creating proper "territories" for territorial fish in community tank

Discussion in 'Aquarium Aquascaping' started by midthought, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. midthought

    midthoughtWell Known MemberMember

    Hello everyone. I'm in the process of putting together a 29g freshwater community tank and was hoping that people can give me some guidelines on how to create areas that will make my fish happy with each other. I'm going with silicate sand and either Fluorite or Eco-Complete for substrate.

    Right now, I'm considering the following setup.

    - 6 cory cats
    - 9 neon tetras
    - 2 blue rams
    - 1 sparkling gourami

    I think the only territorial fish in there are the blue rams, and that's if they pair and try to breed. But I want to be prepared from the getgo so I only do the work once (if possible).

    It won't be fully planted so as to keep a decent amount of sand for the cory cats to root around in (also, less work). I just want some specifics about what kind of aquascaping will make for the least aggression in case the rams pair up. Do I prepare large open space for swimming? Densely-spaced tall plants? Do I split the tank floor with driftwood/large rocks? Will giving the corys a canopy/shelter over their sand protect them from rams?

    As for things I have on hand, I have a large piece of driftwood and another large rock with holes (maybe 12"x12"x5"), as well as two or three smaller rocks formations with holes.

    Thanks for your input!
  2. platy ben

    platy benWell Known MemberMember

    Hmm, a very clever thing to think of to say the least! I've never properly thought about it before. So from what you have got I would try and make the area where the rams would spawn, if they did, separate from the rest of the tank.

    So I would say, use most of your rocks one end and make a barrier of big rocks and then smooth flat rocks behind them, this is the type of area rams prefer to spawn. Then have your open sandy area opposite, for the corys.
    The gourami will like plants near the top of the tank so put them at the opposite side aswel.
    And the neons will swim everywhere so they will have to look after themselves.

    Hope thish elps :)
  3. Nutter

    NutterFishlore VIPMember

    Good suggestions above from Ben.

    Have a flat surface leaning on an angle at one end of the tank. That will be the intended spawning site for the Rams. You can use rocks, wood or plants to form a wall from the rest of the tank. Then a bit of open space. The remaining half of the tank can contain some tall plants for the Gourami so that it wants to hang around down there & a few broad leaf plants for the Corys to shelter under. The Neons will have to fend for themselves as Ben suggested. They will work out where they shouldn't be & stay mostly away.

    The open space between the Rams area & the rest of the decor is the really improtant bit as that will define the territory for all of the fish in there. Make sure there are no flat rocks in areas you don't want the Rams to spawn or they might decide to go there instead of where you want them to be.
  4. OP

    midthoughtWell Known MemberMember

    Hmm, going to have to shop around for the large flat surface, I think. It sounds like something I could silicone glue together though, if I found the right pieces. How "large" does the large flat surface need to be? As large as a kitchen plate? Or several ones as large as my palm would work? Would rectangular/narrow work as well?

    Thanks for the advice. You guys are awesome. :)
  5. Nutter

    NutterFishlore VIPMember

    It doesn't need to be large. A piece of slate the size of your hand placed on an angle against the tank glass or another rock will do the Rams just fine for a breeding surface.
  6. LyndaB

    LyndaBFishlore LegendMember

    No ideas to offer but wanted to congratulate you for planning ahead for the safety and well-being of your fish. Not everybody does that. :;hug2
  7. platy ben

    platy benWell Known MemberMember

    As suggested, a piece the size of the palm of your hand would be good :)
    When I had my rams they spawned on a piece of slate which was mainly buried, they spawned on a space of about a 1.5" diameter, but the bigger the better :) (just not huge :))
  8. OP

    midthoughtWell Known MemberMember

    I went to the LFS today and picked up 3 pieces of rainbow rock and slate. One's a little smaller than my palm, one is maybe the size of a kitchen knife, and the other is, I don't know, like a laptop keyboard.

    It occurs to me that my mind makes size comparisons in weird ways.

    Oh and neither of the two LFSes I went to had blue rams, but one had balloon blue rams, and they were *so cute*. It makes me want to just nix the neons and go with blue rams now. Also, I saw green tiger barbs for the first time and wanted them more than I wanted neons as well...