Stocking a 63 gallon with nano-fish - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 02:00 AM Thread Starter
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Stocking a 63 gallon with nano-fish

So I'm planning on stocking my 63 gallon with nano fish and rcs. It's a moderately to heavily planted low tech setup. What are some stocking ideas? I already have 4 Celestial pearl danios and a few pygmy corys so I'd like to get maybe a school of 20 of each. Also thinking of adding pygmy/sparkling gouramis. I know they can eat shrimp but I think the tank is big enough and there are enough hiding spots. Thoughts?
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 04:07 PM
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Agree getting some more pygmies and CPDs. Both species will show increased positive behavior with some more in there especially in a nice big tank.

I have ember tetras with my CPDs and Corys. The ember tetras are odd tetras (atleast mine). Sometimes they hang out with the CPDs and other times by themselves or in pairs then they will be back together again. They look cool though. CPDs are pretty fun to watch, the males are always sparring or trying to get the attention of the females. I have a bigger male that will try and lure one of the females over to some java moss then a little male that darts in and harasses the bigger male. Then they dance for a bit and go on there way.

Some of the micro rasboras may be a good option as well.

Do you have any java moss or similar moss? In my experience a decent size ball of it or little moss wall or similar will almost guarantee atleast some of the baby shrimps making it.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 05:37 PM
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I am working on a very similar project. We are stocking a 40 gallon with shrimp and nano-fish.
We will put in about 150 Crystal Red Shrimp, 2 mystery snails, 5 nerties, and 2 bamboo shrimp for inverts.
For fish, we will be putting in ~15 CPD, ~6 threadfin rainbows, and ~6 clown killifish.

My main issue with the stocking is the CPD. Mine are very timid, even in a heavily planted tank with a lot of cover. They also pull stay to the bottom. The threadfins will be the biggest fish. From what I have seen they get ~3" tip to tail, which has a much bigger visual impact when everything else is so small. The killifish and threadfins are less timid and occupy the middle and top of the water so hopefully it will fill out the setup some.

I second the moss recommendation. It has allowed CPD fry to survive and grow up in the community tank and also protects the shrimp. The shrimp shouldn't need much protection if you stick with this sort of fish though.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 05:53 PM
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Love the original idea, that would be a lovely tank.

As for timid CPDs, mine were super timid when I first got them, but seem to have learned from the endlers in the tank to be a bit less timid. Originally, they'd all hide if I walked past, now they come up to the top for food with everyone else and seem to be much bolder. @ohaple maybe yours will be less timid once you've stocked the rainbows and killifish?

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Thelongsnail View Post
Love the original idea, that would be a lovely tank.

As for timid CPDs, mine were super timid when I first got them, but seem to have learned from the endlers in the tank to be a bit less timid. Originally, they'd all hide if I walked past, now they come up to the top for food with everyone else and seem to be much bolder. @ohaple maybe yours will be less timid once you've stocked the rainbows and killifish?

That is my hope. That the rainbows and killifish with act as a dither fish. Even though the fish are healthy and breeding and have been in the tank for ~4 months, they are still very timid. I just recently started feeding live baby brine, and it is the first time they have ever come out when I am around. CPD, especially well-fed adult males, are beautiful. Too bad I usually only see their shadows behind the plants. I hope that larger school size and dither fish will help fix it.

Bonus video I took a couple days ago of a CPD slow-motion eating a brine shrimp: https://imgur.com/kLYkbkl
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 07:05 PM
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What kind of planting and hardscape do you have in mind? What kind of water parameters do you think you'll have? Will you use RO/DO and a mineralizing agent or just treated tap? Settling on that stuff first would make it easier to give suggestions. Might even determine what you can or cant keep.

Since you already have CPDs, it's definitely a good idea to add more. I'd stick to odd numbers for 'schools' - like 23, 25. They're impressive in large groups.

What kind of Pygmy Cory? Actual Pygmies or C. habrosus - the tiny ones that often hang out mid-column? Either way, I'd get a decent group of them, as well. If it were C. habrosus, I'd say about the same number as the CPDs. If the Pygmies you have are just as small, then definitely get a bunch of them.

Then I'd add a group of super-tiny Rasboras of some sort. Maybe Boraras brigittae or one of the other types that school a little better. I kept 55 of them in a 20gal tank and it was the first time I'd ever seen B. brigittae exhibit more school-like behavior. Have always kept them in small tanks and in groups of 20-25 and never saw much of it. Bet they would really shine in a group of 100 or so.

One of the White Cloud Minnow varieties would also stand out in a tank like that.

They're all basic fish, sure, but they look terrific in large numbers.

Would probably avoid Gourami because they don't tend to be too impressive-looking (in my opinion).

If it were me, I'd put very little emphasis on shrimp because they're not going to be a focus in the tank, unfortunately. They're going to get eaten and picked off no matter what you do - even with tiny fish and plenty of hidey holes. A bunch will survive but they may not thrive. That's why I'd probably go for something larger - Amanos, maybe.

A tank like that, depending upon hardscape, would look really cool with wild-type Neo shrimp. Various browns and splotchy, wild-looking critters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr11 View Post
So I'm planning on stocking my 63 gallon with nano fish and rcs. It's a moderately to heavily planted low tech setup. What are some stocking ideas? I already have 4 Celestial pearl danios and a few pygmy corys so I'd like to get maybe a school of 20 of each. Also thinking of adding pygmy/sparkling gouramis. I know they can eat shrimp but I think the tank is big enough and there are enough hiding spots. Thoughts?
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
What kind of planting and hardscape do you have in mind? What kind of water parameters do you think you'll have? Will you use RO/DO and a mineralizing agent or just treated tap? Settling on that stuff first would make it easier to give suggestions. Might even determine what you can or cant keep.

What kind of Pygmy Cory? Actual Pygmies or C. habrosus - the tiny ones that often hang out mid-column? Either way, I'd get a decent group of them, as well. If it were C. habrosus, I'd say about the same number as the CPDs. If the Pygmies you have are just as small, then definitely get a bunch of them.


Would probably avoid Gourami because they don't tend to be too impressive-looking (in my opinion).
Thanks everyone for the input! I'm just using tap with prime to dechlorinate. And I might get crucified for this but I really don't test the water frequently for specific parameters unless the tank is looking unhealthy. Otherwise I keep it at 75-76 deg, eco-complete substrate, easy low tech plants, a big patch of java moss, dragon stone, and a large driftwood centerpiece. In general it's a more wild type aesthetic and not overly curated.

For the corys I have the Corydoras pygmaeus.

Rasboras are a good idea. As for the gouramis I just really like them, they're definitely subtle but they have great personalities but Im not sure how big a group I could have.

Also I really like killifish but from what I've seen they are pretty expensive so it would take a lot to get a good group. Would only a few be ok in a setup like this?
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 08:53 PM
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You'll need to have a better idea of what you're working with in terms of water parameters. GH? KH? Those two things are important in determining what you can keep without much hassle.

Do you have a decent test kit? If not, it'd be a good idea to pick one up.

There's a good chance you've got good middle-of-the-road parameters with your tap water but I wouldn't want to recommend anything without knowing more.


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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
You'll need to have a better idea of what you're working with in terms of water parameters. GH? KH? Those two things are important in determining what you can keep without much hassle.

Do you have a decent test kit? If not, it'd be a good idea to pick one up.

There's a good chance you've got good middle-of-the-road parameters with your tap water but I wouldn't want to recommend anything without knowing more.

Based on your helpful posts (and total post count) I trust you are correct on the gH/kH importance, but I only ever see it discussed for shrimp-keeping. Can you recommend any reading regarding the importance of gH and kH in fishkeeping? Do you know of any fish guides that recommend levels for gH and kH? All of the ones I see only discuss pH and temperature, except SeriouslyFish, which has a combination of degrees hardness and ppm depending on species (I assume this is referring to gH, for which you divide ppm by 17.8?). I keep a close eye on TDS, gH, kH, and pH for our shrimp, but have never selected fish based on gH, kH, or TDS.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 09:23 PM
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If it were me, I'd put very little emphasis on shrimp because they're not going to be a focus in the tank, unfortunately. They're going to get eaten and picked off no matter what you do - even with tiny fish and plenty of hidey holes. A bunch will survive but they may not thrive. That's why I'd probably go for something larger - Amanos, maybe..
I'm in the planning stages of something similar in a 120g: swarms of microfish drawn from this list: https://aquaticarts.com/collections/...ish-all-shrimp
along with snails and shrimp colonies. I'd expected predation of the fry but not the adults based on that site, so I'd planned for lots of refuges, plant and hardscape, and using a breeder tank to boost adult numbers, as well as establishing the inverts before adding fish. Even with all that, do you think it won't work?

Getting back to the hobby and up to speed.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 11:30 PM
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I'm in the planning stages of something similar in a 120g: swarms of microfish drawn from this list: https://aquaticarts.com/collections/...ish-all-shrimp
along with snails and shrimp colonies. I'd expected predation of the fry but not the adults based on that site, so I'd planned for lots of refuges, plant and hardscape, and using a breeder tank to boost adult numbers, as well as establishing the inverts before adding fish. Even with all that, do you think it won't work?

From my limited experience, it will work fine. You just should expect to keep your numbers pretty stable, not increase the size of the colony. If you have a separate breeding tank, even better, then the risk of loss is pretty small since you have replacements.

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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 11:34 PM
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ohaple: I think the best resource is really the forum here. pH (for me) is really only helpful it tracking my super-high-tech tanks with tons of CO2. For most folks in the hobby, GH & KH are what you should focus on.

A lot of fish in the hobby can accept a pretty decent range of parameters but it's always best to try to mimic their natural habitats as best as possible. Or, as is the case with tank-reared critters, to try to get things close enough to what they're used to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainer View Post
I'm in the planning stages of something similar in a 120g: swarms of microfish drawn from this list: https://aquaticarts.com/collections/...ish-all-shrimp
along with snails and shrimp colonies. I'd expected predation of the fry but not the adults based on that site, so I'd planned for lots of refuges, plant and hardscape, and using a breeder tank to boost adult numbers, as well as establishing the inverts before adding fish. Even with all that, do you think it won't work?
It'll work. You're just going to have to accept that there will be predation. And depending upon your shrimp colony? That may be a good thing because it helps keep things in check.

Nearly all fish - even those smaller than shrimp - will nip at and potentially harass shrimp. They may settle down and avoid that kind of behavior depending upon their environment but I see it all the time. They'll grab on, pull off a leg, scare them into crevices, you name it. There just is no true "shrimp-safe" fish. (I still keep shrimp with fish)


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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 11:46 PM
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Here is a basic, but comprehensive guide to the importance of water chemistry parameters as they refer to fish in general. Im not sure how much you already know, so if it is too basic I apologize. But, Ive found it informative.

https://users.cs.duke.edu/~narten/faq/chemistry.html

As far as particular needs of fish, Seriously Fish and Fish-base offer the most reliable information on the net.

Another option I would recommend is Baensch Aquarium Atlas. This will give you a very detailed set of water parameters: Ph, GH,KH, TDS of popular ( and many rare) species of Aquarium fish. It was published in 1990, but still remains one of the best guides out there for fish. In addition, it has quality pictures, in color, for many of the species it covers.

I got mine used on Amazon for a good price. Not the best picture, but here is a sample from one of the species profiles:


180 g. low tech w/ wild South American cichlids, corydoras eques, and African Congo riverine tetras.
60 g. low tech w/ F1 Alenquer pair /Stendker "Tefe" discus and wild Altum Angels
30 g. low tech w/ Wild Tucano tetras
30 g. low-tech African Biotope
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhatshocked View Post
What kind of planting and hardscape do you have in mind? What kind of water parameters do you think you'll have? Will you use RO/DO and a mineralizing agent or just treated tap? Settling on that stuff first would make it easier to give suggestions. Might even determine what you can or cant keep.
I just bought a kit and tested, the results as follows:
kh 72ppm
gh 124ppm
ph 7.0-7.2

What do you think?
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 09:32 PM
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Okay. So your:

dKH is about 4

and

dGH is 7

You'd want to stick to livestock that thrive in those parameters.

What kind/brand of test kit did you use? Liquid or test strip?
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