Stocking a planted Fluval Spec 16 gal - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-04-2019, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Question Stocking a planted Fluval Spec 16 gal

Hi everyone,

First time posting here. I was hoping to get some input from you guys with regards to stocking my new tank. The new Fluval Spec is advertised as a 16 gallon tank, but that includes the height of the lid and built in filter space. I measured to see exactly how much space the fish would have and it came out to be 18.25" long x 14.5" high x 11.125" deep (12.75 gal). I'm not sure if I'm supposed to add the water in the filter space when I calculate bioload (I would assume so) but that would bring it up to about 15 gallons. My plan right now is to heavily plant this tank. My current plan is to stock it with the following fish once it is fully cycled:

1 male Betta
7 Cardinal Tetra
3-5 Pygmy Cory Cat (May or may not include these)
1-2 Nerite Snail

Going by the 1 inch per gallon rule, I would be overstocked, but I don't mind being a little overstocked as I will have a lot of plants and plan to do either weekly or bi-weekly 30-40% water changes.
Do you guys think I should not include the Pygmy Cory cats? If you think it's fine to include them, would it be better to have 3 or 5? (I like odd numbers) 3 would make the Cory Cats feel safer but decrease my bioload so I am not too overstocked. Would having the Cory Cats ultimately be beneficial for the chemistry of the tank or would the increased bioload outweigh them cleaning the top of my substrate? Also I am using Seachem Flourite Sand, do you think that material is too sharp for them to sift through?
You input is much appreciated. Thanks.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-04-2019, 06:40 PM
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Pygmy corys are really lovely and I'd totally include them, but only at a minimum of 5. With 3, you won't get much shoaling behaviour with them, and they'll be very timid, although may try and shoal with the tetras. Maybe only have one small nerite to save on bioload? I'd guess that my large olive nerites produce more waste than two of my pygmy corys.

What do you think of the spec 16? I've been looking at it for a while...

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-04-2019, 09:18 PM
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The pygmy corys are great but if you are looking for something that will stay toward the bottom I would suggest Cory Habrosus. They also stay very small but tend to behave more like the larger varieties sticking to the bottom of the tank, instead of swimming through out the water like the pygmy cory.

I really like their patterns too, has a little more character to me . . . (see the photobombing ember tetra for size reference too)
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-06-2019, 02:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thelongsnail: The Fluval Spec 16 is an excellent tank in my opinion, it looks really clean with the internal filter. The only thing I'm not satisfied with is the light, it is just way too weak for a tank this deep. I had to ditch the lid and upgrade to a stronger light.

EngiNerd: Good call on the Cory Habrosus, I will have to see if I can find them locally

Does anyone have experience using Seachem Flourite Sand with Corys? I have a feeling it might not be suitable for them to sift through without hurting themselves. Thoughts?
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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I'd like to get more suggestions on whether or not I should include Cory Cats. I'm still on the fence about it, should I just stick with the cardinal tetras and some Nerite snails?
Also if you can give me alternatives to the Nerite snails that would clean up the tank just as well that would be helpful, as I don't know if I want to keep dealing with them laying eggs all over my drift wood, I hate the way it looks.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 10:54 PM
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I'm not familiar with the Flourite sand but assuming it's OK, I'd recommend the habrosus cories - 5 of them - if you want a true bottom fish. They are a bit larger than the pygmy cories though. Hastatus is another dwarf cory that is much smaller, but like pygmaeus it will swim a lot in the water column.

I have no experience with betta fish so assuming they're compatible with the others, I think this tank will support the stock you've described. Since cories like a well established tank, you could wait to add them later after seeing how everything else looks for a while.

I have nerites in all of my tanks and don't mind the eggs. They seem to fade or disappear after a while. And you could get lucky and end up with a male. I find them a great asset to my tanks.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 02-14-2019, 11:28 PM
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Something you might try in this set-up as well is a pair of Apistogramma for bottom of aquarium.

If you were not entirely invested in a Betta, would instead put:

12-15 cardinal tetras
1 Apistogramma pair
1-2 Nerite snails

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