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Discussion Starter #1
im thinking of doing a south american themed tank in my 29 gal (besides the plants) thinking a small school of cories, a pair of rams along with my 7 current neons.

im also thinking of a top swimmer for this setup, a small schooling fish would be preferred, the only south american top swimmers that i can think of are pencilfish and hatchetfish, and guppies sort of, any other top level south american fish?
 

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you can probably find a relatively happy medium, but i thought i would point out something. Rams prefer it hot, like 82ish and neons definitely prefer it cooler like 76-78. You might be able to keep them both kind of happy at 79 or so, but somebody isnt going to be totally happy.
 

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Glass Bloodfins (Prionobrama filigera) spend a lot of time at the top. They roam more than say, hatchet fish, but in my 30gl with Rummynose and Black Neons, they stay the highest, and even hover at the top waiting for me to feed, sometimes jumping. The Blacks are in between and the Rummies are all over, usually at the bottom looking for food all day. Make sure you have a tight lid for these guys, I've found them on the floor a few times for no apparent reason.

Any Hyphessobrycon species or similar type tetra I've had stayed in the middle most of the time. I'm sure there are a bunch of other Tetra species I haven't tried that prefer the top level. You can kind of guess their niche by the shape of their body and mouth.
 

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Oh yeah, any of the "splash tetras" too, like Copella arnoldi. You definitely need a lid for those, they got their common name for a reason. They're so top level they exit the water and lay their eggs on overhanging leaves.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
haha yeh saw the splash tetras in a documentary pretty fascinating fish reminds me of the local grunions to an extent,

glass bloodfins are nice thinking about them

the temp stays around 80 degrees and the thermo is set at 79 the neons i currently have seem to be fine :)
 

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Glass Bloodfin lifespan is something like 12 to 20 years too, so you don't get so much of the "tetra die off" you experience with many other popular species that are already over the hill by the time you get them. And their pecking order doesn't seem to whittle off the weaklings one by one like with Phantoms etc. Of course, you still need to maintain water quality to keep them alive and healthy.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
yeh i like the glass bloodfins or the beckford's pencil (three lined) espei pencilfish are also quite interesting as are the marbled hatchets... hmmm
 

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If you want Rams I think they will do fine at a lower temp. A lot of tank raised fish do fine at different temps and ph than they do in the wild. I have rams in my fishroom and during the summer there is no heat in most of the tanks. Water temp stays around 77 or 78. My guys are breeding just as often as they do in the winter when the heater is on and temp is around 80 to 82 and their color and health is excellent.
 

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Fishabse.org helps if you want to figure out a fish's zone. Check the ' environment' info for any species in question. Pelagic is upper/ mid level, benthopelagic is mid/ bottom level, usually an all around fish, and demersal is a bottom dweller.
 
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