Eclipse System 12 Stocking Ideas?

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Phonemonkey

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Hello all, I recently purchased an eclipse system 12 (12 gallon kit with bio-wheel filter) and supplies to go along with it. I was just wondering if people could offer up some stocking combination suggestions? Keep in mind I'm a beginner at this, but have done and continue to do all the learning I can in order to do this properly. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

EDIT:

Thought I'd be as complete as possible and post the list of stuff I have on the way. I realize this list does not include food, gravel, or decor/plants, but I decided not to order these things by mail order, and pick them up once I decide on what fish to stock the tank with...

Eclipse System 12 Freshwater Kit
Prime 250 ml
Ammonia Alert Device Single
Stealth Heater 75W
Thermometer 2-1/4" x 1-1/2"
Quick Dip Test Kit Complete
5" Net (w/ 16" handle)
 

Isabella

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Hello and welcome to Fish Lore It's good that you've decided to ask about what fish to get (and how many) before setting up your tank. If you have not yet learned about the Nitrogen Cycle, please do read about it BEFORE you get your fish. Here is information about it: https://www.fishlore.com/NitrogenCycle.htm. You should also read the rest of Beginner's Articles: https://www.fishlore.com/Beginners.htm.

A 12 gallon tank isn't very large, so you shouldn't get any fish that grow large. When buying fish, always take into account their adult size, as most of the fish you buy are still young and growing. This means, it's best to research some information about the fish you want to buy, before you actually buy them - so that when you're buying them, you know exactly what you're getting. The general rule is to have 1" of fish per 1 gallon of water, but I'd personally apply this rule only to small and not massive fish that really do grow only to 1" (1.5" max). Larger fish need to be considered from the point of view of their body mass and length, not just the length alone.

For a 12 gallon tank, it would be best to get fishies that grow to around 1 - 1.5". Some examples are neon tetras (and many other small tetras), cherry barbs, harlequin rasboras, white cloud mountain minnows, zebra danios, etc ... However, I wouldn't put zebra danios in a 12 gallon tank as they're extremely fast swimmers and therefore need a larger tank to comfortably swim at their speed. Neon tetras, cherry barbs, or harlequin rasboras, on the other hand, are not very fast swimmers - they're also small and beautiful. Most of the small fishes are schooling/shoaling fish, meaning they like to stay in groups of their own kind - this keeps them feeling safe and displaying more interesting behaviors as well as having better coloration.

Perhaps you'd like 3 small groups of 3 different (and small) species, or a little bit larger 2 groups of 2 different species. For example: 4 cherry barbs, 4 harlequin rasboras, and 4 neons, OR 6 cherry barbs and 6 harlequin rasboras. I'd personally go with option # 2 (6 ch. barbs and 6 h. rasboras) because the fish will feel better in larger numbers. All of the fish examples I gave are small, beautiful, and peaceful. HOWEVER, there ARE many other fishies that are small and peaceful as well. So you can either choose some fish from the examples I gave, or research some other species if you don't like my examples. Just remember they should be small and peaceful for a tank that is 12 gallons.

Good luck, and ask if you have any more questions AND ... do learn about the cycle!

P.S. What is the "Ammonia Alert Device Single"? Is that a test strip for ammonia?
 
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Phonemonkey

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Thanks so much for the prompt reply. I've read fairly extensively about the nitrogen cycle, and I think I have a decent grasp on it. The only remaining point of confusion for me is whether 1) I should take the time to do a fishless cycle and 2) Whether any of the products that supposedly introduce the beneficial bacteria to your tank really do anything.

I'm glad you mentioned the zerbra danio thing, as this was one of the species I was looking at. What you said makes toal sense, and I'll definitely take that into consideration.

I'm curious what you think of the idea of getting a school or 2 of very small species like those you mentioned, along with a single fish of a slightly larger species, such as a Betta, Dwarf Gourami, etc. Nothing too large of course, I'm aware I can't go crazy with only 12 gallons, but just something a bit more visible than the tiny ones?

I suppose I should mention that I'd be totally willing to just have a larger number of a single species in the tank if that will mean happier, healthier fish. I'm kind of an animal nut =P so I'm more than happy to make my selection based on what will make the fish the most comfortable. I'd rather have a "boring" tank full of happy fish than a variety of miserable ones.

Heres a brief list of species I've been considering, would love some advice on which combinations would be best:

Larger Species (would only get 1):
-Dwarf Gourami
-Platies
-Bettas
-Guppies
-Corydoras

Small Species (would get at least 6):
-White Clouds
-Neon Tetras
-Cherry Barbs

Oh, and the ammonia alert thing was kinda just an impulse buy, but it does seem kinda neat. Of course, its not something I'd rely on by any means, I plan to do regular water tests using the strips, but it would let me know right away if something drastic brought the ammonia level waaaay up... heres a link:



EDIT:

By the way, on a rather sad note... I'm setting up this tank (initially anyway) at my workplace. A number of co-workers have tanks... but I was sad to find myself having the same exchange with many of them...

ME: "So, I ordered an aquarium, of course, its going to take a while for me to get it set up and everything, since I need to cycle the tank and all..."
Coworker(s): "Do what?"

=(
 

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Sounds like a good start to me the only thing I would recommend is to get a different water testing kit. Test strips tend to be less accurate and easy to make a mistakes with.
 

Butterfly

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Phonemonkey said:
ME: "So, I ordered an aquarium, of course, its going to take a while for me to get it set up and everything, since I need to cycle the tank and all..."
Coworker(s): "Do what?"

=(
Yes unfortunately most people think its normal to set up a tank, throw the fish in and lose a few until the tank settles down. Your fish will thank you for doing a fishless cycle. If you don't want to fishless cycle at work you could always cycle at home then take it to work when it's ready for fish.
If you have access to BioSpira you can add your fish immediately. This is the only immediate cycling product on the market.
Carol
 
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Thanks for all the responses so far, keep em coming! ;D

I got the following suggestion from someone, I'm curious as to peoples thoughts, seems to me like it might be overstocking, but I rather like the idea:

-1 Dwarf Gourami or Betta
-6(?) Cherry Barbs
-3 (dwarf) Corys

EDIT: I thought about it and the above idea is definitely overstocking. Right now the idea I'm liking best is a single male betta with a school of cherry barbs or tetras... but I REALLY hate the idea of supporting the kind of treatment that Bettas get in the industry... such as...



Ok, so I'm now thinking a Betta is actually a pretty bad idea for this tank. Heres why...

-From what I hear, Bettas prefer a calm surface to the water, as they need to breathe. This tank uses a decently powerful bio-wheel filter, and I doubt the surface of the water will be calm enough.

-I have heard numerous accounts of male bettas going after even small community tankmates, like the cherry barbs or white clouds I'm looking at.

-Last but not least, the treatment of these fish by distributors and pet stores.
 

Butterfly

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Bettas really don't like to share the top or middle of the water with other fish in a small area as they are very territorial.
My suggestion would be 2 dwarf Gouramis and 3 corys or 3 otocinclus (otos). this would give you top and mid water and a bottom interest also. Gouramis come to the surface to breathe also and like plants. They don't really seem bothered by a little water movement as they don't have all those fancy fins Bettas have
Just some thoughts
Carol
 
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Butterfly said:
Bettas really don't like to share the top or middle of the water with other fish in a small area as they are very territorial.
My suggestion would be 2 dwarf Gouramis and 3 corys or 3 otocinclus (otos). this would give you top and mid water and a bottom interest also. Gouramis come to the surface to breathe also and like plants. They don't really seem bothered by a little water movement as they don't have all those fancy fins Bettas have
Just some thoughts
Carol
Interesting idea, I'm assuming you mean one male and one female Gourami? I would think two males would find a 12 gallon tank "too small for da both of us" ;D Curious what you think of the idea of a single male Dwarf Gourami, a school of 6 or so cherry barbs, and a few ghost shrimp? I rather like your idea though, the thought of a pair of Gouramis definitely has appeal.
 

Butterfly

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yes a male and female would definately be better than two males The ones I had tended to keep the fins of the fish that swam at their level nipped and ragged thats why I didn't suggest other fish that swim at their level (top and mid).
Carol
 

Isabella

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Phonemonkey said:
I'm curious what you think of the idea of getting a school or 2 of very small species like those you mentioned, along with a single fish of a slightly larger species, such as a Betta, Dwarf Gourami, etc. Nothing too large of course, I'm aware I can't go crazy with only 12 gallons, but just something a bit more visible than the tiny ones?

I suppose I should mention that I'd be totally willing to just have a larger number of a single species in the tank if that will mean happier, healthier fish. I'm kind of an animal nut =P so I'm more than happy to make my selection based on what will make the fish the most comfortable. I'd rather have a "boring" tank full of happy fish than a variety of miserable ones.
I am very glad that you think this way I can already tell you'll be a good fish-keeper I think so too - better a smaller but happier variety (i.e., one or two fish species but in larger numbers, rather than very few fish of 10 different species). You are very responsible and I love that.

Phonemonkey said:
Heres a brief list of species I've been considering, would love some advice on which combinations would be best:

Larger Species (would only get 1):
-Dwarf Gourami
-Platies
-Bettas
-Guppies
-Corydoras

Small Species (would get at least 6):
-White Clouds
-Neon Tetras
-Cherry Barbs
I think that if you really want some larger species, you could get 2 dwarf gouramis (male and female) + 6 cherry barbs (for example) and 3 cories or 3 otos, as Carol has suggested (but all of these fish should be the max in a 12 gallon tank). This would be a very nice tank. And a happy one too If you get cherry barbs, you'll absolutely love them, especially the males when they're fully grown. They display such beautiful vivid red coloration. They're extremely peaceful as well. I am definitely getting at least 6 cherry barbs for my next tank ! If you buy cherry barbs, the red ones will be males and the brownish-orange ones will be females.

If you want a very good opinion on having a Betta, listen to Carol or Chickadee

Phonemonkey said:
By the way, on a rather sad note... I'm setting up this tank (initially anyway) at my workplace. A number of co-workers have tanks... but I was sad to find myself having the same exchange with many of them...

ME: "So, I ordered an aquarium, of course, its going to take a while for me to get it set up and everything, since I need to cycle the tank and all..."
Coworker(s): "Do what?"
I know ... 
 
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I think that if you really want some larger species, you could get 2 dwarf gouramis (male and female) + 6 cherry barbs (for example) and 3 cories or 3 otos, as Carol has suggested (but all of these fish should be the max in a 12 gallon tank). This would be a very nice tank. And a happy one too If you get cherry barbs, you'll absolutely love them, especially the males when they're fully grown. They display such beautiful vivid red coloration. They're extremely peaceful as well. I am definitely getting at least 6 cherry barbs for my next tank ! If you buy cherry barbs, the red ones will be males and the brownish-orange ones will be females.
Thanks for all your responses, I'm curious though, what do you think of the issue of fin-npping with mixing these two species?
 

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Cherry barbs will not nip at the fins of the gouramis. I never had dwarf gouramis, but I don't think they should nip at the fins of the cherry barbs either. Though you may want to wait for someone else's opinion on that one. BUT, I really think a shoal of cherry barbs and 2 dwarf gouramis would be OK together . However, even if they won't nip at each other's fins, and you're still worried: provide a lot of hiding spots for all of your fish. This should prevent any aggression as well as stress. Fish always like to have a place to hide, or just a place to stay in shade, away from tank lights.

P.S. Once again, you don't "have to" get cherry barbs if you don't want to - there are many other small, shoaling, and peaceful species.
 
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Isabella said:
Cherry barbs will not nip at the fins of the gouramis. I never had dwarf gouramis, but I don't think they should nip at the fins of the cherry barbs either. Though you may want to wait for someone else's opinion on that one. BUT, I really think a shoal of cherry barbs and 2 dwarf gouramis would be OK together . However, even if they won't nip at each other's fins, and you're still worried: provide a lot of hiding spots for all of your fish. This should prevent any aggression as well as stress. Fish always like to have a place to hide, or just a place to stay in shade, away from tank lights.

P.S. Once again, you don't "have to" get cherry barbs if you don't want to - there are many other small, shoaling, and peaceful species.
;D Thanks, as always your advice is much appreciated.

I just found something rather interesting while browsing around for info. Turns out, I can provide exact information from the water dept on the tapwater in my area, in case it helps reccomend particular species...

http://www.seattle.gov/util/stellent/groups/public/@spu/@ssw/documents/webcontent/spu01_002229.pdf

Oh, and I'm not quite sure which of the 2 water tables listed there my work is on, I do plan to test the tap water once I actually have my tank of course though.
 

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I'm sorry but the website doesn't want to open for me.
 
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Isabella said:
I'm sorry but the website doesn't want to open for me.
Hmm, its a pdf file, so you need acrobat reader... but if you tell me the main stats that are relevant I can just list them off if ya want
 

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If you want to provide us with your local water parameters (based on your local water quality report), feel free to do so. I suppose you can list pH, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate readings as most important. Water's general (unchanging) and water's carbonate (temporary) hardness, or just general hardness could be listed too. The reason I mention water's GH (and KH) is because the harder the water, the better its buffering capacity. This hardness is not about the "hard/high pH". What it means is that a water with a high buffering capacity (higher GH) is able to keep pH at a stable point, as opposed to fluctuating pH (in water with low buffering capacity). A water high in Magnesium and Calcium will have good buffering capacity. Maybe there are some other elements as well, but I am not fluent in the more detailed water chemistry. If you want to know the minimum level of Ca and Mg for the water to have a good buffering capacity, you'd also have to ask someone fluent in water chemistry.

I think what you really have to worry about is the constantly fluctuating pH and any ammonia or nitrite presence in your water while there are fish in the tank. Most freshwater fish will really adjust to a pH that is higher or lower than the pH they'd have in natural habitat (unless it's some extremely high or low pH). The key is to have a stable pH, not so much a pH that "must be" exactly as the one the fish would have in nature. You keep pH stable by regular water changes. Regular water changes also help control nitrate. As for ammonia and nitrite, you should never have them, unless it's a cycling tank. Cherry barbs and dwarf gouramis, as well as many other freshwater fish, should tolerate your tap pH as long as you try and keep it stable (I assume your tap pH is between 6.5 and 7.5). When you get the fish, though, remember to acclimatize them properly before putting them in your tank.
 
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Ok, so a brief explanation first, theres two watersheds for the area I'm in, I'm not sure which one my workplace is in, so I'll list em both...


Cedar / Tolt
Nitrate-Nitrogen 0.040 0.14
Nitrite-Nitrogen ND/Non-detectable
pH, range ++ 7.90-8.52 8.17-8.62
Hardness (as CaCO3) 26.7 28.6
Chloride (mg/L) 3.5 3.8
Flouride 0.93 1.03


On another note, I will NOT be stocking from petsmart. I went by this morning to look at gravels/plants, and saw that many of their Bettas (kept, of course, in tiny little cups in a huge stack) were dead or nearly dead. Seeing a once beautiful Betta, lying at the bottom of its tiny little cell, skinnier than any Betta I've ever seen, the only motion being an occasional movement of the gills... I just turned around and left... disgusting.
 

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Phonemonkey said:
I went by this morning to look at gravels/plants, and saw that many of their Bettas (kept, of course, in tiny little cups in a huge stack) were dead or nearly dead. Seeing a once beautiful Betta, lying at the bottom of its tiny little cell, skinnier than any Betta I've ever seen, the only motion being an occasional movement of the gills...
I don't even want to talk about it anymore :'(. It's happening nearly EVERYWHERE you go. I can tell the same about all the local fish stores that I've been to. Now, I don't even go to see Bettas anymore when I am at any of these stores. I can't look at it anymore :'(.

As for your local water parameters, I see there is already some nitrate? (I assume ammonia is 0.) Nitrite is at 0, which is good. Is your pH really around 8.0 and 8.5?! That's - I have to say - is a very high pH as for the majority of the freshwater fish. I don't know if cherry barbs and gouramis could live in such pH. Please maybe ask Carol or Gunnie, or Rose - because I am not sure anymore. As for the water hardness - as I've said before - I am not fluent in water chemistry, and you'd have to ask someone who knows about it.

Anyway, why don't you just test your TAP water for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and pH? That would be much better Maybe the local water report shows only average numbers, meaning that specific local waters can have ranges much higher or lower than those provided in the report. If I were you, I'd test my tap water with my own testing kit (I'd recommend Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Freshwater Master Test Kit).
 
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Just went and picked up that exact kit you mentioned... unfortunately I had to go over to Petsmart > to get it, but at least I convinced them to sell it to me for $14 (price in their store was $29),

I'll be testing the water here in a few and will update with the results.

By the way, are female Dwarf Gouramis normally hard to find? I took a brief look at the non-Betta ( :'() stock at petsmart while I was there and as far as I could tell they only seemed to have males. I was relatively surprised to see that their tropical fish looked fairly healthy, although they had one tank that was massively crowded with 6 or more tinfoil barbs 3" in length, one of which was clearly aggressive and attacking all of the others in the tank...

Edit:

Whoa... they were right....

Tested the tapwater here with the kit... somewhere between 8.0 and 8.2
 

Isabella

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WOW ??? Hmm ... you know what? Ask Gunnie, Rose, or Carol about keeping fish like Gouramis and Cherry Barbs in water that has a pH of 8.0 and up. MAYBE they could adapt to such pH, I don't know, but just to be sure: ask what others think.

If these, and many other, freshwater fish won't do well in such pH, there are freshwater fish species that like a high pH. These are the African Rift cichlids (Lake Malawi and Lake Tanganyika cichlids). But I think these species need large tanks, much larger than a 12 gallon tank.

There is a natural way, though, to lower the pH, and that is filtering your water through peat moss (putting peat in your filter). However, I am not sure if this still would not create pH fluctuations. You'd have to be very careful with your water if you decided to be constantly altering your water's pH. You'd have to make sure the pH stays at a constant level. If you forgot to put peat in the filter when necessary, the pH would go up probably a lot after a water change.
 
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