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65 Gallon Stocking Questions?

5038 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Betta132
Okay, squealing aside, I have some questions.
If I stock the tank mostly with tiny fish such as small cories, pencilfish, and small danios, about how many can I keep? It's going to be pretty heavily planted.
Can anyone reccommend some decently fast-spreading bushy plants that are okay in just medium light?
If I eventually add a twig catfish, will he eat my other fish? They have sucker mouths, and I've seen tiny fish in with suckermouth fish a hundred times their size, so I'm assuming sucker mouth=non-piscivore. Is this right?
As regards hillstream loaches, I know they like fast water, but is just an area of the tank with strong current enough, or do they need fast water all over the tank?
Anyone know how to select otocinclus that won't die in a month or so? As in, how can you tell if they were caught with cyanide?
Does anyone know much about swamp darters? I'm pretty sure they have similar care requirements to cories and gobies, is this correct?
What can you tell me about Texas orange-throated darters? Relatively easy care? Mean? Nice? The ones I see in rivers don't seem territorial.
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Very small fish can be stocked pretty densely, for their chemical needs: Oxygen supply, CO2 dilution, Ammonia dilution and similar concerns. In a heavily planted tank the plants will help a lot with this as long as the plants are thriving. Good water movement is important to keep all parts of the tank in optimum condition for the fish and the plants. Look at a small Danio and a same-length Cory: The Cory has about double the body mass, even though they are the same length. The Cory is a lot plumper a fish. Go by body mass, not just length when you are stocking the tank. Still, the old 1" per gallon guide is a good rough estimate to get started with. Works pretty well for fish under 2" for the chemical needs of those fish.

Remember also that the carrying capacity of a tank is not what happens when everything is going well, but what happens when the power is out.
No power means no light, so the plants will photosynthesize only to the extent that room lighting allows them. That can be significant amount if the tank is near a window, but most average room lighting is practically dark as far as photosynthesis goes (Especially when the power is out! Window lighting is not very bright away from the window).
No power means no water circulation. This means oxygen levels will get seriously depleted really fast in an over stocked tank. This is as important for the nitrifying bacteria (trapped in the filter) as it is for the fish.
A large tank like that will not cool off very fast, so temperature is the last item I would worry about in a power out situation. It can be a concern, but light for the plants and water circulation are more important.

Social issues can become a problem when you are thinking of over stocking. Research each fish species you are thinking about both for behavior within its own species and for behavior with similar species, and with significantly different species. Do not just go by closely related fish and assume the one you are thinking about will be the same. The 1" per gallon guide is of no use at all when you are considering social issues.

Hillstream Loaches evolved in fast moving water, tumbling over rocks. It is highly oxygenated water. It is cooler than many tropical tanks will be. Hillstream Loaches are not very efficient at getting the oxygen out of the water. They evolved where oxygen is overly abundant, even if they were hiding in a crack between the rocks. They are best in a dedicated tank, with that cool, highly oxygenated water flowing over rocks biotope set up with their specific needs in mind. Many Darters and Gobys evolved in similar water, so will be compatible. The best set ups for these fish are the breeder style tanks, long and low, set up with a river-like water flow. At least 20x the tank volume of turnover per hour.

Farlowella are safe with smaller fish. They spend most of their time pretending to be a stick, eating the algae and other growth on driftwood and elsewhere in the tank.
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You might play with the stocking calculator on this site. It isn't the end all but it will give you a starting point.

Check this site for plants that are easy and need moderate light. Sword plants grow fast but many kinds grow too large for most tanks. Crypt. wendtii stay a better size but usually will dissolve to the crown in new set ups. Some of the Hygrophilia grow fast and take up a lot of room.

I must be lucky, usually otos do okay for me. Buy fat ones that are larger and be sure to have something for them to eat in your tank. Mine don't like prepared food but go right after aged zucchini slices. Not fresh, ones that have been submerged for a day or so and look like they are rotting. Otos eat that 'rot'. I don't think they are caught with poison but rather treated with antibiotics that kill the bacteria in the gut they need to digest the algae they eat so they starve to death.

I would love to have hillstream loaches too but have resisted because of the high O2 requirement. Twig cats are a hoot too. They lurch around and are fun to find when hiding in the tank. I really like them a lot. Never even saw them eating dead fish and they certainly couldn't catch live ones. Never tried the other fish you are interested in.
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Alright, I'll toss the hillstream loach idea out the window. Shame, they're adorable.
The swamp darters I'm looking at are actually fish that come with the ghost shrimp at my LFS, so they've been raised in conditions with slow-moving water. They're only $2 each, which is a real bargain for such a cutie.
I actually have a battery backup thingy that can run my aquarium for up to 2 days if the power goes out, so that shouldn't be a problem.
I'm going to be closely researching the various fish to make sure they'll get along, and I'm going to talk to people who have kept these.
Am I correct in thinking that different pencilfish species will school together like different cory or danio species will?
Do twig cats do okay on their own, or do they need schools?
Can anyone reccommend some smallish fish that are little oddballs? Weird colors, shapes, unusual breeds, or things like that?
I'm most likely going to obtain some sparkling gouramis, tiny fellows that reach just over an inch, do these guys fight if two males are together?
I used to have some ottos who died of apparent old age, and they chewed on flake food no problem. Mostly ate algae, though.
Would there be any issues with having, say, 8 pygmy cories in there? Pygmies, in my experience, barely hit 1", and many are smaller. They're very bold, but I was thinking they might be scared by the larger fish.
Is this tank big enough for a couple of dwarf water lilies?
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My otos are currently rooting in the substrate like tiny corydoras - going after algae flakes. I wouldn't count on it though, especially with just imported fish.

No idea on the pencilfish. Maybe if they have the same swimming pattern and are the same shape different kinds would school together.

Badis? Never had them but they sure are cuties. Peacock gudgeons are another interesting extremely colorful and not very large fish.

The small fish in the rainbowfish family like Threadfins? Just spectacular fish.

One would hope tiny sparkling gouramis in a good sized tank like your new one would be able to find their own territories and get along.

Would Darter tetras or Stiphodon atropurpureus work better than Hillstream loaches? Sure would love to have any of these some time.
When I say 'small' oddballs, I mean something like 2", maybe 3" if it has a small mouth. I want to fill this tank with teensy fish. I think I'll research Threadfin Rainbows... I know a place that has some nice ones.
What about various killifish? I know these guys jump like crazy, but I have every tiny hole in the lid sealed off.
Are there any hatchetfish that stay under 3"? Hatchets are cool little things.
I'd love some African Butterflyfish, but they'd eat the tiny schoolers. Big mouths on those weirdoes... Well, if they get to 5" like I think they do. Another fish on my 'to be researched' list.
Forget the butterflyfish. Too big and mean.
What can you lot tell me about halfbeaks? 3" is a decent size, and they're definitely oddballs...
Okay, went shopping, and this is what I got:
One big chunk of driftwoodwith loads of branches and crevices.
Two large crypts
One decent-sized anubias
Two large clumps of Java fern, both different kinds
One longfin golden leopard danio
Two golden zebra danios
One splendid goby (species name. It's a relatively easy goby species to care for, and cute as all get out!)
Seven pygmy cories. I was going to get just a few, but they were on sale, and it was too good to pass up. Plus, they're about 3/4", not the teeny baby ones you usually see being sold.
They were out of pencilfish, or I'd have a few. Might get them in a few weeks.
I must note that I don't know for sure what kind of danios I have, I just listed what they look like. The store had a tank full of mixed danios; leopard, blue, pearl, zebra, all in longfin, and some that may be hybrids. They were all the same price, $2, so I just asked for three random ones to up my school.
Apparently, splendid gobies are saltwater. However, what I have is most definitely not one of the saltwater ones.
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