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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-06-2005, 05:33 PM Thread Starter
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Smile seeking fish suggestions again

I'm trying to decide on the fish for my 30 long.

It started with 2 tiger barbs from an eclipse 3 we were taking down in my son's room. They looked cute, so I've added 5 more (yes, I know they're not the best fish to have). I've also added a red tail shark and plan to add a pair of lionhead cichlids. That fills out the bottom half, but I find myself going back to the same, boring choices for the middle to upper (boring because I've fallen into a rut in the way I combine fish).

Since you guys and gals aren't in my same rut, suggestions will help open me up to alternate combinations.

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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-06-2005, 06:26 PM
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What about a nice school of white clouds for the top? They're virtually indestructable and they actually look pretty too for such a cheap fish.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 03:42 PM
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I have a similar set-up to you - I have a 29 gallon tank. I originally got 8 tiger barbs. I don't know why you say they're not so great - I think they're awesome. They school, but it's more like the school of hard knocks. they don't just boringly move around the tank - they swim in formation and every once in a while chase each other than resume formation. they may be terrors in small numbers, but with a larger number they work great and leave most other inhabitants alone.

I then picked up a RTBS - he would hang out in his cave and every once in a while pop out to chase a couple of barbs. unfortunately, i had to remove his cave after i realized that the sandstone was contributing signifcantly to my brown algae problems (so stupid). he now hides between the heater and the glass and i think is now pretty much a weenie.

I then picked up an SAE to help w/ the algae. i figured my RTBS was now a wimp so wouldn't bother him. it's working great. when the barbs decide to hassle the SAE, he uses his higher speed to great effect and takes the fight to them!

so i've pretty much kept is as a S.E. Asian biotope

what are lionhead cichlids? how big do they get? i try to keep loosely to the 1" of fish per gallon rule. w/ 8 tiger barbs, once full-size you've got about 18 inches. figure a full-size RTBS @ 6 inches and you're up to 24". Since you theoretically only have 6 inches left, I say forget about the cichlids, and get some danios for the top. plenty of movement, and plenty fast to stay away from any bullies
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 04:08 PM
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I'm sounding like a broken record here (from another thread)... School of black skirts. A 30G should be able to hold eight easily.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 04:36 PM
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I'd stick with the tiger barbs for the top and middle since you already have a school started. That way you don't have to worry about the issues surrounding their feistiness and food competiveness. I assume you have the regular tigers so for variety you could add a few green tigers to the school. I think there is also an albino variety.
I hope you add a cave for your redtail shark. They aren't happy without one and especially if they have to share the bottom territory they will be aggressive. Since those lionheads like to dig tunnels and spawn in caves you'll probably want quite a complex bottom with plenty of rock caves for everyone to choose from. It will be interesting to see how the shark and cichlids get on. Ok I hope, are those particular cichlids terribly aggressive when spawning? If so it could get ugly.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 06:43 PM
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I agree that tiger barbs are great. My original 75 was full of them. I finally got rid of them because in addition to chasing each other around, they also LOVE to randomly pull on plants and spit them out. Anything that was easily pulled out would be floating around the tank all the time. They would not leave java moss or riccia alone and I had to constantly clean it out of the filter screen.
As for filling in the top, I highly recommend Killifish. They come in many different shapes and sizes and are generally nonaggresive against similarly sized fish (as well as being VERY colorful in some cases). They will, however much on smaller fish. They will remain at the top of the tank most of the time (depending a little on the species), venturing lower mostly in search of food or to chase one another. They are very interesting fish. Just be sure there aren't holes in your lid, because they are high jumpers.
A couple of other top dwelling fish that I love are marble hatchets and african flying fish (butterfly fish). Look them up. You might find them interesting.

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I am an expert on algae, so ask me if you have questions. I know how to grow it, just not how to get rid of it.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 07:06 PM
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Interesting how you have a pair of buffaloheads in there with those tiger barbs. Haven't seen that combo before. Steatocranus casuarius is the only fish that I can think of that goes by that name.

As for top dwellers, hatchets and killifish (Rivulus are notorious jumpers) would work. Just make sure that the tank is covered as others have said. Certain species of blue-eyes will also school near the top also.


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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Eric--that's the fish. Not a beauty, but one I've enjoyed in the past. My experience with them is that they aren't too scrappy for an african cichlid.

There's quite a bit of rock in the bottom with plenty of caves for everyone.

So far, everyone is staying in the lower 2/3s of the tank. The killifish and the butterfly fish both sound interesting, but I'm worried that neither is tough enough for the rest of the tank occupants. However, I don't have experience with either of these fish.

kimrin--so far, the lionheads are ignoring the shark, but not taking any guff from it either. In the long run, the shark may have to go.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 08:09 PM
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Butterfly fish might make a meal out of barbs. I would suggest a male Molly or maybe 2 German Blue Rams if you already dont have one.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-17-2005, 10:24 PM
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Cool fish for those who haven't seen or kept them before. They can get pretty scrappy during breeding, but for an African cichlid, they aren't all that bad. They can hold their own with larger African cichlids and the pair that I had defended portions of the bottom against all comers, some of which were twice their size (especially with the female); stays a manageable size also.


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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2005, 12:23 AM
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Zebra Danios look great with Tiger Barbs.
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2005, 03:03 AM
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Austrailian Rainbow fish are uper half fish, they can be really colorful at times but look like brown shadows at others, they will be able to hold there own and as a bonus are a cost effective fish, I dont think they are a scholling fish but I have 5 and they hang out
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-18-2005, 03:50 PM
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well, it sounds really cool, I hadn't heard of those cichlids until you mentioned them. Of course then I had to go do some quick research just to see what they were.
Hope the shark and they can get along.
Maybe the zebra danios Urkevitz mentioned would work. They're pretty fast so I imagine they can avoid trouble if they need to.
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