Looking for community tank advice
Hi, I was wondering if anyone could please help me with my community tank. I've never owned fish before and I'm learning as I go, but now I can't find any advice on the internet and need some help from people with experience. ^_^
I'm afraid I may have been a little over enthusiastic when I purchased my fish and tank. I have a 180L fishtank (about 48 gallons) that I am using to house 4 baby angelfish, 3 golden gourami, 1 lace gourami, 1 moonight gourami, 1 opal gourami, 3 albino catfish, 3 bristlenose catfish, 2 red tipped sharks, 20 neon tetras, 17 silvertip tetras and 12 white cloud mountain minnow fry. And one snail that snuck in with the live plants.
I have a about fifteen live plants of different varieties growing in the tank, lots of caves and a few decorations with holes, ect in them. I've heated the water to 27C (80F) and its all very clean and clear.
The biggest problem I'm having with the tank is that the silvertip tetras are attacking the white clound mountain minnow fry quite ruthlessly, they've nipped the tail fins off one already and I don't know why they're acting so aggressive as all the sites I've visited tell me they should get along. I'm considering getting 5 or so more white clouds so that the increased numbers will make them less of a target, but I'm concerned that the aggression could also be a result of overcrowding.
I'm also finding my opal gourami is hiding in corners and plants, and running away from other fish or becoming slightly aggressive with them. This is strange because the other five gourami all enjoy playing together and get along well. All six are female, is this going to become a problem?
Any advice on my tank, both the problems I'm having and future potential problems with the set up, would be much appreciated. Thank you very much. ^_^
Yikes!! Yes, I have to agree you have some problems because of fish you have in that tank. Your tank is going to be too small for those Angelfish, and they shouldn't be with Gourami's. If your tank isn't cycled, and adding all those fish at once will likely result in illness and death, when you get ammonia and nitrite spikes. Plants are good, but I don't think they'll solve the problem completely. I'd take some fish back immediately. People will want to know more about your water, so they can help you select the best fish. Angelfish need acidic water, with lower ph, and they get big and will eat many of the small fish you have when they are mature. You've got stress going on, and if you don't change it, you'll lose fish, IMO. By the way, welcome! Hope you get the help you need.
Thanks Gwen, I was considering taking back three of the angelfish and maybe removing the clouds and albino catfish into my daughters little 10L tank that is currently empty. Would that be enough or just a start? Are you able to tell me why angelfish and gourami can't live together? So far I've found them so cute getting along together, I'm really hoping I don't have to remove them but I will if I have to.
I'm not sure about the pH levels, which I'm sure is bad, sorry. I followed the aquariums instructions adding the suggested ammounts two typs of conditioner and some bactaria exactly and left the tank for five days, then I added the neons and silvertips, when they went well I added the angelfish, albinos and white clouds. Over the last week I've been adding the gourami and the bristlenose and everything was going well. There were less neons, silvertips and clouds though and they were being very shy and hiding. I read they liked to live in larger schools so I added more off all three today, as well as the opal gourami and the two sharks, and now the trouble has started between the small fish and the opal gourami is quite distressed.
What would you recommend I keep / get rid of to make the community tank happier and more settled?
Could I get another tank and divide up most of the fish to keep them instead of returning them? If so, how big a tank would I need and now should I divide up the fish? If I'd still need to return some fish, which ones?
And I don't know what the time span was of you adding all these fish but it sounds like it might have been too much too fast... I guess you will find out if you have any ammonia spikes, etc. And Angels are really sensitive to water quality.
Again hopefully someone else can help you soon. Good luck and welcome to TFK! :)
Id agree the angels are the ones to remove in an aquarium that hasnt been cycled properly also when they grow they tend to munch on smaller fish. Theall female gouramis arent necesarily a problem but id remove the 1 that shys away into the 10g tank you said you had just to be on the safe side. Am i right in understanding you have more than 1 shark? Unfortunately they are very teritorial and will fight alot with each other when they start to mature, im sure thats not something youd enjoy, maybe not taking it back but possibly moving with the stressed gourami. Gouramis are stunning fish and have personalities just like the bettas, each is different but friendly enough. The snail that snuck in you may want to remove quickly if its a common snail that multiplies like wild fire and become an issue. Infortunately with the tetras you have gone ott to soon, my set up was started with 4 fish, in a 140litre aquarium they look lost but it is important to start small and then build up, as in the species selected there all friendly enough.
I'm no expert, but Byron has talked about that both Gourami's and Angelfish being both Antabandids, (sorry about spelling) and that as they grow, will see each other (more likely than not) as rivals, and fight over territory, as they are both territorial. Hopefully, he'll weigh in :lol:
I think the clouds and the catfish can go together in a ten gallon. I know clouds are cooler water fish, but can tolerate more tropical water too. They are easy to care for. The albino cats will do better in a small group of 3 minimum.
You should be able to find out your ph level from your tap, by contacting your water company, or checking on their website. That is something you should keep constant, and get fish that will work with your ph in your water - unless you want to purchase RO water, or have RO water in your home. I had no clue about water when I started, and still just know enough to understand my tank situations :)
I'm not good at telling you what you should get/keep. Start looking at fish, and seeing which you like. Read profiles of fish here and decide with some of that info.
Love to hear what you end up choosing. I'm sure others will give you some ideas :)
Thanks for all your advice guys! ^_^ I removed the silvertips and one of the sharks into the smaller tank and so far they've all settled down and become quite happy. The small tank is very peaceful and the big tank is so much happier now. I can't find the snail anymore, it was tiny and I think something ate it. Will the shy gourami have enough room if I move her too? The tank is 10L, not 10g, so its 2.6g, a very small little goldfish style tank for a child. I'm already a little concerned the shark is cramped in there but I'll probably take him back and just keep one.
Can one lone angel get along with the gouramis? I know I keep asking, the angels were the first fish I bought and I'm silly and attached to them. ^_^ If the angel is a female on her own will I have the same territory issues?
If the big tank has settled down, should I still remove more fish? (Other than the angels?) The remaining fish are all swimming around happily again, especially the white clouds who were getting terrorized.
Another question, if I end up with ammonia spikes and the fish die, do I need to drain the aquarium and start everything again? Or can I remove the dead fish, clean the tank and use most of the same water again after its had some time to settle?
To be honest with you id say do 20-30% water changes every other day just prepare the new water the day before if possible, should help reduce any risk of a drastic spike
Just a slight correction Gwen on the issue of gourami and angelfish. It is their inherent aggressiveness and the fact that both are highly territorial that is the problem. [Angelfish are cichlids, not anabantids like the gourami. ;-)] They can see each other as rivals, and they both like to "own" their space which is the tank.
Pixie, I would remove several of the fish ASAP, which means take them back to the store if they will (they may or may not credit). Everything might appear fine now, but I can guarantee that will not last. There are fish in that mix which are going to become aggressive as they mature, as nature made them. Sometimes small spaces can inhibit this by stressing the fish so badly they simply can't be "normal," which obviously is not good for the health of the fish; sometimes the aggression is even worse because of the confined space, as the fish is frustrated and lashes out the only way it can. You are correct on the space causing the issue with the Silvertips--this particular tetra can be nippy sometimes, and small spaces almost always cause this to manifest itself. As for what should go:
all angelfish[these are fine in a small group, but in a 55g or larger tank, and being a shoaling fish they should be in a group]
all sharks [these can be downright nasty as they grow, and they will outgrow your tank in no time]
all gourami [males are territorial as noted above, and if you should happen to have more than one male, whatever the species, they will likely fight to the death--at least, they will if they are healthy]
whiteclouds [these are not strictly speaking tropicals, they do best in cooler temps; plus being picked on by the tetra is not going to keep them healthy and adds more stress]
Bristlenose [one is fine, 2 maybe, but 3 is likely too many, if 2 (or all 3) turn out to be males. They are territorial.
The Silvertips may settled down; watch them, if they don't, you will have a tank of just them because they will harass the others which causes health issues and frequently a shorter lifespan results.
We have profiles of most of these fish, if not all of them; second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top. Detailed info on numbers, tank sizes, and behaviour issues are included.
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