45 Gal Hex stocking questions
I've had had my share of fresh water tanks over the years, but I've never actually kept a Hex tank. I recently acquired one free from my brother, and am planning a fresh water tank, mainly for my 7 year old. So here's my other issue, on top of never having kept a hex tank, my daughter is really hooked on Dalmatian Mollies. I my self have never been the biggest molly fan, so I've never kept them before.
So my questions..
1. Would this tank be suitable for some Dalmatian Mollies? If so, about how many? Considering I'd like some other fish in there too.
2. Following with the prior question, would a pair of Dwarf Gouramis and probably some type of Corys do well in that size tank along with the mollies?
3. I was also considering possibly some sort of small schooling filler, like maybe some neons tetras or similar, thoughts/other suggestions?
24" Long, Point to Point
20" Wide, Side to Side
Any other suggestions are welcome too!
What are your water parameters? Mollies do better in basic harder water, they will be much less prone to fungus and other molly issues if they have the minerals they need. On the other hand, neons are the opposite, doing much better health wise if the water is soft and slightly acidic to slightly basic. From my memory, dwarf gourami are less fussy than some of their sensitive relations and would work with mollies. And the common Corydoras (C. aeneus, C. paleatus, or their albino variants) the same, OK with mollies in basic harder water.
I have seen some nice display tanks like this hex in stores with tall plants (Vallisneria types), a "branch" piece of wood diagonally from top to bottom, Java Moss on the wood. One of the larger sword plants like Echinodorus macrophyllus that has very long stems with largish oval leaves would work, a single plant in one cormer. This would be ideal for mollies. And for tankmates, any of the small tetras that tolerate basic water, or small danio species. With the gourami, make sure the others aren't prone to nipping fins.
If your water is soft and slightly acidic, then this sort of display with similar wood could have many of the shoaling characins that are less active (given the lack of horizontal swimming space); pencilfish would be perfect. Hatchetfish for the surface, with some floating plants (even stem plants like pennywort, cabomba allowed to float work well). One of the rosy tetra clade in a group; there are several species, most are reddish coloured and all are disc shaped so a nice contrast fish and not particularly active swimmers. Cardinal tetras are another.
If I remember correctly, water is a lil more on the harder side, not heavily, but it has been a while since I've had an active tank and really checked all the various parameters. Ph straight from the tap is in the 7 to 7.2 range (bro had some of the basic liquid tests in with the tank and equipment, unfortunately nothing for hardness) Something I would definitely do before actually putting anything in a tank =) Still have a bit of elbow grease to apply to this tank before I actually put anything in it (my brother was nice enough to give me a grand cleaning challenge along with the tank!)
As far as the interior decorating, I don't intend to add any live plants or otherwise to this tank. Much as they can add to a tank, Keeping it simple for the 7 your old's learning experience.
So mostly likely nix the tetras, mostly a thought for some added color. Hmm.. I'll have to see what I can find to fill out some color in the line up, plenty time for that though, not like I can just dump everything in all at once anyway.
I was planning a trip to one of my past favorite LFS over the weekend, I'm on the prowl for a good tank deal for a reef set up, but that's a whole different story. I'll make a note to pick up a test for hardness and whatever else I'm missing.
Barring any changes in my memory of water hardness, the mollies, corys, and gouramis ought to work out with each other and the tank size? number wise, thinking 3-4 mollies(1m 2/3f) 2(m & f) gouramis, and I know corys tend to do best in a 6 or more group...
Would a school of 6 fit comfortably within the tank dimensions? I'd rather find something else to fill out the bottom than over crowd or stress them with a smaller school.
I have a 45 gal. hex stocked with green tiger barbs, serpae tetras, pristella tetras, emperor tetras, cories (5 of each)
You might want to think about getting a tall silk plant or two for the tank. It really adds to the look of the tank and gives the fish a spot to hide in and sleep.
The only guys out of the list that have outgrown the tank are the barbs. I had no idea how big they would get but they're moving to a 75 gallon soon. Good luck with your fish picks.
Were it me,(and it ain't) I might google info on..Iridovirus among Dwarf gouramis and with this information, I might select Pearl gourami,Three spot gourami,or Honey gourami. I would try not to select but one male, or a male and a female of the afore mentioned species. Males can be aggressive with other males so more than one male might present a problem. And the gouramis mentioned don't appear to be prone to bacterial viruse's that others seem to be.
My own tapwater comes out at 7.4 and moderately hard but over time,the water in the aquarium through natural processes tends to become softer and the pH in my aquariums leans towrds a pH of 7.0 to 7.2 with weekly water changes. I am unable to keep mollies who prefer a ph of 7.5 to 8.0
Platy's might be a bit more forgiving and enjoy cooler temps along with the corys.
If it's a 45 gallon, I think it's more than good enough for your mollies but however, if you intend to mix with gouramis or neon, that would not work out well. Mollies are more towards brackish water while the other two are freshwater.
I agree with previous posts. 1077 has an important point mentioned, that with your water at pH 7-7.2 it is not likely too hard and thus will gradually lower in the aquarium (more acidic). Adding some real wood and plants would contribute to this.
And on the live plants, I would suggest that having some hardy plants as those I earlier suggested would actually make this easier and less likely to fail. I understand that a lot of aquarists have this fear that plants immediately mean more work and trouble, and failure is inevitable. But that needn't be the case. As I frequently write, I find plants more easy than most fish; plants are more adaptable and require less fussing. As long as they have decent light (and a daylight tube from the hardware store is sufficient) and perhaps weekly liquid fertilizer, they will grow. And your fish will be better for it.
Mollies love browsing plant leaves for algae. Gourami in my view need floating plants; they spend time at the surface, the plants provide comfort security) and sources of food (they browse leaves and dangling roots) and if a pair you might see spawning and the bubblenests are built among floating plants. The corydoras should have plants, they will be much more secure and healthy if they have objects around them, and while chucks of wood and fake plants will provide this, no question, the benefit of live plants to the water quality stability cannot be overestimated. In your water, Vallisneria and floating plants would be next to impossible to kill.
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