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Am I doing this right?

Posted By: Susan <troy@asan.com>
Date: Friday, 12 March 1999, at 1:12 a.m.

Hi there!

Need advice if I'm allowing the right thing to happen: husband and 7yr old son went out last night and bought three tiger barbs (TL each 1/2" long) and one clown loach (CL about 1" long) for our 10g tank. The CL named Khan was being picked on by the Huey, Dewy & Louey, so I went out and bought another 1" Clown Loach and picked up a type of evergreen vine to create a hedge by the caves tonight. After reading your web archive, I guess our LFS gave reasonable advice to my menfolk that these two species can live reasonably well together. The CLs are definitely, happily playing up and down the tank together but now the TBs are hiding in their 'clubhouse'. Is this okay?

Next question: are there enough CLs and TBs to keep them all happy together? Most of the posted mail say 3+ CL and 5-6+ TBs in larger tanks but I'm afraid to get more fish for such a small tank. Personally, I think the tank has too much already - I've one narrow cave made up of pagoda rock and slate roofs, 2 lean-tos of slate against the side wall, two 6" high 'clubhouses' that have several 'window exits', a fake broad-leaved plant in which the TBs have been playing hide-go-seek in/around and the fresh evergreen hedge (which the TBs tend to nibble on).

One more question: we have pebbles, each roughly 1/4" round, as the 'gravel floor' and the CLs seem to have a problem burrowing in them. Can I just leave it as is or do I have to get rid of it all and put 'real gravel' down or can I just put clean 'normal' gravel over the pebbles?

I had prepped the water with stress coat and stress zyme, and had the Penguin Bio-Wheel filter on for 48 hours prior to the introduction of any fish. (Yes, planning to run the filter 24 hrs/7 days.) Water temp at 80-82 degrees F maintained by a heater. PH seems fine at 7.1. Forgot to get something to check the hardness of water but assuming it's okay as everyone seems reasonably happy.

Is there something else I should do or watch out for? (Yes, I've read about trying not to disturb them too much with water changes and the Ick messages.) And for now, definitely yes, my family is estatic about these new fish.

Sorry this message is so long and for the ignorance but I've only dealt with bubble-eyed and celestial goldfish. I'm worried as I know I'll be the one who will have to maintain their tank. Would appreciate any and all advice. Much thanks in advance.

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