Beginner starting new tank - stock ?s

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by Novemayune, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. Novemayune

    Novemayune Valued Member Member

    Hello!

    I just purchased a 55g, which I am planning to make freshwater and planted. So far the only living thing I have purchased for my tank is a small Anubias variatus from PetCo.

    I rinsed the gravel today (2 20lb bags, aquarium gravel, from PetCo also) and added it to the aquarium, then filled it and treated with Aqueon Water Conditioner (45mL). I neglected to purchase the API MTK, so I have been using some paper strips in the meantime (I know, I know. But I was shopping with my two young boys and it was getting dangerously near naptime. Ugh.); they do not test for ammonia. So far, I have 0 nitrAtes, 0 nitrItes, GH 75, Chlorine 0, KH ~120, and pH 7.2.

    I did add some Colony (freshwater) from PetCo (guy there said it was the same stuff at TSS, but since idk about all that for sure, I did NOT get any fish to go along with it, even though my sons were begging, lol).

    Firstly, do I need to add ammonia still? If so, how much should I add (or where should I start to get a baseline of how much I should add)?

    Secondly, I am trying to plan out my stock and would like some feedback. Here is my current plan
    3-6 Corys (probably dwarf)
    6 cherry barb (male)
    3 Mickey Mouse platys (female)
    3 mystery snails

    Will these play nice together? What else would you recommend? I don't really want to fuss around with fry. AqAdvisor only said that with the platys I should have at least 2 females for every male, but since I don't plan to have males, I didn't really pay too much attention to that part. It also said that I am only 67% stocked on the high end of the estimate (going with 6 Corys). Any feedback is greatly appreciated. I definitely do not want to fail at this :)
     
  2. M

    Moscow New Member Member

    All of those fish will definitely do well together.
    I personally do not add ammonia at start up if my water tests fine.
    I would add your corys first and let them assist you in the cycle. It is an amateur way to do it but cory cats are tough and will help your tank become more fish ready quickly without overfeeding.
    After about 5 days you can slowly add fish.
    As for the male to female ratio on the platys I would get no males if you don't care about fry.
     
  3. flynruff

    flynruff Valued Member Member





  4. Eienna

    Eienna Fishlore VIP Member

    Colony works the same as TSS and is less expensive. Unfortunately you need to get fish in right away or your bottle will be wasted as the bacteria will die with no food source.

    Instead of the cories for cycling, I would say go for your 3 platies. Your stock list looks fine.

    You MAY be able to fishless-cycle with Colony, but the idea really has not been tested, so adding fish (GET THE AMMONIA TEST) is probably the best way to go.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Novemayune

    Novemayune Valued Member Member

    Thank you all so much for your quick reply. We will run out in the morning for some ammonia test kits and some platys :)
     
  6. A

    AlanGreene Well Known Member Member

    You should look into cardinal tetras, I just love how they shine and their color is really vibrant if you keep your water conditions nice! they would go well with guppies too, I have 9 cardinals, 3 amano shrimp and 5 guppies in my tank and they all get on great! I was meant to get a dwarf sunset gourami for my tank but it died in my LFS as they were holding it for me :/ If I had your size tank I would get 25 cardinals 8 corries and the mystery snails or some big shrimp, have fun choosing!
     
  7. SugarJunkee

    SugarJunkee Valued Member Member

    Just fair warning, if you do go with 3 female (which is a good choice) you are very likely to have fry anyway. Platy and other livebearers can stay fertilized for up to 6 months I think, but that would help you stock your tank for free!! Also, its very common for them to eat the fry, so provide some sort of cover for the lil ones to survive if you want them to, like cabomba or other fluffy plant (pretty much a visual thing, if it looks like it can be a good hiding spot for tiny ones, it probably is). You could leave them floating or bunched with weights/tied to something or planted.

    Another neat idea would be ghost shrimp. My 5 yr old, and my hubby and I now too, thought they were really neat, so we have a few in our 37 gallon. They make good cleanup crew similar to cory cats, eating extra food etc, and they're just fun to watch. With the color variations of platy and swordtails, the cherry barbs, and the corys, I think you'll have a great balance in your tank!

    Since you're fresh to this, from my reading and minimal experience, I found getting a smaller size of food is better, so it doesn't go bad. Also getting higher quality is way worth the money, such as API, hikari, omega, or NSL (I think thats right, but can't remember what it stands for) really brings out their color and having variety such as flake and pellets is also a good choice. Our platy love eating the hikari algae wafers I drop for our upside down cats, botia and yoyo loach!
     
  8. f

    featherblue Well Known Member Member

    If u decide fish in cycle with colony go with the plattys.....pretty durable fish. Ive seen mickey mouse plattys live thru a fungal infection that killed everything else in the tank but an eel. Tough little fish.

    Id wait on corries or snails til u get no ammomnia, or nitrite, with a growing nitrate.

    Good luck keeping ur kiddos patient! Its great how excited they get:)
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Novemayune

    Novemayune Valued Member Member

    I realize that the platys may already be pregnant, which will be okay, but I just don't want to have constant fry to worry about. This is the beginning of (what I hope will be) a lifelong hobby. I want my sons to enjoy watching the fish, and my husband and I both love Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, so I hope that we can glean just as much enjoyment from the comfort of our own home. :) I am so glad to have found this site. Thank you everyone for your input and any still to come!
     
  10. Eienna

    Eienna Fishlore VIP Member

  11. Terra

    Terra Well Known Member Member

    Your male cherry barbs won't get the brighter red coloring without a female being around. If you're worried about them breeding I'm pretty sure those guys will eat the eggs and any fry that manage to hatch. I've seen my cherry barbs even nibbling on snail eggs.
     
  12. Eienna

    Eienna Fishlore VIP Member

    Right. They're still a pretty color otherwise, though. If you do get females, you'll want at least a 1:1 ratio to males or, better, more females.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    Novemayune

    Novemayune Valued Member Member

    UPDATE:

    I went to the pet store today and purchased an ammonia test kit, as well as three female Mickey Mouse platys and two ghost shrimp. One platy started swimming around right away - she was excited to explore her new home. One seems to be very shy and hides near the bottom behind some tank decorations, and the third hung out near the filter output for a while, but she is slowly checking out the surroundings (I think she might be pg, in which case, I'll wait to see what happens with her fry before I go out and get anymore fish). The ghost shrimp have already been roaming the tank and working on the different pieces of gravel. Everyone seems very happy.

    I do have another question though - could I add a dwarf blue gourami and some guppies to the above list? Will those two species play nicely with the ones I posted originally?
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Novemayune

    Novemayune Valued Member Member

    Also, my ammonia tested 0 today :)
     
  15. f

    featherblue Well Known Member Member

    I think a guorami for a center piece would be perfect for the tank, I don't think the barbs would pick on it.

    Personally I wouldn't want 2 diff livebearers, too many fry to deal with especial with a batch maybe on the way. But depending on platty stock level u could maybe add a few for color spots. Maybe 2 males for their fins.....wait for more feedback thou, I'm not sure
     
  16. OP
    OP
    Novemayune

    Novemayune Valued Member Member

    I plan on just doing male guppies so I don't have to worry about fry from that quarter. :) If I do guppies, that is...
     




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