hearty little schooling fish...
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:34 AM   #1
9am53
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hearty little schooling fish...


Hi, this is a total newb question although I am not really a total newb anymore...

I have been trying to stock my 29 gallon tank with harlequin ras. for a few weeks now, and every time I buy some half of them die....I am introducing them to the tank properly, and am keeping the pH constant, temp is constant, tank is clean and healthy, but they don't seem to like my tank, and I am sick of all the deaths, and all the $$. I have kept cardinal tetras with plenty of success, but I find them not active enough.

I would like a small, colourful, and active schooling fish to stock my tank with...any suggestions?
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:45 AM   #2
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You may want to look into Glowlight Tetras, they're readily available and from my experience rather hardy. That was my experience with Harlequin Rasboras too though.
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:47 AM   #3
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I love Rummynose but they are a little larger.
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Old 01-20-2009, 01:47 AM   #4
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harlequins pretty hardy in my experience they went through a lot of changes when i switched my tank into planted and they went though it fine. I think you just bought some bad stock at the LFS
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Old 01-20-2009, 03:11 AM   #5
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Something that might help sort out the problem would be what exactly do you mean by "stable pH and tank" giving the parameters might help figure out what's going on.

But I've also had good luck with glolight tetras and of course there's always neons which I like. Guppies and endlers are also a good fish, if you just get males, they add a lot of color and movement without worrying about ending up with a million fish.
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Old 01-21-2009, 01:55 AM   #6
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Default bloodfin tetras

bloodfin tetras are very active, and tough little buggers. The LFS call them 'beginner fish'. They are rather plain though for some, and can get fairly big for tetras.
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Old 01-21-2009, 02:41 AM   #7
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Albino cories, or pretty much any kind of cory, will school.
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Old 01-21-2009, 03:32 AM   #8
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some danios will look nice. and those things as HARDY as heck. im pretty sure they'll survive a nuclear winter.
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Old 01-21-2009, 04:14 AM   #9
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I love Gold tetras- they stay around 1.5 inches, are shiny and super active. Mine seem to have ADD.
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Old 01-21-2009, 06:05 AM   #10
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Try Espei? They look the same as harlequins, if you really like that look.
If you have access to rarer fish, then how about...

Green neon tetras
Boraras sp. (Any kind)
Microrasbora Kubotai or Nana
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Old 01-21-2009, 10:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karackle View Post
Something that might help sort out the problem would be what exactly do you mean by "stable pH and tank" giving the parameters might help figure out what's going on.

When I introduced the fish, and whenever I introduce fish, I slow my CO2 down, and keep my pH at 6.8. This way my plants are still getting some carbon, but its not a big shock on the new fish acidity-wise...I then put the bag o' fish into my tank to equilibrate the water temps. Then I pipette 10 mL's of water from my tank into the bag to get the fish used to the water from the tank, and the lower (slightly) pH. I add these 10 mL aliquots 3 times, then scoop the fish out with a net and introduce them to my tank. After a few days I start raising CO2 until a week after that I have my pH at 6.2 again. It's a long process, hence my chagrin when my fish die anyways.

I have 6 now that seem to be good, so I am going to try one more time to get this to 10. If this fails again I will get a bunch of panda cory's as per Kets' suggestion because the 2 I have a cute as hell

Thanks for all the suggestions
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:54 PM   #12
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Hmm....interesting.

I can't speak to the C02 part of it because I don't use it so I don't know if it's necessary to slow it down.

But the only other 3 things that come to mind are

1) based on how much water fish are usually packed in, 10ml really isn't a large percentage of that, so you might want to up the number of water additions you use. The basic idea of the water adding process being that you want to get the fish into as close to 100% your tank water as you can, but slowly. Many people will add small amounts several times over an hour or so, remove half of what the fish are now swimming in, and repeat the process, so that by the time they are netted out, they are swimming in a much higher % tank water than store water.

Personally, I am a fan of the drip acclimation method (nothing fancy, just tie a knot in some airline tubing) i've drip acclimated sensitive fish for 4+ hours and I've lost very few since starting to acclimate this way. I added 7 glolights to my 20 a while back and I ended up losing 2 which I was confused about so I brought them back to the store with a water sample, it turned out my pH had nose-dived and was at 5! So the poor fish went from a pH of 7.5 or so to 5, I'm pretty sure the only reason I didn't lose all of them was the acclimation.

So that's one possiblity

2) is simply that it's not good stock. I've heard harlequins are really hardy, I've also heard of people who have had trouble with them, this probably likely due to stock variation

Which brings us to the last, least likely, though also least fixable issue that I've encountered...

2) Unfortunately, this one is less fixable and let's hope it's not this reason, but a couple years ago i had a tank that i simply could not add new fish to, they always died, except the 2 little platies that had grown up in it. Best I could ever figure was some disease the platies had learned to live with. They were always stunted though and died young. I ended up having to tear the whole thing down, bleach it, scrub it and start fresh. It sounds like you have some survivors and the other fish are doing well though, so I'm guessing this is not the problem.

That's all I've got. If you want to try and get your harlequins up to at least 10, I'd buy a few extras just in case, and when you acclimate them, I'd probably try adding more of your tank water to the store water. Not more at once, but a larger number of small water additions, or you might try drip-acclimating.

Good luck!
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Old 01-22-2009, 06:46 PM   #13
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Some times some fish will seem to thrive in your tank and others that are known to
be hardy will not.....go figure. Try a different breed and see what kind of luck you have
with them. I could never keep neons and when I started a new tank a year ago they
were the second species I put in and they are all still alive. How ever when I tried to enlarge my school from 10 to 15 the new one's died..every single time. I tried 3 times and finally gave up. STill have the orginal 10 though. Von Rio Tetras are the same
shape as the raspboras and when fully colored beautiful, you could try them and they are very hard too.
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Old 01-23-2009, 09:08 AM   #14
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I was like 'omg, only three times" when you were introducing water into your tank. I do about 10mls every five or ten minutes over the course of an hour or two.
I usually occupy my time with other things while doing that. I'll float the bag for a bit then open it. But I'll watch tv or whatever and then ever commercial break add some water. Get a snack, add some water. Do something else...add some water.

Also, depending on when the store got the fish in could also make a difference. I always ask when the fish came in. If it was within the week, or a seven day time frame and I want them, I'll pre-pay for them or ask them to hold them for me. Then after a week and a half, I'll go pick them up. I find fish are super sensitive after shipping and are really stressed.
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