Looking for help stocking an aquarium
I am somewhat new to fish keeping and am looking to start an aquarium. I am looking at a 36 bow front tank and am considering getting the following fish for it:
1 Acei Cichlid
3 Zebra Danios
1 Clown Pleco
1 Pictus Catfish
1 Rainbow Shark
I have tried to mix different level swimmers, a variety of interesting species of like sizes, and a variety of personalities in this tank. My hope is that being of similar sizes (except the danios, which should rely on speed), the fish will leave each other alone.
With this grouping, I have a few questions:
1. Will they play nicely together? If not, what needs to go, and what comparable fish could replace it?
2. Will the tank comfortably hold them all when they reach maturity? If not, how many/what should I remove?
3. If the zebra danios will survive this semi-aggressive tank, and if the tank will hold all these fish comfortably, would you get 1-2 more danios to create a slightly larger school?
4. How would you recommend decorating it? An even blend of rocks and plants? Heavy rocks/plants? Dense/open?
Thank you for all your input and help. I am trying to create a beautiful habitat for my 3 year old daughter and me to enjoy as a "family" pet to care for and add beauty. And she loves fish!
Hi and welcome to TFK
I'd say leave the acei,angels and pictus and bump up the danios to 10.
The acei will kill all the other fish.
The angels could work if they are a mated pair,but the will likely eat the danios,and if there not a mated pair one will bully the other.
Pictus get to 15cm, and they like to be in groups of 3+ and there very active.
The rainbow should be fine,but don't get similar looking fish.
The clown pleco should also be fine.
I'd swap the acei for 7 more danios,the angels for 2 pearl gouramis and the pictus for 6-8 bronze and/or peppered corydoras.
I'd also leave the rainbow shark,but if you really like it,it should be fine with the other fish.
Let the tank go trough the cycle or you'll kill all your fish.
And just remember not to add all the fish at the same time,buy each group of fish and wait 2weeks before you get the next.
The Acei is the fish I really am interested in keeping. Is there another Cichlid that might work instead? Also, what if I remove 1 angelfish?
Angels are generally schooling fish, and while people debate strongly on whether or not they can be kept singularly, I look to how this fish behaves in the wild. In the wild, this fish stays in huge schools with its own kind. It has also been shown that an angel kept alone experiences a lot of stress, which can lead to a lowered immune system and aggression.
Angels do best when kept in larger groups, which usually means a 55 gallon tank at the minimum, as these fish get quite large. (6 inches long, 6-8 inches tall.) The only other way would be to keep a mated pair, and then it's best if they are the only fish in the tank, as they can become very aggressive to other tank mates to keep their eggs and fry safe.
People have and do keep angels alone, but in my personal opinion it's not what nature intended for this fish.
A site that may help you is aqadvisor. Now, this is just a tool and can't be used as gospel truth, so take what it says with a grain of salt, and do extra research on the fish it says are compatible.
Thank you all for your input!
What about simplifying some and switching out the catfish for a bristlenose pleco and taking out the angels and having something like:
1 Yellow Lab
1 Rainbow Shark
1 Bristlenose Pleco
5 Zebra Danios
I could also add a Jewel and take out the pleco.
How did all of you decide between fresh and salt. Had many fresh. But now can't decide after sometime with my last fresh. Never had a salt
For me its simple freshwater setups are way cheaper to setup in the beginning! LoL if money was not a problem I would definitely have at least one saltwater tank.
I put all of your fish into AQ Advisor. Now, I didn't know what filter you planned on, so I just used an Aquaclear 50. Doesn't really matter, but just to put that out there.
I'm not going to put personal advice here because frankly I've never kept Cichlids, so I don't know their exact care and haven't really researched them. Here is what AQ Advisor says about your stock.
Warning: Pseudotropheus Acei is not recommended for your tank - it may eventually outgrow your tank space, potentially reaching up to 5 inches.
Warning: At least 5 x Pseudotropheus Acei are recommended in a group.
Warning: Pseudotropheus Acei is not recommended to be with Rainbow Shark - mbuna species should not be mixed with other groups.
Warning: Pseudotropheus Acei is not recommended to be with Zebra Danio - mbuna species should not be mixed with other groups.
Warning: Yellow Lab is not recommended for your tank - it may eventually outgrow your tank space, potentially reaching up to 4.5 inches.
Warning: At least 5 x Yellow Lab are recommended in a group.
Warning: Yellow Lab is not recommended to be with Rainbow Shark - mbuna species should not be mixed with other groups.
Warning: Yellow Lab is not recommended to be with Zebra Danio - mbuna species should not be mixed with other groups.
Note: Rainbow Shark may jump - lids are recommended.
Warning: Rainbow Shark is not recommended for your tank - it may eventually outgrow your tank space, potentially reaching up to 6 inches.
Note: Bristlenose Pleco needs driftwood.
Note: You have selected mbuna species. These species in general, need to be overstocked to control aggression (over 100% stocking level). Make sure your filtration is sufficient and keep up with water changes.
Again, this is a tool, but it gives us a fairly good idea of possible issues within this tank.
Also, upon research, those Cichlids, (especially the Acei) get BIG. In a 36 gallon tank, that's less than 3 feet, I honestly don't think fish larger than 3 inches would be very comfy.
Hey, TCS! Welcome to TFK ^.^
I think it's so cool that you want to start a tank up for and with your daughter. You'll both love it, for sure! My tank began when my then 1 and 3 year old begged me into it at the pet shop one day. I'm really glad you were wise enough to find us first, because I took the input that the fish shop gave me, and they were so wrong. It was really heartbreaking to have to bring back or re-home fish that we had already named and the girls were attached to because they just weren't a good fit with each-other or our tank. There are so many fish in the (freshie) sea, they don't all get along. Stocking with cichlids, particularly, is a bit of an art-form, as they're territorial and so tend to be aggressive. Soft-water angels are easier than hard-water Acei - but these two can't live together in the same tank.
Depending on you're tanking experience level, I'm just going to throw out there a suggestion for some of the most common and colorful fish around - lovely little Platy, or guppies. Livebearers are very active, colorful, SUPER easy to keep for a beginner, and little ones LOVE them (I do too!). I recentley ran a tank-full for a kindergarten class, and they were fascinated. My kiddo's still love them.
Some of the fish on your list are better suited for a more advanced keeper, and I haven't kept most of them, so can't really advise, except that I've picked up enough through my own reading to know that this isn't a good mix of fish - and not all are well suited for a tank of this size. The tool that Jen used in her post above shows many of the reasons why :( Your tank is too small for one pretty Acai, much less a group of five, which it looks like is what these fish will need to thrive (many fish do best in groups of their kind). Same goes for the Yellow Labs, and Rainbow Sharks will also grow too big for the tank you have.
We can help you find different types of smaller fish that will do well together, and be more appropriate for a tank your size if you'd like? It can be so hard to choose. . . I just want them all! Do you happen to know if your local tap water is soft or hard? This can play a big role in the long-term health of the creatures you bring home, and it's best to choose fish that will thrive in the type of water you have. . .
Again, welcome to TFK! I'm sorry for throwing so much bad news at you :-? Hope it doesn't scare you off! We'd all love nothing more than to see you and your little girly on your way to a happy and thriving tank - obviously, we all think there's pretty much nothing better than that! :-D
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