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Discussion Starter #1
Hello new to the forums but have been reading them for some time. I have learned a lot from them.

I know its a question that gets thrown out there a lot. But im offering my setups and my current stock for better reference.

I have two tanks that I have had running between 5-9months.

A 15 gallon cube since March planted with:
2 x crypts
Ludwigia mini red
Rotala Indica
Rotala walichii
5 x bucephalandra
Tiny Java fern
Java moss (in a little bondai set up.

It houses:
8 harlequin rasbora
5 pangio khuli.
3 nerites
Many RCS

Should I add a betta or Honey gourami? Perhaps the latter since they seem calmer. Personally I would live it as is, if it is overstocked. I don't want to take swimming space from the harlequins. Kid wants something with more color as a centerpiece fish. Tank is in his room.

Other tank was set up in June of this year. It is a 30 gallon (aquajapan)tank but the space for fish is about 25 gallons. It has a 3 chamber filtration that takes 5 gallons of space.

Housing area is about:

23.75” (w) x 15 (d) x 17 (h). Give or take should be the 25 gallons.

Planted with:
Limnophilia hipuridoides
Rotala walichii
Rotala indica
Ludwigia repens
Alternanthera reinekii
Ludwigia peruensis (althoug probably not for long)
2 x cryptocoryne (unknown))
2x cryptocoryne spiralis
2 x onion plant
2x vals (alredy sprouted 2 more
Staurogyne repens
Dwarf hairgrass
Echonodorus ozelot
2 x bucephalandra
5 x anubias

Last 2 attached to mangrove wood

Home to:
15 x neon tetra
4 x ottocinclus
7 (maybe 😎 x corydora pygmaseus.

I was planning on adding a paired gbr couple but they were in bad shape and died while on quarantine.

I thought about getting another pair of gbr or one of their variations, bolivians or apistograma cacatuoides. Now I'm. NOt so sure.

My concern is the safety of the other fish. They are a pretty mellow community. Sure their is some neon drag racing but other than that it is quite mellow and harmonious in there. The ottos mingle within themselves and the corys who I believe are ottos.

I am worried about the cichlids becoming aggressive if they breed; especially since almost everyone seems to hangout near the bottom. Even the neons.

If possible would like to add something that will use the top areas more (if only I could find hatchet fish).

Basically any suggestions. Maybe:
Ember tetra, silver tip, lemon or rummy nose? Maybe their numbers would overstock the tank. I kinda like the room the neons have for swimming.

Well in short any South American centerpiece fish suggestions for my setup or should I leave it as is. Just feels like its missing something. Guess I could always add some RCS for some color. Although in my experience my neons love them even the occasional adult ones.

Apologies for the long post. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
 

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Tank 1: Have you looked into samurai gouramis, croaking/pygmy gouramis, and non-standard bettas? I would personally go with a betta that the kid picks out.

Tanks 2:
Have you looked into rocket killis?

Maybe go with a pair of Apistos. What does the tank look like (where are there appropriate egg laying sites)?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Tank 1: Have you looked into samurai gouramis, croaking/pygmy gouramis, and non-standard bettas? I would personally go with a betta that the kid picks out.

Tanks 2:
Have you looked into rocket killis?

Maybe go with a pair of Apistos. What does the tank look like (where are there appropriate egg laying sites)?
Thank you for the response and suggestions.

Tank 1: was originally set up for a betta. He had some fancy name for a plackat betta. Ended up with dropsy and the tank was quarantined for over 2 months. Plan was to get another betta but held off on it.

My concern is that the tank might not be big enough and between the khuli dancing around and the harlequin the betta gets stressed. Is the tank overstocked?

I have always liked the croaking/pygmy gourami but since COVID started LFS inventory is limited and it seems getting fish shipped to Puerto Rico is nearly impossible. Samurai’s look great.

Tank 2: The rockets look amazing. I had looked into other killies but found them to be short lived. But I wouldn’t mind some.

I would prefer the apistos and leave the biotope South American. I know the fish are not from the same region but the plan was to have it from the same area.

No real caves, just planted and the large piece of wood. If facing the tank; left side is where the pygmy hide when they want to get away from the other fish. Probably the area apistos would chose for nesting. How aggressive would they be towards the pygmy corys and ottos?

As mentioned the bottom to mid area is where most activity takes place in the tank. Apisto territory for sure. I would hate to have them stress out and/or them hurting/killing the current inhabitants. Would a single male or two of the same sex work?

Enclosing pictures for reference. Apologies for the glare and reflections.

First 3 are Tank 2. Last one is tank 1. 250451A3-0C07-423A-B001-CBDDF150D1A7_1606480996109.jpg 250451A3-0C07-423A-B001-CBDDF150D1A7_1606480996109.jpg
 

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I'm less worried about the kuhlis and harlequins stressing the betta, than I am of the betta going after the Neocaridina shrimp. To answer your question on the tank being overstocked: how are the nitrates rising each week? Do you have to do 50% water changes every week, or is it okay if you do less frequent/less massive water changes? If so, then it's most likely regularly stocked, and adding a betta might overstock it. If not, then you might be okay with a betta.

I wonder if you can access pencilfish. Those can be top-ish dwelling fish and fit the South American vibe. If not, you can always buy a single apisto (no breeding!) or ram, or any other south american dwarf cichlid. Unless you really, really want the fish to breed? In which case, it /might/ be okay.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited by Moderator)
Thank you for your feedback.

Yesterday we went to an LFS we had never been to before.

Ended up getting a honey gourami for the cube and Two (allegedly) sunset apisto for the other tank. Are sunset apisto, viejita apisto? Honestly at the moment they don't look like much. Dark lines and some yellow on them. I hope they color up soon; but honestly Im not even sure they are what I was told.

The had tu cacatuoide left, but honestly they looked the same as the sunset haha! I think that everything with yellow on it they were just calling it sunset. Hence the sunset gourami we got that is actually a honey.

My nitrates are good in both tanks. The only time they go up to around 30 is if I mess up and fert an additional day.

The harlequin tank can easily go a week and a half, perhaps more without a water change. It just needs ro occasionally be topped with new water.

I agree the shrimp will probably be lunch. That tank was originally one of my quarantine tanks and my neons did a great job bringing the population down. Regardless it is still full of shrimp. Mostly wild type and some that are either orange or look like orange, blue and black rili. I anticipate a fat gourami. Even considering throwing some in for the apisto to enjoy.

Since the apisto are not sexed, hopefully no aggression, they will be put together. If I need to separate them. I might have to move trade the gourami with an apisto until I can rehome him/her or convince my wife on getting a new tank.

While the apisto seem cool, I wish I had gone for something like the pencilfish. Not sure how much of the apisto Ill see inside the jungle, if they will color up nicely and if they will get along.

I will try to take a picture and perhaps someone can help me identify if they are really viiejita/sunset.

Have a great day and thanks for the replies.

Here are some pictures of the little guys. Not sure what to make of them.


Sold as Sunspot Apistograma. From what Ive gathered Viejita are also called sunspot. To me they look nothing like Viejita; but in truth what do I know.......
 

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Apistogramma atahualpa are sometimes sold as "Sunset Apistos".
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well the Apistos as all ready stated here are Atahualpa. Sadly one found its way throug a tiny crak in the tank and went floor surfing. Not happy about it.....

Thinking Ill keep the remaining one but not putting him in the tank discussed above. Tank 2.

For that tank if possible was thinking on one of the following:
1. 5-7 pencilfish
2. Bolivian Ram pair
3. Single male Cacatuoides
5. Single krib (only non south american option).

Other than the single Cacatuoides (not sure about a pair but could go for it) would the other options be to much with regards to overstocking? Not worried about breeding. More worried about my pygmies not getting hurt. As a side note; pygmies are breeding (no help from my part). Found a baby (probably 2-3 weeks) and seems to be doing great.

Pencilfish were suggested already. But not sure on the amount I could go for.

It will probably be a toss up between rams or pencilfish.

Any advice?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Just following up on the topic.

Ended up getting a Bolivian Ram for tank 2. Currently in quarantine. Seems to be a female. She was showing the most red/pink on her fins so I took him/her.

Decided just to take one until I can properly sex him/her and if posible later find a mate.

My concern once again would be overstocking and the safety of the pygmy corys.

Should I stick to the single specimen or eventually get a mate (hoping they would paiir up - Im not concerned for the offspring)?

Would they show to much aggression towards the pygmy? My pygmies do swim occasionally in the middle area when chasing the otto’s; but spend most of thier time foraging the bottom.

Once again, Any advice is greatly appreciated.
 

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Just following up on the topic.

Ended up getting a Bolivian Ram for tank 2. Currently in quarantine. Seems to be a female. She was showing the most red/pink on her fins so I took him/her.

Decided just to take one until I can properly sex him/her and if posible later find a mate.

My concern once again would be overstocking and the safety of the pygmy corys.

Should I stick to the single specimen or eventually get a mate (hoping they would paiir up - Im not concerned for the offspring)?

Would they show to much aggression towards the pygmy? My pygmies do swim occasionally in the middle area when chasing the otto’s; but spend most of thier time foraging the bottom.

Once again, Any advice is greatly appreciated.
Bolivian Rams typically have a lower odds of pairing up when they are different ages so it's typically wise to bring home a pair from the start.
They are really difficult to sex though so that certainly adds complications.
I really enjoy Bolivian Rams. I would expect they would only cause problems with the pygmy cories when/if they decided to mate. Really, any fish is at risk of a grumpy ram when that's going on. :) If they don't completely pair up, 25-30 gallons should be enough for them to keep their own space without it causing a major issue, and if they pair up, well you might have some swapping around of livestock to do. :0
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you for the reply.

If I go to the store this week I should be able to pick another one from the same stock. This are captive beed.

They are also getting more I believe tomorrow that are supposed to be wild caught. I think I would prefer one of the captive bred. Should be similar age and hopefully a bit hardier.

I will sleep on it and make a decision soon. If I want them to be of similar age.

I could just jeep the one but somehow He/she seems lonely 😆. Enjoying it a lot so far although not the sharpest tool in the shed. Food goes by him/her and he totally misses it. I assume Ill have to over feed because between the tetras and corys it will need to pick up the pace real soon.

Once again thank you.


Btw for those wondering he was part of a trade. I returned the surviving A. Atahualpa and picked this little fella.
 
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