Do I have too many fish in my planted aquarium? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 02-02-2012, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Question Do I have too many fish in my planted aquarium?

hello, Im totally new at this so I hope you guys will help me out... I have a 20gl planted tank with the following fish: 1 yellow swordtail, 3 neon tretas, 3 xray tetras, 2 rainbow shark, 3 zebras, 1 guppy male, 1 black molly, 3 rasbora espei and 2 chinese algae eater...
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-02-2012, 01:36 PM
Not too many fish per-say. You have a couple of fish that will outgrow that tank or are incompatible. The two sharks need a much bigger tank and will become aggressive towards each other. The two CAE are also semi aggressive and need a larger tank. As they get older they will start to attack their tankmates.

The rasbora, tetras, and zebra (dainos?) should all be increased to at least groups of five.

.... I'm probably drunk.

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post #3 of 11 Old 02-02-2012, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by jenn08 View Post
hello, Im totally new at this so I hope you guys will help me out... I have a 20gl planted tank with the following fish: 1 yellow swordtail, 3 neon tretas, 3 xray tetras, 2 rainbow shark, 3 zebras, 1 guppy male, 1 black molly, 3 rasbora espei and 2 chinese algae eater...
Welcome!

I'm going to say yes to the overstocked question.

As mentioned, the Chinese Algae Eater and Rainbow Shark fish will have to go to a much larger tank (4' minimum). I'm sure you got the CAE because it has algae eater in the name, and who wants that? In reality they aren't good for that... ;)

And also, as mentioned, the schooling fish need larger numbers (I would say 6 over 5 ... but even larger is better).

If you increase those schools to the proper size ... then you go over the line.

Another note, the live bearers (swordtail, molly, and guppy) like hard basic water, the others like soft acidic water. Do you know what kind of water you have out of the tap?

I would check out the fish profiles here, the link is on the top blue bar. It will give you lots of information for each fish you have, including what kind of water conditions they need.
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post #4 of 11 Old 02-02-2012, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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Oh wow you guys are great. I never thought that the CAE needed a bigger tank and yes I got them because of their names lol. Which fish should I get as algae eaters? On the other hand Yes I have notice that the two rainbow sharks are attacking each other as well as the CAE they do attack sometimes little fish and I was already planning to take them out ... I was considering to take them to a store .. Do you think is a good idea to them back to the store or Im being a bad mother .. I was considering in a near future to only have tetras and angel fish what you guys think ?
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post #5 of 11 Old 02-02-2012, 03:54 PM
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Your tank is to small for angel fish, they grow up to 6 inches, and like to be in groups of 5 or more, the minimum req. on angelfish is a 55 gallon tank.
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post #6 of 11 Old 02-02-2012, 05:57 PM
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yes take the sharks and CAEs back, as the others mentioned, they will be nothing but trouble

need to find out water chemistry in order to decide what remains or what can be added, geomancer listed which need what

the hardness data (GH and KH) and pH can be obtained from the water utility people, or you can buy a kit (I bought the API liquid test kit online for less than $10), or alternatively some retailers will test your water for you, though I would only trust this if it is a good store with people who know what they are doing, which excludes most of the big box stores
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post #7 of 11 Old 02-02-2012, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Quantum ... The only test I own by now is the ph kit and it always comes up to 7.8 or 7.6 I tried to lowered it but it seems a little difficult so I decided not to play with it since it could be dangerous to fish ... I've being struggling with ick though.. whenever I went to a store the sellers always got me a different ick med because of a planted tank... So buy now I'm using quick cure and so far so good theyre almost clear.. but since I have the carbon removed ( for about ill say 2 1/2 weeks) while medication theyve become with mouth fungus and cloud eyes and I really don't know if this is causing the break out of fungus and other diseases....
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-02-2012, 07:45 PM
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Thanks Quantum ... The only test I own by now is the ph kit and it always comes up to 7.8 or 7.6 I tried to lowered it but it seems a little difficult so I decided not to play with it since it could be dangerous to fish ... I've being struggling with ick though.. whenever I went to a store the sellers always got me a different ick med because of a planted tank... So buy now I'm using quick cure and so far so good theyre almost clear.. but since I have the carbon removed ( for about ill say 2 1/2 weeks) while medication theyve become with mouth fungus and cloud eyes and I really don't know if this is causing the break out of fungus and other diseases....
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First, I agree with what other members have posted here, just to get all that out of the way.

Second, on the pH issue, you likely have medium hard or harder water, so checking this as someone mentioned with the water supply folks will help. Adjusting pH is often difficult, as it is tied to the hardness, particularly the KH, which is why we need to know that. But you are correct that fluctuating pH is stressful o many fish, and this should be well thought out. Some of your fish will be fine in what comes out of your tap--livebearers (guppy, molly swordtail), pristella tetra. Rasbora may be, depending just how hard the water is. And neons likely not. But we can consider all this better when we have the GH and KH. But there isn't room for adequate gorups of all these in a 20g, so some decisions may need making later.

Third on the ich, don't mix different medications, this can cause real problems for the fish as some (the meds) can react with each other. Stick with what was given to you for the ich for the period needed (a week minimum is needed with ich regardless of what treatment). Ich is caused be stress, and that comes from fluctuating parameters, new fish, overcrowding, non-compatible fish, etc. Removing the CAE and sharks will start improving all this. On the fungus and other, a few water changes may help. I'd do this before jumping in with more medications unless it is certain what you are treating. Once the ich treatment period is up, 50% water changes using a good conditioner, alternate days, can work wonders.

Fourth, for algae, I would not jump into anything. If you don't have live plants, algae is a benefit, so keep the front glass clean (use a scraper sponge during the weekly water change) and let it be elsewhere. If you have plants and algae is getting on the leaves, that can be controlled by reducing the light. Plants also help prevent algae when everything is in balance. This too we can discuss later. First thing is to settle the tank down.

And last but certainly not least, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If youíre going to take it under your wing then youíre responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #9 of 11 Old 02-02-2012, 07:47 PM
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The steady pH would suggest a higher (relatively) KH, which may mean higher GH if the source is calcium carbonate, but I wouldn't rely on guessing when deciding on which fish to keep and would try to get actual numbers. (Btw, I was referring to the GH and KH test kit for less than $10, the kit with pH, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite is more).

I can't offer too much regarding the diseases since in many years of keeping fish, I've never had to deal with it much other than ich so long ago that I don't remember how it was resolved. I will say though, that it is likely due to the fish being in a weakened state due to stress caused by being kept in too small a space, too few numbers (for the shoaling fish), wrong water chemistry, aggression (which can affect on all the fish not just the targets), and overcrowding. Not much you can do right now since the stores won't want to take sick fish, do the best you can, but expect some deaths.
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-02-2012, 10:11 PM
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got to remember to check for new posts before I submit, Byron and I must have been typing at the same time
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