Stocking Help

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fishy1234

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Hello everyone.

About a year ago I got a 29 gallon tank. All of the fish were doing great. This is, until I got a bristlenose pleco. Apparently my water was too alkaline for it so it died pretty quickly. It died overnight so I couldn't remove the body for a while. This created an ammonia spike and a chain reaction of fish dying. I left the tank alone for a while without any fish, with it gathering algae. Recently, I cleaned out all of the algae, added lots of new plants, and did a 95% water change.

A FugeRay Planted + will be arriving on Thrusday. I have flourite with a 1/2" thick layer of black sand over it as substrate. Will my tank be able to grow the micro sword plants that I just got? If not, what would be the best foreground carpet plant?

Also, right now, I only have 3 platies that I just got. They are doing great (the tank has already been cycled by the way). Eventually, I would like the stock to include (I most definitely won't get everything at once):
- 3 platies (the ones I have)
- 6-10 interesting schooling/shoaling fish (my favorites that I've seen are cardinal tetras, rummy nose, emperor tetras, ember tetras, dwarf neon rainbowfish, thread fin rainbowfish)
- 5 corydoras
- A pair of either kribensis, GBRs, or apistos
- Possibly some sort of unusual fish like a gobby, gudgeon, or killifish (or maybe that would be overstocked, what do you think?)
What do you think would be the best schooling fish that I listed (or that I didn't)? Would a pair of kribensis, GBRs, or apistos be best (I like the kribs the most)? Could I squeeze in some sort of cool/unusual fish in? If so, what type? My water parameters are listed below:

Temperature: 78°
Ammonia: 0
Nitrate: 0
Nitrate: 0
Ph: 7
Water hardness: 13, according to my water softener.

Is there a way I can prevent a killing like what happened before?

Sorry for overloading you with my insane amounts of questions.:emoji_astonished:

Anyway, thanks for any help.
 

Nicholas1234

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I don't know about the stocking but I wouldn't add fish until you're cycled again,the reason I say this is that the fact that your numbers are 0 across the board means you're not cycled but as to the fish you want to get you should talk to @TexasDomer she's the stocking Queen here on fishlore.
 

MattS99

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I'd wait on stocking too, but I'll give you some suggestions to ponder. Tetra wise, I know they're a little bit larger but I would recommend Colombian Tetras to anyone, I love my school. I've had them for two years. If you don't want to deal with fry, I wouldn't do kribs. I'm personally drawn to apistos, and there is a fish called a Bolivian Ram, similar to the GBR but is less fragile. Hope you got some good ideas from this!
 

MattS99

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I'd wait on stocking too, but I'll give you some suggestions to ponder. Tetra wise, I know they're a little bit larger but I would recommend Colombian Tetras to anyone, I love my school. I've had them for two years. If you don't want to deal with fry, I wouldn't do kribs. I'm personally drawn to apistos, and there is a fish called a Bolivian Ram, similar to the GBR but is less fragile. Hope you got some good ideas from this!
 

TexasDomer

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Hello everyone.

About a year ago I got a 29 gallon tank. All of the fish were doing great. This is, until I got a bristlenose pleco. Apparently my water was too alkaline for it so it died pretty quickly. It died overnight so I couldn't remove the body for a while. This created an ammonia spike and a chain reaction of fish dying. I left the tank alone for a while without any fish, with it gathering algae. Recently, I cleaned out all of the algae, added lots of new plants, and did a 95% water change.

Alkalinity shouldn't have killed the BN pleco. I'm wondering if something else caused the death.

A FugeRay Planted + will be arriving on Thrusday. I have flourite with a 1/2" thick layer of black sand over it as substrate. Will my tank be able to grow the micro sword plants that I just got? If not, what would be the best foreground carpet plant?

You won't be able to get a true foreground carpet, as the majority of carpeting plants require injected CO2 and high light. However, micro sword will spread. Something dwarf sag (spread through runners) or S. repens (you trim and plant the tops) will also create the carpet look.

Also, right now, I only have 3 platies that I just got. They are doing great (the tank has already been cycled by the way). Eventually, I would like the stock to include (I most definitely won't get everything at once):

How did you cycle the tank?

- 3 platies (the ones I have)
- 6-10 interesting schooling/shoaling fish (my favorites that I've seen are cardinal tetras, rummy nose, emperor tetras, ember tetras, dwarf neon rainbowfish, thread fin rainbowfish)
- 5 corydoras
- A pair of either kribensis, GBRs, or apistos
- Possibly some sort of unusual fish like a gobby, gudgeon, or killifish (or maybe that would be overstocked, what do you think?)

Most of those would work. I'd stay away from the threadfins as they won't compete well with the platies, and the rummynose don't have much temp overlap with platies, but the others should be fine.

Cories should be in larger groups - I'd do 8-12x, depending on what species you choose.

GBRs aren't temp compatible, so they're out, but Apistos or Bolivian rams would work. I'd stay away from kribs if you have cories - kribs can get very aggressive when breeding.


What do you think would be the best schooling fish that I listed (or that I didn't)? Would a pair of kribensis, GBRs, or apistos be best (I like the kribs the most)? Could I squeeze in some sort of cool/unusual fish in? If so, what type? My water parameters are listed below:

Temperature: 78°
Ammonia: 0
Nitrate: 0
Nitrate: 0
Ph: 7
Water hardness: 13, according to my water softener.

Is there a way I can prevent a killing like what happened before?

Sorry for overloading you with my insane amounts of questions.:emoji_astonished:

Anyway, thanks for any help.
See responses in green above.

Your tank isn't cycled if you have zero nitrates, so I'd wait until your tank is cycled before you add fish. Do you know about the nitrogen cycle?

What about something like this?

12-15x Cardinal or emperor tetras OR 15-20x Ember tetras OR 8-10x Dwarf neon rainbowfish
8-12x Panda OR false julii OR bronze cories (other species would work too)
2x Apistos OR 2x Bolivian rams OR 2-6x Peacock gudgeons

If you wanted one of the other fish (gobies, killifish, etc.) I think you'd need to change your general stocking plan.
 

fishy1234

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Thanks for all of the advise!

I did a fish-in-cycle (I'm sorry, I didn't know not to when the LFS told me to) with the platies. I don't think it's done cycling yet. Also, I'm not planning to add any more fish for at least a month. I'd just like to have a plan.

Personally, I'd prefer to have more of a variety of fish with smaller amounts of each species rather than lots of a couple types. If that isn't possible though, I'll do something along the lines of what's listed above. Also, my platies are actually pretty shy and I can barely feed them without scaring them as is (any advise?), so I doubt that they would be much of a problem for the threadfin rainbows (which I like a lot). If the kribs and GBRs wouldn't work, what kind of apisto would you reccomend that is cool looking and interesting to watch?

Thanks, and sorry if I sound like I don't know anything about this.
 

TexasDomer

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Thanks for all of the advise!

I did a fish-in-cycle (I'm sorry, I didn't know not to when the LFS told me to) with the platies. I don't think it's done cycling yet. Also, I'm not planning to add any more fish for at least a month. I'd just like to have a plan.

Fish in cycling isn't necessarily bad if you do it responsibly and keep your fish safe!

Personally, I'd prefer to have more of a variety of fish with smaller amounts of each species rather than lots of a couple types. If that isn't possible though, I'll do something along the lines of what's listed above. Also, my platies are actually pretty shy and I can barely feed them without scaring them as is (any advise?), so I doubt that they would be much of a problem for the threadfin rainbows (which I like a lot). If the kribs and GBRs wouldn't work, what kind of apisto would you reccomend that is cool looking and interesting to watch?

Unfortunately, that's not how most fish would prefer to be kept. Schooling fish should be in larger groups.

And the platies will become more bold. Threadfin rainbows are delicate and even more shy, and really won't do well competing against platies. If you want them, I would take the platies out.


Thanks, and sorry if I sound like I don't know anything about this.
See green above.

A. borelli or A. cacatuoides would be cool!
 

fishy1234

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Would this socking work below? Just a reminder, I already have 3 platies, I want to get one more, and I won't anymore fish for a while and I won't get all these fish at once.

- 4 platies
- 6-8 fasle julii cories
- 12 cardinal tetras
- 2 (pair) of some species of dwarf cichlid like bolivian ram, apisto, etc.
- 6 cherry barb (maybe if it isn't too overstocked)
- 1 pearl gourami/dwarf gourami (maybe if it isn't too overstocked)

I could could just get the cherry barbs or a gourami I would probably chose the gourami. I also would like some sort of algae eater if possible. Would you recommend a bristlenose pleco, a bulldog pleco, a group of otos, some snails, or some shrimp? I don't really a bad algae problem, I just like algae eaters and they seem to help prevent any issues.

Would that be too much or is that OK? Thanks!
 
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TexasDomer

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I would go with neons, not cardinals. And maybe 8-10 of those and 8 cherry barbs?

A single pair of dwarf cichlids should be fine!

I would go with 8 false juliis, not 6.

And I'd leave out the warmer water pearl gourami. Add a DG last, if you think there's room after adding all of the other fish.
 

T'sTropicalTanks

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I would do do a pair of apistos over the rams or kribs, because and more hardy and peaceful then the other options, 6 white skirt tetras (black variants are great also), 8 neon tetras, and the cories should do great in a group of 6 instead of 5. For "unusual fish" I would try 3 honey gouramis (trichoghaster Chuna) because they're the only gouramis that can tolerate its own kind in a small system. But I would do a 1:3 male female ratio to save any heartache
 

Anders247

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Kribs are pretty hardy, ime.
I wouldn't do a pair of cichlids, it's better to do a single in this size tank, if they breed.
 

TexasDomer

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I still think you'd be fine with a pair if you chose one of the more peaceful species (rams, Apistos). Bolivian rams don't seem to breed in most tanks anyway.
 

fishy1234

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Thanks for all your help! I've decided that I don't really want the cherry barbs anyway.
So I think my stocking will be like this:

- 4 platies
- 8 fasle julii cories
- 10 neon tetras
- 2 (pair) of some species of dwarf cichlid like bolivian ram, apisto, etc.
- 1 dwarf gourami

Just out of curiosity, would there be any other bottom dwelling fish like zebra loaches, bn pleco, etc that would work in my tank instead than just the usual cories? I really like corydoras, I'm just wondering.
 

vikingkirken

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If you do cardinal tetras instead of neons, you could do kuhli loaches on the bottom instead of cories.
 

TexasDomer

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You can do kuhlis now, without switching to cardinals. Kuhlis are temp compatible with neons.
 

vikingkirken

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Hmm, one where FishBase and Seriously Fish don't agree... one says 75-86 for kuhlis, one says 70-79.
 

fishy1234

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My LFS doesn't seem to have any "pairs" of anything. In fact, my LFS only has male apistos. So instead of doing a pair of dwarf cichlids, could I do a single dwarf cichlid like a cockatoo cichlid or a kribensis? Or maybe two males?
 

TexasDomer

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You could do a single male? I would not do two males of most any species in this size tank.
 
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