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 New schoolers

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Liz
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PostSubject: New schoolers   Wed Nov 13, 2013 6:00 pm

I have a 150-gal tall setup that has been going strong now for a few years. I have half-wild angels for the mid/top levels, and Geophagus "Tapajos" for the bottom, as well as a couple of pairs of Bolivian rams. There's a pair of pearl gouramis as well, incongruously! Don't forget the charming and sizable L147 peckoltia (Donald's ThumbsUp ), who definitely keeps to herself but cruises around and even sucks on the glass from time to time.

For the schooling/dither fish I have black neons, about 6 or 7 het rasboras (leftover from another setup but doing just fine) and quite a few (15-18) red tetras that I'm calling Bentosi, but are sold under various names like "rosy" or "peppermint." I may have a mix of closely related species but they're all basically the same.

My tetras do "school," I suppose, but they hang out together in a small area, hugging the tall, flat driftwood structure that lines the very back of the tank. They very rarely swim around the entire tank. It seems like they are kept corralled into a very specific area by an unseen force, lol.

Before you ask, no, the angels don't bother them at all - neither the angels nor the geos seem to notice the tetras whatsoever, and there is no apparent aggression that keeps the tetras in one general spot.

This is not a huge issue - the fish eat well and are attractive, but I'm starting to wonder if there is another schooling fish that I might consider stocking in this tank that might swim around more and utilize more of the tank. It may be that I won't be able to solve this because the activity of the angels and geos with each other may tend to keep tetras or other similar fish in the background or sidelines, by the nature of their gregarious behaviors.

Here's a video of the tank taken about six months ago but you can see the red/pink fish in the back. I had just fed them so they were more active then, but usually they're just hugging the back wall.



Again, not a real problem but something that I've been thinking about changing.

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thegundog
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PostSubject: Re: New schoolers   Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:13 pm

How about moving your Denison Barbs over to the 150?

I see where you are adding a few more to your school....

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PostSubject: Re: New schoolers   Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:23 pm

Well, the Denisons would be great, except that they are bottomdwellers and would interfere with the Geos. I have to admit that when I got the barbs for the 125 I did not realize how much they stick to the bottom. They have the "look" of a topdweller, to me, lol.

I'm attempting to keep to the general area of SA for the 150, though I have broken that with the gourami pair and the rasboras. There may be a more confident tetra that I could look at. I could consider Buenos Aires, since I really like them, but they may be a bit too boisterous.

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PostSubject: Re: New schoolers   Fri Nov 15, 2013 5:26 pm

How about Emperor Tetras? They grow to a decent size and do well in a large school. I know someone who put a group of Buenos Aires Tetras in with several gouramis. The tetras nipped at the anabantoids constantly. I'm not sure they would be a good fit with your angels either. Glad to hear the L147 is doing well. Cool 

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PostSubject: Re: New schoolers   Fri Nov 15, 2013 6:37 pm

Yeah, I kept BA tetras in with my leleupi cichlids to act as targets, and they were fabulous in there for that reason, and extremely feisty themselves, more like tiger barbs. I like how they look and their activity, but definitely not good for this tank!

I wonder about the Emperors - I'll look into it, but they might be very similar to the Bentosi/rosy tetras. Have you kept them, Donald? What about columbian tetras? They get a bit larger but may not be any less shy.

So, I need a tetra with a bit of nerve but not a nippy one! Tall order...

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PostSubject: Re: New schoolers   Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:16 pm

No I haven't kept Emperors. Just observations of other people's setups. Rummynose Tetras also come to mind. However, I have kept Colombian Tetras. A beautiful silver blue deep-bodied tetra with red fins. They were model citizens in a 55g aquarium that included Keyholes, Neon Tetras, Black Skirt Tetras and corys. Never shy or aggressive. One consideration is that they were boisterous at feeding time. None of the other fish had a problem getting food in my setup but I do wonder about slow moving angels getting run over for, say, frozen bloodworms (a favorite of my tetras). One last thing I should mention is Colombians are susceptible to something similar to Neon Tetra Disease. I lost a couple of them that way. Sorry for droning on and on but I hope that helps.

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PostSubject: Re: New schoolers   Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:17 pm

Thanks for posting your beautiful tank. The combination of fish you maintain is amazing. What a show!!! great

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PostSubject: Re: New schoolers   Sat Nov 16, 2013 1:46 pm

I had emperors-they were beautiful and I loved them. They tended to jump out of my tank though but with your hood that shouldn't be a problem. They are rather feisty but I only noticed that behavior amongst themselves. They left my cardinal tetras and rams alone. They tended to stay middle/upper areas. I would love to have them again but don't feel I can-I think they jumped out of the openings for the HOB filters.
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PostSubject: Re: New schoolers   Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:19 pm

What about diamond tetras?
I used to have a small group and I remember them being mid-level fish, who would dash to the top at the slightest hint of food.  Mine liked to hang together in a diamond shaped group.  
They are competitive eaters and super-gorgeous, once they mature into their colors.  

Read around a bit.  Many say that diamonds are constantly swimming, which would be a good thing in your tank.  They say, too, that they are not shy and can be a bit aggressive - which might be a good thing in a tank with larger fish.      

Would you consider moving away from tetras to, say, a larger livebearer?  Endler's would be eaten, of course, but what about a few colorful guppies?  They can be a bit nosy and pesty but the geos would straighten them out in a hurry. At least guppies would not be found hanging out at a back wall!

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PostSubject: Re: New schoolers   Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:42 pm

If Tetras are what you want to stay with Serpaes add very nice color and action. They seem to keep mid level, prefer 6 or more but not necessarily big shoal fish like your Peppermints err I mean Bentosi's. They seem to move around a bit more and a touch more dominant but do not mess with my Angels, Bolivians or other tank mates for that matter.
Actually Liz I loved how those guys shoaled up together and hang out like they were corralled. I thought they gave your tank a sense of realism as I could picture those little guys in the wild doing just that up against an old log or other structure.
I liked Deb's idea of some livebearers also and thought some Velvet Red Swords or Red Wag Swords would look awesome also. They definitely would add action, be all over the tank without shoaling yet peaceful with your other fish.
Rummy Nose would make a good addition if you found some with a little size to them. Your Angels may find them tasty snacks if to small but like Cardinals they should be okay.

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PostSubject: Re: New schoolers   Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:07 pm

Whatever you get, the more the merrier, taking into account the bioload. They will be less skittish in your 150. Ron's suggestion is a good one. I've kept Serpae Tetras before. Nice fish.

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PostSubject: Re: New schoolers   Sat Nov 16, 2013 9:52 pm

I second the votes above for emperors, diamond and colombian tetras. Others to consider: congo and/or yellow congo, bleeding heart, small rainbowfish (macullochi, praecox), pentazona or hexazona barbs (TOTALLY different personality from tiger barbs), other med-size rasboras: espei, kallochroma, einthoveni, borapetensis, etc. Some tall plants with floating leaves (vallisneria, sagittaria) or floating plants (frogbit) might encourage some of your existing fish (barbs, rosy tetras) to make more use of the upper levels. I've found serpaes to be more nippy than other similar tetras. I like VonRio, black phantom, red phantom, and rosy/bentosi group better than serpaes.
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