Gradual Stocking Post Cycling Question

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In my situation, what would you do?

  1. Add more inverts and wait a few weeks to add fish

    1 vote(s)
    100.0%
  2. Add 6 cherry barbs

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Don't add anything for a few more weeks

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Other; I'll elaborate in my reply

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. r_e_g

    r_e_g Valued Member Member

    This isn't my first rodeo, but it's been over a decade since I've stocked a tank from scratch so I'd like some advice please. My 40 gallon planted tank has been up and running for 18 days now. The only ammonia sources have been decaying plants and decaying driftwood plus waste from the bladder snail colony that's developing. I didn't test the water every day but the highest ammonia value I measured was 1 ppm. A few days ago, my nitirite was up at 5+ ppm but this morning I tested the water and it was at zero. Nitrates had jumped from 10 ppm to 80 ppm. Hooray! I did use plants from a cycled tank as well as a piece of sponge that I'd put in that tank so I'm betting that speeded things up.

    Both types of fish that I would like to keep, cherry barbs and cory cats, need to be kept in groups of 6+ to be happy so I'd be afraid to add just a couple at a time and give the bacterial colony a chance to catch up. Since I like inverts, I was thinking maybe it would be better to add more inverts (cherry shrimp from my other tank, ghost shrimp, a mystery snail or two) to increase the ammonia supply before I add my first fish. Are they going to add enough bioload to make a difference? Or would I be safe to add let's say 6 young cherry barbs in the next couple of days? I know that my system is still very young and I do NOT want to overload things before it's mature. I am running an AC 70 and might be adding another smaller AC to add more circulation. I do a 50% WC every week. I do have Prime.

    Many thanks for your help.
     
  2. jdhef

    jdhef Moderator Moderator Member

    If it were me....I would add 3 cherry barbs and wait 7-10 days for your bacteria to catch up, then add three more (assuming ammonia/nitrite are both 0ppm) and wait 7-10 days and add 3 cories, wait 7-10 days add last 3 cories.
     
  3. GettinTanked

    GettinTanked Valued Member Member

    Whether or not you add shrimp first, it will always be a shock to your tank's system to add 6 of either fish at once.

    My experience is limited, but I would add the fish in threes.
     


  4. OP
    OP
    r_e_g

    r_e_g Valued Member Member

    Thank you. My biggest concern about doing it that way is I've heard many times that the cherry barbs will stress each other out picking on each other if there are too few of them. That's the last thing I want. Maybe getting 3 females to start would help with that?
     
  5. GettinTanked

    GettinTanked Valued Member Member

    Well, you have a big tank. It sounds like you've got some decorations (hiding places) in it. It's not a very long period they'll be alone in there. I would just do it and hope for the best. Either 3 females or 2 females and 1 male are probably your safest choices.
     
  6. DuaneV

    DuaneV Well Known Member Member

    In a 40 gallon planted tank, youd have no trouble dropping in 6-8 baby corys. Personally, I like to drop in fish in order of the area of water they inhabit. Bottom feeders first, column feeders second and top water fish last. 40 gallons with good filtration is a big tank. Adding 6-8 small fish at once is no big deal.
     


  7. S

    Small Tanks Valued Member Member

    Also you want to put the more passive fish in, so I would pop the cories and/or the shrimp first.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    r_e_g

    r_e_g Valued Member Member

    Thanks. I'm guessing because that way more territorial fish won't have a territory that they're trying to defend from invaders? I don't anticipate that being an issue here but I've also never kept cherry barbs.

    Thank you. I'm adding a picture of my tank to give more context. Excuse the water wisteria that decided to leave the substrate; I'm debating if I want to keep it in here or move it to my other tank.
    IMG_20180613_152306_686.jpg
     
  9. Willed

    Willed Valued Member Member

    Am I crazy or does that look like more than 40 gallons?
     
  10. DuaneV

    DuaneV Well Known Member Member

    Tank looks great! Toss in 6-8 baby corys. And trust me, do all the same species. It sounds fun to have variety, but corys look so much better in a group of the same species. Peppered, false julii, panda, etc. Theyll look awesome in there. Id do 8.
     
  11. OP
    OP
    r_e_g

    r_e_g Valued Member Member

    It's probably the angle at which I took it (to minimize reflections) but I'm pretty sure it's 40g. It's ~36 x 18 x 16 inches. The extra depth makes it look pretty darn big. I'm so glad I opted for this size because I was able to fit in such large pieces of spiderwood.

    Thank you! I'm really happy with it and look forward to the day that all of my plants have grown in. I'm definitely planning to do all 1 species of cory. However, now I'm feeling very conflicted about which type. I was planning to get peppered corys this time (I had albino cories back in high school so I want to mix it up a bit) but I've been reading that they really do better in cooler water. My tank has been getting up as high as 82 degrees lately; though it doesn't get direct sun, it is in a western-facing room that doesn't have very good blinds (thanks cats!). I've been running the air conditioner more now and that has the tank down to 78-80 degrees, but it seems that that is still pretty high for peppered corys. I could put up curtains to block more light from entering the room but I don't know that it'll be enough. I was reading that C. aeneus is one of the more heat-tolerant species (and is readily available around here) so maybe I should go with albinos again. They're still absolutely adorable.
     
  12. DuaneV

    DuaneV Well Known Member Member

    We have a school of 8 peppered with 2 emerald's in an Amazon biotope that also has black neons, serpae tetras, hatchetfish and 2 GBR's. The heater is set to 78, but in the summer its always at 80ish in the tank, some days before a water change 82+. In the winter it gets down to 76 for about a month when its REALLY cold and the heater just doesnt keep up (house is kept at 62-68 max). I think the temps fluctuating like the mimic their natural environment a little more closely and our corys are up to 10 years old. Ive always had corys and here in Maine this is the weather and Ive always had my corys last forever.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    r_e_g

    r_e_g Valued Member Member

    I really appreciate hearing that your cory cats are doing so well even with the slightly warmer temperatures. Maybe when people are saying that the peppered corys need cooler temps they mean that you shouldn't leave your heater set to 80 degrees year round, not that they can't tolerate a room that gets warm for a few months in the summer. I went out to look at fish today and man, those baby albino corys sure are cute. I might have to get them again. Your biotope sounds awesome. I'd written off serpae tetras because they have such a reputation for fin nipping but I bet that a big school in a planted tank (especially once all my sword plants fill in) would be pretty awesome. I'm going to do some research on them.

    Oh, update! I decided that I need more time to think about fish (plus I'll be going out of town soon and it's probably wise not to add fish until I'm going to be home for good) but I'm antsy for something other than the bladder snails so I did a big water change to drop the nitrates and added some ghost shrimp and a golden mystery snail. I"m so happy to have them in the tank.
     
  14. S

    Small Tanks Valued Member Member

    OMG you need some cories in that tank! They would love it! Mine play in sand all day and would think that's heaven!

    I keep sterbai cories at 80F, they like slightly warmer water than most of the other breeds.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    r_e_g

    r_e_g Valued Member Member

    Oh I agree; I pretty much decided that once I got sand that cory cats were a must! They will have the healthiest barbels of all time :)

    ...And I now have 6 glowlight tetras. I decided that since they're so much smaller than the cory cats, they'd be less of a risk as far as overloading the biological filtration capacity goes. In a few weeks I'll add to their school and a few weeks after that I'll get something else, maybe ember tetras. Tiny fish look awesome in this big tank, especially when they swim right through the passage in the middle.