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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
In February I set up a 30 gallon (12" x 36" footprint) planted tank and currently have 6 serape tetras. I choose serpaes for their hardiness and red color that contrasts nicely with the plants, plus they stay small enough for my tank. PH is 7.8 and the water is moderately hard; although this is not ideal for serpaes, they are doing fine. The temp is in the high 70's.


I would like some recommendations for hardy fish to cohabit with the semi aggressive serpaes that will accept these water conditions, tank size, and occupy the upper portion of the tank. I don't have any other fish, and it is 4 months old with decent plant growth.


Thoughts?
 

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I would double the school size and get a few bottom dwellers for cleanup duty.
In small schools they are almost certain to chase any slow moving or long finned tankmates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response, Nordic. A species tank has certainly occurred to me.

As the Serpaes inhabit the lower half of the tank, I am wondering about upper tank dwellers other than hatchet fish and danios to go with the serpaes. I am not too familiar with tetras, and am not sure which ones could stand up to the serpaes, be OK with my water chemistry, and tend towards occupying the top half of the tank.
 

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Not sure if you're wanting more of a centerpiece type fish. Bloodfin Tetras are relatively easy to acquire and tend to be a middle/upper swimmer and are quite active quick and could probably survive the Serpae group without a lot of hassle.

Otherwise Cory cats on the bottom would probably work out quite fine as well. I would increase your Serpae size so they take out there rough housing on each other (As mentioned).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It's good to know some serpaes are OK with neons. 3 of mine were rehomed to me from a friend because they killed neons, so with these particular fish, I don't want to add anything smaller or less than semi agressive to the tank.
 

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You could try similar deep bodied tetras, but if you want happy fish, I'd make the school larger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Nordic, your position on school size has been noted (indeed, I caught it in your original post). If I had posted that my serpaes are hiding all the time, or doing damage to each other and I wanted advice on stopping it, then suggesting that increasing school size to diffuse aggression would have been relevant, but this is not the case. Stating that my fish aren't going to be "happy" unless I take your advice on school size really seems a bit much, especially when I haven't asked for suggestions on school size or reported problems with how they behave with one another.

To reiterate, the question I posed, and on which I would like some thoughts, is based on the experience of my fellow hobbyists, which shoaling fish, preferably a tetra, will likely be able to cohabit with the serpaes in this tank in these water conditions, and preferably occupy the upper portion of the tank, as the serpaes occupy the bottom half?

In your experience do any of the thick bodies tetras you recommend school in the upper portions of the tank?
 

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For tetras you could try hatchetfish, or you could look into harlequin rasboras, they also tend to keep more to the upper stretches and are quite fast. They might also cope better with the hard water.

I was not trying to be pushy, but sometimes good advice is worth hearing twice, you heard me, and that is the part that counts I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Nordic, Unsolicited advice that doesn't answer the question posed, when there is no indication of a problem, is not what I would classify as "good advice," and no matter the intent, it is pushy. Have you heard me?

Back to the actual topic; I have never kept hatchet fish, but they do look intriguing. I have heard they are escape artists; is a screen top or glass lid necessary for their safety? I run a powerhead in this tank; would they be OK with the current?

I do enjoy rasboras, but my Harlequins definitely weren't top dwellers when I had them in this tank ages ago.
 

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Norman's lampeye killifish are almost exclusively top dwelling (like very top)and not particularly slow when engaged, though they do tend to saunter around when relaxed. Beautiful big fluorescent blue eyes.

Clown killifish are even smaller than the lampeyes as well as a little bit more exclusively top dwelling. More cautious and prone to darting than the lampeyes.

95% of the time, both of these species of killifish are enhabiting the top 3 inches of the tank if not the very top inch. In the evenings when the light is off they might wander further down in my community tank because they know their tank mates aren't aggressive.

Edit: I think wrestling halfbeaks could be suitable as well. Definitely more aggressive than the killis so they would hold their own but not so aggressive as to be absolutely unsuitable to community living. Also you'd get to watch the males wrestle :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
proper.noun, Those are really interesting ideas. Now I will have to read about killifish and wrestling half beaks (this is the first time I have heard of the later). Thanks for the unique suggestions!
 
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