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Author Topic: Stocking advice for my tanks  (Read 1534 times)
BadWolfGirl
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« on: August 02, 2016, 10:21:47 AM »

Hey everyone! I'm new to the forum and pretty new to the hobby... I've got 2 tanks up and running for about 2 months now, heavily planted (Walstad inspired, dirted tanks with sand caps for those who are interested), cycled. My Ammonia/nitrite/nitrates are all 0 in both tanks. pH is 7.8 out of my tap, but if I let it site 24 hours it goes down to 7.4. Driftwood keeps the 29 gal at 7.2, driftwood plus a clay pot (yes, the hole is blocked so the Betta can't swim through it) keeps the 10 gal at 6.8-7.0 using the API master test kit.

Okay, the 10gal tropical (78 degrees) is fully stocked and possibly overstocked, it's at 110% on aqadvisor. Here's what I have:

1 betta splendens (male)
5 Ember Tetras
4 Corydoras Sterbai
1 Corydoras Melanistius: I started with 2 and intended to add 3 more of this variety, only 1 of mine died: he wasn't sick, he never acted right, I should have taken him back to the store within the 2 weeks, but I kept thinking he'd perk up. He lasted a month. Then they didn't have any more melanistius, and my female was frantic, swimming mid-level non-stop, I thought she was going to swim herself to death, so I figured any corys would be better than that. I went back and they had Sterbai. I got 4 because that was my original plan with the Melanistius, only Melanistius top out at 2 inches max and the Sterbai can get to 2.6 inches... So I should have bought one less Sterbai it looks like.
1 olive nerite
1 ramshorn that magically appeared but I've only seen one, am I stupid to let it stay? My kids love snails, I have to sneak the occasional pond snail out and crush it when they aren't looking, lol.
1 amano shrimp (had 3, made a stupid filter mistake that caused it to blow back into the tank (a piece fell off when I was rinsing the sponge and I didn't notice it) 24 hours later, 2 dead amano. Not sure if I should get more, the algae is almost gone thanks to plants taking off
1-2 ghost shrimp (I started with 2, but I'm not sure if there's still 2, either one died or they're taking turns coming out).

Aqadvisor simply advises doing a 35% weekly water change at that level, which is only a little more than the 25-30% I was doing, so that's not a problem. Do you think I'm okay to keep them or should I take one back?

And the 29 gallon (subtropical setup, stays 67-71 degrees at room temp in my house all year round):

11 White cloud mountain minnows
4 Celestial pearl danios (thats all they had out of the last batch, I've got to get down there on a shipping day, want to have 10-12)
4 Endlers livebearers (males only!)
2 red cherry shrimp (because females :-P Want to get a few more and start a colony)
1 mystery snail poop machine (I'd give him away but my kids love him, and he eats the WCMM eggs so I've only had one fry make it to adulthood, which isn't bad in my opinion, I don't want to have to find homes for the fry)
1 olive nerite
1 hitchhiker ramshorn (I'm a little weirded out that exactly 1 ramshorn has appeared at a decent size in each of my tanks. I've never seen any more, all the other hitchhiker pest snails have been the little spotted pond ones)
Currently stocked at about 68% on aqadvisor

I want to add 6-8 CPDs and 6 peppered corys (Corydoras Paleatus) and maybe 2-3 more male endlers. That would bring me to about 97% on aqadvisor.

I appreciate your time for reading my novel! I look forward to learning from all of you who've been around for longer. I'm totally addicted and I've already got plans for a 3rd tank in my head, but I want to make sure I know what I'm doing before I invest any more time/money in this.  happy
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2016, 11:28:50 AM »

Hi and welcome to Badman's.  We are glad that you are here.  Smiley  It is so much better to research and ask questions before you buy something and find that you have nowhere to put it.

First, your 10 gallon.  Just about all of your inhabitants are ok for a 10 gallon but not all in the same tank.  I am giving you a link which gives suggestions on how to stock this size tank.  It isn't as big as it seems.     http://www.badmanstropicalfish.com/forum/index.php?action=printpage;topic=11184.0     There has to be swimming room in there.  I would move your corys and possibly the Ember Tetras  to your 29 gallon.  Then, I would move the CPD's to your 10 gallon.  I would definitely not buy any more fish right now.   

.





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When in doubt, do a water change.
BadWolfGirl
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« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2016, 12:06:03 PM »

Thanks for the advice! i had a feeling someone was going to say that. The problem is my 29 gallon is subtropical... So what I think I may need to do is stay on top of water changes in the 10 and set up a third tank ahead of schedule :-P everyone that's already in my 29 likes the cooler end of the spectrum and I'd hate to heat them up just to rearrange fish... I was more worried about bottom space for the Sterba's corys once they're full size and I realized they get that much bigger than the spotted corys I'd planned for.
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #3 on: August 02, 2016, 12:16:13 PM »

I forgot that your 29 gallon was a cooler tank (just shows what age can do  lame) but they shouldn't stay in the 10 for too long.
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BadWolfGirl
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« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2016, 12:21:19 PM »

yeah, I was just double checking temperature parameters on the corys and only the paleatus that I was thinking of putting in the subtropical likes it that cool, looks like pretty much all the others like at least 72 if not 75 as the lower end of the their temps. I think cold would be more stressful than temporarily crowded. I know the aqadvisor site isn't guaranteed advice but do you find that in general one should stay very far under 100% on it? I'd been around 68% on that tank until I added the Sterba's.
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BadWolfGirl
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2016, 12:24:11 PM »

actually depending on the site you look at both Sterbas and spotted are okay down to 71/72 and my subtropical is staying at 71 right now... would it be better to keep them at the lower end of the temp for a few weeks or in the overstocked 10 gal in your opinion?
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2016, 12:51:28 PM »

I think the best thing would be to move them to the bigger tank.

I don't really use aqadvisor.  My way of stocking is to keep it more lightly stocked.  I don't like the idea of having fish in each other's faces every time they turn around.  Especially schooling fish.  When I stock a new setup, I will use one or two schooling species, depending on the tank size.  I would rather have one large school vs two smaller schools.  I watch for fin nippers and make sure that there are none if I have any fish with flowing fins.  I make sure that everyone is large enough to stay out of the mouths of their neighbors, unless I am controlling fry with predators. 

I think that aqadvisor is fine as a reference only but not as Gospel. 
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When in doubt, do a water change.
BadWolfGirl
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« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2016, 12:56:19 PM »

I appreciate your time! One more question: I could put a heater on the 29 and keep it at 72 to bridge the difference between the top end of the minnows and the low end of the corys. But I'm guessing that's still not best for either species in the long run?
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2016, 01:07:22 PM »

It is close to the range so I think it will be okay. 
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When in doubt, do a water change.
BadWolfGirl
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« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2016, 03:53:16 PM »

Okay, I ordered a heater for the 29gal so I'll move the Cory cats when I get it on Thursday and get the temp up a degree or two. I just got them on Sunday and they've just started coming out of their shells today so I figured a couple more days before stressing them with a transition would be good. Thanks for the advice! I was looking at them after I put them in the tank and I had a sinking feeling I'd messed up.
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2016, 04:37:45 PM »


I just got them on Sunday and they've just started coming out of their shells today so I figured a couple more days before stressing them with a transition would be good.

I think there may be one step in this hobby that you are not aware of.  That step is quite important.  It is the quarantining of new fish before they are added to your main population.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  These fish have come a long way from the fish farms or from being wild caught.  Many are from Asia.  They are flown here in bags with little water.  They contaminate those bags just by producing waste products.  When they finally get through Customs, they are driven to a distributor who divvies them up and ships them once again but now they go to the big box stores or mom and pop shops, probably by truck.  They get to the stores and a clerk dumps them into a tank and puts them out for sale.  A customer comes along, sees some he or she likes and purchases them.  They are put into bags again and "enjoy" a car ride to the customer's home.  He/she dumps the fish into another aquarium with other fish in it which the new fish has never seen before.  The water parameters may be completely different than what he is used to.  His immune system is down because so much has happened to him.  He is beginning to be sick.  He shares his sickness with all of the other inhabitants of the tank.  Soon, fish start dying and the hobbyist wonders why. 

What should be done is to quarantine those fish so that they can get settled down and rebuild their immune systems.  They have to get used to the water in this location and to the hobbyist's maintenance schedule.  If they do get sick, they can be treated in the quarantine tank without endangering the main tank.  This period should last for 5-6 weeks.  Once they have spent that time without sickness, they can be added to the main tank.  If they get sick, they need to be treated and the period starts again.

If the above steps are not done, you will be playing Russian Roulette with your fish.  Nothing may happen but at some point, something is likely to.  When it does, all of your fish are in danger.

 
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When in doubt, do a water change.
BadWolfGirl
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« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2016, 08:41:57 PM »

I am aware of the quarantine tank, but I haven't set one up. I read some things about how that can stress your fish out more if it's not a full set up, and many fish can recover if they are in a non-stressful environment. I'm not trying to play Russian roulette :-P I shop at a reputable local fish store that has an extremely high reputation for healthy fish, so I saw it more as a calculated risk. I haven't bought any wild caught fish. I'm just trying to get these two tanks done and then I was going to just leave them alone for a while. Although, I supposed if I do get a sick fish or so I'd need to remove it to treat it, so perhaps I should go set up a 10 gallon and run it like my others, just empty unless needed...
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Pat Mary
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« Reply #12 on: August 03, 2016, 09:19:52 AM »

A QT tank or a hospital tank does not need to be run on a constant basis.  A QT tank does need a filter and heater (if qt'ing tropical species.)  Most of us here run 2 filters on the main tank or keep extra sponges in the main filter.  Then, when we need a QT. we just either move the extra filter to the QT tank or put the extra media into the filter for the QT.  Voila!  Instant good to go tank. You don't need a substrate...bare bottom will do.  Just put some décor in it for the fish's feeling of security. For a hospital tank, it is best to be bare bottom because it is so much easier to keep clean.  You could put some silk plants into it to give the fish a sense of security.  A filter isn't necessarily needed because water changes are so large and often. 

You will always find someone, somewhere on line who will say that quarantine stresses fish.  But the majority of responsible sites will always tell you to QT.  If you completely trust your shop and feel that you can skip this step, no one can stop you from doing it.  But you have to remember that the fish also need to get used to your water and maintenance ways.  I can tell you that once you have lost a good quantity of your fish, your mind will change about quarantine.  Smiley
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When in doubt, do a water change.
BadWolfGirl
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« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2016, 06:40:22 PM »

It wasn't just random forum posts, I read a lot back and forth. I can't link to a sample article that led me to try not quarantining because I don't have enough forum posts yet. 

My first batch of fish I added to my first tank, one of them turned out to have hemorrhagic septicemia and she died about 48 hours after I put them in the tank. None of the other fish got sick. I lost one minnow from my second batch for completely unknown reasons, it was just dead one day a couple days after I got them. And then the Cory cat that never acted right but he wasn't sick, I think he had a genetic problem or had been injured in a way he couldn't recover from before I got him. We'll see how it continues to go. By every method I am aware of to measure, my tanks are extremely healthy from the water standpoint which seems to support healthy fish. I may be new but in general I have researched the heck out of everything. I just got a bit impulsive at the fish store the other day which I'm kicking myself for, but everyone is bound to make some mistakes somewhere.  
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