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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all-

I had a nice group of cardinal tetras in my 54g, which I like to keep peaceful and mellow. But, I wanted some orange color so and I was given some beautiful orange platys (7 of them) which I added in an they look great with the green plants and neon blue cardinals.

Unforgettably I think this has really affected the community/dynamic in the tank. The platys are big and fast, and nowadays the cardinals are usually groups in the center/rear mid-water area while the platys roam the front/top of the tank. Previously the cardinals would slowly roam the whole tank, which was really nice.

I am thinking to remove the platys and find a different way to bring a bit of orange or yellow into the tank, based on the assumption that the bigger/faster platys are causing the cardinals to be bullied out of the most visible tank areas (which I'm not even sure about).

Does anyone have any ideas? Maybe some other tetra species? Or, some microrasbora or something like that? I like smallish and mellow fish.

I also considered fancy guppies, as they are beautiful and mellow but I'm not sure they would get along with the tetras or like the conditions.

What's good for a nice and bright yellow/orange fish to be super-peaceful companions with cardinals?? thanks!!

Dave
 

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Ember tetras have a great orange. Lemon tetras are good too.

And if you want more of a centerpiece, how about gold rams?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So far I am liking the ember tetra, espei rasbora, and von rio tetras a lot!

I like that the espei rasboras are so small, too.

One thing I liked about the platys is that they are livebearers and I think all the fish in the tank were having some nice fry snacks all the time. That kind of thing seems to help the general health of the tank, and I enjoy seeing babies from time to time.

Anyone have any ideas for livebearers that might fit the bill? If not, I think I'm getting closer to going with the espei rasboras!
 

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Ember tetras have a great orange. Lemon tetras are good too.

And if you want more of a centerpiece, how about gold rams?

Very much agree with this - Lemon Tetras or Ember Tetras will give you the orange/yellow colors you're looking for - and will do well with the Cardinals.
 

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The only livebearers I can think of other than platies, mollies, swordtails, and guppies, are endlers. There are some strains/hybrids that may fit the orange/yellow color you're looking for. For example, tiger endlers (yellow & black) or fire red flame tail endlers (orange). Do keep in mind that all females are silver and obviously you would need females if you want babies...
 

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Ember tetras...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Some of the guppies are really beautiful. I wonder if they would get along with the school of cardinal tetras. The tetras used to roam the tank, and they look so great when they are up front. Since the platys were introduced, the tetras hunker down in the back so much.
 

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I keep about a half dozen blood red lyre-tail sword tails with my school of 15 neon tetras and they get along perfectly. Being a little bigger fish too I think it induces the schooling group to be a little tighter too, even though the sword tails are harmless.

I also keep a group of a dozen GBR's in there with them too. :)
 

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IMO, swordtails and platies are a lot alike in terms of size and temperament. If platies didn't work with your cardinals, I don't know if swordtails would do any better. Guppies and endlers would be slower and smaller, maybe that would work in your favor?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
slower and smaller will probably be better. truth be told, I am not certain that the platys are the reason that the cardinals are hiding lately but I assume that's the case. they are big, fast, agressive eaters, etc.

I am moving them out tonight, and we'll know soon enough!

What, exactly is the difference between endlers and guppies, though??
 

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Ah.... well they're technically different. Endlers (Poecilia wingei) and guppies (Poecilia reticulata) are different species but are very closely related and given the chance, will interbreed. Purists will say you shouldn't let them interbreed to preserve their lineage. Endlers are smaller than guppies and have more of a wild guppy look and swimming behavior (because of their smaller fins). Endler females are twice as large as the males. While I have seen fancy female guppies have colorful tails, all females endlers that I've seen are plain silver. The size difference b/t female and male guppies is smaller as well, with a bigger difference in body shape rather than body size. I've had both guppies & endlers, and I see no difference in behavior between the two. Endler males have normal sized finnage, so you don't get that weighted-down look that fancy male guppies have. The con is that as they swim around (constantly wiggling their tail), there's not as much rippling & color. The pro is they swim like a normal fish! Spry, maneuverable. The biggest differences b/t guppies & endlers would be sexual dimorphism, different color palettes to choose from (with greater emphasis on body color rather than tail size & color), and most prominently size. Endlers are wee things. Cute though!
 

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Everybody is recommending tetras and raspboras, but you could add a small hint of orange or yellow by adding a pair of apistogramma cacuatoides. I have the orange flash ones and the orange fins on the male stand out very well. The female is a little more drab but lately she's been a fantastic yellow the past week or two
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ah.... well they're technically different. Endlers (Poecilia wingei) and guppies (Poecilia reticulata) are different species but are very closely related and given the chance, will interbreed. Purists will say you shouldn't let them interbreed to preserve their lineage. Endlers are smaller than guppies and have more of a wild guppy look and swimming behavior (because of their smaller fins). Endler females are twice as large as the males. While I have seen fancy female guppies have colorful tails, all females endlers that I've seen are plain silver. The size difference b/t female and male guppies is smaller as well, with a bigger difference in body shape rather than body size. I've had both guppies & endlers, and I see no difference in behavior between the two. Endler males have normal sized finnage, so you don't get that weighted-down look that fancy male guppies have. The con is that as they swim around (constantly wiggling their tail), there's not as much rippling & color. The pro is they swim like a normal fish! Spry, maneuverable. The biggest differences b/t guppies & endlers would be sexual dimorphism, different color palettes to choose from (with greater emphasis on body color rather than tail size & color), and most prominently size. Endlers are wee things. Cute though!
I am really liking the idea of endlers as companions to the cardinals. I like that they are smallish, and that they are livebearers, and they look pretty cool!

Would you think that with 20 cardinals in a 54g tank, I would be able to add a pair of endlers and still keep the population under control? I don't mind if they reproduce, but my hope is the the cardinals will eat just about all of the babies so that the population stays stable.

My tank has tons of hiding spots, and already I am realizing how many of the platy fry are surviving. Then again, those orange platys have been in there for months and I have yet to see a juvenile past around 2 weeks in age!
 
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