Buy Now Or Wait Until New Tank Is Set Up?

LT Connell

Hello! Hoping I can get some good advice from fellow Clown Loach owners.

We currently have 1 CL in a 75 gallon tank, along with other community fish. At the time we bought him/her, we were unaware that they needed a much larger tank and buddies.

We are trying to rectify that right now and are working on cycling a 300g tank of which the Clowns will eventually be the Stars of! Here's my question: our guy seems very lonely and only comes out of hiding to eat then scurries right back into his house again. Our plan is to buy him 4 more friends and everybody will live in the large tank - in the meantime, we are wondering if we should go ahead and buy his friends (put them in the 75g) or wait until the 300g is fully established - we're going on a month now and only just getting a slight ammonia reading.

I don't want to stunt his growth by having him live the single life, so any help would be appreciated.
 

75g Discus Tank

I would keep just the one for now. Clown loaches grow extremely slowly, so one would be fine in the tank you have.
 

TexasDomer

How are you fishless cycling the tank? You're supposed to be adding ammonia for a fishless cycle, so you can control the ammonia reading.

Since the CLs are so slow growing, and you already have the larger tank you'll be moving them to (and moving them soon), I'd say it's fine to get them some buddies
 

LT Connell

How are you fishless cycling the tank? You're supposed to be adding ammonia for a fishless cycle, so you can control the ammonia reading.

Since the CLs are so slow growing, and you already have the larger tank you'll be moving them to (and moving them soon), I'd say it's fine to get them some buddies


We are NOT doing a fishless cycle. We tried that initially and absolutely nothing was happening. Right now we've got 9 White Skirt Tetras and 3 Medium sized Blue Acaras (the largest about 4"). I know the tank must be fully cycled to introduce the loaches. Our ammonia is at 0.25, nitrites 0, nitrates 0 I added some Prime and Bacteria to the 300g tank, and we've placed some media and a decoration from the 75 gallon in the tank too. It's just so big that the readings aren't getting anywhere in a hurry.
 

TexasDomer

I would worry that the bioload isn't big enough with just those fish.

To save yourself time, stress, and possibly the lives of the fish, I'd move all of those fish back to the 75 gal and fishless cycle the 300 gal. It'll save you from having to do as many water changes, and you can better control the amount of ammonia to get the cycle started more quickly.
 

LT Connell

I would worry that the bioload isn't big enough with just those fish.

To save yourself time, stress, and possibly the lives of the fish, I'd move all of those fish back to the 75 gal and fishless cycle the 300 gal. It'll save you from having to do as many water changes, and you can better control the amount of ammonia to get the cycle started more quickly.

Not happening. No way to catch the tetras in a tank that size. We tried the other day. Its 36" deep and 72" wide and they're fast buggers. I'm afraid we're on this course for better or worse.
 

TexasDomer

Have you tried removing the decor and using two large nets? Just a suggestion

If it can't be done, then it seems you'll have to wait it out - hopefully it won't take more than a few months!
 

LT Connell

Have you tried removing the decor and using two large nets? Just a suggestion

If it can't be done, then it seems you'll have to wait it out - hopefully it won't take more than a few months!

You seem knowledgeable. Does Prime help protect the fish from ammonia and nitrites? Do you need to add everyday?
 

TexasDomer

Yes, it does protect fish from some levels of ammonia and nitrites. Usually, the rule of thumb is that it'll protect fish from them if ammonia + nitrites = 1-2 ppm, and it lasts 24-48 hours. Above that 1-2 ppm and it may not be as effective. So I would dose it daily or every other day whenever you see ammonia or nitrites (you can dose up to 5x the usual dose). If ammonia + nitrites is greater than 2 ppm, I'd do a water change as well.
 

LT Connell

Yes, it does protect fish from some levels of ammonia and nitrites. Usually, the rule of thumb is that it'll protect fish from them if ammonia + nitrites = 1-2 ppm, and it lasts 24-48 hours. Above that 1-2 ppm and it may not be as effective. So I would dose it daily or every other day whenever you see ammonia or nitrites (you can dose up to 5x the usual dose). If ammonia + nitrites is greater than 2 ppm, I'd do a water change as well.


Thanks! Now if I can just get the blue acaras to eat....
 

DarkOne

How big is the clown loach you already have?

Since you already have fish in the 300g, I'd highly recommend TSS+ and do a fish-in cycle. You'll need 3 bottles of 8.45oz TSS+ for a 300g tank.

Wait at least 24hr after you last put in prime.
Shake the bottles of TSS+ like it owes you a lot of money (really hard). Bang it on a table or floor for good measure. Dump 3 bottles into your tank.
Put 4-5 more clown loaches in there with the 1 you already have.
do not touch the tank for 2 weeks.

The BB in TSS+ will work on the ammonia almost immediately and the resulting nitrites will also be converted to nitrates almost immediately. I cycled my 40 gallon in 5 days (first day I tested). I never saw nitrites ever in that tank. I also had some plants so that might've helped too.

EBAs might take a few days to a couple of weeks to get used to you. Maybe a bit longer in such a big tank. Mine come up to the top for feeding.
 

LT Connell

How big is the clown loach you already have?

Since you already have fish in the 300g, I'd highly recommend TSS+ and do a fish-in cycle. You'll need 3 bottles of 8.45oz TSS+ for a 300g tank.

Wait at least 24hr after you last put in prime.
Shake the bottles of TSS+ like it owes you a lot of money (really hard). Bang it on a table or floor for good measure. Dump 3 bottles into your tank.
Put 4-5 more clown loaches in there with the 1 you already have.
do not touch the tank for 2 weeks.

The BB in TSS+ will work on the ammonia almost immediately and the resulting nitrites will also be converted to nitrates almost immediately. I cycled my 40 gallon in 5 days (first day I tested). I never saw nitrites ever in that tank. I also had some plants so that might've helped too.

EBAs might take a few days to a couple of weeks to get used to you. Maybe a bit longer in such a big tank. Mine come up to the top for feeding.

The loach we have isn't in the 300g yet. Hes currently in the 75g, which is cycled.
 

DarkOne

The loach we have isn't in the 300g yet. Hes currently in the 75g, which is cycled.
I know. I meant move the one you have in the 75 gallon over to the 300g along with 4-5 new ones. You'll need more fish to feed the BB in TSS+ in your 300g.
 

LT Connell

I know. I meant move the one you have in the 75 gallon over to the 300g along with 4-5 new ones. You'll need more fish to feed the BB in TSS+ in your 300g.
Not sure if I'm comfortable moving him with ammonia readings in the 300g. Hear they're very sensitive.
 

Punkin

TexasDomer and DarkOne are very knowledgeable. I’d continue to follow their advice. Just a suggestion as well, if you want to try to catch the tetras again, to try large black nets. I think the darker the net, the harder it is for them to see it.
 

LT Connell

TexasDomer and DarkOne are very knowledgeable. I’d continue to follow their advice. Just a suggestion as well, if you want to try to catch the tetras again, to try large black nets. I think the darker the net, the harder it is for them to see it.
Thanks. I do trust their recommendations, but I don't think it's safe to put everybody in the 75g, even if I could catch them. One of the acaras could easily swallow a cherry barb (resident in the 75g). I asked for recommendations but I'm more confused now. Want to do right for the fish is all I want.
 

DarkOne

Since you have 9 tetras and 3 EBA in the 300g already, use TSS+. You will need more ammonia source (fish) in there so the tank cycles. Tetra recommends 1 fish (1") per 10 gallons for TSS+ fish-in cycling but I found that to still be too little. I used 10 rosy red minnows for my 40g. This is why I recommend you get the 4-5 clown loaches as well as moving the one you currently have. A little known (published) dose for TSS+ is at least 25ml per 10g. That is why you need 3 bottles of the large TSS+ (8.45 oz or 250ml).

Devil's in the details. You can't use any water dechlorinator 24hr prior to use. You need to shake the bottles really, really well. Then shake it again. You could put the clown loaches in right after dosing with TSS+. Ideally, you'd want to put the new loaches (or any fish) in QT for at least 2 weeks (4wks would be better) because treating a 300g tank for a disease could get really, really expensive.

I tried API QuickStart and Seachem Stability and neither worked very well.
 

LT Connell

Since you have 9 tetras and 3 EBA in the 300g already, use TSS+. You will need more ammonia source (fish) in there so the tank cycles. Tetra recommends 1 fish (1") per 10 gallons for TSS+ fish-in cycling but I found that to still be too little. I used 10 rosy red minnows for my 40g. This is why I recommend you get the 4-5 clown loaches as well as moving the one you currently have. A little known (published) dose for TSS+ is at least 25ml per 10g. That is why you need 3 bottles of the large TSS+ (8.45 oz or 250ml).

Devil's in the details. You can't use any water dechlorinator 24hr prior to use. You need to shake the bottles really, really well. Then shake it again. You could put the clown loaches in right after dosing with TSS+. Ideally, you'd want to put the new loaches (or any fish) in QT for at least 2 weeks (4wks would be better) because treating a 300g tank for a disease could get really, really expensive.

I tried API QuickStart and Seachem Stability and neither worked very well.

Ammonia reading is now up to .5. Maybe it's starting to cycle? LFS sold us some MicroBacter7 on Thursday. Any thoughts on that product?

Also, how high should we let ammonia reading get before doing a water change? Don't want to stunt the cycle or harm the fish.
 

TexasDomer

Never heard of it, but I'm generally skeptical when LFS try to sell you things. They're trying to make a sale.

An increase in ammonia doesn't mean that it's starting to cycle yet - you're looking for an increase in nitrites and nitrates and a decrease in ammonia to signal that it's starting to cycle.

As long as ammonia + nitrites is less than 1-2 ppm, you can just dose Prime or Safe every 24-48 hours to protect the fish. If it gets higher, then I'd do a water change.
 

LT Connell

Good news! We now have Nitrites! It's truly starting to cycle! Unfortunately, we also have a very sick fish, which we have now put into quarantine. The things we do for our fishies!
 

TexasDomer

Why are they sick? What are the symptoms? Nitrites can make fish sick.
 

LT Connell

Why are they sick? What are the symptoms? Nitrites can make fish sick.
TexasDomer, my mistake for not being specific. The sick fish wasn't in the 300g tank. He was in the 75 gallon one. He presented with white spots that eventually resembled cotton. He then developed red sores on the right side of his body. I began treatment on Monday in the QT with Tetra LifeGuard and so far he appears to be doing better. He's a Gold Ram.
 

TexasDomer

Can you take a pic?

What's the full stocking of the 75 gal?

And water parameters (pH, temp, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates)

Gold rams (like other M. ramirezi) are sensitive fish, and even small issues can be a big deal for them.
 

LT Connell

Can you take a pic?

What's the full stocking of the 75 gal?

And water parameters (pH, temp, ammonia, nitrites, nitrates)

Gold rams (like other M. ramirezi) are sensitive fish, and even small issues can be a big deal for them.
I tried to take a picture on Monday, but it didn't turn out very well. Now he's looking much better, moving around more and eating better.

Water parameters of the 75g
pH 7.6ish
Temp 77-78
Ammonia - currently at .25ppm - we're trying to determine the source - possibly remains of 2 fish that have disappeared
Nitrites - 0
Nitrates - 20ppm or less. We do weekly water changes/vacuums to keep them in check.

Stocking:
5 Black Skirt Tetras
3 SwordTails - all female
2 JuliI cory's
1 German blue Ram
4 Cherry Barbs
2 Mystery Snails
1 Bristlenose
4 Scissortail Rasboras
1 Clown Loach - he will be moving to the 300g once it's cycled.
 

Sarah73

I tried to take a picture on Monday, but it didn't turn out very well. Now he's looking much better, moving around more and eating better.

Water parameters of the 75g
pH 7.6ish
Temp 77-78
Ammonia - currently at .25ppm - we're trying to determine the source - possibly remains of 2 fish that have disappeared
Nitrites - 0
Nitrates - 20ppm or less. We do weekly water changes/vacuums to keep them in check.

Stocking:
5 Black Skirt Tetras
3 SwordTails - all female
2 JuliI cory's
1 German blue Ram
4 Cherry Barbs
2 Mystery Snails
1 Bristlenose
4 Scissortail Rasboras
1 Clown Loach - he will be moving to the 300g once it's cycled.
your stocking is...not the best. More than half of your fish need to be in bigger groups. Also, you need more than one clown loach. around 10 or more.
 

TexasDomer

You have stocking issues if you'd like to discuss them 10 or more clown loaches aren't required, but they do need a group and a bigger tank.

For now, because rams are so sensitive, I'd do a water change any time you see ammonia in your tank.
 

LT Connell

You have stocking issues if you'd like to discuss them 10 or more clown loaches aren't required, but they do need a group and a bigger tank.

For now, because rams are so sensitive, I'd do a water change any time you see ammonia in your tank.
Stocking issues, other than the Loaches? The one clown loach will be moving over to the 300g once its cycled and at that time, we will ADD 4-5 more. Please don't tell me that 300g isn't big enough for the loaches They're the reason we bought the huge tank!

Yes, we've already done 2 water changes this week because of the Ammonia readings.
 

Sarah73

Stocking issues, other than the Loaches? The one clown loach will be moving over to the 300g once its cycled and at that time, we will ADD 4-5 more. Please don't tell me that 300g isn't big enough for the loaches They're the reason we bought the huge tank!

Yes, we've already done 2 water changes this week because of the Ammonia readings.
That's plenty big! And yes you have other stocking issues.
 

LT Connell

your stocking is...not the best. More than half of your fish need to be in bigger groups. Also, you need more than one clown loach. around 10 or more.


Sorry, I didn't realize that you had commented as well..
I did review our stock on and it recommended 5 cherry barbs, 5 Cory's and 5 Scissortails. What other concerns do you see?

As for the Loach - this isn't his permanent home (see my original posting for this thread).
 

TexasDomer

Stocking issues, other than the Loaches? The one clown loach will be moving over to the 300g once its cycled and at that time, we will ADD 4-5 more. Please don't tell me that 300g isn't big enough for the loaches They're the reason we bought the huge tank!

Yes, we've already done 2 water changes this week because of the Ammonia readings.

Stocking issues outside of the loaches. We've already discussed moving the loaches over I was also just mentioning that you didn't need to buy 10 more, as was stated by someone else.

Aqadvisor isn't accurate, so I wouldn't listen to it. It doesn't take a lot of things into account.

The GBR needs much warmer water than most of your other fish (black skirts, swordtails, cories, BN pleco, and scissortail rasbora). I'd rehome him.

The tetras, rasbora, cories, and barbs should be in larger groups of their own species, but you have too many schooling species. I wouldn't do more than two in the upper/middle of the tank and one to two on the bottom. You have 3 in the upper/middle of the tank - the skirts, barbs, and rasbora. I would personally rehome the scissortail and add more of the black skirts and the cherry barbs. The scissortail rasbora look small now, but they get around 6" long as adults. If you really wanted to keep them, rehome the skirts or the cherries.

For the remaining schooling/shoaling species (the cories and two of the three schooling species), add more of the same species so there are at least 8 in each group. You could do something like this:

12x Black skirt tetras
15x Cherry barbs
15x JuliI cories (you likely have the false julii, C. trilineatus as true juliis are very rare)
3x Swordtails
1x BN pleco
Snails
2x Bolivian rams (temperature compatible with your stock, unlike the German blue rams)
 

LT Connell

Texas - what temperature is appropriate for the GBR? Everything I've read is 72 - 79, with one exception stating they prefer 80-81. What about the Gold Ram? He's the one currently in the hospital tank, currently chilling in a 81 degree tank. We originally bought 2 of each of the rams, but one died and the other "disappeared". We have no problem adjusting the temperature, if need be.

Where does one look to determine good water temps for fish? Is there a website where you can easily search? Just wanting to understand what temp the 300g needs to be set at as well. We currently have it about 79.3 - current residents White Skirts and Blue Acaras, but we also wanted to add Severums, clown loaches and not sure what else.
 

LT Connell

My bad - I forgot about the 3 Drawf Blue Gourami's in the tank.
 

TexasDomer

GBR would do better in temps above 78, ideally around 80 - 82. Gold rams are the same species as GBRs, just different color morphs.

The problem in your tank is that the temps for the GBR are much too high for most of the other fish - they'll have a shortened lifespan and an increased susceptibility to diseases. So you'll either need to rehome the GBR or a bunch of your other fish.

Use Seriously Fish, FishBase, and Planet Catfish. These are the most reliable. Remember not to keep fish at the extreme ends of their ranges either.

79 F is too high for the black skirts.

For the dwarf gouramis, I'd rehome all but one. Males will fight, and can kill each other. Some don't even touch each other, but stress the other males to death. Even a 75 gal is too small to keep more than one male.
 

LT Connell

Texas. Never seen any aggression from the gouramis. We think all 3 are female.
 

TexasDomer

Do you have pics of them? Females are very uncommon, and they're a dull silverish color.
 

LT Connell

Best I could get. All 3 look the same and we have witness zero aggression from any of them.
 

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TexasDomer

They're males. Just because you don't see them physically touching each other doesn't mean there isn't bullying going on (sometimes they starve each other, sometimes they make each other hide all the time, and the stress from these can kill them too), and it doesn't mean there won't be issues in the future. Many people have tried it, and it never works out long term. We're not saying this to be argumentative; we're bringing this up because male dwarf gouramis are not known to get along long term, and we're trying to save you from stress and your fish from inevitable injury or death.
 

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