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I have one of those oops fishkeeping stories that starts with well-intentioned kids gifts, zero knowledge & quickly dead fish. Feel bad, learn stuff, meet cool people, start again, "accidentally" buy three tanks while learning. You know, that old chestnut. Anyway the 15 gallon attempt number two (with enough knowledge to keep the fish alive for a month and spending a small fortune), has gone really well and the family and I are ready to do something with the other tanks. Here is a list I am keeping and adjusting as I build the built in fish area for the 32 gallon in the living room, and finish remodeling my office to house the 15 and the 2.6.

Interested in feedback on the stocking ideas:

 

Fluval Spec 2.6 Gallon  
     
Amount Species Common Name Notes
6 Cherry Shrimp Color and interest
1 Olive Nerite Snail Algae
1 Water Sprite In Substrate
2 Java Moss 1 substrate, 1 floating
     
Substrate Spectrastone Fast River Gravel w/ small amounts of Fluval Stratum underneath  
Hardscape Driftwood, small river rocks  
Heater Fluval P10  
Filtration Spec OE with AqCoop Nano sponge & Ziss water stone  
Lighting Spec OE light  
Fertilizer

Easy Green

 

 
 
Fluval Flex 15 Gallon  
     
Amount Species Common Name Notes
1 Honey Gourami Centerpiece
6 Harlequin Rasbosas Small shoaling group
2 to 3 Red Racer Nerite Snails Algae control
3 Albino Cory's Clean up crew
1 Water Sprite Corraled Floater
2 Aponogenton Crispus Background
3 to 6 Anubias Nana Petite Planted in Drifwood
3 Java Moss Foreground
     
     
Substrate Small amounts of Fluval Stratum strategically burried under Spectrastone Fast River Gravel  
Hardscape Dark driftwood (Seasoned) & Grey Slate rocks stacked and glued into a cave for quiet time  
Heater Fluval P50  
Filtration Flex OE with biomass in both slots and standard split head, filter floss at intake grills, &  Aq Co-op small sponge filter w/Ziss stone  
Lighitng Flex OE light bar  
Fertilizer Easy Green

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fluval Flex 32.5 Gallon  
     
Amount Species Common Name Notes
4 Salt & Pepper (hasbrosas) Cory's 1 large 3 small for ID on Jack's original fish
2 Blue Moon Platy's m&f (maybe we get some frye)
1 Large Mystery Snail Lynde's original snail (big fella)
2 Gold Racer Nerite Snails Amp up algae control with the big fella
6 Zebra Danios hope to school with the Glofish Danios
3 Glofish Danios 1 Purple (Lillie's fish), 2 Blue...just in case shoal splits from Zebras.
1 Water Sprite Corraled floater to propogate other tanks
2 Amazon Sword Background
2 Java Fern Background
4 Java Moss Attach to Driftwood/rocks in Midground
2 Cryptocoryne Lucens Foreground
     
     
Substrate Spectrastone Special Black with strategically placed Fluval Stratum underneath  
Hardscape Driftwood, Sponge Bob's House, Large & smooth river stones from yard   
Heater Fluval M200  
Filtration Flex OE with biomass in all slots, filter floss at intake grills, Aq Coop Medium sponge filter w/ziss water stone  
Lighting Flex OE Aquasky with App  
Fertilizer Easy Green  
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Posted (edited)

Great start to a journey Pithy! 

I love the stocking ideas! 

I can see already where the Cory lovers on the forum are going to see an issue- they as a rule like to recommend 6 Cory as they like to shoal and I tend to believe that to be true (I keep Otos not Cory but agree they seem to like groups of 6 or more). ALBINOS get big- just under 3" so I would put THOSE in the 32 and the S&P who are smaller in the 15. I'd do at least 4 Albinos and 6 S&P- only because I'm not sure the bio load so far because of course you have more fish ideas there. You might consider pygmy Cory or another small species. I happen to really love the Albinos though. 

The Platy.....you're going to get fry. So have a backup plan for them. Lots and lots of fry.....I mean if you only hung out in a small space and besides eating that was your only entertainment? 🙃 I think everything else looks awesome!

Edited by xXInkedPhoenixX
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On 5/23/2022 at 10:03 PM, Fish Folk said:

Welcome to the madness! It is remarkable how fast one can learn in this hobby. Looks like you're getting along swimmingly. Do share photos when you're comfortable doing so. This is a kind forum, so fear not!

Like drinking from a fire hose sometimes! The Aquarium Co-Op YT channel, website blogs, and this forum have been such an education. I feel extra dangerous now. Honestly it’s been a blast and the whole family is on board with it, making it extra special. Right now I only have the 15 gallon set up with some fish and a lot of decorations and media hiding in the back to seed the other two tanks so I can speed up the cycling.

I mean I can take a picture of it…if you like yard sales, LOL.

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On 5/23/2022 at 10:09 PM, xXInkedPhoenixX said:

Great start to a journey Pithy! 

I love the stocking ideas! 

I can see already where the Cory lovers on the forum are going to see an issue- they as a rule like to recommend 6 Cory as they like to shoal and I tend to believe that to be true (I keep Otos not Cory but agree they seem to like groups of 6 or more). ALBINOS get big- just under 3" so I would put THOSE in the 32 and the S&P who are smaller in the 15. I'd do at least 4 Albinos and 6 S&P- only because I'm not sure the bio load so far because of course you have more fish ideas there. You might consider pygmy Cory or another small species. I happen to really love the Albinos though. 

The Platy.....you're going to get fry. So have a backup plan for them. Lots and lots of fry.....I mean if you only hung out in a small space and besides eating that was your only entertainment? 🙃 I think everything else looks awesome!

Thank you IP!

Corys...yeah probably trying too hard to balance out a previous error. Nana got the two albinos to go with the single S&P that survived the mistake tank that kicked this all off. So I have those three corys in the 15 right now and know it isn't anywhere close to ideal. They are fine and eat together, do not seem stressed at all. The S&P is my son Jack's fish...he is on the Spectrum (both boys actually), so my mom thought the albinos would help him not lose track of "Thumper." Anyway, I hear the concern for the group sizes and had no idea the albinos got that big! The FLEX style tanks are tall, so that 15 is basically a cube with a vertical bowfront. Not as much floor as a traditional design, so I worry about too many bottom dwellers in that one for space more than the bio load. Probably best to rehome those two albinos and bump up the S&P's to 6 in the 32. I can just add more snails for the clean up crew in the 15.

Platy...Soooo, I am making a built in Aquarium/bookcase in a corner of my living room (which is actually a converted sanctuary in the old church I bought 3 years ago and have been fixing up). It will have one section that is 25"Wx72"L with cabinetry underneath, and the other section of the L shape (bookcase part) will be about 12"Wx72"L. In other words plenty of room for more tanks down the road! The closest LFS is about 45 minutes away, and they didn't have any Platys that I saw. I am hoping for a species only tank with the blue moon platys so I can pass on the fry to them if things go well (like the parents and the other fish don't eat the fry). Way ahead of myself, but I kind of do that with my overactive mind. 

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You have wonderful plans. I totally know how the Flex are having a 9- which is why I opted for 1x Nerite and 1x Hillstream Loach and I really love that combination. Maybe consider a few of those? They are really fun- and they'll use the vertical space. I personally have no qualms with your stocking but you tend to get better behavior out of the groups sizes- I think you could still have 4 albinos in the 32 and be good if you wanted to keep them- I just think they get too big for the 15. 

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On 5/23/2022 at 11:36 PM, xXInkedPhoenixX said:

You have wonderful plans. I totally know how the Flex are having a 9- which is why I opted for 1x Nerite and 1x Hillstream Loach and I really love that combination. Maybe consider a few of those? They are really fun- and they'll use the vertical space. I personally have no qualms with your stocking but you tend to get better behavior out of the groups sizes- I think you could still have 4 albinos in the 32 and be good if you wanted to keep them- I just think they get too big for the 15. 

Hillstream Loaches are awesome looking, but I've read they are sensitive to higher PH and hard water. I have both out of the tap, so I kind of wrote them off early. I also read they do better in small groups (internet so maybe completely wrong). I love snails (which seems is a rareish thing?) so I am content with that if needs be.

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On 5/26/2022 at 10:05 PM, Fish Folk said:

Nice design!

Is your plant artificial?

Yes. It’s a Fluval design. I wanted to give the fish something to use as cover while I’m going through the process of getting the larger tank ready and cycled. Plus I figured I should learn about live plants before I go mucking about in the only tank I have for them and screw up. 
 

I’ve been going really slow and cautious. 

 

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Flex is a good tank. I would only put pygmy corys in there. I have the 15 g myself and the floor plan is not ideal for any of the typical body type corys. The lights in there will grow some plants so I wouldn’t be too afraid. Water sprite, pogostemon octopus, hornwort all do well in hard water. Down low in the tank around your rocks some anubias would be good.  

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On 5/23/2022 at 9:18 PM, PithyUserName said:

(which is actually a converted sanctuary in the old church I bought 3 years ago and have been fixing up).

I just have to ask.... are you a Guthrie fan?

 

On 5/23/2022 at 9:18 PM, PithyUserName said:

The S&P is my son Jack's fish...he is on the Spectrum (both boys actually),

Jack, if he's anything like my kiddos on the spectrum, will want his cory in a school so he won't be lonely, once fish dynamics are explained in a way that Jack can understand. The spectrum is very diverse, and how I explained it to one didn't work for the other, so it might take a couple of tries. I have learned 90% of the meltdowns don't come from being on the spectrum, but  from the socially imposed "kids on the spectrum don't... <insert misconception here>" that leads to their perspective frequently being misunderstood... which leads to frustration... which leads to meltdown.

Took me getting diagnosed at almost 50 before I understood why my kids and I didn't really have problems with each other, the meltdowns were pretty limited to when any of us had to deal with NT who presumed they knew our needs better than we did. I suspect you can have a school of S&P corys, and Jack will always be able to identify which one is "his" by some detail (fin shape, extra spine in the fin, specific row of dots, you name it) that everyone else will miss... if he has the opportunity.

Aside from the corys probably being happier in the larger tank, I think you have done a lot of research and it shows!

Welcome to the forum!!! 

Nermlandia😁

♫You can have anything you want♫

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On 5/27/2022 at 1:21 AM, Torrey said:

I just have to ask.... are you a Guthrie fan?

 

Jack, if he's anything like my kiddos on the spectrum, will want his cory in a school so he won't be lonely, once fish dynamics are explained in a way that Jack can understand. The spectrum is very diverse, and how I explained it to one didn't work for the other, so it might take a couple of tries. I have learned 90% of the meltdowns don't come from being on the spectrum, but  from the socially imposed "kids on the spectrum don't... <insert misconception here>" that leads to their perspective frequently being misunderstood... which leads to frustration... which leads to meltdown.

Took me getting diagnosed at almost 50 before I understood why my kids and I didn't really have problems with each other, the meltdowns were pretty limited to when any of us had to deal with NT who presumed they knew our needs better than we did. I suspect you can have a school of S&P corys, and Jack will always be able to identify which one is "his" by some detail (fin shape, extra spine in the fin, specific row of dots, you name it) that everyone else will miss... if he has the opportunity.

Aside from the corys probably being happier in the larger tank, I think you have done a lot of research and it shows!

Welcome to the forum!!! 

Nermlandia😁

♫You can have anything you want♫

I don’t know what/who Guthrie is or how that relates to living in an old church…so that’s gotta be a “no” right? Maybe you could explain?

Jack is an easy going fella most of the time. Henry’s my theatrical one😁

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On 5/26/2022 at 11:36 PM, Beardedbillygoat1975 said:

Flex is a good tank. I would only put pygmy corys in there. I have the 15 g myself and the floor plan is not ideal for any of the typical body type corys. The lights in there will grow some plants so I wouldn’t be too afraid. Water sprite, pogostemon octopus, hornwort all do well in hard water. Down low in the tank around your rocks some anubias would be good.  

Yes, the gallons vs “distance”. Not sure that’s the right term but I think that’s what you’re referring to. I think they are all better off moving to the 32 when it’s ready. What bottom dweller is a good choice for the Flex 15 to replace them? 

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You could do kuhli loaches, 4-8. Low bioload. Pygmy corys, hastatus corys, Habrosus are the 3 smallest in cory land. A single bristlenose pleco I’m partial to longfins but I breed them. I think dwarf chain loaches are out due to the #s 6-8 to get best behavior and comfort. Amano shrimp can be fun they won’t breed and overpopulate the tank but will get big and chunky.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/27/2022 at 9:03 AM, Beardedbillygoat1975 said:

You could do kuhli loaches, 4-8. Low bioload. Pygmy corys, hastatus corys, Habrosus are the 3 smallest in cory land. A single bristlenose pleco I’m partial to longfins but I breed them. I think dwarf chain loaches are out due to the #s 6-8 to get best behavior and comfort. Amano shrimp can be fun they won’t breed and overpopulate the tank but will get big and chunky.

I have pretty high PH that hovers near 8, so I was kind of worried about the Kuhli's (really interesting body and coloring). Of course my LFS has the same type of water and sells them so I may be overthinking it. Amano shrimp definitely an option.

Edited by PithyUserName
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@Beardedbillygoat1975 is correct about plants (as he has a Flex as well)- in my 9 I have Bacopa Caroliniana- this stem plant is great because all you need is a few stems to start, then when they get tall enough you can trim to whatever size you'd like and replant the trimmings for more plants. I also have Java fern, both Narrow Leaf and Windelov- these are rhizone plants that you just glue to wood, rocks, decor or other substrate and they will also propogate new plantlets you can use- then my favorites in this tank are 2 Anubias Nana also rhizone plants to attach to something (Nana is a smaller species because some get rather large). Nana- which is attached to a twig and bits of the Java show in this pic.: 20220527_0825141.jpg.3209126579313fbdf50c9994ca1809bc.jpg

They all grow very well in this tank with limited light options- I put my lights on white/orange combo brings out the green in the plants and isn't obnoxious like blue. Purple/White not too bad either. These plants are great for the newbies to start with- and frankly the best kinds for this model of tank.

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Well I got a small shipment of the small plants delivered today to try my aqua green thumb out. Overdid the glue on the Java moss. Live and learn. Floated the water sprite in a ring…it was so delicate I couldn’t do much else. Some bigger stuff will be here this weekend sometime.

Took out the fake Fluval plant & moved some driftwood and slate into the 2.6 gallon to get that tank started cycling for shrimp. 
 

Hopefully the larger plants help fill things out…kinda meh on the transitional stage. Took a pic right after rooting around in there for about 30 minutes. Sorry for the water being disturbed so much.

 

BCDC715E-DB74-4E69-BD40-201EEB5A5754.jpeg

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