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Restocking after aquarium massacre (update)


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Hi there!

I'm opening this thread to talk about the restocking of my 44g long tank after a series of deaths that have massacred half of the stock. This was the stocking 1 month ago:

2 Honey Gourami (m+f)
5 Sparkling Gourami (3m+2f)
10 Peppered Cory
8 Cardinal tetra
8 Glowlight tetra
12 Cherry Barb (4m+8f)
4 Otocinclus
6 Amano Shrimp

The barbs were the last to arrive and finished the community stocking. Before them, the tank was quite chilling and everyone was pretty clam. After them, everything scaled up with their chasing and territory defense. Tetras packed in one group, Honeys started to be always on one side, Sparklings started to ram between them and with the barbs and corys dispersed on tank.

2 weeks ago, deaths started, +3 every day. First 2 sparkling gouramis without symptoms, then the cherry barbs and some tetras started to be quickly bloated and died. Also some barbs, tetras and 1 sparkling appeared dead without any symptoms. PH and GH didn't change, 0 ammonia, 0 no2, 5-10 no3, same 20+20% weekly WC, same quantity of food and type (hikari, azoo, NLS) no fungus, no wounds, no fin rot, no quick breaths.. They just suddenly died (apart from bloated barbs and tetras). With that situation and no clue, 10 days ago upped temp 3C° and treated the whole tank with Dajana Multicure, a full spectre medication (green malachite, methylene blue..). After 2 days, deaths slowed down to 1 fish per day. Today is the second day without loses, tomorrow will start to clean the water with carbon, extra big WC and low temperature as normal. No ammonia or no2 appeared, so seems like medication didn't kill beneficial bacteria.

I don't know what the **** happened. Maybe the barbs stressed the fish and weakened them? Maybe too crowded? Maybe they came with something? I don't know, the strange thing is that no Honey gouramis, otos, corydoras and amano died during these weeks (including the hard medication). The 2*7g aquariums with shrimps+5 cpd and shrimps+8 chili rasboras have been not affected.

Said that, the plan is to wait some weeks, rehome tetras (5) and barbs(4) left and restock progressively with hardy, more water parameters compatible and friendly fish (Honeys/corys attitude) to avoid that happening again. Also want to start breeding fish (just bought sponge filter and heater for 2*4g acrylic cubes). Grown fish will be rehomed. 

Tank parameters and picture: Ph 8, GH 6, KH 11, temp 25 up to 29 C° in summer, 130*38*35 cm. Fishes I'll keep:

2 honey gourami
2 sparkling gourami
10 peppered cory
4 otocinclus
Amanos are difficult to find all, seen 4 together his night.

Thought about upping gouramis and adding live bearers, something like:

A) honeys to 6, sparkling to 8, peppered cory to 14 and add 12 endlers. 

B) honeys and sparkling to 3, peppered cory to 12, add 10 endlers and 8 platys.

What do you think? Someone has experience with big groups of honeys/sparkling gouramis? Experiences mixing gouramis and livebearers?

Thought about forktails, but they seem quite hiperactive. Rams are beautiful but maybe too much breeding-aggressive fish. Rummynose are nice but didn't match parameters, silvertip tetras are aggressive sometimes.. 

Other ideas/proposals are much appreciated!!



Edited by Mansoboy
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@Mansoboy, I sure am sorry to hear of your losses! It's always disheartening to lose them several days in a row. 

I have a group of 6 honey gourami with guppies, endlers, white clouds, SAEs, dwarf chain loaches, shrimp & snails in a 55-gallon. So just a bit bigger than yours. They are all doing beautifully together, so far. There are approximately 80-100 guppies & endlers, but roughly 25% are small fry right now. They all seem to be doing great. 

I have a group of 12 albino cherry barbs in quarantine right now & had planned to add them to this tank. Your post gives me pause, though. 😮 They are not high energy so far. Here's to hoping they stay laid back!  

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Thanks @Hobbit for the referral!

That's so true Alesha. Everytime I've lost an animal think about that while he/she was alive was happy and cared for. That gives me energy to do it again and do it better if possible!

Wow thats a lot of folks in the 55g, must be gorgeous to see! Also with the dwarf loaches, they are great, wanted them but here costs 24-30€, thats 150-180€ for a 6 group 😞

Excited about hearing that the honey group is doing well with endlers and guppys. Hope that honeys and Sparkling groups get together as well. I've seen in your thread that also have sparkling gourami in group in another tank, is their behavior ok? My Sparklings seems to have bolder character than the honeys.

About the Cherry Barbs, that happened in my case but probably yours will be different. Your tank is bigger/higher and probably they will be overwhelmed by the endlers and guppys to not create territorys. In my tank the 4 males occupied all the back and forced all other fishes to be in front. Chased anyone who pass through, and chased between them. Anyways, didn't see any nipped fins, was only chasing. Probably mines came with some desease that make them behave like this, they were like this already in the LFS tank.. 

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That's a good point, and something I've noticed too, that the more fish there are, the less fighting there is. When the tank was full of hundreds of guppies, I never saw any chasing, except for the breeding going on. As soon as we removed a few hundred, I started seeing females chasing females and males as well.  So there is a truth to that. The dwarf loaches are a joy to watch, but mine have been very shy, and not very engaging. I did lose a smaller one. I don't see them eat enough and I've tried several ways to get food to them, but I fear they don't get enough. I have 4 of them and do enjoy them.

The sparkling gourami are doing very well! The tank water went green, so that's finally clearing up. The Sparklers (as we call them) did just fine through the green water and all came to meet me tonight when I brought their food. They are so inquisitive and cute. They are still young, I think, so not much conflict yet. We'll see how it goes as they get older.

I'm hoping yours do well. I think the honey gourami are just very slow-paced and peaceful, and the endlers are all about eating and breeding, so they leave each other alone most of the time. 😃 As long as whatever you add is along those lines, they should do well.

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Something similar happened to me with the peppered corys. Other fishes went directly to the waffers making difficult to eat.

What works for me is to throw pellets left, center an right and at the same time the wafers where corys are (usually front center). When there is almost no pellet floating just turn lights off and filters on. That makes harder for swimming fishes to find the pellets left in the ground and wafers, as corys seem to not need light at all to eat. Nowadays corys are quite chubby 🙂.

Also to dip pellets and waffers just for 20 secs before throwing. That make pellets to swell, out of fish stomach, and waffers to be more munchy for corys. 

So, I think definitely will go for de 6 Honeys, 12 Endlers, 12 Peppered Cory, 4 Oto and amano. Then will see, or sparklers or norman lampeye. Maybe 6 honeys and 8 sparklers are 'too much' gouramis in a tank. 

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I have six Honey Gouramis in with a couple Apisto mcmasteri in a 12 gallon (90 cm) long and it is going well. Everyone gets along and the Honeys in a group are one of my favorite all-time fish to keep. They have such interesting (and peaceful) behavior in a group. They are very playful and engaging to watch.


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Early than expected, the gourami group is here!

After 4 days they have acclimated so well. Playing and investigating the tank all day, love their interactions and racing 😂. Now they are 2m+3f. 

Endlers also are doing fine, they are so inquisitive too. Started with 3m and 6f, I think 2f are already pregnant! 1 came pregnant and gave birth the 2nd day, some fry have survived (honeys chase them). 

Corys are more happy and active, also the pygmys sometimes swim in the open for first time in 4 or 6 months!

Otos are ok and the two sparkling gouramis are in they own way. Sometimes interact between them but no chasing at all (I think both are males) 

Really happy about the new stocking, all of them seems to thrive and to have no stress at all. Probably next week will add some pygmy corys (from 8 to 14-16) and 1 or 2 honeys. Also some new plants to give more cover to endler fry.

I would like to up Sparklings from 2 to 6 or 8 but I'm afraid they will start again defending territories. Will see. 

Wanna thank you again for sharing your experiences with honeys 👍👍👍

Edited by Mansoboy
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  • 1 month later...

Hi there,

Just an update. Endlers started to reproduce quite fast, there will be like 60 frys and juveniles. Gouramis ate some of them but definetly not enough to control population. Corys are so happy and fat, maybe too much.. Added some plants, also more pygmy corys (hide during day, go our afternoon-night) and 6 chillis rasboras. About the chillis, one jumped from the upper 7g to the 44g (lucky kamikaze), so moved the other 5 as they appreciate the extra space. Want to order +10 chillis, 2 more honey and will give some endlers to the LFS next week. 

Overall, really happy about the community. 

About the upper 2*7g, 1st has 4*CPD (2 came with fungus and didn't survive) and yellow fire neos. CPD have amazing colors, as they have dark zones I think they feel quite confortable. When I click with the pliers on the water, appear dashing for food! 


The 2nd 7g has only blue and blue jelly neos (and algae, trying to stabilize the bloom) after chillis jumping down. 


I'm thinking on changes to the upper tanks, these are the options:

- Add 3 more CPD to the 1st 7g. Add to the 2nd 3*Rocket Killifish/3 *Sparkling Gourami/1*Betta.

- To change the 2*g for a 15g long (35w*12d*9h''). Then stock with 10*CPD + 5*Sparkling gourami/1* Betta/2*Apisto. 

What do you think? Other ideas? 


Edited by Mansoboy
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  • 2 weeks later...

So, finally decided to change the 2*7g for a 16g long (90*30*22 cm). The glass craft guy told it would be 40€, so went for it 🙂It is already made, tomorrow will go to take it home:


I'm going to reuse almost all the plants, scape, filters, lights.. from the actuals to set up the new one (will sell the 7g or save them for quarentine/fry tanks).

About stocking, will go for 10-12 CPD and mixed colors neos. Then, 4-5 rocket killifish. What do you think about rocket killifish in a shallow densely planted tank? Maybe better a betta or 2-3 sparkling gouramis? 

In the 44g definetly need something to control endler population. A single angel seems like too much, as when he grows up probably will snack chili rasbora and adult endler. Other option is a single bolivian ram or up the sparklings from 2 to 8. What do you think? 

Edited by Mansoboy
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