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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First, I have a 55g tank, an Eheim Ecco 2236 and Aqueon 55 HOB filters. Right now it has a fair amount of hiding places and some fake plants.
I've got another tank showing up shortly that I'm going to plant and once I get that going I will probably move these fish over to that, restart this one as a planted tank and then stock it with something else. If it matters I have a KH somewhere in the 8-12 range and a pH that pretty much sits constantly at 7.9-8.0 with almost no change (though that will change once I get the planted tank with CO2 up and running). Running at 75-78 degrees (I will have to get a second heater to keep it at the 78 I have it set at over night because ambient tempterature drops to 60).

Unfortunately I didn't learn about fishless cycling until after I had added some fish. It was going well for about a month then either the fairly light load caught up to the tank size or I did something and crashed it, I'm not sure. At any rate, at this point the tank is completely cycled (for its given load at least) and I'm looking to add a few more things. (ammonia and nitrites at 0ppm from API test kit)

I have:
4 long-fin zebra danios
1 silver (blue?) danio, also long fin, thought the store had them labled as silver but I haven't been able to verify that online.
1 common Pleco (should have looked at the various types first and got a smaller one)
1 dwarf gourami (fancy? red with blue stripes)
1 betta crownfin (had this in its own tank until I decided I couldn't practically clean and heat a tank that small)
3 serpae tetras (although I think they had them labled differently, thats what they look like to me)
4 x-ray tetras (I believe, they were in a tank labled as serpae but they were silver not red, they have orange and black fins, and they look almost exactly like the others but silver instead of red)
4 peppered corys.

I had the danios at 6 each and other tetras at 5 each prior to the tank issues.
From the places I've checked I should have a fair amount of stock room left, with the possible exception of the pleco. Not sure if I'll try to keep the pleco or return it, or possible move it to another tank once I get it set up.

The potential issues would be the serpae and danios fin-nipping the betta, the betta and dwarf gourami might have issues (being closely related).

I haven't seen any issues between the fish so far. No one seems to bug the betta and the betta doesn't bug anyone else, at least as far as I've seen. Most have been together for 1-2 months now.

I'm wondering if I should get some more of the two types of tetras for schooling/shoaling, or if they can/should school together instead of seperately. They seem to hang around each other a fair amount now.

The silver danio seems to have mixed in without issue with the other zebras, so I don't think I have to worry about getting more for him to school with.


There are a few things I'm looking at adding.

Some other gouramis, though not sure how well they will mix with the dwarf and betta. They also get big enough they might be an issue for the danios... though I believe the danios are usually pretty good because they are very active. I might wait for the other tank to get any more gouramis. I'm maybe looking at trying to find a female for the dwarf gourami I do have (I'm pretty sure it is male, will check closer on sexing later), but I don't know if that would make him more aggressive.

Or 4-6 rainbow fish, either boesemani or red, or just "generic" rainbows, at least as they are labled locally. They will get a lot bigger then many of the other fish, but I don't believe they are generally an issue with eating or being aggressive.

There were also some swordtails I liked, though I can't remember the names off-hand. I think they have a similiar issue as the rainbows, in that they will get a fair amount larger the most of the other fish in the tank. I don't think they are generally very aggressive either.

The other fish I really like is the celestial danios and I'm really wanting to get some of them (though I haven't found them locally, have to either take a trip to SLC or special order them). I wouldn't see any issue with these, other then the general issue some closely related species have with each other.

And last is chineese hillstream loaches (butterfly loach?) Not sure if I would have too much bottom competition with these. Also right now I have a gravel bottom but I'm wanting to go with a sandier bottom when I switch over to planted (at least sandy in the front center, probably not everywhere), not sure if these have a problem either way. I think they generally recommend getting a few of these together too. They are also fairly cool water, at least compared to what the gourami wants.

A side question... is there any good way of telling if your bottom feeders are getting enough to eat? Overfeeding has issues, but otherwise the top feeders clean up pretty quickly. I have some granuals that sink after a second, but they are small and I'm not sure how well they can be scavenged with the fairly large gravel I have now. I've also got algee pellets, which they get, only question with them is if I feed them does that mean the bottom feeders aren't going to be doing a very good job of actually cleaning up the bottom.

So general thoughts on what I want to add? I don't think I have enough space to add all of them (especially since most are schooling), so just the ones that will work best with what I have.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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Poof that's a lot of questions! lol :fish:

I wouldn't add any more labyrinth fish to what you already have. They tend to be territorial, especially males. You could try to find a female or two if you like, but they aren't that common b/c most are rather plain looking.

That Betta probably needs to be moved, you've got really nippy fish in there and crowntails in particular have irresistable finnage to most other fish.

I'd add to your current schools of tetras. Most tetras are schooling fish, and Serpaes in particular do best in larger schools; it tends to keep their nippy/chasing tendencies among themselves rather than harassing other fish.

If you add swordtails, I wouldn't get more than one - possibly two - males. They also can get pretty territorial/aggro with each other. One male and a bunch of females would be OK, though.

Rainbows are another fish best kept in schools. And, unless you get dwarf neon rainbows, many species get pretty large. You'll need to watch your overall bioload if you decide to go this direction- especially since you've got a poop factory (aka common pleco) in the tank.

Hillstream loaches like cool, fast-moving water. I'd probably skip this species, though if you're set on them you could probably make it work.

I feed sinking wafers several times a week, usually just before lights out, to make sure my bottom feeders get fed. Just "scavenging" behind pigs like danios and tetras won't leave them enough food- unless you're overfeeding the tank. They also love fresh veggies like cucumbers, carrots and zucchini.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Poof that's a lot of questions! lol :fish:
Yeah... just got long by the time I got everything asked.

I'll see about moving the betta, it was just that I couldn't find a good heater for the 1 gallon tank I had and I couldn't think of any good way of cleaning it without doing 50%+ water changes, so I moved him to the big tank when I got it.

So far there hasn't been any issues, though he tends to stay on one half of the tank and the serpae tend to stay on the others. The danios are always just chasing each other around. It might change in a little bit though, since (unfortunately) the fish were stressed for a good part of their time together from the cycle.
I just hate to see bettas keep in little tanks, though I might be getting a 10g soon that I can move him into. (brother said it had a small crack, not sure how bad it is or if it leaks at all)

So you think the rainbows would probably be ok, so long as I went for some of the smaller breeds? Didn't see any locally called dwarf, but I did notice some get up to 3" instead of 4-6", so I might look for those ones.

Thanks for your help again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well a couple more quick questions.

Today I was in the local pet store again and the owner was there to talk to this time (last time I was in there the person helping me didn't know anything. I asked for the tetras in a tank and went to look at something else for a minute and when I came back she was netting out harlequin rasbaros)... Anyway, he said I could trade the common pleco in for store credit. So I need to find some more bottom feeders that will also work with plants (when I get to that stage). I'm assuming for 55g just 4 peppered corys isn't enough. Should I just get some more, or get another type as well, assuming they will focus on different things, especially since I don't think the cory's feed as much on algee.

I asked him which type of tetras I had, because I'm not totally sure if they are x-ray tetras or not. He said they were also serpae tetras, just silver instead of red. So far checking on the net I haven't seen any non-red serpae tetras. They are silver with a black dorsal fin with white/orange tip, and the other fins are all mostly orange with white tips. They are kind of transparent... but so are a lot of those small silvery fish, so I'm not completely sure.

He did have neon rainbows in, in fact he had a fairly young batch that he just got in. So I picked 6 of them up. He had a couple larger ones in another tank and I really like the look of them. Thanks for the recommendation on them. (they didn't say dwarf on the tanks but a quick check only showed dwarf neons and no larger type of neons?)

I'll pick up some more serpae and the x-ray tetra (if that is what it is) when he gets some more in, he only had 2 of each left and I figured I would wait until he had enough that I could finish the school of each off in a single buy rather then trying to integrate into the school with several small purchases.
 

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First I must say welcome to the forum. If your new to fish tanks, judging by all the questions and depth of detail of each question, I can tell you have been thinking a lot about it to do the right thing. Which is great, shows you care. Take your time and learn the basics of fish keeping. You will learn some basic "fish tank" instincts as you continue your journey. Take it slow and buy a species at a time. You will learn there characteristics. Some WILL die, it happens.

Google images might be able to help you determine what species you have. Just type in your species name and see what pops up. If its a match...then its a match.

I over feed like mad. Everyday I feed brine shrimp/flake and sometimes live blackworms on top of that. Or one food or the other if I don't have time/in a hurry. Then i sprinkle cory crumbles(sinking pellet) for my cory's. My cardinals and brown pencils are extremely fat. Makes them look healthy. I will skip a day of feeding if I feel they have had a good supply for a few days straight. I have enough shrimp to "clean up" the excess. Truth is fish eat a ton in the wild. Depending on what type of fish you keep, amazon fish over feed in the wet season to compensate for the dry season. They feed off there fat layers during the dry season. If you keep up on tank maintenance then over feeding is fine. Well i guess it depends on how much over feeding you do lol. There is a reasonable amount and then there is just plain stupid amount. I usually feed until the fish show no interest. I shoot a small pipette full of food in at a time. When that is gone, I shoot another. I continue the process until they chew and spit out or if I feel they don't need more. As some fish are true pigs and will keep eating. Baby discus come to mind. I basically feed fish like I personally like to eat. Do I want to eat enough to get by or be stuffed and happy. I think we all know what we would choose!

I feed a certain food for the mid-upper swimming fish, then while there eating i put in the sinking food for the bottom dwellers. That way they get preoccupied and don't eat the bottom dwellers food. Just go by what the fish look like to tell if there not getting enough food. I like the fish to be stuffed, they usually feel more happy and are more colorful that way. One less thing for them to be stressed about.

That is my observation with feeding fish.
 

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what are your 'x-ray' tetras shaped like? similar to a serpae or more like a neon...from the color description (imo) they almost sound like glo-lite tetras
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
what are your 'x-ray' tetras shaped like? similar to a serpae or more like a neon...from the color description (imo) they almost sound like glo-lite tetras
They are shaped pretty much just like the red serpae tetras.

Having looked at pictures online they do look like x-ray tetras, I was mostly just trying to make sure there wasn't some type of silver serpae tetra that I was not seeing.
 

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Fresh Fish Freak
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What you're describing sounds like Pristella (X-Ray) tetras to me. I've got a school in my 90gal. Do they look like these:



I'd get more Peppered Cories.

And some Amano shrimp and/or Otocinclus catfish for algae eaters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That is what they look like. I was pretty sure, just wanted to verify.
The pet store had just moved to a new building a while ago and have been moving fish between tanks a lot trying to find what works together. They probably just lost track of them at some point. I don't remember ever seeing any labled as x-ray, but I thought the first ones had another name that I couldn't remember, and pristella may have been it.

I don't think I've seen the otocinclus catfish locally, but I may have just not remembered. I know they don't have any shrimp right now, but I'm not sure if it is something they can get or not. Would other types of shrimp work just about as well? I hadn't really thought of shrimp, I was thinking that virtually everything, even peaceful fish, eat shrimp and it was hard to mix them.
 
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