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Low tech planted 75g Stocking


AndEEss
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Hello all. First topic I've created here.

I have a 75g Clear for Life acrylic tank (b/c of 1 year old son who has already learned to throw) on the way. I've got my stand secured and I have two tanks of fish that I'm going to combine into this tank. They currently run the same water parameters and have compatible fish.

Tank 1: 20g. 5x Panda cory, 2x peppered cory. 

Tank 2: 36g bowfront. 7x peppered cory, 5x bronze cory, 1x 4" yoyo loach, 8x Colombian tetra.

Tanks are both WAY overfiltered for their size/stocking, but no fish has ever complained about water being too clean, I'd think. My filtration on the 75g, when assembled, will be 2x Tidal 110s, each with prefilter sponge, additional sponges inside the filter and additional biomedia, plus a Fluval 207 stuffed to the gills with sponges and biomedia, and a prefilter sponge. 

Hardscape: sand bottom, with rocks and driftwood. 

Plants: I've had anacharis, dwarf hairgrass and hornwort in both of my tanks, and I'm not a fan of how much they shed, particularly the hornwort. Someone has repeatedly dug up one of the sections of hairgrass, too. None of those will be in the new tank. I have anubias, java fern, vallisneria and pogostemon stellatus octopus in there right now. I'm liking what I'm seeing from all of them, and will likely add more of those to fill out the 75g footprint. I'll glue some java moss and anubias to the driftwood, and everything else will be in the sand, fed with root tabs.

Per the (rather conservative, I know) calculator from AqAdvisor, I'll be at 374% filtration, 16% water change per week and 62% stocking level. So, naturally, I'd like to get more fish.

The first concern is the single, solitary yoyo loach. I haven't seen him actually hurt anyone yet, but he's twice the length of any of my other fish and likes to play "chase the cory cat", perhaps a bit too vigorously; he ends up body checking one of them. So, I'll likely get some more yoyos. But, how many? Some people say they are best kept in odd numbers, some people say 6 is the minimum. 

Let's say I get 5 more, and they all grow out to 5" long. Still only at 82% stocking, plenty of filtration and less than 25% water change a week (I'd do 25g, minimum, anyways).

Next, I want a "centerpiece" fish. Cichlids? A school of Denison barb/redline shark? I want something that can coexist with my current fish, obviously, but the bottom of the tank will be on the crowded side, so that might rule out a couple of Bolivian rams, as I'm not sure that they'll be pumped about the yoyos prowling around for egg snacks. Denison barbs look great, but they are pretty big, and bump my stocking level over 100% if I go with 6 of them.

Any suggestions?

 

 

Edited by AndEEss
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I run similar filtration..do I need it probably not is it nice in case of failure or overzealous cleaning yes. I run hob + fluval canister + 2 sponges on my pleco tanks. 2-3 hobs + sponge on others. My Pygmy cory tank hob + sponge. All intakes have prefilters because why not add more media.  I tried aqadvisor just to see once. I’m always ok filterwise  but my tanks are 200-300%+ stocking wise 🤣. I never have issues.  I am unable to maintain larger tanks any longer so maximize what size tanks I can maintain. Things I’ve found over the the years is amount/type of media matters, flow matters only to what stock enjoys and as long as everyone on each column level has elbow room and personal territory space as need and I am willing to increase my maintenance to accommodate to keep optimal parameters everyone is happy, healthy and overly prolific (how I know they are very happy). Hope this helps. 

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I "over filter" as well. As long as it doesn't create too much flow for your tank denizens I agree it can't hurt.

As for top dwelling centerpiece fish, I'm not sure if "traditional" choices (like angels or gourami) would be compatible with Colombian tetra, given their size/"attitude". You could try a school of similar sized tetras that can hold their own, in a contrasting color, like black skirt tetras maybe.

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On 10/7/2021 at 9:14 AM, Solstice_Lacer said:

I "over filter" as well. As long as it doesn't create too much flow for your tank denizens I agree it can't hurt.

As for top dwelling centerpiece fish, I'm not sure if "traditional" choices (like angels or gourami) would be compatible with Colombian tetra, given their size/"attitude". You could try a school of similar sized tetras that can hold their own, in a contrasting color, like black skirt tetras maybe.

Not sure if mine are an odd group or what, but they seem relatively mellow. They don't really interact with the yoyo, despite it swimming through their shoal while snail hunting, and they don't bother the cory cats if/when they go looking for food on the rocks. 

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On 10/7/2021 at 4:04 PM, AndEEss said:

Not sure if mine are an odd group or what, but they seem relatively mellow. They don't really interact with the yoyo, despite it swimming through their shoal while snail hunting, and they don't bother the cory cats if/when they go looking for food on the rocks. 

I personally love the look of gouramis, and I have seen other people suggest Colombian tetras as tank mates, so it could work. You potentially have room for a pair, trio or small shoal of them if you wanted, depending which species.

Edit: @laritheloud knows more about gouramis than me, they might have better insight

Edited by Solstice_Lacer
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Thanks for the tag! I see no reason why gouramis wouldn't work as a centerpiece fish for your tank, provided the school of Columbian Tetras is large enough to keep them happy -- 8 should be enough. For gouramis, you can go for any of the medium to larger species, but to minimize problems get a group of 4 or 5, ideally with only one male. That said, if you can't sex them in the store, a decent-sized group will keep gourami squabbling within the group (they're not schooling fish, but they are social and love to be around their own kind/develop an hierarchy), and you have a spacious enough tank to accommodate them.  I don't think you'll have any problems with any gourami species you choose -- any variation of the three-spot, moonlight gouramis, or pearl gouramis (except for kissing gouramis, which tend to be on the more obnoxious side of aggressive). They like to go all over the tank, but you'll see them hanging near the top when they want to go up for air.

You could also try Angelfish for a mid-water cichlid. With a 75, you can also try your hand at other cichlids... There's a very huge variety of cichlids you could choose from that could work with your current stocking, though most of them will hang around the bottom.

Edited by laritheloud
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Yep, Dwarf Gouramis do have a lot of iridovirus. I hear they're a very sad fish to keep, and among the most aggressive of gouramis contrary to their 'reputation' as a community fish. I don't blame you for wanting to keep away from them.

As for other gouramis, as long as you keep a large enough group (4 or 5), the only time they will be aggressive to other fish is when a male is guarding a bubble nest. Squabbling is usually kept within the group, and if you ever do decide to look into something like gold gouramis, three-spot gouramis, etc. they might nip a little at one another as they work out who's Top Fish.

Gouramis can get mean when they're guarding! But breeding behavior always changes everything.

If you're open to them at all, Pearl Gouramis are on the peaceful end of the spectrum, and so are Thicklips (which are similar to Honey Gouramis in temperament, just a little more outgoing). Thicklips are some of my favorites for their fun personalities, they're hardy and peaceful to other fish to the tank and not susceptible to DGIV, and they get about 3 to 4 inches in size. If you can find a wild-type coloration they can be super beautiful, but it is more common to see the Sunset Thicklip Gourami in stores.

Have you looked at keyhole cichlids as an option? They're very peaceful and mild-mannered cichlids, and don't get excessively large.

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One last question re: tank set up.

Between my two tanks, I currently have three HOBs, a cannister and a sponge going. Due to space constraints, the 75g is going to go in the same location as the 36g. So, I have to drain and move the 36g before I can set up the 75g, cycle it, etc. 

My plan, as of now at least, is to take the fish out of the 36g and put them in a large plastic Tupperware style tote of around 50g. I'll move the water heater, both filters (Fluval 207 and Tidal 110) over. I'll also move all of the rocks and wood. I also add some BB (Fritz Turbo Start) just in case the BB suffer for some reason.

Then, I'll take a sponge filter, a used/active HOB and the new Tidal 110 (seeded with one of two Tidal blue sponges currently in it) and get the 75g going with those three, using Fritz Turbo Start and Fritz ammonia. Once fully cycled, I'll slowly transfer fish over.

Any holes in my plan? 

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On 10/7/2021 at 5:53 PM, AndEEss said:

One last question re: tank set up.

Between my two tanks, I currently have three HOBs, a cannister and a sponge going. Due to space constraints, the 75g is going to go in the same location as the 36g. So, I have to drain and move the 36g before I can set up the 75g, cycle it, etc. 

My plan, as of now at least, is to take the fish out of the 36g and put them in a large plastic Tupperware style tote of around 50g. I'll move the water heater, both filters (Fluval 207 and Tidal 110) over. I'll also move all of the rocks and wood. I also add some BB (Fritz Turbo Start) just in case the BB suffer for some reason.

Then, I'll take a sponge filter, a used/active HOB and the new Tidal 110 (seeded with one of two Tidal blue sponges currently in it) and get the 75g going with those three, using Fritz Turbo Start and Fritz ammonia. Once fully cycled, I'll slowly transfer fish over.

Any holes in my plan? 

The Tupperware style totes bow A LOT. I tightly wrap layers of duct tape around the circumference to stabilize and support for reduced bowing. 

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On 10/7/2021 at 6:07 PM, Guppysnail said:

The Tupperware style totes bow A LOT. I tightly wrap layers of duct tape around the circumference to stabilize and support for reduced bowing. 

Ah. That's very good to know. I'd be very sad if the container gave way in the middle of the night.

Any other problems with using my "active", fully seeded filters and hardscape materials in a makeshift container? I'd think they would be fine to handle the bioload, right? Shouldn't be any different than normal, aside from the lack of BB on the substrate, etc. 

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On 10/7/2021 at 8:20 PM, AndEEss said:

Ah. That's very good to know. I'd be very sad if the container gave way in the middle of the night.

Any other problems with using my "active", fully seeded filters and hardscape materials in a makeshift container? I'd think they would be fine to handle the bioload, right? Shouldn't be any different than normal, aside from the lack of BB on the substrate, etc. 

I have done it this way several times. The only issue and it’s pretty consistent is some nitrites. I test regularly and water change until it subsides. Some meaning usually .25 if heavy stock .50. Not great but not real bad. 

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On 10/7/2021 at 6:20 PM, AndEEss said:

Ah. That's very good to know. I'd be very sad if the container gave way in the middle of the night.

Any other problems with using my "active", fully seeded filters and hardscape materials in a makeshift container? I'd think they would be fine to handle the bioload, right? Shouldn't be any different than normal, aside from the lack of BB on the substrate, etc. 

I would use a cinch strap, and two soild reinforcements on the outside of the tote, unless you are not going to more than halfway fill. Those totes have a **lot** of give... until they don't 😬 solid reinforcements could be a couple of shelves, or even just a couple of 2×4" to reinforce the outside of the container 

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On 10/8/2021 at 9:49 AM, AndEEss said:

Turns out my local Ace Hardware has livestock troughs for the same price as the totes I was considering, and they are obviously designed for holding water and NOT collapsing. So, I'll be going that route for temporary housing purposes.

 

 

That is fantastic!  Now you also will have the beginnings for an outdoor pond 😉 

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  • 1 month later...

Because I don't want to start another thread about things relating to this tank:

I'm considering getting a Fluval FX4 for this tank. I've become addicted to how incredibly clear the water in my current setup is, and want to keep that going with the increased bioload of the new fish, snails, etc.

However, I have some space restrictions due to the custom stand I am building for it.

Does anyone know the height to the top of the FX4 canister, or the highest point on top of the lid, without the AquaStop attachments/hoses? 

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