Inherited A Tank - Looking For Identification, Advice, Etc! Help

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by captdavid, Jun 23, 2018.

  1. captdavidNew MemberMember

    Hello all,

    I recently inherited what seems to be a pretty well established tank, but starting from a point of little knowledge (other than the stickys here) I'm looking for advice! This will be a fairly long post so apologies in advance, and for my terrible photography. Also, I have no idea what to actually call things, so excuse my wording. I suppose I'm looking for insight in four domains:

    1) Equipment
    2) Identification
    3) Stocking
    4) Maintenance

    1) Equipment - or, is this the right stuff?

    It's a 36 gallon tank, with an Aquaclear 70 filter, some sort of sponge filter, and a Beamworks light that has blue (UV?) and UV + white light settings. Also some sort of fish food and water conditioner. See below:

    2) Identification - or, moving beyond red fish, blue fish.

    2 of these guys (~3")

    2 of these (larger is ~3")

    1 of these (~1.5")

    2 of these (~1.5")

    Maybe 15 of these? Seems like there's 2 or 3 types, all about 1"

    Not pictured:
    3 neon tetras (~1", only fish I knew)
    2 "sucker" fish, the brownish spiny ones with big mouths that hang out near the bottom or suck on the sides. They seem to always be hiding since I got the tank. One is actually fairly large (5-6"), and the only is ~2".
    A whole load of snails (easily 50+)
    Some of the fish seem to have reproduced, and there are tiny babies that hang out near the top.
    Miscellaneous plants/balls of moss. (wouldn't mind an ID on these too)

    3) Stocking - or, the Goldilocks equation.

    Does it seem like this tank is appropriately, or even overstocked? I would love another medium sized fish, but it seems like there's a lot going on in here already.

    4) Maintenance

    I was told to feed them once a day, change out some of the water once a week, and squeeze out the filters every few weeks. Does that sound about right, and what else should I be doing? Everyone was somewhat traumatized from the move, but seems to have acclimated well enough (though it's only been 3 days). I thought one of the small fish had died, but it seems to have rebounded. Everyone is quite active.

    Thanks for any and all input!

  2. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Welcome to FishLore!

    Okay, I can help with some stuff.

    The blue light is supposed to simulate moonlight. Other than that it doesn't do anything and isn't necessary. I use mine in the morning before leaving for work (since it is usually dark out when I leave) and have the wife turn on the white lights later in the morning once it is brighter out. The reason I do this is because when I used to just turn on the white light it spooked the fish and I'd actually had one fish jump out of the tank on two occasions...and I have a lid on the tank.

    The first pic: cory cat. Should be kept in groups of at least 5
    Second fish, don't know, but it sure is pretty
    Third fish Harlequin Rasbora. Also a schooling fish and should be in groups of at least 5 or 6.
    Fourth fish do nit know
    Fifth fish, looks like guppy's

    I can say your stocking isn't quite right since you have a couple of schools needing to be filled out, but since you have some fish I cannot ID, I cant give you good stocking advice. But I have no doubt someone who can will be along soon.

    You aquarium info says that you are familiar with the nitrogen cycle. That's great! So as far as water changes in a well stocked tank you're usually looking at between 35%-50% weekly. But you can let your nitrates be your guide. Ideally you want to keep the nitrates under 20ppm (and under 40ppm at the very most). So you should be looking to perform a large enough water change so that just before your next water change your nitrates are under 20ppm. Of course if you happen to have nitrates in your tap water that may be difficult to achieve, so in that case under 40ppm.

    As far as filter maintenance, squeeze the sponge in a bucket of dirty tank water with each water change and replace your carbon every month.

    Once a day feeding would be fine. I feed my fish once a day.

    Best of luck!

  3. penguin02Well Known MemberMember

    Welcome to fishlore! Pics in order :)
    Albino cory
    some sort of apisto maybe? EDIT: Looked at some pictures, and I'm guessing a cockatoo cichlid
    Harlequin rasbora
    Cherry barb

    The suckermouth fish are probably bristlenose plecos if they have spiny faces. Can you try to get pictures so we can confirm they are not common plecos?

    The water conditioner is to remove the chlorine from your water when you change it every week. I would get some Seachem Prime instead, and use it to perform a 25% weekly change.

    That's all I have time for right now, but I'm sure you will have a ton more advice coming. ;)

    EDIT: Just noticed your tank is next to a window. You will probably have bad algae issues if you keep it there, unfortunately.

  4. coralbanditWell Known MemberMember

    Second fish is an Apistogramma cacatuoides
    Fourth fish is a cherry barb
    Five may have endlers with the guppies ?
  5. bryangarWell Known MemberMember

    The second picture looks like a pair of apistogramma cacatuoides
  6. HolographiccowfishNew MemberMember

    The fifth picture definitely has fancy guppies good luck
  7. penguin02Well Known MemberMember

    Okay, I am back.

    Your tank is overstocked right now, and a lot of your fish require much bigger schools. I would rehome the harlequin rasbora (fish #3), cherry barbs (fish #4), albino cory (fish #1), and neon tetras. Most fish stores will take fish. That will leave you with:

    ~15x guppies and endlers
    2x cockatoos
    2x bristlenose plecos

    That is a good stocking for a 36 gallon bowfront. If you want fish besides those, you could always rehome some more and we could give you more stocking suggestions. Personally, I would recommend rehoming everything except the cockatoos (they are BEAUTIFUL!) and starting from scratch with fish that you actually want. There's a whole world of possibilities, and you shouldn't be limited to whatever you inherited ;)

    It's hard to tell in the picture, but do you have driftwood in your tank? The plecos require it to digest their food.

    I would buy freeze dried bloodworms, flake food, and some algae wafers in addition to the sinking pellets you already have. Fish need a varied diet to stay healthy. I would alternate feeding flakes+ sinking pellets one day and freeze dried bloodworms + algae wafers the next day. Then you can fast your fish on water change day.

    Water changes:
    You should buy a siphon to make water changes easier. There are tons of good ones, but I use the aqueon siphons. Just move the tube up and down in the water and water will start flowing into your bucket. Every week you need to vacuum your gravel (stick the siphon into the gravel and tons of gunk will be sucked up). Empty at least 25% of the water, but I would do 40-50% since your tank is overstocked rn and you might have ammonia.

    Before adding new water to the tank, put water conditioner (again, I would recommend getting Seachem Prime to condition the water) into the tank and treat for your whole water volume. Then fill the tank with tap water.

    Your filters will probably be very gunky since the tank is overstocked, so I would clean them every week. Squeeze the sponge and run it in tank water. Same for your filter media in the HOB (hang on back). Don't use tap water, because the chlorine will kill your beneficial bacteria.
  8. captdavidNew MemberMember

    Thank you everyone for the replies!

    I'm pretty sure it's driftwood, at least it feels like real wood. Is there a surefire way to tell?

    I picked up the other varieties of food you listed, will follow a feeding schedule as described. I forgot to picture it, but I do have a siphon as well. Will try a water change this weekend, and I'll pick up a vacuum as well.

    As to stocking, here are pictures of the other fish if someone wants to confirm what they are:

    I had a feeling it was overstocked, it seems like someone was collecting fish. I'll talk to my local store and see if they'll take some of the fish, I do feel bad for the loners in here. If I were to take your suggestion and really empty it out, what would be a good place to start in terms of learning what the options are to stock? The only fish I'm really partial to are the cockatoos (I'm glad you like them too!) and the albino guys (who I've taken to calling Mario & Luigi). The rest I could really take or leave. I'm not sure if the plecos serve a purpose in terms of tank ecosystem, because though I think they're cool looking I really never get to see them!
  9. Deku-CoryValued MemberMember

    Albino Cories are an Albino version of Bronze Cories, so they school together. Both can easily be found in almost any fish store, if you spot any I’d suggest picking up 3 or 4. They love being in bigger groups, and are very entertaining to watch. Also, don’t know if this matters at all to you but the Cory in the photograph appears to be a female. I would make a joke here about you changing them to Mario and Peach, but I have a female a Bronze Cory named Boris so I shouldn’t be one to talk.
  10. midnaWell Known MemberMember

    the second pleco is definitely a male bristlenose pleco (see all the bristles on his nose?). i'm not knowledgeable to tell if the first one is a female bn or a different kind of pleco.
  11. penguin02Well Known MemberMember

    I agree. Second pleco is a bristlenose and the first one might be a clown pleco.

    There are TONS of stocking options. I would suggest going to a store and writing down everything you like. Then we can help you come up with a definite plan. :)

    If you want to keep the cories, pick up 4 bronze cories to school with your two albinos. Then you can still tell them apart from their school. :p
  12. captdavidNew MemberMember

    Thanks for the info! They look to be identical in fact so it looks like they both are female, will have to change it to Peach and Daisy.

    Good to know. I think he's a cool looking fish, just wish I go to see him more!

    Good idea! I did a little eyeballing at Petco today, but I'll start writing things down once and make a new thread once I've cleared out the tank some.

    One last question, can you actually buy fish online? I've noticed some sites selling them, the fish will ship okay?
  13. N8_the_Gr8Valued MemberMember

    Yep! Fish ship okay. It is really helpful when you can select for them to ship a heat pack or cold pack based on where you live (which they do on reputable websites). They take no more than a day or two to arrive.
  14. penguin02Well Known MemberMember

    Fish can ship, but shipping can be 25-30 dollars. If you have a good LFS it’s usually worth making the drive so you don’t have to pay shipping.
  15. Deku-CoryValued MemberMember

    To add to N8, when you’re ready to buy fish some of the most highly recommended places by FishLore members are Wet Spot, Trins Fish, and Aquatic Arts. They’re a bit more expensive than prices at fish stores, but that’s because they usually get their fish from good breeders or breed them in house. Basically, you’re more likely to get healthy fish if you buy from a good online store.
    If you have any Local Fish Stores, check them out as well. (Honestly I forget to mention that all the time because somehow there’s absolutely no freshwater LFS’s around me.)
  16. Dk92New MemberMember

    That filter is way to strong for that tank in my opinion. Picture a treadmill on high speed non stop that's what your fish are going to feel like swimming against that flow. Get a aqua clear 50 or 2 aqua clear 30s on there
  17. penguin02Well Known MemberMember

    The Aquaclear 70 has 300 GPH (gallons per hour). Normally you want 8-10 times your tank volume in GPH. His filtration is fine, I might even suggest more filtration if you are going to stock heavier.

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