Question 25 Gallon Freshwater Community Tank - Stocking Help Needed

jreinhart

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I have finally successfully cycled my tank. The fun part of adding more fish is at hand. Unfortunately, I'm not quite sure what to put into the tank.

I know that I want a community tank, don't want to deal with live plants, and that there are some fish I like. The fish may not all be compatible.

The tank is currently inhabited by:

6 Zebra Danios

Tank Specs
25 gallons
Temp: 76 Fahrenheit
pH: 7.5

Fish I like
Cardinal Tetras
Otos
Neon Tetras
Glofish (the ones based on the Zebra Danio)
Mystery Snail
Ghost Shrimp

I'd like to include one fish that is either larger or really pops. A friend suggested an Electric Blue Ram.

What sort of fish could I introduce into the tank, and when in the process should they be introduced (i.e. the last fish I add, the next fish, etc)?

With 6 Zebras I figure I have 12-13 inches worth of fish I can add.

Any suggestions on fish for me to add that are usually accessible from mainstream pet stores?
 

JeffK

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Most people agree that's it's best to wait about 6 months for the tank to "mature" before adding a single or pair of rams as they are very sensitive to any changes in water parameters. I'd work on your schools first, then once everything is established, go for your centerpiece fish.

Ottos can be a bit sensitive as well - if you decide you definitely want them, I'd add them after any other schooling fish. Best of luck!
 

dcle7526

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I am actually going to do a small tetra tank with a 26 gallon bowfront shortly, and am going to do up to a dozen small tetra's of whatever the lfs has. Basically putting them in there just to keep it running so I can use it as a QT tank. I think that I would only add a few more fish if I were you, not all that you listed, maybe just a few cardinals or neons and an otos? Your filter is rated for 125 gph, so im not sure how much of a bio load it could handle. i an running a aquaclear filter that is rated at 200 gph and still doing weekly water changes with 14 fish (3 cories, 1 pleco, 2 clown loaches, 2 diamond tetras, 2 black skirt tetras, 2 Turq rainbows, 2 opaline gouramis). My clown loaches and pleco are juvies, and are moving today to a 90 gallon along with the others listed here, so I had a fairly large bio load in such a small tank. As for a single large fish, maybe a betta? I don't know how well they do with neon's, or shrimp (i would guess the shrimp would be dinner), but it would be a beautiful fish with the schools. I am sure someone else will pipe in and correct me if I said anything out of line, just talking from my personal experiences.
 
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jreinhart

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I am actually going to do a small tetra tank with a 26 gallon bowfront shortly, and am going to do up to a dozen small tetra's of whatever the lfs has. Basically putting them in there just to keep it running so I can use it as a QT tank. I think that I would only add a few more fish if I were you, not all that you listed, maybe just a few cardinals or neons and an otos? Your filter is rated for 125 gph, so im not sure how much of a bio load it could handle. i an running a aquaclear filter that is rated at 200 gph and still doing weekly water changes with 14 fish (3 cories, 1 pleco, 2 clown loaches, 2 diamond tetras, 2 black skirt tetras, 2 Turq rainbows, 2 opaline gouramis). My clown loaches and pleco are juvies, and are moving today to a 90 gallon along with the others listed here, so I had a fairly large bio load in such a small tank. As for a single large fish, maybe a betta? I don't know how well they do with neon's, or shrimp (i would guess the shrimp would be dinner), but it would be a beautiful fish with the schools. I am sure someone else will pipe in and correct me if I said anything out of line, just talking from my personal experiences.
Thank you for the suggestions. I had read that at minimum a filter should filter the entire tank 3-4 times per hour. The filter I'm currently using does that 5 times an hour if my math is correct. It may not be. I wanted the QuietFlow 30 but the store was out.

I'm relatively new to all of this so am sure that those with more experience will correct me. From my reading I've been told that a general guideline is to figure 1 inch of fish = 1 gallon of water and to go by the adult size of fish. I've read that the guidelines can be different depending on the fish.

According to numerous threads on here, can't recall exactly which ones, it appears that the overwhelming advice is to not put a betta in a large tank. A friend of mine has successfully done it at one point but it seems that he lucked out.

I don't want to overstock the tank to the fishes' detriment. If that guideline of 1 gallon : 1 inch is true then my 25 gallon tank can hold 25 inches worth of fish. There's 12 inches worth of fish in there now giving me 12-13 inches worth left. That could be downgraded to 10 inches worth of fish because I've also read you should subtract a gallon or two to account for interior decor and substrate.

Even then, that gives me half a dozen fish depending on size.

Not to take this much further off track, since I want this thread to focus on stocking ideas, but I thought we were all supposed to do weekly water tests and weekly water change as a general guideline.

When I add fish I intend to do so slowly. Adding a few in one week, a few a week or two later, and so forth.
JeffK I absolutely love Ottos and if I have to wait awhile for them I'm more than happy with that. A concern I have is not having enough algae for them to eat thereby needing to constantly supplement their diet with algae wafers or even worse to blanch zucchini etc for them.

Your advice on the rams is very helpful. Especially in light of my search for a better way to do water changes (I'll post another thread at some point on that).

Based on my research I have to forget the neon and cardinal tetras. My pH is at 7.5, which is not acidic enough for them. It comes out on this higher end from the tap.

I love the look of Glofish but again they're Zebra Danios in a different color...could be boring having so many Zebras in one time.
 

JeffK

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Based on my research I have to forget the neon and cardinal tetras. My pH is at 7.5, which is not acidic enough for them. It comes out on this higher end from the tap.
Not necessarily... Many here indicate that the pH listed in fish profiles is the normal pH of the fish's natural habitat. Most fish we buy in LFS are farm-raised, and these fish can adapt to a wider range of water parameters. If your LFS is nearby, there's a good chance that their water is very similar to yours. The first time I ever bought fish, I tested the water in their bag, and it was exactly like my tapwater. As long as you acclimate slowly, everything should be fine.
 

dcle7526

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From my reading I've been told that a general guideline is to figure 1 inch of fish = 1 gallon of water and to go by the adult size of fish. I've read that the guidelines can be different depending on the fish..
I have read the same thing, and then I read a lot of people saying to disregard that all completely. I believe it is based more on the type of fish in the tank more so than their size. Obviously a clown loach in a ten gallon is a bad idea as they will get huge, but I do believe that a bunch of schooling fish like small tetras in a 25 gallon would be fine as long as your bio-load on the tank isn't too much. With your filtration I probably would add no more than a total of around 10 to 15 fish (since you are looking at smaller tetra's and a small cat).

Also, from my research on Betta's I have found that the flourish in larger tanks (up to 30 gallon from what I have read and seen) as long as there is not a lot of current and enough vegetation for them to hide. I have not had one as of yet, so I cannot tell you from experience, but in the wild they live in densely vegetated ponds and streams claiming territory from anywhere of 5 gallons to 70 gallons of water space. I have done a lot of research on their origins and native landscapes as I have wanted one for a while. You could also do a honey gourami or a dwarf as your centerpiece, i love my blue gourami's! I would also suggest maybe some diamond tetra's, with the right lighting they are amazing in schools.
 

endlerfan

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Just a couple thoughts here. First...the inch of fish a gallon theory is kind of not really used that much any more. It's more the adult size of the fish combined with it's bio load, compatibility with others, needs ect. Also I would tip toe with bettas being thrown in large community tanks. They are wonderful lovely fish..but despite their beauty...the can be devils in disguise. True that many people do have bettas in large tanks and they thrive and everyone is happy. But...each fish is different. My room mates female betta will kill anything that enters her tank..even snails. I would get a smaller tank...add a betta get it a tank mate and see what happens. Better to be safe than sorry Good luck to you
 
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jreinhart

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Thank you all for your input. I had not heard that the 1 inch per gallon ratio had gone out. I was told it is an easy guideline for determining bioload. Of course, when using it it is important to use the adult size of the fish. I've wondered if people who used this guideline did not use the adult size of the fish.

My reading that shared the above guideline did mention exceptions such as fatter fish that are 1 inch require more water than slimmer fish that are 1 inch. It is a shame having to throw out this handy and memorable guideline. Perhaps a discussion of this is worth being had in a separate thread?
dcle7526 The Blue Gourami is indeed a pretty fish. Hadn't considered one and based on the profile on here (https://www.fishlore.com/profile-bluegourami.htm) it sadly does not seem to be a suitable tank mate for my tank. I'm sure it would be very happy and pretty in another tank.

Am very sorry, I misread what you wrote. Thought you were suggesting the Blue Gourami. Yes, a Dwarf Gourami looks very pretty and sounds like a wonderful addition.

The Diamond Tetra looks pretty.

A friend has some Emperor Tetras (https://www.fishlore.com/profile-emperortetra.htm) and they're very nice-looking fish. Aside of looking nice and only growing to 1.5 inches in length I like that they're middle-bottom dwelling.

It would be nice to have some fish calling the various levels their homes. The Otos that I like would, I believe, enjoy like living on the bottom. The Zebras I have like the top. Some middle-dwelling fish would be fun.

Right now my tank is moderately filled with silk and plastic plants clumped together. It has 3 Marimo Balls and 1 medium size cave. I am hoping to add a few more fake plants of medium and tall heights to finish it off.

If Cardinal Tetras really would safely acclimate to my tank and be happy there, I'd love to have them as my 2nd schooling fish. With them I'd be happy to get my Otos and then the show piece fish and call it a finished tank.
 
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dcle7526

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I understand completely about the blue gourami. When I was looking at them originally my lfs was telling me that they are mean and have to be seperated from my tetra's, I have two opalines (both females). Liveaquaria.com lists them as using caution as well. Both of my females either keep to themselves and don't both any of my other fish. You may want to look into a honey gourami as your "centerpiece" fish, as I have heard that they are very peaceful and get along with most fish. Rainbows would look good as well, but they like longer tanks with lots of swimming room. Maybe an American Flagfish? I have wanted them for some time, and they eat algae.
 

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Our centerpiece fish in our 40g is our powder blue dwarf gourami. He's quite the character We have cories (he's King of the Cories btw) marble hatchet fish, rummynose tetras, a tiny bn pleco, and Diamond Tetras...and they all get along great. The only time Zephyr (the DG) gets territorial is when one of the Diamonds happen to pass through "his" gardening area where he likes to try to make nests out of the plants. It's not real aggression either...Zephyr charges...the Diamond scats and that's the end of it. Might want to consider one of them.
 
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jreinhart

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Last night I bought my school of Cardinal Tetras. I was concerned about the difference in pH but as JeffK said, the local pet store's pH is probably similar to mine. I meant to test the pH in the bag but forgot.

The fish appear to be happy in the tank. At first the Zebra Danios chased them for a bit, the Zebras were the lone inhabitants this entire time, but that settled down when I fed everyone. The Cardinals seemed shy and hesitant to eat. They're color is vibrant and this morning I saw them exploring the tank.

I've revised my stocking plan slightly by downsizing it. I think I may be at max capacity for the tank, or there soon, so I am only going to add my showpiece fish. The more I research the more I am liking the Dwarf Gourami. The Powder Blue calls to me but there's a lot of blue in my tank (sea blue gravel, the blue in the Cardinals).

I also added 1 Black Mystery Snail and 5 Ghost Shrimp. Everyone seemed to get along nicely last night. One of the Zebras took an interest in a Ghost Shrimp as if to eat it. Didn't come across that in my research. Does anyone know if Zebra Danios (or the Cardinals for that matter) will eat the Ghost Shrimp? They're sizeable shrimp.

I am not adding Otos or any other fish, aside of the showpiece, into the tank.

Some more fake plants, and the showpiece fish, and I think the tank is done. It looks sparse, fish-wise, but that's ok. The Mystery Snail and the Ghost Shrimp add a lot of activity to the other parts of the tank plus I'm hoping they'll help with some cleaning. Reading I had done said that my Marimo Balls should take in the elements that form algae.
 

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How many cardinals did you add? You don't want to add too much of a bioload at once or you could cause a mini cycle (mystery snails have a pretty large bio load for a snail). Shrimp are kind of on the bottom of the food chain, there are a lot of fish that will eat them. I wouldn't be surprised if the zebra danios, dwarf gourami and maybe even the cardinals go after them.
 
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jreinhart

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I added the recommended school size. Was not aware that the Mystery Snails added that much to the bio load. Tonight I will test the water to see how it goes.
 

featherblue

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Even if the mystery pushed you into a mini cycle, its prob not bybtoo much. Couple wc to keep the water from harming your fish should get your bacteria caught back up.
 

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Its recommended to add 1-2 fish (2-3 if they have a small bioload) at a time and then wait 2 weeks so you don't overwhelm the bacteria.
 

JeffK

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I always have to remind myself of the advice given many times on this site:
"Over-filter and under-stock." Enjoy your tank!
 
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jreinhart

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My aquarium is fully stocked. After conversing with my buddy, determing what my wife and I like, and speaking with knowledgeable staff from a local fish store, along with the kind input from you nice people I am delighted to say that the tank is fully stocked.

My guess is it is over-stocked, hopefully not incredibly so (according to what I've been told), and that I'm hoping to upgrade to a better filter before too long. For a housewarming present my buddy wants to get us a Fluval 06 canister filter () not sure that we could accept such a lavish gift. But, it is on my list as an upgrade.

Aquarium-Complete.JPG

The photo is of the tank. It is stocked with:

6 Cardinal Tetras
6 Zebra Danios
1 Dwarf Gourami
2 Mystery Snails
6 Ghost Shrimp

Aside of the Marimo Balls, all of the plants are artificial as is the cave.

Yesterday I saw our black mystery snail climbing up the front of the glass. A large ghost shrimp swam up and sat on the snail. It was cute seeing that the shrimp got a free ride.

I also have noticed that the mystery snails love hanging out in that Boxwood mat in the foreground. The shrimp like it there too but they love the cave even more.

The cardinal tetras like the back center beneath the heater. Those speedy zebra danios never stop. The dwarf gourami is shyer than I thought. He enjoys hanging out behind the plants in the back.
 

featherblue

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Your dg will get more social eventually. Some take weeks or months to decide they're safe.

The tank looks great, nice fake plants! They blend in really well, I wouldn't have guessed they weren't real from the photo
 
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