Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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UrsMyrick 08-12-2010 11:55 AM

Fish Suggestions?
Hi am fairly new to this and I have a small 4 gallon tank (after substrate and plants) and I was wondering if anyone could suggest some fish that would be able to thrive in that type of environment. I'm stationed in Japan with my husband and the language barrier at the pet store can be really tough, so I'm trying to get an idea of what fish to look for because they don't have the names written on the tank. My tank is in the process of cycling.

Byron 08-12-2010 12:12 PM

Hello, and welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

What are your water parameters for the source water you will be using? Hardness and pH if you know them. This will help us suggest fish. There are several species that would be fine in a small tank, but some need soft acidic water and some are OK in basic harder water. Japanese have a keen interest in aquaria, so you should have little trouble finding fish.


UrsMyrick 08-13-2010 09:00 AM

I'm using RODI water so I'm unsure of the water hardness but here is everything else. I do have some plants already in place and i"ve used Aqua soil amazonia for my substrate as per fs reccomendation. It does caution that it will lowers water hardness as well as ph. If possible I would prefer to buy a fish that would like that range and not have to mess with PH up or PH down. This is only the second day of my tank cycling and I was planning on waiting at least 10 days before adding any fish. I'm getting discouraged because it seems that every fish I see with the exception of bettas reccomend 10 gals or more.

PH 6.4
High Range PH 7.4
Ammonia 8.0
Nitrite between 0ppm-.25
Nitrate between 0ppm-5.0

Thanks for your expertise!

Byron 08-13-2010 06:49 PM

On the cycling, if you have live plants they will handle the ammonia from fish, so there need be no wait. Don't add ammonia sources (fishless cycling, etc) with plants, that's a waste of time and effort. I'm assuming you may be heading down this road with ammonia at 8, it has to come from something unless it is in the source water.

If you have soft, slightly acidic water (as it seems you do) then you have a lot of choices. Course, I've no idea what may be available, but given the high level of activity in the aquarium hobby in Japan and your relative closeness to the breeders of SE Asia, I would think you should have a lot of opportunity.

From South America, Ember Tetra (Hyphessobrycon amandae) is ideal; a group of 5 would be very nice.

From SE Asia, even more choices. Any of the dwarf rasbora in the Boraras genus, we have Boraras brigittae in our profiles, but there are several other similar species and these seem to be very popular in SE Asia these days so should be readily available. A group of 5-6, maybe some shrimp for the bottom?

There are several species of Dario now available, we have Dario Dario in our profiles, this is the most common but there are several other species (13 if memory serves me) all near-identical in size and requirements. Only today I got word of a new import called Dario "Pajama", it has not yet been described and named but the pattern has led to the common name of Pajama. A quite a beautiful fish, and the females are also barred which is unique for this genus. Again shrimp for the bottom.

The lovely Galaxy Danio or Galaxy Rasbora or Celestial Pearl Danio [common names can be prolific], Danio margaritatus, is a very striking fish, a group of 5-6 ideal in a heavily-planted tank. Also in our profiles. Click on shaded names to see the profiles, or use the second tab in the blue bar at the top. Look under Cyprinids and Characins. Fish sizes and minimum tank sizes are included in the profiles.

tanker 08-13-2010 09:13 PM

Byron, I thought danios were quite active and needed quite a big tank?

Byron 08-13-2010 11:33 PM


Originally Posted by tanker (Post 446453)
Byron, I thought danios were quite active and needed quite a big tank?

Don't let the common usage of "danio" confuse. Did you read the profile? I think it answers your question as to the inactivity of this particular species, also the possible uncertain name.


P.S. I'm not being facetious, it's just we are trying to get members to use our profiles.:-)

tanker 08-13-2010 11:55 PM

I'd looked at the profile. It recommends an 18" tank.

Byron 08-14-2010 12:57 AM

Thanks for getting me back on track here (seriously). I was forgetting the tank size earlier when I was suggesting all these fish. The 18 inches is for a group.

The Celestial Pearl Danio is very sedate, but males are territorial and agressive, so a trio in the 4g would probably be OK with lots of plants and some wood. Without hiding spots they will never be visible, odd as that may seem.

Sorry for any confusion. It's been a long day.:|

tanker 08-14-2010 05:10 AM

Thanks, Byron. I get very confused, constantly, by all of the information I read.

UrsMyrick 08-18-2010 08:33 AM

Thanks for the suggestions Byron! I think that I have seen the Dario Dario you described although it didn't seem as vibrantly colored as the pictures .I also really liked the Celestial Pearl Danio but I have yet to see them. I am definitely going to get some shrimp for the tank although I was reading that some shrimp will start to cook if your water temp is above 78 degrees?
My Ammonia levels are dropping off (from an 8.0 to a 4.0) and my nitrates and nitrites are at zero so I think that I may be adding a fish or two in the next couple of days.
Thank you again for your suggestions

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