Schooling fish? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 03:39 AM Thread Starter
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Schooling fish?

I'm setting up a 40g 36x14x19 and what one or two schooling fish that will look nice for my tank? I will also get shrimp and any suggestions is much appreciated.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 03:46 AM
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Galaxy rasboras and Cardinal tetras are my two favorites.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah I like them too. How many of each school?
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 04:36 PM
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That tank is right at the edge of saying that one larger school would look better than 2 schools at half sizes. Stocking depends on the rest of the livestock.
Both Galaxy Rasboras and Cards tend to school a bit lower to mid tank, I would get one or the other, then a different school for elsewhere. A group of dwarf Cories (these are usually shrimp safe), or Martha Hatchets (these are about the smallest- they need a covered tank.)

20 Cardinal Tetras
10 Dwarf Cories
20 Shrimp
5 Otos

25 Galaxy Rasboras
10 Kuhlie Loaches (I do not know if they are shrimp proof- they have very small mouths)
6 Martha Hatchets
20 Shrimp
5 Otos
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-09-2012, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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I really like the combinations. I prefer the first option though with rasboras instead of tetras. I just like the look of rasboras, thanks
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 03:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana View Post
That tank is right at the edge of saying that one larger school would look better than 2 schools at half sizes....
Let me get this straight. You are suggesting that a tank larger than 40g looks best with two smaller schools while a smaller one would look better with one larger school? I am not disagreeing, but I had not heard this "rule of thumb" before, so I want to make sure I have it right.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 03:13 AM
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if you want true schooling fish. then hands down rummynose
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 03:18 AM
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I've been really impressed with the rasbora borapetensis in my tank:

http://youtu.be/mddnu9ekV-s
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 04:56 AM
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My boraras maculatas used to do that. Was a very cool effect. I would totally recommend them for chili rasboras for the 40 gallon. I kept maculatas with a shrimp colony that seemed to constantly be growing. I think they picked off the babies, but the adult shrimp were larger then they were. No way they could tackle those.

For a 40 gallon, I'd do:

50-60 Maculatas
10 pygmy cories
3-4 otos
A colony of shrimp.

It sounds like a lot, but boraras maculatas stay just under an inch long and have an extremely small bioload. I had 65 in a 30 gallon, and you could barely tell there were fish in there when it was heavily planted.


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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 07:29 AM
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Quote:As originally Posted by Diana

That tank is right at the edge of saying that one larger school would look better than 2 schools at half sizes....



And quote, as originally responded to Diana by TomfromSt.Louis:

Let me get this straight. You are suggesting that a tank larger than 40g looks best with two smaller schools while a smaller one would look better with one larger school? I am not disagreeing, but I had not heard this "rule of thumb" before, so I want to make sure I have it right.



And in reply to Tom, from Mark13,

Just a simple personal preference, not a Rule-of-Thumb.........

Could also be a tank with three smaller schools, one up high (such as Zebra Danios), one in the middle (Harlequin, and/or Espii Rasboras), and one down lower, like Bloodfin Tetras, which like to get "lost in the weeds". Especially if those "weeds" are Crypt's five inches tall, or less. The Bloodfins love to constantly popup from the plants, and then dive back in. Checkered Barbs will do the same thing.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 01:52 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions, I never thought I could have that many fish in that size of a tank. Schooling fish are fun to watch.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 02:44 PM
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Clarification:

Larger schools of fish look more impressive than a school with too-few fish. You just do not get that real schooling action with less than a dozen, and closer to 2 dozen is better.

What tank is large enough for 2 dozen of even the smallest fish? You could get that many Ember Tetras or Dwarf Rasboras (there are several tiny species) into perhaps a 29 gallon, but smaller tanks are just not great at handling overstocking.

By the time you get to 40 gallons there is enough water that you can handle 2 dozen of something small, and a bit of room for some algae eaters, bottom feeders or another small school of something. And the 2 dozen can be some slightly larger species like any of the smaller Tetras (Neons, Cards, Rummynose...) Harlequin Rasboras or any of several other fish that size.
You could divide that 2 dozen into 2 schools of a dozen (which are barely schools, but possible), but then you need to select the right species. 2 that are too similar will swim in the same area but usually won't school with each other, so all you have is a mess of fish. So select species that look different and act different. Select a bottom school like Cories or Loaches (gotta stay with small fish), or an upper school like the smallest Hatchets. Or choose 2 species, one stays relatively high like Guppies or Danios, and a lower school like Cardinals.

That is what I mean by "right on the edge of working with 2 schools"- it can be done, but very carefully select the species you want.

A larger tank has more volume so 2 full sized schools can be at opposite ends, or mingling then separating, and will look distinct, even if they are similar. (Unless they are so alike they school together, and who would buy 2 species that look that much alike?) Or you can still stick with one main school, but make it larger fish like Congo Tetras Red Line Barbs, Phantom or Bleeding Heart Tetras, then add some of the larger Cories or Loaches (from Zebras to Kubotais depending on the tank size), or go with some of the larger upper area Danios or Silver Hatchets, and there is enough room for a decent sized school of each.

Avoid the 'Noah;s Ark' tank. "I'll take 2 of these, and 2 of those, and 2 of..."
I hope that people are enjoying fish for their behavior, not just the colors. Seeing a good sized group of fish, properly schooling, flowing back and forth, over and under branches, splitting up then coming back together... is very impressive, but it takes the right quantity of fish to achieve that. It just won't happen with half a dozen fish, and barely happens with a dozen.

Fewer species, and more of each species is better when it is a social species.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 08:39 PM
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I'm new to this and just recently got my tank up and cycled. I have a 55g and only have 3 types of inhabitants.. 22 harlequin rasboras, 15 neon tetras and 7 ottos (and soon probably some cherry shrimp).

My harlequin school stays at the top of the tank and my neons stay near the bottom/mid part of the tank. they only intersect during feeding time.. so it's cool watching the two schools swim around the tank. even with no predators, they naturally seem to school. the harlequins school extremely tightly and in a 48" long tank, it's something great to see.

i agree with diana's comment and suggest just 1 large school of a fish rather than 2 small ones. my tank is a bit bigger.. so i had gone with 2 schools of fish (originally 15 harlequins and 10 neons fish).. they were schooling.. but once i added added the additional harlequins and neons, the schools seemed to be tighter and they all swam better.

also when chosing a school, make sure you know where in the water column they like to swim. like my neons always stay close to the substrate and rarely go past the halfway mark.. so if i had gotten one huge school of them.. the top of my 55g would be empty.
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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I will definitely research, if I get 2 schools Ill make sure they don't share the same lane.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-10-2012, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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I will get the rasboras and corys first after observing their swimming preference and If I have any more room then I'll add one more school.
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