Stocking Ideas!

Should I move the cories?

  • Move them all to the 38

    Votes: 1 100.0%
  • Keep the Pandas in the 20

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Keep the Sterbai in the 20

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
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BettaJazzHands

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Hi all! I am hoping that someone can talk this through with me. I am trying to figure out stocking for my new 38 gallon tank. So I am in the middle of that super exciting stage where 4ppm ammonia and nitrites are dropping to 0ppm within 24 hours and my fishless cycle is almost done! Thank god for preseeded media from my other tanks... It's only been three weeks, which is the least amount of time fishless cycling has ever taken. I'll be waiting another week to get my co2 injection stable before I add the stock.

Somehow I ended up with 6 Panda cories in my 20 gallon tank, along with 3 tiny baby sterbai corys that I had planned to move to the 38. They're very rare where I live so I grabbed them while my good LFS had them available. They're so tiny they barely impact the bioload, but I am aware of how big they will get as adults. The 20 gallon tank is totally stable at 0/0/05, moderately planted, and the stocking is light besides them. 8 Espie Rasbora and a male Betta. Everyone gets along amazingly and the corys school together despite being two different varieties.

SO here's where I need someone to talk it through with me.

I keep the 20g at 76-78, depending on the season. I know that that is too warm for the pandas even though they're breeding and happy and healthy. I want to give them the ideal environment because to be honest, they're my favorite fish by far. I know the Sterbai do better at warmer temperatures, but can tolerate panda temperatures as well. The original plan was to keep the pandas in the 20g, but now I am wondering if I should move ALL the cories to the 38.

Aqadvisor scares me, because I ran my stocking for the 38 through it and with

6x panda corys
3x sterbai corys
6x otocinclus
12x rummynose tetra

It says that I am not overstocked, even though to me, that seems like a lot more fish than I usually put in a single tank, although the 38 is my biggest tank so far (I live in a small apartment.) I would have really loved to put the Sterbai with more of their own variety.

So I ran the 20g through aqadvisor too, assuming that I keep the sterbai seperately.

6x Panda corys
8x Espie Rasbora
1x Betta (male)

However, what freaks me out is that Aqadvisor says that I am not overstocked even with the 3 sterbai with the other fish in the 20g. However, I know they get big and I feel like they wont have enough space.

So what do you guys think I should do? I am probably not going to put a Betta in the 38 so the temperature could be a lot lower, I'm thinking 74. Should I move all the corys over and not get more Sterbai? OR do you think a 38 could handle 6 of each? ( I really doubt it) Should I keep the pandas in the 20 where they are doing well and move just the sterbai over and get them more to complete their shoal?

I have the luxury of taking my time and figuring this out, I don't mind feeding the tank ammonia while I stabilize the co2 and figure out the stocking. Again, this tank will be planted in a nature style, hopefully with a DHG carpet on one side. I'm in no rush, and the 20g is perfectly stable while I figure it out, even if I do feel like it is overstocked currently.

I'm so torn, here. Also, as an aside, everyone I've spoken to says that Aqadvisor is conservative, but I feel like it's actually quite liberal. How is it possible that my 20g tank isn't overstocked with 9 corys, 8 rasbora and a Betta?

Thanks for reading this giant wall of text, sorry it's crazy!
 

TexasDomer

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The pandas need cooler water than the betta, which complicates things.

I'd move the betta to his own 5-10 gal tank, and that will open up space for you.

You could move the Sterbai to the 38 gal and add more. Leave the pandas in the 20 gal (is this a 20 gal long or tall?). The rasboras could go in either tank, and you'd still have room to add more fish to the 38 gal, and possibly both tanks, depending on the length of the 20 gal.

If you can't get more Sterai cories (is ordering online an option?), I would personally try to rehome them with someone who has more, so they can be in a larger group.
 
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BettaJazzHands

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I really don't want to move the Betta to another 10 gallon tank - I've got two Bettas in 10 gallons right now and it isn't something I want to do again. He also seems to really love being in the community, and spends about half his time hanging out with the corys. He had been in a 10g and was a fin biter despite heavy planting and perfect parameters, but in the community his fins have grown back out and he looks happy and stunning. Honestly I'd rather give the Sterbai to a friend than move the Betta. I was thinking after I moved all the corys I would maybe get him some pygmy friends. But, the Sterbai have become a part of the Panda Pack as we call them, so I almost feel bad separating them. Do you think that the 9 of them in a 38 would be overstocked?

It's a standard 20, not a 20 long, which is why I think I am leaning towards moving ALL the cories to the 38. However, I don't want to overstock, and I don't want to add too many more fish to the 38. A small school of rummynose and the cories would probably be it for the stocking.

I am not attached to the 6 otos, so I'd be happy to remove them if I could keep the corys together. I could order three more sterbai from my LFS no problem.

But would 6 Sterbai, 6 Pandas and 12 Rummynose be ok for the 38?
 

TexasDomer

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Pygmy cories need cooler water than the betta too.

It's great he's doing well with the pandas, but they're not temperature compatible and shouldn't be kept together.

He could be kept with the Sterbai cories, but a 20 gal high is too small for a group of Sterbai.

Rummynose need warmer water than the pandas.

If you won't rehome the Sterbai and can't get more, then just move all of the cories to the 38 gal, move the rasbora, and leave the betta in the 20 gal alone. Or leave the Sterbai with him and just more the rasbora and pandas over.
 
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BettaJazzHands

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Any reason you think I should move the Rasbora over? They have been in the 20g for a long time, I wasn't planning on removing them. They're temperature compatible with the Betta OR the Pandas (their bio says 72 - 81 degrees ) and I think he'd stay entertained with them in there with him.

I can get more Sterbai, like I said I can have them special ordered for me. I will rehome them if necessary to give them a good life, but I'd rather try to find a way not to. I could make the 38 a cory tank (which is fine with me) and do 6 of each variety, panda and sterbai, and maybe do a small school of harlequins or more Espies instead in the 38 to add center tank movement? Aqadvisor says I wouldn't be overstocked, but like I said, I don't trust them 100%.

OR.

I could move the Betta and the Sterbai to the 38 gallon as a higher temperature tank. Get 3 more Sterbai. Add the Rummynose. Leave the Pandas and Rasbora in the 20g and turn down the temperature to 73.
 

TexasDomer

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The last idea sounds like the best one, for temperature compatibility and tank size at least. Hopefully the betta won't harm/stress the rummynose or be stressed by them. You could even have 8-10 Sterbai in there.
 
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BettaJazzHands

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Thank you so much for talking this through with me. I have no fish oriented friends, they all think I’m nuts. Like I said - I just want to be able to give my guys the best life I can, and I don’t mind pulling strings to get there. Do you think the six pandas are ok where they are long term? I literally bought the 38 because I knew the Sterbai would get bigger so I really want them to be moved over. The Betta is probably the chillest Betta I’ve ever met and seems to only be happy in a community - but I do have a complete spare 10g set up for him should things go south. He’s a dumbo half moon, so he maneuvers like a cruise ship and can’t chase anyone. Plus the tank will be heavily planted so he’ll have plenty of room to hide out. The Rasbora don’t stress him at all and their tank is much smaller.

Next year I might upgrade the pandas to a longer tank and use the 20 for something else but if they’re ok in the 20 then I’m cool with that for now.
 

TexasDomer

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I think they'd be fine in the 20 gal, as they are one of the smaller cory species.
 
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BettaJazzHands

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They seem happy in there. I’ve found eggs on plants I’ve trimmed out. It looks like that’s the plan! The Betta is gonna be thrilled with the extra space.
 
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