Advice For Setting Up A New Tank:

  • #1
Hello Everyone, my name is Paul. I am new to fish keeping and looking to get my 1st tank around June-Sept, depending how I get on with saving money for buying tank etc

I would love your advice on following the questions:

1. Tankmates:

Need advice on tank mates for Zebra Danios and Catfish. Looking for fish like Cardinal Tetra or Neon Tetra that can add colour to tank. (Heard though that Cardinal Tetra and Neon Tetra are not the best beginner fish.) (avoiding livebearers at moment, as wasn't sure if might be too much for beginner, especially Guppies, which would be my favorite of the livebearers).

2. Tank:

Thinking of getting a 105 litre Aquael Leddy tank, which would be 75x35x40cm (L x W x D). How many could I add? (Was thinking of adding about 30)

3. Catfish:

What catfish should I choose with Zebra Danios. Here’s a few i’ve been trying to choose from:

1. Emerald Catfish

2. Adolfoi’s Cory

3. Bronze Cory

4. Sterba’s Cory

4. Number of Fish:

Thinking of gradually adding 10 of each. That's 10 Zebra Danios, 10 of chosen catfish and 10 of chosen 3rd fish.

Would 30 fish be ok in a 105 litre tank?

5. Order of fish:

1. Zebra Danios

2. Catfish

3. 3rd chosen fish.

Will be adding 3 one week and 3 more following week and so on. Will be adding fish bit by bit. How long should I wait before adding catfish then 3rd chosen fish?

6. Cycling Fish Tank:

- Can you add fish a week after starting a new tank?

- Pet shops have been saying you could add fish a week after setting up.

- Should I cycle tank properly for the 6-8 weeks?

7. Plants:

Decided to add plastic plants instead of live ones, as was thinking live plants for a beginner might be too much work. But I may choose live plants sometime to the future.

8. Substrate:

Thinking of adding smooth-grained sand for catfish.

9. Ornaments:

Also may add ornaments for fish to hide in like, barrel, lantern, urns etc, that you can get in pet shops.

Really looking forward to your advice, as its really appreciated.

Thank you, from Paul.
  • #2
1. Tankmates:

Guppies definitely aren't hard. Just make sure you get all males or all females (I would say all males, since females can come pregnant and give birth and you'll be overrun, plus you wanted color and males are more colorful)

2. Tank:

30 fish may be a bit much for 105 litres, but if you monitored water conditions carefully you might be able to do it. Definitely don't add all at once, though.

3. Catfish:

I don't have much experience with catfish, sorry, hopefully someone else can help you out here.

4. Number of Fish:

(see above)

5. Order of fish:

Wait for your cycle to become stabilized again before adding each group. It could take a few days, it could take a week, it depends. You'd need to be testing your water parameters.

6. Cycling Fish Tank:

Do not add fish until your tank is cycled (6-8 weeks without supplemental BB, around 2 weeks with a supplement like Tetra SafeStart plus). You could do a fish-in cycle but it's more stressful for the fish, so most people including myself recommend fishless cycling.

7. Plants:

Hardy live plants such as anubias nana or java fern are pretty much zero work. Plastic or silk plants are fine though, just make sure plastic plants aren't too sharp.

8. Substrate:

Smooth-grained sand is good.

9. Ornaments:

Decor is always great, just make sure it's specifically for aquariums.
  • #3
Your tank is approximately 25 US gallons, so here's my take:

Cycling - You can do cycles with fish in your tank. It is not recommended for beginners, as it requires constant water testing and near daily water changes. Your best bet is a fishless cycle. Read up on how the nitrogen cycle works by clicking the bold, highlighted text.

Stocking - The tank is approximately 30 inches in length. Here is a stocking that would work for your aquarium below:
>10 corydoras (panda or other cooler water species)
>10 danios (zebra, celestial pearl, etc)
>2 Bolivian rams
>1 bristlenose pleco

This is a compatible list of cooler water species that would work in your aquarium. All of these fish will also inhabit different strata of the water column, reducing crowding and competition.

Substrate - sand would be the best substrate with corydoras

Ornaments - I'm a sucker for natural decor, so I only use natural wood and stone in my tanks. That's just my personal taste, though, everyone is different. Fish really aren't that picky when it comes to cover!

Plants - live plants actually improve the quality of your water, filtering out waste and nitrates and adding oxygen and places for fish to hide. there are some very easy beginner plants, and with sand all you'd need is fertilizer root tabs such as Seachem Flourish Tabs. However, they are not necessary. I recommend silk plants over plastic because they do not have any sharp or pointy bits that can injure fish.

Filtration - take the number of gallons and multiply by 5. That is the minimum amount of filtration I recommend. Keep in mind danios like a lot of flow so a more powerful filter may not be a bad idea.
New Fish in Town
  • #4
If you want some color add Serpae tetras. They are light pink/red with black and white fins. They are a mid swimmer. As far as good beginner fish, get serpae tetras, or skirt tetras. I'm going on 4 years now and still have my original skirt tetras in my tank. My last original serpae tetra died about a year ago. Everything else I have added hasn't lasted near as long.

Also, keep doing research and check the price of everything you need. It's real easy to waste money on something you don't need, or pay too much for something.

Start with live plants. If you don't then you will just waste $50 on fake plants and a few months later buy live ones when you no longer have room to add more fish. Moss balls and java ferns are easy to take care of and only need low light and a little flourish.
  • #5
HI there, welcome to Fishlore.

So Zebra danios can be a little nippy, you want to keep them in a large enough school to prevent that. 105l is about 28 gallons plenty of room for them. I would do a school of 6-8. Glo-fish danios will school with regular zebra danios. They are the same species, just a different color variation.

Do not plan on adding 30 fish to a 28 gallon, that may get you overstocked. It depends on the needs of the fish.

Since danios are kept at temps around 73-74, you want to keep other fish that tolerate the same temps. That would rule out sterbaI cories. They prefer higher temps than that. Bronze/albino corydoras are the same species, and will school together. They get quite large, I had 6 in a 29 gallon, and I felt they were a bit crowded. I would go for adolfoi cories, if I had to pick. Definitely a school of 6.

Zebra danios are mid tank dwellers, and cories are bottom dwellers, so you want a top dwellers to round out the tank. Hatchet fish or harlequin rasboras would work. A school of 6-8 would be fine.

So I would do this for stocking

6-8 harlequin rasboras or hatchetfish
8 zebra danios
6 adolfoi or panda corydoras
2 mystery snails
2 nerite snails

If you aren’t adding all the fish at once, I suggest getting a quarantine tank. You could add one school to the main tank, and one school to the QT. That way you aren’t passing diseases between your fish. After 4 weeks, add the fish into your large tank. Then add the final school to the QT. Wait 4 weeks, and then add to main tank. I treat preventatively to get rid of common diseases. That way I don’t have sick fish on my hands.

As far as cycling goes, it depends on how you want to do it. If you are doing a fish in cycle, you will need to use different products than a fishless cycle. Either way it should take 2-3 weeks if you are using bottled starter bacteria. This requires a lot more research on your part.

Decor is up to your taste. Cories like places to hide. I prefer sand as substrate. Especially if you may do live plants later. It will be easier to plant. Be sure you do at least 2” of substrate. Medium grit is good. You don’t want it to be too fine.

Filtration - take the number of gallons and multiply by 5. That is the minimum amount of filtration I recommend. Keep in mind danios like a lot of flow so a more powerful filter may not be a bad idea.

Actually for a hang on back filter (hob) you should do 8-10x’s your tank size for rate of filtration. A 28g tank would need 280 gallons per hour (gph) that would be about 1100 liters per hour (lph)

For canister filters you want 4-5x’s your tank size. Which would be 140 gph or 550 lph
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Hey Guys, hows a goin?
Thank you all so much for the advice.

I am choosing between adolfoi's cory, panda cory, bronze cory or peppered cory.
Would 6 be enough of the above, as consious of not overcrowding tank.

Would 22 celsius (71 fahrenheit) be ok for Zebra Danios and any of the cory above.

3rd Tankmates:
May choose Serpae Tetras

Live Plants:
As for live plants I may choose to try java ferns or anubias. Will also check other live plants for beginners.
I could mix silk plants with these.

Number of fish in tank:
Would the following number be ok for 105 litre tank:

Was thinking maybe about:
6 Zebra Danios
6 Cory
maybe 6 Serpae Tetras.

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • Locked
  • Question


Top Bottom