Researching Tank Mates While I Fishless Cycle

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Big_Chubbz created the topic: Researching Tank Mates While I Fishless Cycle

I have just setup a 60gal (48"x24"x13") tank and am following this guide to cycle it. In the meantime, I am considering tank mates for a single Tiger Oscar. I'm new to this and have been following this article for guidance.

I know that I should probably have a slightly larger tank, but am prepared to deal with more frequent water changes or the addition of a secondary filter.

Based on my research, I'm wondering how well advised the following stock lists would be.

1st Choice
Oscar
Featherfin Cat
6-8 Glo-Tetras

2nd Choice
Oscar
Featherfin Cat
6 Giant Danio

3rd Choice
Oscar
Featherfin Cat
2 Firemouth or 2 Convicts or 1 Firemouth/1 Convict

The article mentions that larger tetras can be considered as tank mates and the Glo-Tetras get as big as Buenos Aires Tetras (3"), so I was hoping that they might work out. Plus my daughter would love the crazy colors. I would prepare her for the possibility that they might "start disappearing" as the article warns.

If my first choice is just too ill advised, would any of the other options be suitable? I kind of like the idea of having a mini-school of fish in there with the Oscar, and the Giant Danios were specifically recommended in the article (although categorized as 'less than ideal'). Again, I'd be prepared to find them snacked upon.

Thanks for any help you can provide.
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OFL replied the topic: Researching Tank Mates While I Fishless Cycle

Hi there and welcome to our little community. I hate to burst your bubble but 60 gallons is big enough for one adult Oscar and nothing else. Unfortunately it would be completely against what we preach to actually advise you on what tank mates you could put in with your Oscar in the 60 gallon tank. I know that's not what you want to hear, however I can promise you that not only people on our own forum, but any other forum will tell you exactly the same thing. If you really want an aquarium with Oscars and other fish them I'm afraid it means upgrading the size of your tank.

Oscar fish can easily live for 10 years, that's the same as a dog, it's really only fair that you provide the best environment can for. If you cram loads of fish into such a small environment that is inevitable that you are going to run into problems at some stage. Okay, you say that you can keep on top of water changes. However, it's not just about water quality, it's about keeping all these fish living so close together. The chances are you will run into aggression problems which can be extremely frustrating because you are constantly dealing with injuries which have to be treated.

Is up to you my friend, if you go ahead with adding tank mates then you're basically on your own. I don't mean to sound mean or anything, but there's not much advice we can give You Something does go wrong apart from reduced the amount of fish you've got.

I may not always be right, but I am always the BOSS :-)
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Rocksor replied the topic: Researching Tank Mates While I Fishless Cycle

1st Choice
Oscar will eventually eat the tetras at night while they are sleeping.

2nd Choice
Oscar will eventually eat the danios at night while they are sleeping.

3rd Choice
Not enough tank space to deal with aggression and territory. You will need a tank longer than 4 feet.
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DRACO replied the topic: Researching Tank Mates While I Fishless Cycle

if you have space and resources, build a big tank and put different kind of oscars... oscar community tank will give you less aggression and they act like a pack of dogs in unison...

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bland replied the topic: Researching Tank Mates While I Fishless Cycle

I'm very happy with the giant danios I have had in my tank. I had about 10 and there's 5 really big ones left, and it's been 6 months. They were great as dither fish, and also liven up the tank. As the oscar fills up the tank, as he grows, the number will keep going down till there's no more.

I started with a 75gal tank, and now have a 125gal. I wouldn't add anything else to a 60gal. A oscar will fill it up, and the water changes will be a lot of work just to keep him healthy.
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Big_Chubbz replied the topic: Researching Tank Mates While I Fishless Cycle

Thanks for your replies! I'm not trying to be stubborn or argumentative, but the author of the article I was reading said:

In a 75 gallon tank (4ft) a few tankmates are acceptable. One to two small cichlids (between 3-5 inches) or one medium cichlid (between 6-8 inches) is acceptable.


My 60 gallon tank is 4ft long, just not as deep as a 75g. Does the 20% difference in water volume really preclude ANY tankmates? I can't go larger than the 60g due to wifely constraints. :P I'm retired, so I have literally nothing better to do than mess around maintaining the tank.

Would 6-8 smaller, faster schooling fish (like the danios or tetras) really be impossible, if I am prepared to lose some to predation when the oscar gets larger? If so, would the Oscar/Firemouth/Convict tank really be doomed? Thanks again everyone.
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Rocksor replied the topic: Researching Tank Mates While I Fishless Cycle

Get a liquid test kit like API Freshwater Master Test Kit. Having a 60g tank, means at least 2 x 50%+ water changes a week in order to keep nitrates below 20ppm with just an adult oscar. The advice to stock low will make you more successful a keeping such a large fish for the first time.

If you are willing to take the risk of cichlid aggression or predation, then by all means try it.
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Big_Chubbz replied the topic: Researching Tank Mates While I Fishless Cycle

Just bought that exact kit today to monitor the tank while cycling without fish. I just got done doing math and added 8.75mL of ammonia in an attempt to bring the tank up to 4ppm. Going to let that dilute for a while and then run the test when I get back home (in about 5 hours).

P.S. I also added 1.25mL of betta pellets ground into a powder.
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Rocksor replied the topic: Researching Tank Mates While I Fishless Cycle

Dose the ammonia at a lower level. The test kit can't show you a difference between 4ppm and 5ppm, in which close to 5ppm of ammonia or higher the cycle will stall. Dose at 2-3ppm of ammonia.

The food is unnecessary since you already have the ammonia. It will also raise the ammonia above 4ppm.
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Big_Chubbz replied the topic: Researching Tank Mates While I Fishless Cycle

Thanks for the heads up. @oscarguy99 recommends putting in a pinch at the beginning of the process and again once nitrites and nitrates get to high levels. As he states, to

...add nutrients and phosphates into the water that the bacteria like.


I see what you mean about the API test kit. I'll shoot for dosing between the 2-4 range colors since the next darker green is 8. As I mentioned in my previous post, I put almost 9mL of ammonia in yesterday, and today the kit shows ammonia at 0! Does ammonia lose potency on the shelf? I did add 118mL of Marineland® Total Care Aquarium Bacteria on Monday, but nitrites are also 0. This is my first time doing this, but that indicates to me, not that the bacteria ate the ammonia, but that I didn't put enough in. I assumed that it was 10% ammonia, but maybe it was 5% or even 3%? The bottle just said Pure Ammonia with no list of ingredients or concentration.

I attached pics of my water test (L-R: pH/HipH/NH3/NO2-) and the ammonia I bought at the Dollar Tree.

Any advice and opinions are welcome.


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