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If You Had Only One 75 Gal. Tank…


Fish Folk
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I’ve been thinking today about the fish I most enjoy. Like a number of other NERMs, we’ve multiplied tanks rapidly over the last few years. But I now find that only a few tanks and a few species really maintain my enduring interest.

I think that a 75 gal. tank is about right for the perfect “not small” / “not enormous” tank. I found myself wondering aloud: if I had to go with only one… how would I stock it?

I’m torn between a COLD water tank featuring U.S. Natives, and a HOT water tank featuring select Amazon species.

For a COLD 75 gal., I’d use a substrate of either Eco-Complete or Activ-Flora. I prefer black. I’d definitely select some choice wood. I’ve been really enjoying the look of a mix between large Mexican beach pebbles and smaller landscaping stones to yield a semi River look. I’d line the back with Valisneria Americana, and plant batches of Bronze Crypt around the tank. I’ve sort of already done this with a 29 gal…

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I’d add  like to see if I can keep a major school of Rainbow Shiners…

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A small group of amazing Darters…

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And… if ever really possible, a few Black Banded Sunfish…

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Or, maybe try the Blue Spotted Sunfish instead…

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I’d love to see these species live together in peaceful harmony, freed to spawn in the tank if effectively set up. But on the whole, just a beautiful and stable tank.

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Now, if I went with a HOT tank, I’d like to use the same substrate, and a dynamic wood centerpiece. I’d use Amazon Swords in the background, since they do well in warm temps. And I’d probably select some Melon Swords in the foreground. I have found that I like light colored, smooth Great Lakes stones too. I’ve sort of set this up with a 55 gal. already…

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For featured fish, I definitely love Discus. I like a variety of tank bred, vibrantly colored specimens. I’m not into the wild caught craze…

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We have always been huge fans of German Blue Rams. Would definitely include a couple trios. We bred some interesting color morphs in the past, crossing Gold and Electric Blue…

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Also just can’t go wrong with traditional color morph GBRs…

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I do love Cardinal Tetras, and would love a school of those in there…

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I’m not sure what sort of Pleco would best enjoy a very warm tank (please suggest!) but I love either a few Zebras… 

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Or (maybe AND) Greg Sage’s Green Dragons… 

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Now that I think it all through… I’m seeing 2x 75 gal tanks in my future… 

 HOW ABOUT YOU? WHAT WOULD YOU DO WITH A 75 GAL? 

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Ooo, very good ideas! I like the shiner idea for the cold water tank. I'd try discus, but just don't want to heat a tank that size when my wife likes the house temperature to be between freezing and antarctic.

I actually only have one 75 gallon tank. After rescaping it this year, yanked out the heater and have only white clouds and kubotai rasboras in there. I also have a huge colony of cull shrimp and a few otos. Somehow I think I got almost all male white clouds, or they just aren't in the mood, no spawning behavior at all. They look pretty miniscule in there though, I need to increase my school size. Only have 8 of each of the white clouds and rasboras.

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For me my 130g seems like a good size, but I could honestly go much bigger if space allowed for it. Would love something like a Waterbox Peninsula used to divide two rooms where each side had its own feel to it. Would stick to cold water here for ease.

As for mine if I ever did up the tank fully I see myself with black substrate, small fish, amano shrimp, freshwater gobies, snails, SAE. Not sure what I would use for carpet but maybe some Monte. I can see two large wood pieces in my mind, maybe a piece or two of dragon stone to help prop them in a position I like. Small branches with a variety of moss plants mixed in like flame, christmas, etc. Attach a few Epiphytes to the wood like anubus attached on the back side, joints between branches getting bucephalandra or similar. Background some Java Fern, Scarlet, Westeria, etc. Some Wendtii near the front sides. Definitely some Pogostemon Helferi in there somewhere. I can picture it better than I can build it though lol. 

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On 8/26/2021 at 7:21 PM, Jimfish98 said:

For me my 130g seems like a good size, but I could honestly go much bigger if space allowed for it. Would love something like a Waterbox Peninsula used to divide two rooms where each side had its own feel to it. Would stick to cold water here for ease.

As for mine if I ever did up the tank fully I see myself with black substrate, small fish, amano shrimp, freshwater gobies, snails, SAE. Not sure what I would use for carpet but maybe some Monte. I can see two large wood pieces in my mind, maybe a piece or two of dragon stone to help prop them in a position I like. Small branches with a variety of moss plants mixed in like flame, christmas, etc. Attach a few Epiphytes to the wood like anubus attached on the back side, joints between branches getting bucephalandra or similar. Background some Java Fern, Scarlet, Westeria, etc. Some Wendtii near the front sides. Definitely some Pogostemon Helferi in there somewhere. I can picture it better than I can build it though lol. 

Do it!!!! Sounds awesome 

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Everyday I’m tempted to change my 75 into a hot tank with the same stocking as @Fish Folk has in his 75, it just looks good! In the end I like the flexibility of having a regular community tank with lots of different plants, shrimp and many different fish, mostly Nano size. 

Edited by Patrick_G
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On 8/26/2021 at 7:41 PM, Patrick_G said:

Everyday I’m tempted to change my 75 into a hot tank with the same stocking as @Fish Folk has in his 75, it just looks good! In the end I like the flexibility of having regular community tank with lots of different plants, shrimp and many different fish, mostly Nano size. 

I think it’s good to love what you’ve got! I adore loads of other fish than those I’ve mentioned here. But if it had only one… 

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That’s pretty much the boat I’m in, I only have a 90g (and if my wife continues to have her way that’s the way it will stay) and it is currently a CA Cichlid tank with 3 HRP, 2 Nicaraguan, 1 Firemouth, and 1 Flier. Sandy bottom with lots of driftwood and rocks, and a few anubius. I’m planning on enjoying it this way for a while but once all my Cichlids get full size I think it might be a bit cramped and I might trade them all in for a big school of lemon tetras, cherry shrimp, and some cool plecos 

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The rainbow shiners are great. The darters are good if you can get them to eat good. In my experience they usually will but you'll get some that wont take anything but live food or little chunks of fresh worms, but a lot of them are good. I never kept a blue spot but banded sunfish were awesome. Very personable once they got settled in. The south American stuff I dont really know.

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That's rough...

Considering I have pretty much modeled my 150 after your cold water 29 I'd probably just shrink it down with the same hardscape and half the stock. Rainbow shiners, bearded Cory, a few goby and a pair of bristlenose.

My hot water tank is my 180 that I am stocking now. In a 75 the hardscape would be florite base and black sand, smooth grey pebbles, driftwood, anubius, Val and swords. Stocked with an electric Blue Acara pair, a pair of pearlside platinum Angels, Venezuelan Cory and a group of L136 Angelico Pleco.

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For colder water probably biotope with paradise fish (I like the regular ones, although probably the round tailed ones if I could get any fish). Have it black water, with the water filled two thirds, or a half of the way, and have rice growing in the rear portion. A dirted substrate, and something dark would probably work well, then have it covered with some leaves on the bottom. 

A warmer water tank would probably be either a lushly planted dirted tank with a MASSIVE amount of crystal red shrimp, and maybe a trio of hillstream loaches, or a group of 6 panda or sterbai corys. Or maybe a honey gourami with a bunch of glowlight &/or ember tetras and a bunch of cherry and bamboo shrimp on the bottom. 

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My first 75 will have fancy goldfish. The second will have angels. It's not going to happen for about another year, when we both retire and move nearer to family. We've already been doing a little premature house shopping and even the wife watches for places that have a nice place for fish tanks. We don't really want a "fishroom", we want a nice living area that we can have fish in.

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Your gold/blue rams are pretty.

Having only 1 tank is already what I have to aim toward. I only have 1 tank that my kid with special needs will never be able to break. It's 1" thick acrylic, and 29 gallons - but I'd do similar with a 75.

Sustainability and calm are both required, so from the bottom up:

Inert substrate - likely tiny gravel.

sponge filters - 1 whose sponge is replaced with purigen bags 

Whatever green plants will thrive without prompting. Val and anubias are doing best so far.

I've made little rock "huts" as hiding places. Each is 3 big pebbles with a 2-3 inch "pancake" rock glued on top, and a rhizome or moss glued on top the roof. 

A few little pieces of cuttlebone and cattapa leaf are on the bottom.

microcrustaceans

3 small species of breeding snails

breeding neocaridina

breeding endlers

breeding dwarf red coral platies (length of endlers, but chubby)

1 angelfish, happy to live face-first in the buffet 

I'll probably stick pothos out the top, but the tank is pretty sealed-off for its and my kid's protection.

All of that is good with room temp. 

 

 

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On 8/27/2021 at 7:28 PM, Johnny B. Goode said:

The rainbow shiners are great. The darters are good if you can get them to eat good. In my experience they usually will but you'll get some that wont take anything but live food or little chunks of fresh worms, but a lot of them are good. I never kept a blue spot but banded sunfish were awesome. Very personable once they got settled in. The south American stuff I dont really know.

My Rainbow Darters eat frozen foods fine. But I think I’m order to get them to breed, I need to level up to live worms. 

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