01-12-2014, 08:45 AM
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I agree, cories are better for tanks under 30 gallons(as are mystery snails or nerite snails...nerite snails are better since their eggs can't hatch unless in brackish water so you wont get over-run with them), they do need a group of five and also require softer substrate like sand(sand is good for just about every fish contrary to what some people think...they're not going to eat it but will often sift through it...and whatever they DO eat, they likely needed...unless you have a real moron fish who thinks sand is food...o-o; It happens, very rarely...). And keep in mind that 30 gallons is still pushing it for swordtails, it's a bare minimum size requirement for them since they do get so big and like space. If you want preferable size for them, 45-50+ gallons is golden for them.
Can you tell us what kind of pleco you have? And do remember, they're mostly nocturnal, so feed him at night, they're not the most active fish even at night though....they just like to hang out, though some will bounce around looking for food when real hungry.