What to add to a community tank of largely characins - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 8 Old 12-30-2014, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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What to add to a community tank of largely characins

Hello! I have been all over the internet doing research, so now I am weighing in on a forum where people actually keep fish and should have some practical advice.

Here is my 75 gallon freshwater (it just celebrated its 2 year birthday):

9 zebra danios
9 black widow tetras
6 serpae tetras
1 bloodfin tetra (I know, I know; the other 9 died and I don't know why so I am not buying any more...I do not trust the local supply!)
7 otoclinclus
4 Emerald catfish (I want 2 more...hard to find locally)

I would describe it as moderately planted, with Amazon swords, java fern, anubias, cryptocorine spiralis, and hygrophila (Green Temple):

side of tank.jpg

end of tank.jpg

They are not great pictures but they demonstrate that there are some plants at all levels (including the surface; the hygrophila grows so fast it trails along the top), some driftwood, and rocks. The substrate is sand, smooth pebbles, and Eco Complete.

Parameters:
pH - 7.4
temp: 76-78 degrees F
dGH = 6
dKH = 5
ammonia, nitrites, nitrates = 0 (API Freshwater master test kit)
filtration: Eheim 2217 canister. So some surface agitation with the spraybar return.

SO HERE IS MY QUESTION:
My husband would like to see a bigger fish in the tank. Some of the black widows are 4 years old and are max size, and the Emerald cats are also max but he wants to see something potentially 4-5 inches drifting in and out of view.
  1. I am afraid 1 blue gourami would harass the otocinclus, be upset by the danios, or be harassed by the serpaes
  2. I am afraid I cannot keep the tank warm enough for a school of Boesmani rainbowfish

Any thoughts?

It's peaceful in there. Not sure a cichlid or a German blue ram is the way I want to go. What else can go in and be a single fish or a pair? Or should I try and talk my husband into another tank ?

Plummy
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post #2 of 8 Old 12-31-2014, 06:49 PM
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Hi there! Welcome to the forum, I apologize for not getting to you sooner!

A Blue Gourami would actually not harrass the otos, they'd be just fine. They're fine with the danios as well and the Tetras. They're usually just fine with most fish actually.

Boesemani actually are cooler water, they like anything from 70-76 but they can go up a little higher too so you're tank would be fine for a few of them but Rainbowfish are schoolers so you can't actually keep just one.

I'd actually recommend you a male Pearl Gourami, more peaceful than the 3 Spot Gouramis (Blue, Opaline, Golden) and much more interesting IMHO

You could do Rams but they're more like bottom dwellers so if you want something that will go all over, I definitely suggest the Gourami for sure.

Wilds: Betta Wajok, B. rutilans, B. siamentorialis, B. hendra
Leopards: 1:4 Hawkeye, Luna, Astrael, Dorian, Cullen, Gallifrey
Gargoyle: Cloudjumper
African Fat Tails: Nox and Lux
Bearded Dragon: Stormfly

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post #3 of 8 Old 01-01-2015, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input! I would certainly do a school of rainbow fish... but perhaps one gourami would be an interesting addition. In the back of my mind is my 10 gallon quarantine tank which could house him if it did not work out. I will research the pearl gourami.

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post #4 of 8 Old 01-01-2015, 01:12 PM
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I'm one of those people who love one huge school of something and then the centerpiece fish so I'm biased lol It's all up to you in the end of course.

Pearl Gourami's usually prefer softer, more acidic water but just like Betta Fish, they are very adaptable to most any types of water. This goes for most Gouramis other than the very sensitive ones like the Chocolate Gourami and Samurai Gourami. Pearl's can be housed in groups as well, so 1 Male to 2 Females is ideal, they would give you a spectacular display as well! The male's breeding colors are fantastic! They may do a little sparring and dancing but usually nothing else gets hurt if they do decide they want to breed.

Pearls usually get around 4-5 inches, my male right now is about 3.5 inches and he's reaching just about a year now, he's actually in with some Boesemani Rainbows right now too, previously he was with Ember Tetras, Gelius Barbs, Otos, Corydoras Habrosus, Calico BN Pleco, Dario Dario (Scarlet Badis), and some Sparkling Gouramis (I would never suggest some one do this on a normal basis!! I broke one of my own rules of houses gouramis together >.<) So basically he was with all microfish and didn't touch them ever, he's a very sweet boy actually.

As for the 3 spot variation Gouramis, they can also be housed in pairs or trios, that usually helps deflect harm from other fish and can be interesting to watch them together as well. Again, 1 Male to 2 Females or more is usually the best situation when it comes to Gouramis

The only Gouramis who can't be housed together are the Dwarf Gouramis (Flame, Neon Blue, Powder Blue, etc.).

Wilds: Betta Wajok, B. rutilans, B. siamentorialis, B. hendra
Leopards: 1:4 Hawkeye, Luna, Astrael, Dorian, Cullen, Gallifrey
Gargoyle: Cloudjumper
African Fat Tails: Nox and Lux
Bearded Dragon: Stormfly

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post #5 of 8 Old 01-01-2015, 02:38 PM Thread Starter
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I like schools too but have three smaller ones...just the way it worked out. Too many fish to love and I'm only "allowed" one tank! I love the tank now but do see my husband's point about a few bigger fish in the mix.
Danios aren't too boisterous for a pearl gourami? What about the spray bar return from a canister filter? The far end of my tank is much calmer and has covering plants. I don't want to turn the flow down because of the danios.

Plummy
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-01-2015, 03:18 PM
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The Gourami would be just fine, they only require low flow when breeding, otherwise, they don't mind the flow at all, it's actually good for exercise anyway ^_^ And no the danios will be fine, you'll have to be sure the Gourami or whatever other fish get food as well since they do dart quick for the food and all but once the gourami settles in, it will be fine and will learn where the food comes from.

At the moment, because my Pearl is older than my Boesemani's, he knows where the food is and practically steals it all from them haha, they just get what the filter blows down for now

Wilds: Betta Wajok, B. rutilans, B. siamentorialis, B. hendra
Leopards: 1:4 Hawkeye, Luna, Astrael, Dorian, Cullen, Gallifrey
Gargoyle: Cloudjumper
African Fat Tails: Nox and Lux
Bearded Dragon: Stormfly

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post #7 of 8 Old 01-13-2015, 01:30 PM
You could add some Giant Danios. They get to about 4" long, never stop moving, and go everywhere in the tank.



Another option is Buenos Aires Tetras. A big school of these look really nice.



A third option, a group of Roseline Sharks.



All of these are schooling fish, and like to be in groups. I have the first two, and am debating on adding the Roseline Sharks to my large tank. Unfortunately they are rather expensive, and I have two Ornate Bichirs that sometimes (read: everytime any fish gets too close) decide they want a snack.
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-14-2015, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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All beautiful options I had not considered. I just quickly googled them all and was pleased to learn some new things. Thanks so much for adding food to my thoughts!

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