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Discussion Starter #1
Hallo TFK Forums! I hope I'm posting this in the right place...

I'm a new member but not a new fishkeeper, although I would consider myself more moving from beginner to intermediate. I've kept livebearers before (platies, swordtails, mollies) which bred, of course, harlequin rasboras, various cories which did the same, as well as cherry and amano shrimp and pitbull plecs, this was a year or two ago. I'm looking to restart some old tanks and I'm looking ahead to possible stocking for them. I haven't started cycling or anything yet - I'm waiting to get some ferts/substrate and plants to get them planted up and running and will, of course, not put any fish into them until the cycles have completed and they are all nice and stable. My water is hard but I'm not sure of the exact numbers yet and won't be until my test kit comes, and I have access to soft water if needs be.

I wondered if I could have some feedback on a couple of tanks? The first is a 12.1 gUS (19.5" long, 13" wide, 11" tall) with a Superfish Aqua Flow 200 internal filter and a Aqua One Clearview 280 HOB Filter. It's got a black background which I'm planning on keeping and matching with black substrate, and I'm probably going to plant it up with Vallis, Anubias Nana, Crypts, maybe some Java Fern, I'm not sure. I'll have appropriate hidey holes in the form of driftwood and whatnot for the different guys in there.

I put my wishlist for this tank into AqAdvisor as follows:
5 x Cherry Barb
2 x Peacock Gugeons
3 x Sparkling Gourami​
This gave me:
Estimated stock level: 91%
Aquarium Filtration Capacity: 320%
I was a bit uncomfortable with that stocking level (should I have been?) so I removed one Sparkling Gourami and the stats became:
Estimated stock level: 85%
Aquarium Filtration Capacity: 353%
My queries are:

  • Should I throw caution to the wind and keep the 3x Sparkling Gouramis?
  • Swinging the other way, could/should I go down to 1 Peacock Gudgeon?
  • Will the Cherry Barbs be okay if the Gouramis/Gudgeons spawn (I'm going to try to keep single sex pairings, unless the common consensus is that this will be more problematic than keeping potential breeding pairs alongside hiding places - I'm not looking to breed, but I'm preparing for if it happens): AqAdvisor is fretful over the issue
  • What order should I start stocking in? Barb/Gourami/Peacock? Gourami/Barb/Peacock? Peacock last I'm assuming?
I've done as much research as I can on the different types of fish and haven't seen much in the way of issues with those fish together; if anyone has any experience of the three together I would love to hear it, I'd be so grateful. I'm nervous about the Gudgeons, but nothing ventured nothing gained.

The second tank is also uncycled, waiting to be made ready, so this is another look into the future. It's a 14.2 gUS bowfront (18" long, 13" high, 13/15" wide so I went with 14") with a Superfish Aqua Flow 400 internal filter, blue/white gravel which I'm going to rescape with ferts and sandy areas. I'm going to plant this one up too, Java Fern and Anubias Nana, I'm not sure about anything else in there but that's subject to change. Hidey holes again, of course.

I'm thinking about
8 x Dainty Cory (habrosus)
5? x platies
I'm struggling with the number of platies. AqAdvisor says:
Estimated Stock level: 95%
Aquarium Filtration Capacity: 452%
I'm less nervous about being high on the stock level because I'm more familiar with platies, but I don't want them to be unhappy. I'd appreciate any input you guys could give me, and apologise for the long post!

Thank you kindly! :smile2:
 

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Welcome. Cherry barbs are cool little fish but I don't think they are a good fit for your tank size. In a 20 inch tank I go with a smaller species of fish. Aqadvisor is extremely conservative in their estimates, as it should be considering it's a tool for the masses to use. So I wouldn't worry a whole lot about the stocking %. Considering that you are familiar with the hobby, I think you can manage sticking levels in the 100-150% range fairly easily, provided you have a good mix of stock and do normal maintenance.

I've not kept the gudgeons or sparkling gouramis so I'm not going to say more than they are good sized choices for the tank. I'll defer on their numbers. I would look to add a school of about 8 nano fish - no bigger than neons. Not sure what you have access to but chili rasbora is a good example.

On tank 2 I think the dwarf corys are appropriate choice for size and numbers. As for platies - I wouldn't look to put anything bigger in there. If you go that route you have to consider what to do with potential fry, or keep males only. The tank just isn't big enough to accommodate any amount of population growth.


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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for the welcome jaysee :)

Oh, that's a shame - I particularly wanted them as they're a Sri Lankan species so we'd match, lol. Thank you for putting my mind at rest about AqAdvisor, I was fretting.

Thank you for your input on that! I like chili rasboras, I might look into switching the barbs for those.

Brilliant on the cories, re: the platies - I was going to attempt to keep all males and if the odd girl slips through I was planning to hand any fry over to the LFS. I wasn't sure if 5 platies was a big enough group and I also didn't want to overcrowd them in the tank

Thanks again for all your advice; it was really helpful and I really appreciate you taking the time to come back to me :) z
 

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Happy to be of help, and good luck!

Having reread my post, I just want to clarify about the stocking %. Bigger tanks are easier and safer to keep higher stocking %. So to have a 200% stock in a 125 gallon tank isn't going to be as difficult to maintain as a 200% in a 10 gallon tank. Of course types and mixes of fish play a huge role in how that stocking % utilizes the space. It's cool that we have a tool like aqadvisor to begin to quantify fish keeping, but stocking a tank is art and science. The science is the foundation of knowledge - the art is applying that knowledge.


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