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Aquarium and set up/issues General tank, water and set up questions and answers

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  #1  
Old 17-05-13, 18:23
jaqie jaqie is offline
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Stock levels and good pleco additions to my tank?

As many of you know I have a 90 gallon community aquarium. I am concerned about stock levels in it - I am not sure if I have more space for a few more adult plecos or not.

Here is a full size pic of the aquarium in question:

It is either an 85 US gallon or 90 US gallon.

The thing that is tripping me up is the runt/pygmy litter I have in here - I am pretty dang sure they won't get any bigger, but that means no online calculators can give me even the slightest hint about the true stock levels and also many people that know less about plecos are only guessing too. I need opinions from the experts - hence posting on this forum!

The entirety of stock as it stands now is this:
10 female bettas, most juvenile, various types (crowntail, plain, fancytail)
7 green corydoras and one albino corydoras, all full adult, 4 total female.
6 cherry barb, 3 of which are female, full grown
4 neon tetras, adult but staying small
16 cardinal tetras, all adult
2 adult pearl spotted (I believe) bristlenose plecos, mating pair
1 juvenile albino bristlenose pleco, should not have any growth impairment
~13 runt/pygmy pearl spotted (I believe) bristlenose plecos, they most definitely are not growing anymore, 1-2 inches in size all of them
4-6 ghost shrimp
2 black loach
0 pest snails (I believe I totally eradicated them as of the aquarium move two weeks ish ago)

I have a rather high flow tank for the most part, lots of air in a curtain, and a fluval 405 canister filter, I only have to clean it out once every 6 months and the aquarium keeps in pretty good shape. With just a few less fish but a whole huge mess of hundreds of pest snails, the aquarium looked like this after a year of no cleaning and only cleaning the canister filter every 4-6 months:




Here they are up close!

So.... considering the pygmy/runt plecos... what would you all say my stock level is? I am worried I may not be able to safely add another pair of bristlenose, but the aquarium state sure seems to be self sustaining almost with just a few less fish (I recently added the ghost shrimp, albino bn baby, and one betta and got rid of the pest snail population)...

Last edited by jaqie; 17-05-13 at 21:16. Reason: better pic of plecos!
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  #2  
Old 18-05-13, 00:44
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Lornek8 Lornek8 is offline
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Not really that many fish for that size tank but probably a good reason that the fish are not growing is the lack of tank cleaning and water changes. Nitrogenous waste is broken down by the filters but the final end product, while not as toxic to fish, can become toxic over time and can act as a growth inhibitor. Simply because a tank looks clean doesn't necessarily mean it is so. Most people here clean their tanks weekly, some even daily.

Pearl spotted bristlenose is a new one. Looks to be what are referred to as common bushynoses/bristlenoses, Ancistrus cf cirrhosus.
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  #3  
Old 18-05-13, 02:36
jaqie jaqie is offline
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Thanks, but the cleaning I meant was the side glass and sand. I monitor nitrogen daily. I do 10-20% water changes about every one or two weeks.

Most of the fish are grown it seems to me anyway, and don't only healthy happy fish spawn? The corydoras spawn every week at least, and the pleco adults spawn about once every three weeks.

I am open to being wrong, quite open that is.

I was also under the distinct impression that 'common' was a bucket category for fish people couldn't identify and no single L type or genus truly was named that? *shrug* either way I love them!

See, when I google for Ancistrus cf cirrhosus I get this: https://www.google.com/search?num=10...B-OsigKoloGgCA which seems to show just what I was saying, a bucket list of random bristlenose pleco people couldn't identify... which would it be, a bucket category without a true member, or is it the type I have is the only true Ancistrus cf cirrhosus?


~edit~
It seems mine are the 'silvertip' variety.... so I am really confused now >.<

Last edited by jaqie; 18-05-13 at 02:55.
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Old 18-05-13, 03:08
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Those are the Ancistrus c.f. cirrhosus. It's simply highly domesticated. The "common" is the brown, short-fin version. Then you've got long-finned, albino, marbled, calico, blue-eyed and other developed varieties. All line-bred over time, not much different than bettas or other domesticated aquarium fish. There is/was even speculation that it's a hybrid man-made creation though the fact you get similar looking fish from the wild as well as all over the world makes that difficult to believe.

What are your water parameter readings? Water quality is probably the biggest reason fry tend not to grow. Adult fish can still breed in less than ideal conditions but fry could get affected. As with humans, growing and developing young can be affected by environmental factors that may not affect adults.
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Old 18-05-13, 03:08
pauldoit pauldoit is offline
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Check out http://www.planetcatfish.com/common/...pecies_id=1940 for more info on your bristlenoses. Look over the catalogue of ancistrus to see if you can find your particular type. Those with scientifically accepted classification have been assigned a species name those without have been given a L-number which has in many cases stuck...

Wow, monitoring nitrogen daily is in my book, very dedicated... do you mean ammonia, nitrite or nitrate? What are your typical nitrate levels? They might help you decide whether you have over stocked the tank.
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Old 18-05-13, 03:31
pauldoit pauldoit is offline
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To jog your memory cf. is used in bionomial species classification to indicate that the identification has not been confirmed. In the case of cirrhosis it refers to all the pointless human-affected variants (like long fin) and also captures some of the scientific ambiguity and uncertainty, like differences in sampling area, classification taxonomy etc.
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Old 18-05-13, 03:31
jaqie jaqie is offline
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http://www.seachem.com/Products/prod...oniaAlert.html

Supposedly it measures free ammonia, and has barely ever gotten past the 0.02mg/L and I replace it every couple months to be sure it stays working even though it says it lasts up to a year.

There were only a couple times it got up to 0.05mg/L coloration, and it went back down in a couple days.

Here are the best pics I have ever gotten of them:


stripe, the momma, when scared


bruits, the dad, when scared


both of them, scared again


stripe feeding, this was far before she had these babies!

the following is not a picture of mine but this is exactly what their tails look like when not frightened!
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Old 18-05-13, 03:42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pauldoit View Post
To jog your memory cf. is used in bionomial species classification to indicate that the identification has not been confirmed. In the case of cirrhosis it refers to all the pointless human-affected variants (like long fin) and also captures some of the scientific ambiguity and uncertainty, like differences in sampling area, classification taxonomy etc.
Thanks. Got rid of my post when I figured out it wasn't right. Thanks for the clarification.
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  #9  
Old 18-05-13, 03:47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaqie View Post
http://www.seachem.com/Products/prod...oniaAlert.html

Supposedly it measures free ammonia, and has barely ever gotten past the 0.02mg/L and I replace it every couple months to be sure it stays working even though it says it lasts up to a year.

There were only a couple times it got up to 0.05mg/L coloration, and it went back down in a couple days.
Aquariums shouldn't have free ammonia. If they do, there is a serious problem. The type of nitrogenous waste that might affect fry growth (without causing immediate health issues) is nitrates. This is the end product of the nitrogen cycle. It'll continue to build in the tank until its removed by water changes or live plants.
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Old 18-05-13, 03:50
jaqie jaqie is offline
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I have two live plants but also change water 10-20% every week or two. By what you have been saying, my tank is nowhere near fully stocked, so I should be ok with that... Please note the pictures of the 'tank move - before' in the other thread were after a month and a half of no changes, I had been quite sick that month.

I should get some nitrite and nitrate test kits, by what you are saying, to make sure this isn't a problem? I understand the nitrogen cycle, just thought so long as I measured ammonia and changed water I would be OK.
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