Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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scottysgirl 01-31-2008 12:46 AM

Fish recommendations for 46 gallon
Hi, I have a 46 gallon tank, which is going to be quite heavily planted. I just upgraded from a 29 gallon. Fish currently in there are: 2 blue rams, 7 Celestial pearl danios 5 harlequin rasboras 3 stone cats 2 khuli loaches 2 Dario Dario.
I was going to add some more schoolers but it already looks pretty busy up top and I am thinking of more middle/bottom fish...perhaps checkerboard cichlids? Anyone have any recommendations? Also, has anyone ever kept blue and gold rams together?

bettababy 01-31-2008 01:49 AM

Yes I have attempted to keep blue and gold rams together at one time, I don't suggest it. Blue rams seem to be much more aggressive and tend to chew up on the golds in tanks of under 75 gallons or without enough territory.

As for adding more fish, your tank sounds pretty full as it is, I would have to suggest no other fish in that size of a tank. Fish need time to grow to full size, as they do this waste levels increase substantially. If water quality becomes poor, it slowly stunts growth and poisons the fish. With what you have listed, that sounds like a well stocked 46 gallon tank. Adding more will likely tip your scales soon and cause a lot of issues.

scottysgirl 01-31-2008 12:53 PM

Thank you for the information on the gold rams. As for the suggestion that the tank is full, I am going to have to respectfully disagree. I had all but four of these fish in the 29 gallon. With weekly water changes and religious water testing nitrates NEVER got above 5 ppm, over the course of a year. All fish are mature as it is, except for a couple of the Celestial PDs. But they are tiny when they grow up anyway. I think I can easily fit a couple more fish in there. I actually never considered that it was fully stocked, does anyone else think so?

fish_4_all 01-31-2008 01:14 PM

Re: Fish recommendations for 46 gallon

Originally Posted by scottysgirl
Hi, I have a 46 gallon tank, which is going to be quite heavily planted. I just upgraded from a 29 gallon. Fish currently in there are: 2 blue rams, 7 Celestial pearl danios 5 harlequin rasboras 3 stone cats 2 khuli loaches 2 Dario Dario.

I am not sure why it would be overstocked:
Cats 1.5 inches each 4.5 inches
2 blue rams 3 inches each 6 inches
7 CPD 1 inch each 9 or so inches
5 H Rasboras 7 or so inches
2 Kuhli 6 inches
2 dario dario 1 inch each

33 or so inches of fish and the only potential high waste producers are the cats. And a lot of low waste thin fish.
I would say some more danios for sure. As for any more bottom dwellers, I would really make sure that the ones you have are comfortable. Catfish can be territorial and aggressive although I do not know much about the stone cats sepcifically. Being they are smaller they may or may not be aggressive/territorial. Rams/ciclids I would not recommend with the catfish and kuhliis though more than what you have anyway. More Kuhliis could make them happier and more active and hopefully wont cause territory problems with the cats or rams.

scottysgirl 01-31-2008 01:34 PM

Thank you fish_4_all, I was not thinking I was fully stocked yet and so was really surprised by the reply. I take good care of my tanks and do frequent water changes. More khulis would probably be good. I guess I was just kind of hoping for some sort of a couple more small colorful fish in there. Thank you!

fish_4_all 01-31-2008 01:50 PM

I would say for more color there is the option of some of the red rasboras. The mix with the plants and the other rasboras could be very nice. Remember though that the rasboras and danios prefer groups of 6 or more so maybe another species isn't the best idea until the groups are larger. Then it depends on the stocking levels if you go that way.

How big are your stone Catfish? They look cool from what I have found about them. I think the initial overstocking worry may have come from the catfish. It is not often you come a cross a species that does not get bigger than 1.5 inches. Most get well over a foot long and weigh in at 3-30 pounds.

scottysgirl 01-31-2008 02:47 PM

They are also known as moth catfish, and I bought them from a very knowledgable breeder who said they almost never get bigger than 1.5 inches, they stay very small. They are really cute (when I see them) and they kind of look like a little anchor.

crazy4fish 01-31-2008 03:52 PM

i also think you could fit a few more fish in there. if you are looking for color at a reasonable size i would suggest: cherry barbs(they dont have to have a huge group), platies, mollies, guppies, rummy nose, dwarf gouramis, and celebes rainbowfish. i wouldnt suggest getting checkerboard cichlids only because i hear they stay towards the bottom (correct me if im wrong) and you have enough down there.

bettababy 01-31-2008 04:28 PM

The reason I say the tank is fully stocked is because I take species into account, and how territorial they are. The rams especially will need plenty of space to call their own, and as pretty and peaceful as those pearl danios are when they aren't feeling crowded, this can change quite fast. I have seen the damage they can cause when they are croweded with other fish... they like to do a lot of fin nipping, which can often times lead to fungal infections.

I noticed that the others all mentioned the 'stocking rule' as most people know it. Something to keep in mind...
I had a customer at the store one night dropped off a full grown 10 inch jack dempsy. It was in a small bucket with just enough water to cover the fish. It was the most beautifully colored jack I have ever seen, even to this day. However, the spine was severely kinked and crooked. The man was complaining that he couldn't take care of it anymore, so wanted to just drop it off. This 10 inch fish came to us from a 10 gallon tank. He started it at about 2 inches, as a baby. As it grew he began doing daily 100% water changes and feeding it the best foods 3 times/day. When we tested his water, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, and nitrates was under 10. We moved the fish to a 40 gallon quarantine tank, which was appropriate for its size. The fish died within 3 days because it couldn't swim, couldn't hold itself upright. It was one of the saddest things I've ever seen.
My point in this story is that 10 inches of adult fish don't always fit into a 10 gallon tank. The specific species of fish and their specific needs have to be considered at all times. Even neons, which average about 1 inch each full grown... about 8 of them can work in a 10 gallon, more than that and you're looking at 2 - 3 times/wk water changes to keep them healthy. How do I know this? Cuz I've tried it, lol. A big part of my job was in learning first hand what happens when specific needs are forgotten.

In your situation, I am thinking specifically of the catfish and the rams. Adding more fish is going to not just bring more waste, but also will mean less space for everyone and more competition for food. It's your tank, and you're free to do it your way, but I really don't suggest more in that size of a tank.

Sorry everyone, I'm not trying to rain on anyone's parade. I have kept these fish over the years, I've had many years to get a feel for their needs and what does and doesn't work. Stocking as it is now should be perfect for a tank that size, for a long term situation, but I really would be afraid of adding anything beyond what is already in there unless the tank was bigger. Please, don't forget that shape also plays a big part in what works and what doesn't. A good example is the difference between 55 and 75 gallons. Both tanks are same lenghth, but the 75 is wider than the 55, which makes all the difference to a fish who needs to be able to turn around, or even when defending territory. An 18 inch pleco is going to be cramped in a tank that is 120 gallons, but move him to 125 and he's good for life. When fish choose territories, habits of the fish and shape of the tank will determine how many of what kind will work comfortably.

crazy4fish 01-31-2008 04:44 PM

wow that is a good point betta baby. :? i will look at stocking completely differently know! :shock: if you dont mind me asking, how long have you been into fishkeeping? in one of the other posts someone was talking about advice that you gave them. it seems that you really know a lot. :wink:

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