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 Another stocking suggestion thread!!!

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Liz
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PostSubject: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:18 pm

Hello, all.

It has been a long (long) time since I've been stumped on how to stock a tank, but I have a different situation now and desire something different as well. I've kept so many species by now that I'm leaning towards oddballs or something a little interesting, but therein lies the dilemma.

This is a 29-gal that sits on the bottom rack of a stand with a 20L on top, as in the pic below:



Currently the tank has a bunch of pristella tetras and a lone goldfish (I had to remove him from my tank at work and put him here temporarily, but this might be a good place for him, with the tetras and plants removed). This location is very high traffic, and, of course, it sits almost ON the floor, so lots of feet and huge dogs walking by at all times. The species for this tank must not be the easily startled kind.

I don't want to do the plants/rocks thing in this aquascape, but would rather go with something a little more simple and minimalist, more arty, as it were, not to match the puffer tank above, but at least to have a similar theme, like solid black sand with a couple of feature structures and a feature fish or two that don't hide all the time and don't startle easily. The objects on the right side of this tank currently are two large glass chunks, actually waste glass from a glass plant, and I've used them in tanks over the years so they might stay in there, maybe even as the only decor, with sand or gravel that complements/contrasts with them and whatever fish I choose.

These requirements, unfortunately, knock out many of the oddballs, many of which like to hide all the time or would be driven nuts by people walking by or dogs looking in the tank. I often clean random slobber smears off the glass of these two tanks, so you have to wonder.....

Goldfish are a good choice, in fact, and I have had them in a similar tank in the kitchen before, since they don't mind a lot of activity and don't need caves or hidey holes, and they'd look great, but I've kept them so much over the past 30 years that I'd not mind keeping something else. I'd love another fish like Otis, the F8 puffer on top, but I have a hard enough time as it is keeping enough snails in the house for him alone, and don't want to have to set up more snail tanks for propagation. Puffers need a diet rich in hard, crunchy snail shells so you don't have to trim their beaks.

The other good thing about goldfish, especially the fancies, like the one in there now, is that they will show up well in this tank, where small fish do not. The pristellas are barely visible, just because the tank is in the kitchen, not near any kind of seating, and you don't really sit and watch these tanks, but you glance over at them, and I'd like the fish to be somewhat visible in the tank as you're walking by. Not a lot to ask, right?

This is really an art project as much as a new setup project, to be quite honest, though I do love my fish and will, of course, care for whatever I put down there, like always, but I care about how it will be enjoyed as well. That's why I don't want to put something timid and skittish in there, even if it would LOOK really good, because it won't be the best fit for this particular spot. For instance, I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to grow out a juvenile fire eel in this tank for a future home in the 125, since I am a bit obsessed with this species right now, especially the blue ones, but they are timid and hide all the time, and I would not feel right about keeping one in this tank.

So, any ideas? I know this might be a tall order! I may need to keep my oddball species in another tank in a better location and scrap my concept, stocking this with goldies, but I thought I'd run it past you all here first.

Here's a pic of the dogs who will be frightening the inhabitants of this tank, Captain Kidd and Busa. The young lady is one of my daughters, who sure loves her pups.


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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Tue Oct 13, 2015 9:26 pm

What about a barb only tank? Very active tiger barb school.
Shell dwellers?

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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:48 pm

Great suggestion, Steve! The barbs are high contrast, active and like to be in a group, plus they're not fussy. They'd be great.

Deb will likely be overrun with shellies pretty soon, so that might be doable too, lol

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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:23 pm

@Liz, I love this article from PFK.  Your fire eel is mentioned but my eye is attracted by the mollies.  What about Mollies?  An old favorite, as colorful as goldfish but not as large.  How pretty!  The spare, arty decor would work and you would not need plants. bounce

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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:59 pm

I have seen that article before, mainly when helping others stock their own tanks, lol, but I do still favor the tiger barbs (only kept them once!). I'm not opposed to mollies, but I've kept them a lot. Now, the red platys of Neo's are striking and would show up very, very well in that tank, but I'm not looking for a livebearer, really. I may return to this idea, purely from a visual perspective, however.

Deb, we had talked about an African cichlid, since I have a good supply of dry base/coral rock that I could put in this tank on black sand, or keep the black/blue gravel and put a bunch of demasoni, but I think the tank too small - you need a big group of these. The black and blue would be a stunner. Yellow labs would also work, would show up well, and would probably not mind the activity of the pathway, but, again, I've kept them multiple times. I think the Tang cichlids (my personal fave group) would be too timid, or at least the ones I have kept would be, though your 56 setup doesn't seem to suffer from timidity.

I also don't want a species that will spend all of its time on the bottom, since this is a somewhat tall tank and I'll want the visual all over.

What a BRAT I am! tongue queen

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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Thu Oct 15, 2015 2:59 am

I have seen mbunas in high traffic areas such as doctors offices. Very skittish. A 29 gallon is probably too small for demasonis or labs anyway. The tiger barbs sound like a great idea. Odessa barbs might be another option but the females are a little on the drab side.

What is the 20 long set up for?

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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:01 am

Labs would probably be fine in the 29. Saulosi would be a nice option and you might even get a couple colored males in one tank(males are blue and females yellow).

One thing that could help overcome skittishness would be small frequent feedings. Then the fish would associate people with food.
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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:25 am

I have gold barbs and really like them.  Many barbs can be subtropical or kept at lower temps.  And gold barbs could be kept with goldfish too.



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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:28 am

@Donald wrote:
What is the 20 long set up for?    
 

That is for my dear (not so sweet) Otis.  I love you


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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:33 am

There are some great ideas here! I'm leaning towards the tiger barbs and the P. saulosi, because of the colors.

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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:53 am

@Liz wrote:
@Donald wrote:
What is the 20 long set up for?    
 

That is for my dear (not so sweet) Otis.  I love you


What kind of puffer is he?
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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:08 am

He's a figure-8. I've kept him in this brackish setup for 6 or 7 years.

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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Thu Oct 15, 2015 1:08 pm

@Liz wrote:
@Donald wrote:
What is the 20 long set up for?    
 

That is for my dear (not so sweet) Otis.  I love you


He looks docile enough. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Thu Oct 15, 2015 1:54 pm

Mollies like salt also! I have never kept Sail fin Mollies but they are beautiful as Deb said.

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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:08 pm

Otis Docile? When you see him Crush snail shells in person, you will be glad you did not stick a finger in there. Smile Great fish though. Liz has awesome tanks. Hmm a 29 gallon. White Cloud Mtn fish would be pretty!
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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:52 pm

I have plenty of snails but no easy way to get them there. It would be fun to see him at work.

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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Thu Oct 15, 2015 6:34 pm

@Liz wrote:
Now, the red platys of Neo's are striking and would show up very, very well in that tank ...
Interesting you would mention them!  It was exactly that bag of red velvet swords or platys, or whatever they were, babies at the last JRAS meeting that made me think of mollies!  That, and the PFK article. So how about black sand, the bluish glass decor, and a few all-white mollies?  Or a few all white with a couple of black and white ones? And a black background.  (I'm like a dog with a bone on this one. tongue )

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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:53 pm

Dalmatian Mollies?

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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:32 pm

Yes, @Fward, Otis will bite you, lol! I pretty much have him trained, though, so I can reach in there with a deliberate attitude and rearrange decor, collect all the shell debris, wipe the glass, etc., but if you just dipped your finger in...... Shocked

Thanks for the props and the suggestion!


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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Sat Oct 17, 2015 6:00 pm

the situation has been resolved following the AWESOME JRAS auction that took place today. I had my daughters with me, helping with the auction, and they were smitten with the demasoni that went up early in the day. They had stunning color and they talked me into bidding on them, but missed out. Oh well, I thought, the black and blue would have been great in this tank, with black and blue gravel and accent pieces, but they might not be the best species for this tank, like was discussed earlier in the thread.

Well, my fellow JRAS member, Jose, running the checkout beside me, mentioned that he had won some black and blue mbuna that I could take off his hands, saying he didn't have a spot for them, really, but got a quad group (one robust male and three nice females) for only $16. We were slammed with work to do so I told him I'd think it over and let him know. At the end of the day, we remembered, and he showed them to me, and they are P. cyaneorhabdos (formerly Melanocrhomis, formerly "electric blue Johanni, formerly Maingano cichlid, etc.). In this species the males and females are both blue and black, though the males are slightly larger and have bolder coloration.

I decided to go for it. If they are not suited to this location I will give them to my nephew for his mbuna setup.

I took out the plants and put in some really nice coral rock (it looks nice and white now, but this will change!) and now we have a lovely black and blue themed tank that I'm thrilled with so far. One of the females was a little the worse for wear after such a long day in the bag (the venue was quite chilly also) but she seems to be perking up now. It has been at least 10 years since I've kept mbuna, and I've never kept this species, so I'm excited about the acquisition, DONATED by Imperial Tropicals to the JRAS auction. There were just shy of 500 items auctioned today, and over 60 bidders, so it was a banner day for the first ever auction of the club.

Here's a dark, blurry pic of the fish in situ, though they are fast and it is hard to get a good pic:


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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:06 am

GREAT Decision Liz, love the tank!

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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Sun Oct 18, 2015 4:21 pm

I think maingano are a good option for the tank. It can be tough to keep mbuna in a 30 inch tank, but these guys are mellow enough that it may work. I haven't found their behavior to be too different from yellow labs or saulosi or what I have heard of rusties.
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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Sun Oct 18, 2015 7:25 pm

It looks fantastic and mysterious! I "shared" the pic on the CVAS facebook page, it's awesome. How is that one female doing?

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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Sun Oct 18, 2015 8:22 pm

Congrats on the Mbuna. They look great in your tank...Cool

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PostSubject: Re: Another stocking suggestion thread!!!   Sun Oct 18, 2015 9:11 pm

The female has perked up. They're all exploring the nooks and crannies of the coral rock. It helps a lot that this is an established quad group, in their own setup, not trying to be integrated into a community. They're enjoying the spirulina wafers and NLS pellets, great eaters.

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