New Tank - Advice on the Number/Mix of Livebearers
I am a beginner/intermediate aquarist and just upgraded from a 10 gal to a 75 gallon tank. I have 3 swords (male (black hi-fin) and two females (one black hi-fin and one red velvet wag); don't ask!)) that I transferred to the new tank. I like swords and the big tank really shows off their colors and swimming, but I am not sure how best to integrate more swords or other livebearers into a large community tank. A couple of things about my interests and concerns:
1. I have no particular interest in breeding
2. I like swords, but I wouldn't mind having mollies and plattys as well, but don't know how their behavior would compare
3. I don't want guppies
4. I don't want more than 5 to 7 livebearers in the tank and I already have 3 swords
5. I am only going to have about 5 or 6 species in this tank (with two large schooling groups and no cats except an algae eater)
6. I've been thinking about a red velvet wag pair (making 3 wags) and another black hi-fin female, resulting in 6 swords - two males and 4 females.
7. Can I have two male swords in the same tank without fighting?
8. The swords are very aggressive eaters, and I am concerned that more than 3 swords could make it hard for others to eat.
Thanks for any advice you may have.
can i just ask you what algae eater? A good large schooling species is the giant danio.
Probably a bristle-nose pleco; I hear they don't get bigger than 4 to 5 inches. Thanks for the tip. I've heard giant danios are a good schooling fish. I'm not sure I've seen them yet in the shops I frequent.
It seems your tank is composed mostly of livebearers. The problem with this is that you'll be bombarded by a lot of fry making maintenance more difficult. Giant danios are good options. They will serve to control livebearer population. Try some tetras.:love: They will also help eliminate the fry.:)
Bristlenose plecs are catfish. And so are otocinclus species. Avoid Chinese Algae Eaters. This will serve as a reminder as any lfs employee will convince you into rubbish which has victimized a lot of beginners. Juvenile CAEs are fine but adults are not. Herein lies also the problem of catching this fish. They are way too elusive and you'll be forced to remove almost all decorations unless you figure a way to catch them without too much disturbance.:)
Thanks. So it sounds like you would suggest keeping my swordtail population down to the one male I have now. I have two females now and was thinking of adding a third; will I make it worse to have an additional female, resulting in even more pregnancies and more fry. Also, does it matter what kind of swordtail I add; will a female red velvet wag interact with a black hi-fin female in the same way it would interact with another female red velvet wag? Thanks.
So long as you have fish that will eat the fry, and you aren't above netting and disposing of the ones that don't become food, then another trio of swords would be fine. Do bear in mind that female swords can get almost 4" long, though, and plan accordingly.
While I am not a big fan of Danios, I do agree that they would be an effective fry control element, and might look excellent in an large tank. They can be a shade nippy, I hear, so be careful of adding long finned, slow moving fish. Also, Danios tend to be a top water fish, and swords top to middle. It might be worth getting some loaches for the bottom. Yoyos, Angelicus, and Zebras would all work well (and also help keep down the fry population). Get about 7. As for tetras, a while ago I was given some Von Rios (Flame tetras) and some Red Eyes, and the Von Rios are now among my favorite fish - always active, attractive, and not particularly nippy. I don't know hif they would help keep the livebear population down, but I'de consider adding a school of them if my tank were not glaringly lit.
Angelfish can help with the fry populations, but im not sure if they are compatible with most species due to there long fins
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