Stocking ideas for planted tank with sump - is this overstocked?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by bigdreams, Aug 11, 2015.

  1. bigdreamsWell Known MemberMember

    Hi all,

    I'm building out a 55gallon natural planted tank (Walstad method) with a 29g FW sump. (A bit overkill i know but the dream is for this to become a planted discus tank in a year or two, also to have better water parameters etc; besides sumps are fun and easier to clean than canisters from what I've read)

    A tank build out journal will be posted soon, in the meantime, I have questions about stocking the tank. I had hoped to do the following:
    • 50 cardinal tetras
    • 6-12 cory sterbae?

    There will be lots of plants in the tank (in my 10 gallon the fish are pressed up against the wall, figuratively and literally sometimes, with all the hornwort in addition to other stem plants), and I plan to dump tons of hornwort into the sump, in addition to all the plants in the display tank. The plan is to let the plants take hold for about a month before adding in any fish.

    When I plug into AqAdvisor, it says my 55 gallon is overstocked, but wondering if you all agree with that. Not sure how to take into account the sump (just increase the "tank size" to 75 gallons?), and its filtration. For now, I just listed a Hydro Sponge V (for up to 125 gallons) as the filter. Also since this tank will be full or hornwort, I dont anticipate having ammonia issues. (My other 10g heavily planted tank registers 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, 0 nitrates after being setup for over 2 months).

    Or, I may do:
    • 50 cardinal tetras
    • 9-12 rasboras (i currently have 3, was going to add a couple more)
    • 2 panda corys (they are the survivors from my other tank)

    I need consolidate the 10gallon planted tank into this 55gallon tank, and turn over the 10g to my betta (I had thought about putting him in the 55gallon tank, but it's too much stress for me, LOL).

    Any suggestions on how much to push the AQAdvisor recommendations? Also, do the above seem reasonable for a 55gal + 29 gal sump? (I figure that's a lot of water, even if the sump is only 50% full)

  2. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    I'm afraid I can't help much with stocking - for the first plan, the cories sound good. Not sure about the cardinals though - that may be too many.

    For the second plan, again, maybe too many cardinals. But if you do panda cories, you should up the number to 6+ as they are schooling fish and do better in larger groups. You'll also need to be aware of their temp requirements - pandas are cooler water (<75 F) cories.

    If you're planning on doing discus later on, they're better in species only tanks. Are you planning on adding them to the existing stock, or will you rehome everyone? Personally, I'd recommend very lightly stocking the tank so it'll be easier to rehome when it's time for the discus (unless you're talking about years in the future for the discus...)
  3. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    I wouldn't do panda cories, they need cooler water than cardinals, which need warmer water.
    I would do the first option.
  4. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    Slim bodied small fish like Cardinal tetras with the extra volume with the sump, 50 would be fine. Warmer water corys will work too. I would not put anymore schooling fish with that many tetra though.
  5. bigdreamsWell Known MemberMember

    Yes re: pandas... scratch that idea, maybe they can go back into shrimp tank.

    What's a good center piece fish for this set up? (Option #1)? The betta is out, I think I would be to worried about it attacking or getting attacked. Do you recommend adding a dwarf gourami?
  6. TexasDomerFishlore LegendMember

    A DG would be fine with the cardinals and sterbai cories.
  7. BDpupsWell Known MemberMember

    Center piece fish? With all the tetra I would call those your center piece. Anything else would be lost.
  8. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    A pair of pearl gouramis.... or opaline gouramis.
  9. bigdreamsWell Known MemberMember

    True... would be nice to have a larger fish in there though. Hmmm. Choosing fish is harder than I thought ;)

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