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Discussion Starter #1
I previously started my 29 gallon tank with Black Gravel. I then found it too dark, and ended up adding orange and purple in it. It was okay for a while but then it just began to look hideous. That grouped with the Multi-color Glo-Fish Tetras, the tank just had WAY TOO MUCH going on! :shock:

[/url]29 by kmac325xi, on Flickr[/IMG]

So I went a very different route... I returned the 4 Glofish Tetras (They looked so unnatural) and I bought 5 Albino Tiger Barbs. I know I am going to have to monitor the closely especially with the Gourami:| So far so good. I then got Dark Blue Gravel and a very dark back-drop which I think helps showcase the colors of the fish much better. Is it still a little busy? Yeah... but I'm still ironing out the kinks.... Its a work in Progress. AND YES i KNOW I AM OVERCROWDED. I AM EITHER GOING TO CUT BACK ON SOME FISH OR UPGRADE MY TANK.

[/url]29-2 by kmac325xi, on Flickr[/IMG]
 

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If that is a 2 sided back ground... have you tried the original side with the blue gravel? If you monochrome your tank... then you let the fish stand out more. I'm extreme tho! I went all green and then my fish are predominantly orange. Right now your beautiful fish are 2nd place to your decorations. It sure is better!! (squints at top picture). :lol:
(If it was me, I would put a more natural green background of plants and then your plastic plants would blend better with the background... and the fish become more noticeable.)

If you do want to make another big change just try to do things slowly so that you don't cause another cycle/mini cycle.
 

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If that is a 2 sided back ground... have you tried the original side with the blue gravel? If you monochrome your tank... then you let the fish stand out more. I'm extreme tho! I went all green and then my fish are predominantly orange. Right now your beautiful fish are 2nd place to your decorations. It sure is better!! (squints at top picture). :lol:
(If it was me, I would put a more natural green background of plants and then your plastic plants would blend better with the background... and the fish become more noticeable.)

If you do want to make another big change just try to do things slowly so that you don't cause another cycle/mini cycle.
Thanks for the advice! I have to admit the more I am looking at the background I chose the more I am starting to not like it. It might be dark but it is kind of busy too. Unfortunately the reverse side is ocean blue :-( However I think you have a really good point with the green background. I am thinking something with a lot of dark green plants blended together.

Also, I am sort of regretting the albino tiger barbs. I knew prior that they had nippy tendencies and even though they haven't done any harm yet, I don't really feel comfortable with them in the tank. Can anyone think of a REALLY STRIKING/COLORFUL schooling fish that would look great with the decor and fish I have. The only color fish I would want to avoid is something with too much red or silver in it since the rosy barbs already stand out nicely and silver just boring. Also I am not a huge fan of neon tetras. ( I know I'm probably limiting my options HAHA). I thought about German Blue Rams since they are said to be very docile Cichlids, but I know that they are extremely sensitive to PH fluctuations and I don't think they are a very active fish. I even read somewhere that their preferred PH is 5? That sounds unheard of and that would probably kill every fish in my tank! ANY Suggestions on colorful schooling fish?
 

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I agree on the PH thing... the South American Cichlids are more Acidic... the African are more Basic. Our water is about 8-8.2 so I cannot keep Rams or Discus.
I do Rainbowfish BUT they need 36" I think length... preferably 48" tanks. My Boesmani and Congo Tetras loved to race the length of the tank together. My 75 is 48". Apparently until RBF go into a 72"/6' (120G) tank they won't "school"... only shoal together.

Live bearers like Platy, Molly, Swordtails are colorful too but there is the problem of fry. Gourami can be colorful too but the bigger versions should be kept 1 to a tank of your size. JMO They can be quite aggressive to each other, even the docile Pearls.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I agree on the PH thing... the South American Cichlids are more Acidic... the African are more Basic. Our water is about 8-8.2 so I cannot keep Rams or Discus.
I do Rainbowfish BUT they need 36" I think length... preferably 48" tanks. My Boesmani and Congo Tetras loved to race the length of the tank together. My 75 is 48". Apparently until RBF go into a 72"/6' (120G) tank they won't "school"... only shoal together.

Live bearers like Platy, Molly, Swordtails are colorful too but there is the problem of fry. Gourami can be colorful too but the bigger versions should be kept 1 to a tank of your size. JMO They can be quite aggressive to each other, even the docile Pearls.
I agree I wouldn't mess with Gouramis. The Dwarf one I have is already enough. I currently have Rainbowfish in my 56 gallon. I LOVE THEM! You are right though they don't seem to school and my 56 is 36 inches, but really tall. It's is so hard for me not to overstock tanks :-(, thats why my tanks keep getting bigger HAHA. If I find the space I might even push for a 70G. Its so hard to resist the urge to buy fish, especially when they are so amazing to look at, you just have to have them!

I keep my rainbows in pairs except for my boesmanis, I have 3. Those seem to always fight over who is most dominant (they do the head to tail stand off flashing their colors). But all of my Rainbows, even though they are in a more crowded tank are simply amazing too look at. Their coloration is especially bright when I first turn the lights on and after feeding. The sad thing is they go under-appreciated by people who don't research and see dull colored fish (often juveniles in very cramped stressful conditions at places like Petco and Petsmart). They are often marked around $15, sometimes higher. So when people see them they don't see the appeal. But once they get older and acclimated to your tank, they are incredible!

I was looking at the Giant Danios (they seem to have a really unique color, but I definitely think 36 inches is not enough swimming space for those guys) I was also thinking maybe just a larger "centerpiece" fish might be a good option, but I'm not sure what direction to go in. Thanks for your input!

P.S. Is that a Turquoise Rainbow in your Profile Pic? Mines the same :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update!

I agree I wouldn't mess with Gouramis. The Dwarf one I have is already enough. I currently have Rainbowfish in my 56 gallon. I LOVE THEM! You are right though they don't seem to school and my 56 is 36 inches, but really tall. It's is so hard for me not to overstock tanks :-(, thats why my tanks keep getting bigger HAHA. If I find the space I might even push for a 70G. Its so hard to resist the urge to buy fish, especially when they are so amazing to look at, you just have to have them!

I keep my rainbows in pairs except for my boesmanis, I have 3. Those seem to always fight over who is most dominant (they do the head to tail stand off flashing their colors). But all of my Rainbows, even though they are in a more crowded tank are simply amazing too look at. Their coloration is especially bright when I first turn the lights on and after feeding. The sad thing is they go under-appreciated by people who don't research and see dull colored fish (often juveniles in very cramped stressful conditions at places like Petco and Petsmart). They are often marked around $15, sometimes higher. So when people see them they don't see the appeal. But once they get older and acclimated to your tank, they are incredible!

I was looking at the Giant Danios (they seem to have a really unique color, but I definitely think 36 inches is not enough swimming space for those guys) I was also thinking maybe just a larger "centerpiece" fish might be a good option, but I'm not sure what direction to go in. Thanks for your input!

P.S. Is that a Turquoise Rainbow in your Profile Pic? Mines the same :lol:
UPDATE: So I went to an LFS to return my Albino Tiger Barbs and out of curiosity took a look at the Giant Danios. I asked if there was anything similar and the employee pointed me to something I forgot to consider: The Pearl Danio. They posses similar colors and Iridescence as the Giant danios, with the exception of the pretty stripes. They only grow to 2.5 Inches, while the Giant Danios grow to 5 inches. I ended up buying 5. They have only been in my tank for 10 minutes and I can already see their colors start to show. Although I would not consider them the most vibrant fish, they have a very unique coloration and I think they are a good fit. Plus they add some life to the tank since they are so active. I will try to post some pics later. But here are pics of the Giant Danios and the Pearl Danios.. As you can see they have pretty similar coloration, just no stripes :-( :

Pearl Danio:
[/url]PD1 by kmac325xi, on Flickr[/IMG]

Giant Danio:
[/url]GD1 by kmac325xi, on Flickr[/IMG]

 
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