Newbie Question - Order of buying fish

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Luniyn

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Found this great site before I recently bought my tank and found most of the information I needed thanks to it's great community. However, there is one question that I didn't really see an answer to, and that's the order in which to buy my new fish. For example, I have a 20 Gal tank and my first 2 fish were Red Eyed Tetras which my 2 kids named Spike and Spotty (of which they have neither... kids ). Now I'm letting them get the Nitrogen cycle going and waiting till I can get some more fish for my tank. The question is what should be my next purchase? Do I next get 2 more Red Eyed Tetras followed by 1 more a few weeks after that so I then have my desired 5 in the tank before starting on another species? Or should I instead get a pair of Cory Cats followed by a pair of Red Eyed Tetras... another Cory Cat... and finally 1 more Red Eyed Tetra for a grand total of 5 tetras and 3 cats?

On a related note, I didn't do my homework about the tetras and thought I saw on the pet store tank that they only got up to 1.5"-2" in size. Now seeing that they get to be 2.75" that really hurts with a 20 Gal. tank. I've seen on some other sites that Cory Cats can range from 1"-3", is that just young to old or are there really some types that are smaller adults? Even at 5 Red Eyed Tetras and 3 Cory Cats, I'm pushing the limit of my tank ((5x2.75")+(3x2.5")=21.25. On the flip side what if I were to let the tank cycle with the 2 Red Eyed Tetras and then work on the 3 Cory Cats and now with the tank fully cycled get a smaller fish like the Neon Tetras. I know the Red Eyes like a group of 5+ but the 2 I have seem to really like each other and play tag all day long. Would that change without more of their kind in the tank or would they simply get too big and want to eat the Neon's?

Ok, way to many questions for a first post :, so how about we chew on those before I really start to ramble! ;D
 

bbfeckawitts

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Luniyn said:
Found this great site before I recently bought my tank and found most of the information I needed thanks to it's great community. However, there is one question that I didn't really see an answer to, and that's the order in which to buy my new fish. For example, I have a 20 Gal tank and my first 2 fish were Red Eyed Tetras which my 2 kids named Spike and Spotty (of which they have neither... kids  ). Now I'm letting them get the Nitrogen cycle going and waiting till I can get some more fish for my tank. The question is what should be my next purchase? Do I next get 2 more Red Eyed Tetras followed by 1 more a few weeks after that so I then have my desired 5 in the tank before starting on another species? Or should I instead get a pair of Cory Cats followed by a pair of Red Eyed Tetras... another Cory Cat... and finally 1 more Red Eyed Tetra for a grand total of 5 tetras and 3 cats?

On a related note, I didn't do my homework about the tetras and thought I saw on the pet store tank that they only got up to 1.5"-2" in size. Now seeing that they get to be 2.75" that really hurts with a 20 Gal. tank. I've seen on some other sites that Cory Cats can range from 1"-3", is that just young to old or are there really some types that are smaller adults? Even at 5 Red Eyed Tetras and 3 Cory Cats, I'm pushing the limit of my tank ((5x2.75")+(3x2.5")=21.25. On the flip side what if I were to let the tank cycle with the 2 Red Eyed Tetras and then work on the 3 Cory Cats and now with the tank fully cycled get a smaller fish like the Neon Tetras. I know the Red Eyes like a group of 5+ but the 2 I have seem to really like each other and play tag all day long. Would that change without more of their kind in the tank or would they simply get too big and want to eat the Neon's?

Ok, way to many questions for a first post :, so how about we chew on those before I really start to ramble! ;D
Welcome to FishLore! I would suggest buying a test kit (liquid test) so that you can monitor the cycle. You will need to do water changes when the ammonia and/or nitrites get too high. Don't add anymore fish until the cycle is complete. It will take around 2+/- months for it to complete because there are fish in your tank and you will need to change water so that they don't die. About how many fish you can have; Cory cats would be mainly to pick up leftovers, however they do still produce waste. If I followed that 1inch per gallon rule I would be way overstocked, when I'm definatly not. I think you would have enough room for your red-eyes, 5 or so neons, and 3 cory cats. If you have more questions, feel free to ask. 8)

-Brianna
 
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bbfeckawitts said:
I think you would have enough room for your red-eyes, 5 or so neons, and 3 cory cats.
Thank you for the response. So you think it would be ok to just have 2 red eyes in the tank with those other fish or did you mean I could get the 5 I was originally thinking about plus those others?
 

bbfeckawitts

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Luniyn said:
bbfeckawitts said:
I think you would have enough room for your red-eyes, 5 or so neons, and 3 cory cats.
Thank you for the response. So you think it would be ok to just have 2 red eyes in the tank with those other fish or did you mean I could get the 5 I was originally thinking about plus those others?
As long as you have good maintenence habits (vacuuming/water changes), you can have your 5 red-eyes, 5 neons, and 3 cory cats. But others may disagree, but thats my personal opinion.

-Brianna
 
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Ok so that leads me back to my original question. If I do go for the 5 tetras should I buy them all first (after the 4-6 week cycle is finished of course and only one or two at a time. Then start on the cory cats, and then once I have all of them go for the neon's? My only fear is wouldn't 1 cory cat feel alone or maybe hide from the 5 tetras? Or will the tetras be so busy with each other they won't even notice I started added a different fish to the tank?
 

bbfeckawitts

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First off what you need to do is buy a test kit. We recommend the Aquarium Pharmasuticals (API) test kit. You can purchase this at petco/petsmart or your lfs (local fish store). When your ammonia gets too high (over .50ppm) you have to do daily 50% water changes so that the ammonia does not kill your fish.

After your tank has cycled you can get 3 more red-eyes, then 2-3 weeks after that, 5 neons, then 2-3 weeks after that, 3 cory cats.

Please DO NOT ignore the test kit suggestion. Your fish need you.

-Brianna
 
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Oh I already have the test kit (and that API one is the one I bought). My lps gives free water tests, but after I saw them do it the first time (they use the strips of paper not liquid tests) I knew I needed to do it myself. I've actually been doing 25% water changes every 2-3 days just to be sure it stays in the 0.25ppm range. Yeah it will make the cycle take longer, but I'm in it for the long haul so I'm not in a rush. Besides it's more important the fish live through this.

Thanks for the info, now I just have to decide on which cory cats to buy.... good thing I've got a few months to decide ;D.
 

_Fried_Bettas_

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Hi there,

Different cory breeds are different sizes, there are for example pygmy cories that are only 1" fully grown, and some that are in the intermediate sizes between the extremes
 
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Aren't Pigmy's the ones that are mid swimmers though? I defiantly want them on the bottom to provide life down there as my tetras will have the mid to upper parts of the tank covered. This has probably moved to a discussion best done on the cory part of these boards, so I'll probably take my questions about them there.

Thanks for the reply!
 

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Welcome Luniyn, to fishlore, sounds to me like you have a good start on your tank. Everyone has their own style of fish stocking, I would consider one thing though, if you get small anythings, to add to big of the same , it sometimes causes problems, and they don't just become one happy family. If it were me, I would try to get those tetras as soon as your tank has cycled, or if you break down and get them before, just watch your water changes really closely, you may have to do a 50% change every day. Glad you are here.

Fish in the Frozen North. 8)
 
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That's a good point. They might not like any addition to the tank after being the only 2 there for so long. Maybe I'm better off getting the more "armored" Cory Cats first to kind of get them used to the idea of having other inhabitants in the tank since they can take a little nipping better? Or like I mentioned in an earlier post, would the 2 tetras like it better to just be left as the only 2 of their kind and just go with other types of fish instead? There is of course the 3rd options that I'm just over thinking this way to much :.... but then again what else do I have to do while I way for my tank to cycle ;D.
 

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hi luniyn, welcome to fishlore........
tetras r schooling fish it is better to keep at least 6 of them in a tank to reduce their fin nipping habit. good tankmates for tetras r barbs, cories etc. these r schooling fish too.
or u can mix several species of tetras
 
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