Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   30 gallon stocking ideas (http://www.tropicalfishkeeping.com/beginner-freshwater-aquarium/30-gallon-stocking-ideas-126563/)

squishylittlefishies 01-22-2013 10:11 PM

30 gallon stocking ideas
 
My friend has an empty 30 gallon aquarium that will (eventually) be mine. I'm planning on doing sand substrate, and possibly live plants. For now I'm just brainstorming possibilities. One idea I had is doing a coldwater tank with dojo loaches and a big school or wcmm. What other coldwater fish are there(besides goldies)? That's just one possibility though, I could easily do a heated tank and have more options. I'm looking for some really unique and entertaining fish. Any ideas? Thanks a ton!

squishylittlefishies 01-22-2013 11:51 PM

Oh yes, I also have pretty hard water. If I did the coldwater thing I might include some shimp for algae?

JDM 01-23-2013 09:39 AM

Dojo loach get pretty big, too big for a 30 gallon.

Some corydora are colder water fish, but that depends on how cold you are going and how cold you can keep it in summer. There are smaller loaches too.

What's "pretty hard" in numbers (ppm or dGH)? do you know the pH? Someone is going to ask, might as well get it over with now.:roll:

Jeff.

Chesh 01-23-2013 10:14 AM

Minnows are nice, but loaches tend to prefer softer water, as a rule. JDM is right, though - most people here tend to be leery of advising on stocking without knowing exact numbers on how hard your water is. :) API makes a GH and KH test that sells for around $7, and the Master Test Kit includes a Ph test. If you don't have theses, you can try calling your local water supplier, they should be able to give you the numbers you need.

JDM 01-23-2013 10:57 AM

A few thoughts while I am waiting for a phone call here.

It is worth noting, only because I am seeing it now in my tank, hardness can reduce in the tank by, so far, as much as 25%. For me that means going from 23dGH to 17dGH in a week or so. I attribute this to the plants so it is not something that you can count on without some testing and I don't know how much of a factor my particular tank setup and stocking might play in this.

Once you have the numbers it is only a matter of going through the fish profiles here fish by fish. Choose the ones that you really want first and check that they work. Eliminate the fish that need tanks larger than yours first, then eliminate the obvious out of parameter fish (needs softer/harder/colder/hotter etc). Then go through others that match tank and water parameters and read the temperament to be sure that they are compatible with your favourite fish.

Be ruthless with this. It serves the fish better to not be stocked in a marginal situation for their health than trying to "squeeze" one in under the wire. A common one is to have fish temperature tolerances that overlap by a degree or two. Say a catfish that is good for 71F to 82F mixed with a cichlid of 80F to 86F. 81F puts them both near the edge of their tolerance already so anything else that is also not ideal just adds to the fish stress level and you are asking for problems.

Oh, watch for numbers of fish. Most corys need groups of 6 for example, and more are better. Some fish should be bonded pairs or single fish only. I think that this is as important a factor as any as the fish will not behave naturally, not that they really do in a tank anyway, but, again, too few fish can cause other sorts of stress. For schoaling fish I went with double the minimum being my minimum as long as the tank can handle it... at the very least a few over as eventually there may be die off reducing the numbers to less than optimum.

Jeff.

squishylittlefishies 01-23-2013 04:56 PM

um... as for the hardness of the water, I'm not quite sure, but i have A TON of mineral deposits on my tank walls from it! The last time it was checked, it was quite high, but I can't find the paper with numbers. Also, I've added more live plants since then and didn't take that into considderation.
My tank, unheated would be in the 70's summertime, and 60's in the winter.
But, heating can be adjusted, as can hardness(using shells or leaves etc...).so, Water parameters aside, what are some really interesting fish? Some factors that make a fish interesting to me are:
Unusual behaviors
or
unusual look: not your basic 'fish shape'
or
extreme friendliness
You know, that kind of thing. If you have a common kind of fish, eople see it and say- oh, you have fish. And you say- yup. But if youhave a fish like shellies for example who live in seashells and defend their territory, not just swim back and forth, that is a more cool fish! ( I don't actually want shellies though, but you get the idea right?)

JDM 01-23-2013 05:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by squishylittlefishies (Post 1402473)
um... as for the hardness of the water, I'm not quite sure, but i have A TON of mineral deposits on my tank walls from it! The last time it was checked, it was quite high, but I can't find the paper with numbers. Also, I've added more live plants since then and didn't take that into considderation.
My tank, unheated would be in the 70's summertime, and 60's in the winter.
But, heating can be adjusted, as can hardness(using shells or leaves etc...).so, Water parameters aside, what are some really interesting fish? Some factors that make a fish interesting to me are:
Unusual behaviors
or
unusual look: not your basic 'fish shape'
or
extreme friendliness
You know, that kind of thing. If you have a common kind of fish, eople see it and say- oh, you have fish. And you say- yup. But if youhave a fish like shellies for example who live in seashells and defend their territory, not just swim back and forth, that is a more cool fish! ( I don't actually want shellies though, but you get the idea right?)

It's nice if you don't have to adjust the hardness, makes water changes easier and more likely to happen, and as I found out, easier to deal with water emergencies quickly and effectively.

I think that if you are interested in particular fish, get what you like, don't worry about what "people" might like.

I am happy watching our barbs chase each other around and defend their territory from each other. I thought they were going to be a typical schooling behaviour fish and they are not at all. People come over and really don't see the intricacies that you imagine them to. They see fish and say "ooo, fish". They see interesting fish and they still just say "ooo, fish".

Jeff.

squishylittlefishies 01-23-2013 06:31 PM

[quote=JDM;1402491

I think that if you are interested in particular fish, get what you like, don't worry about what "people" might like.

I am happy watching our barbs chase each other around and defend their territory from each other. I thought they were going to be a typical schooling behaviour fish and they are not at all. People come over and really don't see the intricacies that you imagine them to. They see fish and say "ooo, fish". They see interesting fish and they still just say "ooo, fish".

Jeff.[/QUOTE]

Yes... but I see those intricacies. It's not so much about what other people like so much as what will keep me fascinated for a long period of time. One of the reasons i love the dojo loaches is they fit ALL my interest zones. They don't look like ordinary fish, they have unusual behaviors, and they don't mind handling or extra attention.
So, any ideas?

JDM 01-23-2013 06:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by squishylittlefishies (Post 1402599)
Yes... but I see those intricacies. It's not so much about what other people like so much as what will keep me fascinated for a long period of time.

I am finding that the whole interaction between fish, plants and water fascinating.

If you don't mind the hassles these guys are fun, interesting and smart. My daughter really wants them until I showed her their preferred diet.

Dwarf Puffer or Figure 8 Puffer.

There are so many interesting fish to choose from. If you like cichlids, the cockatoo dwarf cichlid would let you have a group of 1male and three females. Water is pretty average.

There are some cool looking catfish but I don't know about personalities of any other than the ever popular corydoras. Upside down catfish are cool and fit.

The loaches are popular but most get too large for a 30 gallon, your dojo loach needs 48".

African butterfly fish ... you could have two of those with some cats or Cory's for the bottom.

Just surf the profiles here or do some online searches for freshwater aquarium fish and see what catches your eye, then research it a bit. It's not hard to find information but I have found what is here to be among the best quality.

Jeff

squishylittlefishies 01-23-2013 07:24 PM

Wow! great ideas! I have a dp allready in a smaller tank though. love him!How many upsidedown cats could i fit in a 30 gal if I did just them? Can you keep other fishes with the butterflies, because it would be kind of boring to have JUST those guys, cause they only use the very top. All the things you rreccomended are very cool! exactly what i had in mind!


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