Which shoaling fish?

phillarrow

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31 Mar 2008
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Hi everyone, this is my first post here - I've been inspired by my recent visit to The Green Machine and started again with my planted tank, I have replanted my 220L 65cm cube as a jungle tank. That now brings loads of questions the first of which are:

I plan to keep 6 Corydora sterbaii, some rams and two shoals of something?

Q) How many rams can I keep? I've read that they're best in pairs but would ideally like 5 or 6
Q) I would like to keep a shoal of Boraras maculatus. What other shoaling fish would compliment their nature/colours best?
Q) What would people reccomend as show fish here? I'd love a pair of discus but intend to keep shrimp and have heard of discus eating shrimp. Or would it look better if the shoals were the 'show'?
Q) How long do people leave the plants before adding fish?

Sorry about all the questions but I just can't make my mind up and would appreciate any opinions.

P.S. Hope you all loved The Green Machine today, sorry I couldn't be there I saw all the preparations yesterday. What a great place!

Phill
 

planter

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Hi ,

IMO The rams would be best kept in a pair. keeping them in groups might result in subdominant males and females becoming the target of agression from the dominant pair.

Rasbora maculata are great little fish but I worry a little about mixing them with the rams! although the rams are regarded as community fish Those little rasboras might just prove to be too much of a temptation. Personally I choose just the one shoaling species per tank as I fell this tends to look more natural in the planted aquarium. Rummy nose tetras and cardinals being firm favourites, Harlequins tend to compliment the plants niceley. For Smaller aquariums Micro rasboras like bororas brigittae or even ember tetras.

Discus look at their best in a planted tank but you do need to be cautious about driving out oxygen with high levels of Co2 especially as your Discus have a preference for warmer water. IMO they will eat your shrimps too!

In my tanks a small shoal of something adds the movement required to complete my planted aquascape.

Just my opinion of course :)

enjoy
 

Themuleous

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i) I would have a pair, you really need a much bigger tank for more than one pair.

ii) B.maculatus is a lovely little fish, if you can prevent it from getting sucked into the filter. You could have 60-70 in tank that size. Discus would probably eat them though.

iii) I wouldn't necessarily want a 'show' fish. Personally for a planted tank I think a large shoal of a single species works best. The fish are really just their to enhance the scape not to distract your eye from it. But it is a personal thing.

iv) For a very heavily planted tank, you could add fish almost instantly, but if it is a new set up and you are just starting out I would leave it a few weeks to let the tank cycle first. If the plants are growing well and there are no obvious water quality issues, you can stock it then. The plants are the best for filtering anyway.

Sam
 

phillarrow

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Thanks for the advice guys. I'll heed both of your advice about the rams and the discuss. Planter, oddly enough one of the questions I left out of my original post was "One shoal or two?" My thinking is that in ADA styled tanks one shoal looks far better but in a jungle tank perhaps a bit of a mixed community might fit the 'scape better. What do you (or anyone) think?
Also, one final fishy question for now. If I'm keeping just one pair of rams how about adding a pair of apistogrammas and/or kribensis? Will they get on okay with the rams? I've read conflicitng advice in books about this.
 

Ed Seeley

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phillarrow said:
Also, one final fishy question for now. If I'm keeping just one pair of rams how about adding a pair of apistogrammas and/or kribensis? Will they get on okay with the rams? I've read conflicitng advice in books about this.
In a two foot tank (and it's the length and substrate area that is the only real factor for cichlids) you can only keep one pair of monogamous species or a trio (1m & 2f) of haremic Apistogrammas. Personally I'd go with the Pelivicachromis or Apistogrammas rather than the rams as I prefer them, but only one species would be best.

I'd go with one main shoal species too and then maybe a few, larger tetras in a smaller shoal as an 'accent' rather than one mixed shoal, but that depends on what you like really!!!
 

phillarrow

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Okay Ed you got me thinking (and researching) and I agree about the Apistogrammas. I've been looking at fishbase and have come up with three that I like best - A. nijsseni, A. panduro and A. payaminonis. I don't know how available they are but I'll do some ringing round. I've also settled on rummy nose tetras for my main shoal and I like your idea of a smaller shoal of larger bodied tetras. I've ruled out serpaes due to their aggression. I don't like congo tetras and I'm not that fussed on bleeding hearts. Any other suggestions?
 

Ed Seeley

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phillarrow said:
Okay Ed you got me thinking (and researching) and I agree about the Apistogrammas. I've been looking at fishbase and have come up with three that I like best - A. nijsseni, A. panduro and A. payaminonis. I don't know how available they are but I'll do some ringing round. I've also settled on rummy nose tetras for my main shoal and I like your idea of a smaller shoal of larger bodied tetras. I've ruled out serpaes due to their aggression. I don't like congo tetras and I'm not that fussed on bleeding hearts. Any other suggestions?
Both nijsseni and panduro are pretty easy to get hold of and you might want to look at the photos of A.baenschi too. If your LFS can't get them then there are 3 online suppliers who regularly have them or related species in.

The first two are pair forming though so ideally get a couple of pairs at least and then remove the spares once a pair has formed, otherwise you can struggle to get a stable pair. Once they have bonded they make great parents. (A good LFS will take the spares back BTW). I've bred nijsseni and the females in breeding dress are stunning.

As to tetras, my favourite different ones are Black phantoms, Hyphessobrycon roberti and Diamond tetras. The Phantoms could look amazing with the Rummy noses maybe.
 

beeky

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IME, many of the tetras don't shoal much once they're comfortable in their surroundings, the exception seems to be rummy noses who follow each other about all the time.
 

Ed Seeley

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If there's some cichlids in there to chase them every so often then they seem to shoal much more closely! I've moved half of my cardinal tetras into a 3ft tank in my classroom with an angelfish and three Steatocranus and they are a tight shoal all day long. It's quite distracting at times...
 

phillarrow

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Thanks for all the input guys. I think I'm pretty much settled on my final selections now and have decided to go for a mixed community rather than a South American tank. My intended stocking is:
1 pair of Apistogramma sp. (whichever of the three my lfs can get first)
A large shoal of rummy nose tetras
A smaller shoal of either lemon tetras, black phantoms or harlequin rasboras
5 or 6 Threadfin rainbows
6 sterbai corys.

I'll post the pics when I'm stocked and the tank is a bit more mature.
 

john starkey

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phillarrow said:
Thanks for all the input guys. I think I'm pretty much settled on my final selections now and have decided to go for a mixed community rather than a South American tank. My intended stocking is:
1 pair of Apistogramma sp. (whichever of the three my lfs can get first)
A large shoal of rummy nose tetras
A smaller shoal of either lemon tetras, black phantoms or harlequin rasboras
5 or 6 Threadfin rainbows
6 sterbai corys.

I'll post the pics when I'm stocked and the tank is a bit more mature.
Hi Phill, i like your choice of fish, for the smaller shoal i think the harequin rasboras would be the finishing touch, regards john.
 

beeky

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I've only had lemon tetras once and found them a bit nippy. Not bad (not like tiger barbs) but paid too much attention to my angels than I liked.
 

REDSTEVEO

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I have heard that Ember Tetras are a great shoaling fish and look more natural than say Cardinals. I read somewhere that if you want your smaller fish to really shoal you need to add a trigger or target fish. Something fairly big which keeps the tetras in a tight shoal.

Has anyone got any experience of keeping Ember Tetras because I am seriously thinking about getting some.

Cheers,

Steve
 

a1Matt

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phillarrow said:
Thanks for all the input guys. I think I'm pretty much settled on my final selections now and have decided to go for a mixed community rather than a South American tank. My intended stocking is:
1 pair of Apistogramma sp. (whichever of the three my lfs can get first)
A large shoal of rummy nose tetras
A smaller shoal of either lemon tetras, black phantoms or harlequin rasboras
5 or 6 Threadfin rainbows
6 sterbai corys.

I'll post the pics when I'm stocked and the tank is a bit more mature.
I think that will look fantastic. I bet you can't wait to get the fish now! ;)
 

REDSTEVEO

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5 or 6 Threadfin rainbows

Personally I don't think that the Threadfin Rainbows will go with the selection of other fish that you have got. I have kept them before and they were a bit finicky and got bullied slightly by the others.

Just a thought :arghh:
 
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