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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all! I'm new to FW and planted tanks, but I had a SW tank a few years ago. Now I've got a planted 54g corner I'm looking to stock with fish!

Currently:
Fluorite black in the back and Fluorite black sand in the front
Rotala Indica, Red Tiger Lilly, Sagittaria Subulata, Micro Sword, Cardinal Plant, bunch of hitchhiking pond snails
Plenty of canister filtration

I want a variety of interesting (colorful, striped or decorated) active fish that get along with each other and the plants. I would much prefer different SMALL(ish) fish to large ones. It seems FW fish like to school, but I don't want my tank to have too many of one type.

Here's my list of ideas so far, but please recommend anything I've overlooked. I'm not necessarily expecting to be able to get all of these:

6 zebra danios (will probably start with these)
1 Pleco (is just one OK? something interesting but not too expensive)
6 kuhli loach (clowns get too big, but I want something with personality)
3 Otocinclus vittatus
4 ember tetras
?Boesemani Rainbow? (pretty but no way can I fit a bunch. perhaps some other rainblow?)
? cherry barb
? dwarf gouramis

Any ideas are welcome.
 

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I think pretty much all of those fish you have mentioned are good community fish. I've kept most of those before myself. If you are going to go with any kind of barbs, cherry, rosy or goldens are the most docile I have found. Tiger barbs can get aggressive with community fish, and in the past I had issues with tiger barbs harassing my pearl gouramis a lot. For the tetras and danios, they like to school and stay fairly small, so go for a bigger group. Personally, I like at least 10 in a bigger tank, but bare minimum of 6 I'd say to get some impact and schooling behavior. As for the pleco, you can keep just one. They don't seem to care if they have company or not. Get a bristlenose or something that stays small. Common plecos are a dime a dozen at the fish stores, but they get very large and you'll be looking for a new home for it within a few years most likely. Rainbows of any kind are great community fish and beautiful to boot. You could keep a few of the larger types in your tank, or go with dwarf neon rainbows if you want a smaller type. I have them in my 20 gallon planted tank and they are a really nice and active fish. Again, keep a minimum of 6 if possible. Loaches are good in groups so the kuhlis would be fine. Or, as another option for a bottom fish, keep a small school of cories (there are a number of varieties that remain failry small). For some added color, you can go with a few livebearers like guppies, platys or swordtails. You don't even need pairs necessarily if you don't care for fry in the tank, but just a few colorful fish will add a lot of interest to your tank. You have lots of options so have fun with it. Good luck!
 

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Fear the Swamp!
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I've always enjoyed zebra danios. They are very active interesting fish to watch. I might increase the school to 10 to get some real action going. Kuhlii loaches are among my favorite loaches. They stay fairly small and are always fun to watch.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Bristle/bushy-nosed plecos would be really good options for your tank- they only grow 4-6" and are great algae eaters.

IMO you should stock the Embers in a much larger school; they're tiny little fish and will school and be much more comfortable in a bigger group. Even 10-15 of them would still take very little bioload and leave plenty of room for other fish. And you'd be more likely to see them, instead of them hiding all the time.

Cherry barbs are also a good choice and they aren't nearly as nippy as Tigers.

You might look at Dwarf Neon rainbows, or perhaps Celebese or Furcatas as well. These are all active colorful fish but stay much smaller than Boesemanis.

A small school of Dwarf chain loaches would also be a good choice for your tank. You could keep them and Khulis.
 

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i would also do less different species and more concentration of the same fish... big school of embers would look sick..

as far as the rainbows go I would recommend either threadfin rainbows (Iriatherina werneri) or forktail rainbow (Pseudomugil furcatus)

in place of the kuhi loach maybe you could do polka dot botia (Botia kubotai) the may uproot some plants, but the fish is just so pretty that it is worth the imconvenience IMO.

I kinda think the gouramis would be a worthless investment, if you are going to setup a tank with schooling fish you need something that will swim by and break up the school and look pretty, not get nippy... Have you considered discus? Curviceps? Rams?

Hope this gives you a bit of insight...



F
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks all for the replies!

polka dot botia (Botia kubotai) looks cool, I think I like it better than the kuhli
large ember school: sounds interesting. I'll have a look in the store
Pleco- bristlenose is OK looking, but the zebra looks cool. is that OK?

I'll stop by the fish store today and see what I find.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
LOL If you can afford Zebra plecos, go for it! :biggrin: Keep in mind that they're more carnivorious than herbivorous, though, so you'll need to feed them accordingly.
Ouch, $300? I guess I better keep looking. Maybe starry night or something.

Oh and to respond to an earlier question: I don't like discus. Round fish aren't really appealing to me.
 
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