Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Jayy 11-23-2011 03:19 PM

still need help stocking my tank
I'm really having a hard time stocking my tank. I've all over the internet and our proflies aswell as on and off aquadvisor. I have soft water. Here's what I've been thinking of.


4 angelious loaches
10 harlequin rasboras
6 diamond tetras
1 dwarf gourami
3 otos
2 platies

10 harlequin rasboras
6 diamond tetras
4 honey gourami
3 otos
2 platies
3 cherry or ghost shrimp

10 harlequin rasboras
6 diamond tetras
1 pearl gourami
3 otos
2 platies
3 cherry or ghost shrimp.

I know livebears don't do good in soft water, but I added them from past tank and I didnt know.

Please tell what you think. Oh and its a 55gal running a marineland emperor 400 pro

Byron 11-23-2011 03:35 PM

I'm only going to comment on a couple things here...really.:lol:

First, absolutely forget livebearers if you have soft water. They must have mineral in the water. Clamped fins, shimmy, and various skin disorders are very frequent when maintained in soft acidic water. Hardness must be medium and pH above 7. Keeping them in acidic water is frankly cruel to the fish.

Dwarf Gourami. Not a recommended fish. Interestingly in this month's (December) TFH there is an article entitled Community Fish Caution, written by Howard Goldstein, and the DG is included. He sums it up with "I recommend avoiding the dwarf gourami altogether." So do I.

Last for now, I would increase the loach and diamond tetra if either are selected. Five or six Botia kubotai are best, I've had 5 (had six, one died, this does happen:roll:) for over 2 years now, they need company. Same for diamonds; a group of 7-9 would be best, and be sure to get a good proportional mix of male/female, say 3m/4f or 4m/4-5f. It's been a while (14 years) since I had these; they spawn regularly and are extremely beautiful.


Jayy 11-23-2011 03:42 PM

Okay I'll forget the dwarf gourami and try to find a tank for my platies. Ok, with those out of the way which # do you think would work best?

Jayy 11-23-2011 04:25 PM

I have the platies in the tank now with the harlequin raboras and they all look healthy. So maybe my ph is above 7. I'm not trying to argue and hope you belive me and help figure this out. I dont want to upset you. I don't have a home testkit soo I cant give you a #. If you remember in past thread on stocking. I gave you some numbers maybe you find my ph with those. I said my water is on the soft side because you said it was quite soft, but I guess not too soft because all the fish are healthy.

Byron 11-23-2011 06:32 PM

I found the older thread and the GH is around 4 and KH around 2. That is soft water. No mention of the pH, but with that low a GH and KH the pH will likely be acidic and continue to lower. This is not acceptable for livebearers and they will not last.

I don't mind you or anyone questioning; we learn by questioning. If I can't explain something, I am not being very helpful, so question what you don't understand.

I am going to comment on this issue of the fish looking OK now. Most of us can only gage the condition of our fish by their appearance, and that is certainly important. The longer one is in this hobby, the more experienced one becomes at spotting issues just by the way the fish appears or behaves. But this only goes so far. The fact that a fish swims around the tank, eats food when offered, and interacts with other fish does not mean it is healthy or free of stress. A dog kept in a kennel and fed regularly will be alive for many years, but probably not healthy. It is usually much easier to ascertain trouble in a dog than a fish.

Fish have evolved to function in certain specific environments. Common sense tells us that they will be better in that type of environment. Some fish show remarkable adaptability when it comes to water parameters, but there is always a limit. All knowledgeable sources will advocate medium hard water for all livebearers. It is common to find skin problems, clamped fins and shimmying in livebearers kept in soft acidic water; sometimes this develops quickly, sometimes later. But all along the way the fish is under severe stress and suffering because what nature intended is not being provided.

We cannot change the fish's physiology. Most will never survive to their expected lifespan in soft water. One might as well say that marine fish can be kept in freshwater, it makes as much sense. And some marine fish will "exist" in freshwater, but not well nor for long. The reason is the same.


Jayy 11-23-2011 06:49 PM

Okay I'll put the platies in another tank. I'm still unsure what I want to keep. I wish I had a larger tank to keep all of them.

Jayy 11-23-2011 06:53 PM

I'm thinking #2 but with 8 diamonds

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