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so i started years ago in the hobby doing tropical community tanks... eventually i moved on to cichlids. have been doing that for years and now i am coming back. as the hobby has changed and so have i, i am into the planted tanks. i am converting a 55 into a planted tank and i want to get a nice community going. i really like CPDs and the scarlet badis... but i dont want to do like 20 of each i rather do smaller groups of lets say 10... can i breed the fish with a few different groups on there? what other fish do you recomend. i like interesting fish (but money is tight so not crazy rare) but interesting fish whether its looks or behaviour....
thanks
 

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Since you're planning CPD's and Scarlet Badis, I'd stick with SE Asian species.

- Sparkling Gourami: Tiny little guys, very peaceful, and mid to top so they'll ignore your badis.

- Strawberry Rasbora's or another Boraras species. A small group.

- If not the Boraras Sp, you can do Trignostigma Espei's.


Essentially, you'll want to stick to Danios/Barbs/Rasboras as your schooling and pick the smaller ones since your badis is giong to be tiny.

For center piece fish, try the smaller more peaceful Gourami species. If you are good at "Soft Water" type fish from your Cichlid days, you can go with the more difficult Chocolate Gourami.
 

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Pearl gouramis make a great center piece gourami for a 55g. They're gorgeous and very peaceful for a gourami. Much more easy going than some of the other non dwarf gouramis.

ETA: They might eat tiny fish though so skip them if you're going with very small fish species.
 
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