Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources (
-   Beginner Freshwater Aquarium (
-   -   South American Tank (

tinytetra 01-22-2013 02:33 PM

South American Tank
Hi there,

I have a planted 42 gallon (100x40x40cm), mainly Echinodorus sp. with some Brazilian Pennywort, Helanthium tenellum and Amazon Frogbit - waiting for them all to grow in a bit as I bought them online and they are a bit worse for wear from a weekend in the post office! I dose Flourish 2x weekly and have added root tabs around the swords. The substrate is play sand and there are 2 large pieces of bogwood in there.

My question is a stocking one, I want to do a South American themed tank but am unsure of actual numbers of fish that I can have in this tank.

My plan so far:
~ 15 Neon Tetra (I already have 7)
~ 10 Brilliant Rummy Nose Tetra
~ 10 Corydoras sp. (my LFS has an amazing range of corys so I was thinking of having 2 types, 5 of each, totalling 10?)
~ 1-2 Bolivian Ram
~ 1 Leopard Frog Pleco L134 (LFS also has some beautiful examples of these and has done for a while, hence the specific choice - will it eat my plants though?)

I also love Marble Hatchetfish, Emperor Tetra, Whiptail Catfish

I am interested to what you think of these numbers - Aqadvisor says OK but I am reluctant to trust a computer programme when there is so much experience to be found here!

Too many fish? More fish? Can any of the extras I mentioned be incorporated?

Just a note on the Neons, I realise that Cardinal Tetra may be a better choice but these were the first fish I bought for my smaller tank and I felt that although they were ok in there, they would be happier in a bigger tank in a bigger group and so have moved them over :) surprisingly they are the original 7 I brought home in August - no frail tetra in this house! :lol:

The tank:

Apologies for the dodgy photo and thanks :)

tinytetra 01-22-2013 03:25 PM

NB: dGH is 8 and pH is 6.6

Byron 01-22-2013 04:17 PM

What a nice aquarium this is going to become as the plants establish and grow, and with the fish. Water parameters are perfect too.:-D

I would increase the rummys, they are always better with more; fifteen would be my aim.

Marble hatchetfish would be good, no less than 15 here too. Just keep the tank well covered, you know why.;-)

The Emperor I would not include, not with this combination of fish. I have a group of Emperors in my more active tank, and they are better suited there than in a tank with what are sedate fish; I had to move mine for this very reason. The rummys are the most active swimmers here, but even they are relatively calm by comparison to Emperors.

Whiptail catfish are very nice, they are extremely peaceful, and add some "unusual" interest, always making me think prehistoric. The common smaller species in our profile, Rineloricaria parva, is the one you want. Or for something different, the red variant, in our profiles as Red Lizard Whiptail. I have a trio of these in with one R. parva, they go their own way.

The pleco, now described as Peckoltia compta is a fish I have not had, but from what I can find out it should be OK with plants. It is primarily carnivorous, not touching algae much if at all. Gets 4-5 inches. Best on its own, as it is territorial. Peaceful with other fish. However, one big drawback here: it needs a decent water current, as it occurs in moderate to fast-flowing streams over rocky substrates. All the other fish are quiet water, so this is not a good match. And, such fish can be a problem with sand, rearranging it and uprooting plants in the process.

Hope this is of some help.


tinytetra 01-22-2013 05:02 PM

Good point regarding the pleco and water flow, I hadn't picked up on that, perhaps not a good fit in this tank then!

15 Neons
15 Rummys
15 Marble Hatchets
10 Corys
1-2 Bolivians
1 Whiptail Cat (or more?)

as a revised list then maybe?

Byron 01-22-2013 05:42 PM


Originally Posted by tinytetra (Post 1401097)
Good point regarding the pleco and water flow, I hadn't picked up on that, perhaps not a good fit in this tank then!

15 Neons
15 Rummys
15 Marble Hatchets
10 Corys
1-2 Bolivians
1 Whiptail Cat (or more?)

as a revised list then maybe?

That's fine. You can have 1, 2 or 3 whiptails, up to you. Just make sure it is the smaller species, some of the others get large.

Forgot to mention on the Bolivian previously, it is fine alone (1 fish, male preferably as they are a bit more colourful), or in a pair. But it must be a bonded pair [I'll explain if you ask] or there will be trouble.

tinytetra 01-23-2013 01:08 AM

Yes that's fine about the Bolivians, I was going to see if if could definitely spot a bonded pair in the LFS tank and if not just get 1 to be on the safe side :)

JDM 01-23-2013 08:51 AM

This is one nice tank.

While there is nothing wrong with the setup there are a few things I might mention that have nothing to do with fish stocking, sort of my aesthetic views.

Those plants on the right look awfully arranged, nice neat rows, which is probably optimal for the plants and lighting but really looks "gardened". I'd suggest moving a few about so they are more scattered looking or even in groups. Perhaps it won't be an issue later as they fill in but the arrangement detracts from the really great wood piece... the linearity draws the eye to the right first. They look like they will get reasonably tall so even moving them off farther to the right to allow for more ground cover plants in the middle to give you an open water space and a visual break from wood to tall green.

If you have more sand left I would suggest considering pouring it (really slowly, or even setting it in as it will flow anyway) in the rear right corner to bring the sand level up to 3' - 4" and letting it settle from the back corner to the level you have now at the front. This would give some dimension to the bottom. Moving the plants onto this slope will help hold the sand in place as it will tend to flow over time... some sand rearranging might be necessary long term but the plant roots will stabilize it somewhat.

Attaching some green to the wood would be nice too, java moss, java fern come to mind quickly (only because I have them) but there are others that could be attached to enhance the woodscape... even some small crpyts underneath the wood would be cool and still leave the bottom open for fish to move through easily.

I'd love to get my hands in that tank and play in the sand with a plant budget... and more sand.


tinytetra 01-24-2013 10:10 AM

Thanks for your thoughts on the set up and stocking guys, I find it difficult to see issues with aquascaping myself due to having spent too long staring at the tank :lol:

I had a little play about last night with your ideas in mind JDM and have indeed moved some of the taller plants over to the right into more of a group and banked the sand higher in that corner (didn't have spare so just worked with what I have).. it does look more natural - and the Neons seem to like it more - they were doing their little spawning dance over there this morning ;-)
The foreground plants seem to look lined up one way or another however I place them so I will just have to wait for them to grow in a little I think :-D

Any thoughts on what order best to add the proposed fish? I am eager to get some Corys (love those little guys) but I understand it's better to add bottom dwellers later as this is where more of the toxins accumulate if there are any present - is this true or just a rumour?

tinytetra 01-24-2013 10:15 AM

ps: there is some 'Fissidens Fontanus' tied onto the wood (up and left from the reddish plant in front) but it is a little sorry for itself at the moment - new shoots are coming but I'm awaiting the day it looks like the pictures I find on the internet :roll: lol

JDM 01-24-2013 10:33 AM

Pics, pics, post more pics.:-D


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:42 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome