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Aurie 03-02-2013 12:54 AM

kickstarting my 46 gallon
 
Hey guys, it's finally time for me to get that ol 46 gallon that I got for christmas going. Well, ok I lie, it's been going since monday. I started it because my neighbor has a fish tank for his daughter and well, she thought she'd put a whole package of pepperage farm goldfish in with her fish! Well he luckily found this out but doesn't want the fish anymore. he's going to keep the aquarium cause well, it doesn't do any harm to start it up when she's older and I'd help him when the time came. Well long story short I inherited the survivors of this little escapade. 4 zebra danio. I could put them in with my other fish in my 29 but that's pretty stocked and stable. I filled up my 46 and put my seeded Eheim 2215 (was planning this in advance! w00t go me!) onto the 46 and moved some plants over and well, everything is pretty hunky-dory but I had a couple questions on the cycle/stocking.

Here goes:

I am not going to keep these fish. Probably in the next 3 weeks I'll give them a good home with a friend of mine who is a zebra danio freak but she's not able to take them at this time. So at the moment they are ammonia factories for my filter. I tested my water and it's at .25 ammonia for the past week. Never lower, never higher. I am testing 0 for both nitrites and nitrates. I'd figure with a very very seeded filter that I'd get a reading of at least one of those. Are there too little fish? Are they not making enough ammonia to keep the cycle in my filter. Are my nitrite bacteria dying off?

My final stocking on this tank will include 1 parkinsoni rainbow (I know he likes a longer tank, but if he gets too big my LFS would love to have him back and I'll get a good rate for him) and 4-5 khulii loaches as clean up and snail removal. I'd like to have raspboras as well and 1-2 more rainbows, smaller ones, maybe banded rainbows. I'm also going to bring over Sunny/Sonny my dwarf sunset gouriami or maybe get a larger one and leave him in my 29. Any thoughts to this? Also for the bottom once the tank is set up I'm going to get a pair of Apistos.


Thanks for any advice

Oh here's a picture of the tank.. light stocking on plants, I know, going to get more within 2 weeks.


http://i1252.photobucket.com/albums/...ps1707756e.jpg

jentralala 03-02-2013 01:00 AM

Only fish I can comment on are Kuhli, they really enjoy being in larger groups. Try going for 10, you have plenty of floor space.They love to 'play' and really do seem to be happier when there's lots of them in there. They'll be a lot more visible. They also really appreciate places to hide, such as oak leaves or being able to get under driftwood.

Also Kuhli won't eat snails, or even snail eggs. :(

Aurie 03-02-2013 01:23 AM

well I have a friend who's loaches eat some snails, not a lot though. If I get snails I'll attend to them as needed. I know they're not horrible and if I get a lot of them I'm over feeding and my tank generally isn't clean. I have MTS in my NPT and pond snails in my 10 gallon and they were everywhere, so I added 6 pygmy cories and snails died away from starvation :) - I'll probably start with 5 loaches, but I'm ok with adding more depending on bio load.

JDM 03-02-2013 10:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aurie (Post 1451067)
I tested my water and it's at .25 ammonia for the past week. Never lower, never higher. I am testing 0 for both nitrites and nitrates. I'd figure with a very very seeded filter that I'd get a reading of at least one of those. Are there too little fish? Are they not making enough ammonia to keep the cycle in my filter. Are my nitrite bacteria dying off?

...

Oh here's a picture of the tank.. light stocking on plants, I know, going to get more within 2 weeks.

Any ammonia is enough to get the cycle going. In fact less is better and faster anyway as anything over 1 ppm can inhibit the nitrospira (or whatever the current name is for the nitrite eaters, this is lab tested not speculation). With the plants in there, they will be using up a fair chunk of ammonia and that may be what is keeping the level steady. What exactly is a "very very seeded filter" in your books?

The bacteria don't die off, they go dormant but will reproduce as long as there is an over abundance of ammonia relative to their current numbers and capacity to consume it.

Are those water lettuce roots?

If you add more plants, even the plants you have now with a small fish load, the whole cycle becomes a non-issue anyway. The plants suck up the ammonia and do not create nitrite or nitrate in the process and the smaller bacterial colony that develops will just produce fewer of the same. You may never see a spike and the nitrates will appear much slower and in much lower quantities. Your abundance of floating plants may, in fact, use up a fair amount of the nitrates too. I have over 20 fish in a 37 gallon with lots of plants and a wide variety and I have yet to see my nitrates over 5ppm, even after a two week span between water changes. Early on I did see "non-zero" levels of ammonia.

Jeff.

Aurie 03-02-2013 01:59 PM

yes those are water lettuce roots. It's one of my favorite floating plants.
By "very seeded filter" It was a generic term for the fact that my filter was on my 29 for like 3 months before I moved it. I know some people do it for a couple days and go "ok good enough" when it really isn't. I was just mainly wondering when it might be ok to start adding the fish on my list. I wouldn't add them quickly, but a couple here or there. Just don't want a huge spike or have to do daily water changes again like I did on my 29

JDM 03-02-2013 06:45 PM

Good, 3 months is not just seeded, it's ready to go.

When you start adding, add each species in the numbers that you will end up with and leave a while between additions, couple of weeks anyway to let the tank stabilize. If you have lots of plants and a cycled filter you pretty much are at the ready.

I'm waiting for my LFS to bring some in. They almost never have floating plants.

Jeff.

Byron 03-02-2013 06:51 PM

First, with the floating plants, you will not (or should not) see any ammonia or nitrite. And nitrate will likely be zero untill the tank has a decent stocking of fish and has established, but even then nitrates might remain very low (which is very good:-)).

Now to your fish list.

Quote:

My final stocking on this tank will include 1 parkinsoni rainbow (I know he likes a longer tank, but if he gets too big my LFS would love to have him back and I'll get a good rate for him)
This is not a good idea. This species, Melanotaenia parkinsoni, like all rainbowfish is a shoaling species so it needs a group of 5-6 minimum. Considering it gets 5-6 inches in length, this means a significantly larger tank. [I won't go into the issues as to why shoaling fish must be in a group unless asked, since I have recently detailed this in several threads and you may have seen them.]

Quote:

and 4-5 khulii loaches as clean up and snail removal.
I don't think kuhli loach is particularly effective at reducing snails, nor are they clean-up fish (no fish is). If you like them as a fish, that's fine, have a group of 5-6. [More info in the profile, click the shaded name.] The absolute best clean-up crew are snails, especially Malaysian Livebearing Snails and the acute bladder snail (pond snails are very similar).

Quote:

I'd like to have raspboras as well and 1-2 more rainbows, smaller ones, maybe banded rainbows.
We're into shoaling fish here of course, with rasbora and any rainbowfish. Rasbora do best in larger groups, say 8-12, so keep this in mind as the tank space can start getting full.:-)

Quote:

I'm also going to bring over Sunny/Sonny my dwarf sunset gouriami or maybe get a larger one and leave him in my 29. Any thoughts to this?
You could have a pair (male/female) or a trio (one male/two female). But this means careful choice of other fish. Rasbora are fine, they are good with gourami generally. But rainbows depending upon species might nip, as will most danio and barb which are too active for sedate fish anyway.

Quote:

Also for the bottom once the tank is set up I'm going to get a pair of Apistos.
Generally this is fine. Some species are good in a pair, others need a harem. If spawning is intended, almost all substrate fish (loach, corys, catfish) will be trouble as they will invariably eat the eggs or the fry during darkness.

Hope this is of some assistance.

Byron.

Aurie 03-03-2013 12:43 AM

Hey Byron,
My husband and I went to a fish store today and we took pen and paper and wrote down a list of fish that we liked the temperment of and the looks, and we need to do a bit more research but I know that we are going with 1 larger gourami (not a blue) and 7 kuhli loaches and 7 "narrow wedge rasboras" (not porkchop, but similiar) .. not sure the latin name on that one. The rest is up for debate until we decide on this other list .. if you'd like I can post the list, but any fish that need a school I do 11 fish. We already own the parkinsoni and I'd like to get a few more but I know that this fish needs a huge long tank, and hopefully in 2 years I'm getting a 75 but if that doesn't pan out he'll go back to the store but my husband is attached to him. He's going to be the biggest fish in the tank.

JDM - If you can't find any shoot me a PM and I can put some in a rubbermaid, throw some tape around for good measure, put in a box and let you know what the shipping price is (I'm sure it isn't much) .. I'd imagine under $5 or so right? I'd send you some.. I always tried to get it and I got water sprite, salvinia, duckweed.. finally found the right stuff after months of asking.

Aurie 03-03-2013 01:11 AM

So I just googled all the fish we found, some get soooo big o.0 - scratched many off the list
This is my idea
1x Parkinson Rainbowfish (questionable, I know)
7x Kuhli Loach
10x Hangel Rasbora
2x Cockatoo Apisto (double red)
1x gourami
3x amano shrimp
2x danglia danio


Or

Celestial Pearl Danios
Fire Ring Danios

Byron 03-03-2013 01:03 PM

Are you aware of our profiles? Second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. All the fish listed are included. If the name used in a post is identical to the name we use in the profile, common or scientific, it will shade and form a link to that profile. But it has to be identical, that's how the system operates. Example, Hengels Rasbora or Trigonostigma hengeli. [This is a nice fish, by the way, my personal favourite of the three species in this genus.]

You can rely on the data in our profiles, since it is the consensus of ichthyologists and professional sources, compiled in most cases by me. I mention this because anyone can set up a web site and promote this or that, though it may have no foundation in scientific fact. In compiling the profile, if any knowledgeable source differed from the majority, I mentioned it; not surprising that this is very rare.

To your proposed fish species. I would not combine gourami and cichlids; both are territorial and likely to view the other as rivals.

The danio species are more active fish and thus not the best companions for sedate fish, like the gourami and cichlids (whichever). Rasbora are sedate, so they match these well.

Danio danglia is a large fish, the largest of the danio, at 4-5 inches. And being a shoaling species, it needs a group of 6+. I would not consider this in your situation (tank size, and other fish intended).

Danio tinwini (so-called fire ring) is very small, but it does have some needs that are not the most compatible with gourami, namely a bit more water flow. This is a good fish for a stream habitat, a longish tank with a bit of current. Gourami and rasbora suit ponds better.:-)

Danio margaritatus (Celestial Pearl) is best on its own, as it mentions in the profile.

Now to the Rainbow. The problem here is that on its own, a shoaling fish becomes stressed, and they usually react through either aggression or withdrawal. In either case, the fish is not in the best of condition, and it will deteriorate. This is irreversible. A scientific study last year proved for the first time [it was the first such study] that shoaling fish in groups less than five will normally increase their aggression; semi-aggressive fish became much more aggressive, and peaceful fish became slightly aggressive to aggressive. This is the majority; sometimes the fish withdraws, becoming so stressed it can't compete for food and literally wastes away. When the aggression behaviour occurs, adding more fish afterwards usually leads to disaster, because the aggressor is intolerant, ironically. It really is best to provide what the particular fish needs from the start, in terms of numbers and space, or avoid the species.

Hope this helps to explain things.

Byron.


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