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centerpiece fish for 90gallon planted - need suggestions

2210 Views 20 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  python
I am looking for suggestions for a centerpiece fish for my 90gallon heavily planted currently being set up.

I had earlier thought of anostomous anostomous but was cautioned they can tear up plants pretty good.

I could really use some suggestions for a centerpice fish with a bit of presence or color or interest.. that is OK for planted tank & suitable with intended tankmates.

Current intended stocking list:

8x bolivian rams
3-5x apistogramma
(rams and apistos are mostly bottom dwellers)
20x rummynose tetra `
5x rainbowfish (undecided)
5x SAEs
3x American flagfish
8x Ottos
1-2x bristlenose pleco
30x amano shrimp

pH = 8.0 out of tap
C02 injected
(but ADA aquasoil I'm using will lower KH and pH somewhat, how much I don't know yet)

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I do not have any suggestions except, most large "centerpiece" fish will go thur the amano shrimp like a fat lady at the all you can eat buffet.
Thanks for links, and suggestions. One of the linked posts suggests keyhole cichlids.

Can anyone comment on how keyhold cichlids fair with plants? No substrate diggers would be good for my aquasoil, so I've heard.
Keyhole cichlids will compete with your other low swimming cichlids (rams and apistos) for territory. They are beautiful fish in a subtle way. I've got mine in a much smaller tank, but once they started thinking about being in "the mood", I had to clear the rest of the residents in the tank (including some good size angels). I haven't tried it, but I don't think I'd trust them with shrimp.
I would reconsider the SAEs. They eat a lot of food (much more than algae) when other fish are present, and can scare smaller fish and Amanos, even though they aren't really aggressive. They are so active they always scared my tetras. A nice school of Rainbows can be a terrific centerpiece in themselves. Praecox look cool, Boesemanis & Turqoise too.

FWIW, I keep about 4 Apistos (3 females) and a group of 9 Boesemani/Turquoise. I think mine is overstocked once all my Rainbows are full grown.
I would reconsider the SAEs. They eat a lot of food (much more than algae) when other fish are present, and can scare smaller fish and Amanos, even though they aren't really aggressive. They are so active they always scared my tetras.

A nice school of Rainbows can be a terrific centerpiece in themselves.
Agreed on both accounts, but to add something to the top layer of the water column I would go with either Marble / Silver Hachets or Nannostomus(pencilfishes) like these:

This will put some fish into the upper layer since verything else you have mentioned is pretty much downstairs.

Thanks, great suggestions and cautions. I have wondered about the SAEs and whether their (developmentally) limited consumption of algae is worth it.

How about one Keyhold cichlid? Plant friendly? I'm not sold on them at all, just pics I've seen suggest might be a nice fish.

I do like the idea of a small group of rainbows, will see if I want to maintain the SA theme.

Have you thought of an angelfish or 3?
Sorry but Angels would go through the rummy nosed tets and shrimps like there's no end to the smorgasborg...

The keyhole cichlid is a timid fish at best ,and even with lots of plants and a cave in the back they just hide most of the time, especially if you are moving around in front of the tank. (I used to breed them and they just don't show up very often). But they are peacful except for your shrimps, which are considered food by anything with a mouth that can fit around the shrimp.

If your looking for smallish cichlids go with some apistogramma or other small South American dwarf cichlids that only reach 2.5-3" in TL

Here's a good place for info on them:

Thanks everyone for the feedback, very helpful.

If the keyholes be a-hidin' then they probably would not be a great choice. Apistos I will get. Rainbows seem so far a good choice, color, presence, mostly peaceful.

In a 90g you could do a good size school of congo tetras, 9 to 12. They are a great mid-to-top level fish. Also a little smaller than the Boesmani or M. lacustris rainbows so they would'nt add as much of a bio-load. I've also found the congos are more tolerant of lower pH levels than the rainbows if you are injecting CO2.

I hope you have better luck with shrimp and Bolivians than I did. Mine ate cherry shrimp for breakfast and just picked at amanos until they basically died of fear. An all too familiar sight in my tank was a wide mouthed BR with cherry antennae sticking out of its mouth or an amano so terrorized that you find it dried on the floor two rooms away running for its life. For some strange reason, they leave ghost shrimp completely alone...
I think that your current selection is great with a few ammenments:

1. Skip the SAEs for reasons stated above.

2. Skip the Flagfish unless you really have your heart set on them. While they do eat hair algae, some heave reported to be aggressive. Unless you have your heart set on this species, I'd skip it. Your amanos will munch away at the nasty hair algae.

3. More rummies, more rummies, more rummies!! The whole point of having this fish is that they school like no other fish! Otherwise, they are sort of ho-hum looking in my opinion. Five is WAY too few to really appresiate the behavior of this fish. Consider having AT LEAST twenty of these guys. You won't be sorry. A big school of fish is center piece on its own.

EDIT: My mistake! I read this wrong! 20 is a great number to have. :blush:

I had flagfish that ate my blixa down to almost nothing and nibbled on my chainsword as well. Angels are nice and if you get the small enough you may be ok with your rummynose. I had some adult ones and threw in 45 rummynose, the second they left the net one got eaten by an angelfish. The other angelfish proceeded to hunt down the rummynose until I was able to catch them and move them into a different tank but now that they are larger I am not sure it would be a problem anymore.
I love my florida flags. everyone says "some people say they are aggressive..." but it is nearly always second hand testimony. I have absolutely no aggression problems. they are my second favorite fish after my bolivian rams...
Flags were a problem in my tanks. Once they were removed, the stress level of the rest of the tank went down and the behavior of the fish was more natural. While they don't bully like cichlids, they do like to take random nips at other fish.

I'll second the suggestion that rummies look best in large schools.
maybe, a.....
Discus or Angels?

I would skip the SAE and put in a Gold Nugget Pleco.
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