Page 1 of 1

16 Gallon Stocking

PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:01 pm
by RoHawks
Sorry for the length, but I have a lot of questions and some unique conditions.

I am in the process of setting up my first planted tank. I want to keep it Asian themed and to keep it as "natural" as possible i.e. nothing that is line bred (it is just my preference). As I live in the dorms at college and go home during the summer and winter break, I need the inhabitants to be able to handle two water parameters even though I only live like 20 minutes away from college (any tips on transporting?). The water at school has a pH just under 7 and low KH (about 60 ppm) and the water at home has a pH just over 8 and high KH (from memory...about 200-300 ppm). Both water sources have quite high GH (about 150-200 ppm). I want to keep it simple and not add anything to change the parameters unless I HAVE to. I want this to be relatively low maintenance by keeping it relatively lightly stocked. The tank is 16 gallons and will be filtered with an AquaClear 30.

I was thinking of a school of white cloud mountain minnows (Tanichthys albonubes) and one Sparkling Gourami (Trichopsis pumilus). Are they compatible and okay with both water conditions? How many white clouds and is gender ratio important? Any other suggestions to add with keeping the stocking light?

I want to try shrimp for the first time. I plan on giving them plenty of places to hide and let them grow out before adding them because I know most fish will eat shrimp, especially the small ones, if given the chance but are the fish above okay with shrimp? I don't plan on breeding beyond maintaining my colony. I think I will place berried females in a fine net breeder to raise the fry as needed. Will this work? I was wanting to get tangerine tiger shrimp (Caradina serrata) but I am having trouble finding information on them. Are they a good beginner shrimp, will they handle both water conditions, and are they line bred? How many shrimp to start and maintain and is gender ratio important?

Since I have never had plants before, I was thinking, java fern, Bucephandra, java moss, and water wisteria. Are these good low light beginner plants (just double checking)? I plan to attach the java fern and bucephandra to branches, attach the java moss to rocks and weigh down the water wisteria so I don't have to worry about substrate. What is the best way to prevent snails besides tissue culture (the only one I can find TC is java moss, which I will get)? I have heard of bleaching but I also heard from one place that there is a possibility of killing the plant. Is that really a concern or does it just depend on the concentration and length of the dip?

For hardscape, I have already got black gravel and I am planning on getting dragon stone, and spider wood. I have heard many ways to prepare wood, like boiling. Does spider wood not produce a lot of tanninis and does it sink relatively easily? If so, is rinsing good with water, weighing it down, and doing water changes good enough?

Thank You

Re: 16 Gallon Stocking

PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:00 pm
by Crazygar
White Clouds prefer cooler, faster moving waters with a more alkaline pH, as opposed to the Sparkling Gourami, which prefer warmer, slow to sluggish moving water and more acidic pH.

Both Fish can adapt to a happy medium but I prefer to stick with species that can handle the same temps. Now, if you were to replace the White Clouds with a Boraras species, you might have a winner as they love the same conditions as the Gourami.

Tannin stained waters really bring out the Sparkling Gourami's colors, I've kept these before and they are unappreciated little Gems. In fact, I kept a small group in the same tank, though it was densely planted with Crypts and Hygro.

Smaller Shrimp might become meals for the Gourami and due to acidic conditions, might not be the best choice. If you want Shrimp, yes, put them in before, keep the pH closer to neutral (7) and let them grow into huge numbers before adding the Gourami. Ensure they have places to hide.

Also, I would start with Red Cherry Shrimp or Sakura. These are much hardier and more common.

Gary

Re: 16 Gallon Stocking

PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 6:43 pm
by RoHawks
If White Clouds like cooler water, then why did I see them is other warmer water species, like guppies, zebra dainos, and mollies, in the stores? Is it some sort of misconception? I was debating between White Cloud and Celestial Pearl Danio (Celestichthys margaritatus). I haven't done much research on them but, would they work? Too be more specific, the pH at school is more like 6.8-6.9 and at home it is like 8.2. Don't know if that makes a difference.

Re: 16 Gallon Stocking

PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:21 pm
by Crazygar
Often they are tossed in together. Do your research on White Cloud Minnows, in fact, here is something; http://www.tfhmagazine.com/details/arti ... eeping.htm

Just one of many articles found on the Main Magazine Website.

Gary

Re: 16 Gallon Stocking

PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 8:32 pm
by RoHawks
Okay, what about Celestial Pearl Danio (Celestichthys margaritatus)?

Re: 16 Gallon Stocking

PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 9:24 pm
by Crazygar
These, believe it or not, can be considered SubTropical as well, but there are varied reports of people keeping them well in all ranges of Temperatures. 68°F to 77°F (20-25°C) are usually the ranges people keep them at. Sparkling Gourami like it between 72-78° F (22- 27°C) so these would work much better.

CPD (as they are referred to) require a small group to keep themselves active and out. Small (like 3) will spend all their time hiding, a larger group 6+ will spend most of their time out and about.

Gary

Re: 16 Gallon Stocking

PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:09 pm
by RoHawks
Great, a Sparking Gourami, a school of CPDs, and a ton of cherry shrimp it is. What is the good number of CPDs for a lightly stocked 16 gallon?

Re: 16 Gallon Stocking

PostPosted: Thu Apr 06, 2017 10:32 pm
by Diana
Here is a good site to look up a lot of the species that we keep in our tanks.
http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/ce ... hromicron/

Transporting the fish and tank is going to be just a bit tricky.
A) a few days before, do a thorough water change and tank cleaning.

B) on the day of the move:
1) Drain enough water into 3 or more bags or buckets to transport all the livestock in separate groups. (Gourami, Shrimp, Schooling fish) Shrimp will really like something to cling to- perhaps some moss or fine plants. Pack the bags in a Styrofoam box or whatever is needed to maintain the temperature. Wrap buckets with a thick towel. Fish jump so keep the buckets covered. Fish are less stressed in the dark.
2) Keep plants that are grown stuck to the wood or rocks, and lift these from the tank and transport in a bucket or plastic bag with enough water to keep them hydrated. A sealed (zip-lock or equal) bag with just a little water will work.
3) Plants growing in substrate are difficult to move. I would keep them in pots (new clay pots, may also be sold as terra cotta) and transport as 2).
4) remove the rest of the water and keep it (perhaps in 5 gallon buckets).
5) Put the filter media in a damp bag, too. Keep this as cool as reasonable to slow the metabolism of the beneficial bacteria. (Near the air conditioner in the summer, cool part of car in winter. Not freezing.
Remove all other decor from the tank (substrate, stones, wood, ceramic mer-people) and transport as 2). These also have a fair amount of beneficial bacteria, so keep these somewhat cooler, too.
Remove delicate things like heater and thermometer and protect them during transport.
Move the tank empty. (you could put the heater & thermometer in the tank).

Set up the tank in its new location. Make sure it is level and well supported.
Add substrate, decor and equipment. Do not plug in the equipment, yet.
Plant.
Start filling with the reserved water.

Add a bacterial additive that includes Nitrospira species of bacteria. Do not waste money on anything else. You probably won't need much (perhaps half a dose) because you have been very careful to keep the beneficial bacteria alive in the filter media and on the other surfaces.
Add new water that has been treated with dechlor (if needed- most tap water needs it. Well water might not). Test the TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) and make it match. If the KH is too low in the tap water add baking soda or potassium bicarbonate to raise the KH. This will also raise TDS and pH.
Net the fish and other livestock out of the buckets (or bags). Do not add this water to the new set up. Fish under stress produce excess ammonia, and you do not want this in the new set up.
The rest of the day- lights off. Feed only if the fish are acting normally.

C) Next day: lights on and feed as normal. Monitor ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, and be prepared to do water changes as needed. If you used the bacterial supplement, then follow directions about when to do water changes.

About the changing water parameters:
Fish can tolerate a rising TDS easier than a dropping TDS.
When you are moving them from the soft water location to the hard water location you can make water changes to raise the TDS about 15% per water change, and do 2 such water changes per week.
When you are moving them from the hard water location to the soft water location you can make water changes to lower the TDS about 10% per water change, and do 2 such water changes per week.
These are very conservative suggestions that I have found work for even very delicate fish.

Re: 16 Gallon Stocking

PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:24 pm
by RoHawks
After doing more research on CPDs and sparkling gouramis, I read that they have a tendency to be a little timid and like to hide. But for this tank my goal is to have an active community tank. I would like some suggestions on some fish that are active, colorful, easy to maintain, compatible with both my water parameters (please see first post) and are relatively easy to find or even order from a locally owned store.

I realized that the only reason I wanted to stock lightly was because I was remembering my African cichlid days where I had a 55 gallon and doing even a 25% water change on that with a 2g bucket was a PAIN and since I went to college and gave the away, I realized that I did not do them frequently enough (bad information from a beginner books not specific to fully stocked cichlid tanks and they even bred a few time so I didn't think anything was wrong :wall: ). But this tank is only 16 gallons and doing a 25% change is like 2 buckets. So, I don't have to keep it supper lightly stocked, but I would like to keep water changes down to once a week and be able to maybe go a couple extra days if needed with no problem. Please include your recommended quantities of each species you suggest (and gender ratio if needed).

I have a couple questions on shrimp. If it's my first shrimp, can I quarantine them with fish that won't eat them and not have to worry about disease passing from shrimp to fish or vice versa? Also, since tangerine tigers are not for beginners, I would like to substitute them for orange "cherry" shrimp. How common are they and is there a price difference from red cherries?

Finally, I have set up a couple tanks before I came to college but always had trouble with cycling, even though I followed the advice in my beginner books, like adding fish in small numbers, using biological additives, and using stuff from other tank (guess I didn't add enough) :sorry: . I have a total of three cycled tanks now, one with a Betta, one with a single African cichlid (that I breed my self!), and one with three white cloud mountain minnows. What is the best way to get my new tank cycled? I am a junior getting my undergrad in microbiology, so feel get technical if you want :D .

Re: 16 Gallon Stocking

PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:05 am
by dwaink
http://lrbaquatics.com/products/orange- ... ixed-grade
may be your best bet/price for orange neos,i trust this guy allot and his shrimp are actual prize winners, so his lines are good. But the issue is going to be your water parameters, neos really need hard water. Some folks manage it with lots of crushed coral as substrate, but they need to have lots of calcium to molt well and breed. Your home water would work well for them but your school water will be an issue, you would be better off going caradinia (which require much softer water) at school....but then those will die in your water at home. Shrimp are much more sensitive than other creatures to wide swings in water parameters, which is exactly what you will have. You might pull it off but chances are they will crash. You can also check out https://www.flipaquatics.com/product-ca ... na-shrimp/ Rob is a great guy, have met him as well and have some of his Green Jades coming next moth.

Re: 16 Gallon Stocking

PostPosted: Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:32 am
by RoHawks
Okay, Thanks for the information dwaink. I have decided not to get shrimp. I just don't want to worry about them crashing. Maybe when I am not moving back and forth I will get some.

Re: 16 Gallon Stocking

PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 5:44 pm
by Crazygar
Stability is the key. If you are moving around a lot, a tank is a bad idea in general, unless it's something simple like a Betta.

Shrimp can not catch fish diseases and can not transmit any Shrimp Pathogens to Fish. Different genetic makeup. What are your water parameters at your current location (pH)

Gary

Re: 16 Gallon Stocking

PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 12:35 pm
by RoHawks
would platies be ok? I decided I just want an active tank and not make it "all natural." will the plants be ok? I also wondered if adding crushed coral at school where the kh and pH are lower would help keep parameters closer.

Re: 16 Gallon Stocking

PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 10:18 pm
by Diana
Platies are OK in a 16 gallon tank. I would just get males. Then there are no problems with babies, and the males tend to be just a bit smaller. You could get several different strains if you want that kind of mix. Platies are OK at room temperature. They do not eat plants.
Platies are pretty adaptable to a wide range of conditions.

When you move them to the softer water location, run some water into a bucket and add the coral or oyster shell (sold for caged birds) to the bucket. Let it sit, stir it occasionally. Test occasionally to see how long it takes to get pretty close to the parameters the fish are already used to. Check the GH, KH and pH. TDS, too, if you have a meter.
The closer the parameters are to what the fish are already used to, then the larger water change you can do.
You can adjust the timing of how long the water has to sit in the bucket with the coral until it is just right.
You can re-use the coral or oyster shell many times. Test the results each time, though. Sometimes they quit working. I am not sure why, maybe some harder minerals are in there, and these do not dissolve?