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Need Advice Please

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Need Advice Please

Post by HappyFish on Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:05 am

First topic message reminder :

Hello! Smile

I have a 29 gallon tank.
The ph level is 6.0-6.1 and the kh is 8-15.

After much researching I think I finally decided what I will put in my tank however I would like some advice.

I would like to stock my tank with:
A pair of blue rams
A pair of swordtails
6 neon tetras

The blue rams are an absolute must. They are my favorite freshwater fish. Any advice on care or helpful tips would be very much appreciated.

Swordtails: I'm unsure about if my ph levels are appropriate for them. Some articles say 7.0 whiles others say 6.0. Will they breed at 6.0? If swordtails are not suitable would you mind recommending a species that would be acceptable?

Neon Tetras: Is 6 too much? Are they considered a hardy fish? I'm getting mixed opinions about them on the Internet.

Thank you! Smile
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Re: Need Advice Please

Post by Biulu on Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:58 am

I have no experience with fish-in cycling as I normally plant so densely that all ammonia released by the fish is immediately absorbed by the plants.

If you choose to do a fishless cycle, you have an excuse to tell him you don't want the fish...

Plus you can already start it without having decorated the tank.
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Re: Need Advice Please

Post by HappyFish on Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:15 am

I just read up on fish less cycling and trying to attempt it puts my newbieself out of my comfort zone.  I love the idea of a planted tank but it too is out of my comfort zone.  Although I'm thinking once I'm comfortable with fish keeping I want to convert the aquarium to a planted tank and if my husband agrees get a bigger aquarium. 

Would it cycle probably with only one of his male convicts? I know I would get attached but where he is actually really fond of them I'm only allowed to borrow.
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Re: Need Advice Please

Post by Biulu on Sun Apr 19, 2015 8:45 am

If you feel more comfortable with fish in cycling,go ahead with that and yes, it would work with only 1 convict.

You would have about 24 hours to replace the convict with fish of your liking without affecting the existent bacteria population negatively once you are cycled.

Or add some fish that won't get bullied by the convict and give him back at a later point.
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Re: Need Advice Please

Post by HappyFish on Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:17 am

Oh good! I'm glad that will work. I'll do that then. The 24 hours shouldn't be a problem because when I return the convict I can pop into the pet store located conveniently close to where he lives. Smile
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Re: Need Advice Please

Post by CAAIndie on Sun Apr 19, 2015 1:16 pm

You could definitely cycle, but you are bang on about the convicts not being suitable for your long term plans for the tank.

Other options for fairly easy fish-in cycles are danios. I'd done that a couple times with zebra danios. Easy hardy fish. With nice large/frequent water changes, you minimize the stress on them during the cycle. Definitely a common one to cycle with. I didn't have the heart to return my original ones though, so I still have one old fella.

Cardinals are also fine with rams (as would neons). I had them together for a while. I unfortunately lost my cardinals after I moved, but didn't have any problems prior tot that. From the same habitat though, both soft water fish. Smile I've seen some huge tanks with several pairs of rams, and tons of cardinal tetra. Very goregous.

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Re: Need Advice Please

Post by HappyFish on Sun Apr 19, 2015 1:26 pm

The zebra danios sound perfect actually. If I caculated this properly I could have: 

6 zebra danios
6 neon tetras
6 cardinal tetras
1 pair of ram

Or would that be overstocking the aquarium?  I rather not put any fish in the tank that I don't plan to keep...
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Re: Need Advice Please

Post by CAAIndie on Sun Apr 19, 2015 2:20 pm

I don't think that would be overstocked, but probably at a full or close to full level.

There isn't an exactly hard and fast rule for stocking an aquarium. You'll see a lot of the every inch of fully grown fish to the gallon, but that's extremely rough.

A lot of thought about the stock is important like:

Is there a a minimum number of fish that I should stock for a species?
As you probably know by your stocking suggestions, 5 or 6 should be the minimum for keeping shoaling fish like tetra. Even larger numbers the better too. Something like rummynose tetra in my tank are gorgeous with numbers of 8 or 10 (or more) as they tightly school, feel comfortable, and are a joy to watch.


What strata of the tank do the fish occupy?
For example, Danios will spent much of their time in the top to middle of the tank. While blue rams will spend the majority of their time near the bottom areas. Cardinal tetra for instance spend most of the time in the middle to top regions of the tank. If you were to put in a large number of fish that all occupy the same region of the tank, that could be considered overcrowding too.


What is my filtration situation?
Despite what shows up on the box on filters (IE often they say they are rated up to 30 gallons or 50 gallons), most filter's statements about rating are bare minimums. For instance, I run both a fluval c3 (which is rated for 20 gallons to 50), and an aquaclear 30 (rated for 30 gallons) on my 26 gallon bowfront


What is the footprint of my tank?
Despite what many may think, for a number of species of fish, it's less about the total gallons of the tank, but about the footprint/length and width of the tank. Particularly if you have species of fish that spend more time moving horizontally rather than vertically (which most do). For instance, having a 29 gallons long tank would give you more of a footprint for fish than a 29 high.


How frequently am I doing water changes and how large of a water changes am I doing?
What is the adult size of my fish?
What is its behaviour in nature?

This will also influence how many fish one can keep. It's fairly simple to think about, water changes remove toxins from the water, IE nitrates. Water quality will be directly influenced by how often and how much one changes. Heavier stocks will require more frequent and larger changes, IE maybe you are doing 40% once a week, rather than 25% once every two weeks. This isn't to say that if you are doing 80% daily changes, you can keep too many fish or unsuitably large fish in a small tank. There are certainly restrictions one should make based on the adult length of a fish, and it's natural behaviour.

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Re: Need Advice Please

Post by HappyFish on Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:44 pm

That info is really helpful!  Makes A LOT more sense then a gallon per inch rule. I actually never even thought about some of the things you mentioned.  Smile
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Re: Need Advice Please

Post by Biulu on Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:31 pm

Stocking sounds good! I would only choose between a large of either neons or cardinals. These fish look very similar but will not necessarily shoal together.

Having a group of 12 swimming together will look awesome.
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Re: Need Advice Please

Post by HappyFish on Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:22 am

Another thing I didn't know!  Wink I'm glad you guys are so helpful!  I'll probably do cardinal tetras where they are more hardy. It will definitely look better having a group of them swim together!  Smile
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Re: Need Advice Please

Post by l_l_l on Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:41 pm

Having owned both neons and cardinals, I must tell you that I think that the cardinals are 100x more beautiful than the neons are.


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