Stocking a 12 gallon bio cube
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Old 06-23-2013, 02:04 AM   #1
AdamC13
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Default Stocking a 12 gallon bio cube

So I have a 12 gallon jbj biocube in the planning stages and have a few questions. First to give a few details it will be low-medium light with no CO2 and will be HEAVILY planted from the start (I'm taking my time on this setup and waiting until I can afford all the plants I want all at once)

I'm wondering if I can get away with 2 schools of microfish. I'm thinking 8-10 chili rasboras and 8-10 microdevario kubotai. The only other inhabitants, if any will be some cherry shrimp as well as some various snails (either MTS or ramshorn or nerites or a combination) Will I be able to get away with 16-20 fish in a tank this size? It seems to me like they are small enough to where bioload wont be a huge issue with regular water changes and very heavy planting.

Before someone says it already thought about/tried aqua advisor and I simply cant figure out how to plug in the filter of something like this since it is a built in sump. If not 8-10 of both how many of one could I get away with because I really don't want schools smaller than 9 or 10
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Old 06-24-2013, 02:13 PM   #2
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Any input?
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Old 06-24-2013, 05:36 PM   #3
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The tank's dimensions are so small that you should likely just stick with a single school. You could do 15-17 Boraras of some sort to start. Maybe even bump things up to 21 because they're so tiny. It'll just look like a mishmash of fish if you mix similar types up in a tank that's so small.

That, coupled with shrimp and you'll have a terrific tank.
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:39 PM   #4
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Are you saying the two different types would school together making it look mixed up? Also any reason you seem to be recommending odd numbers or is that just your preference? My OCD hates odd numbers when it comes to fish hahaha.
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Old 06-25-2013, 04:39 PM   #5
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They may or may not hang out together. Though, Boraras aren't much of a schooling species unless they're in gigantic tanks and have a reason to create safety in numbers. Otherwise, they spend 99% of their time apart, exploring.

Mixing two types in a tank this small will look poorly planned and less natural.

Some fish seem to do better in odd numbers when in smaller groups (though, some people say otherwise or have never observed it) of fish - like 21 Boraras brigittae instead of 900 Boraras brigittae. In the wild, fish aren't always going to appear in even, set groups. So having an odd number when you have a decent sized group can appear less planned.

It's also about aesthetic in smaller tanks and trying to keep things looking natural or beautiful and unplanned. It's why people use the golden ratio instead of centering hardscape in a tank.

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Originally Posted by AdamC13 View Post
Are you saying the two different types would school together making it look mixed up? Also any reason you seem to be recommending odd numbers or is that just your preference? My OCD hates odd numbers when it comes to fish hahaha.
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Old 06-25-2013, 12:51 AM   #6
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Mixing schools in a small tank just makes it look like a traffic jam in my experience.

As for the odd numbers thing, you are never going to be able to count exactly how many boraras in a heavily planted 12 gallon biocube so don't worry about it

If you do boraras you may want to put some screen over the filter intakes to prevent having a school of fish in the sump and I'd highly recommend looking at some of the reef keeper's tricks and modifications for biocubes, most of them are applicable to freshwater (except the biomedia removal, you want a bus load of bio media in your tank) and will help keep things flowing better.
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Old 06-25-2013, 01:20 AM   #7
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I already have mine notched for a skimmer. Im also going to see if I can rig up some kind of plumbing to do a spraybar that goes across the entire back of the tank blowing forwards. If I do that will i need to make each hole the same size or make the ones closer to the pump output smaller then progressively bigger for constant pressure?
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