Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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fishdad1 10-19-2008 09:03 PM

New tank ideas
Wow, today my buddy gave me a 46 gallon bow-front w/ a pine stand, which are in good condition, plus a bag of other goodies. So I need to know a few things if anyone would be willing to respond.

He used the tank to house about 6 red-belly piranhas. Along with the tank, he gave me a complete AquaClear 500/110 filter, an air pump, and a decent florescent light fixture, I'm not sure about the specs. on the lights. Everything seems to be in good condition, it just needs to be cleaned up from being used and then left to sit. As far as cleaning up the inside of the tank what should I use to get it back into shape?

I want to do a freshwater community setup in it with a natural-looking setup with live plants, driftwood, lacerock, and maybe some pebbles and slate. I just do not know what kind of substrate to use; sand, very small rock, or a mix of both.

I have an beginning idea of I want my stocking list to be but I would appreciate some input on what I should stock it with. I would like at least two small kribs maybe three,one male and two females, a male and female blue ram, a school of 6 trileanas corys, or maybe another species the same size, and a pleco. I don't know what kind of pleco to get, I was thinking about a butterfly, blue fin, bushynose, or a leopard, maybe someone could give me some suggestions. Also, I would appreciate some suggestions on what else I could put in with them.

I have never planted a tank before, so I am also open to suggestions on plants, because I don't want to make any newbee mistakes. Also, I was wondering if the aquaclear would be enough filtration or if I should buy a backup filter?

Cody 10-19-2008 11:56 PM

Wow, great find.

For your substrate, I would go with very small gravel. Easy to clean, and very helpful to plants. In fact, you want to do a bit of research on Eco-Complete, which is a substrate made for FW plants.

If you want Kribs, you cant have odd numbers (unless it is all females). Two of the three would pair up and attack the lesser.

Two pairs of possible breeding cichlids could be very dangerous to your other inhabitants by the way.

And, all the fish you mentioned (Cories, Pleco, Kribs, Rams) are all bottom dwellers. I would get the pleco, 6 cories, and either a pair of Rams OR Kribs.
Some Tetras would look really nice in a planted setup. My favorite are Cardinal Tetras but these swim near the bottom. I also love Lemon Tetras, and these could be a good choice. Maybe a small Angel added in, and some Hatchets on the top.
If it were me, I would add:

-2 Kribs/Rams
-6 Cories
-1 Pleco
-8 Tetras of some sort
-6 Hatchets (with a tight hood; they are known to jump).
This, with all the additions of lush plants and driftwood, would be the ideal South American Biotope. Just make sure your lights are adequate, and your are good to go.

iamntbatman 10-20-2008 01:30 AM

The stocking list Cody suggested is a good one. Make sure the pleco is one that stays on the smaller side like a clown, bristlenose or rubber lip pleco. I definitely wouldn't attempt two breeding pairs of dwarf cichlids in anything less than 90 gallons with tons of cover. Instead of the tetras you could also try some type of non-nippy barb or rasbora. You could also substitute any of the smaller non-aggressive loaches for the cories.

aunt kymmie 10-20-2008 05:57 PM

As far as cleaning the it glass or acrylic??

fishdad1 10-20-2008 06:29 PM

I thank you all, for all of the great input so far; it really is great and helpful. Incase anyone can answer me before I get a chance to look it up, what is eco-complete and where would I be able to locate it?

kym- the tank is glass

I know this will sound dumb, but I didn't think the kribs and the rams were aggressive so why would I not be able to have both. If not, could I go with a pair of one and a single of the other. Also, I have heard that rams are very sensitive to water conditions, are kribs as sensitive?

Also, could anyone let me know what to do about my filtration?

Again, a big thanks to everyone for all the great help!

aunt kymmie 10-20-2008 06:39 PM

For cleaning glass I'd use cup of ordinary white vinegar dissolved in gallon of distilled water.

I know blue rams can be sensitive. Another alternative are Bolivian Rams. I have them and haven't noticed they are sensitive at all. Not as "pretty" as the blues, but still a great fish.

fishdad1 10-20-2008 06:49 PM

I should obviously rinse it out really well afterwards right?

I know batman suggested either a clown, bristlenose, or a rubberlip. Could I use a Butterfly? I ask this because I have a clown in my daughter's 10 gallon and he is kind of disappointing because he never comes out and we never really get to see him. I was hoping for a more active and less skittish, and also peacful, plec for this tank. Also I was looking at a leopard plec, would that get too big?

aunt kymmie 10-20-2008 06:55 PM

Yes, rinse it VERY well.

I have a bristlenose who is only an inch and a half long. He's in a 100G with some very larger active tankmates and I see this little guy all the time. I've been trying to take a picture of him for about a week. When I have a camera I can't find him (of course) but other than that I see him daily.
I don't know anything about the butterfly or the leopard but I know others will!

Cody 10-20-2008 07:17 PM


Originally Posted by fishdad1 (Post 148492)

I know this will sound dumb, but I didn't think the kribs and the rams were aggressive so why would I not be able to have both. If not, could I go with a pair of one and a single of the other. Also, I have heard that rams are very sensitive to water conditions, are kribs as sensitive?

These are both Cichlids. Though they may show peaceful behaivor most of time, when they breed, they will protect their fry in any way possible. They could beat each other to the death, and all the other fish, if they both have fry at the same time. This is because of their nature.

And for your filtration, I would suggest a Canister Filter if you are going to have plants.

fishdad1 10-20-2008 08:47 PM

Cody - Any reason why you suggest gravel over sand? I was just wondering because I have a buddy who has a 75 gallon, heavily planted, tank with play sand as his substrate with black gravel sparsely mixed in. He says that that is the way to go for planted substrate.

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