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Is this a good grouping of fish? Or do I have it all wrong?
I have a 45 gallon aquarium that I am cycling, and would like to add these fish:
4 Kuhlii Loach
1 Spotted Rafael Catfish or 1 Pictus Catfish
5 Glass Catfish
2 Pearl Gourami
3 Ghost Shrimp
1 Mystery Snail
Does this sound like a good mix? Or would some of them not get along? I tried to pick compatible fish, but I am new to aquarium-making...
Glass cats are somewhat touchy, nix the pictus and rafael, they will eat your shrimp. and the gouramis will eat the baby shrimp.
Sounds like a partial do-over, huh?
I would rather just nix the shrimp - unless another species of shrimp would be big enough to fend for themselves? The pictus and rafael are too beautiful to get rid of (by the way, can I have both, or would they compete?). Should I replace the glass cats with barbs? I think they would go well with the others...
The glass cats are difficult to keep. You have a lot of bottom dwellers in that list... if it were me, I would swap out the glass cats for something that would swim more in the middle levels. Maybe some of the less nippy barbs or tetras, or some livebearers like swordtails.
I don't think the raphael and the pictus will really "compete." The raphael behaves more like a pleco; it tends to like to hide and be still during the day and is more active at night. The pictus, on the other hand, is an active fish that will constantly swim about the aquarium looking for food. Very different fish. Both will likely eat any fish small enough to fit in their mouths, so whatever else you put with them shouldn't be too small.
I worry about either of those catfish munching on the kuhlis, since they loaches are so skinny and therefore fit in mouths (like spaghetti!). You'll also want to keep at least 6+ kuhlis if you ever want to see them, less than that and they'll be too shy to ever come out.
Skip the Raphael and the pictus. Gouramis are a good idea. Bring it up to 6 kuhlis. Unless you can do perfect water quality and have a solution for a slow, midwater current, skip the glass cats (they do better in a 4' tank in any case - glad to see you were going to keep a shoal though - good thinking there).
So with the gouramis up top and the shrimp and kuhlis down low, a shoaling fish for the middle, maybe. Cherry barbs, Black Ruby Barbs, Praecox rainbows, McCullochi rainbows, Diamond Tetras, Red or Black minor tetras, Espi, Harlequin, or Hengeli rasboras. Pristella Tetras if you want to keep the transparency.
With the catfish out you could add a *single* Bolivian Ram or something like that. They may munch the shrimp from time to time, but for the most part the ghost shrimp are too big and cheap anyway :D
Hmm.... ok, revised list -
6 Kuhlii Loach
1 Spotted Rafael Catfish (small)
1 Pictus Catfish (small)
2 Pearl Gourami
5 Barbs (of a lesser nippy type - suggestions?)
1 Mystery Snail
How does that look?
Well, the thing about those catfish is even if you buy them small, they will grow bigger. I still worry about the kuhlis being eaten.
Sooner or later, the raphael or the pictus will eat your kuhlis. Either go with the kuhlis or the catfish. If you go with the kuhlis, cherry barbs and black ruby barbs are both pretty darn cool. Get at least 2 females per male cherry barb, and make sure to aquascape to break up sightlines and provide hiding places if you get more than one. I have seen one male cherry barb chase another the full 4' of a 55 and back again. Fun stuff. They do not give my gouramis a bit of trouble, though, and they get along fine with the kuhlis.
If you are going to go with the larger cats, go with black rubies or gold barbs. Unless the cats get really big, they porbably won't take down a 3" fish.
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