Freshwater Fish Compatibility
I have two tanks.
My main tank is a freshwater 60 gallon with live plants and the second is a 20 gallon freshwater with fake plants in the kids room.
Now in the 60 gallon. I started with one pristella tetra. He (or she) was adopted from my father, he's a fine fish. Happy and healthy, even at 8 years old. Added some zebra danios, they're great, don't worry about them in the least. Then I put in a pleco. Pleco was fine, grew up, happy fish. Added some rosy barbs. Wasn't told they were schooling fish, or that they could be aggressive. Added another female to calm the other two down, didn't seem to help too much, so we bought them their own tank and my kids keep them in the bedroom. Much happier now that they've got their own space.
After, I added some harlequin rasboras. (mind you, this is within 8 months time frame.) The rasboras started to die off pretty quickly. One was gone a day, was pretty upset by this. Figured it out, the pleco was being too rough in the tank. He would swim off really fast every time someone in the living room would stand up, bowling through whoever was in his way. Well, we gave him to another home, the rasboras started to live well after that, no more died.
In place of the pleco, we put in some cherry shrimps. They're adorable little guys. However the pleco was big shoes to fill and the shrimps don't seem to be able to keep up with cleaning the algae.
Now I'm stuck wondering what to do. There is plenty of space in the tank for some new fish. 10 danios and 5 rasboras with about 100 cherry shrimps, one pristella tetra and one bigger filter fan feeder shrimp, which I forget about, because he always hides in the bushes and I never see him.
I don't expect my fish to breed, I think both the danios and rasboras are pretty picky, but I do want some more fish.
I was looking at another algae eater. Oto cats? I liked the pleco a lot so I imagine he'll be similar to feed. Occasional algae wafer and treats of boiled green vegetables. Now, will the oto cats leave the cherry shrimps alone? I don't mind if they eat the snails, they're pests in my opinion, but my cherries I want kept safe. Tank has been warm lately, hovering at 28celc. I started the window ac lately, it sits right next to the tank, it cools down the temp when its on to about 27celc. Mind you it gets to about 23celc outside in the summer on average, even hotter on some days. Will oto cats be ok with this temperature or is it too warm? If I get some oto cats, how many would keep them happy?
Should I try getting more rasboras to expand their little school? They seem really fragile. But I've got some happy males, doing some sort of territorial dance often.
Is 10 danios too small of a school? They seem happy and carefree, except one bossy female who likes to pick on the others.
Thanks for reading and thanks for any opinions offered.
Definitely get more Pristilla Tetra's (Pristella maxillaris). They are a schooling species and need at least 6 of them in order to be truly happy.
I'm not really concerned with the pristella. he's pretty happy and schools with the danios. he's kinda at the end of his life anyway and I just didn't want my dad to flush him.
I kinda find them creepy. All see through..
First, welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.
Now to your questions, to which I have one; what sort of algae is it? So-called "algae" eating fish usually handle one or two types. I can say more about otos but will wait for this as they may not be needed.
I would absolutely add more rasbora. In larger groups they are quite lovely. You have five, and have space in a 60g, so I would add at least another 5-6.
We have fish and plant profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top; when a fish/plant name in a post is exactly the same as the name in our profile (scientific or common) it will be shaded, and you can click on that to see the profile of that species: example, Harlequin Rasbora or Trigonostigma heteromorpha. You'll find lots of data on the species.
I understand about the Pristella, and I agree with you. Fish that are the last survivor of a group that old will manage their last days alone, and if you don't really like the fish then I would not acquire more.
Your snails I assume are the small ones. These perform a benefit in any aquarium, especially a planted one, that cannot be understated. Some are more beneficial than others; the Malaysian Livebearing Snail, sometimes called Trumpet Snail, have a spiral shell, like a cornucopia, and burrow through the substrate. Nothing can match these for maintaining a healthy substrate naturally. Pond and bladder snails look much alike 9at least to me), and I have them too. The ramshorn snail, shaped like a ram's horn, is another.
Knowing your water parameters (hardness and pH) would help, as some fish are sensitive. The values for your tap water are important, these you can ascertain from the water supply folks, many now have websites with data posted.
I don't know exactly what type of algae it is.
One is a type of string algae, it is growing off both the plastic pillars in the tank and the driftwood, it's forest green in color.
The other is on the glass, in roundish colonies. More brownish than green.
The plants have no algae on them and there is no bloom in the water, which is clear.
There is a patch of green slime on the one large rock. That's all that I can determine. I'm not really sure what species they are.
It's the brown colonies of algae that bother me. I clean it daily and it comes back really fast.
These snails are tiny, look like pond snails. Brown and always hanging near the top of the water on the edge of the glass. There are too many of them and I also find them unattractive.
What is the benefit of these creatures?
My plants are in gravel. I siphon the gravel each week with the water change.
I only have PH, KH & GH tests. I think KH is for saltwater tanks.
Tank PH is 6.8
Tap Water PH is 7.2
Tank GH is 180, the booklet says moderately hard. I believe I'm supposed to keep hard water for the shrimps to molt.
Tap Water GH is 40, very soft.
I tested the home water with a test kit.
I cannot find information online. It comes from the river though, River Richelieu. We have had flooding though, do they over treat for that?
I think more Harlequin Rasbora would be good. It seems they can handle the water. Are 10 Longfin Zebra Danio ok with the bossy female? She pokes the other Zebra Danio often. I am not sure if that is a territorial thing or she is being aggressive because there are only 10 in the tank.
So it looks like Oto Catfish would have problems in a hard water tank. Any suggestions?
Addition: Ammonia level is safe. I have a small ammonia alert tag sitting in the tank.
Green slime sounds like cyanobacteria, not a true algae but a form of bacteria. Caused by high organics and light. You can remove it with your fingers and siphon it out during the water change, get all you can. Once the tank's biological equilibrium is established this should not be a problem. Nothing will eat this. I find it appears minimally in 1 or 2 of my 7 tanks, never the others; obviously there is some connection but what I haven't figured out.
The green string algae will not be eaten by fish. Snails will, however, more on that momentarily. Remove it as best you can. This is caused by light beyond what the plants can use in balance with nutrients; more on this below.
On the plants, they need nutrients and light. If the light is greater than what the plants can use due to a lack of nutrient, the plants stop growing and the light becomes excess, and algae takes advantage. I can go further into this if you indicate your plant species, light (be specific), and any fertilizers you are using.
Danio are active swimmers, so al this is heightened more than it is with the rasbora which are less active. They too have such "play" and it can be fascinating to observe.
This isn't a new tank, it's about a year old now. So the diatoms are there because there is no one to eat it or I have excess light and nutrients?
The snails don't touch the string algae. The cherry shrimps like to feed on it though, I'm not sure if they're eating it or what's on it.
I only vacuum the gravel around the wood and rock, I don't mess with the plants. There is a free space in the front of the aquarium for viewing purpose that has no plants. This is the area I clean the most, or when I had the pleco, I would clean pleco poo.
I couldn't tell you for the life of me what kind of bulb it is. It's a bulb meant for plants, is what I'm told. It's rather dim, but my plants grow like crazy. All are green and healthy. I must snip the longer ones weekly.
For plant species I have checked pictures on-line and determined they are: Cabomba, Microsorum pteropus, Rotala "Nanjenshan" (Mayaca sellowiana) & Giant Vallisneria.
This bossy female is only bossy to danios. She does the same moves too. Wiggles around on the gravel, then chases anyone around the tank who gets too close, then goes back to her `throne` spot. She even leaves the tetra alone. Maybe she`s gravid. When they all school together, to `ride the waves` as I like to put it, no one bugs anyone else. All the fish do it, swimming fast in the current, it`s probably exercise. Happens once every couple weeks. One fish starts and the others follow the leader, then for five minutes they exercise near the output then go around the tank, playing wildly like the little spaz fishies they are. Tag seems to be the fishes favorite game.
Yes we do add shrimp mineral supplement to the tank. With the large shrimps, they need extra gh to molt. We found this out after several tries of having one big shrimp, they die trying to molt. So with so many little cherries and the one big one (who will always stay hidden, not a bamboo shrimp either, he`s gray) we try to make sure the hardness stays up, so they wont die.
This addition is recent, two months. No fish have shown any signs of distress by it. Was careful to watch and added the amounts slowly.
Getting more rasboras is on the list of things to do this week. They just got a shimpment in at the store, so I wish to wait a week. They are babies and I would rather get the strong ones, then have sick babies die on me at home. It`s heartbreaking.
However the store is out of longfins and regular zebra danios. They only got new shipments of guppies, platys and goldfish. The rest are their same stock of barbs, tetras, types of small shark, the same oscar that stays there and others that are older fish. The owner says he never knows what he`ll get in stock, only when he has space, does he answer the first breeder who calls. He is a good guy, knows a lot, but is not there often. It`s called Subaquatic.
I live near farmlands, in a small city, so the one specialist fish shop is all that is here. The other pet shop is generalized and most the workers don`t know about fish or really, any animals they keep. I fear taking a long trip to Montreal, to get any more fish. The car ride may be too stressful and 40 minutes seems like a long time to be in a small bag, on top of the hour or so to acclimatize.
I appreciate your insights Byron. I like to make sure my fishies and shrimpies are happy and healthy. So much information is needed, so I can be the best keeper I can.
Leapard danios and zebra danios will school..
Is your shrimp an Amano shrimp? If not, those are great algae eaters...
Also, perhaps look into a bristlenose pleco. They're cousins of the big ones, but stay small and calm.
Thank you again, Byron.
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