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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm adding fish to my first community tank, which has been up and running about a year. It's soil + black diamond sand, medium planted, with some hiding areas such as jungle val, java moss and Subwassertang and has:
~ 30 red cherry shrimp, 8 CPD's and 7 Microdevario kubotai, 1 nerite, lotsa pond and MT snails. The Kubotai are of course goofy and friendly, always visible, never hiding, hardy, eat anything, and peaceful as could be.

Issue: The F:M CPD ratio is mostly male, and the males are chasing the couple of females in packs, the females are hiding more than even the usual "we never leave the jungle val except to eat" CPD behavior - it's not good.

Q/nervous #1: So I've ordered 6 more CPD's, hoping to get females. But I'm worried this will just make things worse if there are more M than F in the batch (the very reputable online seller that I've been super impressed with in the past can't/won't sex them). If that happens... I can give away all the CPD's, or ...? Local CPD's are expensive and poor quality, in my experience, and online sellers usually won't sex.

I wanted a fish with some personality vs just the small schoolers- but I thought that a betta or dwarf gourami pair might eat the adult shrimp (the CPD's keep the reproduction rates down, so I'm used to a proportion of the babies as a food source), but the kids and I enjoy seeing the adults out and about so:

Q/nervous #2: I've also ordered 6 Dario dario (Scarlet badis), which will likely be mostly male as that's just how it always is with this species. I know the sites such as seriouslyfish say the males are too territorial to be in groups, but I've read lots and emailed with the seller, and they say with great evidence to back it up that with sufficient planting/hiding spots it's far better to have 6 than, say, two. I'm primarily concerned about feeding them- they're currently on frozen bloodworms- I'm planning to target with frozen baby brine shrimp and a pipette, but that will get old fast. Any experiences to share that might be helpful?

I feel rather silly putting this much thought into keeping fish alive. But it's no fun being concerned about aggression and such with the very little time I have to spend on this hobby (kids, dog, house, job, etc.!)

Thoughts welcomed, thanks!
 

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Scarlet badis will eat all of your shrimp as well as at least try for the pond and mts. As far as aggression goes it depends on the size of the tank and decor. 6 is better than 2. If there are two one will be dominant and just pick on the other all of the time. With a group if there is aggression it will be spread out and not as hard on any individual.

Also, don't feed scarlet badis bloodworms, they cause them to be obese. Maybe once a a while is fine, but not on a regular basis. My experience with scarlet badis is that as long as you give them food that they will like feeding them is very easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Scarlet badis will eat all of your shrimp as well as at least try for the pond and mts... My experience with scarlet badis is that as long as you give them food that they will like feeding them is very easy.
Q: They're welcome to the MTS and pond snails- but I've read many reports (and the seller says) they'll eat all the baby shrimp (I have a separate 2.5g shrimp-only tank that I can add adults from to keep the population growing), but won't eat the adults...is that wrong?

I'm not planning to feed bloodworms, thanks, the seller is feeding them frozen bloodworms- which tells me that these in particular will eat frozen food, right? I'm hoping to feed them frozen baby brine shrimp.

Q: Will I *need* to target feed them so they aren't outcompeted by the CPD's and kubotai, or can I just add in the food?

Or:... I can probably still cancel the order- is there a different fish that leaves adult shrimp alone but isn't a small schooler? Should I go the dwarf gourami route (I heard they tear up plants)?

The other initial Q: Anyone have experience getting sufficient females so the male CPD's stop endlessly harassing them?

Thanks!
 

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I had a scarlet badis with shrimp and I'll just say that I never saw his eat any shrimp, but the population did go down.

Mine ate frozen food just fine. If the seller is feeding them frozen then they should be fine with it. Usually it's when they unfamiliar with frozen that they have problems. I gave my live blackworms whenever I got them and he was definitely very happy to eat live.

No idea on being out competed as I don't have experience with the other fish. CPD are supposed to be pretty shy themselves, so I would think it would be ok to just feed as long as there is enough for everyone, but don't hold me to that.

I would think as long as there is enough hiding spots for the shrimp and the badis are well fed they won't destroy the population. Again, don't hold me to that. I'd say if you have an extra tank with shrimp so if they do get shrimp hungry that can't eat them all it's probably worth a try. Dwarf gourami's would be a bad choice. Maybe Honey's if you want to go with gourami. They are smaller, much more peaceful and can (and probably should) be kept in groups. Just don't go with sparkling gourami. They are tiny and do well in groups, but are very good shrimp hunters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the info- I had thought dwarf and honey were the same species, but after looking them up- they're not! I just got the email that the order with the CPD's and Scarlet badis groups has shipped, but I'll definitely consider honey gourami for the future, looks like that would've been a better choice...Wish me luck keeping the Scarlet badis and the shrimp alive...
 

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The other initial Q: Anyone have experience getting sufficient females so the male CPD's stop endlessly harassing them?
I bought my CPDs from The Wet Spot and ended up with mostly females. Out of 17 fish total, only 4 are males; I have the opposite of your problem. Anyway, I feel lucky to have The Wet Spot as my LFS, they maintain a clean store and do a great job of actually taking care of the fish they are selling. I was initially skeptical about my CPD stock because they were very thin juveniles, but they have matured nicely. The only deaths I have had were the result of the odd jumper.
 

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I bought my CPDs from The Wet Spot and ended up with mostly females. Out of 17 fish total, only 4 are males; I have the opposite of your problem. Anyway, I feel lucky to have The Wet Spot as my LFS, they maintain a clean store and do a great job of actually taking care of the fish they are selling. I was initially skeptical about my CPD stock because they were very thin juveniles, but they have matured nicely. The only deaths I have had were the result of the odd jumper.
Try putting some cut up window screen on the top of your aquarium - it will stop the jumpers.
 

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I observe a fair bit of spawning behavior in my tank, which often involves one, sometimes two, males doggedly following a female. If she is disinterested she will chase them off. I have had no issues with males being overly aggressive with females in my aquarium. Given this experience and my understanding of the species from research, if you add more females it should help.

What are the dimensions of your aquarium?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok, got the fish yesterday. CPDs seem happier. Dario completely ignored the frozen baby brine shrimp. None of the six ate even one. Ugh. I need to figure out a frozen or freeze dried option... or: They poke at the sand, the moss and the sponge filter and the roots of the duckweed. I've got MTS in the soil, pond snails, and whatever microscopic things live in Java moss. Is that possibly enough??

If not, I plan to try the baby brine shrimp once more, then try frozen Cyclops. Or should I try the pearls stuff?

They're really neat little guys, have seen no aggression.

Thanks
 

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If they were eating frozen bloodworms for the seller, get some frozen bloodworms. :) You may well be able to get them on something else, especially if you start mixing the other food with the bloodworms. But while they're still new to the tank, I'd just feed what they're used to since it's a readily available product.
 

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I have badis badis, which have similar requirements to dario, and they only rarely eat frozen anything other than bloodworms. I find that the females are slightly less picky and I've had them (only females) eat mysis shrimp on occasion, but frozen bloodworms are pretty much the staple. I've never had one eat frozen brine shrimp, though they will eat live. Do you keep microworms? They are very easy to keep as a live food (nonsmelly!) and everything in my tank eats them. Badis fry in a mature tank seem to do OK without feeding, so it's possible that dario would be able to find enough microfauna, but you probably should resign yourself to bloodworms until you can tempt them with something else (if you can).

The common wisdom is the bloodworms lead to obesity, but I haven't had that experience, probably because they (badis, anyway) eat rather slowly compared to other fish and my tank is pretty competitive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hm. Good thought. So I'll not assume they're getting enough with their constant foraging, and get a way to target feed their accustomed frozen bloodworms (whole or chopped? Target feeding- turkey baster?) Then slowly mix in a different food with them. I'm about to Google microworms... Thanks again for the input!
 

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I just feed whole bloodworms and I don't target feed, but badis are a lot bigger than dario. I've used pipets/droppers to target live brine shrimp for fry. Microworms are good because they disperse and float to the bottom where they can survive for a number of hours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
No. Dice.

I am absolutely prepared to feed these guys frozen food long term, and understand they might never take flake or freeze dried but- I have tried frozen baby brine shrimp, frozen bloodworms, frozen daphnia. I have squirted the above right next to them with a couple different sizes of syringes, I have wiggled frozen blood worms in front of them with tongs then dropped them. I made the entire tank 'snow' with an excess of baby brine shrimp. Of the six, two fish accepted one each of the bloodworms. The rest of the Darios were literally in a cloud of frozen daphnia or bloodworms being moved about so they'd 'wriggle' and took absolutely zero notice. (Aside: Who knew a little kubotai could down an entire full size bloodworm)

I have emailed the seller to ask for help. In one more day, I'm going to call uncle (It'll be day 4 since eating for them) and ask the LFS to take them. I'd hate to kill these pretty guys, and there is just no way that with my house, job, kids and general life I am going to attempt to keep live food alive. I googled microworms, and changing out the cultures every couple weeks is one more chore on my very long to do list that I just won't get to. Getting the 45 minutes for my weekly water change (trim/glass clean/filter clean, etc) is already a struggle. Yrghghghghgh
 
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