120G Rainbow tank

  • #1
So, I got my hands on a 450 litre cabinet aquarium. My plan is to build a planted Rainbow fish tank.

Here is a brief outline;

(first stocking order)
2 x Boesmani
2 x Praecox
2 x Turquoise
2 x Slender
2 x Red

John Innes no.3
Sand cap
VimI Micro

4 x 20w t8 6700k (+ LED light bar)

APS 2000LPH canister filter
2 x APS 1000LPH internal filters

3 x 300w heaters. Water temp 25c(?)

Redmoor driftwood
Wood stone

Amazon Sword
Ozelot Sword
Dwarf Lily
Hygro Difformis
Hygro Polysperma
Rotala Rotundifolia
Dwarf sags
Crypt Beckettii
Java ferns
Java moss
(whatever else I have growing crazy amongst other tanks)

I have the tank and the stand but won't be putting it together until after Christmas. So I figure now is as good a time as any to be ordering the things I need and clearing up any questions I have in my head about the tank set up.

I am still undecided about dirting as I think I may include a school of Aeneus Cories in the tank, so I may just go for Osmocote.

I have been soaking the John Innes that I would be using for a few weeks. It is in a tub with floating plants and I have been filling and draining regularly. I was going to dirt my 55 so I had already been preparing the substrate. Any input here is greatly appreciated.

I have been cycling the canister fishless in another tank. The original plan was to stock the tank it is in but it is perfect for the 120, alongside a couple of internal filters. So the canister will be cycled (fishless, dosed to 4ppm ammonia) and the internals won't be. However, the canister should contain enough bacteria to hold the cycle. I will be seeding the IFs with media from a few of my healthy tanks too.

So far as my stocking goes, I can't get Rainbows locally so I have to order online. As the filter will be cycled fishless, I want to add a fair stock to begin with. One online retailer sells a group (the above list), is this group appropriate for the tank? What sort of numbers should I bulking each species up to?

I have no idea what the final stocking would look like so any suggestions of tank mates, species only etc will be gladly received.

Anything I am missing?

Any advice, critique, input all welcome and appreciated. Thanks guysx
Thai Aquarium owner
  • #2
Firstly, your tank is only 100 UK gallons, as 4.54 Liters make a gallon, therefore 450 Liters are 100 UK gallons. ( Just to make you aware of the fact )
Secondly, I would aI'm for a tank temperature of around 26/27 Deg C
Now, as for the stock, I would suggest that you drop the proposed Reds from the stocking list - they can reach as much as 6 Inches in length, and would be too large for the tank IMO
The others are fine, but try to aI'm for a school of about 5 fish of each, consisting of 2 males and 3 females in each group if poss - to get the males displaying to the f.males and flashing to each other.
Before you make up your mind on these species, as you have stated you have to go online for the stock, why not consider other species that are really spectacular IMHO.
Some of these are hard come by species, but are well worth the effort and expense involved in obtaining them.
Melanotaenia Lakamora ( Lakamora Rainbow - 2" ) Triton Lakes, Irian Jaya
M. Parva ( Dwarf Sunset Rainbow ) 2" - spectacular., in the AM, if tank get sun into the room.
M. Nigrans ( Black Banded Rainbow ) 3" stunning when displaying
All that I am suggesting to you, is to keep an open mind on the stock, and do the research required of each species, as there are some really stunning Rainbows out there, that are both beautiful, and are different from the norm in a tank of Rainbows
  • #3
Yes!!! I love this idea. I want to do a 120gal rainbow tank/Australian native for so long if only I had the space...
That sounds like a smart idea with the beginning stocking. If the filters are seeded then it should handle that stocking easy.

I have a fish suggestion pacific blue eyes, my lfs keeps them in a display tank with rainbows and I want some badly.

Sarcasm Included
  • #4
He usually has a number of nice rainbows in the summer for purchase. I am ordering some Melanotaenia rubrostriata "KopI River" from him when the weather warms up.
  • #5
Congratulations! I'd up each group to 3, and add 3 Banded Rainbows to the list.
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Thank you!

Yes, the tank is 100 imperial gallons. All these different gallons gets very confusing. To me, it's a 450 litre tank. I know many here use US gallons, so I tend to use both. I have no idea what an imperial gallon is

I've decided I'm not dirting at all. The tank will have a layer of osmocote topped with play sand.

Then a school of Aeneus Cories. I think 12 will go in there. I can't resist!

Now you've all thrown around the names of some pretty spectacular fish (thank you! &thanks for the link Sarcasm), my stocking plans are headed out the window! It's a good price for the ten mixed rainbow group, which is my reason for thinking of them as a beginning stock. However, it doesn't give me much choice so far as what I want in the tank... Just what's cheapest!

The only ones I have my heart set on are the Praecox. They're actually the only ones I've ever seen in person and they are what I see as a 'Rainbowfish'. So my beginning stock could be a school of the Dwarf Neons (I have Cories a plenty already!). I do need to look into the stocking further.

I ordered a better light fixture so out with the T8s and in with a LED HI Lumen 6500k fixture. I may get another in the future but I plan on having a low tech set up so it may not be needed.

The 55 community is going to go to make way for this tank. The Angel is the only fish that will actually be going anywhere, the others will be 'popped' into my various other tanks. I am also moving all the other tanks out of my front room so this one will take 'pride of place'.

I have also ordered a bunch more plants so some of those will inevitably end up in there too!

I think Rainbows look particularly impressive against the green backdrop of Jungle style tanks, so that is what I'm sort of aiming for in there.xx
Thai Aquarium owner
  • #7
Rainbows are very under rated fish IMO.
There are some truly wonderful species now in the hobby, and which ever you choose Hollie, I am sure you will care well for them
FYO An Imperial Gallon is the gallon measurement used in the UK as opposed to the US gallon which is about 0.8 of the Imperial Gallon ( I think )
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Thanks Thai. Always good to know!!

So, my 'fish guy' has a deal for me.

6 Boesmani, 6 Praecox, 2 slender, 2 turquoise, 2 red for £45 Inc shipping. Bargain.

Before I agree to this deal would I be overstocking? Will this work?

Could I still add 12 Aeneus Cories? And A BN pleco? And twenty neon tetra? These are fish I have already and was wondering if I could 'combine' tanks or if I should just keep them both separate. It would add another (cycled) 1000GPH canister as filtration too. It's not a problem if not, I'd probably end up stocking their old tank rather than take it down anyway!


  • #9
It wouldn't be overstocked.
Thai Aquarium owner
  • #10
As I have already suggested, I would drop the 2 Red Rainbows.
Try to get 1 or 2 more each of the Slender and Turquoise, or maybe a different species to replace the Reds.
I personally would be wary of a " bundle deal " such as the guys suggestion.
It probably means he cannot shift 1 certain species within the bundle, and this would be the only way he can move the stock on.
The Reds being a large growing species is probably the one he can't move.
maybe this is not the case, but buyer beware.
  • Thread Starter
  • #11
I've managed to get the reds switched out for a Goldie. Win, win!

They'll be here Wednesday! I should really get a shuffle on putting the stand up! They will be going into a QT tub when they arrive anyway.

Thanks for your help guys.x

  • Thread Starter
  • #12
They've arrived! Although, the numbers don't quite add up so I may need some help with ID.

The Goldie is beautiful, really stunning.

Three of the BoesmanI didn't manage the journey. And I have six Praecox. There's what appears to be two slender and two turquoise ... and then there's two more. And some guppies, platies, a pleco a few plants which weren't on the order with "Happy 2015" note. The other fish are headed into a separate QT.

I have a feeling the two extra rainbow type fish are Reds. They are all under 2" at the moment and all are silver (being new to rainbows, I am having a problem confirming their ID). They can QT with the others then either they will go into my DT until I find a home for them, or into my friends tank which is the same tank housing guppies. Not ideal but perhaps more space than my tank!

I have a 320litre housing only Cories that they would have more space in but less swim room.

Assuming they are Reds, what size tank am I looking to get them into ideally?


  • #13
Being some one that keeps rainbows I would suggest two males to three females in the tank .. u get much brighter colors out of the males with competition for the females .. n having a more females then males u will not have any fish hurtimg each other ..


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