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Only One Haze 10-25-2011 11:25 AM

Stocking a 30gal. Hows this sound?
 
First, here are my parameters from the city:
ˇ Hardness – Average 74 mg/L (this is general hardness – gh)
ˇ Alkalinity – Average 42 mg/L
ˇ pH – Average 7.7 (range 7.1 to 8.8)

I have tested the pH in my tank and it is only around 6.8. From reading, this is due to the low alkalinity correct? So with my water being soft and slightly acidic it is pretty good for my Harlequins, right?

I now have a 30 gallon (36x12x16) that I will be setting up in a couple weeks. The tank will be planted, with playsand and either an Aquaclear 70 or an Elite dual sponge filter (still deciding). I currently have 6 Harlequin Rasbora that will be going into this tank and I will add a few more. This is my current wishlist for sticking:

10 Harlequin Rasbora
10 Black Neon Tetra
10 Dwarf Corydoras (either 10 of one species or 5 each of two species)
And if I can find them locally I would love to also have:
2 Bolivian Rams

Too much? Compatibility issues? Any other thoughts?

According to AqAdvisor (I know, not the best source, just a guideline) with the AC70:
Your aquarium filtration capacity for above selected species is 161%.http://aqadvisor.com/Images/Question11.png
Recommended water change schedule: 28% per week.
Your aquarium stocking level is 82%

Without the Rams:
Your aquarium filtration capacity for above selected species is 203%.http://aqadvisor.com/Images/Question11.png
Recommended water change schedule: 22% per week.
Your aquarium stocking level is 70%

Thanks for the help everyone!

Byron 10-25-2011 01:54 PM

Leave out the Rams, or only get one, and you're fine. I'll explain.

First, on your water, those numbers are good. GH at 74 ppm (mg/l is roughly ppm) equates to around 4 dGH. Ideal for soft water fish and plants. Alkalinity (the KH or bicarbonate hardness) at 42ppm equates to 2-3 dKH. This will allow the pH to lower naturally, well suited to the mentioned fish. Once the tank is established, the breakdown of organics and the respiration of fish and plants produce CO2 which adds carbonic acid to the water. The low KH means it will increase fairly quickly and the pH will lower below 7. Live plants will help here by maintaining some stability so things will even out. Water changes should probably not exceed 30% weekly so as to not affect the pH too drastically. There is some variableness in all this, as many factors impact an aquarium's biological balance.

For the mentioned fish, absolutely go with a dual Elite sponge. I have this in my 30g with similar forest fish and it is ideal. These filters really are superb, the water is crystal clear, minimal movement...fish are very happy. Live plants significantly affect filtration, so I wouldn't pay any attention to those numbers which are somewhat meaningless given your aquascape.

To the fish. No problems there except the Bolivian Ram. While a pair can be housed in a 30g, during spawning they are not docile. They are, after all, cichlids. I had a pair in my 115g that spawned several times before the male killed the female [more on this momentarily], and they took a real dislike to the cory. With one of the dwarf species, you might well lose them from stress at being pecked and harassed endlessly. Cory naturally are inquisitive, and they just swim around over every square inch of the tank browsing; ram protecting a cluster of eggs laid on the substrate and then protecting a brood of fry take real exception to this behaviour from cory. The other fish (several characin species) were left alone most of the time, except when they swam close to the fry; but not the cory.

The other issue is compatibility. This fish is believed to live in isolation in its habitat, except when spawning. In the aquarium, a lot of space is needed with lots of hiding spots, so the female can escape the male between spawnings. Even in my 5-foot tank, this was insufficient. Now, I realize I put this pair together; they did not form a bonded pair from among a group, and this can make quite a difference. But immature Bolivians are difficult to sex, much moreso than their cousin the common Blue Ram. So buying two fish at the immature size usually offered in the store tank is very risky; if it should be two males, one will kill the other in time in such a small (to them) space. But a single Bolivian in a tank does very well, especially if it happens to be a male; they are very attractive when they develop their finnage and colour. Mine is now over 3 years old (normal lifespan is around 4 years max) and quite a beauty. Except during feeding--and remember, this species feeds from the substrate so sinking foods are essential--when he pushes the cory aside, but they are fine with this as it is not on-going intense aggression.

Byron.

Only One Haze 10-25-2011 02:18 PM

Okay, cool. No Rams is fine with me, not even sure I could get them locally anyway.

I will go with the Elite dual sponge. Elite 803 pump sound good with that? And I would need a T valve because there is only one outlet right? And a check valve?

What about Malaysian Trumpet snails for the sand, are these needed with plants?

Algae control: a bushy nose pleco? or 5 Oto Cats?

10 harlequin rasbora
10 black neon tetra
10 dwarf corydoras
1 bushy nose pleco/5 oto cats?
MTS?

Byron 10-25-2011 02:36 PM

Quote:

I will go with the Elite dual sponge. Elite 803 pump sound good with that? And I would need a T valve because there is only one outlet right? And a check valve?
If this is going to be the only sponge filter, I wold get a smaller Elite. The 801 will handle 1-2 filters [I have one of these, now my "spare"], and my 803 easily handles 3-4 filters. Not quiet though, if that is a concern (in a bedroom, etc). Doesn't bother me in my fish room, but it is somewhat noisy.

Yes, it has a single outlet, so get a 2-outlet valve (or 3 outlet if another tank/filter might be in the future). Then you can control the flow to the filter, and have a "bleeder" which is important to allow the pump to work at max capacity or it can give out faster. I can explain bleeder if asked.

Quote:

What about Malaysian Trumpet snails for the sand, are these needed with plants?
Definitely; excellent in all planted tanks.

Quote:

Algae control: a bushy nose pleco? or 5 Oto Cats?
I would wait until you have algae to think about this. If you really like a certain fish species, like BN or otos, that's different. But still wait for some algae, they settle better. There are other equally-good algae eating fish too. But remember, all of these only eat common green algae and diatoms, these won't touch brush algae or hair algae).

Byron.

Only One Haze 10-25-2011 02:47 PM

Right, I knew not to add the pleco or otos until later, if/when I get algae. What are other algae eating fish that you referred to?

So Elite 801 to TValve to check valve and Sponge filter on one and just a few inches of airline tubing on the other? How do I adjust airflow through the sponge? Sorry, never worked with a sponge filter/air pump.

So this is my stocking plan, unless the wife decides she doesn't want the Black Neons. She really likes guppies but understands that they don't like our water, but there is nothing else that she really WANTS.

10 Harlequin Rasbora
10 Black Neon Tetra
10 dwarf species Corydoras
Malaysian Trumpet Snails

after algae growth:
1 Bushy Nose Pleco or
5 Oto Cats

Edit: Are Panda Corys considered one of the dwarf species? Or just the 3: pygmaeus, hastatus, and habrosus

Byron 10-25-2011 03:18 PM

Quote:

Right, I knew not to add the pleco or otos until later, if/when I get algae. What are other algae eating fish that you referred to?
In soft water that is acidic, Farlowella vitatta are my favourite. I have these, a trio in my 70g and now a trio of fry in my 33g that I raised from last year's spawning. A truly unique fish, very prehistoric, extremely peaceful, and absolutely incredible at eating diatoms and common green algae. whiptail Catfish is another. Both manage as single fish, or more. For a 30g i would get 3 of whichever if this species are chosen.

Quote:

So Elite 801 to TValve to check valve and Sponge filter on one and just a few inches of airline tubing on the other? How do I adjust airflow through the sponge? Sorry, never worked with a sponge filter/air pump.
Not fully following--the pump has one outlet, you run a small bit of tubing to a valve unit which should have 2 (or 3 if planning ahead) outlets on it (plus the inlet from the pump). The tubing from one outlet to the filter, and a short bit of tubing with an old (or new) airstone for the "bleeder" from the second outlet. If a 3-outlet, just leave the third closed. The brass valves are more expensive but better made and easier to adjust; the plastic are cheaper and will work, with a bit of fiddling with the adjustments.

Quote:

So this is my stocking plan, unless the wife decides she doesn't want the Black Neons. She really likes guppies but understands that they don't like our water, but there is nothing else that she really WANTS.

10 Harlequin Rasbora
10 Black Neon Tetra
10 dwarf species Corydoras
Malaysian Trumpet Snails

after algae growth:
1 Bushy Nose Pleco or
5 Oto Cats

Edit: Are Panda Corys considered one of the dwarf species? Or just the 3: pygmaeus, hastatus, and habrosus
The "true" dwarfs are C. hastatus, C. pygmaeus and C. habrosus, although there is another rarely seen I can't now remember. C. panda are "normal average" and can reach 2 inches, though mine never seen to grow that large. Many consider panda sort of dwarf, but they are certainly twice the size or more of the other three species. They will manage fine in your 30g, even with one of the true dwarfs. Maybe 5 C.panda if the wife likes them.;-)

Only One Haze 10-25-2011 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 874490)
Not fully following--the pump has one outlet, you run a small bit of tubing to a valve unit which should have 2 (or 3 if planning ahead) outlets on it (plus the inlet from the pump). The tubing from one outlet to the filter, and a short bit of tubing with an old (or new) airstone for the "bleeder" from the second outlet. If a 3-outlet, just leave the third closed. The brass valves are more expensive but better made and easier to adjust; the plastic are cheaper and will work, with a bit of fiddling with the adjustments.

You are referring to one of these?
Top FinŽ Plastic Gang Valves - Air Pumps & Accessories - Fish - PetSmart

I was talking about just this:
Top FinŽ Metal T-Valve - Air Pumps & Accessories - Fish - PetSmart

But, the gang valve like you are talking about I would be able to adjust air flow, with the T Valve I was talking about there is no adjustment.

Will definitely look into the 2 cat species. And I think my wife does like the Pandas so 5 Pandas and 5 of one of the other 3 species would be good? Thanks for all the help Byron!

Byron 10-25-2011 03:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Only One Haze (Post 874537)
You are referring to one of these?
Top FinŽ Plastic Gang Valves - Air Pumps & Accessories - Fish - PetSmart

I was talking about just this:
Top FinŽ Metal T-Valve - Air Pumps & Accessories - Fish - PetSmart

But, the gang valve like you are talking about I would be able to adjust air flow, with the T Valve I was talking about there is no adjustment.

Will definitely look into the 2 cat species. And I think my wife does like the Pandas so 5 Pandas and 5 of one of the other 3 species would be good? Thanks for all the help Byron!

Yes to the first one, that is in fact the one I have. It is plastic which is not as durably made as the brass, but cheaper. Works fine though.

You do not need a T-valve; there is no ways to control the air flow, and air, like water, will always take the path of least resistance so in this case it would all go out your bleeder and the filter would sit silent:shock:.

Five panda are fine, but if you do get the dwarf species, whichever, make it 9 or more. You've room for all this. They do better in larger groups. I think I mentioned sand substrate. And even for others; my C. panda really perked up when I moved them from Flourite substrate tank to the sand.

Only One Haze 10-25-2011 04:49 PM

Oooooooo, so I can add 5 Pandas to the 10 dwarf corys I was planning? And 3 of the other cats if I wanted? Not sure if the wife will like the farlowella or whiptail though. SO either of these would be good?

10 Harlequins
10 Black Neons
10 dwarf corys
5 Panda corys
5 oto cats (after algae formation)

or

10 Harlequins
10 Black Neons
10 dwarf corys
5 Panda corys
3 Whiptail/Farlowella (after algae formation)

and yes this is sand.

Edit: is that a cory in your avatar? what species?

Byron 10-25-2011 06:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Only One Haze (Post 874591)
Oooooooo, so I can add 5 Pandas to the 10 dwarf corys I was planning? And 3 of the other cats if I wanted? Not sure if the wife will like the farlowella or whiptail though. SO either of these would be good?

10 Harlequins
10 Black Neons
10 dwarf corys
5 Panda corys
5 oto cats (after algae formation)

or

10 Harlequins
10 Black Neons
10 dwarf corys
5 Panda corys
3 Whiptail/Farlowella (after algae formation)

and yes this is sand.

Edit: is that a cory in your avatar? what species?

Either stocking is fine, with one point on the first. Five otos is a bit much perhaps, I know they need a group, but I would have 3 in a 30g. Unless of course you like them as fish (forgetting any algae eating). But if not, then you are adding to the mass for no real purpose, as 3 will easily handle any common algae and still be a "group" for their social purposes. I have five in my 115g, and have trouble finding all five of them, though I usually notice 2 or 3 together in the same area when I sit in front of the tank for an hour.

The fish in my avatar is a Spotted Driftwood Cat, Centromochlus perugiae; it is in our profiles.


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