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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!
I had a thirty gallon breeder going with two groups of ten lampeyes killis and ten ember tetras, but ich came in with new fish and devastated the whole population and now I have two sad lampeyes left (for those wondering...yeah, definitively quarantining from now on, no matter the source). :(

However, it's given me a chance to learn, at least. The problem with the tank is it is a school tank, and the disease managed to really take hold and kill over the weekend when nobody was in. I plan to restock the lampeyes and the embers, but while I was thinking of putting in an Apisto, I'm thinking that might not be such a good plan now, since they are expensive here, pairs don't always work out and need to be monitored, and since they can be a bit of the delicate side...well, I don't want to risk it.

So I'm on the hunt for a fairly sturdy centerpiece fish that can be left alone over the weekends without adult supervision, so to speak. :) I must note that the tank will be cared for daily over the summer, so don't worry about that.

The tank is medium-ly planted and growing, with wood and lava/basalt rocks flanking the sides and creating hiding spaces. pH is about 7.4, though GH and KH are low at 50 ppm. I heard Pearl Gouramis would be a good fit for the tank, but I'm not completely sold. I had one once, and he was very pretty but shy as the dickens and only started coming out when I got big groups of fish in there.

Thank you so much!
 

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A pair of kribensis would work as Topekoms pointed out.

I suggest a small school (5 or so) of a rainbowfish. They will get pretty large (4" ish) but not too large for your 30 gallon tank. My personal favorite are turquoise rainbowfish but bosemani are beautiful as well.

Another option would be a trio of Rams, possibly bolivian rams or german blue rams, however these will stay towards the bottom half of the tank as will the kribensis.

If you want something a little more rare, another cichlid option would be possibly the bandit cichlid, the cupid cichlid or a personal favorite of mine the laetacara dorsigera (redbreast acara)

Good luck, you will find something that is perfect im sure!
 

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For a small but very sturdy fish that fits most any size tank, I have a favorite. The rainbow cichlid (Herotilapia mulitspinosa) is a very nice little fish that will harm nobody else in the tank. They come from small pons in nature and have adapted to fit the situation. As they often get very crowded, they have developed actions to prevent any real damage. They often do "bluff" charges but rather than running the lesser will often go into a head down submissive position and the dispute is settled. I have kept them with guppies.
 

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For a small but very sturdy fish that fits most any size tank, I have a favorite. The rainbow cichlid (Herotilapia mulitspinosa) is a very nice little fish that will harm nobody else in the tank. They come from small pons in nature and have adapted to fit the situation. As they often get very crowded, they have developed actions to prevent any real damage. They often do "bluff" charges but rather than running the lesser will often go into a head down submissive position and the dispute is settled. I have kept them with guppies.
+1 for Herotilapia mulitspinosa
 

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Agree with above suggestions. If you have acidic water, though (which, if I recall correctly, both of the other fish like), a group of samurai gourami would be an excellent showcase fish.

Out of curiosity, but are rainbow cichlids inclined to eat small fish?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I was actually thinking of rams but heard that the Germans can be fairly sensitive, especially when introducing to new tanks. Maybe Bolivians though.
I don't know what my problem is though, for whatever reason I just don't like Kribs. It's almost just too much colour. :p But the rainbow cichlids are gorgeous and very cute.

On a side note, the heater in the tank broke and sent the tank to 90 degrees, and neither me nor the teacher noticed for 2-3 days and now we are down to one lone little lampeye. Could the stress of the illness and the sudden temp upswing have caused the death or do you guys think the ich has survived?
 

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If you're open to gouramis but don't like the pearls you could do any of the other common gouramis - a three spot/blue/opaline (all the same species) would be friendly, interesting to watch and very hardy. They can only be kept singly though, so you could add in some tetras or other small schooling fish to go with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hmm, I've been doing some research on rainbow cichlids and it seems most of the people I've found are keeping them with neons, cardinals, and generally tetras that get about an inch. I want to re-ask Grah's question, are they likely to eat my small embers?
And just general cichlid question, would it be terrible to end up with just one cichlid? I can't seem to find an answer and that may be the route I'll have to go if my LFS has trouble finding a pair.
 

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Pearl Gourami's are by far my favorite centerpiece fish for a tank like this, i have a pair in my 40 high and i absolutely love them. You do need schools of smaller fish around for them to feel comfortable, that's just how these fish are. You would need to get a pair however, they do not enjoy being alone.

You could also go for Bolivian Rams. I also really like Bolivian Rams
 

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Angelfish! Get 1 or a pair. There are one of my favorite fish and they actually have different personalities. Very beautiful and graceful. If you only have one they will not be aggressive at all.
 

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Angelfish! Get 1 or a pair. There are one of my favorite fish and they actually have different personalities. Very beautiful and graceful. If you only have one they will not be aggressive at all.
It's just my personal preference, but I don't like angels in less than a 55. I love big angels, and big and 30 gallons just don't work. Smaller angels maybe, but smaller fish do grow bigger.

+1 on the gourami suggestion though. You can keep them at higher temps, and make it more difficult for another ick outbreak to take hold. Another option might be a pair or trio of wild bettas, possibly betta imbellis. These tend to be somewhat more docile than domestic bettas, and can even be kept multiple to a tank. All the personality of a domestic betta as well...Or you could find a very calm and easygoing domestic betta that doesn't mind sharing a tank. A female maybe?
 

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I love wild bettas. Betta simplex being my current favorite ATM. A "reverse trio" (2M, 1F) would be a good choice for a 30gal tank. B. simplex are very hardy, and do pretty well in harder water. If you can find some that are captive bred, they are even hardier than wilds.

If you want to go this direction, would either get a single fish or a reverse trio, not a pair, as the females are prone to literally breeding males to death. They're a mouthbrooder- and the males cannot eat during the entire time they are holding the eggs and fry in their mouths.

A dwarf gourami would be another option to consider... though they don't tend to be very long-lived and there have been a lot of issues with them carrying a deadly (to them) iridiovirus.

Any of the plant-friendly dwarf cichlids would be a good option. Tons of personality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I don't think angelfish would be a good fit. They'll probably end up eating my embers, my tank is lower than tall so they'd be too small, and it is a school tank, and I don't want to be responsible for some kids seeing a fish he recognizes in my tank and going out to plop it in a bowl. At least people know tetras need space, but for some reason don't understand how big and relatively aggressive angelfish get.
But that betta simplex is gorgeous and looks pretty hardy and peaceful. Does anybody on this site breed them?
 

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A 30 gallon tank is pretty small for some of these ideas. I would stick to smaller fish.

1) If all the Embers and all but one Lampeye are dead, I would remove that one fish and allow the tank to be fishless and warm for at least a week. Makes sure the Ich is gone. Without a hose it will die in just a few days.

2) Rethink the stocking.
Idea: ONE school of fish.
ONE show fish that swims in a different area of the tank.
ie: A pair of Bolivian Rams that tend to stay near the bottom and a dozen or more Tetras that stay mid to upper tank.
ie: A Gourami (Honey or Dwarf) or Betta that stays near the top and a dozen or more Rasboras or Barbs that stay mid to lower tank.

Or 2 schools that live in different areas of the tank.
ie: Half a dozen Cories (bottom) and a dozen or more Tetras
ie: Half a dozen Zebra Loaches (bottom) and a dozen or so Rasboras or Barbs.

Do not put the mid sized Rainbows in this tank. They are highly active and 4" highly active fish are not right in this small tank. They need a tank at least 4' long.
Do not put tall fish such as Angels in a breeder style tank. The Angels can develop really nice tall fins when kept in tall tanks, such as the standard 29 gallon or larger, but do not develop so nicely in shallow tanks.
Yes, look into the unusual fish, but remember that one reason a fish is unusual is that it may be hard to breed or hard to care for so hatcheries are not interested in dealing with it. Avoid the fish with a 'delicate' reputation.

What age is the classroom? Would there be a teaching opportunity in setting up a biotope? The students would do the research into what fish and what their native conditions are like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
It's a freshman and sophomore biology/chemistry/anatomy class, but it's more cellular biology and the tank is more for enjoyment.
Why would you say stick to either two schools or one school one centerpiece? Is it a potential space issue or waste issue?
 

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I never find angelfish work well with small fish over the long run.They do eat small fish in nature. Since neons do not have the knack of hiding under things but tend to swim up to avoid trouble, they turn out to be easy prey even before the angel gets a large enough mouth to actually get them in.
I have never seen any sign of rainbow cichlids preying on small fish. When I had two groups of pairs spawning at the same time, the larger of the two pair did go to the second site and move some fry from the smaller fish's nest to his own but as far as I could tell he did this only as a rather confused act of taking care of fry. He did always spit out the fry he picked up. It was just not HIS fry! This was in a 55 and the nests were very close together so at times, he looked up and found a fry hovering over the top of the rock and he moved it back down into his group. There were numerous guppies in the tank and they were escorted out of the area but never chased or eaten.
 
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