Stocking a tank for a 4-year-old?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by loachaholic, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. loachaholicValued MemberMember

    I'm in the process of moving to my Nana's, and my little cousins comes over a couple times a week. I figured I could get a tank with some nice, bright and active fish that would be interesting to her.

    I haven't decided on the size of the tank yet, I'm thinking 10-20g.

    I guess tetras would be the best idea for having lots of motion, maybe 1 or 2 different schools and a couple of balloon mollies. I'd also like to have some kind of pleco, maybe a rubberlipped or clown? One that won't grow too big, but something that would have a lot of character for her to look at. Who knows, one day when she's older she may inherit this tank! :D
  2. NutterFishlore VIPMember

    If you want any kind of Plec for her you will need to have 20gal minimum. The only Plecs I would recommend even for a 20 gal are a Pretty Pleco or a Zebra Pleco. From what I've read Zebra Plecos are very expensive in the US & Canada. (think hundreds per fish)

    In a 20gal something like 10 Neon Tetras & 4 Pygmy Corys would probably work out best for her without the Pleco. Cory are more active & have bucket loads of personality when kept as a group of 4 or more. I've got a 15gal with Neons & male Guppies for my 5yr old. He loves all the motion & the colour. If you go smaller than 20gal then probably just the Guppys or Neons.

    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
  3. bolivianbabyFishlore LegendMember

    When my daughter was younger, she LOVED watching the Mickey Mouse platys at the LFS.

  4. ElodeaWell Known MemberMember

    I'm thinking along the lines of a 20 gallon tank with a sand bottom, and a shoal of maybe 6 kuhli loaches. Then maybe a pair of rams and some larger tetras (serpae, black skirt, etc.). I doubt that a bunch of neons will be entertaining for a young child. On the other hand, "those stripey eels" will be.

    Or for a real challenge, get a 10 gallon tank and put a single crayfish in it. Nothing else.

  5. cm11599psWell Known MemberMember

    The challenge is actually trying to keep the crayfish INSIDE the tank. :party0009::;laughing
  6. ElodeaWell Known MemberMember

    Oh, and by the way, I like crayfish 'cause they always insist on their own way. One day the sand in the tank is beautifully smoothened, and the rocks and ornaments are nicely put in a very eye-catching way; the next day there are burrows and ridges everywhere in the sand and the crayfish has rearranged everything in the tank the way he likes it. Most likely to barricade his burrow.
  7. loachaholicValued MemberMember

    All good ideas! Disappointed about the pleco though. What about bushynose plecos? They stay pretty tiny, don't they? I'd only go with one if I could get a 20g, otherwise I'd get a school of otos.

    I'm kinda on the fence with the rams, I personally don't really like that all that much but I know that my mom really likes them, and they are rather neat-looking, I could definitely see Becca liking them... could be an idea if I got the long-finned ones.

    Don't really like black skirts, looking for something really bright and fun. I'm toying with the idea of Cardinal tetras... A bit bigger than Neons, lots of color, might be the way to go. I think whatever tetra I choose to get I'll only have 1 school so I can have more of the same.

    I already have a few kuhlis, still trying to decide what to do with them... if they'd stay in my 30g when I turn it into a gourami tank, or if I'd put them in Wesley's 10g... and now a third option... maybe I'll just have to get more :p

    I'm guessing you say ONLY a crayfish 'cause they've got a bit of an attitude? I think I've seen 2 or 3 different ones at local pet stores (electric blue and red-clawed black come to mind offhand) but they've all been around $30... Don't get me wrong I think they're neat and I'd love to get one, but if it's the only one in their and it would kill any tankmates it's not really the alley I want to go for a kid's tank. Plus whenever I see them in the stores they're pretty lifeless, I want something that'll dance for her.

    Sudden strike of thought: what about killifish? They're pretty small and brightly colored, from what I've seen of them. DOes anyone have experience with them? I don't know a whole lot about them.

    EDIT: Also looking at Rainbowfish now :) Praecox and Featherfin both look like they'd fit in well (trying to keep the schooling fish 2in or under). I've never had rainbowfish before though, so I don't know if they'll be as active as I want them to... they don't seem to move around a whole lot in the store, but I know Mom's cardinals are always chasing each other...
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2010
  8. ElodeaWell Known MemberMember

    Yep, crayfish will try to eat any fish they could catch. Ask Jaysee how he keeps a crayfish in his community tank. They are rather reclining and prefer to hide, but will come out time to time. Kinda like a kuhli loach.

    The problem with killifish is that they're pretty sensitive to water params and many species have a very (as in 1 year or less) short lifespan.

    I would recommend neons in a new tank over cardinals, cardinals are rather delicate and do not fare all that well in a new tank.

    I would be against otos and plecos in general in a new tank unless you have an algae farm running outside, because otos prefer an aged tank and plecos sometimes refuse algae wafers, insisting on real algae.
  9. Gouramiguy17Well Known MemberMember

    IMO I would take her to the pet store and ask her to pick all the fish she likes, then write all the names down and research them and see if they are compadibile with your tank and water. Then you can stock a tank to her liking.
  10. ElodeaWell Known MemberMember

    But don't bring your wallet. You seriously don't know the temptation to buy something at the LFS. Justbring a notepad and pencil, jot down the names of the fish, and research at home. Great idea, Gouramiguy.
  11. loachaholicValued MemberMember

    Great idea!

    I'd been thinking I'd pretty much just be 'surprise!' but I guess the only way to be sure from the start she'll find them interesting is to bring her along. I just hope she doesn't fall in love with something I can't handle.

    Guess I should talk to my uncle about it next time he comes over. Make sure to tell him I'll be the one taking care of it, he'll probably dig it. Maybe I can make one for Cain too when he's old enough...

    I'll have to steele my wits for the endeavor, though- having to tell her 'no' on fish that'll get too big or bully the others. But you never know, she might fall in love with some fish that I've been wanting myself, but haven't gotten for some odd reason.

    And don't worry, I won't bring my wallet. I don't even have a tank yet, where would the poor things go?
  12. bassbonedivaFishlore VIPMember

    My son LOVES his platies (he's 6)! He has a male dawn/parrot, a female marigold variatus, a female blue rainbow wag and three sunset coral dwarfs. He now also has six tiger barbs and an opaline gourami in his 29gal tank in his room at my house. He picked out everything except the gourami (I've always wanted a gourami, but one wouldn't be compatible with my 55gal as it is right now, so I snuck one into the stocking list on my son's tank :p ).
  13. Khory4611New MemberMember

    You can't go wrong with a few Albino Cory's. They are full of personality and really stand out. My favorite fish:)
  14. aquariumgirl laurenValued MemberMember

    You could always go with some glofish because they are super colorful and pretty active too, your daughter might like them.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2010
  15. e_watson09Well Known MemberMember

    yeah I was just about to mention glofish as well all the little kids that come into the store I work at want the glofish they're active and bright colored which makes them great for kids.
  16. loachaholicValued MemberMember

    After thinking a lot about it I think I'm not to go with such a huge setup for her just yet. She's too young to be really interested in setting the whole thing up, and I think trying to get her to pick out fish would be a bit too difficult with all the different kinds of fish out there, what if she falls in love with ones that are incompatible...

    So I've decided I'm going to get her a goldfish for her 5th birthday!

    I think that'll be much better for her, to have just one fish that she could name, and every time she came to visit she could come upstairs and feed 'her' fish. This would really work if I got a pretty big tank (I'm thinking 30-40g for a fancy) then I could maybe keep some weather loaches in there (for me- if it's gonna be in my room...) or perhaps some danios, and in a few years when her brother turns 5 he could get his own goldfish in there. And when she's older, maybe 7 or so, THEN we can do a build together and I can have her pick out all the fishies she wants. Perhaps this will coincide with her parents deciding she's old enough to take care of a goldfish herself and I'll have a big empty space for a new tank.

    EDIT: Forgot the biggest reason to go for this idea: Mom's thiiis close to agreeing to a pond in her backyard, so if her goldie got too big to keep in a tank we'd still have a place for him to live, years and years and years after I gave him to her!
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  17. HOWsMomWell Known MemberMember

    There is a 10g tank in my boys' room. The boys are 3 and 7.
    There are a pair of dalmation mollies in it (older boy picked them out), 4 molly fry, and a few ghost shrimp.

    There is a 5g tank in my daighter's room. She's 5. It's got a betta in it.
  18. ElodeaWell Known MemberMember

    A 30 gallon could have 2 fancy goldfish, a 40 could have 3. Have fun picking the goldies!
  19. e_watson09Well Known MemberMember

    Goldfish usually don't mix well with other freshwater type fish. Just because they're a really dirty fish. But I just figured I'd mention that before you went out and bought something else.

    Also Fancys don't do as well in ponds as the comets, koi and sumbunkin (or however you spell it) the fancys are much slower so a passing cat or bird will likely get them. I'm not saying they can't go in a pond but they really just don't do well or last at all from what I've heard.
  20. ElodeaWell Known MemberMember

    Yep, that's right, E_Watson. By the way, it's spelled "shubunkin". :)

    Goldfish actually mix decently with some other fish. Dojo loaches and some larger minnows actually do fie in goldfish tanks. However, remember that goldfish DO have some pretty big bioloads, and are coldwater.

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