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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to planted tanks. I have a 30g & I'm wondering which type of fish to get that won't overwhelm my tank or the fish that I put in. It is an established tank with good parameters & it's had some different cats in it for about 6 months now. What type of fish should I get that would live with the cats & have plenty of room in a 30g tank? Thanks for the help. Lesley
 

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Better get those cats out or they will eat the fish. haha. Little joke.

Some of my favorites: apistos, rummynose tetras, emperor tetras, green neon tetras.

That's the best part of setting up a tank, deciding what fish to get!
 

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No fish would be happy living with cats, lol.

But if you are talking about catfish, than how many are there, how large are they or better yet how large are they going to get and if you know what type are they?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Basically, I'm bored with what I have & want something new & exciting. My tank is a 30 gallon community tank which has more than just the Cats (catfish), LOL........ I'll list what I have in the tank now & these guys have all been in the tank roughly 6 months to a year.

4 Albino Cory
4 Corydoras sterbai "Sterba's Cory"
2 Panda Cory
3 Zebra Danio
2 Serpae Tetra
2 Red Finned Shark 3"
2 Flying Fox 4"
2 Red Wag Platy

So, what to do with the fish I have? I'd like to get some Cichlid's fish but not sure what one's & how would they get along with what I have? Any help is good. Thank you
 

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Basically, I'm bored with what I have & want something new & exciting. My tank is a 30 gallon community tank which has more than just the Cats (catfish), LOL........ I'll list what I have in the tank now & these guys have all been in the tank roughly 6 months to a year.

4 Albino Cory
4 Corydoras sterbai "Sterba's Cory"
2 Panda Cory
3 Zebra Danio
2 Tetra
2 Red Finned Shark 3"
2 Flying Fox 4"
2 Red Wag Platy

So, what to do with the fish I have? I'd like to get some Cichlid's fish but not sure what one's & how would they get along with what I have? Any help is good. Thank you
definitely should get rid of the 2 red finned sharks they will eventually get too big for a 30 gallon tank. Flying fox can get aggressive as they age, so I'd probably get rid of those too.

Personally I don't care for zebra danios or platys so I'd get rid of those as well.

You can try to find a LFS that will take your old fish for store credit. Or find people near you who may want them.


I would get more tetras (not sure what kind you have) but I'd increase from 2 to at least 7.

I would also get a couple more panda corys although they will hang with the others if they can't hang with a group of their own kind.

You could get a school of a second type of tetra, or a pair of South American dwarf cichlids.
My personal favorite are Bolivian Rams.
 

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wow that is quite a bad mix of fish (no offense) (complete offense) haha, i would suggest just getting the fish out of there because some are aggressive and there are too many, i would keep half the cories and the shark then put some schooling fish in there or another bigger fish then vamp it up with some exotic shrimp, i also made some bad fish choices and now have to sort it out sometimes fish just wont work out and i think you might run into that problem if you dont get the mean fish out of there like the danios. it sounds like you've got a good tank though just sort out those fish
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your input & advice........ The tetra are Serpae Tetra & they are territorial & don't get along with each other. As for my fish being "A bad mix of fish", maybe on paper they are but in actuality, they all get along great, no fights except for the 2 Red Finned Sharks fight with each other & the Flying Fox fight with each other. Everyone gets along great, no fin nipping, no fights over food, very peaceful. The Zebra Danio are very mello fish & I would recommend them to anyone for a starter fish.

I don't mean to be defensive, I'm just stating facts so you have the correct information as it pertains to my tank.

As for Cichlids go........... There are just so many to choose from. The Dwarfs look nice, I just don't want the fish I have presently to be dinner, that would be cruel. Sure, a little territory scwabble is fine but I don't want an onslaught. Thanks for the advice.
 

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With what you have you are pushing the stocking limit. The 2 red sharks will fight each other maybe they don't yet but they will when they grow up. You should never keep more than one shark in a tank. Tetras should be in groups of 5 and up or they will fight with one of them being the looser and he will eventually perish. With 5 and more the aggression is spread out and tetras generally do not pick fights with fish outside their species. If you want to keep the tetras you should get at least 3 more of the same type. I would recommend getting rid of the sharks as your tank will eventually get too small even for one of those type of fish.
The other fish would be ok together.
Most cichilds require different water perimeters than most of your fish. I would not add cichlids to your tank unless you research where they come from.
 

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For what its worth, in my 29g I have: 10 neon tetras, 6 black phantom tetras (2M, 4F), 3 otos. The neons and phantoms go really well together, they each keep to their own species and don't bother each other. It's nice too because the neons seem to prefer the bottom half of the tank, and the phantoms seem to prefer the mid third of the tank.

My advice to you would be pick fish that are typically found together, or at least in the same general geographic location. They will tend to get along better, and IMO, it looks better too.
 

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if you aren't looking to get rid of any of your current stock, then I would definitely not recommend getting more fish. Even if you estimate all your fish being 1" aside from the sharks and flying fox you are already over the 1" per gallon rule.

While the 1" per gallon rule is flexible you still have to consider the size of the fish once full grown.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I went to my LFS today & learned a couple things. They will take my fish & give me credit for them, only 1/3rd of retail.

The advice I received on Cichlids was they are all aggressive & I shouldn't put them in with any of my current fish. They require a higher PH level than my current. They aren't easy to keep.

It's almost making me wonder why anyone keeps these fish if they are so difficult. More advice needed please.

Should my substrate be Sand or Flourite?
 

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I love serpae tetra's, one of my favorite fish, bright red, purple/orange sheen, and if kept in correct #'s, they are not overly aggressive. I also have kept Mbuna and have a 125 currently set up w/Tangy cichlids. If you go with cichlids, you prob should rehome all your fish with the exception of the Danio's, they can be kept as dithers if you keep bottom dwelling Tangy's. pH is good above 7.5, what is yours? As far as cichlids being hard to keep, that's really not true. They are no harder than any other fish to keep successfully, as with any fish, their needs need to be met. Substrate is really dependant on fish and tank type, I like soil base, Black Flourite cap, for planted tanks, but others like sand. For my Tangy tank, I went PFS, it's perfect for the fish I keep. First decide what fish your going to keep, then decide the substrate. Hope this helped.
 

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I went to my LFS today & learned a couple things. They will take my fish & give me credit for them, only 1/3rd of retail.

The advice I received on Cichlids was they are all aggressive & I shouldn't put them in with any of my current fish. They require a higher PH level than my current. They aren't easy to keep.

It's almost making me wonder why anyone keeps these fish if they are so difficult. More advice needed please.

Should my substrate be Sand or Flourite?
dwarf SA cichlids are pretty chill for the most part. They only get territorial when they have eggs or fry to guard and even then in most cases it won't be to the detriment of your other fish provided the tank is large enough for the cichlids to herd everyone to one side of the tank. My angelfish do this to my other fish in my 29 and there haven't been any issues from them doing that. I also have a single Bolivian Ram in the 29, he ignores all the other fish except the angelfish which he will bicker with at feeding times.

all SA cichlids prefer acidic pH like tetras, cories etc. so anything from 6.5 - 7 is perfect for them.

African cichlids are a totally different story, most of them are aggressive and would not be compatible with the fish you have now. Also they do best in higher pH 7 or above. The folks at the store probably thought you were talking about African Cichlids rather than SA cichlids.
 

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as far as trade in goes, its great they do that. I would try to find others in your area who may want to buy them first and if that doesn't work take them to the store for the credit.

I dunno where you are located, but if you go to the section of the forum with threads for each state you might be able to connect up with a local fish keeping club. also people at your lfs might know of a club in the area.

substrate wise sand is inert so it won't provide nutrients to rooted plants. Flourite has nutrients in it, but tends to be a bit costly. In my 29 gallon I have floramax from petsmart mixed with small grain pea gravel i got used when i got the tank. I dose Excel and fertilizers to help the plants grow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I updated my profile, I'm from Massachusetts.

From what you're saying, the South American Cichlids are more passive and African Cichlids are more aggressive, Correct?

When I was at the store today, they seemed to have more African than SA on hand, not sure why or I may just have missed which was which.

As for Trading vs. Selling, I'll look into selling them first. Thanks again for the advice.
 

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I updated my profile, I'm from Massachusetts.

From what you're saying, the South American Cichlids are more passive and African Cichlids are more aggressive, Correct?

When I was at the store today, they seemed to have more African than SA on hand, not sure why or I may just have missed which was which.

As for Trading vs. Selling, I'll look into selling them first. Thanks again for the advice.
Thats correct. And par for the course in terms of what stores normally stock. For whatever reason SA cichlids (esspecially dwarfs) aren't as popular as the africans. I dunno what type of store you are going to but, my petsmarts for example, has nearly an entire wall devoted to African Cichlids and only like 4 tanks for SA Cichlids and most of those are ones that arent good for beginners like Oscars and Green Terrors and Black Convicts. Thankfully I have an excellent lfs in my area that has a big selection of SA cichlids.
Another plus is they are much more knowledgeable about the fish and their needs and they go to SA each year to collect fish as well. This means they have wild fish and rare varieties which is nice. If I had one complaint it would be a lack of selection and knowledge of aquatic plants.

For beginners wanting cichlids I'd recommend Bolivian Rams (hardier than blue rams), Blue Rams, and Apistogramma species.

As far as selling, other than trying a local club or the mass. section here, there is also the forum swap shop, but if anyone who isnt close enough to pick them up was interested you have to ship them, which is something I know little about.
 
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