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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone and thank you in advance for any help you might provide.

To start I'll be getting a new 65 gallon 48"x18"x18" freshwater tank setup.

I currently have two Rainbow Sharks waiting for their new home (I'm thinking of getting a third just so they have a pecking order) however I wanted to stock my tank with good tank mates for them. Also I really love these guys (even though they aren't real sharks they are in my heart) and though I wish I had known a little more about their compatibility I am hoping with the group's help I'll be able to make a nice looking environment for everyone.

For tank mates I am currently considering any combination of
1 Gourami
A group of Rainbow Boesman
A group of Danios Zebra or Pearl
A group of Neon Green Tetras
A group of White of Black Skirt Tetras
A group of Galaxy Rasbora
A couple Blue Acara
Bee Shrimp

What combinations are possible and what numbers on the groupings will keep everyone happy and comfortable? Also I'm pretty sure "group" is "shoal"

Thanks again,

Angus
 

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In my experience absolutely NOT the blue acara. Maybe the one i had was atypical since it was wild caught (this was a long time ago when i lived in a different part of the world).. but i had it in a tank with 2 oscars that were bigger than itself and it ended up killing one of them and endlessly terrorized the other one. It would almost certainly eat the shrimp. Maybe it would be ok with the sharks.. but the other tank mates may not fare as well.. like the gourami

sometimes the black fin tetras can get nippy, but usually among each other. Still something to consider.

The other ones you mentioned should be no problem at all.. just keep the smaller ones like the tetras in slightly larger groups (they will also look nice like this) .. maybe 15-20 or so.

bottom dwellers like catfish .. possibly otocinclus (I’ve never seen anything harass them)

and as I’m sure you know the general rule of 1” of fish per gallon. Although I’d say if you have a healthy and well established tank , stocking a bit more would be just fine.

I’d love to see a pic of the tank ..if you have one available.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
In my experience absolutely NOT the blue acara. Maybe the one i had was atypical since it was wild caught (this was a long time ago when i lived in a different part of the world).. but i had it in a tank with 2 oscars that were bigger than itself and it ended up killing one of them and endlessly terrorized the other one. It would almost certainly eat the shrimp. Maybe it would be ok with the sharks.. but the other tank mates may not fare as well.. like the gourami

sometimes the black fin tetras can get nippy, but usually among each other. Still something to consider.

The other ones you mentioned should be no problem at all.. just keep the smaller ones like the tetras in slightly larger groups (they will also look nice like this) .. maybe 15-20 or so.

bottom dwellers like catfish .. possibly otocinclus (I’ve never seen anything harass them)

and as I’m sure you know the general rule of 1” of fish per gallon. Although I’d say if you have a healthy and well established tank , stocking a bit more would be just fine.

I’d love to see a pic of the tank ..if you have one available.
nfranclau6,

Thank you for your quick reply. I'm getting the tank on Thursday and plan to document everything from unboxing to scaping. So I will absolutely post some pictures as soon as everything gets setup.

The setup I'm getting is the Serene 65 Aquarium System with Manzanita Aquascape - Current USA though I plan to use real plants. The setup is a present from my wife.

Bummer about the Acara since they are beautiful fish, but better to know now.

Also is it worth and better to get a third Rainbow Shark just so they have the pecking order?

Are the White Fin Tetras also nippy? I do like the skirt Tetras but of all the options I think they are lower on the list should I just leave them out?

I had read elsewhere on this forum that someone had a few Otocinclus with some Rainbow Sharks. How many of these guys could I add?

Also what about a Gold Nugget Pleco? Should I substitute him for the Otocinclus?

My refined stocking is looking like I'm going to have to cut something probably the Danio or the Rainbows or the Skirt Tetras?

2 Pearl Gourami (one male one female)
5-6 Boesemani rainbowfish
8-10 celestial pearl danio
15-20 Neon Green Tetras
3-4 Otocinclus (numbers?)
A group of White of Black Skirt Tetras (maybe)
Bee Shrimp (5-6?)
Mystery Snails
1 Gold Nugget Pleco (these guys get pretty big compared to everything else)
and of course the two Rainbow Sharks (maybe a third for the pecking order)

Thank you again for your help.
 

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Otos do well in larger groups and have a small bioload, however there are challenges with them. They really do well in an established (aged) aquarium, where's a good build-up of biofilm and algae. They are also almost always wild caught and really stressed / beat up from their journey to the LFS. You may be looking at a 50 percent or more mortality rate. If they've been at the store for a couple weeks already then your chances are better. If they have been feeding them veggies and algae then that's really good.

CPDs, if you can get bigger ones or adults they will probably do ok, My batch I got recently were barely past the fry stage. Again if you can see the fish in person it's better.

I haven't kept black skirts, green neons, or rainbows, so can't really give you any useful advice.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is what I'm thinking scaping wise, alternanthera reineckii pink, bacopa caroliniana, and small leaf grass. The faux seiryu stones that come with the scape those river rocks are going to be more black flat stones as caves, hoping the sharks will like homes on opposite ends haha.

It looks a little more busy than what I want but I just did a quick mock up and didn't really adjust the scaling too much.

Scape It is what I used to make this (Had to draw the faux Manzanita trees that come with the kit in)

1031123


Otos do well in larger groups and have a small bioload, however there are challenges with them. They really do well in an established (aged) aquarium, where's a good build-up of biofilm and algae. They are also almost always wild caught and really stressed / beat up from their journey to the LFS. You may be looking at a 50 percent or more mortality rate. If they've been at the store for a couple weeks already then your chances are better. If they have been feeding them veggies and algae then that's really good.

CPDs, if you can get bigger ones or adults they will probably do ok, My batch I got recently were barely past the fry stage. again if you can see the fish it's better.

I haven't kept black skirts, green neons, or rainbows, so can't really give you any useful advice.
Griznatch,

Thank you for the reply, good to know on the Otos, I can wait on them until the tank has had some time to get more established and hopefully keep the mortality rate down. Would 3-4 be enough of a group for them or should I go with 4-5 after everything is setup and they have some alge to eat?

Angus
 

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I'd be a little weary of rainbow sharks in a heavily planted tank. They get to be a respectable size and are quite boisterous. Not saying it can't be done- I have very little experience with rainbow sharks so take it with a grain of salt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'd be a little weary of rainbow sharks in a heavily planted tank. They get to be a respectable size and are quite boisterous. Not saying it can't be done- I have very little experience with rainbow sharks so take it with a grain of salt.
I think you're right and I am totally fine with cutting some numbers down and removing some fish from the list. What do you suggest removing?

Angus
 

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My honest opinion is you've got a few different workable groups going on there but the combination of all of them is a little more complicated than my pay grade 😂 My suggestions would be- if you go for rainbows go for rainbows sharks and rainbow fish with the pleco planting would have to be on the hardy side with anubias and javas being first on that list. If you go for skirt tetra go for rainbow fish and pleco, more than 1 school possible moderately/ heavily planted. If you go for nano fish- large schools of a couple different types, large group of oto and a couple dwarf feature fish pairs moderate to heavily planted. If you go for shrimp stick with a moderate sized school of nano fish and oto and heavy planting to ensure some of your shrimp survive, or forgo fish altogether with shrimp. These are just my opinions/ what I would do. My experience with rainbow fish and sharks is minimum and my experience with shrimp as none- full disclosure.
 

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Griznatch,

Thank you for the reply, good to know on the Otos, I can wait on them until the tank has had some time to get more established and hopefully keep the mortality rate down. Would 3-4 be enough of a group for them or should I go with 4-5 after everything is setup and they have some alge to eat?

Angus
I'd go for 5-7 if you know you are getting healthy ones, 7-9 if you are getting them online or from Petsmart/Petco.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My honest opinion is you've got a few different workable groups going on there but the combination of all of them is a little more complicated than my pay grade 😂 My suggestions would be- if you go for rainbows go for rainbows sharks and rainbow fish with the pleco planting would have to be on the hardy side with anubias and javas being first on that list. If you go for skirt tetra go for rainbow fish and pleco, more than 1 school possible moderately/ heavily planted. If you go for nano fish- large schools of a couple different types, large group of oto and a couple dwarf feature fish pairs moderate to heavily planted. If you go for shrimp stick with a moderate sized school of nano fish and oto and heavy planting to ensure some of your shrimp survive, or forgo fish altogether with shrimp. These are just my opinions/ what I would do. My experience with rainbow fish and sharks is minimum and my experience with shrimp as none- full disclosure.
Thanks again for your help Plink

So hows this list looking?

2 Pearl Gourami (one male one female)
8-10 celestial pearl danio
15-20 Neon Green Tetras
3-4 Otocinclus (numbers?)
Bee Shrimp (5-6?)
Mystery Snails
1 Gold Nugget Pleco

So hardier plants like anubias.
I think I will take the skirt tetas off the list for sure, and get rid of the rainbow fish.

Also maybe leave the shrimp off...

So now a group of Otos or the Gold Pleco?

I'd go for 5-7 if you know you are getting healthy ones, 7-9 if you are getting them online or from Petsmart/Petco.
Thank you Griznatch,

If I go with the Otos I will keep that in mind.

Angus
 

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Pleco is going to provide more of a wood/ excess food clean up a opposed to algae clean up. Oto are notorious for being hit or miss but they are some of the best algae and dead/ dying plant cleaners going as far as fish are concerned. If you decide on keeping shrimp just understand that you will most likely have losses and i wouldn't invest in more expensive lines if you do keep shrimp and fish together.

Maybe try a couple amano out first with your set up and see how peaceful your tank truly is, plus they'll provide very good algae clean up. Just repeating- I have no experience keeping shrimp (I have battery acid water, too soft for shrimp).
 

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This is what I'm thinking scaping wise, alternanthera reineckii pink, bacopa caroliniana, and small leaf grass. The faux seiryu stones that come with the scape those river rocks are going to be more black flat stones as caves, hoping the sharks will like homes on opposite ends haha.

It looks a little more busy than what I want but I just did a quick mock up and didn't really adjust the scaling too much.

Scape It is what I used to make this (Had to draw the faux Manzanita trees that come with the kit in)

View attachment 1031123
Nice scape, I would, however, recommend that you add more plants initially; more plants will help with algae and to stabilize your tank. Enjoy!

Have you looked at the water and temperature requirements of all of the fish that you are considering?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Pleco is going to provide more of a wood/ excess food clean up a opposed to algae clean up. Oto are notorious for being hit or miss but they are some of the best algae and dead/ dying plant cleaners going as far as fish are concerned. If you decide on keeping shrimp just understand that you will most likely have losses and i wouldn't invest in more expensive lines if you do keep shrimp and fish together.

Maybe try a couple amano out first with your set up and see how peaceful your tank truly is, plus they'll provide very good algae clean up. Just repeating- I have no experience keeping shrimp (I have battery acid water, too soft for shrimp).
Thank you again, and I agree on the shrimp might as well just try out some cheaper ones if I do get them.

So here is the list now...

2 Pearl Gourami (one male one female)
8-10 celestial pearl danio
15-20 Neon Green Tetras or Chili Tetra (really like the Chilis)
5-6 Otocinclus (Number I'm shooting for once established and healthy)


Going to wait on
1 Gold Nugget Pleco (I feel to be fair to this guy and my wallet I'm going to wait on this one)
Amano Shrimp (7-8)
Mystery Snails

Thank you again,

Angus

Nice scape, I would, however, recommend that you add more plants initially; more plants will help with algae and to stabilize your tank. Enjoy!

Have you looked at the water and temperature requirements of all of the fish that you are considering?
Thank you for your reply and I am absolutely open to plant suggestions, I would like to avoid having to use CO2 if possible though. The one thing I want to avoid with plants is them taking over the tank.

Also very good consideration on temps, here is what I'm tracking for temperatures and pH levels

2 Pearl Gourami (one male one female) 72–82F (5.5 to 7.5 pH)
8-10 celestial pearl danio 68–77° (A pH around 7 or slightly above)
15-20 Neon Green Tetras or Chili Tetra (really like the Chilis) 72–82F (4.0 to 7.0)
5-6 Otocinclus (Number I'm shooting for once established and healthy) 72-82°F (6-7.5pH)
Rainbow Shark 75 and 81 °F (6 to 8 pH)

So I would shoot for a temp of 78 and a pH of 6-7 to keep everyone fairly happy.

With a slightly higher pH requirement I think I can get some actual Seiryu stones so they will help keep the levels a little on the elevated side.

"Seiryu Stone, a metamorphic rock, is a bit troublesome because it has a strong effect on the pH of aquariums. To be precise, it contains calcium carbonate, both of which impact the GH (Calcium/Magnesium concentration) and KH (carbonate concentration) of an aquarium. Taken together you’ll see an increase in pH and water hardness using this rock."


Thank you,

Angus
 

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I can absolutely shoot for 74-76, what about the pH? 6-7 looks ok right?
Yes. I am one of those that subscribes to the "it's not so much the ph number that matters as much as it's consistent and fish are acclimated slowly". As long as your parameters remain relatively neutral (6-8) most tank bred/ raised fish will do fine with proper acclimation. Sensitive breeds and wild caught obviously don't pertain.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes. I am one of those that subscribes to the "it's not so much the ph number that matters as much as it's consistent and fish are acclimated slowly". As long as your parameters remain relatively neutral (6-8) most tank bred/ raised fish will do fine with proper acclimation. Sensitive breeds and wild caught obviously don't pertain.
Awesome thank you!

So here's the build I'm going to go for

Shooting for 74-76° and pH of 6-7 (Thank you Plinkploop!)

2 Pearl Gourami (one male one female) 72–82F (5.5 to 7.5 pH)
8-10 celestial pearl danio 68–77° (A pH around 7 or slightly above)
15-20 Neon Green Tetras or Chili Tetra (really like the Chilis) 72–82F (4.0 to 7.0)
5-6 Otocinclus (Number I'm shooting for once established and healthy) 72-82°F (6-7.5pH)
The 2 Rainbow Shark 75 and 81 °F (6 to 8 pH)

Waiting to see how it all goes for
1 Gold Nugget Pleco
Amano Shrimp
Mystery Snails

Now for the Scaping,

Plink you said anubias and javas would be good, do you have any other suggestions for these fish? I am mostly open so much as they actually need to have CO2 I'm also looking for easy maintenance.

Thanks again,

Angus
 

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I'd use floaters, especially during start up, but keep a few (maybe red root floaters) around for the gourami (they love hunting for food in the roots and resting among the leaves). Bacopa caroliniana does well as a stem plant in low tech settings. Nymphea lilies (tiger lotus) and aponongeton are great low tech bulb plants (I'd suggest dishing out a little more and getting them sprouted already). I love java moss and crypts as well in low tech. Plants I've suggested I've grown with no co2 minimal fertilization. Crypts need root tabs to succeed but they don't die if you forget for a bit, they just won't grow. I'd look into 'easy' care plants and see the ones that appeal to you. Most of them should grow no problem without co2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'd use floaters, especially during start up, but keep a few (maybe red root floaters) around for the gourami (they love hunting for food in the roots and resting among the leaves). Bacopa caroliniana does well as a stem plant in low tech settings. Nymphea lilies (tiger lotus) and aponongeton are great low tech bulb plants (I'd suggest dishing out a little more and getting them sprouted already). I love java moss and crypts as well in low tech. Plants I've suggested I've grown with no co2 minimal fertilization. Crypts need root tabs to succeed but they don't die if you forget for a bit, they just won't grow. I'd look into 'easy' care plants and see the ones that appeal to you. Most of them should grow no problem without co2.
Plinkploop, thank you again for all the help, I'll start looking into it and keep you posted on what I go with (also you can gut check me and make sure I'm not doing anything too crazy haha)

Tank should still be arriving on Thursday so the plan is to get it scaped and get it cycled before I start moving it's residence in. I'll also post pictures as I go. One thing I might try and do is move the Sharks in last, as I've done some reading that states moving them in last might make them less territorial, or at least they wont be under the impression that they own the whole tank, hopefully this will keep with them as they mature, but if not I will be preparing to rehome them in the event it comes to that.

Angus
 
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