Schooling fish to share a 180g with rainbows? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-11-2020, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
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Schooling fish to share a 180g with rainbows?

I would love to get some advice on selecting a school of fish for my 180 gallon tank. Ideally something that will spend most of its time in the upper half of the tank. The current residents, M. praecox rainbows, spend most of their time in the bottom half.

Here are some details that might influence the choices:
1) The tank is a 180 gallon 4ft long by 3 ft wide by 2ft tall
2) RODI with a TDS of 90 – 100
3) CO2 injected during the day pH is 6.75 at night and 5.5 during the day
4) EI dosing with 60% weekly water change
5) Tank has been set up for two years and pretty stable. Partially re-scaped about 4 weeks ago.
6) Lights are fairly bright and currently there are no floating plants
7) The tank is set up in a peninsula configuration with returns and gyre power heads directing flow across the top of the tank and returning across the bottom. This would be uncomfortable for species that need calm water
8) The rainbows get rowdy at feeding time. The new guys need to be able to get their share.
9) Temperature is 74 to 75 Fahrenheit

As mentioned the tank currently has 13 M praecox (10 of which are female so not a lot of color), 6 otos and 7 Sterba cories. I would like to find something that schools pretty well and is colorful. Hatchets would be cool but this is an open top tank and jumpers would be a problem.

What do you think?

Here are a few photos

The tank



Here you can see the pretty empty top half



The fish. These guys spend much of the day fairly close together facing into the current



The two big rainbows are hybrids(?)



Thank you!
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Last edited by billb; 09-11-2020 at 02:29 AM. Reason: forgot temp
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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-11-2020, 03:25 AM
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What a beautiful tank! Congrats.

A school of Glowlight Danios would look great there.
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-11-2020, 03:48 AM
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Agreed. One of the larger danio species (preferably not the giant danios) would probably work perfectly. White cloud mountain minnows might also be a viable option as well.
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So many fish/plants/inverts to keep, not enough aquaria.
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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-11-2020, 03:02 PM
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If you find Haludaria fasciata, get about a 50-60 of them. They are like the fish version of a pack of dogs in the tank. these will school well and will stay at the bottom of the tank except when you feed the. they are also large enough to be "seen"in a big tank.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-11-2020, 03:15 PM
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I am a huge fan of black neons ( Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi ). They are tight schooling, can grow to 2'' in the right conditions, and are pretty hardy.
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Last edited by robmcd; 09-11-2020 at 03:43 PM. Reason: small grammar edit
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-11-2020, 03:33 PM
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Part of the question has to involve why fish do some things. Small fish especially do not like to swim to far from cover as they are basic fish food for larger fish, so they have in their genes to stay away from open water. Some may go up to the top of your tank but many will feel better to stay down low and around cover.
Before choosing, I might want to consider how a specific fish acts when they feel threatened. Do they dive for cover , go into a ball, or what?
To get more fish to stay higher, may require more cover like floating plants so they can hide from birds as well as fish.
When you are growing up as fish food, one has to stay alert.
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-11-2020, 03:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you FishBR, ichthyogeek, Preeths, and Robmcd!

All of these suggestions are spot on. Schooling fish that will do well in my tank - I figured I would get smart feedback from Planted Tank members!

WetSpot has all of these except for Haludaria fasciata. That one may be harder to source. They sound like interesting fish! Rachel O'Leary did a species spot light on Glow light danios and they look really nice. Very colorful, stay towards the top and can take some current. Tight schoolers too. I have heard others recommending black tetras before. Clearly they have fans!

I will definitely post pictures after I figure out what I am going to get. Again, thank you!

Bump: Planted Rich
Excellent observation. My tank is a little bare up top right now!. The Bocopa will grow to the surface on both sides. I have direct experience with that as the rescape was basically removing a bushel basket full of that plant so I could see the tank!. I have a small business and we were hammered by everything covid. Didn't have much time to maintain the tank. Bocopa covered 3/4 of the surface. Pretty purple flowers but it took complete advantage of my absence. It should provide some shelter in the future.
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-11-2020, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billb View Post
Bump: Planted Rich
Excellent observation. My tank is a little bare up top right now!. The Bocopa will grow to the surface on both sides. I have direct experience with that as the rescape was basically removing a bushel basket full of that plant so I could see the tank!. I have a small business and we were hammered by everything covid. Didn't have much time to maintain the tank. Bocopa covered 3/4 of the surface. Pretty purple flowers but it took complete advantage of my absence. It should provide some shelter in the future.
That's the downside of forums as we often do not get the whole picture of what and why!
A suggestion for what I might try for what I like? I might look at adding a tub full of Java fern, super glued to the parts of wood near the surface as a quick way to get a bit of cover.
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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-11-2020, 08:40 PM
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Nothing compliments Rainbows better than more Rainbows.

I would add more species with a variety of colors.

If you get a better close shot of the larger Bows I might be able to help identify or tell if they are hybrids.
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-12-2020, 02:16 AM Thread Starter
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PlantedRich - I do have a bunch of trident. Might just have to try that and see how it looks.

Greggz - I would definitely welcome any info you could provide. I do have a couple of picture showing them in more detail. I will post these tomorrow!
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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-12-2020, 02:43 AM Thread Starter
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Well, no time like the present!

Greggz, here is a picture of the two of them The male has a mostly clear caudal fin and the front most dorsal fin has a white first spine



Here is a not-great shot of the male showing off. He can get almost black with a whitish stripe along his head and back.


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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-12-2020, 12:38 PM
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I've kept or seen pretty much every Rainbow species available in the US and I don't recognize those.

Best guess is hybrid.

Where did you get them? What were they sold as?
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post #13 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-12-2020, 01:52 PM
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I second the Black Neon Tetras.
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post #14 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-12-2020, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Greggz - I thought so but always nice to have a more experienced hand weigh in. The were included with the praecox at the LFS I got them from. That wasn't the only oddball in that group. I also got a psycho-killer blue tetra. It was very aggressive! Took that one back.

Capsaicin...MFK - a second on black neons! To be fair they aren't flashy but they must be excellent in other ways. Are they great schoolers? What would you say makes them a good choice?

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post #15 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-12-2020, 02:50 PM
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Some suggestions. I would pick a schooling fish that is larger that can keep up with the energetic nature of rainbows.

A colorful choice would be Dawkinsia assimilis ( Mascara barb).
A colorful, larger schooling fish- Red Tail Hemiodus (Hemiodus gracilis)
An active, shimmery-blue color schooler, Blue Diamond Congo Tetra Alestopetersius smykalai
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