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Re: Another newbie, haven't a clue!

Subject: Re: Another newbie, haven't a clue!
by DaveGodfrey on 29/5/2013 14:12:54


rusty_f wrote:
Thanks guys. A lot to think about.

If I got endler's livebearers, how many could I have in my tank? Based on my previous post's calculations, my tank could cope with up to 12 - is that ok? And if so, would I go up to that number gradually or is it ok to introduce them to my tank all at the same time?

I would cycle your tank, get 6-8, and then look at your water parameters and how rapidly your nitrates build up. After a while you could add another 4-6 to bring you up to 12.

For the killi/dwarf - I do like the idea of a self-perpetuating colony. If I was to go down this road, how many should I introduce initially, how many male/female etc?

As many as you can get. As with most livebearers a ratio of 1M:2F is best. I'd start with 6-8.

What would be the maximum number my tank could safely support before I would have to consider rehoming some and how quickly would I get to that limit?

20-30+ I'd say. A big female is 1" long, and the males are about half that, so the bioload per fish is minimal. It'll take a while to get to that levels individual fish aren't terribly long-lived, and they don't produce many babies in one go.Quote:

And what do I do with the fish I can no longer home?

Depending on where you got them the shop you bought them from may be willing to take the excess back. Unlike guppies and platys Least Killies aren't commonly seen, so there's a potential market for them. Local aquarists' clubs would be worth talking to as well.

Also, how readily available are the endler's and dwarfs in LFS? I plan to have a nosey around in my own local shop at the weekend (where I got the tank and the bad advice) to see if they stock them. Do P@H stock them? This would be my last resort after reading the horror stories.

I've not seen them at P@H (but I've only ever been in one once- I live in North London, so I may have a better choice of LFS without having to travel much). The only place I've seen them with any regularity is Wholesale Tropicals in Bethnal Green. Wildwoods up in Enfield and the Aquatic Design Centre off Oxford Street have them occasionally too.

Finally, both species like heavily planted tanks. Does this mean real plants or would artificial ones be ok? I'm interested in live plants, but not sure how successful I'd be at keeping them (and I think I'd have to change my substrate - I went for larger-sized pebbles with my purchase which I don't think is suitable?)

Go for the bunched plants like the typical pondweeds and you'll be fine. Ceratophyllum is very good, and doesn't have roots, so you just need to push it into the gravel to stop it floating about. The fine leaves will provide somewhere for the fry to hide from their parents (least killies aren't particularly cannibalistic, but every little helps. Floating plants like duckweed, Amazon Frogbit, etc are also good for similar reasons. For the Least Killies I use playsand, as its a bit more "biotope correct", and tiny brown and cream fish are much easier to see against it, and look better with the smaller grain size.

I take it I'd need to plant them all before the fish arrive to make them feel most comfortable and give the plants a little time to establish.

I would. It also gives you something to do while you're cycling the tank.