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FAQs on Stocking Large (200+ gallon) Freshwater Systems

Related Articles: Stocking 5, 10 & 20 Gallon Freshwater Aquariums by Neale Monks, Freshwater Livestock by Neale Monks, Freshwater Livestock Selection by Bob Fenner, The Ethical Aquarist; Freshwater Fishes to Avoid by Judy Helfrich Acclimation of New Freshwater Livestock by Bob Fenner, Fishes, Amphibians, Turtles

Related FAQs:  FW Livestock 1, FW Livestock 2, FW Livestock 3, FW Stocking 4, FW Livestocking 5, FW Livestocking 6, FW Livestocking 7, Stocking Small Systems, & Freshwater Livestock SelectionCommunity Tank Livestocking,

giant fish in a not so giant pond      12/13/19
Hi, Can I grow a 1.25 feet giant gourami with Alligator gar and iridescent sharks in a cement pond of 5 feet length,3.5 feet width and 3.25 feet height..There was only iridescent sharks and Alligator gar in that tank. I bought the above mentioned gourami 2 days ago...Is it possible to live them together in a tank...
<Your pond measures about 56 cubic feet, or just under 1600 litres (roughly 418 US gallons) assuming it is filled to the very top. While the fish would probably do okay in there for quite a while, a lot depends on the filtration and how big the fish get. Alligator Gars (Atractosteus spatula) reach up to 3 m in length, though 1.8 m (around 6 ft) is more typical.
These wouldn't even fit in your pond, much less survive. So a juvenile might be okay, but an adult would not. Iridescent Sharks (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus) will get to at least 90-100 cm in length (around 3 ft) when fully grown. Again, adults this size would be a bit of a squeeze in your pond, but juveniles should be okay for a year or so. To stress: the only reason these two species are available is because they are commercially farmed as food, with their large size and fast growing rate being major selling points. Ironically, the Giant Gourami (Osphronemus goramy) is the one species ideally suited to a tropical pond this size, and should actually do quite well, despite being the latest addition to your collection of giant fish. Again, while it's a food fish, at up to 45 cm (about 1.5 ft) when fully grown, an average adult is a do-able aquarium fish, even if rather demanding. Cheers, Neale.>

New tank; Lg. FW stkg.... chatting.... untenable ideas        10/28/15
I have a new 150 gallon tank. I need some fish that will work well in here.
I already have a florida gar and an azul peacock bass. Id like this to be a planted Amazon tank. I was thinking a school of angels until the bass gets too big to eat them then they will go into my 80 gallon.
<Nah; won't work>

So long term I was thinking
A second gar
<.... not likely another Lepisosteid will get along>
A school of tin foil barbs

My royal clown knife
<Of size might work>
A Severum or two
An Oscar
<Other Cichlids? Possibly>
Stingray? P. Reticulata
<Not likely to live long or well here. Try reading on WWM Re; look for Richard Ross's book on Potamotrygonids in captivity>
My silver Arowana until my 990 is operational
<Trouble w/ the gar>

Thanks. It is cycled and clear. 15% water changes are done twice a day and are fed Hikari and frozen
<Keep reading. Bob Fenner>
re: New tank       10/28/15

Perhaps I wasn't clear enough. I need compatible fish for this tank.
<Saw this; and that you hadn't taken the time to read re the compatibility of the mentioned species on our site....>
I currently have a florida gar and a tochatin azul peacock bass
Both are around 14"
What is one other fish I can put in here?
<.... too many to simply list. Again; the reading, searching.... books
. B>
I have a 11 year old rtc. I was thinking he can go in here.
<Phractocephalus? Not a chance... at this size it will inhale most all else>
He never moves.
<Hunt at night>
He's about 29"
<Swallow most all>
re: New tank       10/28/15

Can his smaller sibling? About 7 years old and 20 inches
<.... you've evidently confused WWM... as a bulletin board. I suggest you go elsewhere. Perhaps MonsterFishKeepers.com  
Re New tank.... Now FW Ray; no data of use or rdg.....        10/28/15

Ok I apologize. I am just an hobbyist lookin for some help.
<No worries... you sound/read like you want to "chat".... go to chat rooms>
If you cant help me with my new tank can you help me with my sick stingray?
<.... have you already reviewed what is archived on WWM? 30k some folks a day use the site. USE it>
I don't know what happened but he isn't eating. No wounds and less activity.
Water param.s checked out to be perfect. No tankmates except an assassin snail to keep the pond snails down with the live plants. He is a true hystrix id that helps
<... see WWM, provide data..... Water quality, foods/feeding, system components....>
150 stocking.... Neale takes over; thank goodness; and him        10/30/15

Stingray is all better. Had a sore on bottom of her disc.
<Glad this ended up well.>
So I ended up with going with a 150 long. Imperial gallons so its a bit bigger.
<Nice size tank.>
Here is what I want to do with it eventually:
1 jaguar cichlid
<Nice, but a hard/alkaline water chemistry fish... different in this regard to these mostly South American species.>
1 Oscar
1 florida gar
1 Payara
<You do realise how big these get? Upwards of 90 cm/3 feet? Not that many survive that long in captivity. Extremely difficult to keep once they get above 20 cm/8 inches in length.>
1 wolf fish
1 fei feng
8 silver dollars
<Hmm... I wouldn't want to be a Silver Dollar alongside all these giant predators.>
Jardinei Arowana
And my Pleco collection.
1 common
A cactus
<Nice catfish. Prefers warm, soft, acidic conditions; do ensure you can provide such.>
<Royal Panaque will not tolerate other Loricariidae for long. Even in 150 gallons you'll have to watch them. Adults have been reliably reported killing weaker catfish.>
1 snowflake eel. Yes I know is a salt water fish but its young and will be in brackish in a year and full salt within two
<Not how this works. Keep it in brackish from Day 1. Specimens kept in freshwater "temporarily" usually end up dead. They stop eating eventually, and by the time the owner has figured out how to set up a brackish system for the Moray, it's half starved and well on its way to dying. You've got a bazillion fish in this tank already, only some of which can stay there indefinitely (it's 150 gallons, not 1500 gallons) so why make things even worse for yourself? Or the fish? I'm guessing you're a teenager by your approach, which isn't a million miles from my ambitions at college. I kept a tank a bit bigger than this, 200 gallons, and chucked in all sorts of funky stuff. But it didn't always work. Sometimes a more thoughtful approach to stocking is the hallmark of an elite fishkeeper, not the range of psycho-killer-giant fish he's keeping. Make sense?>
Temporary residents until they become a problem:↑↓
1 peacock bass. He will be moved later on
1 red tail catfish, will also be moved
<To a pond, I hope. These are massive fish that no-one, sort of Mark Zuckerberg, has the funds to maintain at home. Truly, these catfish are the aquatic equivalents of Siberian Tigers. Top predators with no natural enemies thanks to their giant size. They need massive tanks. Lovely, lovely fish... but don't encourage the unethical trade in them. 99% of the Red Tails sold end up stressed or dead. If people didn't buy them, Asian farms wouldn't breed them.>
My now baby gator gar, true alligator.
<Not an aquarium fish. These things are enormous. Why? Why? Don't understand the point to keeping such things. Cheers, Neale.>
re: 150 stocking       10/31/15

I have a brackish tank cycling but isn't quite finished yet.
<Ah, good, very wise.>
The pond the other things will be moved to is an in house built 3500 imperial tank.
Rtc, Payara, gator and bass will go in there
<Understood. Cheers, Neale.>
re: 150 stocking       10/31/15

I just found out that one of my buddies has just finished cycling his brackish tank for his scats and archers. So the moray is going there.
My lfs just got some lovely cichlids in, all about 3". I fell in love with a trimac, male.
So here's my plan:
1 x florida gar
1x trimac
1x jaguar cichlid
1x Oscar
1x fei feng
1x Payara until he gets too big
1x silver Arowana, until he is big enough for 3500
1x jardinei
1x red terror
<Such a random collection hard to be 100% sure, but apart from predation and some of these being (very) difficult to keep, could work out. Do watch for signs of aggression, bearing in mind that cichlids may be small compared to Arowanas, Payara and gar, but they can still cause them to "jump", damaging themselves in the process. Be aware, and keep the tank
covered. A layer of floating plants would be extremely worthwhile; in giant tanks/indoor ponds, Water Hyacinth is a good choice. Cheers, Neale.>
re: 150 stocking       10/31/15

Would the plants at the top be for darkness or cover to break the fishes jump?
<Both. Lots of these fish like to "lurk" and floating plants is the easiest way to do this with really big species. Indian Fern and Amazon Frogbit are my two favourites. But floating plants also inhibit the jumping reflex. Basically, fish will jump out of open water but (usually) not through plants because they see the floating plants as "solid" I suppose. It's a common trick when keeping jumpy fish.>
Would duck weed work?
<Can do, but a bit small for your aquarium and likely to clog up filter inlets and such. See the above suggestions, or visit somewhere like Kew Gardens that has a big tropical pond. If you have the space, even Water Lilies can work, but these are fairly demanding, so review their needs thoroughly.>
What fish might be potentially hard to keep out of this mix?
<South American Arowanas have a poor track record in home aquaria compared with Asian Arowanas. They're bigger and more jumpy. Payara have little to no success in home aquaria in the long term. Lots of reasons. Easily spooked, especially at night (jump into glass walls of tank, die). Highly sensitive to water quality, especially as it ages. Think nitrate and oxygen
levels, not just nitrite and ammonia. Spacious tank, very low stocking levels, massive filtration, very substantial turnover rates, frequent water changes all part of the mix -- you're recreating a major river, not a stream, lake or swamp. I know these fish are widely sold as juveniles, but haven't personally met anyone maintaining adults, and successful reports online are few. They get to maybe 8-10 inches quite easily, but then things rapidly become harder, and I'm sure fewer than 1 in 20 of the ones sold in aquarium shops get anything over 12 inches in home aquaria. Then there's diet. Sure they eat live feeders, but that's not viable or safe/healthy in the long term. You need plenty of protein but minimal thiaminase, so shrimps and mussels used sparingly. Don't forget goldfish and minnows contain thiaminase as well as too much fat, so even if you bred them at home they'd not be safe. Killifish and livebearers might be a safe option, but you'd need a bloody FISH FARM to crank out enough of these to maintain an adult Paraya! So we're back to frozen foods. You need to wean them onto sufficient quantities of suitable frozen foods, probably vitamin enriched using your preferred product, while maintaining good water quality. Goes without saying these fish can kill tankmates up to maybe 2/3rds their size (if such tankmates have the right shape, anyway) so things like Silver Dollars aren't a long term option. Hmm.. does this cover my concerns? I hope so. Cheers, Neale>

Compatibility... Lg. sys. FW stkg.      4/22/15
Hi crew
My landlord wants some help regarding my fish. He wants to put them on display in the office. We have been really good friends for about a decade and he is an avid monster fish keeper, but he cant put his 7 ft alligator gar in a tank.
He has it in a indoor pond in his basement with tiger shovelnose cats. My question is, he has a 300 gallon he wants on display with my 20" florida Shortnose gar, my 7" inch Flowerhorn and a tiger shovel nose catfish. Will this work?
<Mmm; maybe.... what are the dimensions of this tank? Needs to be three feet or more wide for the gar.>

We plan to filter it with 3 Fluval fx6 and a sump system. Are these fish compatible?
<The FH will likely be eaten in time... by either tankmate>
Never attempted this before.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Compatibility       4/23/15

36" x 36" x 72" = 404 gallons
<Ahh! This will work>
I have access to a 13" Flowerhorn. My gar is 18" and we don't have the tiger shovelnose yet. Hard to find. Can you recommend a large catfish for my 250 gallon tank.
<Mmm; yes. See WWM re Pimelodelids, Doradids; some Pangasiids>
Its a longer model and I want a single specimen catfish tank. Can I keep a tsc or an rtc in there?
<For a while; few years>
If need be, both have a pond or a different home at a friend use with a 2000 gallon tank. Yes, 2000 gallons. Or are there other catfish that reach about 1'-16"? Thanks
<Many. Include WWM's coverage of large Loricariids in your reading. Bob Fenner>
Re: Compatibility    4/25/15

So i have a final stocking plan. Will such workout?
1. 1x silver Arowana
<Doesn't do particularly well in home aquaria; I would think carefully about choosing one of the smaller Asian species if you have the option.>
2. 1x florida Shortnose gar
<Silver Arowana can get very territorial; I would not combine with a Gar.
The risk of damaging either is much too great. Choose one surface dweller, and keep that.>
3. 1x tigrinus catfish
<A very difficult species to maintain. It's rheophilic, meaning it needs fast, relatively cool and very oxygen-rich water to do well. There are better choices. 400 gallons is the minimum for this species. How are you going to provide 400 gallons of soft, slightly acidic water? If that's your tap water, great; if not, be warned this species doesn't thrive in hard water. If you're spending $200 or more on one of these fantastic fish, you want it to look good, right? Not skulking around with muted colours because it's stressed!>
4. 1x Green terror
<This doesn't belong.>
5. 1x large mid water fish *can you recommend a suitable specie*
<A Giant Gourami, Pacu, or something along those lines is the usual choice for use alongside large Pimelodids, Arowanas, etc. But seriously, even with 400 gallons, you'd be sacrificing water quality just to keep one more fish.>
And a large common Pleco
All eat Hikari Massivore and Cichlid Gold pellets with a meaty Monday thing will salmon, basa fillet, yam, prawn and crayfish completed with in house bred mollies. For the large fish, I was thinking maybe an Oscar? Or a Flagtail thing? Not sure what they are called. Silver with a orange and black horizontal banded tail.
<Semaprochilodus insignis.>
This is the 404 gallon.
<Do you have a subscription to the Monster Fishkeepers forum? I think these are the guys to "chat" to about fish stocking. While a bit liberal with the feeder fish for my liking, there are some experienced hobbyists there. I have kept both Silver Arowana and Spotted Gar, and while the latter species was easy in 200 gallons, the Silver Arowana was a challenge. It's a river fish, used to migrating crazy distances at will, and doesn't really adapt to captivity particularly well. While researching these, do also dig up some of the older aquarium books re: jumbo species... "Jurassic Fishes" for example, and "The Manual of Tank Busters".
Cheers, Neale.>
re: Compatibility; FW stkg; lg. sys       4/30/15

Here is my final stocking:
1 silver Arowana
1 Oscar
1 green terror
3 convicts
4 silver dollars
1 lima shovelnose catfish
1 jack Dempsey
1 Bluegill
Instead of dollars, could I do red or blue hooks?
<Red-Hook Metynnis may be substituted for Silver Dollars. No idea what Blue Hooks are!>
The jack Dempsey is a full grown male and the Arowana is a hand raised baby about 16"
<Cheers, Neale.>
re: Compatibility       4/30/15

Hmm. May be just a trade name then. They are grey-ish fish with extended blue fins. They are schooling. Not sure of scientific name. Do you foresee any problems with my stocking?
<How big is the tank? Silver Arowana are massive (well over 1 metre long) and very intolerant of surface-swimmers. Not good aquarium fish really.
Silver Dollars are food items for them. All this, and more, will be on WWM; do search, perhaps using the term "compatibility" each time.>
Im not sure about the bluegill so I thought I would ask someone with more knowledge on this than I.
<I have kept Green Sunfish in tropical tanks but no, it isn't ideal. 18-22 C isn't a problem though.>
I found some really nice pieces of driftwood. How do I make them safe for my new aquarium? I have poured boiling water on them, sprayed them down a hose and am currently soaking them, is there anything else I should do?
<This is "found" wood, not store-bought, aquarium-safe "cured" wood? Soak for some weeks in changes of water. Old school approach: stick in cistern of lavatory for a few weeks. Otherwise bucket in the garden will do.>
<Cheers, Neale.>
re: Compatibility      5/1/15

The tank is 404 gallons. This silver Arowana is about 16-18" long. The full size of the fish is known and I have plans for it once it reaches a certain size of about 28".
We cannot keep Asian Arowanas here as they are illegal.
<Curious. The Asian species are a bit smaller, which makes them nicer in some ways. Do track down "Jurassic Fishes" if you can... an excellent overview of Arowanas and various other "ancient" tank busters. An essential read for those keeping jumbo communities.>
We can only keep south American and African varieties.
<Ah now, the African species is a winner. Cheap and hardy. Grey, to be sure, and a filter feeder/sand sifter. But a nice fish.>
And the driftwood is some pieces I found along a lake shore.
It doesn't seem to be leaching tannins and it sinks nicely. So just soaking it will be fine?
<Yes, but will take some time. One bit of wood can usually be added straight to the tank after a decent clean and a few days' soak. But if you plan on adding a lot of pieces, soak all the pieces for as long as practical. Use a pH test kit to keep an eye on the pH after using the bogwood. There's also a chance for (harmless) fungi to grow on rotting wood, which indicates that the supposed bogwood you found wasn't fully cured. True aquarium bogwood will have been "cured" for some months prior to sale.>
I am not quite sure what cistern of lavatory is.
<The big tank of water you flush the water out of. So basically, each time you flush, the wood gets soaked in new water. Here in the UK, toilet/lavatory cisterns usually have a lid that lifts off easily, so you can put wood into the cistern easily. A couple weeks of this may be all you need, because the water is changed so often.>
<Welcome. Neale.>
re: Compatibility      5/1/15

I have them soaking in a 55gallon trashcan. I change the water daily. How will I know when it is cured and safe?
<You can't tell _a priori_ but only by measuring the effect they have on the pH of the water. Put one or two bits in the tank; if the pH stays stable or drops only slightly over the next few days/couple of weeks, the wood is probably fine. Add another piece. Test again. Repeat as required.>
I have never seen African varieties for sale around here. Don't know much about them. Are they predatory? Aggressive?
<Neither to any great extent. Will obviously eat tiny fish, but fine with stuff too big to swallow whole. They are truly filter feeders, adapted to consuming plankton and sifting sand for small animals (worms and insect larvae, for example) and prefer/need copious quantities of such foods (or a suitable substitute) or tend to starve. Big appetites! Generally pushy but
tolerant of obviously dissimilar fish: Plecs, spiny eels, bichirs, Silver Dollars and so on. May be troublesome with its own kind though, and probably other similar fish (Asian Arowana for example). Cichlids will vary, but so long as the cichlid leaves it alone, the African Arowana won't start any fights.>
They need to be able to hold their own in my tank. Otherwise they would probably be killed by the Oscar silver Arowana combo.
<Two Arowanas of any kind in one tank is a non-starter for sure.>
Those two are the best of friends, and often go onto each others levels.
They even rest together. Oscar was originally a feeder defect destroyer and then they saw each other in their own tanks. Inseparable ever since.
What do I do for bacteria on the driftwood?
<Usually not an issue. Wood contains little protein so tends to have little "rotting" effect or tendency to create bacterial blooms. But as it decays it releases tannins that lower pH, and if not controlled, this can be dramatic in soft water situations (less so in hard water). Cheers, Neale.>
re: Compatibility.... chatting        5/3/15

The water around here is hard do the wood was going to be a buffer and decor.
<Unreliable. Hard water (or more specifically, water with high carbonate hardness) resists pH change downwards rather well. Even in hard water the wood will release tannins that marked the water significantly, and this can look very nice. But if you do use wood to "colour" the water a bit, and it might do, use a pH test kit to keep a track of what happens between water changes. Reducing the pH without reducing the hardness is unwise, indeed, dangerous. Do review water chemistry management thoroughly before trying to do so. If your recipe for soft water doesn't include either collecting rainwater or using an RO filter, well, you're doing it wrong, so stop. Those are the only two options. Nothing else works reliably or safely.>
How do I pellet train my baby silver Arowana?
<Get it to associate you with feeding, via live crickets and the like (never feeder fish), and then try offering a known "carnivore" food when it sees you. Hikari make some good foods, but you'll find mention of other premium brands at websites focused on these fish (MonsterFishkeepers.com  for example). Indeed, there are pellet foods designed expressly for Asian Arowanas, including one from Hikari.>
They bagged him up with a new cichlid I got and so now I have 2 Arowanas.
<Two Arowanas won't cohabit in one relatively small tank. May do so in tropical ponds... but two is a risky starting point... watch them carefully. Youngsters are pretty tolerant, but adults can be lethally aggressive. Bear in mind the ecology of these fish at all times. They are huge, patrol rivers (not streams), and leap several feet out of the water to catch prey (natives call them "water monkeys" because they feed on things in trees by leaping out of the water). Aquarium fish? Nope. Plan ahead. Carefully.>
He is about 4 inches. Is he too young?
<Possibly, if the other Arowana is substantially bigger. They do bully weaker specimens. Do also bear in mind very young specimens (with yolk sacs still attached) are extremely sensitive and have a poor track record for surviving stress. The ideal size for new specimens is around 15-20 cm.
Cheers, Neale.>

New setup ideas... FW stkg., lg. sys.      8/17/13
Hello, this is my first time writing and I have a few questions.  In the next couple of months I plan to build a plywood aquarium (96x24x72) and am wondering if the fish I am planning would be compatible.  Dovii female with Managuense male (or vice versa), Tiger shovelnose, Female Festae, Sailfin Pleco and a Indo Datnoides.  Nothing is written in stone, so any other suggestions would help.  Thanks.
<These fish species can live together in such (a large) volume. The cichlids need to be started near the same size (not large adults) and the Pimelodid cat not too big (lest it swallow them); and you may have a hard time feeding the Siamese Tiger Fish with such boisterous companions. Bob Fenner>
New ideas cont.; canister filters/filtration        8/17/13

I forgot to mention I gave a ocean clear (forgot the model #, not in front of me) & a Nu-clear 530.  Thanks again.
<Mmm, I would use other than cartridge filters on a large aquarium (too much maintenance, electrical/pumping expense). DO see (read) on WWM re filtering a big system. Bob Fenner>
Re: New ideas cont., lg. FW stkg.       8/19/13

Thanks Mr. Fenner, I'll check it out.  Have a nice week.
<You too MK. B>
 Re: New setup ideas      8/19/13

Thanks again Mr. Fenner, should I grow the cichlids out before I add the catfish?
<If the Catfish is more than a few inches in length, yes! This large Pimelodid can/will try to inhale most all animals that will fit in its capacious maw/mouth. B>
Re: New setup ideas      8/19/13

One more thing, which would be better a female Dovii and male Managuense or female Managuense and male Dovii?
<Hard to sex when young, but may try to interbreed... Males are "prettier", more interesting behaviorally to most folks, but more likely to fight...

New tank build. FW stkg. lg. sys.     7/23/12
I am currently in the process of starting up my fish tanks again. My original plan was to build a "fish tank wall" in my basement, utilizing the 3 55gal and 1 bow front 75gal, creating a wall of tanks. However, as I get further into this I am thinking of actually doing one large tank. Selling the rest (except the bow front).
Using the current base I have built would allow me a tank about 144" x 21" and any height really, but for structural reasons, probably about 21".
Which, if my math is correct, gives about 270gallons. I design and build boats so the actual build, (plywood sandwich fiberglass with 3/8" 4' glass windows in front probably) isn't really an issue.
However, I really don't know what to put in it. I'd love rays, but the base size isn't anywhere near big enough and doubt I could financially support them. I would like another salt water tank, but start up costs be crazy, so I've decided on tropical. I really like Bala sharks, I've owned them before but unfortunately they outgrew the 75gal and I couldn't keep them. Would this tank work for 4 or 5 Bala's?
 Could I put anything else in there with them?
<I'd go w/ a S.E. Asian theme... stocking larger Barbs, Danios, Loaches (my fave, Clowns)... and more!>
  Mine weren't that aggressive but I've heard they can be.
If Bala sharks will work, what sort of environment would they really like?
<Broken decor to mid height, the top open for swimming, w/ perhaps some floating plants (Ceratopteris...)>
 I can make it high current flow or low. I had thought of using real rocks along the back wall. If Bala sharks aren't really suited, any suggestions on alternatives?
<Many... I'd consider a Discus, or Angelfish centered habitat, Australian et al. Rainbowfishes, any of several types of African biotopes>
Any advise <advice> would be greatly appreciated. Since I'm building this from scratch I'd rather build it to suit the fish than find fish to suit the tank.
<I'd shoot for a 24" height... more symmetrical w/ length, and just as easy to build, install... more decorative possibilities. Bob Fenner> 

Adding fish to my aquarium   1/19/11
your site has helped me before, it is very informative. I have a couple questions about adding new fish to my current set up.
<Go ahead>
I have a 125 gallon 6 foot long aquarium. I have 4/ 300 watt heaters.
<Mmm, I'd remove two of these>
3/ Marineland 350 penguin BioWheel filters and 1/ 350 Odyssea canister filter. 2/ air pumps...I do weekly water changes of 20%..Once a month I do a 50% water change. I alternate cleaning the filters one per month.
The temp is on 82F all levels of ammonia/nitrates/Nitrites are 0. I have had this aquarium for 6 years I bought all my fish when they where very small. For the first 4 years the PH was 7.0, but since I lived in this house the past two years the PH has been 8,0.
<I wonder what happened to elevate the pH a full point (ten times)>
All my fish have adjusted to the change and are doing very well. I don't fight with the PH level because it is consistent and the fish are doing fine.
I know my fish are larger now, but by the end of this year I am getting a 300 gallon. ( I am waiting on my husband to install plumbing so it would be easier for water changes) The fish I have are...2/ 8" gold Severums, 1/ 8" green Severum, 1/12" iridescent shark,
<Will get much, make that MUCH larger>
2/ 5" blood parrot fish, 2/ 4" Bala sharks,
<Unusual that these have not grown more>
1/ 9" common Pleco, 1/ 4" silver dollar, 1/ 4" angel fish, 1/ 4" clown loach,
<Social animals... perhaps you can grow up a few others in your older tank...>
3/ 3" fire-mouths, 5/ 2" jelly bean parrot/convict mix, All my fish get along great and have for the last 6 tears. They have plenty of hide outs to claim for them selves.
My questions are..Is there a better filter system I could use?
<Mmm, yes... for the 300, I'd switch to something in the way of a sump...
See WWM re... for the present tank, the 125, there are better canister filter brands... My fave is Eheim>
Are the silver dollar and clown loach fine by them selves of should I get a couple more of each?
<Better with more... though the "dollars" might bicker quite a bit at first>
With this set up, the fish and the fact I am going to a 300 gallon by the end of the year, could I add a baby frontosa to this mix?
<Perhaps one of a few inches (3-4) length>
I understand they need a high PH, but I am not sure if my PH 8.0 would be ok for them and my other concern is the compatibility of my existing fish.
They are very calm and get along very well.
<I do think you'd be fine with this/these additions>
Thank you

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