Honest opinion about population required! Thanks! - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-02-2020, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Question Honest opinion about population required! Thanks!

Hello,

Note that i am still new in the hobby. This is my second high-tech planted tank and have been in the hobby for a year and half.

I have been working on a new 17G tank. Heavily planted. The tank have been cycling for about 2 month. Everything has been stable for a week. Right now the are 7 amano shrimps, 3 clithon snail and rabbit snail.

I am thinking about adding some Sawbwa resplendens(Rummy nose tetras) and Microrasbora galaxy maybe in a week or two everything remains stable. I was thinking about going 12 of each for a total of 24. I would also add 1-3 dwarf suckers for cleanup.

My first question is. Is 12 Sawbwa resplendens and 12 Microrasbora galaxy too much for a 17 Gallons?? I am running a 5-6X filtration.

Second . Should I add gradually maybe 12 of one. Wait a week and the next 12 or can i go one shot if i support with seachem stability?

Feel free to tell me you honest opinion.

Thank you!
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-02-2020, 09:30 PM
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I tend to stock my tanks on the heavy side so I would say that the bio-load is fine for a 17 gallon ( I am assuming this tank is 24 inches, correct?)
Stocking heavily, however, means that you will need to do weekly water changes of 25% minimum.
Are you doing EI fertilizing? If so, you are probably doing 50% water changes already weekly.

I also prefer getting all my fish at one place and adding fish all at once to minimize cross-contamination. Over the next 5 days after adding, you want to do water changes daily until bio-filter catches up to new bio-load. You can add Prime and Stability ( or other type of bacterial supplement) if choose to, but do not rely on them to control ammonia spike. Water changes are a necessity. The bio-filter matches new bio-load relatively quickly anyways, usually around 92 hours with temperatures above 74 degrees.

The only thing I see to be a problem ( and this is outside the scope of your question) is if you do not have a quarantine/hospital tank. A tank with snails, shrimp, and fish poses issues if your fish get sick. Many of the meds used on fish are toxic to snails and shrimp. You may want to get a 5 gallon tank, heater, air-pump and stone to have handy for hospital tank/quarantine.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-02-2020, 10:11 PM
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I do not recommend this approach for new folks as it does have lots of potential for problems that a new person has a hard time seeing and dealing with in a way that avoids a bad outcome. New folks often do not fully understand the value of doing a proper cycle, often do not quarantine fish and are slow to spot when fish are stressed and before they become fully sick and that often means the whole tank enters the death spiral with sick fish which are treated which stresses all the livestock and everybody dies!
Your proposed fish load is somewhat on the high side and that requires more careful attention, Your good bacteria to handle a big increase in bio-load is not there as it only maintains a level to match the current load, not a future load and you do not mention QT.
Kind of like proposing to walk really close to edge of a cliff, wanting to do it really fast and without any safety nets!
I see it far better to go much slower, stock lightly and prove they live and then if all goes well, add a few more as the fish, bacteria and you all get settled better.
When first learning to play poker, don't shove all the chips in too fast!
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-02-2020, 10:14 PM
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I'd do 12 of one, and then 12 of the other, maybe going for the rummynoses first and then the CPDs. Just some nitpicky stuff, but "Microrasbora galaxy" is a "dead" latin name, it got changed to Danio margaritatus, and among the many names that are common now are: celestial pearl danio (CPD), galaxy rasbora, and Celestichthys margaritatus (another dead name!).

When you say "1-3" dwarf suckers...exactly which type of dwarf suckers were you planning on buying? Lots of fish get classified as "suckerfish" and I'd hate for you to buy something like a chinese algae eater which would pick off the fish one by one.

So many fish/plants/inverts to keep, not enough aquaria.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-03-2020, 05:07 AM Thread Starter
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@Discusluv

Yes, the aquarium is 24 inches wide. And yes, I am a doing a EI regime. I also have a 6 Gallon hospital tank that i still have set up. I was using it for shrimps and snails while doing a fishless cycle in the 17.

That's basically what I was wondering. If adding all at once was viable from a bacteria population catch-up stand point. I don't want to create spike I have some plants like lobelia cardinalis who dislike water parameter changes. But if you are saying that with prime and stability it is fine i might do it all in a day.

@PlantedRich

Cycling as been rolling for more than 2 month. Isn't it still not a proper cycle? Although, I am aware that the tank will have to adapt to the new bio-load. It should catch up fairly quickly? Also, I do have a quarantine tank as stated above. I tend to be quick on quarantine, anyhow. I understand the fact that it is a riskier play. Thank you.

@ichthyogeek

So basically you are confirming what @PlantedRich is saying? That it is to much of a risk to go all at once? Sorry for the dead name. I thought you guys would still understand what i meant, and you did... And i am talking about otoclintus catfish. I heard they are pretty solid cleaner. Well suited for nano tanks.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-03-2020, 06:40 AM
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@Tigerbarbs99, yes, I am confirming that it is a risk to go all the fish at once. Go for 12 of one and then 12 of the other, and make sure that you quarantine thoroughly, none of the "quick on quarantine" stuff. A solid four weeks at minimum, especially so you can catch fish as they get sick. This is coming from somebody who's had to catch a 55 gallon's worth of fish in the past two months and focus on tank transfer methoding the heck out of them so he can eradicate an ich infestation.

For otos, I'd add them last if at all, but wouldn't expect them to do much in terms of cleaning. They'll really only graze the soft algaes off the tank, and not any BBA, red slime algae, or green dot algaes.

I'd recommend the rummynose's first. I've read that they can act as "canaries" since their noses dim in the presence of bad water quality.

So many fish/plants/inverts to keep, not enough aquaria.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-03-2020, 02:49 PM
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Really no risk if you do the water changes. You are the biological filter in this circumstance. You change water and the biofilter eventually catches up so you dont have to be in that role.

I do this all the time. For instance--I had Rams spawn in a 30 gallon recently. I took out the eggs that were on a rock, put them in a non-cycled 10 gallon, put cycled media in a filter, and did 2 gallon water changes until tank cycled. It took about 2 weeks for filter to cycle tank. Ive also done this with new discus when didnt want to use pre-cycled media that may bring in pathogens. You are further along because the plants, substrate,sides of aquarium, filter-- all surfaces contain bacteria.

When I need a hospital tank I do the same thing. I dont keep a cycled hospital tank going, I throw it up as needed. Do the water changes-- there is no risk. Its far riskier to add fish in successive groups without quarentining them first.

Sure, some may not be up to the task to do water changes daily until bio-filter catches up to bioload, but there is nothing complicated about it that a beginner couldnt do. How you get into trouble is thinking additives will take care of this process for you. There is no substitute for water changes in this process.

Now, it looks like daily water changes aren't for you because of your plants. I didnt have that information when I gave the recommendation. In that case, I would put a small group of fish in display tank and quarantine the others for 6 weeks before adding.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-03-2020, 07:24 PM
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I view the risk as being very easy to avoid IF we are used to looking at fish and are solidly aware of what to expect. That is where we need to know when a fish does something odd and what is normal so that we know what to do right rather than doing something wrong.
We often read of newish folks who assume something which they try to treat but do exactly the wrong thing.
An example? They get new fish put them in a tank and they don't eat, so they change types of food and feed more, which the fish still don't eat and at some point, the fish shows up sick or dead. So what went wrong? New fish are often stressed but the new person wants to treat them really well so they feed a fish which doesn't eat until it feels a bit better about being in new water in a new space! A more experienced person knows that new fish often do not eat and they certainly do not starve in a few days or a week , so they don't feed much if at all and avoid the obvious ammonia spikes from uneaten food.
What often happens is that a new person may overstock a bit, misread the signs on the new fish just a bit and asign that odd behavior to something beside things that are quite normal.
Little clues are often missed and we read about things that are obvious clues but totally missed. We get reports like this.
My new fish is really nervous, sets in the corner and twitches, then every time I come in he darts around the tank banging into rocks and wood as if he can't see. Should I get more fish so he has somebody to keep him company?
Just not good to press our luck until we know what is likely to be wrong with the new fish. How would you deal with the new guy who acts strange?
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-03-2020, 08:12 PM
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In addition to the good and somewhat different opinions, above, try this calculator to help set a safe baseline: AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor. I've been able to go more than two times what this calculator will advise, but it does require an excellent environment. The one thing that I would add to the above recommendations is to ensure the best gas exchange possible, to maximize oxygen. This requires good rippling of the water surface as provided by either the filter return or a separate pump.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-03-2020, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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@Discusluv

Thank you for your reply. I assume I will be leaning toward a gradual increase in population as everyone suggest.

@PlantedRich

I understand your point. I think it is great that you make sure one is ready and understanding of fish and plants behavior before making riskier play. I would like to think I am getting decent at observation and evaluation but I still do have a lot to learn. Thank you.

@Deanna

I have decent surface agitation with the lily pipe outflow. I still may add a surface skimmer which will add a bit more while doing it's job. I don't think I would go up to 2 time what they suggest but it is good to know. Although, how accurate is this site? For example, I tried adding 10 Tiger barbs for that same 24 inches, 17G tank and the calculator would say I am only at 87% capacity... Which I would not agree considering that tiger barbs need space and a long tank as they are pretty decent swimmers. My point is, I would never ever stock 10-15 tigerbarbs in there... Am i too conservative or is the calculator somewhat flawed? Thank you!

@ichthyogeek

Thanks for your reply. As stated I will probably with the consensus and do a gradual increase. I did not knew that about rummy nose. And about Otto's, are you basically saying that my cleanup grew is already strong enough to deal with that type of algae and that they won't be much needed? Or should i consider another cleaning species. Remember that my clean team is 7 amano shrimps, 3 clithon snail and rabbit snail. Thank you!
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 01:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerbarbs99 View Post
I have decent surface agitation with the lily pipe outflow. I still may add a surface skimmer which will add a bit more while doing it's job. I don't think I would go up to 2 time what they suggest but it is good to know. Although, how accurate is this site? For example, I tried adding 10 Tiger barbs for that same 24 inches, 17G tank and the calculator would say I am only at 87% capacity... Which I would not agree considering that tiger barbs need space and a long tank as they are pretty decent swimmers. My point is, I would never ever stock 10-15 tigerbarbs in there... Am i too conservative or is the calculator somewhat flawed? Thank you!
Most broad attempts to standardize what can and cannot be done in aquariums (if not elsewhere in life) are approximations. In the case of this calculator, I would consider it to be conservative. In a ~20 gal tank, I would readily push up to, and maybe beyond, 20-25 small/medium sized fish ...but slowly.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 04:22 AM Thread Starter
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@Deanna

I get your point. I was essentially wondering if you guys had an opinion about the the standard error if you will. Or anomalies...

Just out of curiosity. How far would you go? Assuming everything is stable.

I will still stick to my original plan and if the tank allow I might consider pushing a bit more.

Thank you!
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 12:25 PM
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I don't have nearly the amount of experience that the rest of the people who have replied do but I can offer my opinion as someone that's relatively new to planted tanks... I rushed my tank stocking and quickly needed to find fixes to issues that could've been avoided. I would highly recommend the staggered approach as to when you add your fish, which it sounds like your leaning towards anyway, and be as vigilant as you can with keeping an eye on the water parameters.

The one other piece of feedback that I can give is to definitely go with the Rummy Nose tetras first! They are awesome fish, and the note about their head color is huge!! When the water parameters are getting off their red head color will fade. It's something that has helped me out immensely!

One last piece of advice... don't be afraid to ask questions here! Everyone on this site is awesome and collectively has an immense amount of knowledge and experience.

A step or two above a beginner with nothing but optimism and excitement to learn all that I can!

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-05-2020, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Tigerbarbs99 View Post
@Deanna

I get your point. I was essentially wondering if you guys had an opinion about the the standard error if you will. Or anomalies...

Just out of curiosity. How far would you go? Assuming everything is stable.

I will still stick to my original plan and if the tank allow I might consider pushing a bit more.

Thank you!
No way anyone will be able to apply statistical inference to fish loading. There are just too many variables, which also makes giving guidance on how many fish to add very difficult. If you are not familiar with signs of fish stress, you may want to study that as it will be the best way to determine if you've gone too far.

As a very rough guide, I would make my first target to be 1 fish per gallon, but starting it from maybe 2/3 of that and then add maybe 25% more each month until you see signs of stress. At that point, I'd consider yourself done and try to stabilize at that level by doubling-down on things that can help expand tank capacity, such as increased surface agitation, w/c's, temperature reduction (if possible), level one UVS', etc. In my area, the LFS's are happy to take 'donations' whenever I need to dump some fish.

There is another factor that you need to be watching: the more fish you add, the more organics created. This may help your plants, but will be something to stay on top of to make sure the organics don't climb, which can create fish and algae problems. Cleaning, Purigen, healthy and large plant mass and w/c's can help.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 08-05-2020, 01:41 PM
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It is a point which most of us have passed through as we gained experience with fish but there is often a point where we all wanted to have more and more fish. But that comes with a downside which often only comes slowly.
I feel that we often do miss knowing our fish as they should act because we crowd them too much. I do mostly cichlids and there is this idea that is often written that they have to be crowded to keep aggression down but that is not what I find and it just doesn't make sense to me when I look at fish as any other normal animal.
We can easily see what happens with people chickens, cows or any other animal if we crowd them and I find it works exactly the same with fish. When we put too many of anything in a confined space, they stop acting normal and they often begin to fight more! Look at cities versus country, suburbs versus the really crowded spots? So do we want our fish to act like they should where we can watch and enjoy how they interact with each other or do we want to build a prison situation where everybody has to be a thug to survive?
Do not miss the opportunity to watch fish which can live as normally as our very restricted tank space allows and treat them more as you would like to be treated, as near as a tank allows.
Do you want a tank full of peaceful fish doing what they choose or a tank full of thugs with the other half terrified of going out to play?
Resist the temptation of overstocking! When you feel you need more action, get more active or larger fish!
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