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post #1 of 10 Old 08-05-2012, 05:48 PM Thread Starter
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Fish suggestions

Hi there,

I'm currently cycling a 110l (24 uk gal) tank with 5 juvenile guppys and 3 african dwarf frogs. The tank is cycling very quickly (thanks to the 6 live plants) and I will be hoping to purchase some fish soon. I'm looking at getting a shoal of small tretra, a pair of small gourami and some catfish.

The fish I've been looking into getting are neon, cardinal or Glowlight/Headlight tetra, dwarf gourami and I'm totally lost as to which catfish to choose and how many to get.

Could anyone please advise as to which tetra, gourami and catfish are suited to my size of tank and that are compatible with each other. Also what sequence should I buy the fish and how long between introducing each fish should I wait.

Should I purchase from one shop or is it ok to shop around. I don't have a quarantine tank, how important is it to have a quarantine tank? What legal rights do I have in England if I buy fish and don't quarantine them and they fall ill?

Sorry for asking so many questions but as this is my first tank i want to do everything I can right the first time. I've been really lucky with my fish cycle as everything seems to have gone well. Had I done a bit more research I would of done a fishless cycle but my brother in laws tank was getting over crowded so we put 5 of his juvenile guppys in mine and them seem to be happy and very greedy. I've also read that the dwarf frogs don't tolerate poor water conditions yet they are healthy and active so I think ive been really lucky with getting this tank up and running. I've made a few newbie errors but haven't fallen victim to an real bad problems.

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post #2 of 10 Old 08-06-2012, 08:27 AM
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I believe you're talking about what I would call a 29 gallon tank. . .

I'm not so good at stocking questions, but I might be able to give you a starting point. . . and that is always going to be to figure out what your water conditions are, and if they're suited to the fish you'd like to keep. It's often better, certainty easier, to choose fish that will thrive in the water that you have, rather than trying to adjust things to suit their needs. Guppies prefer harder water, while many of the other species you've listed (like Tetra) won't do as well unless the water is soft. As a general rule, it seems that the water over there tends to be very hard, so I'd recommend that you find out what the GH (General hardness) of your tap water is, and go from there.

A QT tank is really important, because fish are put through a lot of stress during transport, and change tanks several times (usually very quickly) between the breeder and your home tank. This leaves them open to carrying many illnesses that you don't want to introduce to the other fish in your tank. (Dwarf Gourami and labyrinth fish in general seem to have a rep for carrying even more illnesses, and should be kept longer in QT to ensure the safety of the others). I'm not sure how it works in the UK, but here every shop has their own rules and warranty. Most of our local shops wiill give you a 24 hour return policy, while the larger chain stores have a longer return time of 1-2 weeks or so. But even if you are able to return the sick fish you bought yesterday, you won't be able to do anything about the sickness that he brought into your tank with him, and that could be affecting livestock that you've had for a longer time. . . Another thing to consider with regards to the QT tank is that frogs are very different creatures, and can't tolerate many medications that fish can (different fish can also tolerate different medications), so if you end up in a situation where you have to medicate a sick fishy, you might run into trouble with nowhere available for the other creatures that can't be exposed to a particular medicine. Shopping from different stores is fine, but be very aware of ALL of the tanks in the shop, and their conditions. Usually shops have all of their tanks run through the same system - so they share the same water. A fish that is suffering 3 tanks down may very well be infecting the others, even if you don't see it. I'm not trying to frighten you! In most cases fish are wonderful at taking care of themselves, and don't need to be treated at all - but it *can* be a problem, and a QT tank, at least during stocking, can be a lifesaver - especially to a beginner (like me) who doesn't always know what to look for in a sick fish.

I'm a huge fan of ADF frogs, and with my personal experience with having kept them in MY 29g community tank for a time, I think that they do best in a species-only set up. It can be very tricky to feed them with fish that feed more quickly (like guppies). Still, many people do it and do it well, just be aware that it can be a problem for them to get enough food, and that it's the right kind of food (not fish flakes)

If your water is soft enough for them, Tetra are a wonderful option in most community tanks! Since they like to shoal, it's best to keep them in as large a group as you can, though 6 is usually quoted as the minimum, I've found that they are much more comfortable in larger groups, and you'll really see them shine if you keep a good-sized shoal. Again, it depends on the type of water that you have. I think most tetra prefer soft water, but some types may be more adaptable than others to different water conditions.

To get an idea of what level of stocking your tank can handle, check out It's a great site to give you a general idea of what you *can* do, but remember that it's a computer program - so it's not perfect!

I hope this helps a bit, I'm sure others will be along to fill in the blanks! Good luck, and kudos to you for doing things right and asking questions BEFORE you make the mistakes!
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-06-2012, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
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My water is very soft according to water suppliers website but the guppies seem to be thriving in my tank. I've just been looking at AqAdvisor and its a good website.
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-06-2012, 10:57 AM
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Soft water is great news for some of the creatures that you're looking into, and guppies are notoriously adaptable. Glad I could help out a bit, AQ advisor is a nice tool to have. I'm sure that others will be by sooner or later who will be able to give you a better idea of compatibility with the specefic fish that you've mentioned. I've never kept Gourami or any type of Catfish yet, so I don't want to lead you astray. . . Good luck with building your perfect community - it's always nice to 'meet' people who do the research before they buy
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-06-2012, 11:04 AM
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Ohhh I love catfish. So many cool types out there. But with guppies, I'd probably avoid a lot of them.
Some catfish to look into are corydoras, which do best with sand as their substrate. Also good ideas are whiptail catfish and Twig catfish. Clown pleco and bristlenose pleco are some pleco that will stay small, perfect for your tank. We have fish profiles at the top of the page you can click on, and a catfish section to look through.

As for gourami.. would you be open to Honey Gourami? It's been found that about 20% of dwarf gourami have a virus (due to bad breeding) that kills them, so it is luck of the draw finding a healthy dwarf gourami. This disease supposedly can spread to other species. If you do decide on a honey gourami make sure it's not sharing a tank with dwarf gourami at the shop.

Oh, also clicking the highlighted names takes you right to the profile for that fish!

taking a break from fish-keeping.
3 lovely male betta still keep me company.
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-06-2012, 12:18 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I've notice people saying that you should choose honey gourami over dwarf and I did read that the captive dwarf have become weakened through captive breeding. I really love the look of dwarf but think I'll try honey instead. I have gravel substrate so which catfish or pleco is best suited.
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-06-2012, 12:20 PM
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All the catfish I named are fine, except corydoras catfish. Just with all pleco, including the twig catfish and whiptail catfish, you must include a piece of real driftwood in there, they need to chew on it for fiber. Bristlenose pleco are pretty common and easy to find, clown pleco are a bit more uncommon but you should be able to fine one. I'd recommend one of those two if you're a beginner.

taking a break from fish-keeping.
3 lovely male betta still keep me company.
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-06-2012, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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This is confusing with corydoras because a lot of the pictures I've seen on the internet show them on top of gravel substrate, even the reference pictures on this site show them on gravel.
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-06-2012, 04:12 PM
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Their barbels will be destroyed by gravel that is too large.. they can survive for a while in gravel, but their life will be shortened if they're permanently kept in gravel. Even if you can provide an area of sand for them in a mostly gravel substrate that would still be better. I've got cories with sand and they love sifting through the grains of sand.. I can't imagine keeping them in gravel.
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-12-2012, 02:26 AM
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My peppered cories love to dig their snouts into the sand, presumably looking for food, so it'd be shame to deny them of this behaviour, which is also very entertaining to watch.
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