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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings all. I have a bit of a conundrum - astoundingly fertile guppies - and this problem will likely be exacerbated by the mollies I intend to add to a tank I'll be setting up in Mrs. Hat's classroom in the coming month.

Now, hitherto I had not been concerned about this, as the adult guppies had, until recently, been quite expert at eating their own. I had thought of running them for congress, but, well they couldn't raise enough money. :)

In any case, I was bequeathed a 46 gallon bow front aquarium, and I am now thinking about stocking it with something that will thrive on smallish livebearers, yet won't tear up (m)any plants.

One thought is to try to build a community tank topped off with African butterfly fish. Another would be Pictus & Cichlids.

Help me think this one out. Many thanks.
 

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I'm not sure how the AFB and cichlids would get along. I used to have an AFB along with my angels and they kept the fry population down. The AFB would cover the upper surface area and the angels would take care of the ones swimming mid level.
 

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crazie.eddie said:
I'm not sure how the AFB and cichlids would get along. I used to have an AFB along with my angels and they kept the fry population down. The AFB would cover the upper surface area and the angels would take care of the ones swimming mid level.
Hi Eddie,

The combination of African Butterfy Fish and Angelfish should be ok. The only time I would worry is when angelfish begin to spawn.:)

Pictus catfish will surely take care of the fry but they will also eat your mollies if they can fit in the pictus' mouth.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks folks.

Is there something other than Angels that would effectively and attractively/interestingly fill the middle?

Let me clarify a bit: Mollies will be and guppies are in their own tanks. The guppies have started (and I anticipate the mollies will start) having more fry than I can keep.

What I'd like is to set up a tank to receive those fry that has some sort of interesting fish that will eat them.

I agree that Angels would work well. However, once the turtle has gone back to the lake from whence he came (sometime next summer) I plan on setting up the 75 gallon as a largish latin american community tank with red platies as food generators for a school of angelfish (preferably altums). Specs on that tank: Heavily planted - swords, pennywort, cabomba, bacopa, ludwegia, jungle vals. Fish: 6 Angels, 8 platies, 8 Emperor Tetras, 8 Silver hatchets, 5 Corys, 2 Banjo Cats, 1 bulldog pleco. (After being established for 6 months, I'll add some bristlenosed plecos and more emperor tetras and corys.)

The point of all that is that I'd like to do something else with the 46 gallon.

There are three interesting points of departure that I can think of, and I'd be delighted with any others. The ones I can come up with are:
  • A community based around some african butterfly fish (1 to 3)
  • 1 or 2 Senegal Bichirs, a featherfin or hoplo catfish, a pleco, and some sort of largish dither fish (what, I don't know)
  • A small school (3) pictus cats, and some fish that could live with them
Ideally, this would be a planted tank, regardless of what was in it.

So, any ideas to flesh out any of those ideas or to take it in a completely different direction would be great.
 

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tophat665 said:
Is there something other than Angels that would effectively and attractively/interestingly fill the middle?
Try tetras.:wink2: I'd recommend Diamond Tetras(Moenkhausia pittieri), Kerri Tetras and Emperor Tetras.

I agree that Angels would work well. However, once the turtle has gone back to the lake from whence he came (sometime next summer) I plan on setting up the 75 gallon as a largish latin american community tank with red platies as food generators for a school of angelfish (preferably altums). Specs on that tank: Heavily planted - swords, pennywort, cabomba, bacopa, ludwegia, jungle vals. Fish: 6 Angels, 8 platies, 8 Emperor Tetras, 8 Silver hatchets, 5 Corys, 2 Banjo Cats, 1 bulldog pleco. (After being established for 6 months, I'll add some bristlenosed plecos and more emperor tetras and corys.)
Are you sure about your plans on keeping altums? If so, pls take note even adult platies and tetras will be scoffed by your altums.
They are completely different from the scalares. Their mouths can extend wider than scalares. I know two people in another site with their adult harlequin rasboras quickly eaten by altums.:blueshake:
Altums will often require you low pH level which the platies will obviously dislike apart from the compatibility issues.
If you want to stick with platies, stick with scalares instead of altums.

Altums are best kept with deep-bodied tetras like the diamond tetras, discus, cories and apistos. Make sure the fish you keep with them aren't small enough to fit inside the altums' mouths.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Blue said:
Are you sure about your plans on keeping altums? If so, pls take note even adult platies and tetras will be scoffed by your altums.
They are completely different from the scalares. Their mouths can extend wider than scalares. I know two people in another site with their adult harlequin rasboras quickly eaten by altums.:blueshake:
Altums will often require you low pH level which the platies will obviously dislike apart from the compatibility issues.
If you want to stick with platies, stick with scalares instead of altums.
Roger! Wilco. Scalares, not Altums. Good for the tank, good for the stress level, and good for the wallet. I've been waffling on that, and this cinches it
 

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Welcome tophat! Glad to see another NOVAite here!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
joeshmoe said:
bumble bee catfish eats some of mine
Good thought! So do you figure I could make a happy tank with a Bumblebee cat on the bottom, some African Butterflies on top, Congo or Diamond Tetras in the middle, and a couple of bristlenosed plecos for cleaning duties?

How are bumblebees with plants?
 

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Sounds fine with me. At least, your fish room will no longer contain insects.:wink2: Just make sure you don't use insecticides as the insects eaten by the fish might contain toxins and the fumes from insecticides prove to be hazardous by contaminating the tank water.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Blue said:
Just make sure you don't use insecticides as the insects eaten by the fish might contain toxins and the fumes from insecticides prove to be hazardous by contaminating the tank water.
Duly noted. :thumbsup:
There is only one bug that ever gets the DEET: Giant European Hornets. I get maybe 2 a year in my house, and I have a long range bug bomb that I keep just inside the garage to welcome them. Other than that, bugs are fed to the turtle or to spiders. (In my house, spiders are not killed. I tell my kids that killing a spider will make it rain. Really I just want them to eat any less welcome bugs.)

If You've never seen these fellows, they are the sive of my thumb, and their stinger is the size of a cat's claw, and jaws that can behead a honeybee like you or I would a gherkin. Terrifying little f*&%ers.
 

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The hornets? Ah well. I was bitten by one in the neck while playing badminton.:blueshake:

Your Congo tetras will obviously eat several insects. I used to have 4 of them and they ate almost every insects entering my tank.:shock2:
The only insect repellents I have here at the moment are my angelfish and penguin tetras.:mrgreen:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Been thinking about this. Normally, I like to try and preserve some geographic unity in my tanks, but I don't think this wwill work here (although feeding Caribbean coastal fish to African interior fish would be an interesting reversal of history, as it were.) So I am planning the following:

Top Stratum: 2 ABFs
Middle: 1 Leopard Ctenopoma, 3 Festivums, School of 6 Rosy Barbs
Bottom: 2 Bristlenosed Plecos, a Red Tailed Black Shark, and a Striped Raphael (or 2 spotted raphael) catfish.

I am pretty sure that will work. The barbs, though, may not be the best choice for the schooling fish. I have considered Diamond Tetras, but I think I am going to use those in my 75 next spring/summer.

I'll add the barbs first for cycling, then the plecos, the schooling fish, and then the rest as I pick them up.

Good plan?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I was thinking about this, and it's overcrowded.

Revising to: 2 ABFs, 3 Leopard Ctenos, a Senegal Bichir, 2 Bristlenoses, and a Trio of Swordtails for Fry generation/Dithering.

Better?
 
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