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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 40 gallon long went through a pretty severe die off of tetras around 5-6 weeks ago, but at this point everything has stabilized a LOT, plants are happy, fish are happy and active, and the 4 tetras I got from Blue Fish Aquariums, made it through all of the trouble. Because of the die off though, I just have 3 rather small groups of different schooling fish.

Tank:
40 Gallon long ( 48" x 12" x 16")
Biowheel 200 and a UGV
Gravel with Wisteria, Anubias, DHG, Mosses, and a few other plants I don't know the names of. All of which are growing very well, and fast.
I have CO2 running at around 6-7 BPS, as I have an air stone which tends to knock the CO2 out, but the fish are happy and plants pearl.
Tank pH of 7.8, 120 ppm kH, 200 ppm GH-using water straight out of tap
Dose Seachem's Aquavitro line, 30-40% water changes once a week.

Fish:
4 Neon Tetras
3 GLOfish Danios/Zebras
4 GLOfish Tetras (Black Skirts)
1 Rainbow Shark
1 Chinese Algae Eater
2 Bamboo Shrimp
1 Amano
1 Dwarf Orange Crayfish
Handful of Nerite Snails

The tank is very peaceful, even though the CAE is massive. The crayfish and shrimps are always out in the open, and everyone interacts peacefully.

Do I have room for more fish in this tank? I'd like to expand on one of the schooling fishes I have, but I'd prefer to stay away from Neons :hihi: I love them, but after losing a total of 18 of them, I give up lol. The 4 in the tank are healthy, schooling, and active, but seeing them go crazy one by one, I don't want to go through that again. Was heartbreaking waking up to a dead one every morning. This is a very mature tank, and has been running for close to 8 years.

I really LOVE the Blackskirt tetras, and would probably just get regular colored ones. They have some character to them, running around with whole shrimp pellets in there mouths when I feed them. Could I put more of them into the tank? Should I get more Zebras? Both? Or am I nearing the overstocked point.
 

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Hmm.... I'd suggest you get rid of the neons if you won't get more. The boisterous behavior of the danios and skirts is probably a bit much for a small group of neons.
Definitely add more skirts before you get any major aggression. I'd suggest upping it to at least 8, and they can be either the glo ones or regular ones.
You could also add more zebras. If you want, you can get leopard danios, blue danios, or pearl danios. They all act basically the same and will school with your glos.
 

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You're not overstocked as it stands now, and your tank could accommodate a moderate extra group of other tetras of your choice, or rasboras, or something similar.

One thing to consider though, to ensure a fully harmonious group in future, you'd do well to rehome the large SAE, who will likely contribute nothing except aggression and creating stress for your other fish. Same might be said for your Rainbow Shark. If it's still fairly small at this point, you may be fine for a while, but it too will grow quite large, and could harass your other fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You're not overstocked as it stands now, and your tank could accommodate a moderate extra group of other tetras of your choice, or rasboras, or something similar.

One thing to consider though, to ensure a fully harmonious group in future, you'd do well to rehome the large SAE, who will likely contribute nothing except aggression and creating stress for your other fish. Same might be said for your Rainbow Shark. If it's still fairly small at this point, you may be fine for a while, but it too will grow quite large, and could harass your other fish.
Both are nearing 3 years old, the Rainbow Shark is full grown at 5.5/6 inches, and the Chinese Algae Eater is around 7.5ish. If anything my Amano is a bigger bully then those two. They are extremely peaceful, both of them, and at 7.5 inches, my CAE is about as close to full grown as it's going to get I think. I always have to defend that guy, not all CAEs are as aggressive as they say, and he's pretty darn close to full grown. Never bothers anyone, same with the Rainbow Shark. Both have their territories, and all is peaceful.

Yeah we were thinking of selling off the four neons. With the way the tank is organized with the plants and rocks, there seems to be no aggression, but the Black Skirts do get nippy towards each other. I'd love to try more neons, but we'd have to get them from Blue Fish Aquariums, and be more careful especially with no QT tanks open atm. So if I got 5-6 more Black Skirts, and around the same number of zebras, I would still be clear as far as not being overstocked?
 

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Both are nearing 3 years old, the Rainbow Shark is full grown at 5.5/6 inches, and the Chinese Algae Eater is around 7.5ish. If anything my Amano is a bigger bully then those two. They are extremely peaceful, both of them, and at 7.5 inches, my CAE is about as close to full grown as it's going to get I think. I always have to defend that guy, not all CAEs are as aggressive as they say, and he's pretty darn close to full grown. Never bothers anyone, same with the Rainbow Shark. Both have their territories, and all is peaceful.

Yeah we were thinking of selling off the four neons. With the way the tank is organized with the plants and rocks, there seems to be no aggression, but the Black Skirts do get nippy towards each other. I'd love to try more neons, but we'd have to get them from Blue Fish Aquariums, and be more careful especially with no QT tanks open atm. So if I got 5-6 more Black Skirts, and around the same number of zebras, I would still be clear as far as not being overstocked?
I'd have to say that you've been lucky to get 2 large fish like that which are not boisterous and non- aggressive, but quite peaceful - good for you, hope it keeps up. It's the exception rather than the rule.

As for adding about a dozen more of the 2 types like you're thinking of, I believe you'd be ok, but that's about the bio-load limit, imo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'm going to revive this thread. I tried going the neon tetra route with no luck. I bought 4 from my LFS, 3 died, got 3 exchanged, and this continued for two weeks. One survived from the LFS, so I now have a group of 2. They were quarantined first, and only one made it out of that quarantine period. I even tried going the medicinal route after the first two groups, but no luck lol.

They are both pretty happy, not skiddish or fin nippers towards each other, so they are just going to live their lives out as 2 for right now until I figure out a better plan for them. I could return them to the LFS, but with the terrible neon stock there, they'd probably die, and well I went through lots to keep the first, and then the second alive so I'm not too keen on the idea.

My Rainbow Shark and CAE turn 4 this year (maybe 5, they were both very large when I got them), and the black skirts and zebras are nearing 3 years old. I'm still in debates about expanding the schools, but I've been getting an urge to try some new fish. The tank just looks empty livestock wise, my CAE and Rainbow Shark have been getting slower and lazier, and the black skirts and zebras have created the mismatch school, that likes to hang out on top of my CO2 diffuser. I want some active zippy fish.

Any suggestions? I should be expanding the zebra/black skirt schools, but I really want to try some new fish. They aren't aggressive towards each other, and are very calm, but I feel their comfort in the tank is part of the reason they are so calm. Even my "evil" CAE is about as docile as a neon tetra. And he's gotten to be massive. I don't think adding any aggressive fish would be a good idea, because my CAE has claimed one cave and the Rainbow Shark has claimed the other.
 

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I think I would look into some different species. Some of the slightly larger tetras, perhaps? Congos?
Or another highly active fish, Giant Danios.

The smallest fish MIGHT become prey to the larger fish you have in there. Does not always happen, but I am cautious about adding fish that are less than half the size of the others to a tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have been looking into other tetra species. I like the Penguin tetras (Thayeria boehlkei), and I do like those Congos too. I think mostly I just want a hardier species then neons. I love the look of big schools. I am a big fan of the Black Skirts I have, but they are the GLO variation and the only kind of Black skirts I've been able to find locally. They have some character to them, but the GLO looks slightly cheesy... The way they intermingle with the neons and the zebras (glo too) is quite entertaining.

I do like a lot of the Rasboras too. In particular the Harlequin Rasboras, the colors are beautiful.

I have started to gain a bigger liking for Barbs, but my tank is far too small for them. The odessa barbs in the display tank at my LFS are absolutely stunning, but not only would my current fish not be suitable, but a 40 gal long is far too small. I like Denisons too, but they also require a larger tank, and yeah. The display tank has a mix of Denisons and Odessas (high tech planted tank), and they are such active fiesty fish. But it's a 75 gallon I think, and I don't feel comfortable going much smaller then that, especially seeing how much they swim around.

I'm always incredibly worried about overloading the system on the tank, but after looking at some of the tanks on here, I think it's probably silly to be worrying about it right now.

Choices, choices.

Current stock:
2 neon tetras-CPO killed 3, 1 left from the handful I bought a month ago
3 zebras (glofish)
4 Black skirts
Rainbow Shark
Chinese Algae Eater
Bamboo Shrimp

All aside from the neons, are extremely old. My Rainbow Shark body slammed the CPO into the gravel about 2-3 hours after it molted, so that was the end of that. It ate the 3 neons, and was constantly pinching the shark and cae, so I guess he decided he had had enough of his shenanigans.
 
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