive compatible fish. (Which is why there are only 3 Angels)
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Old 12-22-2012, 01:16 PM   #10
 
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The so-called guides to fish stocking are not precise and subject to considerable variation. They usually help inexperienced beginning aquarists avoid overstocking, and for that they are useful. But when it comes down to the actual fish, there is so much that factors in that it is frankly impossible to have any absolute rules. It is a learning curve for all of us. So with that in mind, I'll offer some comments on numbers.

Tetra are shoaling fish, and the more in the group the better they will be, in health, temperament and behaviours. One has to give "minimum" numbers as a guide, but here we are again back to the impossibility of having absolutes, so the guide is the minimum that should not normally be lessened. But increasing the group as I said is always better for the fish--and the aquarist. As space is available, 7-9 Diamonds is what you should aim for.

As for restricting any fish group in order to have more different fish, no. This is working against the better interests of the fish. If you want Diamond Tetra, get a decent number so the fish will be at their best; otherwise, I wouldn't get them.

Now, having said that, you can still have a single Bolivian Ram. This one fish is not going to make any impact in such an aquarium. And this again is where specifics must override "guides." You have the space.

Corys. More, please. You have the space, have 12-15. They can be mixed species, and I would try to get 5 of a species. The three you now have are fine, but get five panda, then 5-6 of something else.

Angels. Remember to add all three to the 55g together, unless you can be absolutely certain of adding only females.

Otos. If your three are eating prepared foods now (as otos usually will learn to do when they are settled) fine. I was previously assuming new fish, and otos in stores usually are near-starved, and in new tanks with no algae frequently die quickly. I wouldn't add more myself, but go ahead if you want them. But I would add 2 more if you do.

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