New Planted Tank - fishes?
Hi guys, I'm setting up a new tank and had a few questions.
I've never had a tank with very many (if any) live plants as I've always had more aggressive fish who like to rip them out and eat/destroy them. This week I'm setting up a new tank, it's 40-55g (I'll post exact size later when I get a chance to measure) and I would like it to be heavily planted with some fish I've always liked but never had because I didn't want them to be food.
I was hoping to have some corys and cherry shrimp - doing the hardscape today and was planning on leaving a large section of the tank floor unplanted & with nice sand for the corys.
I also wanted pseudomugil rainbows (forktails I think are the common name?) which I've always liked but have heard can be a little rambunctious and hyper for some tankmates.
And german blue rams! I've always ALWAYS wanted a pair of rams, but they are just too gentle for the tanks I've had in the past. A few concerns here - are the pseudomugils going to scare them? Also, from what I've read rams like warm water while most plants, corys and pseudomugils like cooler water.
Can I make this tank work? I'd rather know sooner than later so I can better plan my hardscape for the species who will call my tank home.
If I can't have happy rams, I'd rather have another species that will be happy as opposed to nervous stressed rams. I'm open to suggestions :)
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, I haven't done a tank in a few years so I'm a little rusty!
Well first of all congrats on going for a planted tank. I did a few years ago and will never go back. As far as your stocking plans go I think you should be able to pull it off. Although the rainbows are very active they tend to stay in the mid to upper tank range while rams like the the mid to lower. And if you plan to plant fairly heavily it should provide the rams enough shelter. I kept rams in a 29gal with active tetras just fine so 55 should give them their own space as long as you dont crowd the tank with rainbows.
The water temp difference is what Id be concerned with most. You might be able to keep everyone happy with a temp around 78-79 since rams tend to like 78-84 and corys prefer something like 72-79. I know quite a few cases of the 2 being kept together successfully so Im sure you could swing it.
I have kept rams and cories before, but not the fork tails. The rams can be quite fragile, but if you keep their needs in mind they really aren't too tough. I find they don't mind activity much, so long as it isn't directed at them. Since they generally inhabit a different portion of the tank it should be fine. Keeping them with pictus cats for example might be an issue, since they are both bottom dwellers. In a 55g the rams should have plenty of space to avoid the activity.
They do require higher temps than many fish, preferably over 80. This is warm for a lot of cories. Some species of cory do fine in higher temps though, sterbais come to mind.
In my experience, the most important part of keeping rams is maintaining really soft water. They seem to value this more than almost anything else, it just makes a world of difference for them. Many fish will tolerate water parameters outside their ideal, rams just don't.
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