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Discussion Starter #1
hey guys,

The 65 gallon tank my boyfriend and I have is almost a week old and we are ready for some fish/fishies!

We are very excited and wanted to get some ideas on what fish/fishies to get first.

Should we go with livebearers first? if so which ones and how many should I get?

Or maybe bottom feeders?

Ultimately we want angel fish or cichlids.

open to suggestions and maybe if you can include what other fish you would get with your starter fish that would be wonderful.

Thanks :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
i won't put any fish in until I do an ammonia, nitrite and nitrate test and get 0 , 0 and <10ppm on them respectively.

but when its ready, what fish / shrimps / crab should I get?
 

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Great that?s what I meant by cycled. I would recommend Cory?s at first but anyone that knows me in this forum knows I?d recommend those haha.
 

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Why would you not just start with the angels, then build around them? I love cories as a bottom level fish, but I would add them last. Not sure which other cichlids you are thinking of, but some of the dwarfs like bolivian rams or german blue rams would work with angels. If they start breeding, they could cause a little problem for the cories. If you choose live bearers first, any fry will almost certainly be eaten by the cichlids. A nice school of rummy nose tetras or something else from the tetra family instead of live bearers would work with the angels.
 

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Most Tetras are egg scatterers if I'm not mistaken. As far as them nipping the Angelfish, it really depends on the Tetra species. Most of the smaller ones should be OK, but if you go to small there is a chance the Angels will eat them! Plenty of info online about this.

I noticed you said angelfish or other cichlids. I think angels would be great, although keep in mind that they may pair up and fight so you may need to separate them in the future. But that's just a good reason to get more tanks. :wink2: If you wanted to research other cichlid options then you might look into the dwarf cichlids (apistos, german blue rams, kribensis) or the various Geophagus cichlids.

I'm also a big fan of corydoras and I would recommend a group of them. There are many varieties to choose from, I like the peppered cories and they're one of the most widely available IME. But they're pretty much all good choices. I'd go for at least 6, preferably more.

I like livebearers as well. My personal favorite are platies, but guppies and swordtails are good as well.

Don't know if you know about aqadvisor, but it's a useful aquarium stocking calculator - AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor. It can be a bit conservative at times so take it with a grain of salt, but I've found it useful.

As far as other advice I'd say go with fewer groups of more fishes than more groups of fewer fishes. Try to avoid having a "Noah's Ark" tank with tons of fishes, but only 1 or 2 of each! :smile2: The fishes will look better, behave more naturally, and be less stressed.

Good luck with your tank, and have fun!
 

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i won't put any fish in until I do an ammonia, nitrite and nitrate test and get 0 , 0 and <10ppm on them respectively.

but when its ready, what fish / shrimps / crab should I get?
I might be misunderstanding...
In order to get ammonia to 0, you have to have ammonia > 0 first - which you probably will never have until you put fish in there first (chicken or the egg!). Though some people do a fishless cycling, which means they squirt in some ammonia or something? Never done it myself....
Most new fish owners need to stock your tank with a few fish to start the cycling process. Then you get patient and do some water changes before you get the fish you actually want.

For a 65 gallon tank I would stock fewer than 15 smaller fish (tetras or something). If you are just starting the nitrogen bacteria process, then I'd stick with something cheap and that you won't be heartbroken if they get stressed and die if you forget to water change soon enough. Do 10 ember tetras or 10 lamp eye tetras and see how it goes (both < $3 each I think).
 

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I might be misunderstanding...
In order to get ammonia to 0, you have to have ammonia > 0 first - which you probably will never have until you put fish in there first (chicken or the egg!). Though some people do a fishless cycling, which means they squirt in some ammonia or something? Never done it myself....
Most new fish owners need to stock your tank with a few fish to start the cycling process. Then you get patient and do some water changes before you get the fish you actually want.

For a 65 gallon tank I would stock fewer than 15 smaller fish (tetras or something). If you are just starting the nitrogen bacteria process, then I'd stick with something cheap and that you won't be heartbroken if they get stressed and die if you forget to water change soon enough. Do 10 ember tetras or 10 lamp eye tetras and see how it goes (both < $3 each I think).
This is a good point about the cycling. If you want to cycle with fish then tetras or livebearers would be my choice. You could use corys too.

I have always done fishless cycling and had good success with it. That is not to say that it's better then cycling with fish - it's just what I've done myself. If you're interested in fishless cycling here's a great guide: The (almost) Complete Guide and FAQ to Fishless Cycling - Aquarium Advice - Aquarium Forum Community.
 

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+1 for corys. Ember tetras will be angel snacks in no time. For the future angels you need tetras that are not small but are not fin nippers. I would exclude serpai, black widow ... because of fin nipping. Then the smaller tetras would be excluded because of size (like embers and neons). If you do go for angels really have a backup plan if they start acting up.
The other cichlids suggested are much more well behaved. Rams can go with anything provided you have really warm water. They do not live long in non-warm water.
Do read enough about cycling your tank. Black neons are fairly hardy to go in a fish-in cycle IMO. Platys and stuff may work. But what are the rest of the parameters of your water? Cause platys and such like harder water. If your water is excessively soft soon you will came here showing pictures of platys with fungus. On the other hand most tetras would prefer a softer water. If you have a "moderate" water you might be able to go either way.
I know that people will say fish can adapt. But seriously you can take a polar bear to Africa an it will not die. But I doubt it will be happy.
 

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+1 for corys. Ember tetras will be angel snacks in no time. For the future angels you need tetras that are not small but are not fin nippers. I would exclude serpai, black widow ... because of fin nipping. Then the smaller tetras would be excluded because of size (like embers and neons). If you do go for angels really have a backup plan if they start acting up.
The other cichlids suggested are much more well behaved. Rams can go with anything provided you have really warm water. They do not live long in non-warm water.
Do read enough about cycling your tank. Black neons are fairly hardy to go in a fish-in cycle IMO. Platys and stuff may work. But what are the rest of the parameters of your water? Cause platys and such like harder water. If your water is excessively soft soon you will came here showing pictures of platys with fungus. On the other hand most tetras would prefer a softer water. If you have a "moderate" water you might be able to go either way.
I know that people will say fish can adapt. But seriously you can take a polar bear to Africa an it will not die. But I doubt it will be happy.
All good advice. I'd add Red Eye tetras to the list of nippy fish to avoid, but perhaps others have had better results than me.

Black Neons are good, and a favorite of mine. I like Rummynoses as well, which would be fine with angels but perhaps too delicate for cycling.

All the fish I've mentioned I have kept in medium-hard water and they've seemed to do well.
 

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Another good tetra that's not nippy IMO is the diamond tetra. There big enough too they won't get eaten by angels and they're also pretty cheap and easy to find. The males are beautiful when they mature and have long flowing fins. I also really love emperor tetras though I haven't owned any yet but I've heard they aren't nippy either and are fairly easy to breed. The black emperors are my favorite nematobrycon amphiloxus but there is other sub species too that are also pretty.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
thank guys for all the input! super appreciated.

if we do go with corys, which ones should we go with? Also will they be okay in my 83.5F tank? :/
 

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Sterbai cory is a classic for warmer water tanks. But depending on your budget there are some rarer species like adolfoi for example.
 

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Definitely don't fish-in cycle, it's cruel to the fish who are swimming in ammonia. Besides, a fishless cycle can be as simple as chucking a piece of frozen shrimp in and monitoring every few days, you just need a relatively stable ammonia source of some sort.

I love congo tetras, but they need more cover than you currently have. Honestly, I'd add more cover, period, more plants and such to hide in.

I love twig (farowella) catfish. You'll want to wait until the tank is a few months old so they have algae and bio-film to eat, but they're these lovely suckermouth fish that get about 7" long and are really thin. They also come out way more than plecos do, so you'll get to see one sitting on things. I like to watch them wiggle around.
 

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thank guys for all the input! super appreciated.

if we do go with corys, which ones should we go with? Also will they be okay in my 83.5F tank? :/
Not many fishes appreciate temps that warm.
Also as mentioned above,,you need to know if your water is alkaline or softer.(will dictate what fishes might do well or not so well.)
 

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I also advocate a fishless cycle using ammonia. Cycling with fish takes longer, means lots of water changes, constant testing, and can place unnecessary stress on fish, particularly some of the ones you may consider for this tank - like rummy nose. Definitely would not cycle with cories.

83F is quite warm and many cories would not do well at this temp. Angels are good at 80F and as suggested sterbai cories are ones that can take this. Make sure you research any other cory species before you consider them for the higher temp.

In addition to the other tetra suggestions above, consider also Bentosi tetras.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
We got it down to 80.2 using ice packs, we want to do a fishless cycle, so do we just add fish food flakes to it ? How much do we add and how often ?
 
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