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Help me stock my new 53Gal! Keeping my existing fish in mind.


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Hello everyone!

Exciting to be back!

Okay, so I need some advice from the more tropical savvy of you! I am upgrading my 30 Gal tank because the stand is about to fall apart (seems that making those stands waterproof didn't dawn on most manufacturers - one filter leak totally killed it). SOOOOO. I got this brilliant cube shaped 53Gal that I LOVE. Okay enough.

My current 30Gal is the happy home of:

8 Dalmatian mollies (2 males - one particularly dominant)

1 black molly (mom to my one fry Goliath!)

1 white molly (also female)

6 fun kuhli loaches (now THOSE are super entertaining guys! They do aerobics on my anubias)

6 albino cory cats

6 sterbai cory cats

1 awesome looking pleco which I do not know the type of tho! He is brown with black spots.

Fish that I think would be cool in the tank.

1 angel

1 german blue ram (or do they need to be in groups? Saw them yesterday and they are just super cute!)

Some smaller schooling fish?

Ideas? I wanted a few large fish to be the 'gems' of the tank. And I want to keep it a very peaceful community.

In terms of water, I have a pH of 7.2 and hardness of level 10 (which seems to be the beginning of hard water). Apparently this is perfect for the mollies but less for the cory cats? Don't fancy changing the water parameters a lot however. I just obviously cannot get fish which require very soft water. I will be adding quite a bit of driftwood however.

Thanks!

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I'd say that with the pleco in the tank you're good at the moment. They get monstrous... but it would be good to see a picture and identify the species before confirming or rejecting my suspicion. ;)

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So I am fully stocked for a 52gal? That seems weird.

He will get fist size apparently, but in 5years they said. Right now he is about 1.5inches

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So I am fully stocked for a 52gal? That seems weird.

He will get fist size apparently, but in 5years they said. Right now he is about 1.5inches

The black spots on a brown body definitely sounds like a common pleco. Which, in that case, will get upwards of 24-30 inches. If I'm right, then Chelsea is definitely correct in saying you're pretty much stocked. They take up a lot of room.

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I will post some pics in a few. Point being is, that if he is baby sized now, he won't be 30inches tomorrow right? Or do they grow fast? The large one he had there, fist sized, was 3 years old. He told me they wouldn't grow huge. Anyways, once he is large I can move him to my 200Gal or get a larger tank. But I think it is silly to plan now what happens in a few years. Am I making sense?

They had bristle nose ones and he recommended me this type because they clean much better. Clearly I have no idea about plecos!

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I totally love him! I am going to the store after quick for some home stuff so I will get the proper latin name. The guy had a huge theory on how the bristle nose is the ancestor of this guy and how this guy cleans 10x as much.

I always wanted a pleco! There are some really cool varieties.

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I'm not a pleco expert but looks like a clown pleco to me. Not sure how big the get.

As for advice on stocking I'm not the best to ask my 29 is quite overstocked as all my tropical tanks tend to be.

I have 5 flass catfish (awesome fish best in groups of 5 or more)

5 threadfin randow fish (2 male 3 female)

1 blue ram cichlid

6 mystery snails.

9 baby koi angels (most of which will be rehomed to my sister. I'm keeping 2-3.)

So as you can see I'm stockes 2x what I should be. I have an AC70 and lots of plants so that helps and so far I've not had any problems.

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They are not bad unless you have a mated pair. Sometimes you will have problems with just 2 of one sex aswell. A single sex tank of 3 or more or multisex tank of either 2 or 7+.

At least that's what I've been told.

I could send you one. If you want. I have extra lol.

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That right there is a leopard pleco!!! :) gorgeous fish. However, like the common, gets very large. Like most fish, it's growth rate depends on how much it eats. You could have a 20 inch fish on your hands within a few years or it could take a long time. Still, their suggested tank size is 120 gallons.

A clown pleco gets about 4-5 inches. Rubber lips, clowns or BN are always my go to options. Most other just get way too big. Then ya gotta use your hands to get them out ;)

Edited by scurrie
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I actually secretly wanted a big pleco! They are super cool! Oh well, once he grows I will move him to a large tank. In terms of feeding I am putting in a piece of a sinking wafer at nights and he seems to participate in the community sinking crumb feedings. Is this enough? How often should I be putting in fresh veggies for him?

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I would like to add an angel. I am thinking only one because they tend to get territorial?

I would say to add just one if this is your first angel experience... they can be VERY aggressive towards each other, unless you get lucky and get a mating pair... but to me, that is too much hassle. One angel looks great in a tropical tank!

I actually secretly wanted a big pleco! They are super cool! Oh well, once he grows I will move him to a large tank. In terms of feeding I am putting in a piece of a sinking wafer at nights and he seems to participate in the community sinking crumb feedings. Is this enough? How often should I be putting in fresh veggies for him?

I love plecos too :D That is totally enough for him right now. You will need to add driftwood ASAP if you don't have any in their though, as driftwood is their main diet. They need it to properly digest food. They can live without it, but it is best for them to have. Mine rasp on the driftwood constantly!

Edited by haley22
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I actually secretly wanted a big pleco! They are super cool! Oh well, once he grows I will move him to a large tank. In terms of feeding I am putting in a piece of a sinking wafer at nights and he seems to participate in the community sinking crumb feedings. Is this enough? How often should I be putting in fresh veggies for him?

Let me tell you something I was told a few years ago.

Stocking tropical fish is way different than goldfish (obviously). The rule that everyone says is "an inch of fish per gallon". But I say that rule is crap. Because you can't stick a 10 inch cichlid in a 20 gallon tank because it "fits" inch wise. It has to do with bio load. And dimensions of tank size. For example, neon tetras have very very little bio load. Take a twenty gallon long tank. In that twenty gallon tank you could have 30 neons. And it would work out fine because their bio load is so little. Obviously you'd have to add them slowly. In that same 20 you could keep 15-20 rasboras, 8-9 live bearers, or 1 6-inch cichlid.

In your tank, you have 10 mollies. Taking up approximately 20 (ish) gallons. 6 loaches and 12 cories are gonna take up approx. 20 gallons. (Probably more since your loaches get decent size) Then the pleco has a pretty big bioload when it's full grown. So technically is should have at least 44-55 gallons. But because it's little it's alright for now. So I would say you're pretty well stocked unless you have live plants. And if you do, then that changes the game plan a bit :)

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Yea, I figured the one inch rule was silly.

Okay, I did notice the mollies are major poop machines. The kuhlis are pretty thin and small for now, but I can see the corys also becoming pretty high bio load.

I do have quite a lot of live plants and have 20 coming for the new tank! I will see how that works. I also have a large canister filter from the goldfish. And an extra filter which came now with the larger tank.

I am thinking of seeing how the parameters change weekly to see how it is stocked. Seems like the most practical thing. If the tank needs water changes every few days I am overstocked. I want to keep it to a weekly water change without having a ton of cleaning to do. Is that okay?

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That sounds good. With the plants that will help. You probably have room for 1 angel. Of course the pleco will take up a lot of room. I had a common pleco that got too 12" in a little over a year in a 10gal tank :o this is when I was little and did not know they got bigger than 4-5" lol

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Gordon is very handsome indeed lol.

For the rasboras, how many do I need? They will be fine and not become accidental food? The store had some with the neon stripes the other day and they were TINY! About the size of my one week old molly lol. How are rummy nose tetra? Those looked very cool!

I also saw some sweet looking blue german rams!

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The rasboras generally get along with cory cats but I don't have any experience with them and plecos or mollies. Eight rasboras or so make a lively group. I have seen the rummy noses at stores too but have never had them. They are very appealing!

I think with your stocking levels, I would stay clear of a German ram. :)

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