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NoahG 11-12-2012 02:12 PM

Stock Plan for 30-Gallon Cube: Need Some Second Opinions
 
For a while now I have been idly trying to work out a livestock plan for my 30-gallon Oceanic Cube, which I'm taking some advice I was given and will be doing a planted community tank with it a little ways down the road (ultimately I would like to attempt saltwater with this tank, but that's a long way down the road). At the same time that I was given that encouragement to do a planted community it was suggested that I incorporate some loaches, in particular the Dwarf Loach or Zebra Loach.

I came across some Zebra Loaches while browsing a store and these guys really caught my interest, so I was considering a shoal of perhaps 6 of these.

Recently I've also seen the Opaline Blue Gourami in a couple of places and these too have really caught my attention (typically I'm a little indifferent to gouramis for myself, aesthetically speaking, but an Opaline with good, strong marbling is pretty gorgeous), so I was thinking one of these as well. I've toyed a little bit with a male and one or two females, but I'm not sure I really want to go that route.

So, first question would be whether a planted 30-gal Oceanic Cube (AqAdvisor provides these for dimensions: 19.5"x20"x17.5") would be all right for approximately 6 Zebra Loaches and we'll say one Opaline Blue Gourami?

I know it's not 36", but would this set up be suitable for that stock? If so, any recommendations for a third species to sort of "fill in" the mid-level space of the tank? Or is that asking a bit much for a cube?

If these won't work for this tank then I guess it's back to the drawing board once again.

Byron 11-12-2012 04:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NoahG (Post 1308109)
For a while now I have been idly trying to work out a livestock plan for my 30-gallon Oceanic Cube, which I'm taking some advice I was given and will be doing a planted community tank with it a little ways down the road (ultimately I would like to attempt saltwater with this tank, but that's a long way down the road). At the same time that I was given that encouragement to do a planted community it was suggested that I incorporate some loaches, in particular the Dwarf Loach or Zebra Loach.

I came across some Zebra Loaches while browsing a store and these guys really caught my interest, so I was considering a shoal of perhaps 6 of these.

Recently I've also seen the Opaline Blue Gourami in a couple of places and these too have really caught my attention (typically I'm a little indifferent to gouramis for myself, aesthetically speaking, but an Opaline with good, strong marbling is pretty gorgeous), so I was thinking one of these as well. I've toyed a little bit with a male and one or two females, but I'm not sure I really want to go that route.

So, first question would be whether a planted 30-gal Oceanic Cube (AqAdvisor provides these for dimensions: 19.5"x20"x17.5") would be all right for approximately 6 Zebra Loaches and we'll say one Opaline Blue Gourami?

I know it's not 36", but would this set up be suitable for that stock? If so, any recommendations for a third species to sort of "fill in" the mid-level space of the tank? Or is that asking a bit much for a cube?

If these won't work for this tank then I guess it's back to the drawing board once again.

I believe this combo would be better in a longer tank, say a 3-foot. And I'm thinking more of the Blue Gourami [the Opaline is a variant of the same species) than the loaches. Male gourami are territorial, and this fish can attain 5-6 inches. A trio of one male and two female would be best, but this is pushing it in the tank you mention.


The loach should be fine. I have a group of these loaches, Botia striata, in my 4-foot 90g along with a group of Botia kubotai. They would be fine in your tank, with lots of chunks of Malaysian Driftwood. This wood often has tunnels throughout, and these loaches just love this. I see them disappear in one tunnel and come out from another, and they play tag in and out. They also spend much more time off the substrate than many other loach species, so a good choice for a cube-type tank with some standing vertical chunks of wood. A fine gravel or sand substrate is good.

Some suitable upper fish with the loaches might be one of the peaceful medium barb, say the Black Ruby Barb? Or one or two species of medium rasbora? Barb can be more active, and normally I would suggest length over height for the tank, but this species in my experience is less of a length swimmer and more "all over the place" active. I have them in with my loaches and they are fine.

Byron.

NoahG 11-12-2012 04:38 PM

Thanks, Byron, I was hoping you might stop by.

Just to be sure I'm understanding correctly: you'd recommend against the Blue Gourami for this tank even if it's a single gourami? Or is keeping a single gourami advised against as well?

I have read the profile a few times before, but that bit was a little unclear to me.

I will say I'm glad to hear about the loaches as I was really hoping to be able to do them in this tank; I love the look of driftwood as well, so that works, and I'll certainly keep that in mind (just have to find a good source of Malaysian driftwood that I like).

I had actually considered the Black Ruby Barb as I like the look of those fish, and they would kind of off set the other colors going on in the tank, but I wasn't sure how well they would add to the mix. I'll definitely have to take a closer look at these then. As for the rasbora, are there any certain species you would recommend in particular? I do like rasboras, but it seemed that most of the ones I was clicking on were either too large (6") or too small (less than 2") -- I already plan to do Harlequins in another tank, so if there's something a little different that would be best.

Back to the Blue Gourami, so would something like a 20-gallon long work? Or should I really keep an eye out for, say, at least a 36" 30-gallon when I get these? If a single is advised against, would a cory cat species be all right with a trio? Or, well, I guess what would be some good tankmates (if any) for a male and a couple of female gouramis?

Byron 11-12-2012 05:57 PM

Quote:

Just to be sure I'm understanding correctly: you'd recommend against the Blue Gourami for this tank even if it's a single gourami? Or is keeping a single gourami advised against as well?
A single BG is OK for space, but in my view this is going to limit other fish. These guys can get quite nasty. I watched 2 of them corner a neon and devour it in seconds in a store tank, and more than one member has lamented having to get rid of a single BG when it started attacking other fish.

Quote:

I will say I'm glad to hear about the loaches as I was really hoping to be able to do them in this tank; I love the look of driftwood as well, so that works, and I'll certainly keep that in mind (just have to find a good source of Malaysian driftwood that I like).
Petsmart (at least where I live) carries this, as does another chain called Petland. You can also get it online, but the only problem online is that you don't see exactly what you're getting. This is real wood so every piece is unique, and I look through them at the stores tofind a suitably-sized chunk with lots of tunnels.

Quote:

I had actually considered the Black Ruby Barb as I like the look of those fish, and they would kind of off set the other colors going on in the tank, but I wasn't sure how well they would add to the mix. I'll definitely have to take a closer look at these then. As for the rasbora, are there any certain species you would recommend in particular? I do like rasboras, but it seemed that most of the ones I was clicking on were either too large (6") or too small (less than 2") -- I already plan to do Harlequins in another tank, so if there's something a little different that would be best.
There are several rasbora species in our profiles, have a look and see what you like. Just avoid the dwarf varieties. The Black Ruby Barb would be nice, I have become very fond of this species. Very peaceful for barbs (some can be nippy), always on the move...they even eat brush algae though only a tiny bit.:-)

Quote:

Back to the Blue Gourami, so would something like a 20-gallon long work? Or should I really keep an eye out for, say, at least a 36" 30-gallon when I get these? If a single is advised against, would a cory cat species be all right with a trio? Or, well, I guess what would be some good tankmates (if any) for a male and a couple of female gouramis?
A 3-foot tank for a trio should work, if you get them fairly young and they grow into it there may be less of a problem. One never knows though, as mentioned above. But generally substrate fish are OK with them. A 3-foot 50g with the additional depth (front to back) would be better. I have a 3-foot 33g, and a trio of 4-5 inch fish considering their temperament... maybe.

NoahG 11-12-2012 09:48 PM

I did know that gouramis could be rather aggressive (I've heard several stories myself of them killing their tankmates, sometimes fish one wouldn't expect them to and sometimes actually wiping out an entire tank), so I was trying to keep that in mind with the remaining stock (it seems to me that a lot of the loaches can hold their own against other fish). If it won't work with the Zebra Loaches though then I'll just hold off on the BG until I can get and set up a more appropriate tank.

That's the problem I've been encountering with the Malaysian wood: I can find it online, but hardly any place will show pictures of what you're actually buying and even then it's difficult to get a good idea. Driftwood is definitely something that I like to look at in person as well, because sometimes it looks good but just doesn't suit. The PetSmart I work at only has Mopani, the same with the Petco down the road -- I'll have to check with some relatively nearby PetSmarts to see if they carry it, and check a new local place as well. Hopefully I can find someone that I can drive to and take a look at their stock.

I guess I'll browse through and click all of the rasboras then and check them out, see what I can find. I do like the dwarf varieties, but definitely wasn't considering them for this tank/stock. Though what I'm learning about the Black Rubies, I might just go with a school of them. I don't have any other tank idea in the works that barbs would fit into, so maybe I'll fit them into this one. They certainly sound like interesting fish.

Well, if a BG is out for this tank, then it looks like I have yet another tank that I'd like to set up someday. Would any 3' tank with an 18" depth work then? I remember reading that a shorter water column height may help or encourage breeding, and given that their anabantoids I imagine that the surface area is key over the height, but I don't want to assume since you mentioned the 50 specifically.

Byron 11-13-2012 10:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NoahG (Post 1308707)
I did know that gouramis could be rather aggressive (I've heard several stories myself of them killing their tankmates, sometimes fish one wouldn't expect them to and sometimes actually wiping out an entire tank), so I was trying to keep that in mind with the remaining stock (it seems to me that a lot of the loaches can hold their own against other fish). If it won't work with the Zebra Loaches though then I'll just hold off on the BG until I can get and set up a more appropriate tank.

That's the problem I've been encountering with the Malaysian wood: I can find it online, but hardly any place will show pictures of what you're actually buying and even then it's difficult to get a good idea. Driftwood is definitely something that I like to look at in person as well, because sometimes it looks good but just doesn't suit. The PetSmart I work at only has Mopani, the same with the Petco down the road -- I'll have to check with some relatively nearby PetSmarts to see if they carry it, and check a new local place as well. Hopefully I can find someone that I can drive to and take a look at their stock.

I guess I'll browse through and click all of the rasboras then and check them out, see what I can find. I do like the dwarf varieties, but definitely wasn't considering them for this tank/stock. Though what I'm learning about the Black Rubies, I might just go with a school of them. I don't have any other tank idea in the works that barbs would fit into, so maybe I'll fit them into this one. They certainly sound like interesting fish.

Well, if a BG is out for this tank, then it looks like I have yet another tank that I'd like to set up someday. Would any 3' tank with an 18" depth work then? I remember reading that a shorter water column height may help or encourage breeding, and given that their anabantoids I imagine that the surface area is key over the height, but I don't want to assume since you mentioned the 50 specifically.

Sometimes what might work and what will work can be very different. I would suggest going with more space for a trio of Blue Goourami (or any of the colour variants). The length is the same, 3 feet, between the 12-inch wide 33g and the 18-inch wide 50g, but that additional space is significant.

NoahG 11-13-2012 11:14 AM

Not sure if I made my original question clear, apologies. What I meant was whether the height of the tank was significant, or could I go with a 40g or 30g breeder (if I can actually find the latter): they're 36"x18" but 16" and 12" in height, respectively, compared to the 18" for the 50g.

So I guess I'm asking, is the height of the tank important for the BGs so long as the length and the depth are the same?

I did understand what you were saying with the additional depth; didn't mean to make it seem like I was trying to get around the advice.

Byron 11-13-2012 02:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NoahG (Post 1309061)
Not sure if I made my original question clear, apologies. What I meant was whether the height of the tank was significant, or could I go with a 40g or 30g breeder (if I can actually find the latter): they're 36"x18" but 16" and 12" in height, respectively, compared to the 18" for the 50g.

So I guess I'm asking, is the height of the tank important for the BGs so long as the length and the depth are the same?

I did understand what you were saying with the additional depth; didn't mean to make it seem like I was trying to get around the advice.

Generally speaking, gourami are good fish for the taller tanks like the cubes and similar. This is because they are sedate fish, and don't need swimming room. They are happy to remain in the top half of the tank, near the surfac e, browsing among floating plants (essential).

But aside from this, one has to consider the temperament, and that is where the length becomes important. Males are territorial, and they can be rough on females. Which is why two females to a male is better, but with length so the females can escape the male. In a cube that does not have length, the female has little space to hide. The longer the tank, the more she will be able to get out of the male's way.

Exactly the same issue occurs with cichlids, thinking the South and Central American species primarily.

NoahG 11-13-2012 05:56 PM

So am I safe to think that a 30-gallon breeder tank (36"x18"x12", again if I can find one) would be just as fine as far as the gouramis go as a taller 50-gallon?

Would the height be more of a consideration as far as adding tankmates (such as the taller the height, the better for the tankmates)?

Or am I off-base here?

Byron 11-13-2012 07:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NoahG (Post 1309500)
So am I safe to think that a 30-gallon breeder tank (36"x18"x12", again if I can find one) would be just as fine as far as the gouramis go as a taller 50-gallon?

Would the height be more of a consideration as far as adding tankmates (such as the taller the height, the better for the tankmates)?

Or am I off-base here?

I have a 33g with those dimensions. I've seen 50g that are another 6 inches front to back (18 instead of 12) [and might be a couple inches deeper] and I think that would be better if space permits. This is solely for the gourami themselves. Tankmates are not in this equation.


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