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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there,
I have a 36liter/9.5gallon tank currently occupied by what is left from the original stock- 3 Microdevario Kubotai (Green neon rasbora), 5 Celestial Danios. There are also about 40 Sakura Red Cherry Shrimps (originally 15).

I am thinking about restocking it, but I have a dilemma about what kind of fish I should get. Kubotai mostly stick to the top half of the tank, not swiming through the jungle a lot. I am in the middle of decision making whether I should swap my Kubotai for Chili Rasboras, becasue Kubotai kind of blend and get lost in the greenery. I am looking for a more color dominant fish. But I have also heard that Chilis are rather shy and contrary to Kubotai, which are always visible swimmers, they tend to hide in the jungle of plants. That also probably depends on the number of fish in the school, I am considering 10. What is your take on this? Kubotai vs. Chili Rasboras- behaviour-wise.

Another fish I am considering is Ember Tetra. Has anyone had it and can compare it to Kubotai behaviour?

So I basically would like to hear from those of you who have had experience with these 3 kinds and can recomment one of them for the tank pictured below.


Plant Terrestrial plant Grass Groundcover Tree
 

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My first thoughts were Ember Tetras and Dwarf (Pygmy?) Cory. the dwarf cory actually cruise around more than other cory, they will go to mid tank and under, will go up and down cleaning filters and occasionally leaves. But with shrimp you shouldn't need more bottom feeder. But they're still cool. Oh, Sparkling Gourami too, though shrimp risks there, probably just avoid those actually. lol.

The Embers, never had them myself, but my other tetras tend to stay low to mid in the tank. I would assume you'll get similar behavior from the Embers, also what I see mostly in videos with the Embers.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My first thoughts were Ember Tetras and Dwarf (Pygmy?) Cory. the dwarf cory actually cruise around more than other cory, they will go to mid tank and under, will go up and down cleaning filters and occasionally leaves. But with shrimp you shouldn't need more bottom feeder. But they're still cool. Oh, Sparkling Gourami too, though shrimp risks there, probably just avoid those actually. lol.

The Embers, never had them myself, but my other tetras tend to stay low to mid in the tank. I would assume you'll get similar behavior from the Embers, also what I see mostly in videos with the Embers.

Good luck!
Thanks for your advice. I am trying to avoid corys, not only for the fact that my shrimp population would face annihilation, but they also tend to dig in the bottom a bit, and with the soil substrate I would hate that. The color of fish I picture in there is red/green. Something that would pose contrast to the green and black background.
Therefore I would like to go either with ember tetras or chili rasboras. My dilemma lies in trying to picture their behavious in this planted tank.
From what I have read on all the forums I got this picture of their behaviour (generalizing here):
Ember tetras- schools really nice, occupies mid to upper sections, but it tends to stick to the non planted parts of the tanks. It swims in free water and not really through the planted parts. So in my setup it would make them only stay in the front, cruising back and forth, not rally cruise all parts of the tank.
Chili rasboras- schools really nice, occupies mid to bottom section of the tank, it tends to stay hidden in the planted parts of the tanks. I barely leaves the planted parts. In my setup it would mean I could occasionally see it when it gets on the outskirts of the planted and open parts of the tanks.

This is how I see it based on hearsay. If you have different experience, please correct me and share yours.
 

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If you have shrimp in there there is a good chance with embers that they will surf through your plants hunting for shrimplets. They usually aren't super successful with tanks as heavily planted as yours so shrimp population damage should remain low. If you keep a school of 8-10 I don't think they'll disappoint. Chilis do tend to be more shy and could well get lost in your scape, but if you're somebody that watches closely they provide lovely games of peekaboo and with their color it's breathtaking. Just my observations.
 

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I have both kubotai and chilies. The chilies hide in the plants a lot unless it is feeding time, really goegeous fish though. I've found dimmer lights and a lot of floaters or overhanging jungle val tend to bring them out in open more.

The kubotai do tend to blend in with the green :) They are probably some of my favorite fish. If I could get stem plants to grow better and was willing to mess with co2, I think I'd add more reds so they'd contrast with the plants more.

Out of the two I've never seen the chilis go after shrimp fry. They'd have to be newly hatched I'd think to fit in their mouth. I have seen my kubotai eat a free swimming hatchling. Otherwise they get along really well, even during feeding time.

I have had neons and currently have emperor tetras, and they both will hunt down small shrimp.
 

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Thanks for your advice. I am trying to avoid corys, not only for the fact that my shrimp population would face annihilation, but they also tend to dig in the bottom a bit, and with the soil substrate I would hate that. The color of fish I picture in there is red/green. Something that would pose contrast to the green and black background.
Therefore I would like to go either with ember tetras or chili rasboras. My dilemma lies in trying to picture their behavious in this planted tank.
From what I have read on all the forums I got this picture of their behaviour (generalizing here):
Ember tetras- schools really nice, occupies mid to upper sections, but it tends to stick to the non planted parts of the tanks. It swims in free water and not really through the planted parts. So in my setup it would make them only stay in the front, cruising back and forth, not rally cruise all parts of the tank.
Chili rasboras- schools really nice, occupies mid to bottom section of the tank, it tends to stay hidden in the planted parts of the tanks. I barely leaves the planted parts. In my setup it would mean I could occasionally see it when it gets on the outskirts of the planted and open parts of the tanks.

This is how I see it based on hearsay. If you have different experience, please correct me and share yours.
Dwarf Corys are one of the few fish that can be declared shrimp safe. I would be also be very surprised if dwarf corys moved any of your substrate enough to even be noticeable.
 

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I have chili rasbora as the only fish in with my shrimp and they are out all the time. When they shared a tank with a group of male endlers they hid a lot, even though they were ignored by the endlers, so I bet other fish, even nano fish, have a big influence on their behavior. The change was immediate; I moved them to their own tank and they were out and about within the hour. It was pretty amazing.

I have never seen them go after shrimplets, but no promises there of course.
 

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Thanks for your advice. I am trying to avoid corys, not only for the fact that my shrimp population would face annihilation, but they also tend to dig in the bottom a bit, and with the soil substrate I would hate that. The color of fish I picture in there is red/green. Something that would pose contrast to the green and black background.
Therefore I would like to go either with ember tetras or chili rasboras. My dilemma lies in trying to picture their behavious in this planted tank.
From what I have read on all the forums I got this picture of their behaviour (generalizing here):
Ember tetras- schools really nice, occupies mid to upper sections, but it tends to stick to the non planted parts of the tanks. It swims in free water and not really through the planted parts. So in my setup it would make them only stay in the front, cruising back and forth, not rally cruise all parts of the tank.
Chili rasboras- schools really nice, occupies mid to bottom section of the tank, it tends to stay hidden in the planted parts of the tanks. I barely leaves the planted parts. In my setup it would mean I could occasionally see it when it gets on the outskirts of the planted and open parts of the tanks.

This is how I see it based on hearsay. If you have different experience, please correct me and share yours.
so get both?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey guys, thanks for all your advice. I am really torn between these two. Plus I like Kubotai as well, but I want to try new fish I think. With this set up it should make them shine bright, just like I can see all my Sakura Shrimp all the time, really splendid sight. Could someone crossbreed Embers and Chilis please?
I cannot get both, the tank is too small, I am really careful about overstocking. You can see my tank pic above, what would you get?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
One more thing that I would like to ask about regarding the Chili rasboras is their diet. I have just read that it's an omnivore; accepts live, frozen, and flake foods but requires regular live foods. Live food? Really? Do you all feed it live food, or does it survive easily on dry food?
 

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What is it that you like more about them? I am "investigating" their behaviour patterns here, sort of.
My boraras aren’t as “busy” as my embers. They aren’t terribly shy but they are in with the embers so that may have some effect. As far as the food goes, mine get pellets and frozen. They are healthy and look nice. Chili’s are a little bigger than the species I have. I imagine that makes them easier to feed. They look more appropriate in a smaller tank, IMHO. They are about the same length as the embers but are more torpedo shaped so aren’t as visually heavy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My boraras aren’t as “busy” as my embers. They aren’t terribly shy but they are in with the embers so that may have some effect. As far as the food goes, mine get pellets and frozen. They are healthy and look nice. Chili’s are a little bigger than the species I have. I imagine that makes them easier to feed. They look more appropriate in a smaller tank, IMHO. They are about the same length as the embers but are more torpedo shaped so aren’t as visually heavy.
Thanks a lot for your insight. What did you mean by saying Chilis are a little bigger?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I was just suggested Red Beckford's Pencilfish. I have never considered it, mostly because I have never heard of it until today. It looks awesome in the pics and videos. Does anyone have this fish here? Could you compare it to the Embers and Chilis?
What do you think about having a school of 8 in my 10 gallon tank with 5 Celestial Danios?
I have my little Neocaridina shrimps in that tank, so if there is any incompatability let me know?
 

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I haven't kept red beckfords, just dwarf pencilfish so I'm unsure. But just to add to what others have been saying, chili's can be super beautiful, they prefer a calmer flow, so keep that in mind. If you like the behavior of your Kubotai, then embers are similar in behavior, though calmer imo, will definitely stand our more than the kubotai, and be about 2/3's the size of the kubotai, but slightly larger than Chili's. You should also consider the scale difference you'd want between your main schooling fish v.s. your shrimp which seem to be well established and visible in your tank.
 

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I, honestly, love pencil fish, very underrated fish. They aren't as vivid as chili or embers but after initial settling in they tend to be very visible and school and shoal very nicely. From my experiences with the group they make very good community fish with no real aggression issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I, honestly, love pencil fish, very underrated fish. They aren't as vivid as chili or embers but after initial settling in they tend to be very visible and school and shoal very nicely. From my experiences with the group they make very good community fish with no real aggression issues.
Thanks. From what I had gathered I thought Pencil fish were more active than Chilis. You said they were more vivid, did you mean in color or activity? I know Embers are active, swimming around the open parts of the tank. So how would you describe the Pencil fish behaviour then, just standing in a school, hovering in one place? Can you post any videous with their typical behavious here, please? Or the Chilis.
 

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I have no videos or media, I haven't had or maintained a tank with them in many years. They tended to be a lot less shy then chilis, held their own well with little to no aggression. Their colors are less intense than chili or ember but they surf through vegetation more often, they don't hide as much as chilis but at the same time they spend more time interacting with plants than embers.
 
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