The 90 Gallon Update #5: Let the Stocking Begin!

So after making sure the tank held water, I was ready to stock. Mostly because my son saw an empty fish tank and lost his damn mind because there were no “Fshhh” in it.

My plan for the tank is to one type of school fish to act as dithers/targets, some smaller New World cichlids, and then a handful of upper jaw polypterus. Unfortunately, I have the patience of a 2 year old and I will likely just buy what is available or cool at the time. But still… I would expect a schooling fish, some cichlids, and polys for the bottom. In a perfect world, I end up with a lot of polys (sen, albino sen, longfin sen, rope fish, delhezi, the various palmas species) and it becomse a mostly poly tank. BUT… polys can be kind of hard to find outside a few species so who knows.

Anyway, I am going to use Seachem Stability to cycle the tank. I have used it in the past with my 180 gallon and this stuff is fucking magic. In the old days, you used to have to wait weeks and add fish slowly to cycle. No more… just stock the tank and add Stability and bingo, cycled tank, no dead fish.

So, I head to Petco to get some schooling fish. I actually prefer to get schooling fish from the big chains because little tropical fish are weak as fuck and die for no reason and I can take them back there and just get a new one. I don’t like doing that to the “little guys” so… yeah. Plus, everything else was closed.

So I went in and checked out what was available. After looking for a bit, I narrowed it down to Serpae tetras, Columbian tetras, Buenas Aires tetras, or Tiger Barbs. After some considering, I thought the black and orange would look the best with my tank and I thought with big enough numbers, they nipping behavior would be controlled.

So, I got 5 of those to through in as that is all they had. When using Stability, you need to stock the tank a decent amount, so I knew I would have to get some more sooner rather than later.


Next day, I actually head to one of the real fish stores that has a variety of fish. That kind of dirty ass small place that has cool fish and a cool owner and not some box chain. I grab 5 more tiger barbs there to bring my school to 10, which should be big enough to allow them to fight among themselves only.

I was also looking around for my first cichlid to put in. Since I went with fin nipping barbs, I knew angels were out. I didn’t see any severums around which I was interested. I wanted to stay on the non-aggressive side because this is goign to be mostly a Poly tank eventually.

I saw a nice looking Firemouth cichlid with some nice color in its fins that was holding his own against some convicts. I always liked Firemouths and haven’t had one in years. He was decent sized, and he was only 5 bucks for some reason. Perfect.


So, that is where I am at at the moment. Ten tiger barbs and a firemouth cichlid in a bare bottom, no decoration 90 gallon. I will add decorations and such as I can afford it. I will continue my hunt for polys and more cichlids soon.


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