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· Premium Member
9,417 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

I've searched the forums regarding this fish already and I think I have a stocking list that won't be eaten by the AFB. I'm still wondering about the mid-level though. I want to stock cardinal tetras, but afraid that the AFB will make an expensive meal out of them.

= Top Level =
African Butterfly Fish

Pearl Gourami

= Mid Level =
Praecox Rainbow

Celebes Rainbow

Threadfin / Longfin Rainbow

Cardinal Tetra -- afraid they'll get eaten

= Low Level =
Amano Shrimp


Corydoras paleatus

Corydoras melanistius

Corydoras aeneus sp. green

What do you all think?

· Are these real?
15,783 Posts
I responded to Epic's pm, in case you are interested in more experiences with ABF, here it is:

I have a pair for many years already, I love them, but let me tell you a few things to consider...

1) They can be very "boring". They like to hang out in a hidden place, between floating plants, and just stay there and wait for a fly to fall into the water. Yes they do some neat things when they swim around, but overall, they are nowhere near a "regular fish".

2) They like to eat live insects and spiders. While you might get them to take flakes and such, there is no guarantee, and with their lazy lifestyle, they will fatten up and probably die prematurely. My backyard is full of grasshoppers, butterflies, regular flies, earwigs, whatnot, and I built a flytrap and catch and freeze flies for Wintertime.

3) The females tend to beat up the males a little bit, a 40gal breeder is probably enough surface area for them to coexist in peace.

The other fish choices are good, I think. Problem is if those neons venture up to the surface too much, they will be gone. Pearl Gouramies are peaceful, some other Gouramies might be too nippy for them. They are very helpless against attacks from below, so don't combine them with barbs, cichlids and such who might harrass them.

I have had some fish that "learn" to survive, like one White Cloud which was the last of a school of 7 or 8, and that one never got eaten. I fed mine lifebearers in Summer (from my pond) and one of them survived years ago and still lives happily in my tank. Some fishies are just smarter than others...

I assume that some of the taller Tetras, like phantoms and such, would be a better choice because they don't fit as well into their wide mouths. I have good luck with Otos, no losses there. Shrimp are good too, although I think they sometimes grab one of the hundreds of cherries, if they happen to nip on something at the surface.

Good luck, when you buy them, don't get them with their bellies too much shrunk, they are probably death candidates. Also, live flies buzzing around on the surface (with only one wing ) will awake their hunting instincts and get them back into shape quickly.
I don't have experience with Rainbows... With ABF the concern is not to have any "nippy" fishes that bother them from below.

· Registered
1,681 Posts
The tetras would become a meal.

AFB's can jump too, so make sure you have a top. I used to have one and the angelfish was always curious about the AFB and try to poke around at the long fins. The AFB would get scared and I would hear a thump on my top.

My AFB would eat live mealworms or any floating type foods, especially freeze dried stuff.

· Registered
234 Posts
agreed i work at the lps and we currently have some in stock , and my co-worker has infact told me his ABF would dart downward and eat a neon , he contends he has watched it. i would also be worried about the celebes and threadfin rainbows because there roughly the same size as the cardinals.


· Registered
1,507 Posts
The Wernerii's would most likeley get munched. Mine like to cruise the surface. When I had my AFB's I never even thought about community tank. They were by themselves in a 10 gal.


· Registered
888 Posts
Threadfins and cardinals are IMO incompatible with the AFB. I had threadfins before and as Tommy said, they also like to swim near the surface so there is greater risk when they swim on the surface but even the mid level will not be safe either.:)

· Banned
1,502 Posts
One of my favorite fish! they will eat anything that fits in their mouth, which is surprisingly large.

Mine occasionally picked off neons, but it was like three a month... it wasn't a big deal. I just accepted it and replaced them every now and then.

A tip for getting them to eat dry foods is to use floating pellets instead of flakes, and they are very particular about where their food is within their line of sight before they will strike. It has to be in a "sweet spot." I like to feed them one pellet at a time (usually five) to cut down on waste.
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