General Aquaria Discussion • Stocking Suggestions for a Beginner?

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Stocking Suggestions for a Beginner?

Postby sharambil » Sat Dec 26, 2015 2:13 am

Hey Guys,
I am a beginner aquarist. I have kept solely betta fish, goldfish, and other relatively easy to care for fish. I have decided to graduate from the boring stuff and purchase a new 75 gallon fish tank. I am having difficulty deciding on the type of aquarium that I would like to setup to start my adventures within the more complex portions of the fish keeping hobby. I need some feedback and extra ideas to make my tank as great as possible. The more minds the merrier. Any advice would be great!

These are the initial stocking schemes that I have come up with myself, but any other ideas/pieces of advice would be greatly appreciated.

(South American, Planted) Stocking Scheme #1:
8 Serpae Tetras
3 Festivum Cichlids
5 Bolivian Rams
4 Siamese Algae Eaters
Pair of Apistogramma Baenschi
Gold Nugget Pleco
(extra) 1 Severum??

(South American, Planted) Stocking Scheme #2:
6 Dwarf Checkerboard Cichlids (Any variant)
4 Geophagus Tapajos “Red Heads”
2 Apistogramma Baenschi
4 Bolivian Rams
12 Pygmy Cories


(Tanganyikan) Stocking Scheme #3:
3 Altolamprologus Compressiceps
4 Ocellatus Gold or 4 Multifasciatus Shell Dwellers to establish a colony
Julies of any variety

I will be purchasing all of the fish at the Wet Spot Tropical Fish Store located here in Portland, so go ahead and check out their stocking list.



Thanks for all the help. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!
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Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 12:51 am
Location: Portland, Oregon

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Re: Stocking Suggestions for a Beginner?

Postby zimmy » Sat Dec 26, 2015 9:11 am

Welcome to C-F!

Some things that jump out at me are that for #1, the severum would likely eat your plants and the serpae will nip at the Festivums. The severum may also end up snacking on some of the other smaller fish (apistos and cories). Leave the severum out and choose a different tetra and it could work. I like rummynose tetra but there are other choices that would work too.

For #2, Red Heads like to be kept in larger numbers and a 75G is probably too small for a decent size group. Also, they need lots of sand to sift through. A planted tank would limit the space they have further. You've also chosen a lot of bottom dwellers in this list. I would get fewer cories, leave the Red Heads out and get more Rams and add a tetra.

Some keyhole cichlids would be a great addition to the above two tanks. They love planted tanks, are a nice size and not aggressive with other fish.

#3 should work as is with lots of rocks on either side of the tank.

BTW you are very lucky to have such a great LFS nearby!
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Re: Stocking Suggestions for a Beginner?

Postby DJRansome » Sat Dec 26, 2015 3:24 pm

For theTang tank, I'd buy six juveniles of each and rehome rejected fish as they mature. You could do more comps and/or a dozen non-jumbo cyps.
125G Borleyi, Multipunctata
75G Demasoni, Msobo, Lucipinnis
75G Calvus, Similis, Petricola
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Re: Stocking Suggestions for a Beginner?

Postby sharambil » Sat Dec 26, 2015 4:38 pm

South American Scheme #4:
3 Festivum Cichlids
5 Bolivian Rams
2 Farlowella vittata "Twig Cats"
2 Apistogramma Baenschi
2 Keyhole Cichlids
12 bloodfin tetras

Is that a good stock?
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Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 12:51 am
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: Stocking Suggestions for a Beginner?

Postby zimmy » Sun Dec 27, 2015 8:48 am

Scheme #4 would work with some fine tuning. I've read that the "twig cats" don't thrive in a community tank because they get outcompeted for food. Someone who's kept them may be able to say more.

DJ makes a good point about starting with juvies and getting higher numbers. In your list, I would say this applies to the Keyholes. Get 5-6 and let a pair form. I made the mistake of getting two once and one of them almost harassed the other to death within 24 hours of being put in the tank. I added 4 more and they were fine. A pair formed and I could have removed the others at that point.

Apistos are easy to sex so 2 should be fine. Make sure you provide them with a cave. I used half a coconut shell with a door cut out. They quickly turned it into their home.

The Bolivian Rams are a great choice. I picked up 6 just a few days ago and am really enjoying them.

You may want to stick with a single with the Festivum. If a pair forms, they can get aggressive with tankmates.
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