Akari's 75g planted Blog

  • #1
A few days ago, I scored a 75 gallon combo for $150. I'm now about another $185 in gravel, plants, decor, lighting and fish into it, and I have no regrets LOL

Current stock:

-13 Black Neon Tetras
-2 24K Gold White Cloud Minnows

-1 Melon Sword
-1 Bronze Crypt
-1 Green Crypt
-1 Undulata Crypt
-3 Aponogenton bulbs

Planned future fish stock:
-1 Angel Fish
-? Black Neon Tetras
-1 Banjo cat

Maybe future fish stock:
-Pearl Gouramis
-Cardinal Tetras
-Albino Long Fin Bristlenose Pleco
-Some other type of pleco
-Who knows!

The tank is running on an AquaTop CF400UV and a Grech GW-302. That's roughly 175 gallons worth of canister filtration. Also has two 100 watt heaters, and 115 pounds of black gravel. Current light fixture is a 36 inch MarineLand LED strip, which I pretty much hate on this tank. I have an interesting 48 inch LED fixture coming in from eBay. Hoping I like it, but it was only $35 if I don't lol Pretty excited for it, though!

I've attached some pictures of the tank and fish. Pretty cloudy right now from the left over junk in the filters I apparently didn't clean out all way, and the Tetra Safe Start. But you get the idea


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  • #2
I would suggest rehoming the mountain minnow as they do much better in cooler water and many of the fish you are wanting require much warmer temps.

Here is one idea for a stocking using the list you provided

15-20 Black Neon Tetras
2-3 Banjo Catfish
1 Clown Pleco
2 Angelfish
1-2 Pearl Gourami
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  • #3
Only got them because the black neons were on sale 5 for $5 and they only had 13. Rather than pay almost $6 for those extra three black neons, I got the two white clouds, which were also 5 for $5, because it was cheaper over all to get 15 of the 5 for $5 fish. If you'll notice, they are not part of my final stocking plan. They'll be booted, probably to the pond, maybe back to the store for a refund when they get more black neons in.
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  • #4
Day two with fish:

Lights are still out, but it looks like everyone has made it through the night! I just realized I purchased the wrong size bottle of TSS, so after a few days, I'll do a water change and add in a new bottle of the right size. I'll probably do the water change, then go get the next batch of fish. Apparently, the bottle that says it treats 100 gallons actually means that it treats 100 gallons at a maintenance dose, and only 20 gallons at a start-up dose. Whoops! Gotta read the labels better. I thought the bottle seemed small lol
  • #5
I've made that same mistake many times
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  • #6
Darn thing says "treats 100 gallons" right on the front of it! Lol
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  • #7
So I totally forgot about loaches! I might do some kind of loach instead of the banjo cat. Gotta figure out what kinds I like, if I can even get them, and hoe much they'll be a piece. And I'm still on the fence about what I want for a center piece. I want something larger than the pear gourami, a bit more color, but still friendly and non-threatening to my back neons, and I'm still really not sold on doing angels. Gunna have to go up to the lfs that's like an hour away and so some snooping.
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  • #8
Slight set back. My bigger filter is leaking.... It's unplugged for now, and I'll deal with when I need a break from homework.

I've been noticing the floor was wet for the last two days. It's right where my old dog sleeps. Figured she'd started having some incontinence issues. Then noticed the water line was too far down just to have been from evaporation. Glad the tank wasn't leaking! Hopefully I can save the filter. I have one other, but it's the largest one, something like 525 gph. I could use *just* that filter, but I'd rather have two smaller ones. We'll see how this goes....


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  • #9
Well, the o ring is shot, it seems. I can't decide if I want to replace it, or just use the other filter I have. Wish they came with replacement o rings lol
  • #10
Yeah replacement parts for canisters are hard to come by.

Suggestions for a large colorful friendly fish for a 75 gallon that won't eat your neons would be something like a Severum, Sajica Cichlid, Electric Blue Acara, or maybe one of the middle sized geophagus like a heckelii.

As far as loaches go they are great! I'm a huge fan of the serpentine loaches like kuhlis, black kuhlis, and dojos. I also really like zebra loaches which would go well in your tank.
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  • #11
They're on eBay. Cost about $10. I think I'm just going to replace it. I couldn't get the lid on the bigger filter to close, so I think the o ring is bad on that one, too. It's been sitting forever.

I placed an order at Pet Supermarket for Keyhole Cichlids. Hopefully they can get them in.

As far as loaches, I liked kuhlis, but I love the yoyo's-- I like the shape and the color. I won't mind zebras, I don't think. They seem more well behaved than yoyo's. I'll look into them more
  • #12
Keyholes are great! A very underappreciated cichlid in my opinion

Yeah i've heard the yoyo's are super active but can be nippy. No personal experience with them though. I just love the zebra's colorations though.
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  • #13
I've wanted keyholes forever, I can't believe I forgot about them. They seem like the perfect fit for what I want. Larger, but not bothersome to smaller fish. How many should I get? I don't want to pack the tank, I do want some wiggle room in case something interesting comes along later, but I do like tanks stocked more on the heavy side. I was going to get one, but I guess they prefer friends. I'm ok with that!

Added 12 new black neons today! Lost one the other day. Left home, everyone was fine, came home less than hour later, and one was unable to keep upright, floating at the surface. Died within few hours. Seems like it injured itself some how. It was oddly bent. May have jumped and hit the lid just right? Went ahead and got 6 more at one PetCo on the way home from class (poor guys had a 1 1/2 hour ride home lol), and had mom pick up 6 more at the PetCo near where she was, close to home, and got other bottle of TSS, since I got the first one too small, and then lost a filter. I'll have to keep a close eye on everything, but even since losing the other filter, everything seems fine so far. It's a bit of a gamble, especially sine I already screwed up the first dose of TSS, but these guys are on sale right now, and they aren't really kept in stock very well here, so I have to get them while I can. Water changer and Prime are always the ready!

The tank looks awesome so far. I'm definitely gunna stick with just the black neons for schoolers. Maybe a couple of somethings (not sure what) as accents. Can't wait to get the rest of my stock over the next few months!

Plan-ish type thing right now:

24 Black neons
? Keyhole Cichlid
? Mid/top level dweller
? Bottom dweller

Really liking the black and white theme idea I have going with the black neons and the keyholes. Whatever bottom dwellers I get, I want to be black and white as well. And the accent fish, I'm not sure of what color. Nothing too contrasted, but just a sprinkle of color. Thinking like 3 or so small fish, about the same size as the black neons.

I have a video of the tank, but I'm on my phone right now. I'll have to get them in the computer, so I'll post them later
  • #14
Hmm yeah keyholes like friends. I'd go with either 2 or 4. Either 2M/2F or 1M/3F. After 4 the sex ratios don't matter as much. You definitely have room for a full shoal like 5 or 6 probably but I'm not sure what other fish you want to add. Have you considered sunset thicklip gouramis? They are a mid/top dweller and very peaceful. They don't get quite as large as pearls but are a yellowish that may look nice for an accent.

For a bottom dweller and going with a black and white theme, the thoughts that jump out to me immediately are albino corydoras, sterbaI corydoras, or kuhlI loaches. You could do the all black kuhli's or the banded though the banded have a faint yellow stripe not white.
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  • #15
The keyholes will probably be juvis when then come in. I know it's pretty hard to tell them apart when they're small, but do you have any tips?

I saw a video of a tank with honeys. They may have been thicklipped gourami, though. That's actually what gave me the idea!

I'm not big on the larger cories. I do like a good quality panda, but they're $7 here for some pretty pathetic looking ones (washed over with dark grey). Strangely, hastatus are only $3, and I've had them before and loved them. They're obviously super small, though, would they be ok with the keyholes? A large school of them would be pretty neat!

Kuhlis are on my Maybe List! I like them, but it's not the body shape I'm really wanting. I want a Cory-like body shape, but not necessarily wanting cories, other than habrosus or hastatus at this point. That's why I was drawn to the upside down cats and then the yoyos, was the shape lol
  • #16
I would go with habrosus. Pandas would be fine too. You'd want to keep the tank temp around 75 for all of those fish. I agree though a huge school of habrosus would look pretty awesome

I don't have any tips as far as sexing keyholes. They can be difficult until they are older. If you are getting them as juveniles then I'd probably go for something like 6 or 8 even. Then you can re home a few as they get older depending on how personalities change. I think honey gourami's would also be great if you are wanting to stay smaller. They stay around 2 inches where the thicklip wll get to upwards of 4
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  • #17
The tank is around 82 right now, testing with an infared temp gun until I replace the battery in my digital thermometer (for some reason, no one sells the battery I need). So that may or may not be overly accurate, as it just tests the surface temp. I may just order a new thermometer. I have to play with with heaters some. I figured I'd let them do their thing and settle in before playing with them too much, since the tank is so large, but it's consistently testing at 82 after this long, so it's probably time to deal with it lol

I'm kind of wanting to stay with South American species, even though I do like honeys (they'll stay on the list for now). Any ideas on what could replace the gourami in this stock?
  • #18
Are you wanting a schooling fish? For a splash of color something like a few swordtails may be nice or platy's.

Yeah that's too warm for most corydoras and too warm for the keyholes as well.

Edit: You could try a few spotted headstanders. I'd probably avoid the aramite headstanders (which are the popular ones) as they can be nippy and get pretty large. But the spotted ones are pretty peaceful.

Edit: Marbled Hatchet fish (even though i'm personally not a fan are also natural cohabitants of keyholes).

Edit3: Also it looks like hoplos my personal favorite catfish are also natural cohabitants of keyholes. Marbled hoplos would be a nice alternative to corydoras if you wanted a bigger fish.

Would you want to consider other cichlids? Something like a single geo heckellI or surinamensis or maybe a pair of apistos would also do well
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  • #19
I'm not wanting another schooler. I was thinking platies, solar flare swords, or maybe guppies, though guppies are a bit smaller than I want. I'd get all males, if I went with a livebearer. Though the keyholes would probably do good job at keeping the population in check... Nah, probably all males lol

I think I'm going to go with which ever dwarf cories Pet Supermarket has. I think they were hastatus. Would you recommend one over the other?I like them both, and I'm fine with either. Habrosus does have a nice pattern, though! Oh, I like them both, I can't decide lol

I'm open to other cichlids. I thought about Rams, but they tend to stay more at the bottom, and I want something that will spend most of their time in the top half of the tank. All the smaller cichlids I know of stay towards the bottom, so if you know of any that will stay toward the top, I'm open to suggestions!
  • #20
I would do habrosus. Hastatus stays more towards the center as opposed to at the bottom.

The only cichlid that stays at the top a lot that I know of is the mesonauta genus. I have a festivum (mesonauta sp) and he prefers the top but will come down to eat the pellets. He's very personable. I wouldn't do more than 2 of them though as they ate peaceful in small numbers but can get nippy with numbers
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  • #21
Did the first water change today! Did about 30% and added my other filter (the big SunSun canister the does something like 525 gph.... lol), moved the plants around a little, and put this god-awful dragon thing in there that mom bought me lol

The flow of the filter seems a bit strong, but they're figuring out where the best place to hang out is that doesn't get them blown around. Once the filter picks up debris and slows down, it should be fine.

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  • #22
HI guys! It's been a few months, but the tank is doing well. I had the lights going for 12 hours a days for a while to get some algae built up for when I finally found BN plecos, and the other day I finally found two of them! I guess they're like gold now, price has gone up $1 and they're hard to find lol No pictures of them, but I'm thinking I have a male and a female, based off head shape. They're still very young, only about an inch or so long. So we'll see what they turn out to be as time goes on.

I also got another 17 Black Neons. The tank looks fantastic with the number of Black Neons in it now! Brings me up close to 40. They move too fast to get an exact count lol Now I just need to find my Keyhole cichlids and the tank will be complete!
  • #23
HI AkarI Good to see you.
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  • #24
Hiya, Lucy! Wish I could update more often, but lets just say, I need a vacation... LOL I did get some pics, though! As you can see, there's more than enough algae for the little plecos to do their thing lol The plants are a bit upset at their new lighting arrangements, but they should settle in eventually.

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