Clown Loach, Tiger Barb, Red tailed black shark, How many of each? help?
I have a 30 gallon tank. Fully cycled. Planted. It has drift wood and river rocks. the plants and driftwood are along the back and sides of the tank to provide proper hiding places for the fish and there is plenty of swimming room. I have a rock cave just for the clown loaches and the substrate is fine just for them as well. The water parameters are perfect for these three fish and I am fully prepared to keep the tank super clean for my loaches. Now i am completely aware that I will eventually have to upgrade my tank for some of these fish and I am perfectly prepared to do so. I just want to keep them in this tank for now. All I want to know is how many of each type of fish I should have in my tank. I want each species to be happy with regards to shoal size etc, but I also want to avoid over stocking. Please help me figure this out. also i would appreciate it if someone could advise me as to which species i should add first, second and third. I was planning on barb, loach, shark. but i don't know if that is right. thanks a ton in advance for all of you help/time. <3 Deborah
I would not mix the loaches with tiger barbs and shark in that size of a tank, even if the fish are small. First reason is that for an ideal shoal of clown loaches you will need at least 5 of them. That is a lot of territory to be claimed, and shared with an aggressive species of shark.
Tiger barbs can be kept in groups of 3 - 5, the larger the group, the happier/healthier they will all be. The shark, however, is a harder situation. When they are small (under 3 - 4 inches) they prefer to shoal in large groups. Once they reach 3 - 4 inches they become solitary and will fight fiercely, especially if crowded.
What you need to take into account for this now is how large each fish will get and how soon you are planning to upgrade, and how large you have the ability to upgrade to.
Adult clown loaches average 12 - 14 inches each. 5 of them will eventually need over 200 gallons to keep them healthy and peacefully. Red tail sharks will average 6 - 8 inches, and tiger barbs 3 - 4 inches each. Adding even the minimal population of any 2 to your tank would mean an upgrade of at least 75 - 90 gallons within the first 1 - 2 yrs. If you work with the loaches, even though slow growing, this applies to them also, but they would then need to be upgraded every couple of years to a larger tank.
Another thing to consider is life span of each species. Clown loaches can live 30+ yrs, tiger barbs 5 - 7 is the average, but can live up to 10 yrs, and red tail sharks average 7 - 9 yrs, although the one I have is now about 12 yrs old.
If I know how long they would need to stay in the 30 gallon I could offer you some more accurate numbers/ideas. There are also other loach species that could stay in a 30 gallon tank with 3 - 5 tiger barbs and all would be happy long term, but that would eliminate the shark.
I could upgrade the tank in about 3 or 4 months to a 55 gallon.
55 isn't going to give those species of fish a whole lot more room than the 30. Except for the tiger barbs, I wouldn't work with those other species if that is as large a tank as you can accommodate in the near future. A 55 gallon tank is very narrow, which restricts not only movement/growth space, but also territories. A red tail shark and clown loaches would not get along for long in a tank that size. Those just are not 2 species of fish that should be mixed. They share the same territories, the shark species is known to be extremely aggressive as it matures, and the loaches are also capable of being quite aggressive. That really would be asking for trouble.
If you eliminate the shark, you could manage with 3 - 5 tiger barbs and 5 clown loaches for probably the first yr or 2 in a 55 gallon tank before the loaches would need much larger.
Thank you very much. You helped a lot. I defiantly will not get the shark. I might even get a bigger tank then the 55 gallon, it all depends. 1-2yrs is WAY more then enough time to upgrade again. I absolutely adore the clowns and want to accommodate them the best I can.
I also wanted to mention, clown loaches are known for stressing easily, not to mention their sensitivity to water quality. Moving them frequently is not something I suggest, you are sure to lose some or all if you do. Also, be sure any tank is fully cycled and stable before adding the loaches. Add all 5 together for the best chance they will get along and shoal nicely, but in that size tank, watch water quality fluctuations carefully when you do. You may need to do small water changes daily until the tank catches up with the amount of waste you have added.
Adding the barbs first, letting the tank stabilize, and waiting another 2 - 3 wks before adding the loaches will give them the best chance of survival.
You are aware of the temp differences between the loaches and barbs for needs, yes? Loaches prefer warmer water, tiger barbs prefer cooler water. The happy medium between the 2 would be 76 - 78 degrees, with very little room for fluctuation in one or the other direction. The loaches would do best around 80, the tiger barbs would do best at about 74 - 76.
Best of luck to you. Can you post a pic of the tank? It would be great to see it, even before it has fish. I am trying to picture your description of your decorating, and if it is what it sounds like, you may need to change a few things before mixing all those fish into it. If the front middle of the tank is pretty much all open territory, you will want to fill that in. What you see as "swimming space" they see as 1 single territory that someone will claim and defend. That brings aggression in fish that are already semi aggressive.
i did some redecorating today so all the small plants in front of the drift wood are further back (i took the fake ones out) so it's kind of like a large plant wall back there... also the smallish rocks are moved out of the way so it is all gravel up front (smaller gravel too). i also added a couple more river rocks by the cave.
You will want to move some of your decor to fill in any large open spaces you have recently created. The less you have for wide open areas, the more peaceful your tank will be and the healthier your fish will be. It actually looks good/appropriate in the photo.
Ooops, didn't mean to hit the post button just yet, lol.
I am noticing the shape of your tank being that of a cube. I would not suggest adding 5 clown loaches to a tank like that. The shape of a tank makes a huge difference for the animals, and clown loaches will need a longer tank. This would be a good tank to start with the tiger barbs, but I would wait until you get the 55 gallon before adding clown loaches, and then only if the 55 gallon is standard rectangular shape.
noted. i hate the shape of this tank, lol. I bought it from a friend.
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