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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long time no see, I just started working at a small countrymax in January and wanted suggestions on where to place certain fish.

What I want to know is what fish can be grouped together in each different tank without causing the fish harm or stress.

For example, we currently have individual tanks for barbs, gouramis, African cichlids, and Rams species tanks to name a few. We do not have a large area to work with and so need to maximize knowledge of compatible fish that can be in tank together.

For instance what "type" of tank would a small spotted ctenotoma go in? What other fish would mesh safely within that tank. What is compatible with small angel fish?

For more oddball or aggressive fish, can a properly sized ghost knife fish go in with the pike cichlid and fire mouth cichlid? What species could go safely in a tank with these species.

What about a young blue flowerhorn cichlid? What can go in with him?

I'm trying to be able to have more variety of fish for our customers while keeping conditions right for any fish we may get. I could really use some ideas.
 

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Ctenopoma will swallow anything they can fit in their mouth and will probably fight each other. Best kept with fish about their size and away from each other and similar fish like gouramis. If it isn't edible and doesn't look like them, you should be OK, and they can go in tanks with meaner fish like cichlids because they usually go unnoticed.
Angelfish babies are timid and can probably be kept with just about anything that won't attack them. Once they get big, they get mean, but small ones should be fine in a big group as long as there's a bit of cover.
Cichlids are best kept with other cichlids of similar aggression.
Larger, meaner fish are best kept either on their own (maybe in a plant sale tank, depending on species) or with nothing but inedible dither fish.
In an environment like a LFS, one with limited space and no opportunity to establish territory, aggression shouldn't be a huge problem.

How many tanks do you have, and what sizes? That will also affect what can go where.
Kudos for not just dumping things together and hoping for the best.
 

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Long time no see, I just started working at a small countrymax in January and wanted suggestions on where to place certain fish.

What I want to know is what fish can be grouped together in each different tank without causing the fish harm or stress.

For example, we currently have individual tanks for barbs, gouramis, African cichlids, and Rams species tanks to name a few. We do not have a large area to work with and so need to maximize knowledge of compatible fish that can be in tank together.

For instance what "type" of tank would a small spotted ctenotoma go in? What other fish would mesh safely within that tank. What is compatible with small angel fish?

For more oddball or aggressive fish, can a properly sized ghost knife fish go in with the pike cichlid and fire mouth cichlid? What species could go safely in a tank with these species.

What about a young blue flowerhorn cichlid? What can go in with him?

I'm trying to be able to have more variety of fish for our customers while keeping conditions right for any fish we may get. I could really use some ideas.
My knowledge is drawn from many years of LFS browsing. Some from keeping the species. A good rule of thumb is to keep peaceful species away from the semi aggressive or aggressive species.


A LFS I go to has Gold Rams, Angels, Corys and Spotted Ctenotoma together in a 55 gallon. I think size is the key. In that tank they're all about the same size. The Ctenotomas seem to be very shy. That may be because they aren't comfortable in there though.

Any Flowerhorns should be kept solo from what I have seen. I have yet to see a flowerhorn displayed with any other fish in the tank in the 10 years I've seen them in the trade. They are almost without fail a hyper-aggressive species.

Same goes for african cichlids and other species. They're best kept to themselves and possibly Syndontis species.

I've seen smaller Gourami species kept with Cherry Barbs. I don't think Tiger barbs are a good fit for them. There can be aggression between Gouramis and dwarf cichlids. Gouramis, as with most fish can be kept with Corys. Tetras, Rasboras and Danios as well.

I had a 125 g with a pike and Black Ghost that got along just fine. It probably depends on the species of pike. If you try it, watch closely.

It would probably be best to ask specific questions on the fish you're thinking about getting in. Combinations are endless. You'll also want to keep a close eye on things. At another LFS they had a baby Black Ghost tank with one platy in it. That one platy was tearing up the BG's. I had to bring it to the attention of the workers, who took the platy out. You just never know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I can't remember off the top of my head but there is something like what looks like 3 rows of maybe 20 gallons tall tanks on one wall? I'd have to look tomorrow to be sure of the sizes of those and the rows of slightly larger tanks.

And thanks, me and my co-worker who actually pushed to have me hired there try not to just toss em in a tank and see what sticks. I'm just trying to make full use of and organize any space we have to better accommodate fish and maximize productivity.

I've been very stressed the past few months and am starting to become kind of OCD about things and not having the fish perfectly organized in a manner that maximizes the variety of fish we could have has been bugging me among many other things.
 

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Also, tetras vary greatly in aggression and behavior, but body shape is usually a good guide for what can be kept together. For example, neon tetras, glowlight tetras, and gold tetras all have pretty much the same body type and fins, and they're all compatible. Likewise, serpae tetras and skirt tetras are taller-bodied tetras that tend to be a bit meaner but are still compatible. Depending on numbers, you'll probably want to have only one or two species of tetra in each tank, though, for appearance purposes. You could try something like several of one species of larger fish (rams?), one or two species of smaller tetra, and one bottom-dweller like a cory. If you have suckermouth fish like plecos, it's best to spread them out so they all have an opportunity to nibble on bio-film. They'll absolutely need supplemental food, though.
If you have any fish that are likely to breed, livebearers and such, I'd suggest having one tank that you keep the plants in and chuck any found fry into. For one thing, if people know that you have a fry tank, they might end up bringing you fry that they can't handle. Free fry! Keep the tank full of moss (which can be sold when it grows), sprinkle ground flake food in, and then the biggest and most durable out of the batches gets to sale size.
If at all possible, don't keep convict males and females together. You'll get about five thousand baby convicts if they breed, and there's only so much of a market for as mean a thing as a convict.
 
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