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Author Topic: An exciting and fun problem! Stocking ideas for larger tanks  (Read 6481 times)
Griz
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« on: August 31, 2015, 09:31:16 PM »

Well first things first, hello everybody!! Little background on me, I am a avid fish enthusiast, (my girlfriend says "addict") but being addicted to fish is way better than any choice substances haha! Second off, down to business, so one of my friends, actually the one who got me into the hobby is going through a divorce and the only reason I include this information is that because of this he is moving to an apartment downtown since they are selling their house. He had a myriad of tanks and is keeping a few of the smaller ones but his two large ones he's sold to me, a 75 gallon(48"x18"x21"), and a 210 gallon aquarium (30Hx72Lx24W). both of these are approximate to within half inches. I was looking around the site and saw that a lot of you have tanks these size, well and some larger (cough cough, Karen!) haha! Im thinking about something new and different, I already have three tanks, a 10g with 3 african dwarf frogs and a male betta, a 29 with 7 rummynose tetras, 8 Lemon tetras and 6 panda cories(I have sand substate and pretty heavily planted with swimming room in the top). And i have a 55g with a pair on german blue rams, 5 bosemani rainbows (2m3f) a bristlenose pleco, a school of 6 congo tetras, and two sparkling panchax to patrol the top. As my buddy has taught i relentlessly check water quality and what not. But as i said I want something  new and different! The 75 we took the rest of his fish except for the male black betta we didn't want cause of his other setups. For the betta Im gonna put him in a 5g i have with the other ones in the basement which only has two red cherry shrimp in it. The 210 is almost the same except for a small school of white cloud minnows which he actually is coming to get back tomorrow since he changed his mind about them. But thank you for reading my stephen king sized novel. And please fire away on ideas! Literally anything on the table except for saltwater haha. I have had experience with a variety of SA cichlids and have dabbled in africans so lets hear what you guys are thinking!
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Karen
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2015, 07:49:16 AM »

Clown loaches, lots of them.  Or a myriad of botia loaches.

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Discus

tilapia buttikoferi


Do NOT get pacu!
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Griz
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2015, 02:22:35 PM »

Hahah thanks karen! Yea i did a lot of researching realized how hard it is to accommodate for pacos! I was looking at the buttikoferi, could i put maybe another hefty sized and aggressive cichlid with him? I was also thinking maybe a pair of dovii in the big one? And how many discus could i fit in a 75?

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Aquatot
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2015, 07:14:27 AM »

Ooh, I'd definitely second Karen's loach suggestion for the 210. Botia species are all amazing, and with a tank that size you could happily accomodate clowns. If you opt for loaches, make sure you include lots of caves and hiding places for them all.

And/or you could go for a small shoal of Bala sharks. IME, Balas and loaches do fine together, and provide a stunning combination of bottom and mid-water species.
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Karen
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2015, 09:58:07 AM »

I have never had a buttikoferi.  I had a rather unique hybrid tilapia for 12 years that sadly went to the rainbow pond last fall.  Taco was "The Man!"  He was just over 2 feet long and meaner than a rattle snake to anything he felt the urge to be mean to.  However, he lived peacefully with quite an assortment of dither fish for most of his 12 years.  Not all at the same time, but he had fire ring danios, zebra danios, giant danios (all of which were breeding with him in the tank!) and buenos ares tetras.  He lived most of those year with a common pleco that was about 13 inches long and a single tiger loach.

I put Taco in with the pacu once.  At the time the pacu were about the same length as taco, but MUCH taller and wider... he tried to kill them.  I mean seriously tried to kill them!  It was WAR!!!  My poor pacu had no idea what holy Hell I had unleashed onto them!

So what can you mix with a Buttikoferi.... don't know, but have a back up plan no matter what you do.
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Griz
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« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2015, 04:26:17 PM »

Thats crazy! It seems, with cichlids especially the temperament and tolerance of tank mates varies on each individual fish haha, and is a 75 too small for a few clowns and other compatible fish? I like that idea, but i also want the 210 to have a few big colorful cichlids. and good advice karen i've learned to always haven back up and learned the hard way a while ago about other little things, quarantine tanks etc. but i love the look of clown loaches i just wouldn't want to cram them into to something too small, also are they pretty tolerant of tank mates as long as those mates aren't bite size for the loaches?

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Aquatot
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« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2015, 04:36:37 PM »

Clowns are very placid around other fish, and very tolerant in general. A 75 isn't big enough for them, though. Other Botia species would be great in a tank that size... a group of YoYos and maybe some striata would be amazing. You could have a really nice shoal of each in a 75, with a great choice of upper level tankmates.
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A fish is for life; not just for Christmas.
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Dan's our man! Always was, always will be.
Griz
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« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2015, 10:27:26 PM »

I really like that idea! How many of each would you recommend? And it sounds like its pretty wide open on the selection on the top dwellers, correct? Of coarse just not bite sized haha
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Griz
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2015, 10:37:55 PM »

would a school of bigger sized medium dwellers and a school of top dwellers work? or too overstocked? I really like emperor tetras a lot but they might be too small..?
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Aquatot
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« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2015, 07:06:37 AM »

I'd say six to eight striatas and maybe four or five YoYos? Like I said above, give them plenty of hiding places - caves, bogwood ledges, maybe some sections of plastic piping submerged in the substrate. You'll need either sand or fine, smooth gravel, as they need a gentle substrate for their barbels. They're amazing to watch. I love Botia species in general, but I'll admit to having a particular soft spot for striata.

In terms of tankmates, you'll want fish that aren't easily spooked, as YoYos in particular can be pretty boisterous. In the correct-sized group they'll usually be too preoccupied chasing each other to bother anyone else, but placid mid and top-dwellers can become stressed by their antics. Definitely don't go for anything with long fins, like angels or gouramis, as the loaches might nip them. I think emperor tetras should be fine - they won't be too small to hang out with the loaches, but I don't have personal experience with them to know whether they're an easily spooked species. A shoal of danios could work as top dwellers, as they're incredibly active fish that'll hold their own with the loaches. In fact, a tank of loaches with a large shoal of danios would be amazing... ooh. Potential future ideas...

Another option might be barbs - I should imagine tiger or gold barbs, in a group of at least six, would be quite happy with loach behaviour, and are great mid-level species.

Personally, I'd go with a good-sized shoal of either top or mid dwellers, rather than both. That way, you can have a larger number of the same species rather than smaller numbers of two species, and bigger shoals are always a better option if you have the choice.
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A fish is for life; not just for Christmas.
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Dan's our man! Always was, always will be.
Griz
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« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2015, 03:44:22 PM »

Good ideas! Would i have room for about 8 to 10 giant danios? oh and about the 210 gallon I'm really thinking a pair of dovii and maybe another real good size pair of cichlids, i would just buy them all together from a young age and grow them out together? or would i not have room for two pairs?
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Griz
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« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2015, 03:55:37 PM »

But i am really liking the idea for the 75 aquatot! It really looks like it will be a very fun and active tank, And i was already thinking about sand as the substrate already! What would recommend adding first to the 75? or does that not even matter?
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Aquatot
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« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2015, 07:38:24 AM »

I haven't kept giant danios, but that sounds like a reasonable number, and they'd be a good choice over smaller  danio species. Good call on the sand substrate - your loaches will love you for it!

Your first task is of course to cycle your tank - fishless cycling, using store-bought ammonia, is best. If you're unfamiliar with the cycling process, there are some excellent posts on this forum. Once the tank is cycled (which can take a month or more), I'd personally start with the danios, as they're generally hardier and a good bet for newly-cycled tanks. I'd then add a few loaches at a time over the space of several weeks, testing the water for any ammonia spikes as you go. Loaches are more sensitive to poor water conditions than danios are, so they're best added to an established setup. Bearing this in mind, you'll also need a regular maintenance schedule, changing 50% of the water every week.

I'm a novice when it comes to cichlids, so I'll let Karen (or others) handle the 150 advice. Sounds like both your new tanks are going to be pretty amazing, though! happy
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A fish is for life; not just for Christmas.
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Dan's our man! Always was, always will be.
Karen
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« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2015, 11:20:32 AM »

I am not too good with cichlids.

I have kept a few, but VERY few of them.

Taco was a cichlid, I had a jeweled one for a while and I have shellies.... that's it for Africans.  American ciclids is limited to oscars and angels.
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Griz
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« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2015, 12:25:42 PM »

Yea I'm pretty versed at the cycling process. In my beginning days i got too excited and learned the hard way, but now i have no qualms about waiting, but that sounds like a solid plan for the 75, I've begun the process for both actually. And from I've been reading about the dovii's the best way to incorporate them with other cichlids is having two pairs of species that all get about the same size and letting them grow out, of coarse the tank will look empty until they grow since you'll have 4 fish that are under three inches in a 210 haha. I'm pretty much set on the ideas for both. so i know I'm putting a piece of driftwood or two in the 75 with a few rock caves, and am also thinking about leaning a a flat piece of rock againt the wall for both a cave and easy viewing for me as well. Do the loaches prefer live plants? And if I'm not mistaken I can place the live plants in during the cycling process right? And now my search for a suitable pair of cichlids with the dove begins haha.
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Cyneah
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« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2015, 04:44:45 AM »

It sounds like you  have your 75g figured out.  Please post pics when you have it all set up.
If I had a 210g tank,,,,,,,, my dream would be to have a heavily planted discus tank. 
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Aquatot
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« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2015, 12:22:50 PM »

Yep, slate or flat rocks propped against tank sides or other rocks also make good caves. Dense stands of plants are great too, although anything not firmly rooted or attached to bogwood might get dislodged by boisterous YoYos, so prepare to keep replanting until everything's established. It's a lot of fun watching loaches stake out their various territories... and beware that they will cram themselves into small spaces together. In fact, the more cramped a cave is, the more they seem to like it!

Good to know you've got cycling down. Wink I figured you might have, so didn't want to repeat stuff you already knew...

Edited to second Cyneah's request for photos when it's all set up!
« Last Edit: September 05, 2015, 12:29:54 PM by Aquatot » Logged

A fish is for life; not just for Christmas.
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10yearsoff
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« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2015, 09:07:06 PM »

I havent posted in a while, but Ive been lurking and this caught my attention enough to speak up.  I owned Buttikoferi, as well as Dovii (and other big cichlids) and I would discourage mixing those two species.  At best, you'll have tension in your tank but all parties behave themselves.  At worst, they'll beat each other to a pulp.  I would stick to a single species only if you go with the big badass cichlids.  Personally, I would load that 210 up with plants and go with a BIG colony of Irian Red Rainbows, Parkinsoni Rainbows, about 25 neon tetras, and a pair or trio of Pearl Gouramis.  All the color you could ever want and a highly entertaining tank to watch without all the stress of cichlids.
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russ
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« Reply #18 on: September 09, 2015, 07:24:07 AM »

10yearsoff,

Good to see you again. I agree with the effect that collection of rainbows could produce. Dovi?  Even a pair in a 110 gal aquarium had to be kept separated. Those guys are very tough on each other in a confined aquarium space. 
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10yearsoff
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« Reply #19 on: September 10, 2015, 04:39:10 PM »

Thanks Russ!  Maybe it comes with age, but when I was younger I looked for the biggest and meanest fish and now I prefer peaceful community tanks.  I still have an appreciation for big cichlids, but I wouldnt care to own them anymore....unless I had a 500 gallon tank or more. They are just too desructive when the mix goes bad.   Heck, Im about ready to get rid of my rainbow shark because he harasses some of my rainbows...

I do have an tanganyikan tank but they arent nearly as aggressive...
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Aquatot
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« Reply #20 on: September 11, 2015, 06:49:43 AM »

That 210 suggestion sounds amazing... when you have the room for sizeable shoals of fish, it seems a shame not to take advantage of it. The only thing I'd alter would be to switch neons for cardinal tetras. They're a bit more expensive, but they shoal much better than neons, and their colouration in a large group is second to none.
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A fish is for life; not just for Christmas.
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Dan's our man! Always was, always will be.
Griz
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« Reply #21 on: September 11, 2015, 01:47:00 PM »

Sorry for the elongated response guys!! I was on a vacation, its called holy ship where you go on a boat with a bunch of dj's for a cruise! But yea i did a little more research and don't know if i want to have a cichlid tank. But its so hard to decide on what to go with! I really like the rainbow idea. And the discus idea. and a lot of other ideas haha, I might be one of the least decisive people in the world, literally me and girlfriend takes turns on days to make decisions. But how hard are discus to take care of? and if I do a discus tank will it have to be a species only tank?
Oh and 10yearsoff, Would just a pair of dovii work in the 210?
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russ
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« Reply #22 on: September 11, 2015, 04:29:51 PM »

"Oh and 10yearsoff, Would just a pair of dovii work in the 210?"

Sorry to ninja this reply..................but, not really. The male grow to be about 3 times the size of the female and will harass her to no end (well, there would be an end, but also unfavorable for you and the fish). I used a 110 gal aquarium to get a pair to spawn. The female was conditioned separately in her own tank and then placed in the breeder tank with the male. But....there was a sealed egg crate divider for the 3rd of the tank that the female was in. They performed the 'wild fish dance' right through the egg crate and after the fish were removed back to their separate tanks, the eggs were artificially hatched without the parent's intervention.

So, can a pair be placed together, alone in a 210 gal tank? Again, I say not really practical. As soon as you throw a female Dovi into the mix, all hell will break loose (even in a 300 gal indoor pond).  Wink

Waivering on a cichlid tank? Discus are cichlids.
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« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2015, 07:29:00 PM »

Sorry for the late reply.  I'd have to agree with Russ about the Dovii.  Its a crapshoot with these guys. It could work out fine.....Or you could wind up with one dominate, awesome dovii and one dead/dying/perpetually hiding/perpetually stressed Dovii.  This is the reason I currently dont keep any big cichlids...theyre stressful to own (IMO).

Discus do NOT need to be in a species only tank.  I've never personally kept them, but Ive seen them with angels, tetras, and various bottom dwellers.  Are discus hard to take care of?  I dont look at any fish as easy or hard to care for.  Some fish are definitely more sensitive to water quality and disease/parasites and I would say discus are one of the more sensitive in the hobby, but if you are really into the hobby like a lot of us are, you'll actually look forward to caring for them by doing water changes, water parameter testing, inspections, etc.   Dont take this last sentence as arrogant or condescending. Definitely not meaning it that way, but understand that the hobby is just as much about the water maintenance as it is the fish.  And ALL fish require/deserve good water quality.
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Griz
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« Reply #24 on: September 16, 2015, 03:17:04 PM »

Thank you both! And i'd much rather do something were the fish are all happy rather than having some stressed out. But yea I already have days in my week set aside for water changes so that will be no biggie adding that! I was looking around and saw a freshwater stingray at my lfs, he has already with some discus so I was thinking that might be a cool bottom dweller! What do you guys think?
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