Stocking levels - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-20-2003, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,423
If you have read my threads in other forums, you'll know I am currently beating back some algae, recently upgraded my lighting, and will soon add DIY CO2. I never did water testing, but intend to start - at least with nitrates and phosphates. Will go on a shopping trip this weekend.

My short term plans are to get my plants as healthy as possible. But I'm wondering if my long term plans could involve adding more fish.

I understand that the 1" per gal is only a rough guideline. What other factors should I consider in determining fish holding capacity? What water parameters should I consider in determining whether my bioload is maxed out, and what parameters should I consider in determining particular species to add?

I have a 30gal with 55W AH retrofit, bio-wheel filter, 76 degrees, approx 12 hr photoperiod. Moderately planted at present, due to radical trimming to control algae. Should fill in to be moderately to heavily planted.

Present plants:
anubias - nana, congensis, frazerii
java fern
small-leafed sag
crypt wendtii bronze
crypt balansae
red hygro
corkscrew val

1.5" albino bristlenose pleco ("Old Yeller")
8 oto
3 cory
6 red-eye tetra
6 serpae tetra
8 glow-lite tetra

A while back I got rid of my common plec as he was getting too big. I replaced him with the bristle, and increased the sizes of my tetra schools. Everyone looks happy and healthy now, but I'm not thrilled with the way the tank looks. Specifically, I think it would look nicer with a couple of larger fish to balance all the the tetras. And the majority of the action is going on in the bottom 2/3 of my tank.

I know Old Yeller is gonna get bigger. But I think my tetras cories, and otos are pretty light in terms of the bioload they add. Moreover, I think when my plants get healthy they will help support a fish population on the high side.

What do you think?

If you think I could add something, what do you recommend? I was thinking of maybe 2-3 dwarf guorami, a small school of buenos aires tetras, or a couple of giant danios. Or maybe some hatchetfish hanging out on top. I really like the looks of blue rams, but my understanding is that they are somewhat picky in their water/temp preferences.

I'll let you know as soon as I get any results on my tank and tap H2O.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-20-2003, 05:03 PM
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Location: Maryland USA
Posts: 3,220
It's your tank, have fun. I think Buenos aries (sic) tetras are plant eaters, dwarf guorami can get territorial but are very pretty and have personality, blue rams will not hang out at the top of the tank and like warmer temps. Giant danios are spastic and will chase everything in the tank when they aren't chasing each other. Hatchet fish would be a great choice.

Are you using CO2? If not keep the biowheel, if you are, you are wasting your money using the biowheel.


Aquascape? I'm a crypt farmer.

It's a fine line between fishing and standing on the shore looking like an idiot.

That IS an aquascape, it's titled "The Vacant Lot".
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-21-2003, 09:40 AM
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Location: Cape Town
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Well my Dwarf gouramis are eating my plants, thick stems and all, while I'm watching. Also keep an eye on those serpaes, they tend to nip fins when kept in such small groups, i would go with at least 8 of them that way they should restrict the nipping to themselves.

Cape Town, South Africa.

Hi. I'm back.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-26-2003, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Chicago
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I put in 3 male Dw Gs before I read your post.
I hope they don't eat too much.
A while back at my wife's urging I tried silver dollars, and they quickly denuded my tank of plants.
So far these guys seem to nibble mainly on the anarcharis, which I added as a temporary algae buster.
They also seem to work a little bit on the brush algae that remains on the edges of my leaves. But I have not seen any damage to any of my other plants (yet!).
Maybe I should have gone with hatchets instead. But the DGs are really beautiful, and add a different element to what I already have in my tank.
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