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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been doing trial and error (expensive!) on what will look amazing in a fairly colorful tank (several different greens, some orange, red and purple as well.

Had a mix of neons, rummies, and silver tip tetras. It was just a circus... Schooling together and bland in coloration overal. No pop.

Right now there are 20 embers, they are great but if anything seem to be pale in comparison to the plantings.

Will keep the embers (possibly add more).

But I can't think of what else would look ok, (with embers). Will cardinals school together or mix up with embers? Never had them, neons were nice but didn't stand out surprisingly, maybe they will do the trick?

Any suggestions will be hugely appreciated! Thanks.
 

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That's the thing about small fish in a large tank with a lot of colors in the plants. Unless your up close looking for them, the fish don't really stand out. No doubt you have seem SW reef systems where the highly colorful fish sometimes seem to blend right in.

You seem to have tried just about all the usual smaller tetras people would recommend for a planted tank. Consider using larger fish, for example congo tetras. You might also find very dark or black fish will show up well in a tank with lots of color.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks both of you.

Burr740 we have similar tanks (yours is way nicer but similar color/layout)- can I ask what you stock with?

I've had Dennison's and Congo's, Dennison's were awesome but decided to keep to smaller stuff.
The congo's never looked as colorful as I had hoped I believe my light is too bright (Satellite pro+). I read they look best if it's dim.

I like the idea of tiny fish schooling in a big tank. Maybe I need to spend some quality time at the fish store considering bigger stuff.
 

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Thanks for the compliment, Im sure yours is nice too.

Besides the clean up crew, the only fish in there now are about 40 Neons.

Up until couple months ago, also had about 20 Pristellas and a few Candy Canes. Moved all those to another tank and added more Neons.

They show up really well, virtually glowing, even from the couch 10-15 feet away. This is mainly due to the light.

Im a T5 guy, so dont take this as gospel, but I believe one of the knocks on the Sat+ line is a lack of reds. That could be why the Neons look washed out to you.

In my arrangement, 3 out of 4 bulbs are heavy red and blues

 

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I've been doing trial and error (expensive!) on what will look amazing in a fairly colorful tank (several different greens, some orange, red and purple as well.

Had a mix of neons, rummies, and silver tip tetras. It was just a circus... Schooling together and bland in coloration overal. No pop.

Right now there are 20 embers, they are great but if anything seem to be pale in comparison to the plantings.

Will keep the embers (possibly add more).

But I can't think of what else would look ok, (with embers). Will cardinals school together or mix up with embers? Never had them, neons were nice but didn't stand out surprisingly, maybe they will do the trick?

Any suggestions will be hugely appreciated! Thanks.
With that much color in your scape black, white & sliver combinations might be the way to go. Maybe marble Hatchet fish.
 

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Bigger than you want but what about Diamond Tetras?

Love hatchet fish but would choose a solid silver species, the marbled would blend in.

Colombian tetras? Or their counterpart across the sea, Dwarf Neon Rainbows?

Blue tetras are spectacular but do not play nice with others, don't get if you keep the embers.

Black neons, cardinals and green neons have long straight lines which show up better than neon tetras. I haven't had cardinals or green neons, blacks are good schoolers and very sharp looking fish.
 

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Betta - Siamese fighting fish. Thats what I did with my tank and love it. Very colorful and relaxing. I like mellow and not darty crazy around the tank fish. Lot's of plants and a betta. I also got a big school of Siamese algae eaters as well but they are a little high key for me. Hopefully they are eating algae.

Bump: This is one of the most beautiful freshwater fish I have ever seen.

Bump: He loves friends - just not friends of his type
 

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With that much color in your scape black, white & sliver combinations might be the way to go. Maybe marble Hatchet fish.
I was thinking along these lines as well but I would suggest Emperor Tetras. They're quite striking looking and have a solid black in their coloration that would contrast with colorful plants.
 
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