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Compatible species with Red Tail Shark and Tiger Barbs?

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I have a moderately planted 65 gallon tank
Substrate: Dirt under gravel and sand
Plants: Vallis, Amazon Swords, Pennywort, Bacopas
Current Stock: 1 RTS, 8 Tiger Barbs, 4 Kuhli Loaches, 5 Mollies (absolutely no behavioral issues with all of them)
Tank has small branches/roots, some leaf litter, and big & small stones (two caves out of stones)
Tank is 50 days old.

I am looking to go pure Southeast Asian; so planning to get rid of the mollies and looking for a replacement: What Southeast Asian species will go well with RTS and Tiger Barbs? (not worrying about the Kuhlies, they are in peace with my bullies - barbs and rts)

I am looking at Giant Danios, Rainbowfish, and some species of Gouramis - but still researching which of them can keep up with my semi-aggressive species. Do you have any experience keeping these? Any other suggestions? Really eyeing for the lesser aggressive ones, has some decent size and/or speed to stand up against barbs and rts, and preferably mid to top dweller - to keep them away from the RTS territory.

I intend to have this combo in my tank:

Main Attraction/Bully: 1 RTS
Shoal: 8 Tiger Barbs
Bottom dwellers/Quirky ones: 4 Kuhli Loaches
Gentle ones: ?? (maybe 2-4 of these)
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I would recommend expanding your tiger barbs a little more. I had a group of 30ish at one point and the more I had the better they behaved. Also I have never seen excessive aggression in tiger barbs. They just like to nip fish they happen across but generally don't chase. At some point your RTS will likely start harrassing your loaches and tiger barbs also nip snaky loaches since they largely lay still in one spot. As far as totally safe companions any danio large enough to not get eaten will be fine. I also kept gouramis without incident.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would recommend expanding your tiger barbs a little more. I had a group of 30ish at one point and the more I had the better they behaved. Also I have never seen excessive aggression in tiger barbs. They just like to nip fish they happen across but generally don't chase. At some point your RTS will likely start harrassing your loaches and tiger barbs also nip snaky loaches since they largely lay still in one spot. As far as totally safe companions any danio large enough to not get eaten will be fine. I also kept gouramis without incident.
I see. About the tiger barbs, makes total sense. I observe that they get busier with themselves when in bigger numbers (I started with 5). My barbs now are around 1.5" long, is it safe to add juvenile tiger barbs to their school? the only available barbs from the store are very small, .5 to 1" long.

Yeah, I am expecting the RTS to get more aggressive with my loaches, that is why I made a lot of small hiding places for them using leaf litter, twigs, and stones with thin spaces between them, my loaches are always swimming in and out of these. I hope this is enough for them to hide from the RTS when the bully is fully grown. But so far, they are fine, and even share the cave at times.

Danio and Gourami, noted...

In terms of stocking, am I overstocked? this is my first tank, and I am not really sure about the limit or the ideal number of fish I can keep. I am trying to decide how many Barbs and possibly Danios I will add to my tank.
 

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You can add small tiger barbs without incident. It's hard to say what is overstocked as that will depend largely on how much and often you change water. If it were me, I would bump the tiger barbs up to 15 or so and get 7 giant danios (or one of the more exotic large danios). After that you can decide if you can support more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've been researching about my fish options, and starting to like the idea of a Gourami, particularly Three Spot Gourami. Danios and Rainbowfish are really cool, but I need a school of them to make them happy - problem is I want to keep my number low for easier water maintenance.

So now eyeing a single Three Spot Gourami. Anyone of you here experienced keeping this particular specie with a school of Barbs?
 
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