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naamahbengals 06-13-2008 02:49 AM

The Abrupt Start of a Semi-Tropical 45gallon Tank - Help!
So I have a 45 gallon tank that a friend, as a gift, filled with tap water (and nothing else, no sand, plants...) and placed in two 6-inch Dragon Goby and one 4-inch Bala Shark. This tank hasn't been cycled, etc - though I did happen to already have de-chlor, which I quickly added.

Now what do I do? I know a tank is supposed to be 'prepped' first, but I didn't have the chance, and I don't want to offend my unknowning friend by returning the fish. What else should I add to the water? Do they preference for sand or pebble bottom? Any other tips?

On another, very important note - those three fish look very small wandering the tank themselves. After I make sure the tank is running well, what other fish can I add? I would like to make it a well rounded tank - can I add freshwater crabs? Pictus Catfish? Motoro Stingray? Etc?

Thanks a bunch! And sorry if I don't know much about keeping a tank...

iamntbatman 06-13-2008 03:04 AM

The bala prefers to be in schools and since it's a fast swimmer and grows to sixteen inches, it would be better if you just returned the fish.

The gobies will also grow to over a foot in length and would do better in a larger aquarium. The gobies also do much better in brackish water than fresh water. The fish probably came from a freshwater dealer tank, so you would have to increase the salinity of the water very slowly over a long period of time. These gobies are generally peaceful towards other fish but can be territorial towards one another. They can also be difficult to feed since they are nearly blind and won't accept most prepared foods. I would not call a dragon goby a beginner fish.

Keep in mind that if the aquarium was a gift, the vast majority of the expense of the gift was the aquarium itself and not the fish in it. I think you need to approach your friend and say that after doing some research, you don't think the fish are quite appropriate for the aquarium. With a 45g tank, you still have a lot of options for a lot of really interesting fish. If you're into bigger fish instead of smaller community fish, a 45g is large enough to house some of the mid-sized cichlids such as convicts.

Out of the other options you mentioned, crabs and stingrays are not really an option. There aren't really any true freshwater crabs that can stay submerged and freshwater stingrays get very, very large and are difficult to care for. Pictus catfish, however, get to be about 6" long so should be a good fit for your aquarium. Keep in mind that they are predatory so I wouldn't recommend housing them with any fish small enough to fit in their mouths.

naamahbengals 06-13-2008 04:20 PM

Will do.
Hi - I will probably return the fish, then. So now.... what should I put in the tank? I would prefer to have a semi-aggressive mix (as I already have a community tank), but I had a fully cichlid tank for about ten years, so I am a bit burned out on those. I know there is a fish that looks like an Oscar, but with black and blue coloring (don't know the name, and it is about 2-3 inches long in the store at the moment), that I would like to have for sure, so I need to match my fish to that.

And I will make sure to cycle it first!

tophat665 06-14-2008 04:27 PM

OK, 45 gallon, 3' long by 1' deep by 2' high. Same surface area as a 30 gallon. Lots of volume, but not a ton of swimming space or footprint. That is a poser. So you either need smaller active fish or larger less active fish. Also, that's going to hold fewer fish than you would think from the volume. Stock it like a 30.

Aggressive, but burnt out on cichlids? Maybe anabantids of some sort. Betta pugnax, maybe. Fill the tank up to about 30 gallons and plant bamboo, and let it grow out of the tank?

Just a thought. Those high tanks put me at a loss.

okiemavis 06-14-2008 04:52 PM

Aww, high tanks aren't so bad. It's perfect for mid-level shoaling fish, especially smaller or less active ones.

I say a shoal of cories or kuhli loaches on the bottom as well as a cool pleco. Middle can be a giant shoal of celestial pearl danios. Endlers would look great as well.
The top can be honey or pearl gourami, halfbeaks, hatchetfish. Obviously not all of them as that would overstock it.

naamahbengals 06-14-2008 05:13 PM

Hi - actually, my tank is 4' long, 1' deep and 1.5' high. Would that make a difference? I was thinking -

6 Kuhlii Loach
1 Spotted Rafael Catfish (small)
1 Pictus Catfish (small)
2 Pearl Gourami
5 Barbs (of a lesser nippy type - suggestions?)
1 Mystery Snail

okiemavis 06-14-2008 05:17 PM

Well, you could do a really cool river biotope if you want...

But I still sticky by my previous suggestion.

tophat665 06-14-2008 05:28 PM


Originally Posted by naamahbengals
Hi - actually, my tank is 4' long, 1' deep and 1.5' high. Would that make a difference? I was thinking -

6 Kuhlii Loach
1 Spotted Rafael Catfish (small)
1 Pictus Catfish (small)
2 Pearl Gourami
5 Barbs (of a lesser nippy type - suggestions?)
1 Mystery Snail

A long tank makes all the difference in the world. You've got two threads running on this tank unless I miss my guess, so I'll direct you over to the other thread for fish suggestions.

naamahbengals 06-14-2008 05:45 PM

Ok- maybe we can close this thread? I sold the fish the thread was started for, and started over, so...

Lupin 06-14-2008 09:48 PM

Closed per OP request.;)

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