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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm trying to get a little help choosing a centerpiece fish for my high tech 30-gallon. I think I may end up placing my RCS in a separate shrimp tank to avoid them becoming food. The only other occupants are a small school (7) of R. heteromorpha.

kH 6°
ph 7.0-7.5

Anyway, I was originally going to get a Bolivian Ram, but nobody carries them in my area. I don't want to buy online, either.

So my other favorites are things like Gourami's and Apisto's, but I don't have the low pH or the inclination to work on getting it lower.

Would a solo Pearl Gourami do alright in a 30? I feel like that may be pushing it, so I thought I'd ask. They are just look so amazing! THe other concerns are that my lighting is obviously high, and I don't like floating plants since they shade the rest of the plants below.

I'd love to hear people's thoughts on a centerpiece for this size tank and bioload. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I am already reconsidering. I may actually just get a few sparkling gouramis and round out my school of rasbora. That way I can also leave the adult shrimp in there.
 

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Consider the smaller rainbows - threadfin, dwarf neons, any of the blue-eyes. They are very hardy, active and pretty fish with personality. Buy them in small schools, say 7 with 1 more male than females and they will always entertain.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, I was looking at Preacox and Boesemani Rainbows, but wouldn't a school of them be just about all my tank can handle bioload-wise? At 3" a pop, I imagine that's alot of load for even 7 or 8.

Edit: Nevermind on the Beosemani... apparently the site I was looking at had the wrong length.
 

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No reason you can't do apistos. pH is a common misconception people have about keeping fish. While sharp swings in pH can effect respiration, and to some extent slime coat, it is not uncommon for fish to be subjected to regular fluctuations in pH in the wild, like a large amount of rainfall over a short period of time. All pH tells you is the amount of free floating hydrogen ions there are in a given medium, water, soil, etc.
What is important, however, is the hardness, GH, in respect to the amount of total dissolved solids(TDS) in the water. This should not be confused with KH, alkalinity, or buffering capacity, which is used to determine carbonate levels and the waters ability to buffer pH.
GH has the greatest effect on fish health out of all three because it effects the fish's ability for osmoregulation, or it's ability to to regulate the flow of h2o and dissolved solids across the semi-permeable cell membrane, especially in the gills. This is why it is always best to slowly acclimate a fish to new water. Simply throwing a fish into some water can send the fish into osmotic shock, which can be fatal. Some fish are less sensitive than others and can osmoregulate faster than others. Brackish water fish and salmon are two great examples.
As for apistos, they are sensitive to abrupt changes in GH. But they have been shown to thrive in both hard, large amount TDS, and soft, low TDS, waters. In fact, apistos will breed and have viable offspring in either soft or hard water.
So if you want to keep apistos ask your dealer what their water parameters are, paying the most attention to the GH. If it differs significantly from yours then slowly acclimate them to your water parameters.
I acclimated mine over a period of 10 days. This is probably excessive, but considering what I paid for the pair + shipping it was worth it, IMHO. I set up a 10 gal. quarantine tank to match the parameters as closely as I could to the dealers parameters. Then every day I took out 1 gallon and replaced it with 1 gallon from the tank that would be their eventual home. This also gave me a good chance to watch the health of my new fish. After that I left them in the 10 gallon for another week to make sure they were healthy before I finally put them into my 30 gallon.
Long story short, pH means far less than GH to a fish's health.
 

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re rainbows. The Praecox may be OK, they stay at 2.5" tops. The Bosemani will be pushing it, they reach 4". The Threadfins will take a long time to reach 2". You're likely to get them at 1". The Blue Eyes also stay small.

Since your fish load will remain small, consider something special, like a Psuedomugil Gurtrudae, furcata, Celestial Pearl Danios (mis-spellings likely there). Check out Aquabid.com for ideas, but research what you like before you buy.

I just bought some chain loaches from invertz and they arrived healthy and vigorous, so don't be afraid to buy online from reputable dealers.

Have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the info guys. I did a ton of research last night, and today drove up to Exotic Aquatics in Parkville and got a young pair of A. Agassizi. I think they are double or triple red variety. They looked beautiful and active in the tank at the store. The female was nearly impossible to catch in fact.

They are currently drip acclimating. The store water is very similar to my own despite being 2 hours away, but better safe than sorry. In another hour or so I will net them out and hope for the best.

Thanks again for the help! I'll try to get some pics one day and put up a tank journal.
 

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a nice school of 10 or so rummy-nose tetras would look great in a 30 gal. and accent your apistos nicely. round off the s.american "biotope" with 3 dwarf cories, 4-5 otocinclus and 10 or so ghost shrimp.:proud: I had a similar set up in a 30 gal. a few years back but had to tear it down for a cross country move and have since tried other things....kind of miss it too:icon_sad:. good luck with your new set-up. post some pics soon.
 
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