February 12, 2012
Hi! I am cycling a 55 gallon tank. I added Tetra Aquasafe Plus, which I think is basically just to remove chlorine, and added some liquid bacteria from the LFS. How long should I cycle before I can bring some water for them to test and add some fish if it all checks out? One store told me two days, another said a week, and another said a month.
I have a 20 gallon tank I set up a year ago and I think I cycled it for a week. I was impatient that time because it was our first tank.
I would like to stock an active, entertaining tank.
I plan on keeping a group of pictus catfish. Does anyone know how large they usually get in aquariums? I have read anywhere from 4" to 10", but 5 inch seems to be the consensus.
They seem to be entertaining in groups. I'm wondering if I should try a school of 5, or if I should only have 3, as I hear they produce a lot of waste. I only have an Aquaclear 70 filter.
Also, what are some middle and top level swimmers I can keep with the pictus? I know if fish are too small the pictus may eat them, but I want larger fish anyway. Our 20 gallon houses twin bar platies and julii corys so we want larger fish in the 55 gallon.
Ideally I'd like a school of active fish that are happy in a group of 5 or 7 and get to between 4 and 6 inches at maturity, and that will cohabitate nicely with the pictus.
OR, if there is no ideal schooling fish of the size and temperament I am looking for, I could try 3 or 4 different species of fish that range in size from 4" to 8" at maturity (just one of each fish), that all get along, and will get along with the catfish.
The platies and corys in our 20 gallon tank are super active and we'd like to replicate that sort of environment on a larger scale in our new tank.
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. The hardier the fish (or the easier to maintain) the better. The only experience we have with caring for fish is the platies and corys and they're easy.
Looking at the cycling question first, are you adding any ammonia? Without this the bacteria will go dormant and start to die off, but with it as a food source the colonies will grow to support the fish that you want to keep. Have a read here for more information and then ask about anything you're unsure of.
Pimelodus pictus grow to 5" and need kept in groups. Five is the fewest you could have, but there is room in a 55G for five or six.
For tank mates, have you considered Puntius denisonii? Although from a different continent, they prefer the same cool, soft water and strong flow as P. pictus.
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