Small, Peaceful Schooling Fish
May tank is coming along nicely and I'm slowly refining my species that I would like. I'm thinking that a nice small, peaceful fish that schools most/all of the time (not just when freaked out) would be a great addition to my tank (will have no center piece fish so though a decent school could take its place).
My water is soft (no data yet, its rainwater though) and acidic pH ~6.8. Tank is a 50 gallon 4 foot with plants. The bulk of my other species atm are Lemon Tetras and Neon Tetras. So ideally something that likes this type of water, is happy with other fish and schools all the time. Have Rummy Noses in mind but are there any other species out there that fit these criteria?
Black neons are excellent schoolers that stay in the upper half of the tank.
Threadfin Rainbow's, Pristella tetra's, Silvertipped,Blood fin ,come to mind.
Would stay away from the ever increasing poor quality neon (blue/red) tetra's, that have a good chance of introducing mycobacterium,other disease/parasites. IMHO.
Dwarf corydoras are interesting also .
Although they don't school as tigthly as their larger cousins..they do explore all area's of the tank and are fun to watch.
If you want something a little different, and I think you have room for this in addition to the small schooling fish you are looking for, then perhaps you'd like a school of pearl gouramis. Unlike just about all other gouramis, pearls are a group oriented fish that really enjoy the company of their own kind. More often than not, my 5 are together near the top of the tank.
Rummynose tetra are the most consistent shoaling fish I've ever come across (in freshwater). And with soft slightly acidic water, you're ideal for them. The Brilliant (Hemigrammus bleheri) is the most colourful of the three species, and the one most often available because of this.
Some of the other named tetra are fine, but can be nippy, so be careful; this is mentioned in our profiles. And gourami can set this off even in otherwise peaceful characins. As Neale Monks wrote, tetra have a lot of teeth and they like using them.:lol:
On other small shoaling fish suited to your water, look at the pencilfish; these will remain more in the upper and mid-level, so a nice balance with tetra like those mentioned that tend to be mid- to low-level. Also for the surface, hatchetfish. And the rasbora in Trigonostigma [there are three similar species, all are in the profiles] are excellent "schoolers."
Do you have any bottom dwellers?
Cory cats are awesome. Their shoals are adorable. I highly recommend them.
I've kept my pearls with a variety of small tetras for years. Providing enough space and proper school sizes is key. A 4 foot tank is ample space.
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