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Hi, I'm new, first time post.
I have had aquariums for over 20 years, mostly freshwater, discus, and saltwater. I have been out of the hobby a while and am thing to start again. But work is long hours. I want a low maintenance setup. My plan is a 30-40 gallon high tank, Eheim filter, some plants with either Taiwanese or Dutch Aquascaping. The issue is this. What other fish really do get along with Cardinals and Neons? I want Cardinals and/or Neons for their superb color.
1.Any suggestions for other fish that will live "peacefully" with Cardinals and/or Neons. Any suggestions? (If it would give more variety, I would be willing to have Neons OR cardinals, if it would give me more variety overall in the tank).

2) Any suggestions for specific plants and lighting that will be compatible with this type of tank? (I know very little about lighting).

3) I seem to like the DeepBlue brand of tank, they seem good quality, and stylish cabinets are made by the same company. Does anyone have experience with DeepBlue tanks and stands?

Thanks!
 

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Dutch aquascapes are rather maintenance heavy, you probably have better success without stem plants. Many of Amano's late works consisted of easy to care for tanks, featuring slow growing plants. They require far less work, and once filled in look just as good.

I'd personally stick with one or the other. Neons appreciate cooler conditions, often below 75F while cardinals like warmer temperatures and do better in and above 80F - think discus temperatures. Not only that, but its cruel not to have species buddies so your look at at least 6 of each species for their happiness. (That and neons now days aren't very hardy due to being so inbred...)
Most fish are planted tank safe. Since its a smaller tank, id stick with smaller fish. A good idea would be a large group of cardinals, and then maybe some bottom dwellers - otos make a great clean up crew, along with shrimp - and maybe a group of the smaller cories like the pygmy cories? And then if you want a specimen fish, a breeding pair of dwarf cichlids like rams, bolivians or apistos? And then call it done?

And if you really want, break up the cardinal and then have another shoal of fish, like ember tetras or the micro rasboras?

Edit. Id personally reccomend some LEDs, they far more economical in comparison to the T5 (ect). Im not familar with the lights in the US but many seem to like Planted + or something branded similar... I'll let someone comment here.

High tanks require more intense light in comparison to shorter tanks. I would personally recommend the 30 breeder or tge 40g breeder. Likewise this will give your fish plenty of room and ensure enough surface area to cram with plants ect. Food for thought.

Good plant species IMO would be:
- anubias - they are amazing. I recently purchases white anubias and it looks so cool. But their are many varieties such as barteri, nana, nana petite, coffeefolia, pinto, white, stardust, pangolino ect..
- bolbitis
- java fern - personal favs include windolov and trident
- bucephlandra - rather new to the hobby, easy to care for - eveb though it has a steep price tag - but there are many varieties out there.
- crypts - not exactly a stem, but similar
- swords - many varieties, i personally like tropica as its compact... easy to care for.

Some of my favourite stem plants do include AR mini and various rotalas... but extremely easy to care for providing you have ample lighting - ferts and CO2 will help growth and colouration...


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Welcome!

You can definitely have a low maintenance tank. As an example, I am only home on the weekends, most weekends. I have automatic feeders and light timers, and that’s that.

You can have all sorts of fish with small tetras. Cherry and gold barbs are nice. Main thing is nothing that will eat them or seriously stress them out. Corys are good bottom fish, and that leaves something for the centerpiece of your tank. Dwarf cichlids, dwarf gourami, etc.

I don’t know anything about plants, and the only deepblue I know about is a computer that plays chess.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Community tank

Thanks to both of you.
1. Sounds like I am going with Cardinals, not tetras.
2. Excellent advice on plants. Thank you. That is one area I d not know much about. And I now see the logic in a shorter tank with a larger footprint. I had no thought about that.
3. I also read on line that Blue Rams are god companion-mates for Cardinals and tetras.
4. So- Cardinals, A pair of Blue Rams (any advice on sexing)?
5. Other tetra I have seen as being aggressive sometimes. Can anyone provide a list of tetras that will certainly not bother the Cardinals? I can see buying six Cardinals, a pair of Rams, and 4-6 of one other type of swimming fish. Plus two bottom feeders. So if anyone can provide suggestions for the "4-6 of one other type of swimming fish" that will not bother the Cardinals that would be great.
6. The plan is to plant and run the Eheim for one month. Then introduce the Cardinals. Then Introduce the additional fish over the next 1-2 months.
Thanks to everyone who is helping out!
 

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I love drawf gouramis. Are they peaceful enough that if I add two hey will not bother the tetras? That would leave a count of four fish for the second type of tetra I select.
I think a temp of 79 F should be okay for both cardinals and the dwarf gouramis.
 

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Community fish, plants, C)2, carbon dioxide

1. Seems intuitive to me that pumping CO2 into the tank to help the plants would hurt the fish. Will adding Co2 hurt the fish?
2. Does anyone know a reasonable priced CO2 system that carefully controls the amount of CO2 added?
3. Somewhere I read NOT to add an air pump and bubbles to a planted tank, because the plants will not thrive. Is this accurate information?
Thanks to all.
 

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I see several varieties of micro rasboras on the internet with different colorations. If I want a school of rasboras, do they need to be the same colors? Or 2 of one color, 2 of a second color. and 2 of a third color will work? Will they still see themselves as a school of one species?
 

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Cardinals are one of the many species of tetras.

To get a young pair of cichlids, it’s really best to get 6 fish with the intention of keeping 2. Once the dominant pair forms, return the other 4. I think it’s best to let them choose than for me to choose. You can only keep 1 dwarf gourami per tank. They won’t bother the other fish, but the dominant one presence will eventually kill the others. Seen a lot of people try anyway and that’s just how it goes. Stress is a silent killer.

The only species I’ve ever seen actually school in a mixed species group were rainbows. In a small tank you can cram a bunch of different species in and it can look like they are schooling, but they really don’t have a choice, with no where to go. In a larger tank, their preferences become more noticeable. I don’t know if a bunch of different rasboras will school together or not - never seen someone try.

When trying to decide what to stock, I think it’s good to go spend some time at the fish store, but DONT BUY. Just look and see what’s available, write down what you like and research at home. You can find all these cool fish online but if they aren’t available for purchase, you’re wasting you time. Many people order fish online for that reason.
 

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Great thoughts above. I will weigh in on co2. It can be harmful to your fauna. This is not a place to save money imo. If you are mechanical and do the research you can save some money by building a system otherwise I would buy a kit. Co2 does add a few variables but if you want to grow stem plants it does help
A shoal of Rams and cardinals in a planted tank is a sight to behold. Another tetra I would consider is the Emperor. Yellow phantoms and cardinals would be nice


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Orange flame tetras were my favorite. They’re all pretty much the same, as far as care, behavior and temperament. That’s why I like a variety of types rather than a tank of several species of the same type of fish.
 

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I would still try to stick with smaller fish, like micro rasboras - pretty common - or ember tetras - they small and peaceful. The good thing is that they smaller so you could get away with stocking a 'few' more..

CO2 if done right is fish safe. This is an area where you need go research beforehand and weigh out if its worth the expense - for many, its yes since it allows more options for plants.

Air stones increase surface agitation and decrease the amount of CO2 in the water. However, some do like to run airstones on a timer so they switch on at night and decrease
CO2 at night... but a well positioned filter will do this just fine.
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