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Amandas tank 10-02-2012 04:24 AM

What to do with my 100 Gallon tank
Hi. I have been reading about fish and plants for 2 years. I almost think I have over done my research because now there isn't any more mistery regarding fish species. Plants are still something I'm learning about.

Anyway, I have a 100 gallon partially planted tank with driftwood and rocks that I think would be concidered about a 78 gallon because it's 48" Long and 18" Wide. Hieght doesn't count for much when it comes to the amount of fish that can inhabit the tank.

So, right now I have 2 angelfish rescues that I am not sure if I want to keep or re-home. I have a female betta rescue that will stay with us until her life is up. I also have 4 kuhli loaches and 6 dennison barbs. I am not happy with my tank inhabitants. I don't know if this is due to too much research on fish, or is it something else. Everyday I find myself looking at my tank and wishing there was something else happening in there.

The Dennison Barbs are pretty but they startle far too easily. They only behave naturally when I am sitting far enough back from the tank that they don't see me, only then will they break up and chase eachother through the plants and rocks. I thought about adding 4 more to help them feel safer, but, really, I don't have the space for a school of 10 6" fish unless they were the only fish in the tank.

The Angels are quite social much like the betta, and they enjoy her company as well. Pretty cool fish. The draw back is, I am limited on what other species of fish I can put in with them due to them being so large they can eat many of the beautiful smaller species I like such as the celestrial pearl danio.

Since the betta stays, gouramis are completely out of the question. I tried a kribensis, but even without a female he was quite aggressive. Would never want to chance a mated pair of Kribensis in fear that I'd loose my betta. Her fins were shredded by the single territorial krib.

The kuhli loaches are never viewed, but I can't catch them so indefinetely they stay too.

So, that's my story. I am merely curious what others out there would do with my tank. Concidering the betta will permanately stay in the tank, and juggling the angels keep them or not keep them, but take out the dennison barbs, what would you do?

Thank you for any suggestions! I am hoping your ideas will help me out of this strange "rut" I'm in with my tank.


tomfromstlouis 10-02-2012 11:39 PM


Originally Posted by Amandas tank (Post 2029776)
...Everyday I find myself looking at my tank and wishing there was something else happening in there...

Dennison barbs look pretty cool, but if they get 6" you are right I doubt you could house many more. I KNOW angels and the betta and the loaches are interesting, so maybe what you need here is a mental adjustment.

Don't give up on me yet! Consider this: what if you viewed your tank as an aquatic garden that happens to have fish, instead of as a fish tank? You have not told us about the plants and surely we cannot let that go. When I visit the botanical garden I do not wish for more active animal life. I am pleased to see any at all and amused with their interaction with an awesome space. Angels are full of character, so are bettas. My initial impression is that you have been conditioned by TV to expect drama and action every minute. But the true beauty of a planted tank is the calm of the little things that happen with a complex interaction over time of natural elements compressed together.

That said, the skittish fish might benefit from a larger school; I have no experience with dennison barbs. Kuhlis like larger groups too. If you want to add a new element consider amano shrimp. They are large enough to not be eaten by the angels and fascinating to watch.

Amandas tank 10-03-2012 07:29 AM

Hello! :) Thank you for replying. I enjoyed reading your response. I guess really what I don't like about the tank is how the Denison Barbs dart across the tank when ever there is any sound in the house. We have 5 kids and laminate floors with an open floor plan so a bump on the floor is noticed by the Denisons. When the kids are elsewhere and there are no humans or other pets seen by the denisons, they act calmly and swim gracefully through the plants and branches. It's at that moment I enjoy my tank. I like the serenity of it all. I very much dislike chaos. I have enough of that in my day to day with my kids, dogs and cats ugh....:icon_roll

I have a ton of rocks so the kuhli loaches are well hidden...daily I will catch a glimpse of two at a time snuggled under a rock pile in the front side of the tank. When I leave, they dissapear until the following morning.

:) I don't watch TV LOL :) I hate TV! Can't stand the realty shows, drama, and what not. I enjoy my fish tank much more. There's just something missing. I wish I knew what it was.
So, I have anubias, crypts, and some oxygenated stem plants. I had some floating plants, ruffle plants and moss too, but the denisons got a bout of ICH and I had to treat the tank, killing those plants. :( I have creek rocks we collected ourselves. A variety of sizes. I have three small pieces of driftwood with plants strung to them. I plan to get some larger pieces of driftwood when I can. I need some different plants too. Just not sure what though. My tank is low light with no Co2 dosing with Leaf Zone weekly and having laterite mixed in the gravel.
When I find my plug I will load some pictures up to share ;) That will be fun.

One aspect I do like about my tank is that every level is occupied. The angels stay near the top most the time, the betta is always exploring every nook and cranny and the denisons are mid to bottom and the kuhli loaches of course are bottom.

Anyway, thanks again for your response. :)

Amandas tank 10-03-2012 07:34 AM

oh, forgot to mention that I LOVE shrimp! I used to have bamboo shrimp, but they are so sensitive I decided to return them to the LFS. After the ICH episode and having to catch and remove the shrimp (THEY ARE FAST!!!!!), I just thought it'd be best for the shrimp if they were not housed with fish that need meds or salt treatment from time to time. Too bad though because I was crazy for the shrimp!!!!! My kids were too.

Diana 10-03-2012 02:04 PM

I would add a larger school of some fish that is relatively small (so you can add enough) but not Angel food.
Something like 12-15 Phantom Tetras, 10-12 Bleeding Hearts or similar fish. They are a bit taller than most fish, so they are not likely to fit in an Angel Fish mouth. I know they are not the best at schooling, but they are safe from Angels, and they will hang out in a group. IME the Phantoms (I have black Phantoms, a very handsome fish) tend to be more up front. The Bleeding Hearts have more of a tendency to hide.

Kuhlie Loaches will come out more if they are in a larger group, but even then it is more of a timing thing. They will come out and dance around for a while, then go back under their rocks. They are not out and about all the time.

tomfromstlouis 10-03-2012 03:40 PM

I don't watch TV either (except a rare sports event), so I was not accusing you as much as voicing a prejudice.

I am glad you find peace in your aquarium. I find it in mine too. I suspect that with five kids, finding peace will remain a rare event around your house. I grew up with four siblings, so I know.

Diana, as usual, is right. If the dennisons are not right for your life - if they are always getting frightened - you could take them out and get a much larger school than just 10-12 tetras. I have a large school of ~45 rummynose and they are always doing something interesting.

Amandas tank 10-03-2012 11:01 PM

Oh tomfromstlouis no worries, I thought it was pretty funny about the TV! Never felt accused ;) I can tell ya my husband watches enough TV for the both of us LOL! I have seen your tanks and I must say your 220 gallon tank... Gorgeous! Your Rummynose clan is quite amazing! I had a school of 14 rummynose once (and I adored them!), but they didn't fare well with my largest angelfish. One by one they all dissapeared :( (I took the last 5 to the LFS before they got gobbled)

We used to have 8 kuhli loaches, but they have been slowly dying off one at a time since I got them 10 months ago. Can't figure out why. Water is in pristine condition. No signs of illness, or parasites either. Strange. They look healthy. They are larger than I thought they'd get and their coloring is excellent.

Thank you for your suggestion Dianna :) Phantoms are pretty. I used to have Black Skirt Tetras. They were soooo cute especially from the front view after eating. They ate too quickly for the angels unfortunately. They are gluttens! So, they went back to the LFS. Are the Phantoms aggressive eaters like the skirts? I have never had phantoms so I have no clue about their eating style.

Thank you guys! I am concidering trading the Densions for something else. It would be awesome to have a large school of small fish with the Angels. What is the smallest you would suggest I go? When the Rummynose were being eaten, they were about 1.5". I'm not sure if my big angel would try to eat a 2" fish. Hmmmmm....I do prefer schoolers over shoaling fish. The angels body is about 5" tall and slightly longer.

Thanks again! Your replies have got the wheels turning ;)

Amandas tank 10-07-2012 11:24 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Hello. Thought I'd add a picture of the largest Angelfish, the Rummynose exterminator :( And a second picture with the Denison Barbs below the Angel.

MegganKelley 10-10-2012 09:30 AM

That said, the skittish fish might benefit from a larger school; I have no experience with dennison barbs. Kuhlis like larger groups too. If you want to add a new element consider amano shrimp. They are large enough to not be eaten by the angels and fascinating to watch.

Amandas tank 10-13-2012 01:23 AM

Have you successfuly kept mature angels with amono shrimp? I would love to add some of those cute little guys, and was going to purchase some this week, but I was just told by the supplier the angels will kill all of the shrimp.

Diana 10-13-2012 04:00 PM

I have Black Phantoms with an Angelfish. They do not nip. I do need more to make a nice school, though. The few I have are not great at schooling. I sure like the flowing mass of a proper school (couple of dozen minimum), but I do not know if Phantoms would do this. There are also some species that are red, look like Phantoms, but are not Serpaes (very bed for nipping).
I know Harlequin Rasboras school a lot better, but are just a little bit bigger than many of the fish Angels can eat. I do not know if they would be safe from a known predatory Angel.

Much better bottom fish, almost always out and playing are any of the Cories. If the ultimate goal is adding shrimp, go with some of the smaller Cories. There are several dwarf species that are shrimp safe, and there are some species that are bigger than the dwarfs, but not full size. Pandas, a few others. I think these are shrimp safe. I do not know about the larger species, but they are big enough to eat shrimp, if they were so inclined: Bronze, Albino, Pepper, Emerald (Brochis splendens) and many others.

Amandas tank 10-14-2012 01:31 AM

Thank you Diana :) Cories are cute as buttons. We used to have 10 of them in my daughters tank. When we decided to get rid of all the tanks and get one large one, we gave the dwarf cories to a friend. I do miss their funny little fat bodies awkwardly swimming around the tank.

Do you know of a tall, easy to maintain plant that doesn't require co2 injections and does well in low light? Something that would give shelter to shrimps from the angels?

Thanks again!

Amandas tank 10-16-2012 06:54 AM

So, I contacted a invertabrate supplier and have found that the angels will eventually eat any shrimp or crayfish I put in the, no shrimpies. Right now I am dealing with water issues, so for the time being, no fish will be added. But, that doesn't mean I can't keep planning what fish I'll be keeping.

I have a concrete decision to return the Denison Barbs to the LFS in exchange for other fish. I do love kuhli loaches, so once my water issue is resolved, I plan to try 10 again. I am concidering cherry barbs. While visiting forums and reading people's posts, I have come to the conclusion that cherry barbs can mix well with Angels for some people. I might give it a try, unless something else catches my eye. I am also thinking Harlequin Rasboras; again, some people successfully are keeping them with angels, while others have not. It will have to be closely monitored to be sure they won't become dinner...and remove them if the angel begins snacking.

So, here is what I'm throwing possibilities (of course not all of them! One large school of a species or 2 schools) bloodfin tetra, silvertip tetra (may nip though...), dwarf corydoras instead of kuhlis, blue tetra, bleeding heart, pair honey gouramis (careful with the betta female).

What I'm leaning towards more so:

2 Angelfish +2 more
1 Betta
2 Kuhli Loach +8 more
-6 Denison Barbs
+14 Harlequin Rasboras
+14 Cherry Barbs

or adding 16 Rosy Tetras and 12 Phantom Tetras instead of the latter two.

hmmmmm...just thought I'd share with you where I'm at right now. Thank you for your suggestions! You really helped me envision something different. I feel quite optimistic about my relationship with my tank ;)

Will let you know what I decide once that time comes! (when my water is stable...)

Thanks again and if you feel impelled to suggest numbers and species from my list, feel free! I enjoy input :) It's quite fun.

Amandas tank 11-03-2012 05:54 PM

Okay...I have since changed my mind about the Cherry Barbs and possibly the harlequins and the Kuhli's LOL! Good thing I'm not in a rush to put fish in my tank. I will just keep dreaming until I find the perfect balance for me!

Lemon Tetras have really gotten my attention and from all that I've read they do infact make good schoolers :) Beautiful little lemons; I adore the ones I have seen. So cute! And such a nice low key citrus-y hue. They would be complimented by a shoal of Columbian Tetras IMO. The red and blue with the yellow. Gorgeous! A week ago I decided this combo is what I am sure to go with. Still pretty sure. But, my mind changes often (obviously :redface:) and I am still researching and reading others experiences with these fish. I have plenty of time! It's nice not having the "impulse buying" tacks anymore. I admit, I once had it bad! I would see a species and want it; I would go home and research it than if it was compatible, rush back to the LFS and grab a bag of them. At one point, I had too much going on in my tank and hated it! Ended up returning 5 species of fish!!!! That's horrible!

driftwoodhunter 11-03-2012 07:42 PM

I am going to be a shameless enabler, lol...

A mix of Columbian and Buenos Aires tetras in my 125 - the Buenos are ferocious plant eaters so ignore them! (even tho they are my absolute favorite fish, I just get plants they won't eat) The Buenos have the black caudal spot, the Columbians are the other fish...they school very well.

They will mature into 2.5" fish.
They have visible teeth and might eat plants too, just sayin'...

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