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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey team, classic stocking the tank post with a vague twist as I have the base down, just trying to figure out the extras.

The tank is a Juwel 180, technically a bit over 200L but anywho that's not important. I will be adding a fluval 206 soon and will eventually upgrade the filter pump to either 1000L/1500Lph for extra flow.

I've currently stocked it with:
28 Ember Tetras
10 Pygmy Corys
1 Siamese Betta

The next fish I'm planning on is another 10 of the pygmy corys, a half dozen otocinclus and possibly more embers although I'm pretty happy with the shoal at the moment.

I'm trying to figure out what else to add for additional interest. The main thing I keep coming back to is an apisto of some kind, probably a male/female pair.. But also considering a whiptail catfish and maybe a pleco of some kind - the blue and green phantoms have always caught my eye. Not sure what else though! This is where I'm keen to get some inspo/ideas

I guess the question is once the 'base' of the tank is done which is embers and pygmy cories in my case, and a 'central' fish is added - the betta here - how do you decide what to add next?!
 

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I have reservations about how well a betta would get along with a dwarf cichlid. I did successfully keep a betta with a baby angelfish for several months, but the betta was a female and the angel was pretty tiny (it was a baby from one of my spawns and was barely dime size when introduced), but I never dared to try my apistos, rams or kribs in there.

Granted, a pair of apistos would look great, but I think you'd want to set up a separate tank for your betta. Also, if you do get a pair, be careful to watch for spawning agression. The won't really harm most fish in a tank that size normally, but nano fish are a little less robust in the face of protective parents, so be prepared to possibly set up a nursery tank if it gets out of hand (though that is always something to consider any time cichlids spawn).

Small catfish would be a safer bet, as would some of the nano rasboras like kubotai (personal favorite due to their unique lime color) or small barbs like dwarf golden barbs.

Twig catfish are another unique alternative to the more common dwarf plecos, and are equally effective in my experience. They are fairly long bodied, but are slender and thus have a lower relative bioload, and get along well with pretty much anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have reservations about how well a betta would get along with a dwarf cichlid. I did successfully keep a betta with a baby angelfish for several months, but the betta was a female and the angel was pretty tiny (it was a baby from one of my spawns and was barely dime size when introduced), but I never dared to try my apistos, rams or kribs in there.

Granted, a pair of apistos would look great, but I think you'd want to set up a separate tank for your betta. Also, if you do get a pair, be careful to watch for spawning agression. The won't really harm most fish in a tank that size normally, but nano fish are a little less robust in the face of protective parents, so be prepared to possibly set up a nursery tank if it gets out of hand (though that is always something to consider any time cichlids spawn).

Small catfish would be a safer bet, as would some of the nano rasboras like kubotai (personal favorite due to their unique lime color) or small barbs like dwarf golden barbs.

Twig catfish are another unique alternative to the more common dwarf plecos, and are equally effective in my experience. They are fairly long bodied, but are slender and thus have a lower relative bioload, and get along well with pretty much anything.
I did wonder about the apistos, their flowing fins and how the betta would fare..

My other option was dwarf chain loaches, and having a gang of them but I figured I was better of choosing either the corys or the loaches and went with corys for this tank.

I do love the whiptails so maybe just getting a couple could be quite fun!
 

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I typically make a stocking list beforehand tbh...but I do get where you're coming from.

You could increase the school size, which is something I prefer doing to the maximum amount possible (nano fish in a big tank = giant school of nano fish).

Between the whiptails and the plecos, if you're set on Oto cats, I'd go for plecos. If not, I'd add the whiptails first, and then see about adding Otos in later. Farlowella look like they'd compete for the same niche as the Otos, and I'd rather prioritize the Farlowellas instead of the Otos tbh.

It also depends on your scape. Do you have enough wood for the plecos to munch on? Can you handle the filtration required for the fish you want?

Also, I'm gonnna push my agenda: look into freshwater pipefish. Finicky and high care, but SO worth it in my opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I typically make a stocking list beforehand tbh...but I do get where you're coming from.

You could increase the school size, which is something I prefer doing to the maximum amount possible (nano fish in a big tank = giant school of nano fish).

Between the whiptails and the plecos, if you're set on Oto cats, I'd go for plecos. If not, I'd add the whiptails first, and then see about adding Otos in later. Farlowella look like they'd compete for the same niche as the Otos, and I'd rather prioritize the Farlowellas instead of the Otos tbh.

It also depends on your scape. Do you have enough wood for the plecos to munch on? Can you handle the filtration required for the fish you want?

Also, I'm gonnna push my agenda: look into freshwater pipefish. Finicky and high care, but SO worth it in my opinion.
Haha I tried to make a stocking list beforehand but kinda just stopped at embers, pygmy cories and otocinclus. Then was tossing up betweeen gouramis, a betta or some kind of cichlid. And the betta stole my heart away at the pet store :p

I have already gone for the oto's since this post - just two at this stage but they are a major fave of mine! I hear your point re:niches though. This is the tank at the moment:

So there's not a massive amount of wood for plecos to munch on.. And I'm not sure I want them munching on the wood that is there! Back to the drawing board I think...

Also I love the idea of pipefish - I don't think we ever get them in New Zealand though :(

1026725
 

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After I woke up this morning, I realized that you might be talking about a different whiptail cat. What species are you thinking of? If it's farlowella, then my statement stands. But if it's rhineloricaria, then that might be different since those seem more like corydoras than otocinclus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
After I woke up this morning, I realized that you might be talking about a different whiptail cat. What species are you thinking of? If it's farlowella, then my statement stands. But if it's rhineloricaria, then that might be different since those seem more like corydoras than otocinclus.
Well, that's a great question! I was having trouble figuring out what the species is because it was labeled as a panda whiptail at the store. Upon further research it seems this is the Loricaria simillima which seems to get to 10" or thereabouts, so probably not the greatest idea to put in this tank.

I think we mostly get the rhineloricaria types here though so they might be back on the table as an option! The most common ones seem to be the royal whiptail and red whiptail, both of which stay relatively small! :)
 
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