Bottom Dwellers - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 9 Old 11-03-2011, 05:29 AM Thread Starter
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Bottom Dwellers

In a 10 gallon with 6 serpaes, what kind of bottom dwellers would work?

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post #2 of 9 Old 11-03-2011, 12:22 PM
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My personal favorite is Corydoras catfish. They're active, peaceful, hardy, and don't get huge. Lots of varieties to choose from.
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post #3 of 9 Old 11-03-2011, 12:30 PM Thread Starter
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Corys an example, how many panda cory's could work withthe 6 serpae's?
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post #4 of 9 Old 11-03-2011, 12:35 PM
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I would say 2 or 3, and also would recommend you feed them with sinking pellets so they get enough to eat.
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post #5 of 9 Old 11-03-2011, 12:46 PM
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Corydoras won't do as well if kept in a group with fewer than five members, and that would be too many for this tank. How about a Whip Tail Catfish? Of course, your selection depends on your water parameters. What is your temp, pH, hardness, plant load, filtration, etc?

"My dither fish need dither fish!"
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post #6 of 9 Old 11-03-2011, 01:04 PM
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I'm pretty sure they can't count that high; I've kept that many in smaller tanks for years and years and they've done quite well. It would still be my choice over a fish that, according to the fish profiles in here, will grow to nearly 5 inches in size, and for a 10 gal. tank, that's not much elbow room.
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post #7 of 9 Old 11-03-2011, 01:54 PM
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2 full grown coydoras will total about 5 to 6 inches. And a whip tail has a lighter bioload and is not an active swimmer. I am respectfully disagreeing that it is okay to keep a social species in such a small group. I'm providing an alternate choice to the OP that is consistent with my personal ethics. But, hey! Its okay if we disagree, the world wouldn't be as interesting and lively if we didn't.

"My dither fish need dither fish!"
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post #8 of 9 Old 11-03-2011, 02:40 PM
You could do pygmy cory, there are a couple other cory that only grow to about 1". Dont put regular size cory into a 10g. As mentioned they need to be in groups of 5+. I wouldn't do whiptail, they dont move much but they can take off in a hurry and do like space for short bursts.

That being said, the serpae's should be in a 20g as well.
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post #9 of 9 Old 11-03-2011, 04:08 PM
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Correct; the first issue is the Serpae Tetra. The info in the profile [click the shaded name] explains the problems so I won't repeat.

To the cory, I would not combine the pygmy species with Serpae. The "average" sized corys like the panda would probably be OK, but no fewer than 5. Although this species can attain close to 2 inches, it often doesn't [no idea why, but I have had them for years and they do not grow past 1.25 inches, when other cory species in the same tank do].

Physical space is one consideration when it comes to tank sizes for fish, and the other is water quality. The reason five Corydoras panda will work in a 10g, or that a Whiptail Catfish will also work, is first because they are not length swimmers. The Whiptail rarely swims at all, more of short spurts now and then (usually if another fish startles it), but primarily just grazing over surfaces with hops to another leaf or something. The corys are not distance swimmers, as for instance barbs or danio; corys swim continualloy, but they do so by browsing over every available surface. So physical space can be less. Which brings us to water quality. Live plants help enormously, and with both corys and whiptail plants should be in the tank, along with chunks of wood (both to provide that surface area they need for browsing). These fish are all surface browsers. In addition, regular water changes are essential. With good husbandry, these fish will be fine.

Which brings me back to the Serpae; this species really needs more room, it is quite the opposite of the above. It is a shoaling fish that will become very aggressive without sufficient fish in the group, and in small spaces aggression is usually increased.


Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]

Last edited by Byron; 11-03-2011 at 04:10 PM.
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