Planted 55g - Rainbowfish stocking - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-11-2014, 01:13 PM Thread Starter
Question Planted 55g - Rainbowfish stocking

I'm still a ways off before I set up my 55g, but the excitement is getting the better of me. I'm planning out everything now so I can add up costs and get an idea of everything going into this project. I've decided against mixing species and will instead go with a Rainbowfish-only aquarium. The tank will be medium/heavily planted and will rely only on ferts and heavy lighting- i'm not getting into CO2. This will be my first "big" tank, as i've always had planted 10 gallons so i'm in need of some guidance as far as stocking goes. This is what I have in mind:

6x Boesemani Rainbows (4 males, 2 females)
2x Praecox Rainbows
1x Turquoise Rainbow
3-5x Corys (leaning Emerald but concerned about size and overstocking. Willing to go with Panda's if need be.)
5x Nerite Snails

The list is not set in stone and adjustments are willing to be made to ensure peak happiness and health for the fish. The only fish i'm dead-set on is the Boesemani's, i'll negotiate with all the rest.

Note to moderator: Thought I posted this in the "Beginner Freshwater Aquarium" section, so if this could be moved that'd be great... sorry about that.

Last edited by StrangeDejavu; 06-11-2014 at 01:15 PM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-11-2014, 10:05 PM
Some issues here. You need to reverse sexes of the rainbows or I foresee problems. Either that or get all males. 4m/2f plus the male turq and you will have issues with the females being harassed and stressed by all the male attention. I do not recommend mixing same genus rainbows, if you do at the very least allow no fry to survive in that tank. They will crossbreed and there are enough crossbred rainbows polluting the hobby already. Rainbows spawn very easily and regularly but it does take some effort and time to raise fry in numbers but apart from that it is quite simple.

Stocking wise you can fit a lot more fish in that tank. If you want a rainbow tank I would suggest a group of boesemani, threadfin rainbows, and Madagascar or other sp. groups of 6 or more. If that seems like a lot slowly build up to it. I run a very similar tank to what you are describing.

FYI rainbows are very social fish and they do form a hierarchy so when initially introduced they may chase and fight a bit especially the males to find out who is on top. They will settle down after a bit, but if you introduce more of the same species or similar rainbows they will repeat this with the new fish.

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post #3 of 8 Old 06-11-2014, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
Very interesting, glad I posted here or I would have gone into this frustrated. On another site, I read you should keep 1 female Boesemani for every 2 males. Doing so would make the males compete and display their best colors.

What do you think about all male Boesemani and a male Turquoise? I really like the contrast the Turquoise brings to a tank of Boesemanis, so i'd still like to do that if possible. Also, I said I was going Rainbow-only because my initial plan was a school of Boesemani's and a smaller school of Black Neons or something similar. My Dad and I just went in on a split cost planted 30g tetra community and it has been a nightmare since the beginning. Tank is cycled, chemistry is great, lots of live plants and yet we wake up to a new dead fish each day. After this experience I kind of ruled out a smaller schooling fish but it looks like that still may be an option with a different species. I'll definitely look into the Threadfin and Madagascar's as well.

Any recommendations on other non-Rainbows that would do well in a setup like mine?

Last edited by StrangeDejavu; 06-11-2014 at 10:32 PM.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-11-2014, 11:21 PM
That many males will bicker more and your likely to have issues with the bottom of the group fish being stressed to the point health issues tend to arise. For adults I've always done 2 females to 1 male. Males will show their best colors with females IMO vs competing constantly with other males over nothing. Mature female boesemani are quite colorful tho IMO, that isn't true for all female rainbows some can be very bland. Colors will always be best in the morning for rainbows they will be most active and spawn regularly at this time. They will calm down and colors will lessen slightly for the rest of the day.

Far as dither fish my favorite to mix with rainbows is Hemigrammus bleheri.

Here is behavior from my adult breeding group of rainbows. Where ever you get your fish do not expect them to look amazing right away. It takes rainbowfish a couple years to fully and completely develop their colors.
High activity spawning mornings.

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post #5 of 8 Old 06-12-2014, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
Thanks Mikaila, i've got a lot of time still to think about stocking as I wont be setting up this new aquarium until I move (around Christmas).

I noticed all the fish stores in my area stock the Boesemani's and Turquoise, but the chain store Rainbows are very dull and have almost no color. However, there is this one LFS that has awesome stock on just about everything. Their Boesemani's and Turquoise are extremely vibrant, but the only problem is they keep them in a low pH tank with Discus. If I bought from this store in the future (likely will, Monday's are Buy 1 Get 1 Free), how hard would it be on the fish to go from 5.5 pH to 7.8 pH? I feel like I should just have him order them and walk out with them before he adds them to the tank, but then i'm buying sight unseen. Your thoughts would again be appreciated.
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-13-2014, 12:03 AM
acclimating that pH difference is certainly doable, just do it slowly. You can do sight unseen too, I've certainly done so more then once online. The only issue is picking sexes which isn't very easy with boesemani. My group consists of 2 males and 4 females. I have about 2 dozen juvenile rainbows 2" and less and yes they are very drab and they are suppose to be at that size. As far as juvenile color goes I don't care all my rainbows came from my local club so most were bought very cheap and young. I focus more on the source then the fish, buy from a good source as they will only supply good fish.

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post #7 of 8 Old 07-01-2014, 08:09 AM
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Turquoise Rainbows in 75 gall

I consider myself a beginner -- am learning all the time!
Anyway, I hae a 75 gallon tank stocked with 2 breeding angels, 1 pair german rams, and 7 turquoise rainbows. One make is definitely the alpha and has become very large. He is very dominant and in breeding mode daily.

My comment to your plan is that a school of the same type rainbow would be better than 1. They are Very social and schooling --- but the turquoise can become very large. My male is approaching 5-6 inches; your size tank would not accomodate him in my opinion.

good luck and let me know how you progress.....
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-01-2014, 02:01 PM
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school of turquoise rainbows

My school of Turquoise rainbows ---
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