February 3rd, 2006, 11:34 AM
I've been reading over the posts in the fish forum, and I've seen a lot of good conversation on this, but of course, I'm still looking for ideas.
I have a 10g tank, established since October. Right now, it currently has:
2 Gold Barbs
3 Brilliant Rasboras
1 Columbian Spotted Pleco
I'm running a 30g Biowheel filter in the tank, so I've been told I have a little wiggle room in terms of stocking levels.
The Barbs and Rasboras are nice, if a bit bland. This is mostly because my tank is pretty light, so they aren't very noticable. The Platys are great in terms of color, but I'm not sure if they are the best choice.
Any ideas on how I can stock this tank for best visual impact? I'm also planning on adding a second, larger tank in the next month or so. So I guess I could eventually move anything inappropriate for the smaller tank to the larger at that time.
February 3rd, 2006, 03:20 PM
If you have live plants you will be able to add more fish, over-filtering helps as well.
I'm concerned about the pleco being too big for a 10g, but if you are going to be getting a larger tank, you could move it up to that one and add some smaller fish. I like the harlequin rasbora/panda cory/oto/betta combo myself although when the betta passes on I have plans of replacing him with a bolivian ram(dwarf cichlid). The platies may also get to be too big for the tank, and as they are like rabbits, they could reproduce themselves out of a tank (someone once said that to me about my children, they were less polite though). I would add pandas or otos if you move the pleco. Both like groups though so stick with one and get at least three, 5 is better, but may not be doable with it stocked the way it is right now.
Flashy fish like neons are sensitive so you want to let the tank really settle before attempting them. Cardinals are hardier and just as flashy. Again tetras are also schooling fish and 5 is about the lowest I'd go with them. But that's just because I like odd-numbers.
February 3rd, 2006, 03:48 PM
No worries about the pleco. My plans are to definitely expand in the near future (I've been bitten by the fish bug!).
The platies are both males, so no concerns about reproduction there.
I'm off to the LFS today to replace my current colored background with a black one. I think that will help set off the light foreground and paler fish nicely. I'm also going to add some more plants (fake for now).
Any thoughts on the harlies versus the brilliants?
I do like the idea about the betta / corys, as that would give me a flashy centerpiece fish and lots of activity. BUT I am concerned about the betta in my tank, with the 30g filter running. There's an awful lot of current there, and I thought bettas preferred calm, still water.
February 3rd, 2006, 04:09 PM
Hi, personally I like the harlies, they look dull in the sale tanks, but when you get them home they colour up beautifully (check out my thread My Fishy Fotos). They are stunning when the water is just right, they take on a violet hue, WOW!
The betta may find the current tough to deal with at first, mine stayed out of it for the first little while, and I kept it turned down as well. He started 'surfing' in it like the harlies do LOL, now that's something to see. Their wild environment is stagnant pools of water, but they must get water flow once in a while, they seem to be pretty adaptable. Mine does have tail and fin rot right now and I'm not sure what caused it, and I'm having mixed success treating it. Fow the most part he's fine but the tail is not growing back yet and sometimes seems to be getting smaller. I think it happened when I turned the filter down after having it up for so long, and it has not affected any other fish in the tank. So I'm not sure if you still want to try a betta, they are great fish and they get along with other fish as well.
Why fake for now? In a smaller tank it is easier to keep the plants happy and filling the tank with plants is cheaper too. I planted mine with mostly extras from my 25g and only bought a few plants. I have noticed too that you can kill 2 birds with one stone now and buy driftwood with java fern, and anubias attached and established already. Totally convenient! But don't let me tell you what to do, I just couldn't imagine doing a tank with fake plants now that I have been well and truly bitten by the planted-tank bug! And it's not a curable condition either.;)
February 3rd, 2006, 04:24 PM
this is what you have:
2 Gold Barbs
3 Brilliant Rasboras
1 Columbian Spotted Pleco
With plans to upgrade to a larger tank - what size?
I have no idea what a Columbian Spotted Pleco is, look here
at the plecos and L numbers to find your fish:
I would keep the 2 Platys in the 10g tank, and move the gold barbs and brilliant rasbora to a larger tank - maybe a 30g or 55g tank - those are both nice sizes.
Then You Could Go With
6 Gold Barbs
6 Brilliant Rasbora
Maybe something like 6-8 Corydoras Catfish
2 Pearl Gourami or Angelfish or Cichlid of some kind or a group
of another schooling fish sm- med in a group of 6.
In the 10g tank, go with 2 platys male,
then you could add the male betta you wanted,
and maybe something like 6 corydoras hasbrosus (dainty, salt n pepper, dwarf cory), or a trio of otocinclus catfish, or a group
of small schooling fish like neons, glowlights, etc.
if the flow were too high,
you could put a sponge on the intake, which would slow
it down a bit.
Heavily planted would help with the current too, as would
decor like driftwood, caves, etc.
February 4th, 2006, 05:00 PM
My father has kept tanks for years, and said he never had much luck with planted tanks. So its kind of scared me off of trying.
I'll probably go with a 30g, a want something decent sized but not huge right now. I'm in an apartment with plans to probably move within the next year, so I'll have to hold off on the big tanks for now.
I'm really growing on the brilliants and gold barbs, so I'd most likely want to move those to the larger tank and increase their numbers. So really it would be deciding what to use as centerpiece fish in that tank.
I was leaning towards some sort of gourami. The dad tried the angels, and had horrible luck with those as well.
As I'm so new to this, I think I'd like to stick to relatively inexpensive fish for awhile at least.
February 5th, 2006, 04:52 AM
please dont let your dad's troubles scare you off
from having a beautifully planted tank, nor
let him put you off one of the easiest south american
cichlids to keep!
Aqua science has come a super long way from your dads time.
A Planted tank, if you take the time to choose the right
plants for your setup- can take no effort at all.
My tanks = planted and left alone. Only thing I do is once
every 4-5 months trim the plants out, and add fertilizer sticks
under the gravel. Properly chosen plants make for a gorgeous tank,
and with a good light, you need not much else.
Plants help out with tank maintenance, add oxygen to the water,
keep the nitrAtes low, and eat up crud in the gravel.
I would recommend live plants for any tank. Besides, they just look
the best. Hey, I cant even keep a houseplant alive,
but even I can do aquatic plants!!
And I dont know why he would have trouble with Angels, they are
a highly recommended beginners fish - but little baby angels
can be sensitive- I personally recommend going for larger ones.
Its worth the extra money. Once they get to about a 2-3 inch diameter, they are tough as nails.
Did you look to see what kind of pleco you have?
Really need to know that. Columbian Spotted is not
even a common name I could find for any pleco.
I suspect you have a marble sailfin pleco, or a gold nugget.
Both grow large- marble sailfins to 20 inches, gold nuggets to 8-10.
There are only a few "spotted" plecos that stay barely small enough for
even a 30g tank (less than 10 inches), the gold nugget is one, most are very expensive.
I would lean for a stocking of the 30g tank
5 Gold Barbs
5 Brilliant Rasbora
7 Cory Cats of 1 species
Then your centerpeice could be 1 of these:
Pair of Pearl Gouramis (m/f)
1 Gold or Blue or Opaline or Moonlight Gourami
If you choose a bottom dweller like the rams or firemouth,
of course you wouldnt add the cories.
do a search on planet catfish and find out what your pleco
actually is. If its a marble sailfin or another large common type pleco,
you will need to get rid of it.
And for plants, once you have figured out your lighting for the tank,
2.5wpg of light would give you the best conditions for a planted tank.
So you would need at least 60 watt light minimum, but less could be worked with as well. Heres a site of almost every common aquarium plant,
and tells you about them. Browse the pet store with a pen and paper,
write names down, and check on this site.
If it says Medium-High or Extra high light avoid. If it says Terrestrial or Terrarium plant, avoid - like Mondo Grass, Draecena, Peace Lily, Etc.
If it says moderate or low lighting, your good to go.
February 6th, 2006, 10:51 AM
Couldn't find a marbled sailfin pleco on PlanetCatfish, but I have a bad feeling that what I have may be a Gibby's sailfin. Full length 18 inches!!! :eek:
So the guy at the LFS is officially a putz. I specifically told him I was planning on putting this fish in a 10g tank, and then ultimately into a 30g, and wanted a pleco that would stay small. Nice.
February 6th, 2006, 12:00 PM
I just love pet store clerks sometimes...NOT! They really just want to make a sale sometimes and don't even listen to what we say. If they wonn't take it back, ask around at other stores, some may be willing to take it in exchange for a discount on another fish you want, some just will take them as a donation, then turn around and sell them for the same price they are selling the rest! There are very few plecos suitable for a 30 gallon let alone a 10 gallon. I think you'd be happier with a siamese algae eater for the 30 and a couple of otos for the 10. The otos don't cycle tanks tanks well, but the SAE's are pretty hardy IME, they would be good second fish to go in the 30 when you get it set-up. Really good fish for cycling a tank are the danios, any variety. They are very hardy fish, and they are often sold for that purpose and at a discount when you buy them in schools.
February 6th, 2006, 03:03 PM
Since the LFS's around here do not post scientific names (and obviously are HUGE liars), and my inexperienced eye can't really spot a large growing pleco or cory from a smaller version, what is the best way to be sure I'm buying the right type of fish for my aquarium?
Answering my own question: do you think I should print off pictures to take with me? That way I can outright call them a liar to their face? :evil:
I can't trust the people in the store, as my latest foray has told me. The thing that ticks me off here is that this was a dedicated fish store, and not some chain like PetSmart and such. So if you can't trust the guys who deal specifically in fish, who do you trust????
February 6th, 2006, 08:40 PM
Exactly Sun, if in doubt, take a picture to compare
of the species you are looking for.
A good way to tell with plecos is look at the head end of the
fish. The wider and bigger the head is, the better the indication
its a large species. Smaller species tend to have much much
smaller heads as youngsters, comparative to body size.
Yep, your common pleco will grow way to big for your tank.
18-24 inches is common for gibbi's.
A good small pleco for smaller tanks is the Bristlenose Pleco (eats algae+wood),
or the Rubbernose Pleco(eats algae),
the Tiger Peckoltia(omnivore, some algae, some meaty food) (sometimes just called tiger pleco),
the Inspector Pleco (algae+meaty food),
Candy Stripe Pleco (algae,wood, meaty foods), and the
ever popular Clown Pleco (meaty foods, wood).
Also, perhaps suggest to your fish store to label fish with
both the common and scientific name to make it easier,
and if in doubt, have them check their availability list
and order specifically by scientific name the fish you want.
February 7th, 2006, 09:49 AM
I took a couple of pictures of my pleco last night. I'm pretty sure it is a Gibby's, but thought you might be able to confirm.
February 7th, 2006, 09:52 AM
February 7th, 2006, 12:18 PM
For a pleco he's pretty neat looking! I have so far only seen ugly plecos and prefer to have a little army of otos working away at my algae. 18-24" is probably too big for the 30 right? What if it was a long 30? They need lots of room on the bottom of the tank, so in a long tank you can get away with a bit longer fish than you could in a tall tank. I'd look for the longest tank you can afford, then maybe you could keep him.
The longer tanks also make keeping plants easier as the light is closer to the surface of the plants and the tops of the plants are closer to the light. And a bonus with planted tanks is that you can push your stocking a bit more with the appropriate sized fish for your tank. The plants act as an extra filter, keeping wastes from building up and providing oxygen as well. I think fish prefer planted tanks, mine seemed to go into spasms of delight when I took the plastic plants out and added live ones!
February 7th, 2006, 06:22 PM
Hi there Sun,
as I thought, your pleco is indeed a common Marble Sailfin Pleco,
or a gibbiceps species.
It will grow to be 18-24 inches, and would need a tank 100G
or larger to be happy in. As they grow, they become very powerful,
and keeping a large pleco in a small tank can only be acheived by having
absolutely nothing in the tank but gravel on the bottom and the pleco.
I would definetly get rid of him before A) He becomes stunted and suffers health problems and then you can no longer get rid of him at all or B)He becomes so large that he makes it so you can have no other fish besides him.
There is no way you should/could keep an 18 inch fish in a tank
thats only 12 inches wide.
And all tanks 18 inches wide are 75G or larger.
I would take him in to the pet store, and exchange him for
A) A group of 3-4 Otocinclus (Otto) Catfish that grow to 1 inch+-
B) A Smaller pleco like a Rubbernose, Inspector, Clown, Candy Stripe, Bristlenose or other 4 inch or smaller pleco. ( by this i mean 4 inches at maturity, not 4 inches at time of sale)
C) A Snail or two - apple/mystery snails are nice, devour algae,
and dont eat live plants
D) Some shrimp that also eat algae- see, Wood Shrimp/Bamboo Shrimp,
Rudolph Shrimp, Cherry Shrimp, Bumblebee Shrimp, Amano Shrimp, Ghost Shrimp, etc.
February 7th, 2006, 06:44 PM
Plecos are major producers of poop! But then again my otos in my 10g are also major producers of much smaller poop! Can't win. I guess it's off to get a smaller fish and try and find a decent home for the sailfin, unless you can manage to get a 100g long tank!