Stocking ideas for four new tanks?

lilirose

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I haven't posted here in quite a while but I have been keeping tanks since the early 1980s. I currently have four nano tanks and have decided to turn my living room into a fish room (small house, lol). I am very experienced with nano tanks and really have no desire to set up a huge tank- I'd rather have many small tanks.

At the moment I have four new tanks on order: one 72 liter (19 US gallons), one 54 liter (14 US gallons), and two 30 liter (8 US gallons). I plan to fishless cycle and heavily plant but stay low-tech (no CO2), then stock when the tanks and plants are well established.

I love Bettas and Gouramis, but I already have two domestic Bettas and am about to get two Betta Imbellis for my established 90 liter (23 US gallon). I'm thinking about trying something completely new to me, like GBRs, Apistos, or Kribensis, but I've never kept dwarf cichlids, and all the info I find online assumes that everyone will want to breed. I do not want to breed my fish, because I live in an extremely rural area and there is nobody who will buy the babies, but I don't know if you can keep only males or if they will fight, or if you can keep one of them on its own.

I didn't post this to the cichlid forum because I'm also looking for other possibilities. I can say that at least one of these tanks will be a shrimp-only tank, but I haven't decided which one yet. I'm also thinking of getting a pea puffer but I also haven't kept those before and don't really know how easy/difficult they are to feed. I'll probably stock the bigger two tanks with tetras or rasboras, but I'm looking for suggestions for one or two centre-piece fish mainly. I'm also considering dwarf gouramis in the biggest of the three.

Any suggestions or advice?
 

CichlidFreak7000

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I have never kept pea puffers or gouramis before, but i have kept apistos and kribs. Kribs are definitely more hardy, which isnt very surprising considering they live in almost all different water conditions- from 6.5 to 8.5. The only problem about kribensis is that they have varied personalities. Many are very peaceful, often to the point where they are chased by the other fish, but a lot of them are very aggresive and refuse to be near other fish. The minimum would be around a 20 gallon. I recommend females because they have excellent body color and pink bellies. They also tend to be smaller than males.
Apistos are definitely more peaceful, but are less hardy. I have not had much success keeping them, likely because of my water. They come in many more species and varieties. Apistos arent as interesting personality-wise, but have better finnage. Apistogramma cacatuoides males have red spotted fins, but a very pale body if kept much more than 7.5 ph. The females also have better body coloration, similar to the kribs.
Based on what i have heard about rams, they are beautiful in coloration, but much less hardy and require 80 degrees farinheit or more.

I reccomend kribensis because of my success, but its up to you to way the pros and cons for yourself.
 
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lilirose

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I have never kept pea puffers or gouramis before, but i have kept apistos and kribs. Kribs are definitely more hardy, which isnt very surprising considering they live in almost all different water conditions- from 6.5 to 8.5. The only problem about kribensis is that they have varied personalities. Many are very peaceful, often to the point where they are chased by the other fish, but a lot of them are very aggresive and refuse to be near other fish. The minimum would be around a 20 gallon. I recommend females because they have excellent body color and pink bellies. They also tend to be smaller than males.
Apistos are definitely more peaceful, but are less hardy. I have not had much success keeping them, likely because of my water. They come in many more species and varieties. Apistos arent as interesting personality-wise, but have better finnage. Apistogramma cacatuoides males have red spotted fins, but a very pale body if kept much more than 7.5 ph. The females also have better body coloration, similar to the kribs.
Based on what i have heard about rams, they are beautiful in coloration, but much less hardy and require 80 degrees farinheit or more.

I reccomend kribensis because of my success, but its up to you to way the pros and cons for yourself.
Thanks! I use RO water due to extremely poor tap water in my area, so I have the luxury of mixing it up to match whatever species I choose. I already keep my Bettas at 26.8C (80F). Why do you consider that temperature to be problematic?

I'm curious, again, about whether dwarf cichlids are happy living alone (without a partner or others of their species). I'm concerned that if I have more than one fish and they become aggressive towards each other, I will have problems finding a new home for one of them. Would one be happy, colourful, and active if it lives alone?

JettsPapa said:
If I was doing a nano tank I think I'd do either sparkling gouramis or celestial pearl danios (since I already have shrimp).
I bought Sparkling Gouramis last year for my 90 liter. Two mistakes were made: first, I let the LFS guy convince me that I didn't need a lid on the tank, and several turned into crispy carpet fish. :( Also, Sparklers really like a well established tank, not simply a cycled tank but one that's been running for a while. So I no longer have Sparklers. I might try again, but it was heartbreaking to lose them when I thought I would be a great Foo the Flowerhorn copycat (though to be fair I never tried a filterless tank and I've no plans to). I'm really taking my time with this set of tanks, and will gladly wait several months to add fish if they will be happier in a better-established tank.

I will almost certainly put CPDs in one tank as dither fish- I've been wanting some of those for a long time! :)
 

!poogs!

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Have you been in my fish room lol. Kribs are good in a 20 gallon tank. But only if you have a male and a female. 2 males or 2 females and the fighting is not good and 20 gallons is two small. They don’t seem to like to be the only fish in the tank. 46514A4B-DC84-45A2-BA62-C9BA8E544EB1.jpeg8309B6B5-7E7F-482A-A809-DC08D31EA5F4.jpeg

A ten gallon idea might be a German Blue Ram.
image.jpgimage.jpg

excuse the plants in the 20 gallon. CO2 issue had an algae outbreak in correcting.

the ram tank they aren’t blinging their colors because they the dimmer timer is set 3% for the morning just to get them going , otherwise beautiful vibrant colors. Not as hard to keep as the literature out there suggests.
 
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lilirose

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My worry about buying a male and a female Krib (or other dwarf cichlid) is that I do not want them to breed, and I doubt you can prevent it if you have a pair- though maybe I'm mistaken? The other issue is that I understand that just because you put a male and a female together in a tank doesn't mean they will get along with each other.

I guess I'm more concerned than a lot of people that my fish actually are happy, or as happy as they can be in a box of water, lol- which is why I keep asking if they are okay living alone. My nearest LFS is a 2.5 hour drive away (well, there is one closer, but they only sell livebearers and goldfish, neither of which I'm at all interested in)- so if my fish dies from stress after three months, it's not exactly a small thing to go get more.

I understand that a lot of sites say dwarf cichlids must have a 20-gallon tank. Where I live, the "standard tank sizes" are not sold at all, and all the available tanks are measured in liters only. I think the 72 liter (19 gallon) will be fine (I'm having it custom built, it will be longer than it is tall) especially as it will be very heavily planted- and when I say "very heavily", I'm talking about "so many plants that you can't see to the back of the tank". My 90 liter is like that now. Any fish that needs to hide will have plenty of hiding spots.

Hoping someone will tell me about feeding pea puffers? I'd definitely put a pea puffer in one of the 30 liter tanks but I have heard they refuse to eat anything but live food, which is a problem with the closest LFS so far away.
 

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lilirose said:
I understand that a lot of sites say dwarf cichlids must have a 20-gallon tank. Where I live, the "standard tank sizes" are not sold at all, and all the available tanks are measured in liters only. I think the 72 liter (19 gallon) will be fine (I'm having it custom built, it will be longer than it is tall) especially as it will be very heavily planted- and when I say "very heavily", I'm talking about "so many plants that you can't see to the back of the tank". My 90 liter is like that now. Any fish that needs to hide will have plenty of hiding spots.
It really depends on the footprint of the tank rather than gallons.

Dimensions would help.
 
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lilirose

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It really depends on the footprint of the tank rather than gallons.

Dimensions would help.
It's going to be 600x300x400mm.

I wasn't actually asking "will that be big enough", though. I've been in this hobby long enough to understand that there are no rules so hard that you don't have a US gallon's worth of wiggle room- if that were the case, we'd tell people not to put any hardscape at all into a 20 gallon long, as rocks and wood displace water.
 

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lilirose said:
It's going to be 600x300x400mm.

I wasn't actually asking "will that be big enough", though. I've been in this hobby long enough to understand that there are no rules so hard that you don't have a US gallon's worth of wiggle room- if that were the case, we'd tell people not to put any hardscape at all into a 20 gallon long, as rocks and wood displace water.
I understand that but my point is that what the references say online really don't give anyone much info. 20 gallons could mean a 1x1 inch footprint and a really tall tank or a 1 inch tall tank with a very large footprint.

In a 60cm by 30 cm tank I feel it would be better to go with something like honey gouramis over dwarf cichlids.
 
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lilirose

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FinalFins said:
In a 60cm by 30 cm tank I feel it would be better to go with something like honey gouramis over dwarf cichlids.
Okay, thanks for that, though I hadn't planned to get something I've kept in the past- if it's more Gouramis it will probably be Chocolate Gouramis as they are the only smaller Gourami that I haven't kept before.
 
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lilirose

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FinalFins said:
Chocolate gouramis are very cool if you are up to the challenge- but they need a very low TDS and a pH under 6.:)
Yes, I'm aware. :) As I said upthread, I use RO in my tanks. That means I can mix water to exactly suit the fish I want to keep- in fact that's one of the reasons I have gone with many nano tanks instead of one or two bigger tanks, because I keep livestock that has very different needs in different tanks.
 

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I brought up Kribs because you mentioned it in your first post. I single female Krib in a 20 gallon over planted will work and be very happy.

I didn’t mention dwarf cichlids because of what they online or in a book for small aquariums. I mentions GBR because they are beautifully coloured and I had nothing to do with a 10 gallon tanks so I planted it up and gave them a try. It was my first attempt at them and I am pleased. Thought you might like it.

smaller than ten and heavily planted, me personally from my likes:

male guppies
beta
Danios
Cardinals or neons
Blue crawfish
Shrimps
Assassin snails
 
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lilirose

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!poogs! said:
I brought up Kribs because you mentioned it in your first post. I single female Krib in a 20 gallon over planted will work and be very happy.

I didn’t mention dwarf cichlids because of what they online or in a book for small aquariums. I mentions GBR because they are beautifully coloured and I had nothing to do with a 10 gallon tanks so I planted it up and gave them a try. It was my first attempt at them and I am pleased. Thought you might like it.

smaller than ten and heavily planted, me personally from my likes:

male guppies
beta
Danios
Cardinals or neons
Blue crawfish
Shrimps
Assassin snails
Thanks! Both Kribs and Rams are dwarf cichlids, so I'm a little confused why you say you "didn't mention dwarf cichlids"?

I know a guy who breeds rams, I might go for those- they are indeed extremely pretty!

I already have two domestic Bettas and am awaiting shipment of a pair of Betta Imbellis for an existing tank, as I said in my first post. I'm not at all interested in guppies or any kind of livebearer, and if I get Danios or tetras of any kind, they will only be dither fish in the bigger tanks. I plan for at least one of the tanks and possibly two to be shrimp-only (caridina), and I have a load of nerite snails so don't want assassins.

I guess I should have specified that I'm looking for species that are a little out of the ordinary and not easy beginner fish, as I have kept all of them in the past- I am not a newbie by a long way, I got my first aquarium in 1982. Water parameters are irrelevant as I use RO water which can be mixed to suit any species.
 

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lilirose said:
Thanks! Both Kribs and Rams are dwarf cichlids, so I'm a little confused why you say you "didn't mention dwarf cichlids"?

I know a guy who breeds rams, I might go for those- they are indeed extremely pretty!

I already have two domestic Bettas and am awaiting shipment of a pair of Betta Imbellis for an existing tank, as I said in my first post. I'm not at all interested in guppies or any kind of livebearer, and if I get Danios or tetras of any kind, they will only be dither fish in the bigger tanks. I plan for at least one of the tanks and possibly two to be shrimp-only (caridina), and I have a load of nerite snails so don't want assassins.

I guess I should have specified that I'm looking for species that are a little out of the ordinary and not easy beginner fish, as I have kept all of them in the past- I am not a newbie by a long way, I got my first aquarium in 1982. Water parameters are irrelevant as I use RO water which can be mixed to suit any species.
Wires crossed on the dwarf cichlid thing, that might have been me. Was trying to say I mentioned dwarf cichlids because you brought them up in your original post not because every one's mind goes to dwarf cichlids when they start thinking small aquariums around 20 to ten gallons.

I get your not a newbie. Then you know there really aren't any challenging fish to keep. The challenge is stabilizing water parameters and keeping it consistent in small volumes of water. You wont be challenged by the actual keeping of any fish you set out to have.

If it was me then, I would go for stunning colorful fish in a small tank. Something that grabs a persons attention in terms of behavior and overall appearance.

Hence, my suggestions above. Add cherry barbs to that list. If you want color and challenge, keep dwarf gourami, like a blue, neon blue, powder blue, or a flame. And good luck because in my parts they are hard to keep because of stomach issues or dwarf disease. I've tried and had poor success. They are nemesis fish. I had to stop keeping them. Lots of people think GBR are hard to keep because of water parameters and hormones used in hatcheries, and sterile from hatchery breeding methods. Personally, they are the easiest fish I have ever kept and bred. So challenging is going to be an individual thing, depending on where your successes and failures have been in your past fish keeping.

Good luck.
 
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lilirose

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Yes, !poogs! , I was responding to you, which is why I quoted you. Sorry I misunderstood what you meant, I understand now. :)

I totally agree- this hobby is more about keeping healthy water than it is about keeping healthy fish. I've actually never had a tank above 30 US gallons in all this time- I don't find them challenging or unstable now, but that's because I know exactly what to look for and what to do about it (hint: a correctly calibrated pH pen is invaluable- it means I can easily test the pH in every tank, morning and evening every day!).

I like Cherry Barbs, but I'm pretty sure they need a bigger tank than the ones I'm setting up?

I love the Dwarf Gouramis you mention, but DGD/Iridovirus is a serious problem- the best fishkeeper on the planet cannot do a thing to prevent or cure it, and those fish have so much personality that it's heartbreaking when they die. I wonder if that was the cause of your problem?

GBRs or Electric Blue Rams (or even both, in separate tanks) are on my short list, but again I really don't want fish that are likely to breed.
 

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lilirose said:
Yes, !poogs! , I was responding to you, which is why I quoted you. Sorry I misunderstood what you meant, I understand now. :)

I totally agree- this hobby is more about keeping healthy water than it is about keeping healthy fish. I've actually never had a tank above 30 US gallons in all this time- I don't find them challenging or unstable now, but that's because I know exactly what to look for and what to do about it (hint: a correctly calibrated pH pen is invaluable- it means I can easily test the pH in every tank, morning and evening every day!).

I like Cherry Barbs, but I'm pretty sure they need a bigger tank than the ones I'm setting up?

I love the Dwarf Gouramis you mention, but DGD/Iridovirus is a serious problem- the best fishkeeper on the planet cannot do a thing to prevent or cure it, and those fish have so much personality that it's heartbreaking when they die. I wonder if that was the cause of your problem?

GBRs or Electric Blue Rams (or even both, in separate tanks) are on my short list, but again I really don't want fish that are likely to breed.
No worries, it happens online.

That's why I mentioned male guppies and cherry barbs, or some of the egg scatterers above, so you wouldn't have to worry about that. I realize some of them are schooling fish and you may be cramped for space.

I should have been more specific about shrimp as most are prolific breeders. Amano shrimp is one of my favorite. Very difficult to breed. So wont cause you issues. They are my personal favourite.

I mentioned the electric blue crayfish, not because I have ever kept one, but I always have wanted to. I want one everytime I see one. I see them as a challenge because I have never had one. they are handsome.

I understand your concern on breeding. I am constantly swamped with fry, because that is challenging part of the hobbie I enjoy. It expensive. High reward, little return. I do it because I love it, I could care less if I get paid. I mostly give away everything I breed.

Whatever you go with comeback and post some pictures.
 
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lilirose

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Thanks !poogs! , I'm already an experienced shrimpkeeper who has Amanos in an existing tank and probably will add some to the new tanks as algae eaters, though the shrimp-only tanks will hold some kind of Caridina as I already have hundreds upon hundreds of cherry shrimp.

I don't mind Cherry or Caridina shrimp breeding in my tanks as they have almost no bio-load, so I will not really be forced to find homes for the babies- in my experience the shrimp population levels off on its own.

I won't keep crayfish as all my tanks are heavily planted. :) Unless the one you mentioned doesn't uproot and eat plants like other crayfish do?

I will post some pics of my existing tanks soon- I've been resisting because I have a severe planaria outbreak in the biggest tank, which I can't treat until I move the snails, and every time I take a picture I can see planaria all over the place. And of course I'll post pics of the new tanks as well, in the end I will have eight tanks in my living room!
 

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