Advice On Stocking And Design

Jeremy Fendley

Hello! First time posting here. I have some questions about stocking a South American Whitewater River biotope aquarium. First a bit of background: I’ve been keeping fish since I was 11. By the time I was in high school I had up to three tanks at once( 30 gallon planted community, large Oscar tank, and small betta tank.). My post college career with the Park Service requires me to move yearly to new jobs or dirty locations. However, when I find a long term work location or otherwise have a long term residence, possibly as early as next year, I want to set up a South American biotope. It will be a planted tank with free swimming space. I’m thinking I’ll do a 55 or 60 gallon, but could do 75 if necessary. I have two setups I’m trying to choose between. I’m open to recommendations on stocking(I. e. Will either of these groups work? Is there space for these in a 55 gallon? 75 gallon?) etc. Anyway, here are my two “rough drafts”:
8 Bleeding Heart Tetra
1 bushy nose pleco
6 Corydoras
6 marbled hatchetfish
1 male 2 female dwarf cockatoo cichlid
1 pair of other dwarf South American cichlid(tbh)
10 Cardinal tetra(maybe)

OR
8 Bleeding Heart Tetra
1 bushy nose pleco
1 Raphael Catfish
6 marbled hatchetfish
1 or 2 blue acara
1 Tapajos Red head cichlid

Thank you in advance for any feedback.
 

Crazycoryfishlady

I don't know a whole lot about all these fish except the cories, and if you like them, I say get them, but get more than 6 or you'll be sorry you didn't with the space you have.

I was reading, and most of your fish are roughly between 72-80 in the first list.
The coldest ones being your dwarf cockatoos.
I read they prefer 72-74, but they could probably be okay in 76.
Most your other fish would prefer a temp of 78 or so, with the cardinals going from 78-82.

I love the colors you have, and I would love for you to get cories
I think a 75 would suit you best.
I have a 55 but would prefer a 75.
 

Jeremy Fendley

Thanks. I have had cories before and liked them. They also fit the biotope I’m going for. I also like cichlids and many other fish from that region. I’d like to have a Raphael catfish but I’m concerned it would eat the cories. So at some point I’m going to choose between the fish groupings in option 1 or option 2. Mostly, I’m looking for advice because I was concerned that I might overstock or ,alternatively, understock. Like you said, if I go with a 75 gallon and option 1, I could probably get more than 6 cories because they’d have plenty of space.
 

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