75 gal schooling display tank, seeking ideas for more color and better cohesion - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 04:55 AM Thread Starter
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75 gal schooling display tank, seeking ideas for more color and better cohesion

I'm pretty new to a display tank and recently upgraded to a 75 gal planted tank, bought specific to house a tight school or perhaps schools of fish. The 20 gallon previous created what I felt an unnatural and somewhat stressed schooling behavior which the 75 has really solved.
Unsure if my fish numbers per species are ideal for schooling or even if there is any space to spare for more.

It has:
-20 Rummynose tetras that school well at times. Would more help?
-12 neons, loosely school along the bottom. Unsure if more will allow for a more impressive school midwater rather than the bottom?
-8 black neons, unsure why I added them but they school impressively but somewhat drab in color with all the Rummies.

I'd like to add more color without making a mess if that makes sense. I don't know if I can add yet another school of say serpaes or another red fish species without adding too much confusion and loss of cohesion between separate schooling species? I'm new to this and don't want a dogs breakfast!

And have no idea what kind of numbers I can add to this tank. It's well planted but with an Aquaclear 110. Considering exchanging for a cannister filter if it makes a difference.

I don't have a "predator" as I'm unsure what would be ideal that won't end up harassing/gulping the tetras. I had been considering a pair of GBRs but heard they can be nippy and the ones I've seen aren't incredibly colorful. Not ready for discus. While I 'need' more color I'd prefer the school be the center piece if this makes sense. Meaning a discus would steal the show!

Any suggestions greatly appreciated! Thanks.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 05:40 AM
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Fear is what makes fish school. You would need a larger fish to create that fear.
Adult Ram are large enough to eat Neon's so not the best idea. This is where your fish people can help better. I do tiny fish only so not experienced/w larger ones.
But I think a dwarf Gourami might fit the picture. Check them carefully though because a couple of kinds of them have know health issues.
The biggest part of that whole issue is that most all fish normally live in a school.
So help from fish people on which can get along well with only one or a pair of them is the key to your answer. That and the size of it of course.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 11:47 AM
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Denison barbs are community fish that get large and may be enough to scare your fish. I say this with a big MAY. My Denison barbs actually hang out with the rest of my fish in one giant ball of fish. My largest one is probably around 4". They are extremely colorful, so they may be a good addition anyway. I tried snapping some photos on my last update.

I also have blue rams. I haven't really put anything in my tank that is an actual predator and could eat my fish though. So maybe the schooling you are looking for is different than what I have.


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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 02:18 PM
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I have a 75 gallon and wanted a similar effect. I would get rid of the black neons and get 8 more standard. I would also get rid of the rummy nose tetras in favor of some rainbow fish. Some fork tail blue eyes would be nice in this tank. To help school, I have double red apistogramma cocitoidies (I'll be amazed if I spelled that right) they are great fish. They remind me of when I was young and had a 120 gallon Oscar tank. They could feasibly go after neons, but I have 4 of them, and I have yet to lose a fish in that tank. I hope this gives you some ideas. Best of luck.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 03:21 PM
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Raymond brings up the interesting point - fear....

The question is how...
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-29-2015, 05:01 PM
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I personally love rummy nose tetras. I have a big school in my 72 gallon and they stay together quite well. I have to say however that I have some angels in with them so this probably helps them school. I did have to throw a blanket over the tank when I first introduced them so they could hide out for ahwhile and not get nipped at by my angels. They are doing really well.

My suggestion..... Get more rummy nose and some rainbow fish. Some of their species are bigger so will hopefully help with schooling issue and will blend in nicely with the tetras.

I would also get rid of the black tetra's.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-30-2015, 02:38 AM Thread Starter
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Alright thanks for this! I may start a post on the fish forum for predator response inducing community fish, if that even makes sense.

Why no love for black neons? They really do school well. Bland with rummies yes, but I bet they work wonders if the numbers were n the twenties.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-30-2015, 12:40 PM
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"I'd like to add more color without making a mess if that makes sense."

Because you said this. Also, a large school of standard neons really is eye catching. I have some pretty unique fish in my tank, but the first thing people notice is the 20 or so neons I have in there.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-30-2015, 01:25 PM
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Agree that fishes in wild only school tightly to create safety with number's, and thus making it more difficult for predator's to single out any one or two fish.
In the aquarium where there is little threat from predation,,the fish have no reason to school tightly in number's, but the rummy nose seem to more so than many other's.
Any fishes large enough to pose perceived threat to the smaller ones, is very likely to send the smaller fish even lower in the tank IME
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-30-2015, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireweed farm View Post
Alright thanks for this! I may start a post on the fish forum for predator response inducing community fish, if that even makes sense.

Why no love for black neons? They really do school well. Bland with rummies yes, but I bet they work wonders if the numbers were n the twenties.
I have love for black neons. They are my favorite common tetra. A large healthy school is a sight to behold. The bright blue sheen with the black and white stripes are very impressive to me.. I think of them as the poor man's emperor tetras.

Stock lightly and carry a big filter. - I don't have aquariums. I have ecosystems in a glass box. - Hygrophilaholic and hoarder of Anubias.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-30-2015, 02:31 PM
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My Espei Rasboras school very tightly and practically all day. Sometimes they break into smaller schools, but they still school. They even school with my rummy nose tetras and even cardinal tetras. Rummys are great schoolers, but in rasboras (all the harlequins should school the same) are even better schoolers. Plus I think they look better. I like my rummys, but I think their clear/green reflecting bodies make them less noticeable and don't stand out as much in a planted tank. But they are both great together, since rasboras swim at the top, while rummys hang out low to mid.

I've been just a fish only guy with non-planted tanks, but recently started getting into plants and turned the community tank into a heavily planted tank, and I must say the schooling has slowed down majorly, now the raboras and rummys just hang out hovering in the plants like cardinals, they still school sometimes, but not nearly as much in a non-planted tank. And it's not like my fish were in fear of me or anything that caused them to school so much in my non-planted tanks. Just mentioning, kind of bummed the fish aren't as actively schooling anymore, now that it's heavily planted. I won't add a intimidating fish, but will try adding a power head for a current for them to swim against and see if that livens them back up.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-30-2015, 03:03 PM
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Threadfin Rainbow's stay near the surface in my experiences with them and are pretty under right lighting.Plus the males flicking their fin's for females is something to see when enough of both sexes are present.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-30-2015, 03:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by WaterLife View Post
My Espei Rasboras school very tightly and practically all day. Sometimes they break into smaller schools, but they still school. They even school with my rummy nose tetras and even cardinal tetras. Rummys are great schoolers, but in rasboras (all the harlequins should school the same) are even better schoolers. Plus I think they look better. I like my rummys, but I think their clear/green reflecting bodies make them less noticeable and don't stand out as much in a planted tank. But they are both great together, since rasboras swim at the top, while rummys hang out low to mid.

I've been just a fish only guy with non-planted tanks, but recently started getting into plants and turned the community tank into a heavily planted tank, and I must say the schooling has slowed down majorly, now the raboras and rummys just hang out hovering in the plants like cardinals, they still school sometimes, but not nearly as much in a non-planted tank. And it's not like my fish were in fear of me or anything that caused them to school so much in my non-planted tanks. Just mentioning, kind of bummed the fish aren't as actively schooling anymore, now that it's heavily planted. I won't add a intimidating fish, but will try adding a power head for a current for them to swim against and see if that livens them back up.
Do you have some 'open water' for them to school unobstructed? I'm not sure that's another trick but I did notice my heavily planted (throughout) tank had some confused schooling and not what I was hoping for.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-30-2015, 03:05 PM
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 09-30-2015, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Fireweed farm View Post
Do you have some 'open water' for them to school unobstructed? I'm not sure that's another trick but I did notice my heavily planted (throughout) tank had some confused schooling and not what I was hoping for.


Yeah, there's plenty of open water to zoom around, just the background has tall plants so I don't know what gives. I think it might just be the plants are blocking a lot of the current and so the fish find it less "fun" to swim around now. I highly doubt it's a "fear/now comfortable with plants" thing since no real fear behaviors were actually shown when being in non-planted tanks (they were schooling for fun, not out of fear in those tanks, I can tell the difference between the two different behaviors of swimming). But I need to add more circulation anyways for the plants as well so I will see if that does the trick or not.


But, I do know what you mean, the bottom of the tank is more heavily planted (throughout) so I do understand and see that the rummys have less sightlines swimming through the vegetation and so they kind of lose sight of each other/the leader and so they do swim slower and break the school up much more often because of all the plant obstructions in their path.
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