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Hello,

I am considering starting a 5.5 gallon tank with cherry shrimp and C. pygmaeus. Would they both be able to breed in this tank set up and have a colony of each developing over time? Do C. pygmaeus eat shrimplets? I am considering purchasing the C. pygmaeus online and the ones that are available at a decent price are wild caught. Would wild caught C. pygmaeus be more likely to eat shrimplets? Do C. pygmaeus absolutely need soft water/low pH conditions to breed and have the fry survive?

Alternatively, would a sparkling gourami species breeding tank be more interesting as a setup instead of the above? Appreciate all advice. Thank you very much.
 

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A 5.5g is too small for pygmaeus corydoras.

And yes they do need softer water, they don't tend to be as hardy in hard water (need below 215ppm at least), and any eggs that happen would have a lower hatch rate as well.

Be wary if you go with shrimp mixing sparkling gourami, sparklers are known to hunt shrimp down relentlessly.
 

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Rule of thumb: Any fish in a shrimp tank can eat shrimplets or harass adult shrimp/kill them/eat them. Even small Corydoras.

If it were me, I'd go with a shrimp-only tank. Wait for a larger tank for fish.

But... one thing you could do is get a good shrimp colony established for a few months and then add a few Heterandria formosa. They'd do well in a shrimp tank if it's heavily planted and would eat far fewer shrimp than most other fish.
 

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Tank is too small for the pygmy. They required at least a 10 gallon and these are social fish so you need to get them in a group of at least 6 or more. You can keep the shrimp and pygmy together, i done so in the past. I very much doubt you'll be able to breed the pygmy, it gets a bit technical, but who knows it might happen by accident. Just stick to the local fish shop if you can. Buy wild caught you'll have to de-worms, de-parasite, and med them before you introduce them to you tank, that's what i do, i just don't trust them. Just fork up a couple extra buck to your local fish store and pick the healthiest one you see. Just my 2cent.
 

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By sparkling gourami breeder are you talking about a single pair (ultimately) or a group? I'd be very hesitant with anything more than a pair in a tank that small. Just remember that keeping stable and constant parameters in small tanks is rough and breeding requires you to manipulate parameters. Sparklers are pretty hard to "accidentally" breed.
 
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