260 Litre Fish tank stock list

Manny121

Hello everyone I hope that you are all well
Im new to the fish keeping hobby. I have got a 4ft fluval vicenza 260 Litre Tank. With the current equipment
Fluval FX4 canister filter
Fluval 306 canister filter
Fluval Led Light(I will up upgrade this light)
Fluval e300 heater
Vecton 400 UV filter
Flow tamer spray bar
All of this equipment came with the tank. Its a second hand one.

I have done some research and have made a list of what fish I would like to add to it
I would like a planted community tank

Fish Tank Fish Stucture
(Fish that will stay at top of tank)
Furcata Rainbow x5
African butterfly fish x1
Clown Killifish x5


(Fish that will school in the middle of the tank)
Cardinal Tetras x15

(Bottom Dwellers)
Kuhli Loach x4
Apistogramma (Dwarf Chiclid)
(Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid) x4
Dwarf Flounder x4

Clean Up Crew
AMANO SHRIMP x2
Hillstream loach x2
Oto catfish x3
I do want some snails. But am looking for ones that won't breed a lot



Plants to get
Java moss
Java fern
Water sprite
Flame moss
Cryptocoryne
Ceratopteris thalictroides
Helanthium tenellum

Please let me know your thoughts on this list. Would love and appreciate as much feedback as possible.
In terms of my aquascape. I will have a small layer of aqaurim soil and then will have sand on the top.
I will put in some rock but not too sure how much KG i should would 25KG be too low or too much. Also should I add in some drift wood? I was also planning on making a nice sand waterfall saw it online looked soo cool with the pvc pipes and pump.

Thank You!!
 

Ouse

Welcome Manny. :)
Dwarf Flounder x4
I don’t know much about flounders but aren’t they brackish water fish?
Clean Up Crew
AMANO SHRIMP x2
Hillstream loach x2
Oto catfish x3
I do want some snails. But am looking for ones that won't breed a lot
A clean up crew won’t clean the tank. At most they will add to the bioload and eat algae and aufwuchs that are often harmless. Algae is safe to have as long as it’s not spiralling out of control. I would be concerned over a tank that has no algae growth if anything.

Don’t get me wrong you can keep these, but remember they won’t do much “cleaning.” Hill stream loaches need good oxygenation and it seems you have that. Otocinclus are a fish I’d steer away from because captive bred ones that are in good shape and will accept commercial fish food are almost mythical fish. They’ll eat aufwuchs but when the tank runs out of them the otos will quickly starve.

Nerite snails will breed but their eggs can’t hatch in freshwater. Snail infestations can be beneficial; trumpet snails for example sift fine substrates and provide them with oxygen.
 
Upvote 0

Manny121

Welcome Manny. :)

I don’t know much about flounders but aren’t they brackish water fish?

A clean up crew won’t clean the tank. At most they will add to the bioload and eat algae and aufwuchs that are often harmless. Algae is safe to have as long as it’s not spiralling out of control. I would be concerned over a tank that has no algae growth if anything.

Don’t get me wrong you can keep these, but remember they won’t do much “cleaning.” Hill stream loaches need good oxygenation and it seems you have that. Otocinclus are a fish I’d steer away from because captive bred ones that are in good shape and will accept commercial fish food are almost mythical fish. They’ll eat aufwuchs but when the tank runs out of them the otos will quickly starve.

Nerite snails will breed but their eggs can’t hatch in freshwater. Snail infestations can be beneficial; trumpet snails for example sift fine substrates and provide them with oxygen.

Thank Youu soo much for the advice has helped me a lot!! The cleaning crew advice was soo interesting
Apart from the ottos were the other fish ok to add to the tank. I really want a colourful tank. Which colourfull fish would you recommend for this tank. I was thinking of getting some guppies. But they do breed quite a lot. Would I be able to add them? And how many should I get. Im looking to set up my tank in a couple of months. Just doing some renovation work at home. Is there any small catfish that you can recommend me getting as well? Also should I add the cardinal Tetras first after I've cycled the tank? And how many shall I buy first. I know that they need a big school so was looking to get about 15 in total. I've just bought a small QT tank 23 gallons which also came with all of the equipment.
Sorry for asking soo many questions hahah the more I research the more questions I tend to build up haha.
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

Welcome.
I hate to be the bringer of bad news, but this is essential in this case as you have chosen mostly fish that deserve tanks taylored to their needs instead of an Aquascape.

Furcata Rainbow x5
African butterfly fish x1
Clown Killifish x5

The Butterfly fish will likely eat the Epiplatys and the lively Pseudomugil will stress out the bigger predator a lot.

Kuhli Loach x4
Apistogramma (Dwarf Chiclid)
(Cockatoo Dwarf Cichlid) x4
Dwarf Flounder x4

- The flounders need a lot of open space and can be brackish species. Both is in conflict with the other fishes needs.
- Keeping dwarf cichlids with any other bottom dwellers tends to end badly. They are territorial and most other bottomdwellers are not, accordingly cories or loaches that are wobbling about constantly will stress out the cichlids as soon as they establish territories.
- Dwarf cichlids are also territorial among each other. For Apistogramma you have to plan on a 60cm diameter territory per male and 30cm per female. All provided the structures are carefully build. At best you can do 1 male and 2 females in that tank, I wouldn't risk more males.
- Especially for the loaches and the flounders having soil under the sand may be a big problem, unless you take unfertilized soil (in which case you can leave it completely), as this might leach ammonia. Both species dig in themselves and may be confronted with ammonia and bring it into the water column when digging.
- speaking of digging: Bottomdwellers NEED access to the substrate. With the carpeting plants you listed this will become less and less.

Clean Up Crew
AMANO SHRIMP x2
Hillstream loach x2
Oto catfish x3
I do want some snails. But am looking for ones that won't breed a lot

Scratch that completely. "Clean up crews" are an invention of the retailers to sell "easy fixes" for algae problems. All those animals are worth getting their own dedicated tanks and not an existence in rather unfitting conditions, which community tanks usually are.

- Otos need an established (6 months+) tank with a lot of aufwuchs and algae.
- Hillstream loaches need not only that, they are doing much better in high flow, high oygenation, lower temperature tanks than all the others.
- all of them need bigger groups
- all of them tend to starve in newly setup tanks

Don't go by weight for the rocks, as rocks can have different densities and so the same weight may be a vastly different volume.
Driftwood should definitely be present.

Almost all fish you chose are not fitting to an Aquascape. Aquascaping is basically underwater gardening. There is a reason why the biodiversity in a neatly trimmed garden is low. It's most often too bright, too little structure and too little hiding spots. In an average aquascape I would only keep unfuzzy species like certain (by no means any random) rasboras or barbs, aswell as shrimp. Only animals that can live in bright light with little cover and hiding spots.


Edit:
Alternative stocking if you chose to stick to aquascaping:

Top: Pseudomugil furcatus 10-15
Middle: Trigonostigma espei 10-15
Bottom: Pangio Kuhlii 10-15, provided you scratch carpeting plants and give them enough cover with plants and driftwood.

Other alternatives (provided you are willing to provide appropriate conditions)

African:
Top: Epiplatys annulatus (10) OR Pantodon buchholzi (1)
Middle: a group of african tetras or barbs (max. 6cm each) 15-20 or two species with 10-15 each
bottom: Anomalochromis thomasi 1m, 2w OR 4-6 smaller Synodontis catfish.

South American:
Top: a group of pencilfish or hatchetfish 10-15
Middle: a group of tetras (max 6cm each) 15-20 or two species with 10-15 each.
Bottom: a trio of Apistogramma or Nannacara OR 10-15 Corydoras.

Asian:
Top: a group of honey gourami 3-4
Middle: a group of barbs or rasboras 15-20
Bottom: a group of loaches 10-15
additionally: Neocaridina shrimp
 
Upvote 0

Manny121

Welcome.
I hate to be the bringer of bad news, but this is essential in this case as you have chosen mostly fish that deserve tanks taylored to their needs instead of an Aquascape.



The Butterfly fish will likely eat the Epiplatys and the lively Pseudomugil will stress out the bigger predator a lot.



- The flounders need a lot of open space and can be brackish species. Both is in conflict with the other fishes needs.
- Keeping dwarf cichlids with any other bottom dwellers tends to end badly. They are territorial and most other bottomdwellers are not, accordingly cories or loaches that are wobbling about will stress out the cichlids as soon as they establish territories.
- Dwarf cichlids are also territorial among eacvh other. For Apistogramma you have to plan on a 60cm diameter territory per male and 30cm per female. All provided the structures are carefully build. At best you can do 1 male and 2 females in that tank, I wouldn't risk more males.
- Especially for the loaches and the flounders having soil under the sand may be a big problem, unless you take unfertilized soil (in which case you can leave it completely), as this might leach ammonia. Both species dig in themselves and may be confronted with ammonia and bring it into the water comlumn when digging.
- speaking of digging: Bottomdwellers NEED access to the substrate. With the carpeting plants you listed this will become less and less.



Scratch that completely. "Clean up crews" are an invention of the retailers to sell "easy fixes" for algae problems. All those animals are worth getting their own dedicated tanks and not an existence in rather unfitting conditions, which community tanks usually are.

- Otos need an established (6 months+) tank with a lot of aufwuchs and algae.
- Hillstream loaches need not only that, they are doing much better in high flow, high oygenation, lower temperature tanks than all the others.
- all of them need bigger groups
- all of them tend to starve in newly setup tanks

Don't go by weight for the rocks, as rocks can have different densities and so the same weight may be a vastly different volume.
Driftwood should definitely be present.

Almost all fish you chose are not fitting to an Aquascape. Aquascaping is basically underwater gardening. There is a reason why the biodiversity in a neatly trimmed garden is low. It's most often too bright, too little structure and too little hiding spots. In an average aquascape I would only keep unfuzzy species like certain (by no means any random) rasboras or barbs, aswell as shrimp. Only animals that can live in bright light with little cover and hiding spots.
Thank Youu soo soo much for this amazing explanation. Im going to 100% follow your advice and scrap the aquascape idea and cleaning crew idea. How would I make the tank more suited for the fish. Like make it look natural. Since most of the fish that I have chosen are conflicting shall I just stick with one species of fish for this tank. Or what species can I get that will live together. Im still unsure about community tanks. Is it unnatural to have one?
I still do want to have cardinal Tetras and the loaches. What fish would you recommend me keeping in this tank?
Thank You
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

I have given some options already, but as you say you definitely want cardinals and kuhlis this would be my proposal:

Stocking:
20 cardinal tetras
10-15 kuhli loaches
10-15 pencilfish (Nannostomus marginatus might be best) or same amount of hatchetfish. Actually the Epiplatys annulatus might work as well. Chose one of the three.
You can TRY a single Apistogramma with that, but really only a single fish. They don't have to be kept in groups and they tend to be far less territorial alone.

Decorations:
Only sand for substrate, pool filter sand or playsand are absolutely enough. Add some rounded river rocks up to the size of your fist, driftwood, twigs, branches and leaf litter. You can scape as you like, make sure there are a lot of hiding spots and cravisses. Twigs and branches may well reach up to the surface or even out of the water, they are great structure for the tetras and help anchor the floaters.

Plants:
With any top dwellers a good amount of floating plants is essential, undemanding floaters like amazon frogbit (Limnobium), brasilian pennywort (Hydrocotyle) or salvinia are a good choice. Try to get at least 1/3 of the surface covered.
Due to the shading from the floating plants you ought to take easy and undemanding plants: waterweeds (Egeria or Elodea) and/or Vallisneria for the background, some Echinodorus or Cryptocoryne and 1-2 water lilies (Nymphea). And of course Anubias or java fern, which work basically in the dark.
 
Upvote 0

Ouse

How would I make the tank more suited for the fish. Like make it look natural.
Use natural materials such as driftwood, rocks and a natural, fine substrate. Have both an open space and a densely decorated space where fish can hide if they want to. Territorial fish will fight for hiding spots so dwarf cichlids will need separate dense areas with barriers to break their line of sight. There exists cichlid species which aren’t very territorial at all.
Since most of the fish that I have chosen are conflicting shall I just stick with one species of fish for this tank. Or what species can I get that will live together. Im still unsure about community tanks. Is it unnatural to have one?
Community tanks aren’t unethical or unnatural if done right. As long as you aren’t mixing fish that prefer different conditions to one another it’s ok to use multiple species.
I still do want to have cardinal Tetras and the loaches. What fish would you recommend me keeping in this tank?
Thank You
Kuhli loaches are peaceful as far as loaches go and can be safely kept in a community. They prefer a fine substrate as opposed to a big, coarse gravel. Be prepared to see them not very often; I rarely see my kuhli loaches because they’re nocturnal and hide in the sand during the day.

Cardinals and neons are pretty generic and boring IMO. I’m not saying I have authority in this situation and should decide what goes in your tank, I just want to warn you they might get pretty boring after some time. They’re both overbred and inbred in the hobby so they’re very vulnerable to disease compared to most fish. I once had a school of green neons and they dwindled away over time because stress in these fish is a killer.
 
Upvote 0

Manny121

I have given some options already, but as you say you definitely want cardinals and kuhlis this would be my proposal:

Stocking:
20 cardinal tetras
10-15 kuhli loaches
10-15 pencilfish (Nannostomus marginatus might be best) or same amount of hatchetfish. Actually the Epiplatys annulatus might work as well. Chose one of the three.
You can TRY a single Apistogramma with that, but really only a single fish. They don't have to be kept in groups and they tend to be far less territorial alone.

Decorations:
Only sand for substrate, pool filter sand or playsand are absolutely enough. Add some rounded river rocks up to the size of your fist, driftwood, twigs, branches and leaf litter. You can scape as you like, make sure there are a lot of hiding spots and cravisses. Twigs and branches may well reach up to the surface or even out of the water, they are great structure for the tetras and help anchor the floaters.

Plants:
With any top dwellers a good amount of floating plants is essential, undemanding floaters like amazon frogbit (Limnobium), brasilian pennywort (Hydrocotyle) or salvinia are a good choice. Try to get at least 1/3 of the surface covered.
Due to the shading from the floating plants you ought to take easy and undemanding plants: waterweeds (Egeria or Elodea) and/or Vallisneria for the background, some Echinodorus or Cryptocoryne and 1-2 water lilies (Nymphea). And of course Anubias or java fern, which work basically in the dark.
Thank Youu soo much for the reply. And for the options. I Will defo follow. I done some more research just now. Would you happen to know about a biotope set-up. Should I go for this? Is it possible to keep cardinals Kuli Loach and a few discus together. I do know that discus fish are extremely hard to look after and are for experienced fish keepers. But they look amazing. Haha like I was adamant about keeping discus in the first place but If I could have them as the centre piece fish. Then maybe keep 1 more other species with them? But I will be more likely go with the options that you suggested. With the cardinals loaches and pencil fish. Then maybe once im more experienced then keep discus.
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

Community tanks aren’t unethical or unnatural if done right. As long as you aren’t mixing fish that prefer different conditions to one another it’s ok to use multiple species.

A typical community tank is rather defined by being a compromise for keeping not just multiple species, but multiple species from different origins and biotopes wiht sometimes vastly different needs e.g. cardinal tetras (soft, almost blackwater) and mollies (hard, sometimes brackish and almost marine water). Often inappropriate numbers of individuals per species and a vast number of species (like 15 species with 2-3 fish each) are also a problem. That type of tank I find all but attractive and usually for one or more of the species it's nothing but a death trap.

But there are possibilities for communities (like the one I proposed above) that work: softwater communities, hardwater communities, brackish communities. There are also biotope communities, which is what I have myself, with fish only from one river system or at least one continent.
Often these are still a compromise, when it comes to structural conditions, but at least the water conditions are usually fitting for all species in the tank.

Thank Youu soo much for the reply. And for the options. I Will defo follow. I done some more research just now. Would you happen to know about a biotope set-up. Should I go for this? Is it possible to keep cardinals Kuli Loach and a few discus together. I do know that discus fish are extremely hard to look after and are for experienced fish keepers. But they look amazing. Haha like I was adamant about keeping discus in the first place but If I could have them as the centre piece fish. Then maybe keep 1 more other species with them? But I will be more likely go with the options that you suggested. With the cardinals loaches and pencil fish. Then maybe once im more experienced then keep discus.

I only do biotopes in my tanks. What exactly do you want to know? And yes, go for it, biotopes are pretty easy to build and to maintain. Just be aware: algae, biofilm and mulm are everpresent in biotopes and not a sign of bad husbandry. If you want a clean and tidy (looking) tank this is not what you are looking for.
Discus are no beginner fish and too expensive to risk losses. I would start with the undemanding fish I already recommended and get that tank up and running for at least 1-2 years before even thinking about Discus.

For inspiration how you can scape a biotope just take a look at this site:
Biotope Aquarium

You can use the search there to look for the fish you're planning on. Use the scientific names.

Another site I recommend for info: Seriouslyfish
 
Upvote 0

Ouse

Thank Youu soo much for the reply. And for the options. I Will defo follow. I done some more research just now. Would you happen to know about a biotope set-up. Should I go for this? Is it possible to keep cardinals Kuli Loach and a few discus together. I do know that discus fish are extremely hard to look after and are for experienced fish keepers. But they look amazing. Haha like I was adamant about keeping discus in the first place but If I could have them as the centre piece fish. Then maybe keep 1 more other species with them? But I will be more likely go with the options that you suggested. With the cardinals loaches and pencil fish. Then maybe once im more experienced then keep discus.
Discus are cool looking fish but I don’t really know what to say about them since they’re cichlids I have no experience in keeping. What I would advise is to not go for fish just because they look pretty; impulse buying poses huge risks.
A typical community tank is rather defined by being a compromise for keeping not just multiple species, but multiple species from different origins and biotopes wiht sometimes vastly different needs e.g. cardinal tetras (soft, almost blackwater) and mollies (hard, sometimes brackish and almost marine water). Often inappropriate numbers of individuals per species and a vast number of species (like 15 species with 2-3 fish each) are also a problem. That type of tank I find all but attractive and usually for one or more of the species it's nothing but a death trap.

But there are possibilities for communities (like the one I proposed above) that work: softwater communities, hardwater communities, brackish communities. There are also biotope communities, which is what I have myself, with fish only from one river system or at least one continent.
Often these are still a compromise, when it comes to structural conditions, but at least the water conditions are usually fitting for all species in the tank.
Yes I agree. I’ve mixed fish from different regions before and it’s something I don’t feel like doing again. Hence I said when using fish that prefer and originate from similar conditions to one another only then is it deemed natural.

I hope to create a nice biotope when I move out and I get to fully decide what fish to keep instead of my parents, who love to fill tanks with fish just because they look nice, only for something to go wrong and then they keep complaining to me that I must do something about it and they hate the fish they chose. All too familiar to me... :D

OP, this is something for you to consider.
 
Upvote 0

Manny121

A typical community tank is rather defined by being a compromise for keeping not just multiple species, but multiple species from different origins and biotopes wiht sometimes vastly different needs e.g. cardinal tetras (soft, almost blackwater) and mollies (hard, sometimes brackish and almost marine water). Often inappropriate numbers of individuals per species and a vast number of species (like 15 species with 2-3 fish each) are also a problem. That type of tank I find all but attractive and usually for one or more of the species it's nothing but a death trap.

But there are possibilities for communities (like the one I proposed above) that work: softwater communities, hardwater communities, brackish communities. There are also biotope communities, which is what I have myself, with fish only from one river system or at least one continent.
Often these are still a compromise, when it comes to structural conditions, but at least the water conditions are usually fitting for all species in the tank.



I only do biotopes in my tanks. What exactly do you want to know? And yes, go for it, biotopes are pretty easy to build and to maintain. Just be aware: algae, biofilm and mulm are everpresent in biotopes and not a sign of bad husbandry. If you want a clean and tidy (looking) tank this is not what you are looking for.
Discus are no beginner fish and too expensive to risk losses. I would start with the undemanding fish I already recommended and get that tank up and running for at least 1-2 years before even thinking about Discus.

For inspiration how you can scape a biotope just take a look at this site:
Biotope Aquarium

You can use the search there to look for the fish you're planning on. Use the scientific names.

Another site I recommend for info: Seriouslyfish
Thank Youu soo muchhh. You have answerd all of my questions. I appreciate it soo much. Im going to have a long hard think now about how I want the tank to look. I think that I will keep it natural biotope look then oppose to thw while neat aqauscape look . Is a real eye opener. Like end of the day need to do what is best for the fish as its their home.
Discus are cool looking fish but I don’t really know what to say about them since they’re cichlids I have no experience in keeping. What I would advise is to not go for fish just because they look pretty; impulse buying poses huge risks.

Yes I agree. I’ve mixed fish from different regions before and it’s something I don’t feel like doing again. Hence I said when using fish that prefer and originate from similar conditions to one another only then is it deemed natural.

I hope to create a nice biotope when I move out and I get to fully decide what fish to keep instead of my parents, who love to fill tanks with fish just because they look nice, only for something to go wrong and then they keep complaining to me that I must do something about it and they hate the fish they chose. All too familiar to me... :D

OP, this is something for you to consider.
Thank Youuu soo muchh for all of your help. It has truly set me in the right direction. This is why I love the fish keeping hobby. There is always help when you need it. Thank You
 
Upvote 0

Ouse

Like end of the day need to do what is best for the fish as its their home.
You’ve grasped this at a very early point in the hobby. Base your tank around the fish’s needs and you’ll get off on the right foot. It can be helpful to know what fish you want before setting up and what your tap water is like.
 
Upvote 0

MacZ

what your tap water is like.

Oh this is really a very important point!

Check the water analysis provided by the tap water supplier. Important are General Hardness (GH) and Carbonate Hardness (KH). If you want to be extra thorough also look at phosphates and copper. PH is less important at that stage.
 
Upvote 0

Basil

Welcome to Fishlore!
You have a couple of wonderful members already that already have great advice.
I’ll chime in on how nice a biotope tank works. I guess I consider mine pseudo-biotope because although all my fish are Asian in orgin, they don’t necessarily inhabit the same waterways or even country. However, all are fine in my water.
Both my 151 liters and my 183 liter only have three species and that includes a single Siamese algae eater in the one 151 and a single flying fox (Epalzeorhynchos kalopterus) in the 183. The one 151 is going to be upgraded so I’ll increase the number of dwarf chain loaches and plan to add another school of rasboras probably rasbora heteramorpha. I currently have rasbora borapetensis.
My current 183 has tiger barbs (several colors), Queen loaches (Botia dario) and the flying fox. It’s considered a semi-aggressive tank but that stocking is working well so far (2 1/2 years currently)
I also have three smaller species tanks which I like as much as the multi-species. One has a pea puffer and a couple of shrimp; the other a plakat betta and ramshorn snails; the third sparkling gourami, one mystery snail, and ramshorn snails.
You have so many options! Figure out your water source and start researching what fish will thrive in it. Look online and also check out any local fish stores that have a good selection. I definitely have some fish that I saw in the store and loved like the rasbora borapetensis. :)
 
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