stocking help for 15 gallon
I know i haven't been on here for ages...
haha i feel like i start every thread on this site this way!
Anyway, recently i've started thinking about stocking my tank again. My stocking plan for some time has been this: 6 cherry barbs, a bristlenose pleco and my existing golden gourami. This is in a 15 gallon tank with gravel, bogwood, live plants, and gentle filtration.
Well a few months ago I bought the cherry barbs. since then the two weaker ones have died, but the remaining four are very healthy and absolutely charming. The tank is looking great and I'm starting to rethink my stocking plan.
I like plecos A LOT, but they often hide and don't do much, so you don't really see them. I really like how interesting the barbs are, always active and flitting around adding interest to the top and middle of the tank. I think i'd like to get some more small mid- to top-dwelling fish, maybe 4 glowlight tetras. What I want to know is, could i still manage to keep the pleco along with those additional tetras, or would that be overstocking? I think I've asked a similar question before when I was considering adding 2 more cherry barbs to the shoal to make it 8, but I wanted to check again. If that WAS going to be too many fish, maybe I could just get 2 glowlight tetras, although i don't think that would look as good as a shoal. Or maybe I just don't a pleco at all.
Shoaling fish really deserve to be kept in groups; they can be stressed if not, and this leads to poor health--and unhappiness:-( for the fishes. All tetra, barbs, rasbora and danio are shoaling fish, so a group of 6 minimum or more (better) should be the plan. Space in a 15g is limited. If you like the cherry barb, I would add 2-3 more. A group of 6-7 glowlight tetra could work, though the gourami might have a different view of them.
Pleco depends upon the species. The common pleco attains over 12 inches and would decimate your tank. Bristlenose Pleco are 4 inches, one of those would be fine. Or a whiptail catfish which will be out and about more, and is quite interesting.
When i first got the cherry barbs, the gourami chased them around for a while and i was a bit worried, but she's gotten used to them and they get along fine now. She'd been the only fish in the tank for a long time so i guess she just had to get used to having other fish around.
I just really need to know how many fish it's safe to have in the tank and then I can start figuring out what combination would be good.
If you just want an active bottom-dweller, I'd recommend cories. They're fun. Even a group of 3 would probably have a lower bioload than a single BN pleco.
I agree, shoaling fishes should be in groups of at least 6. (I have 10 black neons in my ten gallon, and they're doing well.)
i've decided to stick with slightly less sensitive fish for the moment. also i'd be a bit worried about the gravel i've got hurting their barbels. (i did get a fine gravel because that's meant to be better for corys, but the pieces are actually quite sharp.)
thanks though :)
AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor
This is a neat emulator. If you are curious of how many fish are too many you could try playing around with it. It is nice because it will factor in many variables on your tank such as filtration and size.
i have tried inputting my desired stocklist on AqAdvisor without choosing a filter, and i think i got a stocking level of about 95% when i chose 1 bristlenose, 1 gourami, 4 cherry barbs and 6 glowlight tetras. but even though that isn't technically overstocked according to the calculator, i'd be much more comfortable with a lower stocking level. less risky :-P
also, at that stocking level, the site says to change 35% of the water per week. lol at the moment i change about 20% every few weeks. (sometimes when i haven't done a water change for a while i start to worry about the pH, but every time i've checked it it's been neutral. i don't know why but the pH in my tank is very stable.)
pH isnt your enemy, as long as it is stable to a certain point it wont matter much. Well the thing about the aqadvisor is that its just an estimation. if you even use the 1' rule, you should be about alittle above the maximum in/gal. so id say strike out the barbs b/c they do better in groups of 6+ and they tend to begin agression later on in lilfe. add more tetras
Water changes are absolutely the most important aspect of keeping a healthy aquarium. You may not "see" something, but the fish feel it. They will be healthier if you changed some water every week, and about 30%. There is so much scientific evidence to support this, I will say no more. Your fish's health and lifespan are worth it.
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