My Tank is Cycling but Thinking About its Soon-to-be Stock
Hmmm, my tank is one week into cycling so I know it will be at least 2 or 3 weeks before any decent amount of fish can be added but its really hard to not think about what to put in there....
50 gallon long (48" wide, 19" tall)
Will be heavily planted as soon as shipment arrives
Substrate: 40lbs eco-complete on bottom, 40lbs pea gravel on top
temp: 80 F
Filter: AquaTech 30-60 with sponge intake; thinking about adding an aquaclear 70 as well
Water Changes: one per week ideally, no more than 2; local water is known for big fluctuations in parameters so the fewer the changes the better
Ideally I wanted some angels and then a few other fish to provide some interest. So I was thinking:
Angelfish - no wild, tank raised only
Corydoras - Sterbai seemed to handle my tank conditions the best
Tetras - keeping with suggestions on profiles and other threads I've narrowed down the choices to black phantom, rosy, and lemon. Not sure whether to get a lot of one kind or a little of each. I love all the tetras narrowing down to 3 was so hard
Bolivian Ram - wasn't sure if tank was going to be stable enough for a pair though
With the exception of the rams everything is a shoaling fish and needs to be in groups. Not sure how many of each to get to have a good balance.
Of course this is assuming I am able to get pH and dGH acidic enough, soft enough and stabilized to play nice with these fish.
Thanks in advance for all your help and suggestions.
Thoughts, suggestions, criticisms?
First on the filter, one will be more than enough for those type of fish and with live plants. You only need some water movement, as the plants do the major job of filtration.
Angelfish will be fine, a group of 5-6 will work in a 4-foot 50g tank. Acquire them at the same time, and at roughly the same size. This can reduce the chances of "bullying" somewhat. You can read more in our profile, we have profiles on many fish, under the second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page; in posts if the name is exactly the same it will shade and you can click on that to see the profile, example Pterophyllum scalare [the scientific name for angels].
I would lower the temperature; with commercially-raised angels you do not need it that warm. I find 77F a good temp for the community tank; if you had fish that required higher temps, it would be necessary to raise it and select suitable fish, but angels will be fine at 77F, as will everything else. A lower temperature is easier on the fish's metabolism.
On the tetra, they should work with angelfish. Groups of minimum six are usually recommended, but more is always better, as these fish occur in very large groups in their habitat. As you have the space, a group of 8-9 of the three tetra would be fine. Corys are also shoaling fish, and seem to do well in groups of five of each species. You can have more than one species, they all get along. If you do, you could have as few as 3 of each species. In total, you have adequate space for a dozen or so corys. I have 10 species in my 115g tank, 32 fish in all.
Bolivian Ram are nice fish, but I would just caution on another cichlid. Cichlids will spawn, often. And when they do, the males and sometimes the females can be very nasty to other fish. With a shoal of angels in a 50g, the other fish are going to be under direct threat a lot. I would not introduce another cichlid into this mix. I have had a pair of Bolivians in my 115g, and I currently have a pair (two actually, one of the initial fry is now spawning with the male too) of dwarf Apistogramma in my 70g, and they are belligerent on the other fish. This should be kept under control.
When you start adding fish--and if you plant the tank you will not have a "cycling" issue so a few fish can go in as soon as it is planted--I would acquire the tetra first, then the corys, last the angelfish. Angelfish are territorial, very much so, and with other fish in the tank when they are introduced there will not be as much chance of their "owning" the tank outright.
Floating plants will also help a lot with all the fish mentioned; they come from very dimly-lit waters and will be more settled with a "roof" over them.
With a KH of 3, your pH should lower slowly as the tank establishes.
So in Summary the recommendation is:
So for clarification, on the tetra number, did you mean 8-9 tetra total across all three varieties (together) or 8-9 tetra of each variety for a total of 24-27 tetras?
I will try to lower the temp of the aquarium as much as I can. I am not currently using a heater in there. We have been going through a heat wave. Temperatures have been around 105-115 F everyday for the last month or so. The air conditioner works it hardest to just keep the temperature in the house down to 80.
Yes, I meant 8-9 of each species; they must be in a group.
Thanks so much for the clarification! I knew they needed to be in groups but I didn't want to accidentally overstock the tank. Especially since a reputable fish store is over an hour away.
Thanks again for your assistance!
Echinodorus angustifolia Vesuvius
Ludwigia Glandulosa, Peruensis
Lloydiella, Creeping Jenny
Alternanthera reineckii var roseafolia
This is what I got as a starter set of plants, mainly to see what grows well and what doesn't. I plan on adding the tetra's first and make sure they are doing ok and the water is staying stable before adding the cory's since they are more sensitive. A few weeks after that and if the cory's are doing well. I'll add the angels.
Thanks so much for your assistance!
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