Stocking 30" long column (24" high) 56g - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 2 Old 06-12-2011, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
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Stocking 30" long column (24" high) 56g

Hey all, was toying with the idea of making a change in stocking. Currently, I have 5x Black Widow Tetra and 4x Serpae Tetra. I know these should be kept in larger groups, so that's definitely a possibility to add more. I also have 3x emerald cory and 1 clown pleco. It is medium-planted (working on that though) with driftwood.

I've noticed (as Byron has warned haha) that my serpae are fairly aggressive. I sometimes see one harassing my cories. I'd kind of like a community setup, but with activity--I don't want to sit there and watch a larger fish just sitting there staring right back at me lol. In a perfect world, I would have gotten a 56g long, but space in the apt says otherwise.

I love the fish profiles and have tried to look over them, but it's gets a bit daunting. Some ideas I was thinking:

(Filter is Fluval 305 for up to 70g I believe)

increase Black Widow and Serpae number to 7-9 each (14-18 total) while keeping the bottom. Total fish in tank: 18-22

Removing all tetras to change to 18-20 tiger barbs. I say this because I know the tigers are more aggressive, so it'd be essentially a "tiger tank" lol. I'd keep the bottoms. Total fish in tank: 22-24.

I would appreciate any suggestions for a total setup of my tank: bottom (I like my current bottom, but am open to suggestions); mid-level (this is where I'm most looking for change); top-level.

I'll do the work of reading on the profiles to determine if I'd like them, but I'm just interested in choices to include for a "community" setup (or, in the case of the tigers, if it needs to be specific).
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post #2 of 2 Old 06-12-2011, 12:48 PM
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You have both options mentioned, namely a species-only (sort of) tank or a community. The Tiger Barb only (with the bottom fish, no issue there) is fine. Similarly, Serpae Tetra only (again with the bottom fish) is another similar setup. Or both together, increasing their numbers, would likely work; there is space, and with a larger group they might b less of a problem to each other, they will fight within their respective groups.

If you want a community (mixed) tank, then I would get rid of the Serpae as this is always going to limit options and even if suitable fish are added there is still the threat from the Serpae. Other fish will pick up on this even if no physical combat occurs, and that is highly stressful. Only this week I had to remove so-called "peaceful" fish from my 90g tank for this reason.

If you go the community route, look for fish that are not active swimmers, as the vertical space is better suited and will look "busy" with such fish. There are several. Pencilfish, rasbora, hatchetfish, some of the tetra in the genus Hyphessobrycon, particularly the Rosy clade, do well in such an environment. But all of these would likely be picked at by the Serpae.

Dwarf cichlids do well in such tanks.

More substrate fish are possible. A Whiptail Catfish is nice in a tall tank as they love "crawling" up branches and plants. Farlowella vitatta is another, if you have soft water. More corys. Dwarf loach and dwarf banded loach.

I would try to find or construct a thin branch feature. This is particularly striking in a tall tank, and it provides spots for attaching plants like Java Moss, Java Fern, Anubias, and will be a continual source of browsing area for many of the mentioned fish.


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 you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re 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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