20-29 gallon stocking ??????
Thought I would do this in a separate thread.
Here's some water info: PH 7.9; overall hardness 8.3 grains/gallon (avg); Calcium 48 PPM (avg).
The last few days I've been researching stocking ideas and I really like the idea of doing a natural South East Asia theme. I'm visualizing a pool in south east asia tropical brook. Here's what I'm looking at:
But then, I look on-line and I find some sites that agree with what my book is telling me and others that pretty much have all of the above at a neutral PH.
To make matters worse, I have read several articles, some of which say that PH is very important and not to exceed the natural paramaters and others that say it's not a huge deal if you're not breeding. Some of these have also insinuated that this is a bigger issue if you happen to get fish that are caught in the wild vs. fish that have been bred.
What's a guy to do?
Oh.....also Honey Gourami in lieu of either the dwarf or pygmy.
Well, I have to say for both tanks you are grossly overstocked by several times the tanks capacity. For example 12 Zebra Danio would fully stock your 20g alone. Plus active fish aren't so good in a 20g unless it is a long rather than tall tank.
Your tap water pH is high, and yes several tropical fish prefer slightly acidic water (6-7 range) but several can do okay up to 7.5 with a few going up to 8. At the high range, possibly look at livebearers instead (they like hard basic water). Driftwood/peat moss can slightly lower pH temporarily but dosen't last forever.
And yes, it's true that wild caught fish are more picky than tank bred. You'll have to research each species to know what you'll likely encounter since most pet stores won't have a clue (they just get their fish from a distributor).
You've summed up the situation well.:welldone: This is an area in which I have done a great deal of research, so I will respond from that perspective.
I don't know which book you have, but one must always remember that this is a scientific hobby (whether we like it or not...note the line below my signature;-)) which means that knowledge will always be increasing and things will change accordingly. When I started in this hobby, no one did water changes; now no one will tell you not to. We learn.
While the internet has given us all more information, it is not always reliable. Anyone can set up a website, or write articles in Wikipedia. The benefit of a forum is critical analysis by other members, much like the scientific community at a less advanced level but none the less extremely beneficial one. And there is the matter of the source; who authored this or that is highly significant as a guide to its reliability. I could tell you that cardinal tetra must be kept in very soft acidic water; so what? I'm not a biologist. But when Dr. Jacques Gery, Dr. Stanley Weitzman, and similar write this, you can accept it as absolute scientific fact.
We have a profiles section, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top. Many fish and plants are now included. Most of the profiles were written by me, and the data is my summation of a number of sources that have a high degree of reliability. When I come across varying opinion from equally reliable sources, which does sometimes happen, I give both views and indicate it. The information in the profiles is not mine, but it is well documented.
To some specifics you raise. Hardness (GH) and pH are important, very much so--but in context. Varying pH can kill fish. Hard water will shorten the lifespan of most soft water fish. This post will become a novel if I digress into this, so I won't at this time. Spawning is one of several indicators; if soft water fish won't spawn, it means the water is clearly having some effect on their physiology. And wild caught fish do have a much greater problem with this. If nature has taken thousands if not millions of years to develop a species, we shouldn't expect to change that overnight.
Your hardness numbers are good, and in an established aquarium the pH will lower naturally. There are ways to assist this initially, we can discuss later. My point here is that what you have out of the tap is not prohibitive.
To your SE Asian plans: Below is a photo of my former SE Asian biotope, which is one example; this was meant to replicate a shallow lagoon, using a 29g. The second photo is a very similar setup in my 33g. I would avoid dwarf gourami, the problems are set out in our profile. [By the way, if the name is given the same in posts as in the profile it will shade, as it did here, and you can click that to pop up the profile.:-)] Sparkling gourami (pygmy) are fine, a small group is best, say 2 males/3 females or 5 if unable to tell. You don't want Zebra Danio in with gourami; the danio are active swimmers, gourami are sedate cruisers. Rasbora are good with gourami. In addition to the Trigonostigma species (the Harlequin Rasbora, or the even nicer Lambchop Rasbora or better still the Hengels Rasbora:lol:), there are those in Boraras (Dwarf Rasbora, Mosquito Rasbora). The Eyespot Rasbora (Brevibora dorsiocellata, likely your Emerald Eye) is another, I have a shoal of these in my 90g with some Hengels. Dwarf loach is fine, active but in my experience (I've had these for years) not a problem. The similarly-sized Dwarf Banded Loach is very nice too, I have both of these in my 33g. In the tank photo below, along with all these I had two species of Chocolate Gourami. A highly sensitive fish, and one that absolutely needs soft water.
Well, looks like I definitely came to the right place! What a great resource this forum will be! I will most definitely take a look at the profiles and see what I come up with.
I've considered livebearers due to the fact that I was pretty sure we had fairly high PH around here. My biggest concern there is getting youngsters that I don't really want/have room for.
At anyrate, the book I purchased is by Dr. Ulrich Schliewen and is called "My Aquarium". Seemed like a good starting out book, though I know nothing of the man except what is in his bio on the back. My stocking ideas came from this book, so now I'm questioning this book to some extent given that it would seem that I would be grossly overstocked in either scenario. To tell you the truth, I thought so initially (from the 1 to 1 rule)....but then I thought this guy most definitely knows more than me, so what the heck.
BTW, Byron, picture number 2 is a lot like what I have in my head....though, I believe I will be going with fake plants. I'm already pretty unsure of myself as a beginner, so to throw live plantings into the mix may just be a bit too much for me.
I recommend going with live plants. They're good for your fish, and your whole aquarium. Not to mention they look good. Plants eat up some of the toxins that are bad for fish, its a win win. :-)
Plus, fake plants will get covered with algae and they are a pain to clean.
Perhaps he means you can choose one line from the list, instead of one species from each line. That would appear to be closer to what you could actually do without issues.
Stocking is tricky because there is no hard fast rule. The 1" per gallon is a ballpark, it can get you a general idea if you're close or way off base but that's as far as it will take you.
It also kind of depends on how much maintenance you want to do. A lightly stocked tank could get by with maybe 15-25% of the water changed a week while a heavily stocked tank would need 50+% a week to maintain good water quality. Fish stores usually have their systems constantly cycling out some of the water and replacing with fresh because their tanks are so massively overstocked it isn't even funny. Plus the fish are usually not in the store long before being sold.
Geomancer - That's very possible. He could mean to do this or this or this....and maybe I was just reading it wrong.
All said, it seems as if I may be re-directing here and looking at a species aquarium rather than a community aquarium as I had initially intended. It just seems either the 20 or 30 are just too small to do a good, well represented community tank.
I know I could definitely have the above mentioned in a species aquarium, but any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I want something that is going to be pretty and colorful. I'm currently going through many of the profiles....hadn't thought much about rainbows, but I'm getting some interesting ideas there....but my water may be an issue.
BTW, is it necessary to have bottom feeders/scavengers? I'm just thinking now in terms of a species aquarium, I probably wouldn't really have room for those scavengers either.
If you can keep fish alive, you can easily keep plants alive. And having the plants means the fish will have an even better life.:-D
There's a 4-part series (also by me again) stickied at the head of the Aquarium Plants section entitled "A Basic Approach to the Natural Planted Aquarim" that might put it in perspective.
Ok, so here's where we're at.
So we've decided on the 29 gallon (110 L) tank. Unfortunately, I will incur the add'l expense of a tank stand in this scenario, but I'm sure I'll forget about that in a couple months. Here's my latest and greatest stocking idea:
1.) 8 Cherry Barbs and 6 Dwarf Neon Rainbows
My thoughts here are that I would start off with the Cherry Barbs as the profile and everything else I've read says these are "very easy"....and it seems they will be able to better handle the inevitable newbie mistakes I'll make. I also like the idea that, while considered middle swimmers, they tend to utilize all levels. I also like the fact that they will eat algae, and they will add the color splash. Lastly, they're an ideal fit for my water parameters right out of the tap.
After a time, once I have things figured out and I'm maintaining my water parameters, I would add the Neon Rainbows. I really like these fish. We found out that one of the guys my wife works with has been keeping fish for about 30 years and he's a Rainbow fanatic. Went to his house last night and showed use all his tanks. His Neons were still youngsters, so not showing a lot of color yet, but they were very fun to watch and seem to be very smart and quite interactive with the weirdos staring at them through the glass. He said they wouldn't start showing their colors until they're between 1-2 years old....he also recommended for the best color show to keep these at a 1:1 ratio (profile says 1:2, so that's probably what I'd go with).
At anyrate, my only concern at the moment is my Ph and the Neon Rainbows. The guy we visited last night said not to worry too much about it....he has the same parameters out of the tap as I do and he doesn't do anything special. In his words, "these fish are far hardier and adaptable than given credit for." Still, it seems that these fish should be (if aquarium raised) at 7.0 - 7.5 (I'm at 7.9).
So I guess my main question in this RE is, will my aquarium achieve a more basic Ph as it establishes itself? Also, comments and/or criticism on my stocking idea are welcome.
Thanks as always!
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