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Returning tropical fisher(?)/Aquarist(?) seeks advice

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Firstly hello everyone!

Years ago I had a few plecos and neons - I can't remember what else was nigh on 20 years ago. I've recently been negotiating with my better half to have some tropical fish again.

I have been having a look at tanks at the Hutt Pets and on TM. I have a desk thing here that would hold a 150cmx40cm tank flush but considering a 120cmx50cmxabout50-60cm unit with the inbuilt filtering system.

I am quite fond of the silver sharks for their schooling behaviour and darting about. I understand them to be a non-aggressive fish but growing to considerable size - hence my thoughts about a very long/tall tank. Are there similar fish species available that don't grow so large. I looked at red tails but they're very catfish like and aren't schoolies like the silver sharks ( I read the red tails are aggressive and the one at the pet shop seemed territorial as hell)..

I'm thinking of aquiring a good sized tank (250-300ltr) and some plants and just growing up the tank plant life and not getting ANY fish for a few months while I get a decent environment running.

Does the abundance of plants reduce the need to change out water and clean filters? Or create more work load. Do plants NEED fish to use up the oxygen or produce CO2 , do air stones and the likes put c02 back into the water? Some basic qs there.

I have envisioned an environment with clear tracks in the upper third for schooling fast movers like the sharks, then at either side and up to around the middle/two thirds mark larger plants/sunken wood to reduce school fish speed and allow some smaller schoolies to circulate (angels?(too much fin with the sharks?)) and in the lower regions lots of grass/moss and hidey holes for some smaller fish like clown loaches or the likes - hopefully too big to get gobbled by the sharks but small enough to stay out of trouble... I love plecos but they just get too damn big! Maybe some other cats/suckers.

Any thoughts or if you know of someone with a presentable larger tank solution they're willing to part with I'm very interested.

What are those black wiggly eel looking jobbies I have seen...!?

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I'm thinking of aquiring a good sized tank (250-300ltr) and some plants and just growing up the tank plant life and not getting ANY fish for a few months while I get a decent environment running.

Dont know how successfull that will be, you wont cycle the tank (build up any bacteria in the filters) untill you have a few fish eating and pooping in there. Likewise with nutrients for the plants. I would go with a few smaller fish to start with, maybe the species you want and let them grow. That first month is critical as the tank cycles, but small fish / large tank will work OK

I love plecos but they just get too damn big!

Some do, some dont. Many more species of Pleco available now than 20 years ago. You could get some little bristlenose plecos, they dont grow much over 5" long. They would be fine mooching around the bottom of the size tank you are thinking about.

Anyway good luck with what you choose, lots of interesting fish out there. I've basically got back into fish after 20+ years. Inherited a small tank from my partners father, then picked up a couple more 80l tanks. Now looking for another bigger tank to house my Plecos :) Dont tell your wife about the potential for MTS though



MTS - multi tank syndrome ;)

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You would need at least a 6ft tank for silver sharks and even then a school would eventually need more room.

Setting up with just plants would be good as it will give the plants time to establish good root systems. You will probably need to use fertiliser though since you won't have fish to provide it. You will still need to then add fish slowly to allow the tank to cycle as it will not do so with just plants in it. Many people like to keep planted tanks with no fish, especially overseas.

More plants makes it easier to keep a well balanced tank but it doesn't necessarily need you clean the filter less, depending on the fish. As fish nibble, bits of leaves go up the filter so they need cleaning out regularly.

Airstones look pretty and can provide a little extra oxygen by agitating the water surface, that is all. Not necessary.

Consider some of the larger barbs or tetras for fast schooling fish. Bristlenose catfish look like plecs but don't grow nearly so large and don't uproot the landscape.

Perhaps the "black wiggly eel looking jobbies" are a type of eel :D

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So is there anything not quite as large as silver shark but only slightly smaller? I'd really like at least 6 and the longest tank I can reasonably fit is 5ft. I haven't seen any others at the pet shop that exhibit the same schooling behavior. They just look so GRRR. Remind me of the Kawhai I've seen while snorkling. Love to add some height incase they wanna have a lil jump!

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You'll need to have a lid on it for that type of schooling fish.

I had 6 arulius barbs that paniced at lights out and I found them all over the floor in the morning.

I was bummed out with that lot.

They were all close to 150mm T/L

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torpedo barbs are pretty nice to watch, are fairly large as adults and are schooling fish. I have several in a nice planted tank with sword plants and crypts with some small pleco species. They look really good against the green plants and craggy driftwood.

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Would this be a black Ghost knife you're talking about?


If so you can pick these up from your local fish store. Don't really see them that often on TM.

From the fish store expect about $40 - $50 for a baby.

They eat neons, cardinals and anything that will fit in their mouth when they're older.

main food are flakes, those vege wafers that you feed to loaches and blood worms aka red mosquito larvae.

Else you might be talking about a fire eel. They're pretty cool and on my big plan of things to get.

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Ghost knife it was. They're mad the way they zip backwards. Creepy!

Oh, I discovered that clown loaches aren't small cute little things that scurry about under small logs for long... I've revised tank community to Balas/torpedo barbs and/or some smaller schooling fish with odds and ends slowly filling out the nooks and crannies where a niche is found.

I'd really like to have smaller schoolies and maybe some khuli and a (....oh no!) red-tail shark to play bad cop on the tank floor! These red tails just sound too damn bossy tho so subject to review - maybe a flying fox if they're available here or an eel.... :)

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