Aquatic Compatibility Question
Hey everyone, new here and had a couple quick questions that I cant seem to find anywhere...
I'm currently running a 29 gallon tank with an Aqua-Tek 30-60 filter (330GPH), & 75w Auto-heater set to 76F. I've had the following fish for about 2 months living together now:
3 Red Phantom Tetras
1 Rainbow Shark
6 Tiger Barbs
1 Cory Catfish
The Rainbow Shark seems to be good friends with the Cory Cat, and even though it's territorial and a bit aggressive to the other fish, the shark doesn't chase the Cory and he and the catfish share the same hideout (a giant cave surrounded by flowers), and they scavenge the bottom of the tank together.
The rainbow shark does chase the heck out of the Tetra's whenever they get near his hideout, and the tiger barbs seem to enjoy instigating the chases, though the barbs tend to keep to themselves and fight amongst each other while not aggravating the shark. I was surprised to see that there hasn't been any fin-nipping.
One thing I have noticed is that the Tiger Barbs seem to like following you when you are in front of the glass, and move with you if you move side to side, and also seem to know when it's feeding time, as they all swim to the top before I even open the lid or drop food in.
In about 5 months I will be moving and will be purchasing a larger tank. (55G)
The questions I have are:
1) How long will it take on average for the Rainbow Shark to outgrow the 29G and require a 55G?
2) By the looks of things, I wouldn't say my tank seems overcrowded, but, is it?
( The water is clear and I do regular maintenance every other week.)
3) Is it likely that this combination of fish will ever cause a problem in the foreseeable future?
4) Would it be OK to get a couple Oto Catfish for algae cleanup duty?
5) Would it also be OK to buy a couple Ghost Shrimp (1 or 2), or will the Shark harass them to no end?
6) Should an air bubbler be installed or is this alright without one?
I have not kept rainbowsharks, so not sure how fast it will grow, do keep an eye on it because they are known to be aggressive.
I think your stocking sounds ok. If I was going to add anything, I would get the cory some friends. They like being in groups. The tetras are also schooling fish and would feel more comfortable in a group of 5 or 6, thats if you do not see any harm coming their way from the shark.
I may pick up two more tetra's, would it be ok to get a different kind of tetra? Like black phantoms? Or will they only school with their own kind?
I'm ditching the idea of the shrimp, due to the large 30-60 filter I have running there is to much opportunity for them to go crawling out of the opening in the back of the tank.
I thought about getting the Cory some friends, but he is extremely active and it looks like he has a great time swimming with the shark. I'm not sure how the shark would respond to having more Cory.
I also want to switch over my substrate from small gravel to silica sand this week, as I'm not a fan of the gravel look... Would it be easier to drain the tank halfway, then swap the gravel & sand or just do it while it's full?
Any idea's or suggestions on what kind of plants would grow well in silica? I don't have a major lighting setup, a simple 20W fluorescent.
I would get tetras of the same kind.
You may want to only change out part of the gravel at a time, all at once could throw your cycle off. I would do it on water change days when some of the water is removed. It will make the tank cloudy for a few days.
Anubias, java moss, and java fern will do well with low lighting.
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