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Thinking Of Going Tropical!


Migaloo

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Since the addition of the 170gal tank for the goldies, I now have a nice empty 66gal still sitting in my living room and I dont know what to do with it. The tank itself is only about 6 - 7 moths old. I had condidered selling it, but since we paid a decent amount of money for it, I thought I should keep it as it will probably never be replaced.

Anyway - I thought I would like to set it up as a tropical tank. I have never had tropicals before, so I would really like to plan this tank well.

My biggest thing is stocking - I dont even know where to begin, nor what sort of fish I would like. The tank dimensions are approx 3 and a half foot long (98cm) X 2 foot high X 1.5 foot (47cm) wide. The tank is probably not big enough for alot of the larger fish (like silver sharks for example), so I was thinking of a variety of interesting smaller kinds of fish. I wouldnt mind a feature fish like an angel.. but again I know nothing about these, nor what they would/would not be compatible with.

Can anyone help me with where to start? What would be the best stocking list which would give me the greatest variety of compatible species suitable for this tank. I have been trying to do some research... but as I dont know alot of the fish names, I feel lost! :wacko::blink:

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Well I say go for angels, since...well you know...I LOVE them. Today you are soooo far away, I would send you a couple of good guys for free.

You can keep pretty much anything with them, as long as nothing can fit in its mouth. So no guppies, neons, etc. And bristlenose plecos are the only algae eaters allowed with them. They will kill all the others for some reason. Males and female pairs can be kept in smaller tanks, for example, you could have three males and three females in your tank. Or 4 males or 4 females. They love long flowing plants, driftwood, and are very hardy. They need tall and long tanks.

I've kept my angels with gouramis, pink kissing and dwarf and a couple different catfish. As long as there are not a lot of aggressive species in the tank, all should be well. Also, angels tend to like the middle of the tank, so any fish that take up the bottom or top will work well too.

I'll think of some more stuff later.

Oh, oh...get some rams! I've always wanted some but they don't do well with pictus catfish.

Edited by ashlee18
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Very cool, Migaloo! I enjoy Tetras...most are peaceful and great community fish. Danios are another fav, and oh yeah, you'd have to get a herd of at least 6 Cory Catfish! They're really cool!

Here's a link for fish compatibility:

Fish compatibility

And a link for a beginner's guide to tropical fish aquarium setups:

Freshwater Aquarium Beginner

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I prefer a peaceful community tank so after some trial and error these are the most peaceful coinhabitants I have found--

Corydora catfish--swim all over the tank

Platies--all over

Guppies--all over

Upside Down Catfish--bottom

Hatchetfish--top

I have had all these together for a long time with no aggression or other problems to worry about. I guess small tetras are peaceful but bigger ones like redeye and serpai have attacked some of my other fish. Also, danios nipped the fins off my albino cory but didn't bother the darker colored ones.

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I got the perfect stocking list for you.

1 Oscar

Thats it just one.

lol Hidr :D I got my perfect idea for a tropical tank, and wish I could already do it. No idea if you like it, but maybe it is of interest to you:

Common Pleco. Has plenty of room to grow in there. Nice big piece of driftwood for the pleco and maybe some big natural looking rock/cave ornament. Lots of tall plants in the background, some shorter in the foreground, and some small schooling fish that are of no interest to the pleco. Like a big school of cardinal tetras, or even guppies, but they might grow in numbers too fast. I personally would probably rather go with tetras, and maybe some platys of different color to add some more color to the whole thing.

That way the common pleco can grow to be 18 inches and look absolutely majestic

Tank setup sort of like these here

http://www.piranha-info.com/images/25g_12-2007_tank.jpg

http://www.piranha-info.com/images/80g_12-2007_tank.jpg

http://www.gorge.org/fish/pix-2006/tank-2006-full.jpg but with more plants

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Thanks for all the replies and suggestions guys! Its making me get all excited about setting up for tropicals! :)

I remeber a friend many years ago - he had a tropical tank with different kinds of small fish which I used to marvel at. His tank would facinate me and I would be all like..."oh look at that one.... ooohh what kind is that one.... wow... those ones are really pretty..." I want to recreate this kind of feeling in my tank LOL

Dennis - I can always rely on you to post helpful sites and articles - thank you! ;)

Hidr, as I love your Karma so much, I was considering an Oscar, as you know, and did some reading on the site you showed me - I decided against it as I figured the tank would end up too small.... I saw some HUGE oscars that made a 75 gal tank look dwarfed LOL - and also I figured I would rather have a variety of fish species, rather than only 1 fish with very limited tank mates (probably no tank mates in my sized tank)

I did have a few fish in mind just by seeing them at the lfs - until I found out how big they actually grew - such as bala sharks - and black ghost knife (a favourite of mine)... They are so small at the LFS and I have learnt that Tropical fish are just as deceiving as goldfish in terms of how big some can get! :o

I should also mention that "ideally" I would love to put my existing 8 guppies in this new tank set up and would probably use them to cycle - really I am tired of having a guppy only tank and would like to tear this tank down, yet I am very fond of my little guppies - I guess this immediately rules out any angelfish (hold off on the postage for now ashelee! :P )

Ok so after doing some googling (its funny because every time someone posts a species I have to google it)... Here are some species I decided I really like.... Oh I and I really like the variety in Kristi's list!

Glass Catfish - these are a must! They are commonly available - I see them in every lfs, dont get too big and I find them completely fascinating! I love that you can see their food going inside them. I believe you need at least 5 in a group. I LOVE these!

http://files.witnessthis.co.za/2009/12/glass-catfish1.jpg

Rams - gorgeous colours

Banded Kuhli Loach - interesting things

Neons Tetras - look awesome

red tail shark - not too big - I believe they prefer to live alone within their spiecies - so would need only 1

some sort of gourami... need to learn more about the varieties

do like the tiger barbs - need to research them more

not too sure about the corys - need to find out more

love the look of those upside down catfish!

Fang, although I think they are awesome, I dont really want a common pleco - they get too big for what I would like in the tank - however as some might know I am a fan of bristlenose and have always wanted a peppermint BN and a long-fin BN.

So obviously I have a few in mind - but still need to work out what I can and cant have together and individual needs of each type. I dont what to start with one type only to later find out I can only have one other thing with it - I need to have a better look at blackteles' chart - its kinda confusing LOL

This is the tank if anyone remembers it...

I already have 2 brand new unopened heaters which came with the 170gal, each is suitable for up to 300 litres. This tank is 250 litres - so one of these should be perfect! All I need now is new media, new gravel, new plants, and a cycle!

24112010457.jpg

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Way to go, Migaloo! Kinda exciting, huh? Tropical tanks are quite awesome!

I see where you were looking at the Cory Cats...they are really neat fish. I have 8 Corys in my tropical tank and I'd never be without them again. Great personality, fun to watch, and they're always actively scouring the bottom for uneaten food...a definite plus!

Here are two links for...the first one is a thread about Panda Corys...it's a nice read and Panda Corys are smaller and very cool.

Panda Corys

This second link is one that Kristi sent us from Planet Catfish...way too cool if you want to browse Cory Cats! That Kristi is quite a woman! ;)

Best of luck getting your tank set up!

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Way to go, Migaloo! Kinda exciting, huh? Tropical tanks are quite awesome!

I see where you were looking at the Cory Cats...they are really neat fish. I have 8 Corys in my tropical tank and I'd never be without them again. Great personality, fun to watch, and they're always actively scouring the bottom for uneaten food...a definite plus!

Here are two links for...the first one is a thread about Panda Corys...it's a nice read and Panda Corys are smaller and very cool.

Panda Corys

This second link is one that Kristi sent us from Planet Catfish...way too cool if you want to browse Cory Cats! That Kristi is quite a woman! ;)

Best of luck getting your tank set up!

:thanks

http://www.planetcatfish.com/catelog/family.php?family_id=1

I looove cory cats! They are even cuter if you keep them in a tank with sand substrate. It's more like their natural environment first of all and you get to see all the tiny marks they leave behind while sifting through the sand with their barbels--adorable!

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Ok ok ok ok.... you guys have got me convinced about the Corys LOL - they are really really cute! And WOW! I had no idea about all the different kinds! :o I will have to do check some out at the LFS in real life! They seem VERY COOL!

Hmmm.... sand hey.... I hadnt thought of sand - I was just going to use a fine 1mm either black or white gravel - like I have in my 170 (which is black) - I find black makes the fish really stand out. I was never too sure about having sand. Is sand a pain to look after? The thought of it seems like it would be a pain because its so fine and would get into everything, but I could be wrong??

I have a question about clown loaches and kissing gouramis... I have read that they can grow big - like up to 30cm, but it says they are unlikely to reach more than 10 cm (15 for the loach) in an aquarium. Is this true? And is the reason for this because of stunting? (like goldfish). This is where I have been reading this info http://www.justtropicalfish.com/Community_Aquarium.html

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Hiya Migaloo...gotcha interested in the Corys, huh huh? ;)

I have gravel in my tropical tank and my 8 Corys do fine but I believe Kristi uses a sand substrate for her tank. I'll let her field that one but I guarantee that you'll fall in love with a little herd of Corys. A group of at least six Corys (and they can be a mixture of different species) will ensure they are happy and active within their little group. Great little guys and funny too! :D

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Not quite sure about the Gouramis but I've read where the Loaches will get quite large and aggressive as they mature. That's one thing about setting up a tropical tank, you have to take their compatibaility into consideration as well as how large they will eventually become. That's why I stay with smaller community fish (Tetras, Danios, and Corys) as I know they won't grow large. ;)

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Clown loaches actually can grow up to 16 inches / 40 cm and the info I find says they need a minimum of 75 gallons and should be kept in a group, and might ideally eventually need at least 125 gallons.

They also live quite long, I found multiple websites saying 15+ years, so it would be a long term commitment. :)

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Clown loaches actually can grow up to 16 inches / 40 cm and the info I find says they need a minimum of 75 gallons and should be kept in a group, and might ideally eventually need at least 125 gallons.

As much as I like the juvenile clown loaches 16" is a little too big for my community tanks... :hi

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I know, right? I didn't know they grew that big, my dad used to have some in his 25 gallon tank when I was little and I thought they'd stay little like that.

I gotta admit though that a fish that big is quite attractive to me. Of course, you need enough room in a community tank, especially when you have to keep them in a group.

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Red tailed Sharks are the same way..they can grow up to 12" when mature. That's where a lot of fanciers make the mistake of not researching their fish and ending up with an aggressive monster that will rule their smaller tanks.

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Red tailed Sharks are the same way..they can grow up to 12" when mature. That's where a lot of fanciers make the mistake of not researching their fish and ending up with an aggressive monster that will rule their smaller tanks.

Really? gee.... I have read in several places they only grow to 15cm ... but yes they can become very aggressive so I crossed them off my stocking list in any case as they will limit my other choices too much.

I have to say, this stock planning is really hard! maybe Im being too particular - maube I should just start with my 8 guppies, then just ad suitable fish from there.... species by species. I am trying to plan an entire stocking list, but its just too hard.... there are soooo many fish out there! :rolleyes:

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If I might add, ghost shrimp are pretty cool editions to tanks too! I just got 6 for my 5 gallon with my betta and they are very cool. They also clean up and eat anything and everything and the fish often don't bother them. My lfs uses them as feeders so they were 6-10 for $1. basically whatever they could fit in the net.

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Now its telling me that upsidedown catfish is too aggressive to co exist with neon tetras :wall

See what I mean... I cant seem to get it right :tantrum

I think I need more tanks for all the fish I love! :fishtank:

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