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Think Fish Tropical Fish Forum => Fish Community Creator => Topic started by: Bazza2000 on August 28, 2018, 11:07:08 AM

Title: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on August 28, 2018, 11:07:08 AM
First tank, just about to go through the cycle process and working on my fish selection whilst I'm waiting.

Tank details: WxDxH (cm) 81x40x56
Water: 110mg/l or 6 degrees hardness

I want to create a community tank and have used the CC tool to make a 1st attempt:

Cherry Barb
Guppy (male)
Platy
Swordtail (male)
Kribensis
Orange Chromide
Neon Tetra
Spotted Headstander
Zebra Loach

Noticed that the Orange Chromide is recommended for 90cm tanks, is this something I could get away with with my tank at 80cm as I love the bright yelllow colour or is there an alternative?

I'd love to also have Angel Fish and a shark, but don't think the tank is big enough, but would like recommendations on similar looking or alternative species that would be compatible.

Thanks,
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Sue on August 28, 2018, 11:40:18 AM
I will take your list one by one


Cherry barb - fine for your water and tank size. At least 6 with equal numbers of males and females (males bright red, females dull washed out red)

Guppy - these are hard water fish which need a hardness of over 143 ppm

Platy - these are also hard water fish which need a hardness over 10 dH

Swordtail - need hardness over 179 ppm, and a tank at least 120 cm long

Kribensis - water and tank size fine. If you want a pair, they must choose their own mates. Just any male and any female may well not get along. They must be chosen carefully - if you definitely decide on these fish I can tell you how to choose the fish from the shop tank. If a pair bred, they will turn very territorial!

Orange chromide - need a larger tank, and hard water to brackish water

Neon tetra - fine for your tank and water. At least 6 with more being better.

Spotted headstander - I know little about these fish as I've never seen them in a shop. Apparently your water is fine for them, though they do need a slightly bigger tank.

Zebra loach - while your water is fine, they do need a tank with a bigger footprint at 120 x 30 cm

You are quite right in saying the tank is not big enough for angels or sharks, but I can't think of any similar fish that would fit I'm afraid.


The problem with the profiles on here is that they are rather old and our understanding of a fish's needs has increased in the last few years. I first joined the forum in 2006 (on a different host, all that forum has been lost when the site had to change hosts at very short notice) and the profiles were written before I joined. The best site for researching fish is http://www.seriouslyfish.com/knowledge-base/ Unlike sites which are written by people who keep fish, this is written by ichthyiologists.



I suggest that your list falls into 2 parts - fish that are OK and fish that are not.
OK fish are cherry barb, kribs, neon tetras, spotted headstander if you can find any.
Fish that are not OK are those which need an bigger tank and /or harder water - guppy, platy, swordtail, orange chromide, zebra loach.


If you want yellow fish, you could change kribs for apistogrammas. All apistos have yellow females, but A. agassizii also has a yellow make, and these are commonly stocked fish. Your tank could house a 1 male 2 female trio of apistos. You would need a cave per female and one spare.

With your water you could keep the vast majority of fish from south America and Asia, though with a tank 81 cm long you need to stick with the smaller species which don't dash round the tank but pootle around.
Most small tetras would be fine; harlequin rasboras; rice fish; honey gouramis; peacock gudgeons/gobies (both name are used) though not with kribs or apistos are they are also bottom dwelling fish. If you didn't have any other bottom dwellers - that is no kribs, apistos or gudgeons - you could keep a species of cory. Cories have no concept of territory so never learn to keep out of other fish territories and get picked on.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on August 28, 2018, 03:43:14 PM
Thanks Sue, will take a look at your recommendations and update my suggestions.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on August 28, 2018, 05:19:30 PM
ok, updated list:

Cherry Barb
Kribensis
Neon Tetra
Spotted Headstander
Agassiz's Dwarf Cichlid
Harlequin Rasbora
Honey Gourami

1 warning: Honey Gourami's can be delicate and may not mix with Dwarf Cichlids

May have to choose between them 2.  I assume a lot of these selections will be based on what my local shops have in stock and I'm assuming given they're local they would stock mainly fish for this areas water hardness etc?

Maybe a stupid question, but does anyone deliver fish via mail/courier?


Also, out of the above fish, I'm planning to gets some mature media and seed my tank, however, I will still need some more hardy fish, so looking for recommendations on the above or others which would be better during the initial cycle process.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Sue on August 28, 2018, 07:07:49 PM
Better except for the kribs and apistos. There are two reasons. First they are both cichlids and male cichlids are territorial. The tank is not big enough for 2 male cichlids. Secondly, one is African, the other south American. They will not understand each other's signals, both physical and chemical. This will make territorial disputes a lot worse, most likely ending in a blood bath. You would have to choose one or the other.

I have kept honey gouramis and apsitos in the same tank with no problems.


To be honest, in this sized tank a shoal of cherry barbs, one of neon tetras, and another of harlequins plus either kribs or apistos or gouramis would be enough. And by shoal I mean 10 of each. Personally I'd go with kribs or apistos as gouramis are surface fish and the shoaling fish swim in the upper half of the tank while either a mated pair of kribs or a trio of apistos would live in the bottom half of the tank. Either cichlid plus 10 each of cherry barbs, harlies and neons would take you to 75 to 80% stocked, which is a good amount.

I have left out the headstanders because I have never seen any in shops. And I've been to a lot of shops in 20 years  :)
Yes, you can get fish by mail order but there are few reasons not to.
Unless you buy a lot of fish at once, the cost of posting costs more than the fish. Sellers have to use licenced couriers and they don't come cheap.
You can't see the fish before you buy. And a lot won't choose between male and females for fish like apitos/kribs/gouramis. You get the first fish they catch. And you can't see if any other fish in the tank look sickly. When you can see the fish, never buy from a tank that has sickly fish.
The seller's water might be completely different from yours in which case you would need to acclimatise them very slowly and even so risk losing fish that can't cope with the transition.

My point about being able to choose which individual cichlids to get is important. You must choose fish which have paired up. Just any male and any female(s) could end up with one of them dead before long.


Can I ask, the tank size you give, is the height 56 or 40 cm? and is that the height of the glass or the top of the substrate (sand, gravel, whatever) to the water surface? You need the latter when working our water volume. Most manufacturers quote the volume with the total height of the glass, but you can't fill the tank right to the brim, there must be an air space between the water surface and the top of the glass.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: fcmf on August 28, 2018, 07:27:29 PM
I have left out the headstanders because I have never seen any in shops. And I've been to a lot of shops in 20 years  :)
There are some currently in my LFS, so perhaps a batch has been flown into the UK recently, therefore I wouldn't completely exclude them just yet just in case yours have them in stock too.  :)

[Edited to add: I see they're included in the MA databank https://www.fishkeeper.co.uk/databank/spotted-headstander- (along with other headstanders) which would tally with my experience.]
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Matt on August 28, 2018, 07:29:39 PM
I must admit I've seen them once before too a couple of years ago... but I didn't like them... they looked well... dead. Very strange position they stay in!

@Bazza2000 You need to be careful with how many honey gourami you get and what sex they are too to minimise bullying. I have 2, one is a big bully in the tank (never mind the other gourami).
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: fcmf on August 28, 2018, 07:36:40 PM
Interestingly, I hadn't actually noticed them - I just assumed it was fish foraging in the way cherry barbs do, but it was a member of staff who pointed out what they were.

Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on August 28, 2018, 10:46:43 PM
Can I ask, the tank size you give, is the height 56 or 40 cm? and is that the height of the glass or the top of the substrate (sand, gravel, whatever) to the water surface? You need the latter when working our water volume. Most manufacturers quote the volume with the total height of the glass, but you can't fill the tank right to the brim, there must be an air space between the water surface and the top of the glass.

Tank height is 56cm which by the looks of it is the full height of the tank with nothing in it, so, assuming 2-3 cm of substrate and 2-3 reduction due to not filling to the max, I'd say 50cm of water height if that makes sense.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Littlefish on August 29, 2018, 08:00:44 AM
I have hard water, so have no experience of the fish that you have listed.
Going just on information on SF, and looking at the pictures, I'd agree with Sue about larger numbers of the shoaling fish. Bigger shoals of smaller fish look great. Cherry barbs, neon tetras, and harlequin rasbora are all very colourful fish, and I think they would look amazing together.
Between the apistos and the kribs, I like the shape of the fins on the apistos, and it has some yellow, which you'd previously mentioned you wanted with the orange chromide, and I think that a splash of yellow would stand out with the colours of the shoaling fish.
I'm clicking back and forth between the forum and SF, to check out pics of the fish, and the honey gourami have just had a verbal/out loud "oooo" of interest from me. Interesting shape, colour and markings. Would it be worth considering perhaps a shoal of either cherry barbs OR harlequin rasbora (both red in colour), with neon tetras, at least 10 of each, to allow for enough stocking space for apistos and honey gourami? This could also give you room for the headstanders, if you can find them.
Just to reiterate, this is just my personal opinion from looking at SF profiles, and I have no experience with these soft water fish. It is worth mentioning that it is also normal for people to start keeping tanks with small numbers of many different species of fish, then often go on to keeping larger numbers of less species.
Without seeing the fish live, and with no experience of these fish, just looking at the size/colour/markings, if I was told to pick from your list I would go with honey gourami, apistos, headstanders (if available - great markings and I like the odd way they are head down), then larger shoals of neon tetras, then it's a tough choice between the rasboras and cherry barbs. I've always had a soft spot for rasbora because I can't have them, though think that if you could get the headstanders (with their awesome markings), then the cherry barbs (more a solid colour fish) may emphasize the headstanders.

I really shouldn't spend time looking on SF at fish I can't have.  ::)
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on August 29, 2018, 09:03:21 AM
Thanks for the advice Donna/Sue, think it may now come down to stock at my local LFS.
One final query is which of my selection are the most hardy to assist with my fish-in cycle?
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Sue on August 29, 2018, 12:34:32 PM
None.

A fish-in cycle is not a good idea. It stresses any fish used and at best they will not live out their full life expectancy. I know you want to do a fish-in cycle so the tank will have fish straight away for your children, but are you prepared to do daily 50% water changes for weeks, and risk the fish dying during the process?


There are two safe ways to cycle a tank - fishless cycling and silent cycling.

This sticky explains fishless cycling https://forums.thinkfish.co.uk/fishtank-filtration-and-cycling/fishless-cycling-how-to-do-it/

Silent cycling involves the use of live plants. Before any fish are bought, the tank is planted with both plants that are rooted in the substrate and floating plants. And not just one or two live plants but a lot of them. Once you are sure the plants are growing well, fish are added one species at a time and testing the water daily for ammonia and nitrite after each addition. If either show up, a water change is needed. After a couple of weeks with no ammonia or nitrite, the next species can be added.


With either method, neon tetras should only be added once the tank has been cycled a few months. That is, once the tank is mature, which means it has grown a lot more types of micro-organism. For reasons we do not yet understand, some fish do not do well in tanks that are not mature, and neon tetras are among those species.




Looking back through your posts I missed that you said you will be using Fluval's cycling enhancer. Don't bother, it won't work. Instead, try Tetra Safe Start. This one contains the correct species of nitrite eating bacteria, and does actually work provided it has been stored correctly (though with the weather this summer if it was left aboard a delivery lorry for hours the heat may have killed the contents). And even TSS does not cycle a tank instantly; it is better used for supplementing a fishless cycle.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Matt on August 29, 2018, 07:19:44 PM
Did you mention getting some mature media? And do you want to stock live plants?
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Sue on August 29, 2018, 07:36:15 PM
This thread continues here https://forums.thinkfish.co.uk/fishtank-filtration-and-cycling/1-week-fishless-cycle-with-mature-media-then-fish-in-recommendations/ I haven't merged them because this one is more about which fish, the other about how to proceed setting the tank up.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Matt on August 29, 2018, 07:44:53 PM
This thread continues here https://forums.thinkfish.co.uk/fishtank-filtration-and-cycling/1-week-fishless-cycle-with-mature-media-then-fish-in-recommendations/ I haven't merged them because this one is more about which fish, the other about how to proceed setting the tank up.

Thanks, and I agree they should be separate for now.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on September 03, 2018, 08:55:52 PM
Just wanted to continue this thread about fish and another potential  :vcross: for me.  My son is obsessed with Koi Angel, I've said to him we can't have them because the tank isn't big enough, however, he said "Well lets get a bigger tank!" which I initially laughed at, but then the wife agreed with him albeit after we've set the 1st one up and got a healthy community going (i.e. 6-12 months).
Anyway, the thought has now crossed my mind that the LFS has a few baby Koi angels which arn't much bigger than the Cherry barbs if I'm honest, so my question is, could I add 2-4 Koi Angel to my community, with a view that once they get bigger I could transfer them to my "new" bigger tank in 12-18 months time before they start to become a problem?  Similarly, could I do the same with a few other fish I've discounted due to the size they grow to?
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Matt on September 03, 2018, 09:07:01 PM
You could do this with the angels. However to be honest I would recommend being very careful with what fish you plan to stock angels with. They are not really community fish and they also have very individual characters which must be accounted for. Growing them on then transferring them would be a good way to learn their characters though and what you think you might be able to stock with them. I guess I'm saying maybe just get the angelefish for now rather than others to grow on too. Many people choose to keep angels in a species only tank for these reasons.

I have no idea how long they would take to grow to a size or age when things would become problematic in your tank. That is worth some research.

I suppose the other question is are you sure you want the maintenance requirements of two tanks, the costs etc etc...

Edited to add: angels also need quite a big tank 90cm minimum and quite high due to their shape. Would probably end up as a 200litre is set up...
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Sue on September 03, 2018, 09:08:47 PM
Angels are a bit of a problem.
Unusually for cichlids, they are shoaling fish and need a group of them so they need a big tank. Further problems arise if two of them pair up and they spawn as they will pick on the rest of the shoal unless they are in a huge tank.
2 angels can be a problem. 2 males will fight. A male and female that are not bonded would fight. A male and female that choose each other would pick on any 'spare' angels, and if they bred would keep all the other fish herded at the opposite end of the tank

Personally, I think angels are more trouble than they are worth, despite how pretty they are  :)



It is not a good idea to get fish knowing they'll need a bigger tank. 12 to 18 months is too long to keep fish in a tank that's too small as they reach their adult size pretty quickly. And what happens if circumstances change and you can't get that bigger tank?
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on September 03, 2018, 09:33:12 PM
Understood, good advice, thanks Sue.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Littlefish on September 04, 2018, 07:06:40 AM
"Well lets get a bigger tank!" which I initially laughed at, but then the wife agreed with him albeit after we've set the 1st one up and got a healthy community going (i.e. 6-12 months).


Hooray, plans for a larger tank in the (relatively short term) future.  :cheers:

My advice - get the very biggest tank you can find some space for. Consider moving furniture if you have to. ;D
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on September 14, 2018, 11:27:27 PM
Ok, Tank cycle has stalled due to not having enough fish to create more ammonia than the plants are consuming so its more fish time  ;D  Only problem is, after researching and getting advice on my original selection, I'm not keen on a few of them now and want a bit more colour in the tank.

So, I have a few more to add to my list and a few removed:

Original List:
Tank Stock Levels:
8x Cherry Barbs (09/Sep/2018)
Current Community Fish Plan:
Neon Tetra
Spotted Headstander
Harlequin Rasbora

Honey Gourami
Kribensis or Agassiz's Dwarf Cichlid

New List:
Neon Tetra
Honey Gourami
Kribensis or Agassiz's Dwarf Cichlid
Golden Ram/Bolivian Ram
Zebra Danio
Gold Barb (will they mix with the Cherries?)
Dwarf Gourami - Assuming this is either/or with Honey or other type of Gourami? or can multiple types live together?
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Matt on September 15, 2018, 06:41:31 AM
New List:
Neon Tetra
Honey Gourami
Kribensis or Agassiz's Dwarf Cichlid
Golden Ram/Bolivian Ram
Zebra Danio
Gold Barb (will they mix with the Cherries?)
Dwarf Gourami - Assuming this is either/or with Honey or other type of Gourami? or can multiple types live together?


I'm really sorry but I'm going to suggest none of these are suitable!... it can be so frustrating this comparability stuff..
Bolivian Rams are A LOT hardier than golden rams. I would not recommend golden rams for beginners or in immature tanks. I would personally mix neither with kribensis.
Zebra danio and Gold barb prefer lower temperatures than all your other fish.
Dwarf gourami I would love to keep myself though unfortunately the vast majority of stock in stores is infected with an untreatable and incurable virus which means they have much shortened lives (often dying shortly after purchase) and will get ill with nothing you can do. You also cannot mix gourami species.

Sorry if that is disappointing!... you could go with the Bolivian rams instead of the kribs if you liked! Dwarf gourami is an option too instead of honies... but you need to be prepared to explain it too the kids if the worst happens and with a new set up etc. this doesn't seem like a good fit.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on September 15, 2018, 07:42:05 AM
No need to apologise @Matt, the honesty is more than welcome so I don't make incorrect selections.
I'll take a trip to LFS today and see what they have and then make another list ;D
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Sue on September 15, 2018, 09:37:58 AM
I agree with Matt.

Danios also need a long tank, at least 100cm long simply because they are such fast swimming fish. Those that have them in big tanks say they can cross a 120 cm (4 foot) tank in under 1 second.

I would also not keep more than one species of cichlid in your tank. It is possible in larger tanks, but not the footprint of yours (81 x 40 cm). That means either kribs or apistos or Bolivian rams; no more than one species.



Your cycle has not stalled  :) It is going perfectly. Your ammonia and nitrite are constantly zero since you've had fish.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: fcmf on September 15, 2018, 10:30:21 AM
I'm not keen on a few of them now and want a bit more colour in the tank.
I see you've struck off harlequin rasboras. Personally, I find these stand out colour-wise and on account of their patterning. What I've realised about fish is that it's not all about colour - I currently have a shoal of neon green coloured fish but they're actually more eye-catching on account of their behaviour and activity than their colour, a few silver coloured body fish who are eye-catching on account of their dorsal and caudal fin colouring, plus harlequin rasboras who are eye-catching on account of their unique patterning and colouring. Not sure if that helps at all but just thought I'd throw this factor into the mix.

Once you've been to the LFS and have seen all the fish in action, that'll probably help considerably in your choices.

Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on September 15, 2018, 10:31:46 AM
Thanks Sue.  Any other recommendations for non-redish but colourful fish that would fit with my requirements that I could keep an eye out for at my LFS?
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on September 15, 2018, 10:34:06 AM
I'm not keen on a few of them now and want a bit more colour in the tank.
I see you've struck off harlequin rasboras. Personally, I find these stand out colour-wise and on account of their patterning. What I've realised about fish is that it's not all about colour - I currently have a shoal of neon green coloured fish but they're actually more eye-catching on account of their behaviour and activity than their colour, a few silver coloured body fish who are eye-catching on account of their dorsal and caudal fin colouring, plus harlequin rasboras who are eye-catching on account of their unique patterning and colouring. Not sure if that helps at all but just thought I'd throw this factor into the mix.

Once you've been to the LFS and have seen all the fish in action, that'll probably help considerably in your choices.

Thanks @fcmf I'll have a good look shortly at my LFS and see what they have and if they recommend anything, then come back and have a think before I go to purchase.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on September 15, 2018, 03:48:33 PM
Not a huge amount of stock of harlequins at LFS, only a couple left, so decided on Penguin Tetras, didn't want to go too many so went for 4, but starting to think should have got 6 or 8, but worried about adding too many to a cycling tank.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Sue on September 15, 2018, 04:39:13 PM
It would have been better to get 8 in total. Seriously Fish says they should be fine in your tank and water, and with smaller barbs [eg cherry barbs]. It does comment on their reputed fin nipping behaviour but adds that this should not happen with several of them, preferably 10 or more.
Presumably the fin nipping is part of their hierarchy that I mentioned in another post - they set up and maintain the hierarchy through nipping, and if there aren't enough of them they include other species as part of the shoal. In this case it is important to get the whole shoal at one go or half a shoal will sort out the hierarchy, then you get more and they have to sort it put all over again. Maybe another trip to the shop asap? Their need to set up a hierarchy outweighs the need to add small groups of fish.
Expect some nipping as they sort their hierarchy out.



When I was restocking my tank a few years ago I had two option plans - Asian or South American. Penguins were on my S American list. But I went with the Asian option.


Did you know there are two species of penguin tetra? Thayeria obliqua is the true penguin and Thayeria boehlkei is the false penguin. The one in shops is usually the false penguin. Their needs are the same, so it's just a matter of interest which ones you have. Look them up on Seriously Fish to see the difference  :)
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on September 15, 2018, 05:45:11 PM
Thanks Sue, unfortunately, couldn't make it back to the shop in time before closing, so I'll head down 1st things after kids Sunday football  :D

Looking at the 2 types, I'd say (attached photo) that I have the false Thayeria boehlkei type.  I'll keep an eye on the fin nipping and see how the additional 4 settle in tomorrow.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: fcmf on September 15, 2018, 06:58:41 PM
Nice pic - and this species of fish are particularly interesting because of their nose-upwards swimming action, different from many fish.

Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Littlefish on September 15, 2018, 07:35:47 PM
I have these in one of my South American tanks. I'm quite partial to them, and their swimming style.
I had a few problems with fin nipping in the beginning, even saw one of them have a go at the bristlenose, but since that incident there has been some rearrangement, and things have settled down.  :)
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Littlefish on September 16, 2018, 02:04:51 PM
Hey @Bazza2000
I had a trip to the local MA this morning, and guess what they've just got in........spotted headstanders.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on September 16, 2018, 02:10:01 PM
Hey @Bazza2000
I had a trip to the local MA this morning, and guess what they've just got in........spotted headstanders.

No way!! Thats Mega!! Just need to fill the car up for the 400 miles round trip to pick them up  :rotfl:
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Sue on September 16, 2018, 02:22:01 PM
I know from asking about ordering fish at Maidenhead Aquatics that they can only get fish on 'The List'. As the MA near Littlefish has some they are obviously on MA's list so if you have a branch near you, you could see if they'll get some in for you.
Or ask at an independent store. My favourite shop has ordered fish for me in the past.

But if a shop does order some for you wait at least a week before collecting them to make sure they are OK.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: fcmf on September 16, 2018, 02:23:25 PM
It might be worth contacting your nearest MA to see if they have them in, @Bazza2000. I mentioned mine had them in stock recently too; I think if they're in one, it could well be that many of the MAs get them in.

Edited to add (as my post overlapped with Sue's): www.fishkeeper.co.uk, MA's website, updates their stocklist regularly in the Databank. In mine, and I have a feeling this is the same UK-wide, the fish are flown in to the UK en masse at the end of every month / start of the new month. You could ask your local MA if they are on the list for coming in to that store when the next stock arrive or request that they do order them in.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on September 16, 2018, 02:26:16 PM
To be honest, I'm happy with the Penguin Tetras as they are similar (apart from the swimming style) looking.  Purchased 4 more today which gives me a shoal of 8 now and they all appear to be swimming around together so will wait until the hierarchy is sorted over the next few days and see how get on.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Littlefish on September 16, 2018, 02:36:05 PM
I like the penguin tetras too. They are great in a shoal.  :)
I was just so surprised to see the spotted headstanders that I had to take a pic & let you know.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on September 16, 2018, 02:39:41 PM
Yep, really like them now too.  I asked LFS about head standers last week and they said they get them every now and again when they are available but very rarely.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Sue on September 16, 2018, 02:46:02 PM
There are some species of wild caught fish which are only captured at certain times of the year. Outside these times these species are unavailable. However, I have no idea if spotted headstanders are wild caught or commercially bred, and if they are wild caught I have no idea if they are seasonal  :-\
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on September 16, 2018, 08:08:01 PM
Settling in nicely!!   :fishy1:  :fishy1:  :fishy1:

(edit) attached picture as google url image links don't appear to work for everyone.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Sue on September 16, 2018, 08:15:42 PM
They look great  :)
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Littlefish on September 16, 2018, 08:36:47 PM
The gang are looking good.  8)
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Helen on September 17, 2018, 08:10:11 PM
Why can't I see the photo? :o I have a no entry sign where it should be.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: fcmf on September 17, 2018, 08:34:29 PM
Hmmm - from my phone, I'm seeing an icon as though there's a pic but which can't be viewed; from my laptop, I'm not seeing anything at all.  :(
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Helen on September 17, 2018, 08:37:05 PM
Phew, at least it's not just me.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Littlefish on September 17, 2018, 08:38:15 PM
I saw the pic earlier, but now I see the same as @Helen
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Sue on September 17, 2018, 08:46:09 PM
I don't even see a no entry sign  :-\
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on September 17, 2018, 09:25:50 PM
It was originally a URL image, from my google photos account, but maybe there is a limited lifespan on the link.  I can still see via the link ok but then it is my account.  I've downloaded and attached instead.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Sue on September 17, 2018, 09:46:48 PM
I could see the image when you first posted it, that's how I could post my reply. Then it vanished  ???
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: fcmf on September 17, 2018, 09:51:53 PM
Lovely pic - I can see it now.  ;D

(What's the Latin name for the green chap on the right?  ;))
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Helen on September 17, 2018, 09:53:32 PM
I can see ot now too.

And those fish are beautiful. I do have fish envy.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on September 23, 2018, 09:50:50 PM
Its back to work on my next fish selection.  I've come up with a few more after looking at people profiles to see what community they have.  I now have this list of options:

10x Neon or Cardinal Tetra
6x Honey Gourami
2x Kribensis or Agassiz's Dwarf Cichlid
6x Peacock Gudgeons/Goby
2m 1f Stiphodons

Bearing in mind, I'm not looking to stock all of these and I'm aware that the Tetras must go in last as my tank is still cycling.  Just wanted to check compatibility and what would be best to add next.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Sue on September 23, 2018, 10:07:19 PM
A few comments:

Stiphodons - need more females than males, though they can be difficult to sex as males can change colour at the drop of a hat. Females - or at least mine - have black and white stripes, no colour. Males vary from palest blue to deep blue depending on mood and where they are in the pecking order. Mine were sold as "indie blue" and"indigo blue" and I have no idea what they really are. They also like a strong water flow so aren't really compatible with gouramis which prefer a gentle water flow. Having said that, i have a honey gourami female in my tank  :-[

I would go for either kribs or apistos or peacock gudgeons. I have gudgeons and they behave in a very similar way to the apistos I used to have. I would anticipate arguments if you get more than one of the three. they are all cave spawners, so you need caves. Peacock gudgeons like to spawn in spaces so narrow you'd wonder how both male and female could get in there together.
In your tank, 1 male + several female gudgeons, or 1 male + 1 female krib - and they need to be a bonded pair - or 1 male + 2 female apistos. You'd need 2 caves for kribs (to give them some choice), 2 for gudgeons as it's the male that guards the eggs and with just 1 male give him 2 to choose from, and with apistos one cave per female plus one.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on September 23, 2018, 10:28:59 PM
Thank Sue, I think I'll go with the Gourami's next, I wanted to check is 6 too many/few, and also can you mix types, i.e. could I get 2 x Pearl, 2 x Honey and 2 Other, or do they need to be the same to get along in the group?
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Matt on September 23, 2018, 10:46:45 PM
Gourami species should not be mixed. And pairs are not good either as one will likely bully the other so 6 of one species is the way to go. Don't get too many males if you can avoid it.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on September 23, 2018, 10:52:53 PM
Thanks Matt.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Sue on September 24, 2018, 11:40:13 AM
Gourami species should never be mixed in the same tank.

Gourami males tend to be bullies. If they want to spawn and the female doesn't, males can be downright nasty. Males have been known to kill females. However, in my experience this does not apply to honey gouramis. I have had more trouble with females fighting than with a male harassing a single female. Yes, honey gourami males do chase females, but of all the honeys I've had over the years, the worst has been a nipped tail.

I would go with a m/f pair. If the male does bully the female, you can get another female or even two.
Honey gouramis come in three colours - natural, red and yellow.
The photos in the profile on here show the natural colour. These are the easiest colour to sex. Males are tan, females are silver beige. The males in the shop tank will be stressed and paler than the one in the photos. When the net goes in the tank all the males could lose all colour. females usually have a darker stripe from nose to tail, but not all females do.
Yellow honeys are the next easiest. Both male and female are yellow, but males tend to have an orangey back end and females have the same line as natural coloured females, just not as pronounced.

Take someone with with when you go gourami shopping. The way to chose these two colours is to stand and study the fish in the shop tank. Males will behave differently from females as well as being differently coloured. Males are more up front; females just get on with life.
Look at all the fish. Find the most brightly coloured male; find a female from those fish which show the stripe - males don't have the stripe. Now send your colleague to fetch a shop worker and keep your eyes on your chosen fish. make sure they catch the fish you want!


Red honeys are difficult to sex. You have to go by fin shape, which is not reliable. Males tend to have a pointier  end to the dorsal fin, females tend to have a rounder end. I have never bought red honeys because I can never be sure.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on September 24, 2018, 10:15:33 PM
Thanks Sue, will have a look at the LFS and make a call based on their stock.  Don't mind waiting a few weeks until they have a good stock and more selection.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on October 06, 2018, 04:55:24 PM
Hi everyone, hope you've all been well the past couple of week.

Its been a while but visited the LFS today and may have made a mistake with my purchase.   They only had a couple of honey gouramis in the tank with a few other gouramis and they didn't look in the best of health, hiding at the bottom behind the heater.  But in the tank next to them there were loads of Gold Gouramis that looked in great health.  My mistake here was that I thought all Gouramis where roughly the same, however, since looking up the Gold's it appears they can grow to 15cm  :yikes: and might take a look at my tetras (still to purchase)  as dinner.  Shop is closed now, but I take it these will be too big for my tank and I'm probably best advised to return (if they will take them) and wait it out for a fresh batch of Honeys?
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Sue on October 06, 2018, 05:06:12 PM
No, gouramis are not all the same  :-\

Gold gouramis are a colour variant of three spot gouramis, and these are among the more aggressive gouramis - honey gouramis are at the other end of the aggression spectrum. Golds are also big fish as you have discovered. They need a tank at least 90 cm long, but yours at 82 cm would do at a pinch.

The fish you currently have - or at least the ones in your signature - should be OK as both cherry barbs and penguin tetras are not the smallest of fish, but I would not risk neons/cardinals with them. And being big fish they will also use up a fair amount of your stocking allowance.

How many did you get? If you have more than one male, there will be problems with them fighting. Even with just 2, male and females, there could well be problems as this species is well known for the male being aggressive if he wants to breed and the female doesn't; it is one of those species where there must be several females per male.



Personally, I would take them back. Just say you want a tank of small fish and didn't realise how big these get. If they take them back, they'll probably give you store credit for less than you paid for them.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on October 06, 2018, 05:52:08 PM
Yeah, I only got 2 , think 1M and 1F but shop was unsure too.  Really wanted the neon's for colour etc.  They were only 8 for the pair so no major issues.  Shop have been really good and I have a loyalty card and know them on 1st name basis so either way should be okay.  Just need to wait until they get a good stock of honeys in a then go for my original 4-6.  Thanks.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Littlefish on October 07, 2018, 07:09:18 AM
 :o I hope that the shop are happy for you to return the gold gouramis.
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on October 07, 2018, 12:39:58 PM
LFS was great, gave me a credit note, new stock coming in on Friday, so hopefully the "correct" Gourami's next week  :cheers:
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Littlefish on October 07, 2018, 02:43:00 PM
That's great news.  :cheers:
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Bazza2000 on December 17, 2018, 11:39:01 PM
Not too sure which topic to put this one, but as its been a while, thought I'd put a bit of an update on.  Aquarium is looking great and I'm around 80-90% stock and fish seem really happy.  Lost a couple of cardinal tetras in the past couple of weeks, so not too sure if thats something, but keeping a close eye on the water readings and everything is still pretty stable.  Just wanted to say thanks again to everyone on here, without you I'd have been in the right state and wouldn't have a tank of happy fish.  Special thanks to @Littlefish for the media, think that helped a lot in the early stages.  I hope everyone has a great Christmas and Santa brings you lots of fish based presents  :rotfl: and wishing you all the very best for 2019  :cheers:
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Littlefish on December 18, 2018, 09:38:49 AM
Great to have an update on your tank, and see a picture of your fish.  :)
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: Matt on December 18, 2018, 12:32:45 PM
Nice update  :)

I must admit my Christmas wish list was entirely fish related  :rotfl: in fact we should do a thread on this... I might set one up later!
Title: Re: New Tank, looking for comments and advice on my fish selection.
Post by: fcmf on December 18, 2018, 04:12:54 PM
Great to have your update and photos, @Bazza2000 - thanks. Glad all going well. Best wishes to you and everyone too.
:cheers: