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Will This Starter Aquarium Work?

This is a discussion on Will This Starter Aquarium Work? within the Beginner Freshwater Aquarium forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> First off, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum, and to this hobby. Second, as you are new, I will mention our fish and plant ...

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Will This Starter Aquarium Work?
Old 12-16-2012, 12:18 PM   #11
 
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First off, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum, and to this hobby.

Second, as you are new, I will mention our fish and plant profiles section, under the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. You may have noticed that some fish names shaded; if the name is used in a post identical to how it appears in the profile, common or scientific names, it will shade as a link to the profile and you can click it for a pop-up.

Third, to some issues from your last post.

Quote:
I know the temperature is a little warm for the danios, but I've heard they're very hardy fish that don't mind a few degrees of water temp one way or the other
It doesn't work this way, unfortunately. When it comes to water parameters, "hardy" is frankly irrelevant. Fish species have each evolved to suit a very specific environment, in terms of water parameters, physical space and composition, etc., and to be really healthy they must be provided with very similar conditions. In our profiles, temperature ranges are noted; in most cases the middle of the range is preferable, with the high and low limits indicative of short-term tolerance. The higher the temperature, the harder the fish's metabolism works just to function. It may not seem like much to us, a temp difference of 2-3 degrees, but to a fish this can be life or death, quite literally. You might find some useful background here:
http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/freshwater-articles/stress-freshwater-aquarium-fish-98852/


Second issue is compatibility. Angelfish are quiet, sedate fish. They should never be combined with active swimming fish, and all danios and barbs are such, as are some of the tetra in the characin group. Suitable tankmates for angelfish include the rasbora (not the "dwarf" species due to their small size) and many but not all of the characins. So the danio fail on two counts here.

Angels are fine, but have a read of our profile, Pterophyllum scalare; it notes that they must be acquired at the same time, or at any rate added to the tank together. This is because males are territorial, and usually one will be dominant; they consider the tank "their space," and other fish are intruders. If the group is introduced together, and if they are roughly the same in size, they may organize themselves decently. I said "may" with good reason; fish temperaments like human ones can be different.

Hope this helps some.

Byron.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:19 PM   #12
 
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i agree with Byron. I finally got my danios out of the tank with my angels, and they seem more peaceful and happy to reign the tank. they're a mated pair though, a little different dynamic than a shoal.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:32 PM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randomriter View Post
8 Nanus Cory Cats
1 Black Angelfish
2 Smokey Leopard Veil Angelfish
2 Marble Veil Angelfish
5 Zebra Longfin Danios
The number of angelfish looks good. But in place of the danio I'd suggest a south american tetra like bleeding heart tetra or lemon tetra. Those tetra are much more calm and will also give the tank a geographic theme and educational value as all of the fish will be from South America.
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Old 12-17-2012, 12:33 PM   #14
 
Thank you so much, that sounds like an excellent idea.

So, my revised plan is:

6 Lemon Tetra
2 Bleeding Heart Tetra
2 Marble Veil Angelfish
2 Smokey Leopard Veil Angelfish
1 Black Angel
8 Nanus Cory Cats

And I'd use the Lemon Tetras to cycle the tank, and then introduce them in that order.
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Old 12-17-2012, 02:24 PM   #15
 
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Looks great except for one problem. Bleeding heart tetra are shoaling and like all tetra can get nippy if there aren't enough of their species around. So bump up the bleeding hearts to 6 or 7 and that sounds like a great plan!
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Old 12-17-2012, 03:11 PM   #16
 
Would the Lemon Tetra's not shoal together with the Bleeding Hearts?
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:29 PM   #17
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randomriter View Post
Would the Lemon Tetra's not shoal together with the Bleeding Hearts?
No, in the sense that we mean by "shoaling," but they are compatible. I wrote a detailed post on shoaling the other day and now can't find it, so here goes again.

When we speak of shoaling fish (some sources will call this schooling, though that is technically a bit different) we are referring to fish species that live in large groups. Often hundreds and even thousands of fish live in the group, though in some species it might be fewer. The species has evolved to require this, and it may have several impacts on the fish. Frequently there is "safety in numbers" and when the fish is on its own or in too small a group (for that species, as I said, it can vary) this causes stress and stress is the cause of just about all fish disease. Stress weakens the immune system, but even more than that it can cause damage to the fish's physiology. You can read more in my article on stress in the Freshwater Articles section.

Aside from the above, many species have a social structure within the group. This can vary and may include a "pecking order" with dominant fish and submissive fish, and this is natural and necessary if that species is to be healthy. When we see tetra "playing" or what I call "sparring," we are seeing this social structure at work. It may seem like play to us, but this is a very serious social development that is absolutely essential to the fish.

Many of us have long understood the need for groups, but only last year the first scientific study on the effects of insufficient numbers within a species group came out with some factual evidence. Fish that were kept in groups under six developed increased aggression; species that one would consider peaceful actually became aggressive. Aggression took the form of fin nipping up to actual physical biting and death. And all because the fish just didn't have enough of its own species around it. The same thing happened when the tank was too small, and this shows that aggression is probably the fish's only available weapon to deal with frustration. In some cases, the exact opposite will occur; the fish will become so withdrawn because of these factors that it wastes away.

So, tetra being shoaling fish, they should never be in groups less than 6. This is a number many sources use, and generally it is the minimum, though it must be said that when space is available, increasing the group above 6 will always be better for the fish. Some species are inherently aggressive to begin with, like Serpae Tetra, and the group must be much larger. Group sizes are mentioned in our profiles where applicable.

And as Izzy mentioned, the Bleeding Heart Tetra is sometimes a bit of a nipper, so when combined with any sedate or long-fin fish, such as angelfish, the group should never be small; my thinking would be no less than 8. The Lemons I would say 7-9. Remember that aside from everything else, shoaling fish will always display brighter colouration and more natural behaviours the larger the group. And this makes having them in the aquarium much more enjoyable for us.

Byron.
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Last edited by Byron; 12-17-2012 at 04:31 PM..
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:42 PM   #18
 
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Great suggestions with the bleeding heart tetras and lemon tetras, I have both, though not together. I keep lemons with blackskirts and they don't intermingle, they just shoal with their own kind.

The bleeding hearts are with serpaes and they don't intermingle much either, but I don't find either of these shoal as much as the lemons and skirts do.

I think 7 or 8 of each would be perfect. To be honest I only have 5 bleeding hearts, and mine aren't nippy at all, but I do plan on adding a few more.

The blackskirts are the worst tetras I have for nipping. I have 11 of them, and they still nip.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:25 PM   #19
 
Thank you, that was an immensely informative (and interesting) post.

With all that in mind, it looks like the best thing to do is to remove the bleeding heart tetras from my wish list entirely. I don't want to much strain on my aquarium's bio load, since it is only 55 gallons and I don't want to go over 65 inches of fish at an absolute maximum.

Instead I think I'll follow the other advice I've read on here and increase the lemon tetra's to 8. Unless any of you know of another species of tetra that could allow for some color variety while still keeping the fish comfortable?
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:14 AM   #20
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randomriter View Post
Thank you, that was an immensely informative (and interesting) post.

With all that in mind, it looks like the best thing to do is to remove the bleeding heart tetras from my wish list entirely. I don't want to much strain on my aquarium's bio load, since it is only 55 gallons and I don't want to go over 65 inches of fish at an absolute maximum.

Instead I think I'll follow the other advice I've read on here and increase the lemon tetra's to 8. Unless any of you know of another species of tetra that could allow for some color variety while still keeping the fish comfortable?
This is a 55g (4 feet length), with live plants. Five angelfish. I would have two groups of shoaling fish, Lemon Tetra are fine, increased to 8-9. Now you have two options, either add more Bleeding Heart to have say 6-7, or if you can return the 2, find a similar fish in the same clade [more below] and get 7-8. You will be fine with these numbers, with the plants and weekly partial water changes of 1/3 to 1/2 of the tank volume. These "guides" for stocking using inches of fish and such are OK as a very basic "guide" but so many different factors figure in to a community of fish that works, and it is impossible to come up with any "guide" that is absolute.

Bleeding Heart Tetra is a species in the Hyphessobrycon genus. As it notes in the profile, this genus is huge, and ichthyologists have suggested clades. One is the Rosy clade, with species that all share several traits. I won't spell this out here, as it is in the profile [which I wrote]. But the BH does get a bit large compared to the other species, and it may nip, so if they can go back, a better species that is near identical in the lovely rosy colour would be the Rosy Tetra or Roberts Tetra. Avoid the Serpae Tetra, also in this clade, as this is a real nipper. The other two mentioned are not. The fish in this clade are all disk-shaped, so they are not targeted by angelfish as possible food, and being of the same rounded shape they match very well.

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