65 Gallon Tank Beginner cycling first tank, want to do rainbowfish. Stocking check/ideas?

sgjackson

Fell into a Youtube hole about a month ago and ended up going to the LFS to get my first aquarium. Had the space and money for a 65 gallon (36x18 inch footprint, 24 height) and I'm cycling that now. Close to being finished - it chews through ammonia and nitrites now and spits out nitrates, just hasn't eaten all the ammonia yet. I've got some anubias and java ferns on the way and have decorated with a piece of galapagos driftwood and some seiryu rocks, going to superglue the plants to the decorations. Water params are 8.0 pH, 4 GH, and 5 KH out of the tap, pH has dropped to 7.3 in the tank (guessing due to the driftwood). Filter is an AquaClear 110, substrate is black gravel.

I've been thinking for a while now how I want to stock the tank. I've kind of fallen in love with rainbowfish and initially wanted to get Boesemanis, but I've read they don't do well in 3 foot tanks and it would bother me trying to cram them in there. As a result I've shifted toward getting a school of Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish. I'd also want some variety of Cory cats on the bottom, and a school of some kind of smaller schooling fish - currently thinking Harlequin Rasboras. Currently thinking stocking something like this:

10x Dwarf Neon Rainbowfish
20x Harlequin Rasbora
10x Peppered Corys (or some other Cory variety)

I tried to pick fish that were hardy/beginner friendly and fit my water parameters, and I went with larger numbers of less species as I've read that schooling/shoaling fish are less stressed and have more interesting behaviors in bigger groups. This puts me at a stocking level of 96% and 122% filter capacity on AqAdvisor - I am open to the idea this is a bit high of a stocking and I'd be better off lowering the numbers a bit. I've read that these Rainbows prefer harder water, so I'm wondering if that's an issue. I also like the look of Cherry Barbs and am considering two smaller schools of Barbs/Rasboras vs one big school of Rasboras as well. Wondering if I missed anything or if anyone has any cool ideas for good fish in a beginner community revolving around rainbows like this. Thanks!
 

Seasoldier

Hi & welcome, the dwarf rainbows & Harlequins should do well although in my experience the Praecox rainbows can be quite finicky, I once lost 6 in quick succession & never discovered why, no signs of disease or stress they just went belly up one after another & all my other rainbows were fine. Just one question, you say you have black gravel as substrate, is that a smooth pea type gravel or rough? if it's rough the cories won't like it they need sand or smooth small gravel so they can root around for food without damaging their barbels.
 
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sgjackson

It's smooth.
 
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fallfever

Welcome to fishlore and I agree with what was said above. Like the larger filter, too. I'd suggest the rainbows be included last since they are the most challenging fish you have. Pretty awesome fish though and will spend most of their time in the upper part of the tank, leaving you with room for harlequins and cherry barbs, which are hard to kill. For that reason, start with one school and add a handful a week to allow your bacteria to adjust. Maybe play with your stocking as you see it live, even reduce a few harlequins or cories. Take your time and this will be a lovely tank. Feel free to share photos :)
 
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sgjackson

Welcome to fishlore and I agree with what was said above. Like the larger filter, too. I'd suggest the rainbows be included last since they are the most challenging fish you have. Pretty awesome fish though and will spend most of their time in the upper part of the tank, leaving you with room for harlequins and cherry barbs, which are hard to kill. For that reason, start with one school and add a handful a week to allow your bacteria to adjust. Maybe play with your stocking as you see it live, even reduce a few harlequins or cories. Take your time and this will be a lovely tank. Feel free to share photos :)

My plan is to add six Rasboras first, then add the rest of the Rasboras, then the Corys, then the Rainbowfish. I'm 90 minutes away from a decent LFS and 40m from a Petco so I'm having to balance shipping/driving costs with slow introductions.
 
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JettsPapa

I don't want to change your plans, but if you want larger rainbows I have a school of Turquoise Rainbowfish (Lake Kutubu rainbows) that have been doing fine in a moderately planted 65 gallon tank since January of last year.
 
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Flyfisha

Hi sgjackson
I have a school of dwarf rainbows in a 200 litre/50 gallon 4 foot tank. I also have rasbora in another tank and cherry barbs in another. Personally I would not add anything to a rainbow tank other the corydoras and a bristle nose pleco. My fish swim from top to bottom of the tank . They feed at the surface just as much as feed from the substrate.

My point is this.
To my eyes a large school of one species looks and behaves more naturally than multiple species in smaller groups.
Once you have brought fish it’s a bit late to change your mind. Many of us when we started had an idea of a “community tank “ . In truth fish have no concept of community tank. The worst example of a community tank is what I call a Noah’s arc tank with two of every species.

Take your time. It’s your tank , and we all want to look at something different. But also consider the difference in behaviour.

My suggestion is a large group of say 15 -18 dwarf rainbows minimum.

The males will dance every morning trying to out complete each other to impress the females. A group of 8 dwarf rainbows might only be the same 4 males.
 
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DesertDweller42

You are really going to love the Rainbows. I have read they prefer a little harder water. I keep mine around 12 dGH, 4 KH, 7.6 ph, and 80 Fahrenheit. Everyone seems happy. I think the most important thing is to keep everything stable once you've established your parameters.
If you have to, once you introduce your first group and get things stabilized, you can be a little more aggressive in adding more if you have to. Just watch your ammonia and be ready for a water change. Slow is best, but a little vigilance and you should be fine.
Cherries or Harlequins are a great choice for a large school. Neon Tetras school up well in numbers nicely, too. Your plan sounds like mine when I started the tank, but I saw a mature Rainbow display at my LFS and, yeah, the extra foot really makes a difference. They do run the length.
Good luck. Looking forward to seeing what direction you go.
 
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