Stocking Advice - Have I Got Room For Some Bottom Dwellers?

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Offline Cod_only_knows

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Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« on: November 15, 2014, 08:56:53 PM »
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Hello everyone,
I'm a relative novice at this fishkeeping malarkey. I got a cracking deal on an AquaNano 40 (55L) tank and various paraphernalia. I've added a black sand substrate, 5 different plant species, a bogwood centre piece and I've just started decorating two coconut halves with java moss to add.

I've cycled the tank and getting good water readings. 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite and between 0.1 and 0.25 nitrate consistently. pH is 7.4 and the water is on the harder end of the spectrum.

Over 2 months I've added 4 male Platy (though I suspect one is a swordtail that jumped tanks), 6 X-ray tetras (love how they school - very underrated IMO), 6 Red Cherry Shrimp and 3 Assassin Snails (haven't quite got the feeding regime right and these guys should sort my pond snail problem).

My question is, would I be able to add a/a school of bottom dwellers? I like the shrimp, but my fish are mainly mid/upper level swimmers and would like something at the bottom. Maybe a school of ottos or small cory. I love the look of the Hillstream Loach but don't think my tankmates suit their requirements. Maybe a pitbull pleco? What do you experts think?

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Offline naughtymoose

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2014, 09:24:24 PM »
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Hi Cod

Nice to meet you

Have you tried the Community Creator yet? It's a really good place to start.

Offline dbaggie

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2014, 09:25:55 PM »
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Hi COD  :wave:

Yep, give the community creator a whirl - it's a good tool when starting out.

Otherwise, I couldn't claim to be an expert, but I would've thought that you should be ok with 6 of a dwarf cory species (got to be dwarf though, not just small), although this would put you right around the stocking limit. Oto's might be pushing it a bit as they can get a bit bigger than the dwarf cory's. I'm not particularly familiar with the Pitbull Plec so can't really comment either way, although if it's like most Plec's I'd go with the Cory's personally as they're likely to be more prominent in the tank. The Hillsteam Loach is really more suited to unheated/temperate tanks.

Offline dbaggie

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2014, 09:29:17 PM »
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6 X-ray tetras (love how they school - very underrated IMO)

Definitely agree - haven't kept Pristella's myself, but my folks have some and they look far more striking 'in the flesh' than they appear in pictures.

Offline fishcake76

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2014, 09:31:44 PM »
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Hi Cod ( I was going to refer to you by your forum name initials, but thought better of it!!!) ;D

I think you would be fine to get some bottom dwellers. check out the Think Fish community checker if you haven't already.  The loach and the pleco sound like big fish ( i don't know without looking) and i think you might be better with smaller fish, like panda corys or something of the ilk, due to the size of your tank.

Someone who really knows their stuff ( most likely Sue) will be along to help soon, i'm sure.

EDIT - i'm slower at typing than everyone else, but there you go. I do know something after all!!!!

FC76
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Offline Cod_only_knows

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2014, 09:36:52 PM »
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Thanks both,
I've tried the Community Creator and it seems great, though gives very different results to other sites like aqavisor...

I'd love a small school of cories, but worry I may be pushing my luck as a novice. What species would you recommend? None of the true dwarf cory are particularly eye catching and I'm guessing Pandas and Bandits are too big...

Any hidden gems out there?

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Offline Cod_only_knows

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2014, 09:41:24 PM »
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Thanks Fishcake,
Thought my name was pretty clever, but obviously didn't think long enough!

What about Green Gold Cory (melanotaenia)? Very unusual looking cory. Anyone ever kept one?

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Offline fishcake76

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2014, 09:48:11 PM »
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They are very pretty but probably a bit big for your tank. You need something no bigger than about 3 cm if you intend to have a group, which with corys you will need at least 5 or 6.

Have you looked here?

http://www.seriouslyfish.com/knowledge-base/

FC76

Offline Cod_only_knows

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2014, 10:08:37 PM »
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Agreed they'd be too big, bit of a shame. I'm guessing Adolfo's or Venezuelan would be okay though right? Looking at the Seriously Fish site without just looking for a specific fish is some form of torture. So many fish, so little capacity!!! 

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Offline Cod_only_knows

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2014, 10:10:38 PM »
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Just checked and Adolfo's are too big... gutted!

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Offline Cod_only_knows

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2014, 11:38:34 PM »
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After a fair bit of contemplation, I'm going to go for Salt and Pepper Cories (if I can find them and their not too expensive!).

Thanks for all the help everyone!

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Offline biffster

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2014, 12:02:34 AM »
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hi cod only knows

i was wondering how you cycled your tank

Offline Cod_only_knows

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2014, 07:35:58 AM »
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Hi Biffster,
I did a fishless cycle using flake food after planting up the tank. It only took a couple of weeks for the tank to cycle. I think I was lucky because the tank was second hand and the sponge filter may have still been carrying some beneficial bacteria (it was still wet when I picked it up). Unfortunately they'd thrown the ceramic noodles out.

To be on the safe side, I've been adding a couple of Pure Aquarium balls by Evolution Aqua to the tank on a weekly basis. From what I've read, these little balls have bacteria that process NH3 and NO2. I've stocked slowly... 2 platy (1 week) 2 platy (1 week) 6 Tetra (2 weeks) RCS (2 weeks) Snails (2 weeks so far)...

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Offline biffster

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2014, 07:56:32 AM »
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why not try some of the pigmy corydoras well
worth a look at i am glad to see some sensible
stocking   

Offline Cod_only_knows

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2014, 08:10:48 AM »
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Cheers Biffster,
I read that Pigmy Cory are more mid-level swimmers. Is this true from your experience?

I can see the temptation to overstock the tank. There's just so many beautiful fish in the world. I keep reminding myself I don't need to have them all now!

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Offline biffster

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2014, 08:56:02 AM »
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they are bottom dwellers they lover sifting though
sand substrate the only they swim mid water is
when there is a problem with the water   

Offline Sue

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2014, 12:25:56 PM »
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The community creator puts you at 100% stocked with just the platies and tetras - and it also comments that your tank is too small for the x-ray tetras  :-\ The aquanano 40 may be a 55 litre tank, but it is a 40cm cube according to the manufacturer's website, and the CC says the tetras need a longer tank than 40cm. The CC is considered to be overgenerous, so personally I would have less fish than you currently have rather than more.





As a side issue, have you checked the actual volume of the tank? I have an aquaone tank, and they not only included the glass in the tank volume but also air around the tank enclosed by the plastic trim!

Offline Cod_only_knows

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2014, 03:33:27 PM »
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Thanks both,
Sue - I think I must be using the CC wrong. I put the tank info on the left and added the 4 platy, 6 tetra and 3 snails and it says I'm at 76%. Am I using the wrong CC? I've been using the calculator that is found at the bottom of the fish profiles...

It does say that the tank is too short for the X-ray's (and the platy) but advice from my LFS and some other sites say they're happy in smaller tanks. Wish I'd checked beforehand, but they seem very happy enough. If I can convince my wife we have room for a bigger tank I think I'll move them in there (but don't think that'll be any time soon :(). Think I'd make the current tank a species only tank with CPD or micro-rasbora.

I didn't measure the volume when filling (doh!) but I've read that others have an actual capacity of about 51 litres when they measured.

Thanks again for the input. Definitely going to hold off adding anything until I'm sure the tank can take it or I have a bigger one!

On another note, I'm fairly convinced that one of the Play I bought at P@H is a Swordtail (never buying from there again, the salesperson was useless!). Any advice on how to tell? It's a much more slender fish than the other Platy and has very different behavior. It was much more aggressive than the others, but now is a bit of a loner...


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Offline Sue

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2014, 04:47:40 PM »
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I entered a 40cm long tank (figure from Aqua One's website), 55 litres, and an internal filter. Then added 4 platies and 6 x-ray tetras. It came up as current stock level 40cm, stock percentage 100%. I used internal filter even though the filter is in a compartment at the back as external means a canister filter with an enormous amount of filtration. Even counting the filter as oversized internal, it comes up as 83% and in the yellow warning band.
The percentages are for mature tanks, ie over six months old, and even fishlessly cycled tanks shouldn't be stocked fully for a few months.

The problem with pets at home is that each branch is run by a manager the way he/she wants and some of them don't train their staff in anything but how to make sales. Mind you, other shops can give terrible advice as well  :-\
Male swordtails always have a sword once they are mature, but in some individuals that can take as long as a year. Just to be certain - you do have all male 'platies'? Some shop workers can't tell the difference......

Offline Cod_only_knows

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2014, 05:13:11 PM »
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Thanks Sue,
I did exactly the same thing and got a different answer... hmmm... I'm guessing as I'm the newbie I'm doing something wrong. I'll have another tinker later.

I've decided to leave things as they are anyway. The tank looks great and I'm really enjoying watching the fish and getting to know their characters. I need to stop overfeeding as I definitely have a snail problem. The assassins will help, but prevention is better than cure!

I'm pretty sure the 'platy' is a swordtail. It's very small so I'll watch with interest as he develops to see if there's any hint of a sword. If there is, then I'm sadly going to have to find him a new home. The good news all my platy are definitely male. I made sure I knew the difference before picking out the fish. The sales assistant confirmed their sex too.

There's always going to be good and bad sales assistants. I'm surprised at how little support there was for a fishless cycle at all the places I went to when setting up. Seemed very strange. 

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Offline Sue

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2014, 06:25:56 PM »
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Very few shops ever mention fishless cycling. The ones that know about it are probably afraid of scaring customers away when all they have to do is go to the next shop which will tell them it's fine to get a tank and fish the same day, this miracle product will do everything you need.
I also wonder if some people are capable of understanding cycling at all let alone how to follow instructions for a fishless cycle......


Keep an eye on the 'platy'. If it does mature into a swordtail it may well take a dislike to the male platies.

Offline Cod_only_knows

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2014, 07:00:02 PM »
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Thanks again Sue,
What you say about the sales assistants makes sense, sad for the poor fish though.

Out of interest, what do you have in your 50L?

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Offline Sue

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2014, 07:13:45 PM »
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My 50 litre is a long shallow tank, the length being 60cm. I have 9 Sundadanio axelrodi, 3 pygmy cories - I did have more but they have died and I don't want to replace them - an unknown number of red cherry shrimps (they breed like rabbits)and 2 nerite snails. And an internal filter.
In the CC, I have salt & pepper cories as pymies aren't in the profiles and the two are the same size with the same requirements. And I have 1 apple snail entered as they are quite a bit bigger than nerites.
All that comes to 53% stocked.

Offline Cod_only_knows

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2014, 08:05:26 PM »
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That sounds like a lovely setup. They're sometimes called Neon Green Rasbora right?

 In hindsight I wish I'd gone with a school of small fish. I was quite struck by the Spice Rasbora, Fortail Rainbowfish and CPD's at my LFS but only after I'd bought my Platy. Don't think the first two would work well with my slightly alkaline hard water and CPD's would probably need a larger tank.

If I do get a larger tank and make my current one a species tank, if you have any recommendations for mico-fish that do well in alkaline hard water, please let me know. Endlers would be good come to think of it...

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Offline Sue

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2014, 08:33:21 PM »
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I have moderately soft water with an alkaline pH (GH 6 german deg, pH 7.5-ish after standing 24 hours) so the sundadanios were a bit of a risk but they seem to be doing well.

How about these for small hard water fish? Shops often call them emerald rasboras; they are quite distinctive, you can't mistake them for anything else when you see them in the shop tank.

Offline Cod_only_knows

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #25 on: November 16, 2014, 09:07:19 PM »
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Wow, beautiful little fish! Looks like my current tank is too small though :(

Just another excuse for another tank!

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Offline Sue

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #26 on: November 16, 2014, 09:12:19 PM »
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You might get away with celestial pearl danios aka galaxy rasboras as long as your pH isn't too high. Though pH is less important than hardness and these fish can go as high as 268ppm (15 German deg)

Offline Cod_only_knows

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Re: Stocking advice - Have I got room for some bottom dwellers?
« Reply #27 on: November 16, 2014, 09:15:09 PM »
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They are great too, and my pH is only 7.4 so should be fine for them. They're pretty pricey for such a small fish so wanted to make sure I wasn't an awful fishkeeper before committing to them!

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