Fish mix 180g Iwagumi - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 02:19 AM Thread Starter
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Fish mix 180g Iwagumi

First-time planted tank here, after many years of marine and more traditional fish-centric tanks, including propagating corals and breeding rainbows, tetras, and easy stuff like that. Now I'm much more interested in the final aesthetics of the aquarium. I'll no doubt wind up breeding whatever creatures (shrimp, fish) I wind up with, but I aim to stock the tank all at once and am aiming for a balanced and calming tank above all else. It is the focus and centerpiece of our home-office, which sees it's share of stress! The original plan (a year ago!) was to go shrimp only, but I've decided to see what happens with nano-fish and shrimp, neither of which I have any experience with! I started a journal a year ago , and have been enjoying a rock garden for 12 months, but finally planted 2 weeks ago, and will be stocking with fish next week. This week I added 6 Ottos and a dozen ghost shrimp.

I'm thinking about 3 schools of nano fish right now. I would like them to mix as little as possible, and I'm not looking for distractions (cardinal tetras), but rather something slightly more subtle, and nothing that draws too much attention to itself over any other aspect of the tank. The 180 gallon is 72"x24"x24'. I'd also consider just 2 schools. Again, I have no experience in the practicalities of either the plants or the animals, I just know what I'd like the end result to be:

1) Top level schoolers
2) Mid-bottom level schoolers
3) Shoaling/territorial bottom level group

For #3, I had considered Galaxy Rasboras, but they look like they may be all over the place! A pair of Blue Ram's would be ideal for #3, but of course this will be a shrimp tank too!

So, what I have now is:

50-60 Emerald Eye Rasboras for the top level
50-60 Ember Tetras for the mid-bottom level (the color focus of the scape?)
20-30 Pork Chop Rasboras as a wild card - providing randomness(?)
A few species of shrimp, hopefully reproducing

Any feedback is appreciated !

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 04:19 AM
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Pork chop (or lamb chop) rasboras school fairly tightly and hang out close to the top. I like them a lot.

Ember tetras in my 100gallon definitely do hang out toward the bottom most of the time. I just wonder if 50-60 is enough to make an impact in a 180. I guess you could start with that amount and see how it goes.

Emerald eye I tried to keep once but the fish that were sent to me were twice as big as I thought they got and not at all what I was expecting or wanted. So I have been wary of ever getting them again. Any sort of cyprinid in general I would do a lot of research on/watch a lot of videos on to make sure they school the way you want them to. Some school strongly and some don't at all. But again I believe true emerald eyes are quite tiny and that amount might not read well in such a large tank.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 05:26 AM
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I think that "common" name for the lamb chop and pork chop is referring to the two different types, harlequin and the other I forgot name of. Ive scene them both labeled as either just depends on who is selling them so be sure to be sure of scientific name and take a close look at em.

Regardless as Triport mentioned the harlequins I have stay tight together most of the time and like the upper portion of tank. I really like the ember tetras and need to get some more since I lost a few and am down to two. The embers are kind of different, they hang out lower in tank, they school tightly but also will go adventure on there own or in small packs of 2 or 3. Then they get back together and hang out. I also noticed mine liked to find a big leaf or a certain plant and they would all hang out under it in a group. Usually in the evening it was like there bedding area. During mid day or feeding time they would be back out and all over.

I like the CPDs if you considered them, they are more of a open group, like to hang out center stage. They are a little finicky in my experience but I have 12 of them in my 40b. They are pretty out going. Very nice looking little fish.

Last but not least I would recommend getting some type of cory cat. One of the smaller ones like flase juliis, emeralds, peppers (sorry dont know real names off top of my head). In my experience they dont affect shrimp population much and are a great addition to a tank for bottom maintenance. Also in a tank that size with the stocking your considering will more then likely have some offspring on occasion. I had a pretty decent shrimp population with them but have plenty of plants and what not for the shrimps to hang out in. The shrimp would have no problem coming out and eating with the corys.

Just my thoughts. Would love to have a big tank to fill with little guys.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-14-2020, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Great info, thanks! Triport, the thing I'm worried about with many of the fish that are appealing to me, like the emerald eye, is that they prefer dim light usually with floating plants. My tank will be bright and open with bottom cover plants. I wonder how well emerald eyes would do in that situation. If pork chops or harlequins hang out near the top as well, maybe I should start with just one of these top level species.

Quint, that's just what I wanted to hear about the embers! I think a loose school mid-bottom is perfect. I've got a nice bushy nook I'm making for them to hang out in the center of the tank. I hope they like it as much as I do! :-)

I do have CPD's in my cart, and have considered them too. They seem somewhat chaotic or as you said, an "open group." Do they stay bottom half? I think ideally (for me) they would be somewhat territorial or at least, like the embers, choose a "home base" to venture out from.

And corries are enticing, I saw a video of pygmy corries schooling along the bottom of a very large tank that was pretty amazing (not that I'd want a giant school!)
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-23-2020, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
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I received some fish yesterday, about 50 emerald eye rasboras and 25 CPDs and lots of shrimp. Inexplicably, I also received 4 neon green rasboras instead of a dozen ember tetras, but there was some adventures with the supplier (who so far has been exceptional). One green rasbora was the only DOA, and the other three I'll have to catch and relocate, they are really bugging me always swimming with the emerald eyes and being so day-glow green!

So far (only one day) the emerald eyes are swimming tight as can be in the upper quarter, and the CPD are rapidly becoming endearing. This morning the 1/2 inch guys were swimming along the bottom quarter in a tight school the length of the tank, in and out and around the rocks and plants. (My video won't upload, some" token" is missing, so admin help?) By evening they were all over the tank, top, bottom, under cover, in the open, seemingly no cares at all, picking at the plants, the substrate, the rocks and chasing O2 bubbles to the surface. Sometimes grouping in 2s or 3s, sometimes not. After just 3 feedings several of them are already coming up to the glass when they see me. These are not the shy guys I read about online!

I'm convinced a nice group of ember tetras will pull the two other groups together. I'll keep trying on the video . . .


Last edited by Swamp Thing; 02-23-2020 at 02:22 AM. Reason: temporal anomoly
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-23-2020, 04:13 AM
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Congrats and good luck. Yeah the CPDs IMHO if comfy are not shy at all. Will take a week or so but the males should color up nicely and start dancing with one another. Mine are always at front or back of tank depending where I am standing unless i sit and do t move for a while.

Hopefully you get some embers and everyone settles in. Really like the embers in groups. Nice little fish.

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