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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all...

I am in the process of stocking my 36 gallon bowfront and would like some advice from the fish experts here at plantedtank :wink2:

It is a well-established tank, but has housed one lonely Tiger Barb for a while now, and about a zillion MTS. Over the past few months, I have added a BN and 4 additional Tiger Barbs, and ideally I would like to double that number.

I was also thinking about adding a school of corys and zebra danios as well, which from my understanding, each school would need at least 6 fish apiece.

My tank is heavily planted with two filters rated at about 40 gallons each, I believe. Weekly water changes are not a problem, but I would like to keep them limited to less than 50%, preferably around 30%, even if it means keeping less fish.

I would love to hear your stocking recommendations, as well as what you think would be an ideal water change schedule to go with it.

Thanks!
 

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25% WC sounds fine to me. I like your stocking idea, but it may be a bit overstocked by the time your finished. That being said, I would highly recommend some celestial pearl danios. They are so neat and color up nicely with age. Use http://aqadvisor.com/ to check stocking levels. You can play around with it so you can figure out what will work and what wont.

Just my $.02
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks ericwithac! I pulled up some images of the celestial pearl danios--what a beautiful fish. I will have to see if my LFS carries them. I have put my proposed stocking levels into Aqadvisor, and it said I had plenty of filtration capacity, that is until I added the MTS snails (I'm assuming I have at least 100+). I hadn't really thought about them adding much to the bioload, but that's why I'm trying to get second opinions on this forum.

Another question that comes to mind is feeding. Tiger Barbs are extremely aggressive during feeding time, and I doubt any food ever reaches the bottom of the tank. I typically feed the ones I have 3 times/day, as much as they will eat in 30 seconds. With just the 5 tigers that I have, no food ever reaches the bottom. Would this make them incompatible with Corys, since Corys are primarily bottom dwellers? And would the danios be aggressive enough to butt in and eat during feeding time?
 

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Thanks ericwithac! I pulled up some images of the celestial pearl danios--what a beautiful fish. I will have to see if my LFS carries them. I have put my proposed stocking levels into Aqadvisor, and it said I had plenty of filtration capacity, that is until I added the MTS snails (I'm assuming I have at least 100+). I hadn't really thought about them adding much to the bioload, but that's why I'm trying to get second opinions on this forum.

Another question that comes to mind is feeding. Tiger Barbs are extremely aggressive during feeding time, and I doubt any food ever reaches the bottom of the tank. I typically feed the ones I have 3 times/day, as much as they will eat in 30 seconds. With just the 5 tigers that I have, no food ever reaches the bottom. Would this make them incompatible with Corys, since Corys are primarily bottom dwellers? And would the danios be aggressive enough to butt in and eat during feeding time?
I'm sure you have enough filtration, but what did it say regarding your stock level percentage? Snails certainly affect bioload. While small, you need to realize the eat (and poop) all day everyday.

I'm honestly not sure about the feeding situation. Maybe try feeding a bit more than usual and see if stuff makes it to the bottom. Id agree corys will need food off the bottom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
When I included MTS snails, it put me at 100% capacity with just one BN and a rather conservative 100 MTS. When I did my proposed stocking list without the snails, it put me at something like 123%
 

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Tiger Barbs are quite aggressive. I would not as CPD to a tank with TB.
Danios have the speed to get away, and Cories generally stay low, perhaps will stay out of the way of the TB.

To figure the maximum capacity with respect to how much volume and frequency of water changes is not easy- The plants will do a lot for you, but it is impossible to say how much without trying it.
Here is what I would do:
Add some Dr. Tim's One and Only with each batch of fish. This will boost the population of nitrifying bacteria. (Do not waste money on anything that is not labeled Nitrospira species of bacteria)
Get the TB up to at least 6, your goal of 8 is even better, so they have a chance to mind their own business.
Add half a dozen Danios OR Cories.
Let the system run for a few weeks to see where you are with water changes. If you are still doing OK (NO3 is staying under control, and you are not at your limit of water changes)
Add half a dozen Cories OR Danios (which ever you did not add before).
Repeat the few weeks of seeing what that has done to the water changes.

Alternate suggestion:
Botia striata eat snails. While I do not know if they will learn to eat MTS, it is possible. Crush a few and drop them back in the tank so the Zebra Loaches learn there is food in those shells. Some fish learn the trick of sucking the meat out of the hard shells. While they are gentle fish in a community tank, they might have the guts to stand up to the TB. I would get these instead of Cories.

Another alternate suggestion:
Return the TB and get Ruby Barbs or Pentazonas.
 

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I love how tiger barbs and green green tiger barbs look together.
You could get all the variety you want just with tigers



platinum


albino

...and many more
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Diana- Thanks for all of the great suggestions! I actually do want to keep the MTS--I don't see them as a pest. They're great for aerating the substrate and eliminating waste. I had a fish die overnight one time and by the time I turned on the light the next morning, he was almost completely gone. Kind of gross, I know, but the snails had almost completely consumed him within a matter of several hours. That's another reason I find them beneficial--they eat decomposing waste. Do you think that the small waste that they produce and the waste that they consume, in a sense, cancel each other out?

I'm not completely opposed to getting something that would keep their population in check, I just don't want to completely wipe them out. I took a look at the Zebra Loach and I like it, but my question is, would it wipe out my MTS population?

If I don't go with a school of Zebra Loaches, I may just go with a large school of Tiger Barbs in different varieties, like Nordic recommended. I had been thinking about doing that anyway, and I'm liking that idea more and more. BTW Nordic, I love all the pictures! I am pretty partial to Tiger Barbs; they're such a fun fish.

Thanks for the suggestions guys!
 

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Keeping tiger barb only would be a good idea a they don't do well with most smaller species.
If you don't want to completely eradicate snail go for assassin snails, loathes would completely wipe them off.

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The waste removal and waste production do not cancel out.

Snails are consumers, the same as fish, shrimp and all other animals. They produce waste which is toxic the same way the waste from fish is toxic.

Snails are changing the form of some of the wastes, breaking it down into simpler molecules that plants can take in. This can help.

However, snails have similar needs to the fish: food (plants and animals) & oxygen. The have similar wastes: ammonia, CO2, organic wastes.

Where they may help is in delaying and perhaps evening out the ammonia levels, for example from a dead fish. If there were just microorganisms in the tank the dead fish would have spiked the ammonia high enough for your test kit to show ammonia. High enough to stress the living fish. With the snails eating the dead body, then producing wastes (including ammonia) over a longer time (days? I have no idea how fast snail digestion is) there is only a very low ammonia spike, probably not enough to register on hobby level test kits.
 

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Tiger barbs are fine with fast swimming short fin fish like zebra danio. They poop very little so the bio load is not too heavy, they turn their food into energy.
But I would stick to just the barbs, and maybe something armored for the floor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks guys.

Since I really don't know how much MTS affect the bioload, but I know they at least do somewhat, I am going to go with your suggestion Diana, and add a few Tiger Barbs at a time, wait a few weeks, test everything and see where I am with water changes, and then go from there. If the MTS truly are limiting the amount of fish I can add to the extent that AqAdvisor suggests, then I'll figure out how to cull their population at that point.
 

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I have had hundreds of MTS, and I added some assassins. Over the last three months they have done a small dent into the population, but the MTS are still going strong. I like my MTS and did not want to cull them, but preferred a more natural way to control their population. I truly recommend them!

Also do not do CPD if the barbs are aggressively easting, they will be outcompeted! Sorry if you have moved on from those points, just thought I would put some input.
 
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