Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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ElectricBlueJackDempsey 10-24-2010 09:46 PM

20 gallon planted South American community
 
I have been cycling the tank for about 3 weeks now and still cannot decide what fish to get. I have placed the driftwood and put the plants in (a lot).

My original plan:

2 Angel Fish (pair) or 2 Checkerboard Cichlids (pair)
8 Black Neon Tetras
4 Panda Corydoras
1 Bristlenose Pleco

Would this work? Please suggest any other ideas. It seems like this is kind of the textbook aquarium and would like to try something different. Thanks

Byron 10-25-2010 03:40 PM

I would not attempt angels in a 20g; being a shoaling fish, they should be in a group of 5+ and that means a 55g (4-foot) tank minimum. Unless it is a breeding pair, which can manage in a 20g for spawning, but that doesn't appear to be what you are attempting.

The checkerboards will be fine; beautiful fish, I wish I could get them locally. Which species? There are 4 all "commonly" named checkerboard, 2 Dicrossus species and 2 Crenicara species, all 4 are in our fish profiles under cichlids (obviously), second tab from the left in the blue bar at the top of the screen takes you to the profile section. In a well-planted quiet (minimal water movement) tank, ideal.

You asked for ideas, so here goes. I would consider different "dither" fish than Black Neon Tetra, lovely as they are. Almost any characins would work; tetra, pencilfish, and hatchetfish for surface interest, plus Corydoras for the bottom. A BN, or a whiptail (the Rineloricaria species that are small) or a Farlowella? All of these, including the checkerboards, must have soft, acidic water, something I will assume you have; dwarf cichlids will not last long in hard water.

If you want to see Amazonian geographic tanks, my 115g Amazonian Riverscape and the 90g flooded Amazon forest tank are in the photos under my "Aquariums" below my name on the left. The 90g is the sort of tank you should aim for with checkerboards, etc.

Byron.

ElectricBlueJackDempsey 10-25-2010 06:37 PM

Your tanks are amazing and thanks for the response. I will probably go with the Spadetailed Checkerboard Cichlid. Could I do 3-4 Marbled Hatchetfish and 6-8 Glowlight Tetras ?


Byron 10-26-2010 08:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ElectricBlueJackDempsey (Post 499873)
Your tanks are amazing and thanks for the response. I will probably go with the Spadetailed Checkerboard Cichlid. Could I do 3-4 Marbled Hatchetfish and 6-8 Glowlight Tetras ?


You need more hatchets, they are characins and thus shoaling fish that live in groups of hundreds. Absolute minimum is 6, but with the Carnegiella species (I have or have had all of them) I would never have less than 7. In a 20g that would be fine; they are quite quiet fish, except when they interact as they frequently do when the environment is to their liking. I would probably buy 8 or 9; one or two always seem to be weaker and perish. I have 14 marbles (Carnegiella strigata) in my 115g., and 18 C. marthae and C. myersi in my 90g. I like these fish.

I have never seen Dicrossus maculatus (Spadetail), it is very rare; I did have D. filamentosus years ago, and the Crenicara species. Also lovely fish, one of my favourite dwarf cichlids.

I have a pair of Apistogramma baenschi "inka" in the 90g at present; a very rare dwarf [described in 2004 shortly after discovery] that turned up at one of the local importers in August. They seem well matched, so presumably spawning will occur at some point; they do seem to be checking out suitable territories in preparation. Neat fish too.

Byron.

ElectricBlueJackDempsey 10-26-2010 09:59 PM

My lfs happens to have 6 checkerboards in stock. 2 males 4 females. Pretty expensive though. I will probably get one male and one female. Thanks for all the information. I will post some pictures of the tank up soon.

Byron 10-27-2010 01:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ElectricBlueJackDempsey (Post 500779)
My lfs happens to have 6 checkerboards in stock. 2 males 4 females. Pretty expensive though. I will probably get one male and one female. Thanks for all the information. I will post some pictures of the tank up soon.

A pair of these species will be fine as it notes in the profile; and in a 20g this is preferred to reduce tension between rival males. Good luck; if they spawn you could make a bit on selling the fry I'm sure, they are not a common fish.


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