I currently have 8 young 5-8cm L14 sunshines and a L002 tiger in my ~400L tank (140cm long, 65cm wide, 48cm high), along with a 14cm L128, 10cm L81, and a 10cm and 6cm L190 being looked after by a friend. He's thinking about doing a rearrange on his tanks so I'm thinking about taking the opportunity to get my plecs out while he's moving things around (mainly because I miss looking at them, he's happy to keep sitting them). How long do you think I could get away with this many plecs in the tank? Its got a good footprint (140x65cm), well filtered (sump plus Eheim 2224 canister, and I have a spare FX5 just in case!), plenty of hiding spots and regular water changes. The only other fish are 5 small Satanoperca and a school of lemon tetras. Obviously I know it will be pushing it, but we are in the process of looking for a section on which we can build a house, which will include another large tank of at least 1200L (that was one of my conditions of selling my old 1400L before we moved!), so at the most they would be in the 400L tank for another 12 months.
My head says leave them where they are, but my heart says go get them!
Yeah he know what he's doing, they're in his 600L 'grow-out' tank running on a combined system with a 1200L tank which houses a VIP red aro, big shoal of massive clown loaches and numberous plecs!
I'm not running the FX5 because its not needed at the moment and it would just wasting more electricity. The water is fine, the sump has more than enough bio media, nitrate never gets more than about 15ppm between water changes, which is why I was wondering if I could add the other plecs.
It may be a lot less than 12 months, we are looking at houses as well as bare land, ideally I'd like to build but if we can find a house that suits our needs (eg concrete floor and room for a big tank in the lounge!!!) then that will save the waiting for builders. That said, the way the property market is here means its a good time to be buying land, so if we can have a brand new house built how we want it for a similar price then why not...
To update this thread, we have bought a house and plans are already underway for a tank around 260x100x70cm, but unfortunately the friend who is fish-sitting has to move house so I've had no choice but to take back the fish he was minding (along with his large L128, couldn't say no!!) and put them in the 400L for the next few months until the big tank is running. I'm impressed with how big the L128 has got since he's had it! One of the royals has a bit of an unusual spotty/broken line pattern, so when it sucked onto the front glass I thought I might as well snap a pic as I heard the teeth/mouth is a good way to tell L190 from L330. No idea what the difference is tho! It just looks like an unusual L190 to me, but I'm not particularly clued up on telling them apart.
Anyway, here's some pics quickly snapped by my wife while I transferred them to the tank.
and my monster whiptail! Left over from a community tank years ago, he's over 30cm including the fins now
Any chance to spread them until the final is build
I can't give you any length regarding your question, the less time is the better and no time at all is the best!! It will mainly depend of you!! You have fish that pollute water quite easily, which means you ll need heavy filtration, I mean really oversized compare to the size of the tank and you shall run regular massive water change at best every week...this way you might be able to keep them for some time in such conditions...but it is really tricky!!
Hope they ll made it until you have your final tank!! Cheers Yann
Thanks for your concern, before adding the other plecs I have been monitoring the water and the Nitrate hasn't been getting over 10ppm between weekly water changes. Massive weekly water changes are standard practice for me, so even if I have to increase it to 30-40% every 4-5 days it won't be a problem. I will continue to monitor it and will increase the frequency as needed. The sump itself if more than big enough for the stock, and I have turned the flow on the pump (Eheim Compact 5000) back up to full so there is plenty of circulation and turn-over. The canister is probably not needed but I've got it so may as well use it!
And just to add to the madness I picked up a small (~5") black arowana a couple of weeks ago. They're pretty hard to get hold of here so couldn't let the opportunity pass. I'm going to the new house this morning and will confirm the dimensions of the new tank then get on to the tank maker to get some prices. Now I just need to design the sump/filtration, I wish we could get some of the off-the-shelf units available in the US/Europe!
So far so good, the new kids have settled in and are eating well, water is still fine, 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrite, <10 Nitrate and ~60TDS. Can't wait to get the big tank going!!