I'm facing a bit of a dilemma...
I keep seeing these gorgeous fish at, would you believe, PetCo. Just facing reality, most of these are going to terrible homes. My tank isn't really suitable to them, so I'd like some help to make it that way.
I have six main issues with my current tank (60g), that I'd like to fix.
1. Other inhabitants: a common goldfish (poor thing is stunted at 5", hasn't grown in a year). I have not had other fish with him, only shrimp and snails. Also, I know competition is an issue with these guys, but mine is primarily hand fed, so I feel I could keep him busy while the loaches eat. Is the goldfish a solid no for these guys?
2. Flow: realistically, I don't have the money to get a flow 15-20x the tank. I have a relatively simple set up, a Cascade 300 on one end and some HOB 150 on the other. I will be adding an overhead planter with a 130gph powerhead and will add that to the Cascade flow.
3. Substrate/decorations: large gravel, average of an inch, with 15 4-6" rocks scattered across the tank. Also, I have a small stack of slate under the Cascade flow that the amanos like. There's also a large pirate ship decoration with lots of nooks and crannies (again, the amanos like this), but I want to know if the loaches are known for getting stuck.
4. Feeding: I could supply shrimp pellets, algae wafers, and live blackworms, frozen bloodworms, but I don't know if that would suffice.
I know these guys are social and should have at least three, what would be a good number for my tank? And I'm thinking about getting some white clouds, more mystery snails and amanos, would those work?
Oh and I've never had nitrates reach even 5 in my tank, too many plants, so there wouldn't be any risk of them being harmed by nitrogenous waste.
Sorry for the absolute wall of text, thanks so much if you made it this far!
I also have a tetra whisper 100 and a 3" airstone set up near the Cascade if that helps.
They're pretty common in my area at most LFS, but I think you put it best when you assumed a lot end up in the wrong tank setups.
I got one with a 10 times pump, but this tank gets too warm in summer. It´s Always 3 degrees C above room temperature, and room temperature can be as high as 30 C. Now it is 23
Would it be worth getting some anyway? I just feel terrible because I know half of them are ending up in teeny tiny little 5 gallon aquariums with like seven common goldfish...
I've been looking at maybe getting a 420GPH powerhead, which does make the flow 16x, but I don't know how my snails would fare.
Make sure the filters are set up to help each other. Aim the water flow in the same direction, not toward each other. That just causes turbulence which does not enhance the flow.
Use the air bubbler to help out areas that may have poor water flow, perhaps behind or under some of the decor. Think of the air bubbler like another pump or powerhead, one that is permanently aimed upward. The rising bubbles drag a column of water with them. So, like the filters, set this in a spot that will further enhance the flow.
Skip the white clouds, the goldfish might eat them.
Try adding fresh or lightly cooked vegetables to the feeding schedule. The goldish and shrimp might like them, and maybe the hillstream loaches.
There are many species of hillstream loaches, do you know which ones you are seeing at the store?
Happy fish keeping!
Would the 420 powerhead be necessary?
And how thick are WCMM? My goldfish's mouth doesn't open more than 3/8-1/4". Obviously if they're in danger in the tank I won't add them, might go with rosy reds or something instead.
If I were to get them, the QT would probably be 10 gallons with a 150HOB, would this be detrimental to them?
And thank you everyone else for your advice as well.
Almost forgot- I don't know the species, but it looks basically all tan, but it's just a lot of little spots. I'll see if I can get a picture later today.
If the small fish barely fits in the mouth of the larger, it might get stuck, killing both fish. Much safer to get a large enough fish that the larger won't even think about eating the smaller. There are quite a few barbs that do well in cool water. Rosy, Odessa, and others. Avoid the long finned Rosy, they cannot swim as well in fast moving water.
Here is how to check the water flow:
Make a stick (like a chopstick or longer), with several pieces of string about 3-4" apart. Let the strands hang down, several inches long.
Stick this stick into the tank in several places and watch how the strings flow. If the strings flip around all over then there is turbulence, not a good flow. If the strings all wave in the same direction this is much better waterflow.
Perhaps a water circulation pump would help to direct the water movement into a more organized flow. Good idea to try it in several locations in the tank.
Happy fish keeping!
And those are lovely hillstreams, but I'm probably just going to go with the ones at PetCo because the tank they're in is maybe three gallons and I just feel like saving them.
Thank you everyone for the replies, I've been letting the algae build up more so they can have some of their more "natural" food for a few days. Hopefully by that time they'll be eating other food.
Also, what medications are they sensitive to? I'd like to treat with PraziPro while they'd be in QT (darn, just realized QT, it would be a 10 gallon with 150gph HOB, is that okay for a few weeks?)
Happy fish keeping!
Also, do these loaches eat live plants? I have a decently planted tank, anacharis, java moss, dwarf sag, and water wisteria, would these plants be targets?
And would the loach be okay with my amanos and mystery snails? Basically everything I read said they would be, but I thought I'd ask anyway.
Edit: two more questions sorry.
Do I need three or six? I was thinking just three, maybe four...
Also, I'm looking now at a 600 or 800 water pump as there's a sale, but I don't know how the snails or shrimp would handle that flow. Would some kind of spray bar be necessary?
You'll need to find a packaged/frozen food that they will eat, your algae will help them adjust but likely won't be enough long term. Some of mine eat flakes, all eat Repashy. Find what they'll eat before your algae runs outs.
And is PraziPro safe for them? The PetCo just sucks and recently had like five different parasites including anchor worms, so I'd rather be safe than sorry.
I think Prazi-pro is safe for Loaches, I have used it for quite a range of fish.
Very good idea to quarantine all fish. The PetCo around here (there are actually several of them) are so bad I do not even go into them for my other animal supplies (dog, cat...).
Happy fish keeping!
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