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Neon1 07-03-2008 01:33 PM

Question about initial stocking using Bio Spira
I'll be setting up a 30 gallon freshwater at the end of the month. When I'm all said and done, the community I have planned(In order of introduction) is:

5-Pristella Tetras
5-Black Neon Tetras
5-Harlequin Rasbora
2-Angelicus Botia Loach (Botia Kubotai)
2-Otocinculus (When Algae begins to appear)
1- Red tail shark
1- Bolivian Ram

Since I know the benficial bacteria need ammonia to survive, I'm not sure how many fish to add in 30 gallons of water so that the bacteria that I add with Safe Start/Bio Spira and with the filter element and gravel from my cycled 10g tank can have enough to "eat" and thus not die.

One school of 5 seems like too little for a 30 gallon, so I was thinking of adding the school of Pristella and Black Neon when I add the bacteria, then check water parameters and make changes as needed until the tank became stable with those 10 before adding the school of Harlequin's. Would that be right? Or should I go with just one shool of 5?

Also, Is it recommended to add the fish first for 12-24 hours to let some C02 and stuff out and then add the bacteria, or should the bacteria be added first, or should it be in conjunction?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Little-Fizz 07-03-2008 04:35 PM

First of all I'm seeing some issues with your stocking plan.
The Loaches are best of in a group of three or more. And they also get about 5 inches big. 5+5+5= 15
The red tailed shark maxes out at 6 inches 15+6= 21
All the tetras are 1.5" So times that by 15 and you've got a whole 22.5 inches of fish.
All together theres going to be about 43.5 inches of fish in your 30 gallon tank. I'd say thats way over stocked.

I've never cycled with the bio spira, but I would really only start with 5 fish. Even if some of the added bacteria dies the 5 fish will be enough to get it started.

okiemavis 07-03-2008 05:59 PM

I agree that it's a bit overstocked, the inch-per-gallon rule can be quite inaccurate, but it seems like a pretty good one to use in this situation. Little-Fizz left out the Otos which would get your inch total up to 46.5. It's also not the most compatible- the red tail shark and bolivian ram are both territorial and this tank is too small for them to cohabitate safely. They'll also pick on the two otos and two loaches as they lack a large enough group to feel safe, which means you'll basically never see them. The loaches are too large to be kept in an adequate group in a 30 gallon tank, perhaps a smaller species would work better like Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki or Pangio kuhlii.

Also, your middle is very crowded. You should add more top dwellers and take out of of those groups of schoolers. The schoolers won't stick together when they're in such small groups in such a crowded area. I'd recommend getting rid of getting rid of one of the tetras or the rasboras and upping the other groups from 5 to 6.

SO- here's my suggested stocking:

6-Pristella Tetras OR Black Neon Tetras
6-Harlequin Rasbora (tend towards the top more than tetras)
6-Kuhli Loaches
1- Red tail shark OR Bolivian Ram

This would also leave some flexibility to add a small gourami or pleco later if you decide you want something new later.

Little-Fizz 07-03-2008 08:19 PM

Oh yeahhh!!!! I forgot about the ram and the ottos! And yeah, I don't agree with the inch per gallon. But that was just to demonstrate that the tank is over stocked.

I wouldn't really recommend any loaches for this set up. Most loaches prefer a group of 5-6 and in a 30 gallon it would really cut back your options for middle and top dwellers.

I agree with okiemavis on cutting back on the tetras too. But now that I've read okies suggestion for stocking, I rather like the idea of 6 kuhli loaches, but only if there is no red tail shark. He would simply get to big. I would definitely go for the bolivian ram, such a nice addition. Perhaps a pair?

I wouldn't bother with a pleco though.

okiemavis 07-03-2008 09:45 PM

I wouldn't add a pair if you don't want them to terrorize the tetras and such. personally, I like keeping just one (which I have), it makes it a nice happy, unstressful tank. I don't have to worry that I'll wake up one morning to find that two of my fish have decided all other life must be eliminated.

Neon1 07-04-2008 09:51 AM

Thank you for the comments.

First off, I've done my research on the loaches. The anglecus Botia is one of the most peaceful and smaller loach species. They get up to 4 inches...and only after a loooong time. I currently have a yoyo loach in a 10 gallon that's about 1 1/2 inches long. He's by himself, and couldn't seem happier. His coloring is vivd, he's always active and swiming and being a goof ball. I have him along with 7 glowlight tetras, 1 oto, and 1 dwarf gourami. Everyone swims around fine. There are no aggression problems. All the fish look healthy. No one hides in a corner or appears sick. And my bio filter is just fine. I get no ammonia reading for 7 days, which is when I do a 30% water change.

From all the research I've done of the Bolivian ram, it is very peacefull and is recommended to be put with other peacefull laid back fish. See here:

The only one I had planned to have that may cause problems, is the red tail shark. To ensure this was kept to a minimum, I've purchased several decorations that offer muiltiple cracks and crevaces and caves for everyone to call a home. If I saw a problem, I would promptly remove him and return him. My LFS accepts fish for store credit.

I also compiled this list with fish that would inhabit different areas of the tank. The tetras and rasboras would mainly keep to the mid-upper levels, where as the loaches, oto, shark and Ram would keep to the mid-lower levels.

Now, Okiemavis offers a good list instead. The only thing I would change is instead of 6 Kuhli loaches, would 3 Anglecus Botia loaches be fine? I really like that fish alot, and allthough I know it would like the company of many others, I know it will be fine by itself or in a small group. As I said, My single yo yo loach is doing fine.

I also really want oto's to eat the algae. My Loach right now doesn't bother my oto at all. And he actually swims along side my dwarf gourami.

So my modification of that list would be this:

6 Pristella Tetra's
6 Black Neons
3 Angelcus Botia Loaches
2 Oto's
1 Bolivian Ram

Perhaps a gourami down the road. How's that?

Little-Fizz 07-04-2008 10:08 AM

3 loaches is the recommended amount for a group for this species. So yes that would work... Loaches online has them listed as 5" actually, bigger. But whatever, not the point. Your still over stocked, I've only added your tetras and your loaches and your already over stocked and thats using the inch per gallon rule. You should really have more then a gallon of water per inch of fish.

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