Stocking advice - schooling fish

LarsB

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I'm looking for a small/medium sized schooling fish for the middle/upper region of the tank.The tank's dimensions are 80x35x50 with 2 heavily planted island to the left and right. The middle and front part of the tank has plenty of open swimming space, current is quite strong. Temperature is about 25 C.

There's no fish in it yet, however I am planning to add a group of Otocinclus and some Apistogramma when cycling is done. Ideally I want a real schooling fish, preferably with some nice colors on it. I was thinking of firehead tetras (H. bleheri) or praecox rainbowfish. Not sure about the schooling behavior of the latter though and the tetras can be a bit hyperactive.

Also, I'm not sure how well these fish will color up under strong lighting with no shadow and if they'll even dare to swim in open water with a lot of light.

Any thoughts and suggestions?
 
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I have two 125 gallon (473 liter) aquariums that have been running for about 15 years. Over that time I've tried an awful lot of "schooling" species. In my experience, if you are after something that truly moves in unison like you see on Planet Earth documentaries you will probably be disappointed. I've had many species of tetras, danios, rainbows and such that usually stick together, but what I think you are after (and I was too) requires big bodies of water and lots of small fish. The closest I have come to that are probably threadfin rainbows and chili rasboras. Oddly, after a water change lots of species school tightly -perhaps from being spooked by that process. But after a couple of hours, they settle back in to no longer staying as close as possible. But put these same fish in my outdoor pond (4500ish liter) and I never see them stray from one another. Just food for thought.
 

Simon Cole

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Melanotaenia praecox will get quite big compared to your outlay, and I would have to agree with Chuck about the Hemigrammus bleheri.
 

alto

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Not so much on color but apparently they shoal quite closely (even when it’s an average day at Green Aqua) - approx 20min in, the MC carpet aquarium


Seriously Fish Profile

Is the tank 50 high? Or 35?
 

jameson_uk

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praecox rainbowfish. Not sure about the schooling behavior of the latter though and the tetras can be a bit hyperactive.

Also, I'm not sure how well these fish will color up under strong lighting with no shadow and if they'll even dare to swim in open water with a lot of light.

Any thoughts and suggestions?
I had some in my tank and they are gorgeous fish. They seemed fairly social and would sometimes hang in groups but would generally be hanging around in pairs or on their own. They seemed OK with the T5s in my tank and coloured up nicely and would be out in the open, they did seem happiest though in the morning when the lights weren't on but there was some daylight getting to the tank and the males would show to each other.
They did like to swim though so tank might be a little on small side for them.
 

alto

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tank might be a little on small side for them

This
Rainbows are active swimmers & can stress tankmates with their “business”
The small pseudomugil type rainbows are exempt from this generalization but are also fairly short lived fish (sometimes considered an annual fish in natural habitats)
Check species profiles for water preferences, including flow before choosing

Depending on which Apisto, suitable tankmates would vary substantially
 

LarsB

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Thanks for the replies. I'll skip the praecox and possibly just look for something else with interesting behavior.
Although the rummynose tetras I kept in the past used to school, I suspect they won't be doing that as much in my now smaller tank without any real threats.

The tank's also 50 high, so not that wide unfortunately.
 

Dadofthree

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I have 30 harlaquin raspborous i can recommend they are the perfect schooling fish but i think it all depends on the other stock and lenght and swimming space
 

alto

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Although the rummynose tetras I kept in the past used to school, I suspect they won't be doing that as much in my now smaller tank without any real threats.

The tank's also 50 high, so not that wide unfortunately.

Rummy’s definitely school “better” in longer tanks - I’d suggest 120cm minimum

The height is good in terms of having a good amount of space for shoalers, they’ll have better separation from the bottom orientated Apisto’s - and more space to play

Rasbora species almost always display interesting behaviours (when kept in sufficient numbers)
Pencil fish are an oft suggested Apisto companion (spend some time on Apistogramma.com :D)
Many tetras display interesting behaviours even though they aren’t “schooling” (which I tend to read as stress behaviour more often than not) - black phantoms, white fin ornate tetras will constantly display and dash about, coming together then separating ...


The 80cm x 30cm footprint is really only sufficient for a single pair
It’s always recommended to begin with 6 juvenile cichlids and allow them some selection for pair formation, rather than buying a “pair” of opposite sex fish from the shop
(I saw $100 “pairs” of rather common Apisto’s for sale in a local shop ... some were even misidentified (& shop was reluctant to change the posted species name when I mentioned it :rolleyes:) Definitely not the sort of shop from which to buy Apistogramma)
 

alto

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I'm not sure how well these fish will color up under strong lighting with no shadow and if they'll even dare to swim in open water with a lot of light.
I’d look for good quality tank bred fish rather than wild caught as the former are often bolder under aquarium conditions

I finally managed to source some “new” Betta hendra - in separate tanks at the moment as from different sources .....
which means I have two apparently fish-less tanks :rolleyes:
Crazy me :crazy:
(I’ve seen a few videos online so someone keeps B hendra that swim in sight - I don’t know if it’s water parameters or perhaps different locale/species)
 

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