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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm stocking a planted 30 gallon tank. I currently have three cories and four ottos. I would like to add cardinal or neon tetras and rams. I'm not planning on breeding the rams, so that isn't a concern. I was wondering what everyone thought the optimal number of each of these fish would be? I know that most of these fish are social, although I'm not sure about the rams. I would like to add at least one more cory, unless that would greatly effect the other numbers of fish I can have. I think the ottos are settled well at the number they're at. Any advice as to stocking density? This is what I've planned on my own:

4 cories
4 ottos
9 cardinals or neons
1 or 2 rams (depending)

Also, while I like the look of cardinals much better, I know they're not very hardy, so I'm not sure whether I should go with the cardinals or the neons. My LFS sells cardinals for 3 for $10, while the neons are much cheaper. I'm not against spending $30 for a school of fish, except that I'm concerned that they may die right away.

Your thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I didn't know what price was typical for cardinals. The tank is already in the low 80's, because I was preparing for the rams. Do any cardinal keepers have advice for helping them survive? I know that the water parameters of my tank are well within the range preferred by cardinals, but people I've talked to make it sound like there is something more to it that makes cardinals difficult to keep. Or, is their reputation for being difficult a little exaggerated? I've encountered this before with a few other fish species, so I wondered (including otos, I've been told that I could buy a dozen and hope for a few to survive, but I've never had trouble with them at all).
 
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