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Discussion Starter #1
We have a new four foot tank (200 litre/ 44 gallon) and were considering trying to establish a discus tank, but have decided that we would rather make another plant-based tank with lots of plants and a Co2 system.
In terms of fish, after much consideration we have come up with the following list of tankmates. They all happen to be cyprinids:

1 Red-fin/rainbow shark
3 or 4 Kuhlii loachs
6 or so rainbow fish of various types.

Do you think that these tank mates would get along ok? We want it to be a relatively sparsely populated tank and we were perhaps thinking about also adding our large Bala shark who has been chasing his smaller friends in our current 3 foot 37 gallon tank quite a bit.

Also do you think that maybe a pleco or siamese algae eater might be an idea as well??

The guy at the store insists that I could get away with having a red-tailed shark in this tank as well, but from what ive read just because it seems to work for him in his store (he has a rainbow and a redtail in the same 6 foot tank with a bunch of very freaked out looking Discus!) doesnt mean it will in mine...
thanks for any input.
 

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Having two sharks in a 4' tank is a Bad Idea. They'll get along OK when small (at least, they seem to in the fish stores), but as they age they will get much less tolerant of each other and eventually fight, possibly to the death. Pick one and go with it.

If you can lay hands on a SAE, then it would be a great idea, unless they are shark-like enough to excite the shark's territoriality. Someone who has had both in the same tank or worked somewhere where both were in the same tank (Dawn?) would be able to give you a better answer. Failing that, get yourself a bristlenosed pleco or two. They're cute, algae eating machines, and able to stay out of trouble. Don't make the mistake of not feeding them, though. They really need more algae than your tank will ever grow.

If the bottom is going to be sand or eco-complete, then go with the kuhlis. If you up the number to 6 or 7 you'll see them a alot more often. Make sure the tank has been running for 3 to 6 months before you put them in. They really like stable, established tanks. I put mine in too early to my sorrow, and lost three. :(

If you Opt for Plecos, and you have the shark, make sure your hardscape includes at least 4 caves or crevices that will fit the plecos when they get 4" to 5" long. If you make some of them a tight fit ans some of them more loose (like an arched piece of driftwood), all of your critter will be happier for it.

BTW, Rainbowfish are not Cyprinids. They're in the order Atheriniformes, silversides, more closely related to smelt and salmon than carps, barbs, and loaches. Almost a completely pedantic point.
 

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zen242 said:
Do you think that these tank mates would get along ok? We want it to be a relatively sparsely populated tank and we were perhaps thinking about also adding our large Bala shark who has been chasing his smaller friends in our current 3 foot 37 gallon tank quite a bit.
A bala can grow to 12 inches and possibly even more. As they are quite shoalers aside from the timid attitude, they should be kept only in a tank larger than 150 gallons and nothing smaller.:shake:
Anything smaller will be quickly outgrew by these fish.

The guy at the store insists that I could get away with having a red-tailed shark in this tank as well, but from what ive read just because it seems to work for him in his store (he has a rainbow and a redtail in the same 6 foot tank with a bunch of very freaked out looking Discus!) doesnt mean it will in mine...
thanks for any input.
Indeed.:) Whatever works for others will not work for you.:shake: I'd never place any fish that can swim restlessly like balas and rainbows with a discus.:shake: Not even a labeo. Labeos(like the red-tailed black shark) can still terrorize even the discus but who knows yours may differ.
Discus are best kept with the fish of the same origin. Rams, apistogrammas, tetras, cories and plecs(though be aware some plecs can suck the discus' slime coat).
For cyprinids, I prefer small species of loaches, cherry barbs, and harlequin rasboras. SAEs are also fine.
 

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tophat665 said:
BTW, Rainbowfish are not Cyprinids. They're in the order Atheriniformes, silversides, more closely related to smelt and salmon than carps, barbs, and loaches. Almost a completely pedantic point.
I guess we're about to make another section then.:mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good point about the bala sharks. We have three that were all tiny - one has quickly outgrown the other two and is pretty much hassling them non stop now.
Eventually we plan on giving them to a friend when he returns from overseas who has a much larger tank.
Do you guys think that rainbow fish would go well with rainbow sharks given that they tend to hang around different areas of the aquarium?
 

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New 4 foot tank

HI My suggestion for your new tank is clown loaches if you wanna a shark the best idea is a rainbow. Balas can get very large and red tails the same
clown loaches can reach massive size but only grow about six inches maybe 8 what is a nice size I have a tank with one rainbow shark and 2 clown loaches they follow each other every were and have taken a liking to the shark clown loaches are the way to go and if your looking for extra fish species try other loaches but don't put in the red tailed loach the shark will definitely take it as a threat .

P.S Clown loaches will tag along with the shark so make sure your shark is not constantly hiding
 

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Per loaches .com, Clown loaches can get up to 16" (40 cm) in the wild. They generally top out around 12" (30 cm) in an aquarium. They also prefer to be in groups, 3 minimum, 5 (that's 7.62 metric loaches :p) much better. You really need a 75 gallon (285 litre) or larger tank for a shoal of clown loaches.

If you want loaches every bit as entertaining as cloan loaches, go for Striped, Angelicus or Yoyo loaches (B. striata, kubotai , and almorhae respectvely). They top out at 4, 5, and 6", in order. A shoal of 7 is a nightly dance party in your tank.

However, you want sharks, not loaches, so I don't know what to tell you beyond what I have already said on the subject.
 

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discus work in a planted tank....why not get discus?
 

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I also wish to warn about mixing a redtail shark with huhli loaches, especially in that size of a tank. The shark will eventually eat the loaches.
Redtail sharks average 6 - 8 inches full grown and are aggressive and territorial. I have one in a 40 gallon tank by himself because he tolerates no tankmates, and he's still only about 5 inches right now.

Mixing the shark with the rainbows would depend on which rainbows you got, and how soon you intended to upgrade to a larger tank. I wouldn't advise anything less than 55 - 75 gallons for the shark as it becomes full grown.

Also be forewarned, most of the rainbows will eat many of the different types of aquarium plants, as will a bristlnose pleco.

Have you considered gouramis and/or tetras? Livebearers? Botia loaches? killiefish? hatchetfish? dwarf cichlids?

That size of a tank would be an awesome place for a few pairs of dwarf cichlids, some cory cats or botia loaches, and for algae eater, maybe some otocinclus, which would eat the algae, leave the plants alone, and not outgrow the tank.

Picture a pair of these:
http://www.thekrib.com/Apisto/A-bitaeniata-bork.jpg
Apistogramma bitaeniata (this is a pic of the male)

a pair of these:
http://www.thekrib.com/Apisto/A-borellii-burns.jpg
Apistogramma borellii (pic of the male)

and/or a pair of these (depending on how dense the planting and provision for territory):
http://www.thekrib.com/Apisto/P-pulcher-male.jpg
Pelvicachromis pulcher AKA Kribensis (pic is of the male)

You could do a lot with that tank for color, activity levels, and etc... but you'd be a bit more limited on tankmates for the dwarf cichlids. Botia loaches can still work, as can small plecos like the pitbull pleco
http://www.planetcatfish.com/cotm/cotm.php?article_id=164

If you consider the dwarf cichlids, be sure you are matching their pH needs. They prefer softer water, as does the pitbull pleco. There are also cory cats that do well in the softer water, and are colorful, like the cory sterbai
http://www.planetcatfish.com/cotm/cotm.php?article_id=149


As for the SAE's... be careful what you put those with, they can be very aggressive. There are 2 species of fish that are ALMOST identical, but very different in aggression levels and eating habits. I will check with my husband about the name of the other, as I can't seem to remember it right now, even though I can picture the fish in my head just fine. (it's been a long day) But, many LFS's sell them both as SAE's... if you don't know how to tell the difference, you could have quite a mess on your hands. (I hope I am interpreting the initials correctly in SAE meaning siamese algae eater, aka, tai flying fox?) There is another called the chinese algae eater, and those get really aggressive as they mature, and will attack fish.
I'm going to bed now, but let me know if you need more help, I'll be around tomorrow during the day for a little while.
Sweet Dreams!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hi - thanks for the reply. yes we've already got a chinese algae eater in our other tank by mistake - we didnt know much when we got him and realised afterwards that the flying fox and siamese algae eaters were better options.

Nah Ive decided against the red-tailed shark. We prefer the rainbow or red-finned shark.

The guy at the store has a massive 3000 litre planted aquarium and he told us that rainbow fish love planted aquariums and dont eat the plants... But your saying they do so maybe not.

Im not really into cichlids and after out drama with the swarf gourami, we are just thinking about maybe using the 4 foot for:

1 Rainbow Shark
1 large bala shark (most are shoallers but this guy chases his friends all the time in our other tank and i get the feeling he just wants to be alone - if he seems lonely we have the other two to add)
1 giant danio - perhaps a school of these would go well??
1 Bristlenose or SAE for algae

and maybe the rainbow fish if if we dont get the danios.

In our third tank we have lots of livebearers and they were our other idea - but i really love the rainbow shark
 

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Avoid the bala shark. They can grow to almost 12 inches and more. Aside from that, they need to be kept in shoals due to their skittish behavior. A shoal of 6 alone requires you 150-200 gallons minimum.:shake:

Danios are best kept in shoals.
 

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zen242 said:
...The guy at the store has a massive 3000 litre planted aquarium and he told us that rainbow fish love planted aquariums and dont eat the plants... But your saying they do so maybe not.
I think Dawn was referring to rainbow sharks, not rainbow fish.
 

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Actually, I was referring to rainbow fish, but it's important to know WHICH rainbow fish.. some would do fine in your tank, others would not. As for plants, most of the larger rainbow fishes tend to chew on plants.

In regard to the rainbow shark, I wouldn't mix that with the bala. 1 shark species per tank, safer to work only with 1 shark per tank. If your bala needs to be seperated, I would consider putting him into the new tank and waiting to add a rainbow shark until AFTER the bala outgrows this new tank. Average length for a bala shark is 14 inches, so yes, it will still outgrow a 4 ft tank at some point.

Knowing that the bala is the main resident in the new tank, I would avoid the giant danios with him. They are aggressive compared to other danios, and the stress of their constant chasing would likely make the bala sick.

The habits of the rainbow shark are about the same as the red tailed shark, so all of the warnings we've already given about the red tail apply to the rainbow shark... they average 6 - 8 inches and are aggressive, territorial, and need plenty of hiding places down low. They tend to eat smaller fish, especially during the night/dark hours. They are more nocturnal of an animal, and even larger fish, if not aggressive enough to hold their own, will tend to get chewed up by the sharks.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Cool. Yeah the bala shark is only a temporary resident - he has another home awaiting him when my friend returns from overseas.
Last question I promise. Someone told me that Giant Danios swim fast and in a group changing direction in unison - is that true? Cheers.
 

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It is true that the giant danios will swim quite fast, but they do NOT always change direction in unison. More often than not they spend their time chasing each other.
One of the reasons these fish are not suggested for a "peaceful" tank is because they are always moving, and fast at that. They also can be aggressive if they don't have enough of their own kind to keep the chasing going. I have found that groups of less than 4 giant danios together will tend to harrass the other fish in the tank, and can cause a lot of fin damage with their nipping.
 
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