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stephanieleah 11-11-2009 10:39 PM

Tank mates for tetras?
Hello all

I have a 30 gallon tank with a bristlenose pleco and six skirt tetras. Originally we were using the skirts to cycle the tank but now we want to keep them (we feel bad making them go back to the fish store--?).

We also want neon tetras. Is it okay to have both?

Assuming it is okay, what else might be a good match for this tank? We'd also like to add a few shrimp and some sort of eel. Does this sound like too much?

I have to say, I really had my heart set on the white cheeked goby, but then I read about them and they won't do wel in our warm tropical tank.

bettababy 11-11-2009 11:18 PM

The neons should do fine as long as there is plenty of decoration and you provide them with a large enough school of their own kind (5 - 10). At that point I'm afraid your tank will be quite full. I would not suggest an eel for such a mix. Neons are likely to become food to most freshwater eels.

If you have a sand substrate and wish to skip the neons, then there are a few smaller eels that might work out for you. Please be forewarned with working with the freshwater eels... most of them will only accept live black worms and other types of live foods.

As for the shrimps, if you are selective there are a few species of shrimp that could work... but not with an eel in the tank. Shrimps are eel food.
Ghost shrimp, cherry shrimp, ammano shrimp are all choices that do well with most tetras. Whisker shrimp will usually catch and eat small fish such as neons.

I hope this helps.

stephanieleah 11-12-2009 03:30 PM

Thanks! We're still considering giving back the skirts. I've just not become too attached. We'll see.

If we skip the neons, is there a catfish that would be compatible with the pleco and skirts? Or some kind of bottom feeder similar to the goby but compatible with my creatures?

Akeath 11-14-2009 04:59 PM

I'm still a beginner, so you'll have to check with this, but perhaps some kuhli loaches would work? They are not eels, but they have that look to them. They stay fairly small, are peaceful, and would go well with the tetras. I've heard that they generally go well with Loricariids, but you'd have to check about the bristlenose pleco in particular. Again, take this with a grain of salt, but its something to check out anyway.

bettababy 11-14-2009 11:45 PM

Typically kuhli loaches will leave most fish alone... not sure I would trust them with neons, but they'd be fine with the skirts or other larger peaceful tetras. The hard part about the kuhlis is that you don't see them real often because they spend most of their time hiding under things.

stephanieleah 11-15-2009 12:02 PM

Yeah, we were looking for a more visible tank mate since we run a home preschool and would love for the kids to see the tank's inhabitants. I do like the loaches, though.

I am thinking about just getting neons and that's it. Dawn, you mentioned that 5-10 neons would max out my tank, what if I got 6 neons (or cardinal tetras--same size?) and one bottom feeder/algae eater. Would that be too much? Just a reminder: we currently have six skirt tetras and one bristlenose pleco.

Thanks : )

Fishin Pole 11-15-2009 12:09 PM

before anyone decides how many small fish you can have in your 30 gallon, it would help to know your type of filtration your using.........The smaller tetras, rasboras and danios have a very small bio-load...With a good filtration setup you could push the numbers slightly higher.......

stephanieleah 11-15-2009 12:44 PM

I have an emperor 280 (marineland). I used a calculation on and it said with my filtration and tank size I could house an additional 6 neons and 5 otos (in addition to my current load). Does that sound like too much?

6998 11-15-2009 12:58 PM


Fishin Pole 11-15-2009 01:14 PM


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