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hey thanks Byron, that was probably the most helpful advice I've received so far, everyone else, your advice was nice too thank you.
The Bolivian would be the best choice of the three "larger" fish mentioned; as a single fish, it will not usually bother others, aside from poking them away when it is feeding from the substrate. Pearl Gourami can attain almost 5 inches, and that is a fair size; and they might decide to have the tetra for lunch. I once observed (in a fish store tank) 2 Blue Gourami that were about 3 inches circle a neon and they made very quick work of it, before starting to eye another.
Otos are fine, if you like the fish; by this I mean that you are getting them for more than just algae control. I would wait until the tank is established to see what you have. Plus there are some other interesting fish that would fit this need.
Hatchet species isn't mentioned, but if it one of those in Carnegiella I would get more than six; no less than 8-9. Carnegiella strigata, the marble hatchetfish, is one of the best. All of the species are in the profiles. And the larger common Silver hatchetfish is too.
Fake plants, caves, wood is fine, the fish don't care as long as they have the security of these things. But with plants, i really recommend live, for all the benefits they provide. As long as you have decent light you can grow several live plants easily.
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]
You mentioned the Blue Rams would eat the tetras, is the Bolivian ram the same? If so, is there another schooling fish you could recommend that would go with them? You also said to wait on the Oto's because there are other fish to take there place, any recommendation on those also? And what would i need as a substrate to grow live plants? I have gravel in my tank with an below gravel bubbler in it, and i could also use some "Live Plant" Recommendations. I heard there are floating Moss balls that are easy to take care of, but i don't know any plants that actually have to be planted. How hard would it be to make my substrate sufficient for live plants?
It was the blue Gourami, that Byron mentioned ate a couple tetras. I have a Bolivian Ram with neon tetras, and he has not shown any aggression toward anyone. I also have a female Blue Gourami, and she hasn't either, for what that is worth.
If gravel has waste in it, plants can do fine, but you want to keep your gravel as small as possible. Plant fertilizers help also.
Just because animals can't talk, does not mean they should not be heard
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