Tank set up and questions for a beginner (Updates pg 4: problems! HELP!)

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greenidentity

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First off, let me say I am so glad I found this site! Very informative. Me and my boyfriend have recently started a new tank. He is somewhat more knowledgable with fish and tank set-ups, as he has had experience on and off throughout his life. However, now that we have some things going on, I wanted to see if anyone could give me advice on what kind of fish to get? Here's the current set up.

37 gallon tank, we have:

2 Albino Cory's
2 Chinese Algae Eaters (I've been told these may eventually be aggressive)
1 Blue Neon Tetra
1 Black Neon Tetra
2 Underwater Frogs ( I don't know the proper name for them...)
2 Larger fish that we don't know the species as they were gifts (they look plain and silver, one has some gold flecks on it's body, each are about the 3-4 inches)

It's sort of a hodge podge mix of fish, I know. My concerns are schooling..I realize the tetra's and corys may do better in a school, but I don't want to crowd the tank. Is it beneficial to have 3 blue tetra's, and 3 black tetra's, or is it pointless becuase of the difference in size? Should we school some corys too, or a whole different species?

Here's a list of fish I've eyed that are desirable to purchase in the future, which will determine the answer to the question above......

Angelfish
Silver Dollars
Guppies
Mollies
Betta's
More Tetra's
More Cory's

Any suggestions are MUCH appreciated!!
 

Richard

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Re: Tank set up and questions for a beginner (lots of questions)

Additional tankmates for your Neons since they're happier and healthier in schools of at least six might be the way to go, and taking into account the size of your tank, you can safely add five more of each to create a heck of a visual.
 

Stradius011

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Re: Tank set up and questions for a beginner (lots of questions)

I would not keep the Chinese Algae Eaters. They grow to 11 inches! They will damage scales of their tankmates. It is important to know the 2 frogs. It is either the African Dwarf or the African Clawed Frog. African Dwarf Frogs are very peaceful and the water level should be low since they come to the surface to breathe(they're not the best swimmers). African Clawed Frogs, however, are very carnivorious. They also ate a betta once! The difference between the frogs is that African Dwarf Frogs have webbed feet while African Clawed Frogs have clawed feet.
 
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greenidentity

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Re: Tank set up and questions for a beginner (lots of questions)

Those are good answers, but don't answer my questions too well. What I need to know is:

Will tetra's of different colors school together?

We already have 12 fish in our 37 gallon tank (just got 2 new Corys the other day, totalling 4, 2 albino and 2 spotted) It's not realistic for me to get 10 more tetra's, unless I get rid of some of the other fish. That IS a possibility, but what I'm asking is if I DO get rid of some fish to make room for more, what would be good combinations? This is why I posted what I currently have, and what I would want to purchase in the future.

Also: my frogs have webbed feet, but I do see them swimming to the top once in awhile. All of our fish and frogs have been peacefully co-existing for about a week now, and all seem healthy.

Any answers to my questions are very appreciated. Thanks!
 

smillermom

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Re: Tank set up and questions for a beginner (lots of questions)

Well, if you just started your tank without cycling it, you will start losing your fish, I am sorry to say. The problem is your information. You have some fish listed that you said are 3-4 inches long now. Welll, the fish store sells juvenile fish, not adult sized fish. For all we know, you have fish that will grow to a very large adult size, thus taking up all you tank room or not being appropriate for your size tank. Get more info on the 2 fish first so we know how big they will get as adults. When you figure inch/gallon rule, it is to adult sizes. Then, if you have fish that will get quite large, it is 3 gallons to every adult fish inch.
 
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greenidentity

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Re: Tank set up and questions for a beginner (lots of questions)

The tank has been cycled. The larger fish we have were gifts, and I believe are some sort of bigger tetra's. Possibly a Congo Tetra, and a Red Eye Tetra. I have taken size into consideration, and so far have concluded I have 2 choices:

One, I could have a tank with mostly smaller fish and have a few schools of different species, (one guppy, one neon tetra perhaps) though I'm not sure if 2 different species in the same tank will still school with thier own species?

Two, I could have mostly larger fish (AngelFish, Silver Dollars e.t.c.) and a few Corys since they seem to be compatible with many fish.

The thing is that I would really like some Mollies and Platies, but from what I've heard, pairing them up right can be tricky.

That's what I have so far.
 

Tumbleweed

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Re: Tank set up and questions for a beginner (lots of questions)

Similar fish will school together. My neon tettras and glowloght tettras school togther and so do all of my plattys.
 

Gunnie

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Re: Tank set up and questions for a beginner (lots of questions)

Welcome to FishLore! Yep. Choices in your tank can get quite tricky. There's always pros and cons when making choices. If you want mollies or platys, then get them. I would get rid of the algae eaters and get a bristlenose pleco instead. I'd also trade in the neons (both species) if you want the mollies or platys more. It sounds like you have silver dollars. They are great fish, but I'm not sure they would do well in your size tank as they get bigger. I think I read they need at least 55 gallons and should be in a larger group than you have. Silver dollars are also very serious about keeping your greenery at a minimum, so if you have ideas about having live plants in your tank, you will probably be limited to java moss, java fern, and anubias in your tank. Everything else will be eaten.

I don't really think mollies and/or platys are difficult fish to keep. You could always trade in the fish you have for store credit and get the fish you want. I think the corys would be just fine to stay in the tank. Cory cats are great to keep the food on the gravel to a minimum, and they add a lot of activity to the lower level of the tank. They are easy to keep fish if you get the more common corys. Panda corys are a little more sensitive and need extra clean water all the time to thrive.
 
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greenidentity

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Re: Tank set up and questions for a beginner (lots of questions)

Thank you very much for your insight! I actually don't have any Silver Dollars yet, but see them as very desirable. But, since we are only working with a 37 gallon tank, it looks like I am going to have to stay away from any larger fish, and instead try to have a few schools of smaller/medium sized fish. I am leaning towards having a school of neon tetra's, and a school of guppies, or one Betta, and assorted Mollies, Platies and Swordtails, of course keeping the Corys in there too.

Does anyone know about the African Dwarf frogs? I am having some trouble finding compatiblity info on them. I would like to keep them if possible.
 

Isabella

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Re: Tank set up and questions for a beginner (lots of questions)

Stradius011 said:
I would not keep the Chinese Algae Eaters. They grow to 11 inches! They will damage scales of their tankmates.
Well, I've had one Chinese Algae Eater (scientific name: Gryinocheilus Aymonieri) in my 30 gallon tank for over 2 years now. He only grew to about 5 - 6" and it doesn't look like he's growing anymore. In my "Freshwater Aquarium Encyclopedia" it says this algae eater "grows to 10" but usually much smaller". If this fish grows for more than 2 years then maybe mine still has to grow. But as I've said before, it doesn't appear to me that he's still growing.

As for the temperament of this fish, YES, it can get aggressive with time. They are even reported to suck on fish's slime coating. If you want a good algae eater for your 37 gallon tank, the true Siamese Flying Fox (Crossocheilus Siamensis) would be great, or a Bristlenose Catfish, or a few Otos. Just one Flying Fox or one Bristlenose Catfish would be enough. As for the Otos, they should be in a group (which is OK because they're very small).
 

Stradius011

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Re: Tank set up and questions for a beginner (lots of questions)

Isabella said:
Stradius011 said:
I would not keep the Chinese Algae Eaters. They grow to 11 inches! They will damage scales of their tankmates.
Well, I've had one Chinese Algae Eater (scientific name: Gryinocheilus Aymonieri) in my 30 gallon tank for over 2 years now. He only grew to about 5 - 6" and it doesn't look like he's growing anymore. In my "Freshwater Aquarium Encyclopedia" it says this algae eater "grows to 10" but usually much smaller". If this fish grows for more than 2 years then maybe mine still has to grow. But as I've said before, it doesn't appear to me that he's still growing.

As for the temperament of this fish, YES, it can get aggressive with time. They are even reported to suck on fish's slime coating. If you want a good algae eater for your 37 gallon tank, the true Siamese Flying Fox (Crossocheilus Siamensis) would be great, or a Bristlenose Catfish, or a few Otos. Just one Flying Fox or one Bristlenose Catfish would be enough. As for the Otos, they should be in a group (which is OK because they're very small).
I admit that I don't know that much on these fish and I never had them before. I just read it off books and websites. All I do is read all day.
 

Gunnie

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Re: Tank set up and questions for a beginner (lots of questions)

Stradius011 said:
Isabella said:
Stradius011 said:
I would not keep the Chinese Algae Eaters. They grow to 11 inches! They will damage scales of their tankmates.
Well, I've had one Chinese Algae Eater (scientific name: Gryinocheilus Aymonieri) in my 30 gallon tank for over 2 years now. He only grew to about 5 - 6" and it doesn't look like he's growing anymore. In my "Freshwater Aquarium Encyclopedia" it says this algae eater "grows to 10" but usually much smaller". If this fish grows for more than 2 years then maybe mine still has to grow. But as I've said before, it doesn't appear to me that he's still growing.

As for the temperament of this fish, YES, it can get aggressive with time. They are even reported to suck on fish's slime coating. If you want a good algae eater for your 37 gallon tank, the true Siamese Flying Fox (Crossocheilus Siamensis) would be great, or a Bristlenose Catfish, or a few Otos. Just one Flying Fox or one Bristlenose Catfish would be enough. As for the Otos, they should be in a group (which is OK because they're very small).
I admit that I don't know that much on these fish and I never had them before. I just read it off books and websites. All I do is read all day.
There's nothing wrong with getting information from the net. I have no experience with these fish either, but would have probably said the same thing. I have read what you wrote numerous times on these forums.
 

Tumbleweed

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Re: Tank set up and questions for a beginner (lots of questions)

I agree with Gunnie Getting info off of the net is ok, and I am a firm believer that you can never have too much information, the only problems you can have is what yhou do with that information.
 

Isabella

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Re: Tank set up and questions for a beginner (lots of questions)

LOL ... I agree with all of you too. But folks ... I didn't mean to say Stradius' advice wasn't helpful! If that is what I sounded like - I apologize! I rather meant to say, that although Chinese Algae Eaters are reported to grow to 10 - 11 inches, they seldom grow that large in aquaria, and I gave my own example to supplement this. I think they only grow this big in nature. Though I apologize, again, if I am wrong.
 

Stradius011

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Re: Tank set up and questions for a beginner (lots of questions)

LOL! There is no need to apologize Isabella! (I personally don't get why you are apologizing.) ;D
 

Isabella

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Re: Tank set up and questions for a beginner (lots of questions)

LOL ... I thought that ... maybe others thought that ... I sounded as if I were trying to say that ... what you said ... was incorrect - LOL what a ridiculous and long sentence! LOL Anyway, that is not what I meant at all
 
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greenidentity

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Re: Tank set up and questions for a beginner (lots of questions)

For anyone insterested, we ended up getting an Angelfish today! We still have all the other same fish in there, and we are going to see how it goes before we start deciding what fish to take out and what fish we want in there. The Angel is so pretty and graceful, my boyfriend wants 2 more already, but I'm not sure if a 37 gallon tank is enuogh for 3, plus 7-12 smaller fish/frogs. If we like the Angel that much, we may end up just having a few and not having many otehr fish in the tank, maybe 4 at most.

One thing, we had tested the ammonia levels just prior to putting the Angel in and it was at around .05. I know that is pretty low, and we had just done a 25% water change. How can we get this level down to 0? Does anyone have any tips for me about what goes well with Angels and how to care for them properly? So far it seems like a very calm and beautiful fish.
 

Tumbleweed

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Re: Tank set up and questions for a beginner (lots of questions)

My angels get a long with almost everything, but that is mine. It also depends on how old they are. When they get older they can get territorial and nip and chase other fish. But I would wait for Isabella to answer she has a lot of experience with angels.
 
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greenidentity

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Re: Tank set up and questions for a beginner (lots of questions)

Update for those who care:

We just got an additional air pump (were only using one before) so now we have 2, plus we got a new filter (didnt have one before) and from my boyfriends reports, the fish are swimming around like crazy. I almost wonder if they are uncomfortable, or if the new stuff is pushing the water around and they have to swim against it? I havent seen them in person yet, but I will tomorrow. We also got some stuff to lower the ammonia, but I'm also aware a filter may help with that, so we aren't doing any ammonia testing/ altering until tomorrow, after the filter has had a chance to run for a little while. I hope all this is ok.

As for the fish, they seem to all get alone fine. They just swim about on thier merry way. Since the filter has been put in, I'm told the frogs have been much mroe active. Instead of hiding alot and only coming out once in awhile, they are swimming about actively. I hope this isn't a cause for any concern. I don't know what the signs of agitation are.

Thinking of getting one more angel. Would the lone Angel be much happier with some company? Also: can we pair same sex Angels? We don't neccesarily want to breed, and I hear Angels can get a bit nasty when breeding? Also: the tank is 20 inches tall. Is this absolutely not tall enough? Or is it tolerable?

What I would ultimately like in my tank are: My 2 frogs. 2 Corys. The 2 "Mystery fish" (we want to try and keep them if possible), one school of small fish (tetra's or guppies), possibly a few Platies and/or Swordtails (do these fish even school??), and we would like to have 2 Angels, only if it makes the lone one happiest to have company.

Again, ANY advice is much appreciated!!!   :-*
 
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