OK, no Emperors! I don't want to have to deal with aggression.
I initially wanted cardinals... I can't remember why I took them off my list. I thought it was something about water, obviously not the softness - was it the temperature? Reading about them, I can't figure out why I wrote them off, essentially. Maybe it was just because I ended up with other fish, and there was no real water parameter issue. Hmmmm....
Wouldn't the cardinals be happier in a larger group of say 10?
I also do like the looks of those H. bentosi, and they are in stock at my LFS.
OK, so we will have: TOP TO BOTTOM (I think pretty close to this specific order?):
- 10-14 marbled hatchets - 10-14 N. eques/unifasciatus
- 2 gertrudae rainbows (sorry guys) - 7-9 N. Mortenthaleri - 7-10 Cardinal tetras
- 1 purple pencil (rubrocaudatus - sorry, lady) - 7 H. Bentosi
- 2 Laetacara A. (mine definitely use the middle part of the tank as well as the bottom, unlike the Apisto)
- 3 farlowella
- 2 Stiphodon gobies
- 1 Apisto baenschi inka
- 8 kuhli loaches
Those in bold are the ones I do not have that I need to choose between. Probably would be able to get 2 of the 4? I don't want to overstock. N. eques/unifasc
I like the unique swimming style / angle of them a lot, and a decent group would add a nice visual interest to the tank. The problem is that if they're truly top dwellers like the hatchets, that is a lot of fish at the top. I will have to watch those in the store and watch their habits. If they hang out in the middle up to the top, that should be fine. In that case, they might be nice with any of the other three. N. Mortenthaleri
The color and patterning would be striking and a nice addition to the tank - love the red. If they are middle dwellers they'd fill a nice spot in the column. Cardinal tetras
Again, a nice color contrast "pop" for the tank. Do they prefer middle or middle-lower tank? H. Bentosi
Nice to have a different-shaped fish, nice coloration too. Seems that they prefer the lower area of the tank, which may be a bit too crowded right now?
Just organizing the thoughts in my head so I can make a good decision.
I'll go look at everyone today. I won't be adding anyone until the Laetacara settle down from spawning, I think, because even though they're not harassing anyone, (and certainly not even looking at the hatchetfish) there is more chasing and darting around in the tank than normal. I wonder if this would stress out new fish, even if they were upper-tank fish like the hatchets or the N. eques.