Please Help Me With New Tank Stocking

  1. Susiefoo Well Known Member Member

    I'd be very grateful for advice on stocking for my new tank. I have previously kept tropical fish but am getting back in after a few years' break, and want to do it right.

    The tank was given to me second-hand and is a Biorb Life 45 (I know, work of the devil, but I just have no room for a bigger tank at the moment). It is 45 litres and a tallish rectangular shape, dimensions width 38cm x depth 26cm x height 45cm. There is a heater. I have completed a fishless cycle (at ammonia 0, nitrites 0 and nitrates 5 currently on the API testing kit) and there are currently 2 male guppies in there who seem to be doing very well so far. I hope to add more fish once they have been in there a month.

    Ideally I would like to eventually work up to a total of 4 male guppies and 6 neon tetras. Is this going to be overstocked? I am getting wildly different results from websites such as AqAdvisor, ThinkFish etc. If this isn't a good idea, advice on different combinations would be welcome.

    Thanks in advance! Susie.
  2. BottomDweller Fishlore VIP Member

    Welcome to fishlore!

    Neons would need a longer tank, 60cm minimum.

    I would do this
    3 male guppies
    2-3 Asian stone catfish
    6 Amano shrimp
    1 nerite snail

  3. Susiefoo Well Known Member Member

    Aargh that should read height 58cm!!

    Also 45 litres works out to 12 US gallons, or so Google tells me.
  4. FishFish221 Well Known Member Member

    I would not get any fish for it except a few small fish or shrimp/snails. The footprint of the tank is about the same as a 5 gallon, so its best to follow the stocking of a 5 gallon for it and return/rehome the guppies. Neons need at least 60cm (like in a 10 gallon tank) of horizontal swim room and so do guppies. Heres a link for the stocking list for 5 gallon tanks : Stocking List For 5 Gallon Nano Aquariums

  5. Susiefoo Well Known Member Member

    Thanks so much BottomDweller! I'll go and look up the catfish. I've never had anything but fish before so will read up on shrimp and snails too :)

    Oh really FishFish? :(

    I really don't want to rehome the guppies that are here already, and not sure that I even can. Might 3-4 male guppies alone with nothing else be ok?
  6. FishFish221 Well Known Member Member

    It should be okay with a few shrimps and snails, but keep an eye on aggression (some individual guppies can be aggressive).
  7. goplecos Well Known Member Member

    Neon Tetras need a larger differently shaped tank. I would make sure you have someone to take the guppies because all male colonies don't always work, but I would still try it out. Asian Stone Catfish are hard to find, but you could easily do a colony of dwarf or Amano shrimp.

    Guppies can quickly adjust to less horizontal swimming room, but I wouldn't get more than 1 more, so 3 in total.

  8. Susiefoo Well Known Member Member

    Phew! Thank you both. My 4 year old son is already very attached to the guppies and has named them. Obviously the welfare of the fish comes first but if he would be devastated if we had to give them away. So, 4 guppies max and watch closely for aggression?

    I've looked up the catfish, they look great but apparently the rough substrate of Biorbs makes it unsuitable for catfish/bottom dwellers?

    Sorry cross posted! 3 max then? Will that be ok in terms of interactions between them? I heard you need a few to spread out the aggression but not sure if that's true.
  9. BottomDweller Fishlore VIP Member

    3 maximum. 2 would be better but I would worry about aggression, the larger the group the more spread out the aggression is.
  10. Susiefoo Well Known Member Member

    Thanks BottomDweller.

  11. BottomDweller Fishlore VIP Member

    Yeah they prefer a sandy substrate. Could you swap the substrate for sand?
  12. Susiefoo Well Known Member Member

    Apparently the ceramic substrate is a key component of the Biorb filtration system (it provides most of the biological filtration) so you aren't supposed to. I don't think I know enough yet to risk it!

    I'm happy with just the guppies. In the past I've had a tendency to overstock so it's probably best I err on the side of less.

    Watching a YouTube video on Amano shrimp now! They are strange beasts :)

    Daft question but will the two I have be ok on their own for a couple more weeks? I was planning to wait 3-4 weeks to make sure everything is ok with the new tank before adding more fish. They do chase each other around at times but also seem to hang around together in a friendly sort of way a lot of the time.
  13. BottomDweller Fishlore VIP Member

    Sorry I don't have experience with biorb tanks

    Yeah amanos are weird but pretty cool. I have a few
    ab15459971ddddcdf4ea56e13bd7c971.jpg Amano shrimp.jpg RabbitSnailAndShrimp.jpg

    They should be ok unless you notice major fighting. Really though in this tank size there may be fighting however many you have as there isn't much space for them to get away from each other. You could try adding lots of plants and hiding places.
  14. Susiefoo Well Known Member Member

    Oh, and while I'm here, and you're all being so helpful - I live in the North West of England and the water around here is very soft (don't have numbers, that's just what it says on our water supplier's website for the area). Will the guppies be ok? pH is actually on the higher side at 7.4. They were bought locally from a shop that I assume has similar water and seem to be thriving - does that mean they will probably be ok? Or do I need to do something about the water hardness?

    Nice shrimp Bottom Dweller! (Is it wrong that looking at them makes me ever so slightly hungry?)
  15. vikingkirken Well Known Member Member

    Instead of adding another guppy, why not pick up 2-3 endlers? They'll stay a bit smaller, and they and the guppies would be ok together, they're closely related.
  16. BottomDweller Fishlore VIP Member

    They should be ok :)
  17. Susiefoo Well Known Member Member

    Thanks VikingKirken, I did think about Endlers but I read that they shouldn't be kept with male guppies as they mistake them for females and harass them. Does anyone know if that's true?
  18. goplecos Well Known Member Member

    In such a small tank a full grown guppy male will pick on or even kill Endlers. So imo 1 more guppy and a few shrimp would be best.
  19. Susiefoo Well Known Member Member

    Here's the set up at the moment.

    Thanks Goplecos, will stick with the one more guppy then, and maybe some shrimp once I learn bit more about how to look after them!

    Attached Files: