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Fish chosing

Discussion in 'Fish Keeping Chat' started by Daniel1331, Aug 10, 2018.


  1. Daniel1331

    Daniel1331 PetForums Newbie

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    Hi. My aunt just gave me her 200l fish tankwith some sand. I will boil the sand (to sterelize it) and clean the tank, Ive already ordered all the material. Im a beginner to fishkeeping, so I need some to chose the fish. I really dont like cyclhids and angels fish, but excluding those I like all of them. Please help me
     
  2. NaomiM

    NaomiM PetForums VIP

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    Hi Daniel,
    Good to see someone researching before buying :) And what a lovely sized tank for a first setup!
    Do you know if your water is hard or soft? (Your water company's website should give you an idea.) A good place to start is to look at fish that are best suited to your water type, as these are the ones most likely to thrive.
    Also, do you know about fishless cycling with ammonia? This is the best way to prevent fish deaths and other problems in a new setup. It takes a few weeks to complete but is totally worth the patience required, as it saves so much stress further down the line! This link explains more: https://www.tropicalfishforums.co.u...ml?PHPSESSID=b47d6fa84e982cda48b955dd5b610fd7
     
  3. Daniel1331

    Daniel1331 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you about the info. The water is soft. And about the ph? I heard that is important. Can you give some species?
     
  4. NaomiM

    NaomiM PetForums VIP

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    Hi Daniel,

    pH is less important than hardness, but as a general rule, fish that like soft water like low pH, and fish that like hard water like higher pH.

    I assume you're aiming for a community tank with a good mixture of different species? It's good to have fish that occupy different levels of the tank, i.e. top, middle and bottom. Here's a few suggestions of some 'easy', peaceful fish for each level (though this is by no means an exhaustive list):

    Top: pearl gourami, dwarf gourami, sparkling gourami, honey gourami, lemon tetra, black neon tetra, harlequin rasbora

    Middle: neon tetra, cardinal tetra, rummy-nose tetra, glowlight tetra, black phantom tetra, cherry barb

    Bottom: any type of cory, bristlenose pleco, dwarf chain loach, kuhli loach

    Apart from gouramis and plecos, most of these fish need to be kept in groups of 6+. I'd recommend getting 1-2 species for each level.

    Aqadvisor.com is a great site for checking stocking levels and compatibility.
     
  5. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    The first thing to do is get a good liquid water test kit if you haven't like the api master test kit. Also you will need water conditioner and a filter. Your tank is the same size as mine and is a lovely size for a nice community.

    I suggest once you have installed the tank, aquascaped it and added the water and the heater you can start doing a fish less cycle. The link Naomi has given talks you through it but please give us a shout if you need advice. Make sure you buy pure ammonia. Most large DIY stores sell it. If you lie spreadsheets keep a record of you ammonia nitrite and nitrate readingreadings each day. Alternatively a fish keeping more book is good.

    Like u chat advice out there a lot if it is unsuitable. Please ignore those (including some well known pet chains) that say add water wait a week and add the fish. This is outdated advice from the days when water companies added chlorine which evaporated off in a week and used under gravel filters and expected fish to doe in a few weeks. Luckily things are more enlightened. Firstly the water companies add Chloe a mine which is stable and can only be removed by a Dec hot in at or designed for the job. It removes the chlorine and your filter bacteria remove the ammonia. Seachem prime removes both.

    OK now that you have your tank cycling nicely and you are healthily skeptical about the advice out there spend your next 4 weeks or so of the fish less cycle deciding on your fish.

    As NaomiM says getting fish for the various later for interest is a good idea. A feature fish like a cichlid or gourami is also nice.

    Sand is a great substrate many fish live it as do plants. Depending on your lighting set up your choice of plants may be more limited or extensive. I suggest you start with some nice easy low to moderate light lovers like crypts, Java ferns, Vallis, ludwigia, hygrophyla and bacopa are all relatively easy.

    So to the fish. You can tell were they like swimming pretty much from the position of their mouths pointing upwards are top swimmers, to the front and downwards pointers like the bottom

    Many fish for sale at decent local fish shops (LFS) are acclimatised to the local water. I like maidenhead aquatics as a chain. They tend to have very knowledgeable staff and can point out which species do well in your water.

    Once you know the pH and hardness of your water go and have a look in one of the shops. Take a note book or a smart phone and make notes of everything you like that is suitable and what it likes and doesn't like and where snouts in the tank it lives and if it is territorial or needs to be in groups.

    Armed with your nice long wish list start researching each fish ( see how waiting for the filter to cycle will go by in a flash :) ). What is attracting you ? Colours behaviours personalities and what size. Large shoals and only a few different species or smaller numbers no more variety.

    Things to think about are size. Angel fish will grow up and eat their tiny tank mates or more certainly any new tiny tank mates. Fin nippers like tiger barbs might enjoy a munch on long finned fish. Some fish are intolerant of other fish that are the same colours or body shape.

    Breeding. Some fish change personality when breeding. Cichlids fish with definite personalities come in a wide range and are often great colorful feature fish. Angel fish and kribensis are both examples and dwarf cichlid s are also nice fish too. If you have a pair ( and a pair is best to prevent fighting) then courtship and breeding can have them guarding their space from all comers. Rarely do the other fish come to harm but you may find 2/3 tank has 2 fish and 1/3 has all the rest for a while. Live bearers like guppies and platies are the rabbits of the fish world and will breed extensively. You will soon be over run. Also all females store sperm so are likely to be pregnant when bought especially if kept with males in the LFS.

    So what to choose. If your water is moderately soft and a near neutral pH then you have a pretty wide range to chose from. Avoid mollies and any other fish that tolerates or likes brackish water.

    Also be aware of the eventual size the fish grow to. Most fish are babies when purchased.

    Some suggestions based on my own past residents are:
    Small fish set up large shoals and a few species: a nice big shoal of cardinals or neons. Guppies and corydorus at the bottom. Feature fish could be a pair of honey gouramies.

    Medium mixed species: cherry barbs, some of the more peaceful tetra species or Harlequin rasboras or perhaps some of the Danio species like the kyathit or zebra or leopard or white cloud minnows. Again corydorus or some bristle nose catfish of some khuli loaches are all good bottom fish.

    Feature fish could be a pair of kribensis or larger gouramies or some apistogamma cacatuoides cichlids.
    On the larger side how about a pair of angelfish, some golden barbs and some pentazona barbs. Most tetras are too nippy with angel fish though I have always had few troubles with a group of 6 red eye tetra or black widows.

    My current tank occupants are khuli loaches, a large number of Kribs as they keep breeding and I am trying g to rehome them golden barbs who have always been peaceful and some geriatric zebra danios. The tank needs a revamp fishwife once I have sold on all the babies.

    Hope this has given you food for thought and I echo Naomi s comment of well done for doing your research first. Beware the hobby is addictive and you will soon have multiple tanks :)









    Whiks
     
  6. Daniel1331

    Daniel1331 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you for the information. Can all those species live together? And all of them eat the same food? Do i need any extra material for the plants?
     
  7. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    Plants - the plants I listed are easy to grow and don't need anything fancy though you will need some lights which produce light spectrum needed for plants. Depending on what light system you have that might be some appropriate bulbs. Apart from that some plant feed tablets you pop in the sand at the base of their roots do the job. Sometimes some liquid fertiliser in the water for aquarium plants also though I tend not to bother with this as I find the with fish in the tank there is enough nutrients in the water column.

    When you buy the plants remove any floss from round the roots and bury them in the sand. Tall growing ones to the back and side and medium the short tow the front with nice free swimming open spaces.

    Re the fish - all the fish I listed won't necessarily work together. The fish for each type of tank IE small large should be OK as one community, smaller medium fish, and large fish communities will work OK as I have had these respective combinations but they may not work mixed across types. Eg angel fish will eat neons.

    I suggest you pop to a decent LFS eg a maidenhead aquatics or if you let us know roughly where you are we can recommend other good independents. Go to their community fish section and make a note of every thing you like then come back here and list your wish list fish and we can tell you what goes with what.

    It's hard to recommend fish without knowing what kind if things you like. There are the standard bread and butter community fish (most of these type of fish are common in places like pets at home) but there are a whole range of other species which are easy to keep and a little different which you may prefer eg danios rasboras etc.

    Generally most fish that are suitable for a community aquarium will be happy on a good quality flake/crisp type food or pellets. Depending on whether they are top bottom or middle feeders they may prefer different food preparations. Fish like plecos eg bristle nose ancistris also need some bog wood on the tank as they need the lignin the the wood also.

    Most enjoy some live food on occasion and it's fun to see the fish chase around after it but their day to day food can be prepared food.

    Below is a pic of my tank currently. I tend to like the overgrown weedy look though this might not be your thing. Plant wise I have Vallis (the trailing stuff), cryptocorynes (crypts - the plants at the bottom), Java moss growing on the bottom right in a big clump and also some hygrophila (not visible). Fish wise there are golden barbs, kribensis, leopard danios and khuli loaches. Once I have sold on the excess Krib babies I will be getting some more corydorus and probably some tetras (not sure what species but likely some red eyed tetras, lemon tetras or something of that sort). I am sort of between communities at the moment and the barbs are getting a little old (7 years).

    Prior to the Kribs I had a pair of angels for 13 years.

    My first ever set up consisted of peppered corydorus, red eyed tetras neons and a pair of dwarf gouramies. The cories and red eyes both lived till about 14 years.

    IMAG1562_1.jpg
     
  8. Daniel1331

    Daniel1331 PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks for the help. I live in Portugal, so its hard for uou to recommend some store. I want small to medium fish ( max 15cm), lots of color, a few bottom dewlers (except plecos). I really like fish like oscar (unfortunately they are to big), any kind of tetras, guppies and gouramies (specially dwarf gouramy). Im also keen on swordtails, neons, ramirezi and killiefish. Can you please make any sugestion with fish combos?
     
  9. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    Male dwarf gourami / or a pair of honey gouramies or pearl gourami (they look great once settled in)

    Male and female ram

    10 neons or cardinals

    4 /5 corydorus

    6 lemon tetras Hyphessobrycon pulchripinnis (brighten up slot once settled and mature) or Rosie tetras or perhaps ornate tetras (hyphessobrycon bentosi) the later have great interaction between the males holding the white tipped Dorsey fins straight up and are fun to watch. The other tetras are good too.

    Killies are more tricky. Golden wonder panchax will eat neons and some other species are either too timid for communities or have their own needs. I would stay clear as first fish but perhaps look at them in future as an option after lots of research and depending g on the characters of your individual fish you have.

    Sword tails are lovely fish but they do grow pretty big and in mixed groups breed like rabbits. If you do want swordtails then you might want to Re think some of your other fish

    Guppies are also an option but they are slow swimmers and with their float tails may be at risk of being nipped by the dwarf gourami, lemon/Rosie/ornate tetras.or rams. If you go with guppies then go for the lace or honey gouramies and skip the tetras (neons/cardinals are OK).
     
  10. NaomiM

    NaomiM PetForums VIP

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    Just to add to kittih's info, guppies and swordtails tend to do better in hard water.
     
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  11. Daniel1331

    Daniel1331 PetForums Newbie

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    Thank very much. And what about rasboras? I really like the galaxy ones
     
  12. Daniel1331

    Daniel1331 PetForums Newbie

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    And is a pair of pearl fouramis or its obly one? Sorry, not an english native speaker
     
  13. Daniel1331

    Daniel1331 PetForums Newbie

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    And rummy nose tetras?
     
  14. Daniel1331

    Daniel1331 PetForums Newbie

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    My tank is actually 240l instead of 200l.Sorry for the mistake
     
  15. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    They are tiny and would be nice snacks for your gouramies and rams.
     
  16. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    Yes's they are good too. I didn't suggest them because with the neons/ cardinals you already have some red in your colours but they are nice community fish.
     
  17. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    Yes a pair is fine. The females tend not to be so pretty.
     
  18. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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  19. Daniel1331

    Daniel1331 PetForums Newbie

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    Can i add a few shrimp to the tank?
     
  20. kittih

    kittih PetForums VIP

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    The small shrimp like cherries will be eaten. Larger shrimp like Amanos don't to well in soft water so depending on your water I would suggest not to. They need a high pH. In acid conditions it will damage their exoskeleton
     
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