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FishObsessed 01-18-2010 12:51 PM

Advice for stocking a new 50-65 gallon planted tank
 
Hi all,

I'm fairly new to any serious fish keeping. I'm helping my parents set up a new tank as a housewarming gift. I get the fun of the design and the setup without having yet another tank! They would like a 50-65 gallon tank, and they want angelfish. I'm thinking:

4-6 angelfish (of some sort, I know they come in different varieties)
10ish cardinal tetras (to cover the schooling fish)
1-2 corydoras? (for clean up duty, I know they don't eat algae but plecos seem...tempermental)

I would also like some live plants, but I'm going to stick to easy keepers that won't need CO2 or fancy fertilization. Dad has 125 gallon saltwater tank now, and plenty of experience with both fresh and saltwater tropical tanks, but he wants something easy. For plants, I was going to go with:

Taxiphyllum barbieri - Java moss (it's doing so well, tied to driftwood in my 8 gallon tank)
Hemianthus micranthemoides - pearlgrass or hairgrass (I don't know about this, but it looks like an easy foreground plant)
or Eleocharis parvula - Dwarf hairgrass (another one I don't know well...it looks like an easy keeper)
Vallisneria sp. - Don't know the common name, but I have americana in my 8 gallon, it makes an easy background plant

What do you think? As far as fish go, my dad has kept angels before (though all of my tanks just have guppies in them - they are so easy) but I don't know anything about most freshwater fish. What about easy keeping foreground plants? Am I trying to put too many fish in the tank??

If you're still reading, sorry for the novel, wanted you to have the relevant details! Thanks!:-D

PRichs87 01-18-2010 01:17 PM

Keep corys in a group of at least 6, they will be much better off.

PRichs87 01-18-2010 01:18 PM

Also, do research on an species before buying, just google their name, plenty of sites come up with details on keeping them, space required, etc.

Angel079 01-18-2010 04:25 PM

For a ~50g I'd not get more then 4 Angels considering their adult size, but more Cardinals would be in.
For the Cory's and that size tank get at least 8, they are farrr less skittish the larger the group is, less stressed = healthier fish = happier owner :-)

Keeping live plants is often appearing far more complicated then it truly is. What plants need is a proper light most of all, that's where many owners go wrong. Apart from that a good source water or the add of a weekly comprehensive fertilizer to cover the nutritious. That all said you can keep just about any plant you would want. Feel free to check out my tanks under the aquarium tap here to the left, these are all set up w/out ferts nor CO2 and I'd wanna say the plants speak for themselves.

Suggestions I can give on the specific plants themselves from my experience:
Hairgrass spread it out nicely when you first get it, if planted in the "bunch" its coming in the pot it never seems to thrive as well/ quick (See my 2nd New Shrimp Farm set up picture)

On the Vallis I find the spirals or corkscrew make a pretty neat look for the back of a tank.

Considering the tank size, I'd add something like larger Swords to it too, like the Amazon Swords, maybe 3-4 of them.

Then maybe some Cryptocoryne for the middle. So from back to the front you'd have tall plants, medium, small grass know what I mean? And all these are super easy to keep, with the exception being Dwarf Hairgrass like I said above.

iamntbatman 01-18-2010 10:25 PM

Also keep in mind that as they mature, your angels are likely to pair off and start spawning behavior, which will increase aggression between them.

FishObsessed 01-19-2010 11:03 AM

Thanks Angel079! This is great feedback.

Four angels does seem like a better choice, and I was hoping I could up the number of cardinals. It does seem that most people are recommending more Cory's! That's great, because I think they have wonderful personalities, and if they are in a bigger group they will surely be happier!

Your tanks DO speak for themselves, they are wonderfully lush. I also like the look of the spiral Vallis, and the kind I have in my tank has a habit of getting too tall if I don't keep on it.

I hadn't thought too much about the mid-height plants yet, Cryptocoryne looks like a good option!

FishObsessed 01-19-2010 11:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iamntbatman (Post 308576)
Also keep in mind that as they mature, your angels are likely to pair off and start spawning behavior, which will increase aggression between them.

Having never kept them, I wasn't sure about aggression. It is good to know I should err on the side of caution with numbers.

Byron 01-19-2010 01:14 PM

Remember that angelfish are shoaling fish by nature, so they like to be in a group. A 50-60g tank does not provide a lot of room (thinking of healthy growth development), so I would go with at least three angels.

There will be those who say otherwise, but many aquarists have experienced angels eating cardinals (and neons) so a caution there. If the cardinals are able to grow to their mature size before the angels are large enough to swallow them, probably less chance of losing them.

And angels like security, lots of plants, wood stems and branches replicating dangling tree branches and roots will make them feel more at ease, and could have a desirable effect on behaviour. The pattern of wild angels is indicative of their environment where they blend in with vertical types of shelter.

And definitely minimum 5 or 6 Corydoras; one species, or a mix with 3 of each will work. You could have 9 corys in your proposed setup with 3 angels and a group of suitable characins, at least 7 or more of a species as they are shoaling fish too.

Byron.

Angel079 01-19-2010 02:44 PM

Personally was this my set up (and its fully your choice there, just my pers 2 cents) I'd get a 55-60g tank set up and cycled. Then start with 2 BABY Angels, get about 15-20 Cardinals (as they're bigger then Neons - Alternatively think about Emporer or Kerri Tetra as they grow bigger then the Cardinals) and at least 10, but more likly rather around the house no of 15 Corys (if choosing Bronze cory's get less as they're the biggest growing one's from the cory family).

FishObsessed 01-21-2010 04:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 308771)
There will be those who say otherwise, but many aquarists have experienced angels eating cardinals (and neons) so a caution there.

...

And angels like security, lots of plants, wood stems and branches replicating dangling tree branches and roots will make them feel more at ease, and could have a desirable effect on behaviour. The pattern of wild angels is indicative of their environment where they blend in with vertical types of shelter.
Byron.

I didn't know that about angels eating cardinals! Jeez. The more I read about other species of fish, the more I love the guppies I've got in my own planted tanks. I tend to spend more time on the plants than the fish. :oops:

I was hoping to try to emulate the look (if not the exact species) of submerged forests, with the thin pieces of driftwood like roots and plenty of live plants, lots of vertical dimension. I haven't picked up anything for my hardscape yet, but it's in the back of my head. I was even planling to avoid a hood system so I could have the flexibility to do an open top.

Thanks for the advice! Less angels, more and bigger tetras, many more corys seems to be the consensus.


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