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Old 02-18-2013, 07:58 PM   #1
Woolly
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New to CPOs


I'll be getting my first pair of CPO in a few days, and I've been doing lots of research but I have a number of inquiries that are still unanswered in my search.

These will be my first invertebrates, and also the first time I'm trying a planted tank. I thinking if it was just one of these I wouldn't have so many concerns.

I have my tank set up, it has been cycling a few days with a number of Amazon Swords. They seem to be doing fine atm, but there are no critters in the tank either. The chemical that came with my planted tank to help the plants a long contains copper, since this is going to be an invert tank I haven't used it.

Is there any sort of fertilizer or any other chemical that is invertebrate safe which I can use? Or would I just be best off waiting until I have some critters in there and let things progress naturally.

My other concerns are pretty much with the size of the tank and what I can get in there. I'm not planning to overstock it by any means but I'm getting so many varied opinions that I felt it was best to ask. This is the smallest tank I've ever dealt with at 30 L.

My initial plan was to have 2 CPO, 6 to 8 tetras, and a number of different plants. However it seems ever other person I talk to seems to tell me that's way too much. Any comments on this issue would be great.

That's pretty much the max I'm comfortable putting in the tank, although there are those suggesting I should also get a beta or one larger fish. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

All in all I'm most concerned for the CPOs, I got this tank for them, and they are the show piece (and my favourite ) - I'd rather not crowd them or get any sort of fish that would stress them out.

So I'm hoping to hear some suggests from others and maybe let more experienced opinions guide the direction this tank is heading in.
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:28 AM   #2
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Well it appears my Nutrafin plant gro will be acceptable because the copper levels are extremely low. One down!
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:44 AM   #3
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I don't know if I'd put any fish in there with them right off. I tried a female betta in with mine and she hunted them to where they hid all the time and were terrified. I only left her in for one day before I moved her out. Once they are bigger they can handle fish, my dudes were a bit over an inch when I got them in. I use Prime on all my tanks so can't comment on the Nutrafin. And to me that does sound like overstocking as far as the amount of fish you are talking. Also are you getting a mated pair? Two females...no good. Two males...no good. So if you're going to just get two I'd get a pair. And you need to have caves/cholla logs/something for them to hide in. And LOTS of plants...break the line of site because they will fight...and if someone has a rough molt they can easily get attacked. I lost one because he was attacked during a molt...he was pitiful looking (I tried to save him but it didn't work). Right now I have two females and one male in a 10 gallon with about 50 shrimp. And they fight anytime they run across each other so my whole tank is a giant jungle gym of crap. LOL.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:06 AM   #4
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Agreed on the lineof site breaking. They won't spar constantly and the nonalphas won't get decimated so quickly. I have dosed ferts in my cpo and dwarf cray tank but suggest you don't if you are new at this just to keep things simple. They are very interesting to watch and lounge around most days.

I have a ton of moss, plastic sauce containers half buried in substrate, cholla,driftwood, and massive amounts of calcium clay.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:46 PM   #5
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Doh! I wasn't noticing the nutrafin was a fert though you were talking about their water conditioner.
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:31 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. I think I may hold off on getting them another week to properly prepare and get a few more plants going. The tank is pretty bare right now with just the substrate and 3 small clumps of Amazon swords (placed at random).

I'm still trying to source up a nice piece of driftwood for the middle, rocks that won't poison the tank, and some clay pots for hidey holes.

I may look into additional ways to get some extra calcium in there, either bone or clay. Rather than using chems.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:49 PM   #7
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Just going to add this in and hope someone bites with an answer. What sort of aquarium rocks are you invert keepers all using. I see some lovely displays, and only a few using the safety standard clay pots.

I would really like to set up a number of smaller stones to use for hiding spots rather than the clay pots... I'm a little picky. I'm the same way with that root wood for aquariums, I can't seem to find any good sources that say that it is safe for inverts or any stores that I can purchase it.
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:53 PM   #8
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I just use basic slate tiles broken up
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:41 AM   #9
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I have three CPOs in my 55gal planted tank that has 30 neon tetras, 2 siamese algae eaters and 1 male halfmoon betta. They all get along fine. I bought the CPOs as juvies and the betta got close enough to sniff them like a dog, but then left them alone from there on out*. The CPOs are all over the tank. We put in a large volcanic rock that has bunches of little holes to use for caves, plus we purchased a length of black pvc pipe about 5/8" in diameter and cut those into 3" lengths for them to use when the molt. If they don't have a place to hide and protect themselves from fish while molting, they will be slowly picked to pieces as they are completely soft once the molt and need to hide for a few days while their shell hardens.

I would not use anything that contains copper - that includes algae pellets. Even the slightest amount of copper can be unhealthly for your CPOs. I have also have it set up with a CO2 system, and have been using dry fertilizers that I purchased from Nilocg here on TPT. I does just a little less than the EI says to dose. So far, everyone seems to be handling it fine.

All I can think of that you need to make sure of is that your tank is fully cycled before you put any creatures in it. Good luck

** Forgot to add that the other day, Sushi, my male betta was snooping around the back of the tank where the CPOs go sometimes and came flying out with a CPO holding onto his tail as he flew to the top of the tank. The CPO let go, floated back to the bottom of the tank, and Sushi went over and sat on his leaf for a while - but he was fine - no injuries to his tail. Now he is even more sure to stay clear of the CPOs...LOL
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:56 AM   #10
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i use safe-t-sorb so there shouldnt be any problems with molting... at least there hasnt been for the last 8 months

Tons of java moss, low light, sponges, and random odds and ends that i decided to toss in the tank for them to climb and hide in.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:01 PM   #11
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Good to hear that Bettas do work, I've been considering getting one for the tank a while now. The idea was to have a number of small fish like tetras with a single larger fish (probably betta as they have nice coloration and seem to fit the bill) and have the two CPOs hanging out down bottom.

Good thing with getting a Betta I won't get hung up looking for a pretty color or fish and will probably take the one which looks the most distressed in a tiny cup..
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