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Old 02-09-2013, 11:37 PM   #1 
Bombalurina
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What other fish should I add?

Hopefully, I will soon be getting a larger tank and will be able to redo my 16 gallon. It has a footprint of 14.5 inches by 14.5 inches, and is 18 inches high. It has filtration for 45 gallons (a Fluval U1 and a Fluval U2).

This dream will probably change/evolve before I get to it, but I've liked this idea for a while and just keep coming back to it. It's very different from anything I've done before. :)

Livestock:
- 10 Ember tetras
- 8 pygmy cories (can't decide between habrosus and pygmaeus)

Setup:
- tangled driftwood to swim through and provide shelter, hopefully as tall as the tank itself
- sand substrate covered in IAL, which will hopefully make the water nice and dark

I really want to do a biotype as mostly, I just mix in any species that work well together, regardless of origin, and give them plants from all over the world. I know I will probably give in and add a betta to this tank, too.

Given my tank specs (and my water params of pH: 6.5-7, hardness: 2dKH (very soft), what would you recommend as a centrepiece fish? LittleBettaFish recommended a cockatoo cichlid: would be tank be ok for that? Would it eat my Embers?

What plants, if any, should I add?

Any input welcome. :)
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:14 AM   #2 
djembekah
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I feel like a cichlid in a tank that small is a bad idea THOUGH i don't really know a ton about cichlids- except maybe angels lol. I do know that though some are less so than others, really all cichlids are very aggressive.

Off the top of my head i can't really think of a south american centerpiece fish that'd fit int there. i do like the idea of the big shoal of tetras and the cute lil cories just hanging out. You could scape it really nicely.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:22 AM   #3 
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If you didn't like the idea of apistogramma, have you thought about trying something like honey or croaking gourami? They don't get huge, but they do make a nice centrepiece type fish as being like bettas they are quite personable.

Otherwise have you thought about killifish? I think you've had some in the past (though that could be another member) and something like Aphyosemion australe or Gardneri gold are cheap, beautiful and boisterous enough that they could deal with the activity of the schooling fish.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:45 AM   #4 
Bombalurina
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I do like the idea of apistogramma (sorry, I don't know why I assumed you suggested cockatoo apistos, that was my brain jumping from the general to the specific :p).

I have indeed had fundolopanchax gardneri gardneri in the past and I loved them. I've also been thinking of a gourami. :) I would love to stick to SA fish if I can, but I'm happy to go Asian or African and deviate from the biotope if that's what would work best. :)

How do you think such fish would feel about my setup? :)
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:02 AM   #5 
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Well I had my killifish in tanks that were of a similar style and they were very happy. I am actually thinking of getting rid of all my plants and moving my killifish back into that kind of tank as I seem to have had better luck with them like that.

I also had some licorice gourami in a biotope style set-up with peat moss and IAL and they seemed to be content with that.

Never had apistogramma, but have read a lot of people recommend peaceful dither fish to encourage them to be out and about a bit more, and nearly every biotope tank I have seen looks identical to what you are proposing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFNhsAMNgsg

This is a beautiful example of an apistogramma biotope
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:21 AM   #6 
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I think Crystal Gouramies are cute and interesting at the same time.
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Old 02-10-2013, 11:58 AM   #7 
djembekah
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Apistos are def too big

Edit: sorry was thinking of something else. but i think a cichlid is a baf idea with thos little fish

Last edited by djembekah; 02-10-2013 at 12:03 PM.
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:42 PM   #8 
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Apistogramma don't grow very big (they are classified as a dwarf cichlid) and they are not like the cichilds you are thinking of in terms of aggression.

I've seen many apisto keepers housing their fish in tanks with so called 'dithers' (smaller schooling fish) and they do fine. I think the only danger may be that the apistos may become more aggressive if guarding eggs or fry, and that the dither fish may eat any eggs that might be laid.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:27 PM   #9 
Bombalurina
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Are apistos happier in pairs? I'm not really keen on breeding as I don't have a fry tank and I don't want to lose all my other fish if the parents get aggressive. I'd rather keep them singly if the fish themselves don't mind. I'd also be worried that they'd be too active for my 14.5 inch footprint, despite their size.
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Old 02-10-2013, 05:56 PM   #10 
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I'm not really sure as I don't have personal experience with them. A lot of people keep them in pairs because I assume they want to spawn them, but I have seen tanks where a single male has been kept.

If you think they might be too active a gourami might be the better option since they are more sedate swimmers.

If you don't want a single centrepiece fish, have you thought about some of the native/New Guinea pseudomugil species? Pseudomugil mellis is absolutely stunning and I kept a group of 8 individuals in a 23L (Fluval Edge with top glass removed) and they did spectacularly. Similar would be pseudomugil gertrudae and pseudomugil tenellus. These species all do well in softer water and would provide a stunning contrast (particularly mellis and getrudae) to your embers. They are also fairly peaceful and don't need a ton of space to swim around.
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