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redchigh 06-11-2010 01:30 AM

Help choosing species of Rasbaras and Loaches
If anyone has been following my posts, you know I'm getting a 50G soon. (I'm exited!)

I want to check and double check everything before I decide on fish because I don't want to change my mind after I buy things. :)

I think I've decided my 50 gallon will be a southeast asian biotope.
(I was playing around with South American, but everyone does that. :p I'll convert my 5 gallon into a tiny south america biotope.)

It will be soil-substrate with about 1-1.5 inches of sand on top. (Would the loaches go through to the soil layer? Even if they did, I don't see what the huge problem would be. Sure, a little cloud. There's eventually not going to be a filter in it, so wouldn't the cloud just settle?

Anyways, with southeast asian, the plant front is pretty simple. The two that stuck out are Hairgrass and Crypts. Crypts have a lot of variety, so that's all I need. 5-8 varieties and some hairgrass, driftwood, and done.

My question is about the fish...
I'd like rasboras and loaches.
I'd really like coolies, but I since they get so big I guess I'll find smaller loaches. Would definately like a group of 4-5. (Maybe more, I'd like activity on the bottom.)

I'd like 2 or 3 rasbora species, and perhaps a honey gourami later on.

Are glass catfish schooling or could I just get 2-3 and make them my centerpiece fish (instead of the gourami)?

I'd also like a variety of sizes and colors- I like the spotted rasbora. I assume about 8 of those.

What would you suggest?

Also, (I doubt it but it's worth a shot) could a Betta go in that tank too, or would the rasboras nip it to death?


I'm hoping this is a long discussion, since I'm not going to even think about buying fish for a couple months. (soil takes a lot longer to establish a balance.)
No, I don't even have the tank yet. Just planning. :-D:-D

iamntbatman 06-11-2010 05:03 AM

Kuhli loaches get three or four inches long but are really thin fish and have a pretty tiny bioload. You could easily have a dozen or more of them in a tank of that size along with the other fish you're talking about without a problem. Well, without a bioload problem, anyway. I had black kuhli loaches for a while, and I've gotta say...they're kind of boring fish. They're very nocturnal, so they spend most of their time hiding wherever they can all day long then come out at night to scavenge for food. Some other type of small loach might be a more active, interesting choice.

Glass cats are a shoaling species that should be kept in groups of 5-6 or more like other shoaling fish. They're pretty nervous fish as it is, so you definitely don't want to compromise them further by not having enough for them to feel comfortable.

I'm not sure about the betta and rasbora combination as I've never done it myself, but I believe there are lots of rasboras that aren't nippy at all and likely wouldn't bother a betta.

Hobo joe 06-11-2010 05:11 AM

I would suggest
-silver-tips (not sure if they are rasboras)

what about some danios? leopard and long-fin zebra?

aunt kymmie 06-11-2010 10:57 AM

Dwarf chain loaches (Yasuhikotakia sidthimunki) are small, very active and extremely cute. I keep them and I love them. You might want to consider them. They are great little fish!

redchigh 06-11-2010 11:00 AM

Thanks for the tip. I may get a "moon" might if I decide on the loaches, but I'll try to find something more active.
Does anyone know of a text-only database of fish? All of the search engines except are way too slow for my connection. I'll probably go to a library and do some hard-core research one day.

Hobo jo:
I read somewhere the danios prefer harder more basic water, so they're not really an option. This will be a blackwater pool type biotope. Barbs aren't out of the question though.

I'm considering these right now:
1 pair Blue band mouthbrooder - Betta enisae
8 Dwarf rasbora - Boraras maculatus
6 Harlequin Rasbora Trigonostigma heteromorpha (kinda iffy- they don't seem particularly colorful IMO)
8 Neon green rasbora Microrasbora kubotai

I could bump the numbers up and just get one more species, don't have any idea what. Maybe add some silver tips, but they don't really seem to 'pop' ether.

I may put some type of dwarf shrimp in as well... Many of them are from asia, and I think the mouthbrooder is too small to easily eat them. (I know the baby shrimp would probably get eaten, that's okay. Would like a 'natural' form, not red cherries or crystal reds. Might even introduce some scuds and see if they're eaten.)

I just noticed this should probably be in the fish forum- if anyone wants to move it that would be great. I posted this at 3:00 am so.... I guess I'm a fish addict.

Oh, the tank will be open top... Do any of these fish jump?
I suppose I could just buy a glass or plexiglass plate to go on top and act as a condensation tray...

redchigh 06-11-2010 11:45 AM

I see the reasoning, for the 20-minute rule for editing posts, but it's irritating. I hate doing two posts back to back.

Aunt kymmie: Thanks for the idea- Pygmy Loach sounds perfect. I guess that puts me at:
8-10 dwarf loach
8-10 Neon Rasbora
8-10 Dwarf rasbora (aka dwarf spotted rasbora)
1 pair of Betta (not typical Bettas, but something in the family) or Gourami (Maybe honey gourami?)

Might bring the numbers down to allow another species or up and maybe one other larger fish...
Gouramis are really abundant in the region... Kissing Gourami is a food fish there, they use it to stock ponds.

Maybe 1 pair honey gourami and 1 pair paradise fish?
Sounds like I'm done. :)

Maybe get one of the other Betta species- Paradise fish are colorful, but many bettas are mouthbrooders and that would be cool too....

Maybe the loaches will spawn. I love a challenge, and I have a couple extra 10-gallon tanks....It's a shame they're nearly extinct in the wild, but that's all the more reason to build a biotope for them. Ensure survival of the species. Thats a lot of maybes.

Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Do any of these fish jump? I was planning on the tank being topless... Could always get a glass plate though.
Found a 48" stand so I can use a 4-foot shop light and put a 5 or 10 beside the 50. Light two birds with one stone. :)

Will probably use two bulbs, bringing the light up to 30-40W for a 50 and a 10... They'll be soil-substrate so they need the high light. (Soil substrate tanks are usually placed by a window and given a light. I think 40W 8 hours a day wouldn't be too much.)

Byron 06-11-2010 07:37 PM

There is alot of different things in this thread, so I'm only going to comment on a couple now, as it is close to my evening supper hour. I will probably have more tomorrow.

Loaches: beautiful and amazing little fish. But only some species will work in a 50g. And yes, they will dig through to the soil, that is their nature. Kymmie's dwarf loach suggestion is perfect for your setup, and they would be less likely to cause problems with the substrate; I have a group of five in my 70g Asian tank. And I have Botia kubotai (think Kymmie does too), they are perfect too, I have never seen any fish so playful, all day long, chasing each other with no rough stuff.

Rasbora are all peaceful. I have added several species to our profiles. The dwarf species (in the Boraras genus) are a bit tricky in large tanks. But all are non-aggressive and very peaceful. The Trigonostigma species are partiuclarly beautiful and suitable.

And that brings me to our profiles, we have a lot of fish and are working to add more regularly. Please make use of this resource.

If you intend anabantids, the tank must be well covered with glass to keep mositure and warmth in above the water; gourami, betta all breathe air, and if it is not warm health issues will occur. I have Chocolate gourami (two of the three species so far), they spawn regularly, as do my pygmy sparkling gourami. These are both a bit less "ordinary" and worth a look. And floating plants are mandatory with all these fihs, both for security, and to cut down the light; these fish are occur in darker waters.


redchigh 06-12-2010 09:53 AM

I came to the library today so that I can check the profiles.

I was definately planning floating plants, probably azolla and duckweed. I suppose I'll have to pay close attention and make sure they don't totally cover the surface- that would hurt the anabantids right?

Wow, Botia kubotai sound nice. How big do they get though? The fishforum database doesn't give a size, and another database I went to says they can hit 5 inches. Sounds a bit big...

Maybe 3 Botia kubotai
7 dwarf loach?

Byron 06-12-2010 10:42 AM


Originally Posted by redchigh (Post 402990)
I came to the library today so that I can check the profiles.

I was definately planning floating plants, probably azolla and duckweed. I suppose I'll have to pay close attention and make sure they don't totally cover the surface- that would hurt the anabantids right?

Wow, Botia kubotai sound nice. How big do they get though? The fishforum database doesn't give a size, and another database I went to says they can hit 5 inches. Sounds a bit big...

Maybe 3 Botia kubotai
7 dwarf loach?

Some of our profiles need revision as some info is missing, as you found out. Yes, five inches is the max, but a trio would be fine in a 50g and they get along fine with dwarfs which are also playful in all water levels, if you checked that profile.

For floating plants I would get Ceratopteris (it is native to SE Asia) and nothing is better for thepurpose. This is in our plant profiles. Duckweed doesn't really do the job; you need the dangling roots for the anabantids to browse, build bubblenests, etc., without choking the surface.

redchigh 06-12-2010 11:07 AM

Do you mean Ceratopteris Thalictroides? I've been looking for that plant for a long time, sweet aquatics just recently got it in stock. :)

I may get a Marimo ball instead of java moss- they're from japan, it's not too much of a stretch to call japan southeast asia...

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