Stocking idea (16 gallon)

Amirul

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Hello,

I have a 16-gallon planted tank, fully cycled and is waiting to be stocked. Unfortunately, I am struggled to choose what fish to put in. I am planning to have a community but I won't mind a single species if they are attractive and active.

pH:7.0
Temperature: 25C-27C
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrire: 0ppm
Nitrate: 10ppm
 

TWiG87

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For a 16 gallon you may be better off with a slightly smaller species like ember tetras or chilI rasbora. Either would look great and you could have a decent sized school as well
 

AquaticQueen

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You could also do a community tank. A dwarf gourami with some smaller schooling fish would be nice. You could add some panda corys too as bottom feeders.

If you wanted to do a species only tank you could do an all-male guppy tank since your ph is a little more on alkaline side, and celestial pearl danios always look nice.
 

Otocinclus13

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You could also stock a bunch of male endlers. They're colorful and active, use every inch of the tank, and stay small so you can have a bunch comfortably.
 

Dewclaw83

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Amirul said:
Hello,

I have a 16-gallon planted tank, fully cycled and is waiting to be stocked. Unfortunately, I am struggled to choose what fish to put in. I am planning to have a community but I won't mind a single species if they are attractive and active.

pH:7.0
Temperature: 25C-27C
Ammonia: 0ppm
Nitrire: 0ppm
Nitrate: 10ppm
Did you ever decide what to stock it with?
If you did, I’d love to see a picture!
If you didn’t, I’d still love to see a picture lol
 
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Amirul

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AquaticQueen said:
You could also do a community tank. A dwarf gourami with some smaller schooling fish would be nice. You could add some panda corys too as bottom feeders.

If you wanted to do a species only tank you could do an all-male guppy tank since your ph is a little more on alkaline side, and celestial pearl danios always look nice.
Do you think 12 ember tetras and 12 neon tetras would be great? How bout silver tip tetra? But seriously fish only reccommend silver tip tetra housing them in tank of at least 70 litre

Dewclaw83 said:
Did you ever decide what to stock it with?
If you did, I’d love to see a picture!
If you didn’t, I’d still love to see a picture lol
Not yet! Ember tetras right now. I have gotten 12 of them and I am thinking to add other tetras.

It is only 5 weeks old, plants are still growing!
 

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AquaticQueen

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Amirul said:
Do you think 12 ember tetras and 12 neon tetras would be great? How bout silver tip tetra? But seriously fish only reccommend silver tip tetra housing them in tank of at least 70 litre
Sounds good since they both have pretty similar water, food, temperature, etc. preferences. IMO, I wouldn't do silver-tip tetras in anything smaller than smaller than a 20 gallon, but that is just my opinion.
 

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Great looking scape!!! I'd personally toss a dozen blue neocaridina in there to add some maximal colour contrast.

Alternatively, how do you feel about kuhli loaches? I know some people shudder at the thought of them, others love them. Might be cool to have them around all that open space on the left.
 
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Amirul

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FinalFins said:
What are the tank dimensions?

Looks great BTW :)
60cm × 30cm × 35cm

YellowGuppy said:
Great looking scape!!! I'd personally toss a dozen blue neocaridina in there to add some maximal colour contrast.

Alternatively, how do you feel about kuhli loaches? I know some people shudder at the thought of them, others love them. Might be cool to have them around all that open space on the left.
Thank you! I am not sure to be honest if i can add more fish. I have 12 embers and a pair of gouramis now. Usually I will check Aqadvisor to estimate my current stock density but im unable to access it

AquaticQueen said:
Sounds good since they both have pretty similar water, food, temperature, etc. preferences. IMO, I wouldn't do silver-tip tetras in anything smaller than smaller than a 20 gallon, but that is just my opinion.
Is there any way how to know if my tank is overstocked or not? I got a mixed reply when I ask others
 

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Amirul said:
Thank you! I am not sure to be honest if i can add more fish. I have 12 embers and a pair of gouramis now. Usually I will check Aqadvisor to estimate my current stock density but im unable to access it
AqAdvisor is a nice tool, but not state of the art. Stocking a tank is not just a mathematical process. Mostly experience and knowledge about the fish helps.

Amirul said:
Is there any way how to know if my tank is overstocked or not? I got a mixed reply when I ask others
For example your tank:
Your ember tetras will grow a bit and their feeding behaviour may not be messy, but a lot of food will be lost, because as soon as it hits the substrate most tertras will not go for it anymore.
The gouramis are similar but live a floor above the embers so to speak. They mainly eat closer to the surface. They also don't go for food below a certain level.

Now people often say: Ok, then I'll get bottomdwellers to eat up the leftovers. There's a common mistake: Bottomdwellers can not just live on leftovers and have a metabolism on their own, meaning they also poop and leave waste. I would always add their bioload fully to the bioload of a tank. Same goes for algae eating fish.

Finally if you want to make sure the system stays stable and your nitrates don't go through the roof it is best to slightly understock. Usually that means you could technically add something but in case something goes wrong (and be it that you can't do a waterchange for 3 weeks), the system will not crash.

If you want to push the stocking density, you would also have to balance this with more live plants and/or more filtration. While I like your tank, there are still very few plants and especially the gouramis would be glad to have floating plants or plants that grow up to the surface, because they would need more cover.

This is another thing: If you overcrowd a tank with little cover, all fish will be affected by this. It can be very stressful and stress is bad for the fishes immune system and that's where most cases of sick fish end up when you look for the reasons fish get sick and/or die.

For example, while my stocking isn't ideal for other reasons, I have a 80 liter tank with just 12 fish, of which most are going to stay below 3cm in size. I have great water parameters and they are stable. I could technically add up to 10 more fish, depending on which ones, but the stocking density is so easy to handle I see no need to.
 
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Amirul

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MacZ said:
AqAdvisor is a nice tool, but not state of the art. Stocking a tank is not just a mathematical process. Mostly experience and knowledge about the fish helps.



For example your tank:
Your ember tetras will grow a bit and their feeding behaviour may not be messy, but a lot of food will be lost, because as soon as it hits the substrate most tertras will not go for it anymore.
The gouramis are similar but live a floor above the embers so to speak. They mainly eat closer to the surface. They also don't go for food below a certain level.

Now people often say: Ok, then I'll get bottomdwellers to eat up the leftovers. There's a common mistake: Bottomdwellers can not just live on leftovers and have a metabolism on their own, meaning they also poop and leave waste. I would always add their bioload fully to the bioload of a tank. Same goes for algae eating fish.

Finally if you want to make sure the system stays stable and your nitrates don't go through the roof it is best to slightly understock. Usually that means you could technically add something but in case something goes wrong (and be it that you can't do a waterchange for 3 weeks), the system will not crash.

If you want to push the stocking density, you would also have to balance this with more live plants and/or more filtration. While I like your tank, there are still very few plants and especially the gouramis would be glad to have floating plants or plants that grow up to the surface, because they would need more cover.

This is another thing: If you overcrowd a tank with little cover, all fish will be affected by this. It can be very stressful and stress is bad for the fishes immune system and that's where most cases of sick fish end up when you look for the reasons fish get sick and/or die.

For example, while my stocking isn't ideal for other reasons, I have a 80 liter tank with just 12 fish, of which most are going to stay below 3cm in size. I have great water parameters and they are stable. I could technically add up to 10 more fish, depending on which ones, but the stocking density is so easy to handle I see no need to.
Hey Mac, thank you for checking out both posts. Anyway, I truly understand your point. Better to understock rather than overstocking. However, as it is currently, I have to dose nitrate and phosphate. NO3 concentration is at 5ppm whilst I am not entirely sure what is my P concentration, green spot algae have started to make an appearance as well. The plants are not growing as fast despite CO2 is added together with 9-10 hours of lighting. Currently, the filter turnover rate is 800L/hour.

The ember tetras while pretty they are, there is just not much activity in the tank. There will be at times when they form a shoal and I realise how unlively it is. The tank seems empty and boring. The pair fish, they are nice to look at but that is just it. I do not plan to add any bottom dwellers anytime soon nor in the future. I am aware that I need to feed them with sinking pellets and not to have them scavenge the leftovers.

With regards to the plants, I do plan to add floating plants later to cover the open water space. There are more aquatic plants than what's in the photo. The stem plants in the background and on the left side, together with foreground plants are still growing. I do plan to grow a bush of rotala and have the hygrophila grow beyond the water level.

The reason I asked was that I am contemplating between adding more fish or not. The tank as it is great but the tank is a bit dull. Little activity. At the same time, I do not want to stress out my fish so I have been wondering if I do want to add a bit more, what is too much?
 

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I can understand the dull aspect. If your tank can add the bioload, you could add a couple danios. They will zip around a little more. I have some in my tank that are kind of like sheepherders for my Black Neon Tetras.
 

MacZ

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I get your concerns and your wishes.

I am always quite sceptical of adding nitrates when there is plant soil in the tank. Honestly, as I have kept either plantless tanks with herbivorous fish (malawi cichlids) and otherwise biotope tanks, fertilizers and CO2 have never been much of a concern to me and algae where always welcome to consume the nitrates. In my experience longer lighting periods without fertilizers have always led to enough growth for a near-equilibrium. But that's your thing.

About the activity in the tank. Hm... tetras are maybe not the best choice, but they have the great advantage of low bioload per fish and low chances of spawning. In the same vein the gouramis are among the most peaceful of their group. If you want more life happening in your tank I'd possibly replace the gouramis with something else.

I'd abstain from livebearers and upper level fish, but maybe some small Corydoras (C. habrosus, C. pygmaeus or C. cochui. C. hastatus don't work well with embers as I recently found out.) could bring some live in this tank. Only downside, they would need much more cover in general to be out all the time, so these would have to wait until the tank is more established. Upside: You can replace the two gourami with up to ten of those Cories.

Leeman75 said:
I can understand the dull aspect. If your tank can add the bioload, you could add a couple danios. They will zip around a little more. I have some in my tank that are kind of like sheepherders for my Black Neon Tetras.
No lid and high waterline = Danios jumping out. :/
 
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Amirul

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MacZ said:
I get your concerns and your wishes.

I am always quite sceptical of adding nitrates when there is plant soil in the tank. Honestly, as I have kept either plantless tanks with herbivorous fish (malawi cichlids) and otherwise biotope tanks, fertilizers and CO2 have never been much of a concern to me and algae where always welcome to consume the nitrates. In my experience longer lighting periods without fertilizers have always led to enough growth for a near-equilibrium. But that's your thing.

About the activity in the tank. Hm... tetras are maybe not the best choice, but they have the great advantage of low bioload per fish and low chances of spawning. In the same vein the gouramis are among the most peaceful of their group. If you want more life happening in your tank I'd possibly replace the gouramis with something else.

I'd abstain from livebearers and upper level fish, but maybe some small Corydoras (C. habrosus, C. pygmaeus or C. cochui. C. hastatus don't work well with embers as I recently found out.) could bring some live in this tank. Only downside, they would need much more cover in general to be out all the time, so these would have to wait until the tank is more established. Upside: You can replace the two gourami with up to ten of those Cories.

No lid and high waterline = Danios jumping out. :/
Thank you! I really appreciate the thoughts. It gives me a clearer picture of what to plan and prepare.
 

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