Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   Beginner Freshwater Aquarium (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/)
-   -   Am I overstocked? Suggestions? (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/am-i-overstocked-suggestions-105044/)

AK Fresh Water 06-23-2012 01:54 AM

Am I overstocked? Suggestions?
 
I'm making plans to start up a 20 gal long, heavily planted freshwater tank. I'm obsessed with catfish, so here's the list:

6 Sterbai Cory Cats (2.5 inch each)
3 Oto Cats (2 inch max)
...and possibly 1-3 Upsidedown Cats (4 inch max)

My main concern regards the Upsidedown Cats. I've read that they shoal. I don't want to overstock my tank though. Is this plan too overcrowded? I've considered only getting one Upsidedown Cat, but I don't want him/her to be miserable. Is there a better catfish alternative?

I really wish I could get a bigger tank, but unfortunately the dorms won't allow anything larger.

Advice or suggestions would be wonderful. Thank you.

marshallsea 06-23-2012 01:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AK Fresh Water (Post 1126750)
I'm making plans to start up a 20 gal long, heavily planted freshwater tank. I'm obsessed with catfish, so here's the list:

6 Sterbai Cory Cats (2.5 inch each)
3 Oto Cats (2 inch max)
...and possibly 1-3 Upsidedown Cats (4 inch max)

My main concern regards the Upsidedown Cats. I've read that they shoal. I don't want to overstock my tank though. Is this plan too overcrowded? I've considered only getting one Upsidedown Cat, but I don't want him/her to be miserable.

I really wish I could get a bigger tank, but unfortunately the dorms won't allow anything larger.

Advice or suggestions would be wonderful. Thank you.

You can go to aqadvisor.com and plug your stuff into their stocking calculator as a guide. IMO its better to have more of 1 or 2 species than fewer of 3 or 4 species.

AK Fresh Water 06-23-2012 02:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by marshallsea (Post 1126752)
You can go to aqadvisor.com and plug your stuff into their stocking calculator as a guide. IMO its better to have more of 1 or 2 species than fewer of 3 or 4 species.

I have that site bookmarked. It's a great resource. :]
I'd like to hear some people's opinions though; I don't entirely trust computers.

I agree, but a tank comprised only of Cory and Oto cats would be a little too bland for me.
I want a statement fish to bring some movement to the middle/upper part of the tank.

marshallsea 06-23-2012 02:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AK Fresh Water (Post 1126755)
I have that site bookmarked. It's a great resource. :]
I'd like to hear some people's opinions though; I don't entirely trust computers.

I agree, but a tank comprised only of Cory and Oto cats would be a little too bland for me.
I want a statement fish to bring some movement to the middle/upper part of the tank.

I see. Sorry thats out of my experience range. Good luck.

Varkolak 06-23-2012 04:43 AM

Those numbers looks fine to me but you would want a minimum of 5 otos, if you were to go with a planted tank you wouldn't have any issues at all with what you want minus the upside downs, maybe look for a 29 and call it a 20 :3 most people cant tell the differance. Upside downs get pretty large so I would avoid them until you can get a larger tank in favor of maybe some dwarf loachs or if you can find them pygmy corydora both are mid level shoalers and If I could find them around here they would be at the top of my list

kathymalaspina 06-23-2012 05:15 AM

Learning from everyones posts. Thanks.

thekoimaiden 06-23-2012 01:52 PM

What kind of statement do you want to make? I have a tank devoted to loaches, but because they are nocturnal and small, I have a school of tetra that swim in the column in the daytime. It gives the tank a much more "alive" appearance. Do you just want to add some activity to the tank? Color?

I'm also assuming that you know your water hardness and pH and know that these fish can live comfortably in that water.

AK Fresh Water 06-23-2012 02:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thekoimaiden (Post 1127135)
What kind of statement do you want to make? I have a tank devoted to loaches, but because they are nocturnal and small, I have a school of tetra that swim in the column in the daytime. It gives the tank a much more "alive" appearance. Do you just want to add some activity to the tank? Color?

I'm also assuming that you know your water hardness and pH and know that these fish can live comfortably in that water.

Yes, I wanted to add some movement to to middle/upper part of the tank. Color is nice, but most catfish aren't colorful. I was hoping there was a medium sized catfish that can be kept as a single that also swims in the middle/top.

Yes, I own a kit that tests many water parameters. It doesn't do hardness, but I've spoken to the LFS.

AK Fresh Water 06-23-2012 02:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Varkolak (Post 1126786)
Those numbers looks fine to me but you would want a minimum of 5 otos, if you were to go with a planted tank you wouldn't have any issues at all with what you want minus the upside downs, maybe look for a 29 and call it a 20 :3 most people cant tell the differance. Upside downs get pretty large so I would avoid them until you can get a larger tank in favor of maybe some dwarf loachs or if you can find them pygmy corydora both are mid level shoalers and If I could find them around here they would be at the top of my list

I thought about getting the 29, but I was too nervous that the university would make me downgrade, or even ban me from fish keeping if they somehow found out.
I've already purchased the 20 gal. xP
Also, the only dimension that changes is the height. I wanted to make sure that the Corys had plenty of oxygen at the bottom of the tank. Additionally, I figured it would be easier to grow plants like dwarf baby tears in a shallower tank since the plants are exposed to more light.

Why should I have a minimum of 5 otos?

thekoimaiden 06-23-2012 11:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AK Fresh Water (Post 1127160)
Yes, I wanted to add some movement to to middle/upper part of the tank. Color is nice, but most catfish aren't colorful. I was hoping there was a medium sized catfish that can be kept as a single that also swims in the middle/top.

Yes, I own a kit that tests many water parameters. It doesn't do hardness, but I've spoken to the LFS.

Most cory catfish are rather adaptable and will be comfortable below 12 dGH as will oto catfish, but you should really double check the hardness (GH and KH) with your local water treatment plant. Many people are surprised to learn that their water is either harder of softer than they believe.

If you just want some color and movement, I think your best bet is to get a school of easy tetra or rasbora like pristella tetra, glowlight tetra, or harlequin rasbora. Or a trio of honey gourami. You might be able to find a catfish that fits your wants, but it's not going to be a common or easy to find (which often means difficult to care for) fish. I'm not too sure if you can search by swimming position or color, but if you're looking for catfish profiles Planet Catfish is probably your best bet.


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