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I Want Variety!
August 30, 2010
8:12 pm
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Daddyfish
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Hi Guys,

So my first post is to pick your lovely brains!

Ok, I/my son has a new 35L tropical fish tank and I'm looking for ideas. I've looked around the web a little for some info and have come to the decision to have a bottom feeder and a number of smaller fish to accompany him. Tetras being the perfect size (1.5"ish) I was wondering if I could have 4/5 different spieces together rather than a shoal of one type. It doesn't have to be Tetras, that's just a size example, but if Tetras could be mixed it could be a good option. Please feel free to enlighten me to other spieces as I'm totally new to all this.

Thanks in advance for any help…it's much appreciated! /wink.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=";)" border="0" alt="wink.gif" />

August 30, 2010
9:30 pm
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MatsP
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The rule of thumb that is sometimes used for estimating how many fish you can keep in a tank is approximately 1cm of fish per 2 liter of water. In a 35 liter tank, that means about 17 cm of fish. If we use 2.5cm long Neon tetras for the basis, we can fit 7 of those in your tank. Of course, you could, in theory, have 2 of each of 3-4 different species, but this would, in my opinion, be a bad idea - the way I sometimes have described it is that you tile your kitchn by going to the tile shops and asking for as many samples of different colours as possible, and then put that on the wall - it'll be red, blue, yellow, purple, white, off-white, black, flower-pattern, stone, and all sorts of other things. The same applies to mixing a bunch of different fish in a tank, and not having "enough" to make them look good and feel comfortable.

So something like 5-7 of some small, shoaling, fish is probably your best bet.

If your tank is doing really well, you have a GOOD filter, and keep up your water changes very well (and do them large), and you don't have very sensitive fish, you can perhaps stretch the number of fish a little bit, say to about 10 fish. But if you go much over, you WILL have problems.

--
Mats

August 31, 2010
5:45 am
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Daddyfish
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Hi Mats,

Thanks for the info…much appreciated! /wink.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=";)" border="0" alt="wink.gif" />

Surely there must be certain spieces of fish that are happy in pairs (like goldfish), but are smaller like Tetra? My son (who's tank it is) is only 15 months old, so the more variety the better.

I was thinking Guppies as two main fish and maybe three Tetra. Are Guppies happy in pairs? Can I mix their spieces or do the same spieces come in a variety of colours?

I'm sorry for the basic questions, but I have to learn somewhere! /blush.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":blush:" border="0" alt="blush.gif" /> I'm open to all spieces, so someone please feel free to throw in a few suggestions.

Thanks again! /thumbs_up.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":thumbsup:" border="0" alt="thumbs_up.gif" />

August 31, 2010
7:10 am
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Matt
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Guppies are all one species, Poecilia reticulata, though some of the ornamental varieties may have been hybridised with some other poeciliid at some point in the past. You could keep a pair but in a small tank like yours the female would likely suffer from incessant harassment by the male. A better choice might be one of the 'Endler's' livebearers - a relative of the guppy but smaller. You could perhaps add a quartet consisting of a male and three females but be warned both guppies and endlers breed like stink (they give birth to live young) and personally I wouldn't recommend them unless you have the facilities to grow on heaps of fry.

Similarly, the majority of tetras do best and look most effective in groups as this is how they occur naturally. I think a group of a very small, schooling fish eg. one of the Boraras, Microdevario or Axelrodia spp. would be ideal for your tank. These all stay tiny so you could have a group of 10-12 or so. Additional interest could perhaps be provided by invertebrates such as shrimp or snails.

Cake or death?
August 31, 2010
10:13 am
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Daddyfish
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Hi Matt,

Some great advice there…thank you!

I'm really liking the look of the Boraras, they'll give my little'un something really interesting to watch. Are they readily available to purchase and how many could I introduce to the tank at a time?

You also mention shrimps…they easy to look after?

Thanks again! /thumbs_up.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":thumbsup:" border="0" alt="thumbs_up.gif" />

P.S. Do I need to have these in certain ratios eg. More females than males?

P.P.S. What would be a suitable bottom feeder to go with those guys?

August 31, 2010
1:48 pm
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Nomad
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QUOTE (Daddyfish @ Aug 31 2010, 07:56 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hi Matt,

Some great advice there…thank you!

I'm really liking the look of the Boraras, they'll give my little'un something really interesting to watch. Are they readily available to purchase and how many could I introduce to the tank at a time?

You also mention shrimps…they easy to look after?

Thanks again! /thumbs_up.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":thumbsup:" border="0" alt="thumbs_up.gif" />

P.S. Do I need to have these in certain ratios eg. More females than males?

P.P.S. What would be a suitable bottom feeder to go with those guys?

Here's a little beauty for small tanks.

You may want to consider a couple of Otocinclus sp catfish for algae cleaning and Corydoras habrosus, pygmeaus or hastatus. They all stay tiny. The hastatus has been found in nature swimming with a couple of species of tetra which they share markings with.

August 31, 2010
5:53 pm
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Daddyfish
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Thanks Nomad, some nice options there…I'm getting spoilt for choice! /wink.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=";)" border="0" alt="wink.gif" />

I'm still to find my perfect bottom feeder yet though.

Everyone:
Please feel free to fire some ideas at me, I'm learning at a rate of knots and really enjoying seeing whats available to us.

Thanks again! /thumbs_up.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":thumbsup:" border="0" alt="thumbs_up.gif" />

August 31, 2010
5:54 pm
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Eyrie
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Remember that the dwarf corydoras still need kept in small groups of six or more, which would take up most of the stocking room. Otocinclus would need fed specifically rather than being used to clean algae.

I have, in separate tanks, mosquito rasboras and ember tetras. Both are very colourful, so should engage your toddler's attention.

I'm not an expert on shrimp but the smaller species such as cherry shrimp are easy to look after and would work well. Two or three would have no effect on your overall stocking.

As regards getting the tank ready for fish, we have a guide to fishless cycling almost ready to go so I'll post what we have so far as a guide, and please ask as many questions as you wish.

Mature, sensible signature required for responsible position. Good prospects for the right candidate. Apply within.
August 31, 2010
7:26 pm
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Bluedave
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Heh Daddyfish, welcome to SF!

Eyespot Rasbora are perfect for little tanks like that - coupled with 4 or 5 amano or cherry shrimp and a few plants they make a great display.

I had 5 in a 12 litre tank with some Crystal red shrimp:

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August 31, 2010
7:47 pm
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Nomad
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Sparkling Gouramis are another option. Or a betta splendens and some females. Or a small group of honey dwarf gouramis.

Maybe ramshorn snails as scavengers?

August 31, 2010
8:23 pm
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MatsP
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Another option, which is commonly available, small and pretty - and shoaling: Danio margaritatus - Galaxy rasbora in the shops. It reaches about 1.5-2cm (5/8"-3/4") fully grown, so you could have a few of those with some of the other small fishes suggested.

Three of any tetra is really too small a number for them to feel happy!

--
Mats

August 31, 2010
8:30 pm
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Daddyfish
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Just wanna say thanks to Eyrie, Bluedave and Nomad (again)…great ideas guys.

Bluedave: I'm loving the idea of shrimps, I really do think I'll have a few…do they need anything special, housing and the like?

Nomad: I love the look of the Betta and I'm sure the little'un would be fascinated, but don't they grow a little big for my 35L tank?

Eyrie: I really love the Ember Tetra. I really didn't want plain old goldfish, but these little guys look great in orange! /wink.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=";)" border="0" alt="wink.gif" />

Thanks again guys, but I'm still hunting the elusive bottom feeder, possibly the fish I'm most looking forward to purchasing! /thumbs_up.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":thumbsup:" border="0" alt="thumbs_up.gif" />

August 31, 2010
8:48 pm
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Daddyfish
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QUOTE (MatsP @ Aug 31 2010, 09:06 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Another option, which is commonly available, small and pretty - and shoaling: Danio margaritatus - Galaxy rasbora in the shops. It reaches about 1.5-2cm (5/8"-3/4") fully grown, so you could have a few of those with some of the other small fishes suggested.

Thanks MatsP, that is my fav so far…I love these little fellas, but I'm not sure the heavy planted tank is a goer being new to all this. I'm sticking with Java fern and Moss in the short term, which doesn't seem at all suitable. /sad.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":(" border="0" alt="sad.gif" />

September 1, 2010
4:17 am
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Nomad
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35 litres is more than plenty for a betta splendens. Most breeders keep them in gallon jars. I am not a keen exponent of the small container approach as you don't get to enjoy the true beauty and nature of these fish. They are great. The first fish I ever bred, actually. If you ever decide to keep them, make sure the current isn't too strong as, with their large fin spread and bubblenesting habit, they aren't keen on current.

A slow airdriven sponge filter is great.

September 1, 2010
5:56 am
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Daddyfish
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QUOTE (Nomad @ Sep 1 2010, 05:00 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
35 litres is more than plenty for a betta splendens. Most breeders keep them in gallon jars. I am not a keen exponent of the small container approach as you don't get to enjoy the true beauty and nature of these fish. They are great. The first fish I ever bred, actually. If you ever decide to keep them, make sure the current isn't too strong as, with their large fin spread and bubblenesting habit, they aren't keen on current.

A slow airdriven sponge filter is great.

Ok Nomad, so how many females could I have in my tank with the male, bearing in mind I would like a bottom feeder or two?

September 2, 2010
5:17 am
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Nomad
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QUOTE (Daddyfish @ Sep 1 2010, 03:39 PM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ok Nomad, so how many females could I have in my tank with the male, bearing in mind I would like a bottom feeder or two?

At this poin, I'll direct you to some reading. No point spoon feading you.

http://www.seriouslyfish.com/p.....file.php?g...ndens&id=19

http://badmanstropicalfish.com.....cle44.html

That should get you going.

There is no need to keep females if you are not considering breeding, but at least a small group of 3 would be best. If you get females ensure the tank is well planted with fine leaved plants they can swin through to escape the male's attentions. The male, with his finnage, will find it hard to pursue her.

September 2, 2010
6:00 am
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Daddyfish
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QUOTE (Nomad @ Sep 2 2010, 06:00 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
There is no need to keep females if you are not considering breeding

Ok, so that comment has made my mind up, I'm not at all interested in breeding, I was simply trying to make the numbers up as I can't keep two males together or keep a smaller spieces with it.

I'll be going for a shoal by the looks of it, but a decision hasn't been made to what spieces yet. Still very undecided on the bottom feeder also.

Thanks for the help Nomad! /thumbs_up.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":thumbsup:" border="0" alt="thumbs_up.gif" />

September 2, 2010
7:55 am
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Bully
South Wales
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From personal experience with Eyespot Rasbora I wouldn't keep them in any tank less than 60cm. My shoal of 18 made full use of my 60cm tank, and the 100cm tank when they were in there.

Daddyfish, what are the dimensions of the tank? A 35 litre hexagon tank would need a different stocking approach to a tank that was long. Also, if you know your water parameters that would help as some of the fish suggested do best in a specific pH or hardness level.

If you add shrimp, as already suggested, you won't really need a bottom feeder as the shrimp will occupy all levels of the tank.

Has the tank been cycled? If not, how are you going to cycle the tank?

September 2, 2010
10:12 am
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Daddyfish
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QUOTE (Bully @ Sep 2 2010, 08:38 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
what are the dimensions of the tank? A 35 litre hexagon tank would need a different stocking approach to a tank that was long.

I have been taking this into account as the tank is cylindrical about 35cm (diameter) x 50cm (heigh), but you're the first to ask.

QUOTE (Bully @ Sep 2 2010, 08:38 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also, if you know your water parameters that would help as some of the fish suggested do best in a specific pH or hardness level.

Not fully setup yet, so no. I am however taking this into account when viewing suggestions and searching myself.

QUOTE (Bully @ Sep 2 2010, 08:38 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
If you add shrimp, as already suggested, you won't really need a bottom feeder as the shrimp will occupy all levels of the tank.

Ok, so do I need special housing for these in the tank as I've seen bamboo structures for shrimps?

QUOTE (Bully @ Sep 2 2010, 08:38 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Has the tank been cycled? If not, how are you going to cycle the tank?

I'm going to be following the recently posted cycling steps once I have set the tank up correctly depending on what type of fish I have.

Cheers for the help! /thumbs_up.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":thumbsup:" border="0" alt="thumbs_up.gif" />

September 2, 2010
2:57 pm
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Bully
South Wales
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QUOTE (Daddyfish @ Sep 2 2010, 10:55 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have been taking this into account as the tank is cylindrical about 35cm (diameter) x 50cm (heigh), but you're the first to ask.

Is it the BiUbe? It's sort of relevant if it is as you will be restricted to their supplied substrate. Also, will you be heating the tank?

QUOTE (Daddyfish @ Sep 2 2010, 10:55 AM) < {POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ok, so do I need special housing for these in the tank as I've seen bamboo structures for shrimps?

No, you won't need anything special. Some plants (fake plants will do). I don't think you will be able to keep anything in the tank that would be a threat to shrimp anyhow. Red Cherry Shrimp are just about the hardiest shrimp you can get.

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