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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hello everyone, this summer we are getting a 6' long,2'wide,2'.5 tall aquarium (225 gallons) or maybe a 6' long, 2'.5 wide, 2'.5 tall (280 gallons). i would like to stock the tank with maybe some geos, uaru, keholes, flag cichlids, dicus, corycats, hatchetfish, or pencilfish, flyer cichlids maybe as well and apistos. i also have 6 bolivian rams and am think of adding a few more. these are all options and i know that not all can be in the same tank. there will be lots of plants and driftwood. my preferable parameters are 6.5-7ph and 76-79 degrees. i do not like the look of selected bred fish like flowerhorns and others. these are suggestions still thinking about ratios. thanks for any stocking suggestions!
- fishybuisness
 

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Wow, this tank sounds like it's gonna be amazing! :eek:
And, from what I can see - you've put in some work in researching your stocking selections. That's good!
I've got a couple for you to consider.
- Go big! If your space can physically accommodate the larger-sized, 280 gallon aquarium? I've got no hesitancy in this one - get it! The additional half foot of width added to the bottom area of this tank, will make a huge amount of (definitely beneficial) difference in the actions and behavior of your Cichlids.
- With a very large aquarium, and the intention of stocking with more peaceful, smaller-sized fish... it's very easy to get into this idea of, 'I must try - EVERYTHING!!!'
I don't recommend it.
Reason is, your tank will present visually much better, and your Cichlids will definitely behave much more naturally, if you stock with greater numbers of less species.
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Does that make any sense? I hope this helps, and please send in some pics when you get things started with this project. 8)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi, thanks for the reply. I would like there to be maybe 2-4 cichlid species in the tank. And 3 or so no cichlid species. Hopefully I will have one large species of centrepiece cichlid and some others smaller fish. Has anyone kept b.cupido with Bolivian rams or apistos. I am trying to convince my mother on another half foot.
 

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Hmmmm... you are really getting into fish that are better described as 'Black Water' types in the aquarium hobby. Have you tested your tap water for General Hardness and PH? If you have a natural supply of soft, low PH water? Then, you may be in business for keeping a large 'Black Water' aquarium. (Huge envy - my own tap water is best described as near 'liquid rock'). And yes, Biotodoma cupido would be great in a large tank like this. Not cheap ($$$), you'll need some numbers. Or, they get a little weird with the dominance thing when bullies inevitably emerge, and there aren't enough individuals to safely distribute the aggression.
A loosely schooling group of 12 - 15, Biotodoma cupidos would be pretty impressive to see. 8)
 

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If it's fluctuating like that in PH, it usually means low buffering and the General Hardness (GH) level of the water is pretty low. Check your GH next, with a quality test kit.
 

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Where in Canada are you and where are you tank shopping?
 

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If by "dicus" (typo?) you mean discus then I'd rule that one out. Discus will not be happy as a feature fish nor schooling fish in that community tank. In addition discus require higher temperatures (82-85F in my experience) than the others. I'd also look at the feeding patterns of your final selections. Some of the suggested fish are much quicker than others and will likely dominate the feeding periods. That may lead to overfeeding to try and get food to the slower feeders and subsequently issues with the water parameters.

Tanks of the gallonage you mention provide for wonderful opportunities. They can also become massive challenges. To borrow from the carpentry trade I'll use the expression "measure twice, cut once". Don't rush your project.

Wishing you success,
Stu
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Vancouver British Columbia. We are definitely not using clear aquariums but maybe h2o aquatics. I think the gh for my area using my area's water on our water suplier's website it is 2.42-6.31 mg/L I do not know if these are normal measurements. I am getting a gh test kit later this week.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes the discus were not really supposed to be included in that. I frankly should not have even suggested them, and I realize that discus should be in aquaria with less vigorous fish. Yes that is my mistake, I have no plans of keeping discus in this aquarium. Thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
For keeping species like b.cupido and other earth eaters would a gh of 2-6 work well. I am thinking of having sand surrounding a plateau of a different substrate. With plants stones and driftwood. If the substrate is surrounded by rocks do you think that the earth eaters will sift through it, and disturb the plants? I used this technique with putting hard plastic barriers to separate to substrates in an old aquarium. Also do pencil fish jump very often? I would prefer no jumpers like hatchets because this aquarium may not have a lid. I would like to have some driftwood stretching out of the aquarium, but I could put a lid on. Thanks for putting up with all these questions.
 

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As for may not have a lid.. bad idea imo. Heat loss will be high and plenty of humidity will be added to your household air. I think most will jump, especially in bug season where eating surface or close to surface insects are natural feed for a lot of fish. I myself don't blow large dough on those overpriced, flimsy tank lids. Any local glass shop will cut some made to fit, solid 5or6mm pieces for a fraction of the price of that other junk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Yeah, that's what i figured, my parents wanted a rimless aquarium but I guess I will have to talk that idea down. Thanks,
 

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You can get lids (raised caps) for rimless aquariums. Made from Plexiglas and work well depending upon your needs. If you are a DIY kind of guy you could probably fabricate your own.

Regards,
Stu
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yeah, we are going to eu obrace the aquarium and make those caps out of plexi glass. I just thought I would look good with driftwood snags poking out.
 

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It would look VERY cool with driftwood snags poking above the surface of the water. 8)
Unfortunately, that will be a VERY big aquarium, and the management and keeping practices between this tank and for something much smaller in size, are definitely important.
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I am totally fascinated by your idea of the planted 'plant plateau' things in this tank. I think you're on to something! So, I believe in order to make this work out in the larger scale size that you intend, you will need to accommodate your plants with some different planting schemes. And yes, to keep a safe separation from your dedicated soil sifters and diggers in there, you're gonna have to provide a combination of substrates in the tank that will keep everyone happy (including you!).
My plants love to put their roots down in high grade potting soil. It's nutrient rich, so i don't have to provide fertilizer tabs (Now THOSE things are indeed, aquarium 'Nitrate Factories'). And honestly, I just don't believe in using the high tech substrate stuff, without pushing CO2 to make it happen. Covering the potting soil, with a thick, 2 to 2.5 inch layer of small diameter gravel works great for plants. So, how about going with a much larger version of my recommendation for potting up your plants?
Check this out:

https://sparrowfoodsolutions.com/full-s ... gL50vD_BwE

That could be a fairly deep, plant tray! Or in this instance, a dedicated place for your plants to grow out of with a gravel substrate and plenty of small rocks strewn about on top of that to keep those diggers in there out of it. Black in color, these things should be pretty easy to mask and hide on the bottom. And, with large expanses of non-planted PFS provided in the tank for them to work over, why would they bother messing with the rocky, undesirable areas? And, if it works out like it has with the smaller potted plants in my own aquariums - your digging Cichlids will just avoid those gravelly/rocky areas altogether. The plants, Cichlids and YOU will all get pretty much what you want - everyone's happy! :D
 

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fishybuisness said:
Yeah, we are going to eu obrace the aquarium and make those caps out of plexi glass. I just thought I would look good with driftwood snags poking out.
It would look great. How far above the rim are you thinking? The cap I'm referring to would give you somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-6 inches.

I noted your reference to your parents. That leads me to think you might be a teenager and perhaps not yet old enough to have had much experience with large tanks. Meaning no offence, but if that is the case have you someone who has had such experience available to assist? A 72x18 footprint can be quite a handful for a novice. The dimensions you wrote of are much more than that. The placement/movement of the tank alone will be a major undertaking. Filtration will also be a factor to consider. Going with a sump?

Don't want to discourage you but wanted you to understand that a 250-280 gallon tank is not something that should be entered into without some serious consideration beforehand.

Wishing you nothing but success with your adventure.

Regards,
Stu
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the ideas everyone I will use some light gravely rocks on top of potted soil. With play sand surrounding this plateau, if that would work for the earth eaters? We are putting a 33-55gallon refugium or maybe a sump in this aquarium. My father has kept very large reef aquariums before, as well as my uncle I'm not going into this unprepared, but thanks for your concern :lol:.This will be a new experience, but I am by no means rushing into it. This aquarium means a lot to me so I am not just going ahead without thinking, I have been thinking researching this idea for years. Also yes I know what you mean with plexi glass caps and mine are going to be 4" tall roughly, so I may have some room for snags. the plateau that I mentioned previously is going to reach out of the sand maybe 2", this will maybe be a 4"tall, 18"long, 60" long and be made of plexiglass. There will be a ring of rocks for the dwarf cichlids to hide in as well as other fish. All the driftwood and plants will be in this through but I would like 6 inches either side to accommodate the cichlids. How many other dwarf cichlids could I accommodate comfortably with the cupido I have my eyes on some a.macilensis, or red breasted Acara, I really don't want this tank to be over stocked? I also have 6 Bolivian rams that are definitely going to be residents. Sorry for this long post, and thanks for your replies Auballagh and Stu W2. :fish:
 

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Beware that even at 1/4in thick, plexiglass will warp and twist from tank heat and humidity
 
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