Need advice on aquarium compatibility
I'm starting my first aquarium, it's a tropical ten gallon.
I really want a little catfish, like a cory, and some little ghost shrimp. The other fish I'm not sure about, but I don't want anything that will eat the shrimp!
I was thinking of a few guppies (top swimmers)
A few neon tetras (middle)
A glassfish or two (middle)
I also really like dwarf gouramis, the pretty speckled red ones, but I've heard they'll eat my shrimp and tetras! What tropical fish will get along with my little shrimp?
One thing to be aware of when stocking is that some fish (known as shoalers, or schooling fish) do extremely poorly when not kept in groups. For characins like tetras, rasboras and danios the magic number is 6. For cories it is usually at least 3 or 4. Glass catfish will need to be kept in 6-es as well, and will overstock your tank even if they are in there alone! When not kept in groups, these families will either harass other fish or spend all day hiding.
My dwarf gouramis have left my zebra danios alone, perhaps because they are so fast. I can definitely see them picking at shrimp though. Some smaller species of gourami, such as honey gourmis or sparkling gouramis should do fine with larger guys ghost shrimp. In fact, I think a trio of dwarf gouramis (I have only had luck keeping them in ratios of 1M:2F) would kind of overstock the tank anyways. Some honeys would be awesome though.
Glassfish, at least the species commonly available in petstores, are typically a light brackish water fish. Not going to be compatible with cories or tetras.
10 gallons is a bit small to work with.
Let me suggest that, if you can lay hands on them, Honey Dwarf Gouramis (Colisa chuna) are a better bet that even the regular Dwarf gouramis (C. lalia [Actually, they may both have been reclassified back into Trichogaster, but I lost interest before researching it, as I am sure you are doing right now.... so]). 1 male and 2 females is a good number.
People stress the shoaling aspect of cories more than is profitable in my opinion. You won't get real good shoaling behavior without 8 or 10 or more, so don't sweat that. On the other hand, go with one of the smaller cories if you can lay hands on them. C. pygmaeus, C. hastatus, or C. habrosus all are right around 1". If you plant the tank well and keep up on your water changes, you could stick 8 or 10 of those in there. For he slightly larger species, I'd recommend a trio of C. metae, ususally traded as Bandit cories. AVOID Emerald Green Cories (Brochis splendens), as they get nearly 3" long. Ditto the albinos (Female bronze and Paleatus cories can get nearly 3").
If you can lay hands on them, there's a really pretty little catfish that's just starting to come in from southeast asia: Hyalobagrus flavus. They're cute as a bug's ear, stay small, and tend to be more midwater than most cories. I'd go with 6 of those or 10 if I were just doing them and the Gouramis.
To round it out, rather than a tetra, why not go with something that will feel more natural with the gouramis? Emerald Eye rasboras, or one of the pygmy species like Bororas maculatus would be a really nice complement with a school of 9 or so Emerald eyes or 10 or so of the microrasboras.
If you do go with the tetras, yeah, 6 or 8 neons would work. Might nip on the gourami's fins, though.
some suggestions: White cloud minnows, bettas, depending on the other fish you get, guppies, frogs, snails, shrimp, otos, panda cories stay small =)
Ahh, and you wanted shrimp at the outset. hrrm.
I had a 20 at one point that had amano shrimp, pygmy cories, neons, ottos, and some diamond tetra fry I was growing out. You could probably scale that back. Call it, 8 each ghost shrimp, neons, and pygmy cores. or 6 ghosties and 8 neons.
Thing is, they won't be comfortable unless the tank is planted well and the lighting is relatively subdued and the substrate dark. You might not see any of the fish all that often.
Sure you don't have room for a 20 long? They can be found on craigslist for a pretty reasonable price. or even a 15. The thing is, Yeah, you can keep 6 neons, but really, they do much better in groups twice that size (and in the wild, they school in the thousands. It takes a ton of neons for them to be truly comfortable. A 55 with 100 neons is a sight worth seeing.)
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