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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought a 30 gallon aquarium. I am about ready to begin the nitrogen cycle and was wondering if it is safe for live plants during the process. Also stocking wise how many of these fish could I add after nitrogen cycle:
Cockatoo cichlid
tiger barb
upside down catfish
madagascar rainbow fish
neon tetra
platinum angel
hillstream loach
clown loach
Also FYI not saying I want them all but looking for good combinations of fish. Thanks!:smile2:
 

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Hi jake. You definitely want to cycle the tank first - makes life easy.

About those fish.....
Tiger barb is a no go, unless you want them to be the main attraction of your tank. They aren’t a good community fish in smaller tanks. In my experience a 29/30 is the smallest tank I would keep them in, but is not big enough for them to exist well in a community setting.

Clown loach is a no go - they get to be enormous. There are other small species of loach that are better suited to your tank size. I wouldn’t look bigger than zebra loaches.

Hillstream loach is a no go - they require specially designed aquariums with a tremendous amount of current in the tank - too much for other fish.

Madagascar rainbow is boarderline. The smaller dwarf neon rainbows would be a better choice, or even the threadfins and blue eye species. Yeah you might be able to cram a small school of the M. Rainbows in there, but you would be doing yourself a disservice. Rainbows are fantastic schooling fish and should be kept in as large a school as possible for your maximized viewing pleasure. Rainbows have such a high schooling drive that when kept in small numbers they try to school with other fish. While that may seem cool, the other fish tend not to appreciate the attention from them.

Upside down cat is fine for your tank. They are neat little fish, but you won’t see much of them. They won’t bother any fish and other fish don’t bother them.

Neon tetras are good in just about any tank...that doesn’t have anything in there that can eat them. Torpedo shaped fish are easy to swallow for predators, like angelfish. There are a LOT of tetra species you could do, many of which have more of a rounded shape which takes them off the menu for small predators. Orange flame tetra is my favorite.

Dwarf cichlids like the apistogrammas and rams are excellent choices for your tank size.

Angel fish is a good choice as a centerpiece fish for your tank. I wouldn’t put one in a smaller tank but yours is sufficient for one, or possibly a pair if that’s what you were in to. I think you should choose between the dwarf cichlids and the angel fish. In a larger tank you could do both, and some might say you could do a single angel with some rams in the 30. I wouldn’t tell you “no don’t do it”, but I’m also not going to suggest that someone do it. If that makes sense.
 

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As with above, Jaysee pretty mich covered it all.

Currently keeping both angel and rams (dwarf cichlids) in one tank, they have very similar behaviours and seem to possess a distinct personally - in comparison to schooling fish... i would go with the cichlids, more size appropriate plus a lot more community orientated.

A fish thats similar to clowns is the dwarf chain loach, if you can get them. Never kept them myself, since they so expensive in AU, but heard from numerous sources that they are like mini clown loaches... they grow a smaller size than the zebra thay Jaysee mentioned, so personally would be more pleasing in terms of scale - smaller fish in a smaller tank tends to make it look larger. :)

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So here is what I am thinking:

2 of the dwarf cockatoos
4 upside down cats
6-10 neons
3 smaller sized loaches
Maybe some shrimp?

For plants:
Java moss
Indica bonsai
anacharis
Let me know if there is any plants i should add to fit the fishes needs. Thanks again!
 

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That would be a good start for sure. One thing you’re missing is fish for the top half of the tank. And loaches are very social fish so I would do more than 3 .
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok

That would be a good start for sure. One thing you’re missing is fish for the top half of the tank. And loaches are very social fish so I would do more than 3 .
Ok what do you think is a good fish for the top half. not too familiar with different types of fish.
 

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I heard that the upsidedown cats will occupy the top half of the tank if you have floating pieces of wood - like cork - and floating plants....

Fish that wpuld occupy the top include guppies, endlers, gourami (stick with smaller species) and betta.

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I’ve had them hide in stuff near the surface, but they don’t occupy the region by swimming around in it. They just hide.

The threadfin and blue eye rainbows I mentioned, instead of the Madagascar rainbows, are good choices. Dwarf neon rainbows, bloodfin tetras, zebra danios, are some additional choices.
 
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