New 60 gal setup

Discussion in 'Freshwater Beginners' started by bettabequick, Aug 3, 2015.

  1. bettabequickNew MemberMember

    I just got a 60 gallon tank!!! Much excitement, but I also realize I've got a lot of work to do. My tank dimensions are 48w, 13d, 24h. I don't have experience with a tank this large, so any and all tips, tricks, and opinions are more than welcome.

    After somewhat extensive research, I'm pretty sure I will (hopefully) be stocking it with one Black Veil Angelfish, three female Bettas, three Dalmation Mollies, four Dwarf Gouramis, three Hi fin Lyretail Swordtails, one Red Tailed Shark, and a handful of Cherry shrimp. (I have an extra 30 gal on standby in case the shark or angel don't work out. And yes, I realize my shrimp will more than likely end up as dinner, I may opt for ghost shrimp instead, but for the sake of a less aggressive invert, I will try cherries first)

    I started making fish selection based off of similar water parameters, compared general temperament, and stumbled upon a compatibility cross reference magic thing on a website called aqadvisor, and everything looks like it checks out okay.

    Of course I plan on heavily planting this tank and providing several different housing structures. I'd like to grow some java moss and water wisteria to help out with oxygen levels as well as supplementary silk plants to provide ample coverage for my new fish friends. I plan on introducing the more peaceful fish first, then slowly delve into the more aggressive, just so the shark doesn't think he owns the place and freaks out when I throw the gouramis in there. I read about driftwood for angels and the shark, but is that a necessity?

    Equipment is what has me most concerned at this point. I will be using two individual heaters, but was wondering about two filters. I'm unsure if I will actually need two (marineland penguin 200), or if it will cut it if I get one that performs well enough (eheim 2215).

    I am also concerned about flow rate in this tall of a tank, (again, no experience with such a size), and I don't know much about predicting dead spots and the like. For a tank this size, would an air stone be necessary? I know my current betta fish hate the disturbance caused by air stones, but they are in ten gallon tanks. Also powerheads? Do I need one?

    That turned into much more than I was initially planning on typing, so thank you for staying with it, and I look forward to your feedback.

  2. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to FishLore!

    Are you familiar with the nitrogen cycle?

    There are a few issues with your stocking. Your three bettas might not get along amongst themselves or with other fish. Bettas aren't generally considered good community fish. They can be peaceful one day, and go on a killing spree the next. They're called Siamese fighting fish for a reason!

    Also, the majority of the dwarf gouramis in pet stores are males, and males don't do well in a tank together. You could do 1 male and a few female dwarf gouramis or maybe just one male.

    Mollies and swordtails breed easily. You may want to go with a single sex to prevent fry (though if you did breed, your other fish would likely eat all the fry).

    Aqadvisor can be horribly inaccurate, and doesn't take into account many factors. It's recommended more as a gentle guideline than a rulebook.

    For heaters, you should have 5 watts per gallon. You'll need a total of 300 watts.

    You don't need airstones if your HOB filter can stir up the water enough. Same with a powerhead. What kind of filters were you thinking of? You may need 2 HOBs (depending on size).

  3. alinkWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore! :)
    Let me stop you here...
    Black Viel Angelfish - OK, but would depend on your final stocking.
    3 Female Bettas - NOT OK these do much better in their own tanks because of aggression.
    3 Dalmation Molly - OK if all Males or you want lots of fry
    4 Dwarf Gouramis - NOT OK. You could do a max of 2 if its densely planted, otherwise just 1.
    3 hi fin lyretail swordtails - OK if all Males or you want lots of fry
    Red Tailed Shark - OK, but would depend on your final stocking

    Don't trust aqadvisor. There are far too many variables in a fish tank to be able to calculate them all, and there are many known flaws to it. You can use it a loose guide, but it would be better to bring your stocking idea here for a final yes/no. Kinda like what you did.

    No, driftwood it not a necessity, IMO, unless you have a pleco. It does however add a natural vibe to the tank, which is the goal of many hobbyists.

    I will say that 2 marineland penguin 200 (400 total GPH), would be enough, but that wouldnt leave you with much extra, and extra filtration is a good thing. Ideally with HOB filters you want 10x the gallons of your tank to be circulated in an hour, 10 * Gallons = GPH. 400 is 6.6x, so it would work if thats what you are limited too. If you can do a canister then I think the goal there is about 5x the gallons.

    If you have two filters running and live plants, you likely wont need an air stone. If you use a canister filter then you might because the water being fed back to the tank doesnt break the surface of the water (this action does the same thing of an air stone). I would suggest leaving your bettas in their 10 gallon tanks. It would be better for them and your other fish. No, you dont need a power head. As for dead spots, you can use air stone or powerhead to get water movement through the area, but its not necessary. Just think, it makes it easier to clean when its all in one spot! lol.

    Are you going to use sand or gravel substrate?
    If you want live plants, I suggest an LED light. Check this one out as it would work great for your tank..
    How are you going to cycle the tank? Fishless is best, fish in is okay too, but it does pose a threat to the health of the fish if not done 100% correctly, and even still theres potential for loss of fish.
    If you follow my stocking advice, you will have:
    1 Black Viel Angelfish
    3 Male Dalmation Molly
    1 Dwarf Gouramis
    3 Male hi fin lyretail swordtails
    Red Tailed Shark
    Which would leave you some room left. If you choose to use sand, you could add a school of Cory Cats or Kuhlii Loaches. Stay away from small fish (less than 2 inches).

    Final thought, dont try to change your water chemistry to match what is suggested for the fish. Most aquarium fish will be able to adapt to most tap water if acclimated properly. Trying to get the perfect pH will result in fluctuations in the pH while you are trying to get it perfect. These changes can be very stressful for the fish, could weaken the immune system which could lead to diseases, and worst case scenario, result in a premature death for your fish.

    Sounds like a lot. Stay calm. Learn as much as you can before you get fish and you will find your fish tank to be a lot more relaxing with very few headaches. Trust me on this, I been there and had sooo many problems, but thanks to Fishlore, I have learned a lot and where I went wrong.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
  4. Dom90Fishlore VIPMember

    Agreed with the above. I would leave the bettas out and just get one dwarf gourami.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  5. BigBoom217Valued MemberMember

    Keep in mind Angelfish are cichlids and having that background depending on the individual can be very aggressive and on the flip so peaceful that it can be bullied to death observe the fish as it interacts with others and as much as you might sympathize for poor little guy getting beat up in the corner it might not be a fit with the shark UNLESS the angel is already a good size then it shouldn't matter

    Sent from my E6782 using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  6. fbnWell Known MemberMember

    If I were you, I'd consider substituting the female betta's and dwarf gourami for pearl gouramis. You would probably want a 1:3 male/female ratio. In my experience, pearls are incredibly gentle towards other fish, but the males do tend to chase the females. Thus, you need several females per male.
  7. JswinWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah 4 dwarf gourami is a bad idea. I just had to rehome one from my 40g because the other two picked on him. 2 max unless you can find females

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  8. bettabequickNew MemberMember

    Thank you all for the excellent advice. it' helping me de-stress about details I'm still fuzzy on and introducing other fish possibilities I wouldn't have originally considered.

    I haven't read enough on the nitrogen cycle to be completely familiar with it, but I do know that I will be cycling the tank well before I stock the tank. As far as filters, if I go HOB, I'll go with some series of the Marineland Penguin and have two, but I'm still trn between HOB and canister. I like that canisters require little less upkeep and they can turn water over a little more effectively, but I would just go with one (Eheim, probably) and I feel like I might have greater peace of mind with two filters should one go out.

    I have had success with female bettas in community tanks previously, so I thought I might be able to sneak a few into this one. I would go with female for sure, because any male would see the red tail shark's tail and lose it. I was also thinking about substituting the betta girls with platys, but then also read platys and swordtails aren't the best tankmates?
    I definitely don't mind fry, I would love to breed, but I am worried about aggression between males.

    Still up in the air about filters.

    As far as substrate goes, I was originally thinking gravel for the sake of the bettas, but I do love the look of sand. My only concern about sand is how to clean it. All my tanks have gravel, and my gravel vacuum does wonders, but sand seems like it would be to fine to employ a gravel vacuum effectively. I do like the idea of kuhili loaches. They'e gorgeous.

    I will be cycling the tank fishless to cut down on any possible losses. I was mainly looking for fish that fel into a pH level close to what I get out of my tap so I wouldn't have to worry about trying to adjust pH and deal with spikes and crashes (lost a couple glass cats to this before I knew better).

    My tank came with lights, but I'll have to double check what type of bulb they are...

    I've been reading as much as I can about all of these things to reduce losses and save myself from headaches. I'd hate to stock tank with a hundred dollars worth of fish only to have them go belly up because I didn't do my research.

    I love the idea of both angel fish and red tail sharks, so I went ahead and invested in a secondary 30 gal just in case they don't get along. I believe I will be getting them both at a juvenile stage, so as long as their growth rate is similar, I'm hoping for good results.

    Those are some gorgeous fish. I don't know how I skimmed past them!

    Dwarf gouramis were appealing because of their color and the fact that they don't get as big, and I think seeing them swim in pairs would make my heart melt, but it would also break my heart if one of them got bullied.
  9. fbnWell Known MemberMember

    Curious, what is your tap PH? Generally, having the perfect PH is not as big of a deal as the some of the industry makes it. Stability is what's needed. Most fish can adjust to different PH levels.
  10. BigBoom217Valued MemberMember

    Yeah, the angelfish and sharks should inhabit different parts of the tank.. I kept three angels with a rainbow shark with no problems.
  11. bettabequickNew MemberMember

    My tap pH is between 7.2 and 7.8. My flock of betta's and rasboras adjusted rather well to it.
  12. fbnWell Known MemberMember

    I would not be at all concerned about your PH, then, unless it fluctuates, which is stressful to the fish.

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