Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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rameshg 07-11-2012 09:49 AM

Stocking 25 gal planted tank

Our 25 gallon tank was bought as a kit (Aqueon premium kit). The tank set-up is:
Aqueon 30 HOB (came with the kit) and fluval 206 canister (added later)
150 watt Aqueon heater
T5 NO 6700K daylight and T5 Colormax (Both 14 watt & 24 inch)

Plants(currently): amazon sword (2), jungle vals, anacharis, anubias nana, java fern (1), windelov fern (2), mayaca
Planning to add: wisteria, telenthera cardinalis (my daughter wants this!) & dwarf hairgrass

Fish (currently): rasboras (7), cardinal tetra (3), neon tetra (2)
Planning to add: some more cardinal tetras (may be 4-5), male betta, gold rams (pair), some kind of corys (3-4), african dwarf frog, may be an algae eater like oto (1?; if needed)

What do you think? Any other suggestions, modifications, advice very much appreciated.
I'm a bit concerned about adding the male betta, but there are conflicting opinions. One my kids is really interested in getting a betta. I am not sure I want to have separate tank. I do have a 2.5 gal which I use as hospital tank.
What kind of corys are good for a 25 gal tank?
Will gold rams be OK with a male betta in the tank? Or with any of other choices?
I hear ADF being a slow one may be a problem while feeding??

Thanks a bunch in advance.

Geomancer 07-11-2012 11:15 AM

Hello and Welcome!

First of all, the most important thing to fish stocking suggestions is we need to know your water hardness (GH) and pH, in addition Alkalinity (KH) is good to know. The actual numbers are best, words like "soft" or "hard" water have different meaning to different people while numbers are more solid.

All of the fish you have listed are shoaling (as almost all small fish are) which means they should be kept in numbers of 6 minimum.

A Betta is not a good community fish. The reason you find so much conflicting advice is two fold. One, every Betta is different, some are more even tempered than others but statistically you are likely to have problems mixing a Betta in a community tank. For a Betta alone, 5 gallons is a good minimum, anything smaller will have water quality issues without multiple water changes each week. These are tropical fish like all the others, and should be treated the same (space, heat, filtration, water quality). Second, sadly a lot of people who's only experience with fish keeping is with Bettas are ... well not the most informed (a lot stems from what pet stores are telling them in the first place).

ADF would probably be suited to a smaller tank where you can more easily feed them. They pretty much need it placed right in front of them, and you don't want other fish that are faster and see it from a mile away snagging it before the frogs can get it.

Udra120 07-11-2012 11:21 AM

I would be super careful putting that male betta in. While I got lucky with my very first betta, the second I got to put in a 20 gallon community tank was agressive. He was ok during the day, but that night he went and killed all ten of my neon tetras. If you really want to add one, wait until all of the other fish are near grown (which could take a very long time) so that the betta will not find them as easy to pick off. Even then, it could still be dangerous and you should use caution.

rameshg 07-11-2012 11:38 AM

Thanks for the input folks. I am going to pass on ADF. May also hold off on the male betta. This will disappoint my daughter :( May a new tank or two in future... Any thoughts on using a divider with smaller space for the betta. I know our tank is not that big.. BTW I made a nice divider using couple of nylon mesh mats from Michaels (don't know what the actual use is!!) and plastic picture frame holders from Walmart. Got this idea from an internet post. Cost less than $4!

rameshg 07-11-2012 11:57 AM

Thanks for the response. The tank parameters are: ammonia 0 ppm, nitrite 0 ppm, nitrate 10-20 ppm (I do dose nitrate as per PPS method, but only every other day), pH 6.5-7.0, hardness 100-150 KH units. Will update on others (alkalinity etc) when I get home.

rameshg 07-11-2012 12:14 PM

Also, do Rams have to be kept in shoaling numbers? I thought a pair would be fine....

Geomancer 07-11-2012 08:15 PM

No, you could not have a group of Rams in this size aquarium, but a pair could manage. They must already be a bonded pair though, you can not buy a male and female and expect them to pair off (It can happen, but more likely the female will be killed).

rameshg 07-12-2012 08:20 AM

I am planning for only a pair. If they have to paired already, may be I can get them like that from my LFS? Thanks.

Geomancer 07-12-2012 09:15 AM

It's possible. A local store may have pairs already. If they're all bunched up in a single tank, you can sit back and observe for awhile. In a pair, the female will stay pretty close to the male as they swim around I believe.

cwmorrow 07-12-2012 09:42 AM


Originally Posted by Geomancer (Post 1150620)
No, you could not have a group of Rams in this size aquarium, but a pair could manage.

We had four RAMS in the 20 gallon holding tank. Three of them ganged up on the fourth. We kept him in a 2.5 gallon with Paraguard for a week, and he is now happy in a 20 gallon community tank.
I didn't notice that two of the RAMs were now beating up on the third. He was put into the little Paraguard tank, but he did not survive an injury.
The pair is now doing well in a forty tall that had been up and running for a year with six dither pencil fish. They've yet to spawn.

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