Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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NC1875 05-03-2010 03:48 PM

Stocking Advice Needed for 23g Tank
I'm new to all this but I've managed to complete a full fishless cycle and have now added my first fish - 5 guppies and a swordfish.

I need advice about what other fish I can have and how many.

I would really like some Platy's (I was thinking maybe 4?) and I would like a bottom-feeder but don't know which one is most compatible.

I was also wondering about getting a Siamese Fighting Fish but don't know if that is feasible?

Working from the charts, it seems as if I could get about 16 fish but don't know if that is too many?

Any suggestions would be really helpful.

DanMarion 05-03-2010 05:28 PM

You probably don't want a betta (Siamese Fighting Fish) in with the guppies.

Byron 05-03-2010 07:30 PM

Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping.

I don't know what "charts" you are referring to, but I have little faith in such things. Fish compatibility (how many fish in an aquarium) is a matter of selecting fish that share the same water parameters (not all fish do :shock:) and have behaviours and personalities that will match (not always easy :-?). Then there is the adult size (which determines the effect on the biological system of the aquarium) and their respective needs with regard to swimming space or not, hiding spaces, plants, wood, do they need to be in a group or alone, etc. In a 23g aquarium, 40 ember tetras would be fine--but 40 swordtails would be a disaster.

I second the comment on the betta, probably not good for a community aquarium such as you seem to be working towards. There are some other colourful fish, but the first issue is your water parameters. Do you know the hardness and pH of your tap water? It is easier and safer to match fish to your water than to try to adjust your water for special fish.


NC1875 05-04-2010 05:24 AM

Thanks Byron,

My PH is 6.8 and I live in a soft water area.

I'll take that on board about the bettas.

The "charts" I was referring to were the figures relating to 1 inch of fish per gallon of water etc.

If I have 6 fish in already (5 guppies and a swordtail) I was really wodnering what else I could have?

Cheers again.

Byron 05-04-2010 10:33 AM

With soft and slightly acidic water, you're ideally suited to almost any of the South American or SE Asian fish: characins (tetras, pencilfish, hatchetfish), rasbora, gourami, catfish, loaches--the list is almost endless. The fish you now have are livebearers, which ironically prefer harder water. They also reproduce like mad, which can be problematical for many aquarists.

I don't like suggesting fish to others, as it should be your aquarium with what you like in it. But given your water, I would definitely see if the store will accept the guppies and swordtail in exchange (most will, after all, they want your continued business) and consider establishing a community of soft water fish. Add some plants, and wow, you could have an incredible aquarium that many others stuck with hard alkaline tap water can only imagine.

Have a look at the photos under my "Aquariums" to see what's possible; these are all soft water, which is what comes out of my tap. And check out our fish profiles section; there are many species with info and photos, and the characin, catfish, cyprinid, anabantid sections in particular are mostly soft water fish. The numbers of fish will depend upon the species; many are shoaling fish that must be in small groups. We can talk about specific numbers if you have some fish in mind.


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