Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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JimBinSC 04-27-2012 08:29 PM

75 gallon new setup
 
I'm getting my 75 out finally! I plan on having low light plants and driftwood in a low tech tank. I have a Eheim 2215 for it and a penguin 350, but I think I'll just use the 2215.
For a substrate do I need any special substrate (laterite, comes to mind)or just gravel?
I draw a blank when it comes to fish, can someone suggest a good mix of fish and stocking levels? I have Neon Tetras, Platys and a Clown Loach in a 29 gal. The tetras and loach will move to the 75. I don't want livebearers in the new tank. I know the loach may become a problem, I had planned on getting a few more to keep the lone one company, I like it too much to get rid of it. My wife, however, hates how the tetras disappear every now and then.
So I was thinking a nice school of tetras, or some other community fish, 3-4 loaches, maybe a peaceful dwarf cichlid?
Please give me some fish names and I'll look into them, and any good low light plants, I have swords right now.
Thanks

Byron 04-28-2012 09:50 AM

To get you started. Substrate, forget the laterite, it is only an iron-enriched clay and the benefits are nil [I've used it]. Fine gravel, meaing a grain size of 1-2 mm, or coarse sand (such as play sand) work fine. A depth of no more than 2 inches overall with the sand, and 2-3 inches with the fine gravel. Dark or natural colour, nothing bright or white. If substrate fish (loach, corys) are intended as you mention, I would go with playsand.

Light. What do you now have? I can suggest plants when i know this.

Fish. If you provide your water parameters out of the tap, GH and pH, I can offer ideas for a 55g community. [When you say the tetra disappear, do you mean as in hiding, or dying?]

Byron.

arscott82 04-28-2012 10:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimBinSC (Post 1061514)
So I was thinking a nice school of tetras, or some other community fish, 3-4 loaches, maybe a peaceful dwarf cichlid? Thanks

I had the same idea with adding some dwarf cichlids, they will not work while having neons. The neons are cooler water that the dwarf cichlids. There isn't a good middle ground for the temp, to low will hurt the cichlids and to hight will hurt the neons. I've been doing a little research on what tetra will work with dwarf cichlids and I think cardinal tetras are the only ones that need around the same temp.
I'm still looking myself for a good 3 inch or so pair of fish to be tankmates to my neons. I have a 29 gal myself with 14 neons.

Byron 04-28-2012 10:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by arscott82 (Post 1061931)
I had the same idea with adding some dwarf cichlids, they will not work while having neons. The neons are cooler water that the dwarf cichlids. There isn't a good middle ground for the temp, to low will hurt the cichlids and to hight will hurt the neons. I've been doing a little research on what tetra will work with dwarf cichlids and I think cardinal tetras are the only ones that need around the same temp.
I'm still looking myself for a good 3 inch or so pair of fish to be tankmates to my neons. I have a 29 gal myself with 14 neons.

A solitary Bolivian Ram would work in a 29g with peaceful characins. Or a bonded pair but they must be bonded, not just any female and male.

JimBinSC 04-28-2012 04:24 PM

Thanks for your responses. I made it over to the storage unit and the light appears to be a standard single T12 (I think) 48 or so inch tube, silly me took the measuring tape but didn't measure it but the tank is 48 inches. Brand is: "Eclipse Natural Daylight", doesn't say the wattage but looks like 40w is normal for light that size.
I'll be replacing the bulb as soon as possible. Maybe even upgrading the fixture if necessary.
Thanks
jim

arscott82 04-28-2012 04:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimBinSC (Post 1062233)
Thanks for your responses. I made it over to the storage unit and the light appears to be a standard single T12 (I think) 48 or so inch tube, silly me took the measuring tape but didn't measure it but the tank is 48 inches. Brand is: "Eclipse Natural Daylight", doesn't say the wattage but looks like 40w is normal for light that size.
I'll be replacing the bulb as soon as possible. Maybe even upgrading the fixture if necessary.
Thanks
jim

Your fixture will work just fine for most low light plants, especially if it is the 48 inch light and not the two 24 inch ones. You would probably want to just buy a new light bulb for it. What you'll want to look for in the new bulb is a K rating somewhere between 5000 and 7000. A good one to start with is a 6500 K.

Byron 04-28-2012 06:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimBinSC (Post 1062233)
Thanks for your responses. I made it over to the storage unit and the light appears to be a standard single T12 (I think) 48 or so inch tube, silly me took the measuring tape but didn't measure it but the tank is 48 inches. Brand is: "Eclipse Natural Daylight", doesn't say the wattage but looks like 40w is normal for light that size.
I'll be replacing the bulb as soon as possible. Maybe even upgrading the fixture if necessary.
Thanks
jim

A single tube will limit things a bit, but as arscott82 mentioned some plants will manage fine. And yes, a 48-inch is 40w normally, although the newer T8 tubes are usually 32w or 34w because they are more energy efficient, so equal or perhaps more light for less energy (watts). Try to get T8 when you replace the tube. And here you can go with the more expensive like Life-Glo or ZooMed Ultra Sun, or the less expensive but good daylight tubes like GE or Phillips with 6500K rating. Just make sure of the Kelvin; Phillips calls theirs Daylight Deluxe, and GE calls theirs Natural Daylight.

Plants that should work are the common sword Echinodorus bleherae, pygmy chain sword, any of the crypts, Anubias, Java Fern, Java Moss. Floating try Water Sprite if you can get it, or if not Brazilian Pennywort works well floating. Both can be kept thinned to allow light through but still provide that essential cover for the fish.

Byron.

JimBinSC 04-28-2012 07:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 1062392)
A single tube will limit things a bit, but as arscott82 mentioned some plants will manage fine. And yes, a 48-inch is 40w normally, although the newer T8 tubes are usually 32w or 34w because they are more energy efficient, so equal or perhaps more light for less energy (watts). Try to get T8 when you replace the tube. And here you can go with the more expensive like Life-Glo or ZooMed Ultra Sun, or the less expensive but good daylight tubes like GE or Phillips with 6500K rating. Just make sure of the Kelvin; Phillips calls theirs Daylight Deluxe, and GE calls theirs Natural Daylight.

Plants that should work are the common sword Echinodorus bleherae, pygmy chain sword, any of the crypts, Anubias, Java Fern, Java Moss. Floating try Water Sprite if you can get it, or if not Brazilian Pennywort works well floating. Both can be kept thinned to allow light through but still provide that essential cover for the fish.

Byron.

Thanks,
I forgot to add my parameters: ph: 7.0 GH: less than 100ppm.

Byron 04-28-2012 07:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JimBinSC (Post 1062428)
Thanks,
I forgot to add my parameters: ph: 7.0 GH: less than 100ppm.

That GH is perfect for soft water fish and just sufficient for the plants. I keep my GH around 5-6 dGH with Equilibrium for the plants. The pH will almost certainly lower as the tank settles biologically, good again.

JimBinSC 04-30-2012 11:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Byron (Post 1062432)
That GH is perfect for soft water fish and just sufficient for the plants. I keep my GH around 5-6 dGH with Equilibrium for the plants. The pH will almost certainly lower as the tank settles biologically, good again.

Any suggestions for stocking? I think I would like a nice group of small fish (neon tetras or something peaceful like that) with some 3-6 inch fish as well, and a couple of bottom feeders. I'm ok with starting from scratch and not worrying about mixing the fish from the 29 gallon into the 75.
I would like to move the loach over, but concerned about its eventual size, especially if I get a group of them.
About the Tetras disappearing, we think the loach kills them occasionally, we started with 5 now we have 3.


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