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Future Fish For A Tank

Author Topic: Future fish for a tank  (Read 6646 times)

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Offline Sue

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Future fish for a tank
« on: June 06, 2016, 07:25:38 PM »
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Now that I have an empty and fully cycled tank, I am giving some thought about what to restock with in a few months. There are just so many fish to choose from.


So I am throwing the question open to give me some ideas  :)



Tank - 107 x 45 x 45 cm. Allowing for space above the water, substrate, decor etc, I measured the water in when I bought it at 188 litres.

Filter - two Eheim Biopowers, a 240 (2413) and a 180 (2411). This does create a bit of water flow so the tank is not for fish that like calm water.

Water - pH about 7.5. It's in the overlap region between the normal and high range API pH testers. GH 4.76 German deg/85 ppm. KH 3 German deg/54 ppm. Tap water nitrate between the 0 and 5 ppm colours.

Decor - lots of wood with java fern, anubias and bolbitis attached. Sand substrate.


I prefer few shoals with larger number per shoal, and maybe a species of non-shoaling fish.





If this was your tank, what would you do with it ?

This is a golden opportunity for those of you with hard water under the provisions of the Tank Twinning Initiative!!

Offline Extreme_One

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2016, 08:05:46 PM »
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Off the top of my head, if it were my tank, I would keep the following:

  • 25 Cardinal Tetras
  • 3 Apistogrammas (probably Aggassiz's Fire Red as they are so attractive) 1 male and 2 females.
  • 12 small Corys (Pandas or similar)
  • 8 Rosy Barbs

This would put the tank at approx 90% stocked.

I'd love to have a tank this size!  :cheers:

Offline Sue

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2016, 08:45:39 PM »
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Among the fish I've just lost/put down were those apistos, they were lovely fish. And I also like all the Parachierodon species - I had green neons as well.
Hmm, panda cories, there's a suggestion! And I'm off to look up rosy barbs......


Offline fcmf

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2016, 09:04:21 PM »
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Panda cories do indeed look great in large numbers, like they're working together.

I also like the apistos and also rams (eg Bolivian rams). [The pic of the butterfly cichlid ram is lovely on the Fish Profiles but I think if I were you, in light of your experience, I'd be constantly checking out their patterning to make sure that the markings weren't whitespot.]

Lemon tetras, rummynose tetras and harlequin rasboras seem to put on a particularly impressive show in their shoaling behaviour, but you'll know better than me whether these are suitable for your water flow.

Offline Paddyc

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2016, 09:19:38 PM »
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I can vouch for harlequins, by far the most unexpected as far as me not knowing if they would look as good as neons or other tetras... They look amazing when they school together and I only have eight. Suffice to say I want to at least double this shoal.

They don't have a problem with filter flow either. Mine is more than substantial...

Offline Skittler

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2016, 09:28:44 PM »
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Hello Sue,

I am really sorry to hear of your current problems, I am sure you will come out on the other side perfectly OK!

Your water is virtually identical to mine. In the 125L the following fish have thrived:

Neons, Embers, Glowlight Danios.

The danios have proven to be too boisterous for my previously "calm" tank, and I regard their addition as a mistake. I have only lost 1 tetra out of the 20 added up to 15 months ago.

Also, I have 10 Amano Shrimp, which do a wonderful job keeping hair algae under control.

The fish which did not thrive were Panda Cories (two batches from different LFS's) and Otocinclus. My tank has very small rounded gravel. I don't think that this was the problem for the Panda's. When the Otos were added, there was a lot of green and brown algae in the tank, which they loved!  I believe that the problem for both these fish was pH. At cycling, my pH was 7.4, but increased to 7.6 shortly afterwards. A pH of 7.4 seems to be the upper limit for both these fish on the other sites that I respect and use. All the other inhabitants have continued to thrive.

Hope this helps,

                                    Skittler


Offline Matt

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2016, 10:20:28 PM »
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Wow lots of suggestions already whilst I was working out my suggestions, these were are:

Macmaster 's Dwarf Cichlid x6
Rummy Nose Tetra x15
Cardinal Tetra x15
Otocinclus x10
Five band Barb x10
Marbled Hatchetfish x10
Panda Cory x10

As you may recall, I am in the camp minimum numbers of lots of species so this involved some difficult decisions for me!  This represents 85% stocking, so young I quod probably increase numbers further - I'm not sure how surface dwellers feature in your plans so the hatchetfish may be out...

Offline Richard W

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2016, 07:14:20 AM »
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I'd choose to keep only fish in related groups tetras OR small cyprinids. I'm also becoming more convinced that the "cheap and cheerful" fish are the best choice, they are usually robust, which is why they are cheap. For cyprinids, I'd have one of the Harlequin group, Cherry barbs, a danio (zebras are as good as any), Odessa barbs and/or Five banded, each in a decent sized group. For tetras, I really like Lemons, also Silver tips and both are cheap and very tough, but the choice is wide. If I  had tetras, I'd probably have a Corydoras species as well, but the barbs do a good job as bottom feeders. I think it's a good idea to keep fish from the same general part of the world together.

Offline ColinB

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2016, 07:21:44 AM »
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I agree with Richard..... keep to similar areas. Either a S.American tank or an Asian tank, and decide how peaceful you would like it to be. I love Ruby Barbs and Gouramies, but the Rubies are too boisterous for the Gouramies etc etc.

So..... I'd go for a Ruby Barb, Tiger Barb, Golden Barb tank; or a 5-band, Cherry, Chequered, Harlequin tank.

....or perhaps a Rummynose, Cardinal, Rosy Tetra, Cory and Oto tank.

mmmm - on the other hand, perhaps a Ram,............................ *sigh*

Offline Fiona

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2016, 07:37:36 AM »
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Platinum tetras at least 20. I'd love to keep them but my water is far too hard, a shoal of those and cardinal tetras would look amazing. Corydoras Sterbai too, just because they're beautiful. Ummm and rams because I'd love to own a pair but have the same problem with hard water.

Offline Sue

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2016, 09:19:52 AM »
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I should have listed the fish I don't want, it is very short.

Emperor tetras - I had some and traded them in for other fish. They were aquatic locusts.
Gouramis, because the filter flow is a bit strong for them
Hatchet fish, because the tank lid overlaps the water an inch or two and I'd never see them
Fish too small for my husband to see  ::) (ie most of the fish I used to have in the 125 litre tank)
Anything that would eat nerite snails.
Anything very expensive eg some L number plecs and dwarf chain loaches (they shot up in price after I got mine)

And I intend to get the fish from Maidenhead Aquatics, the one at Stokesley, north Yorkshire, inside Strikes garden centre.



My thoughts have been veering towards the same as Richard and Colin - fish from the same general area of the world. So tetras and cories - but which ones? Or barbs (which ones?), harlies and kuhli loaches?

And is it a good idea to have cories and cichlids? I've never mixed those two before.



Maybe I should take a trip to MA and make a list of what they sell, it doesn't vary much. My husband likes going to garden centres so I could combine the two  ;D

Offline ColinB

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2016, 10:10:31 AM »
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If you want bigger fish, then I'd be tempted to go for Ruby Barb, Odessa Barb, Golden Barb and, perhaps, Tiger Barb. They will all 'work' in your soft water with the added advantage of having a much cooler (therefore cheaper) tank. As there're a few different colourings of Tigers then a big shoal of a mix of the colours might be very attractive. Rubies hang around the bottom of the tank. Zebra loaches are different to the stripy Barb theme and SeriouslyFish has them at a cooler temp than ThinkFish. Just a thought.

Put hubby in the creche at the garden centre and spend a few hours in MA with a note book. (For the younger members amongst us, that's what we of a 'certain age' use to make notes with rather than tapping away at some new-fangled shiney thing. :) )

Offline Sue

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2016, 10:16:37 AM »
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(For the younger members amongst us, that's what we of a 'certain age' use to make notes with rather than tapping away at some new-fangled shiney thing. :) )

I have a sort of new-fangled shiney thing as my son and daughter-in-law bought us a Kindle Fire for Christmas. I find it very difficult touching the correct spot on the screen and spend a lot of time going backwards. As for typing into it using that fiddly little keyboard, give me pen and paper every time. Reading books on it is fine but I can't see me ever using something that size for much else.

I've only just mastered the laptop  ;D

Offline Sue

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2016, 10:24:01 AM »
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I should clarify the size issue.

In the 125 litre I had ember tetras (20 mm), green neon tetras (25 mm), Microdevario kubotai (20 mm) and he complained he couldn't see them. He was fine with emperor tetras, golden pencilfish and cherry barbs.

Offline Richard W

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2016, 12:53:08 PM »
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I'd avoid Ruby and Tiger barbs. Although I started with 10 of each, the males constantly attacked each other once they became fully mature. Two of the Tigers died, their tails totally bitten off. The Ruby males always look tatty with parts of their tails and other fins nipped off.
I definitely prefer Odessa barbs, plan to get Five banded when I restock this autumn. Checkered are also nice and peaceful.

Offline ColinB

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2016, 03:48:42 PM »
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I'd avoid Ruby and Tiger barbs. Although I started with 10 of each, the males constantly attacked each other once they became fully mature. Two of the Tigers died, their tails totally bitten off. The Ruby males always look tatty with parts of their tails and other fins nipped off.

Sad to hear, But good to know. I have 5-bands and Cherries..... both lovely. The 5-bands definitly prefered more than 6, and the Cherries like more females than males.

Offline Sue

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #16 on: June 07, 2016, 03:55:41 PM »
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Cherry barbs were the first casualties of the whitespot infection, and I did like them. I had both natural coloured ones and albino ones - the males were orange and females yellow, both with red eyes. If I got them again I'd stick with one colour form as more of the same looks better in my eyes.

Has anyone kept harlequins with cherry barbs, and how did they get on? I know that the MA in question sells both these species, and Trigonostigma hengeli, copper/porkchop rasboras, as well.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #17 on: June 07, 2016, 04:25:01 PM »
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Those rasbora are very pretty.

Offline Paddyc

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #18 on: June 07, 2016, 05:28:38 PM »
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Has anyone kept harlequins with cherry barbs, and how did they get on? I know that the MA in question sells both these species, and Trigonostigma hengeli, copper/porkchop rasboras, as well.

I am keeping them together with no problems Sue  :cheers:

I should clarify the size issue.

In the 125 litre I had ember tetras (20 mm), green neon tetras (25 mm), Microdevario kubotai (20 mm) and he complained he couldn't see them. He was fine with emperor tetras, golden pencilfish and cherry barbs.

Have you considered keeping angelfish? Very lovely to look at, I've been toying with putting angels and five band barbs into my second tank... But we've just booked a holiday so need to rein in the unnecessary expenditure  :vcross:

Offline Sue

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #19 on: June 07, 2016, 05:34:19 PM »
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Good to know about cherry barbs and harlies, thank you.

The tank isn't tall enough for angels. They need at least 45cm water and as my tank is that height, minus 1cm bottom glass, minus the substrate, minus the air gap on top of the water, I don't have enough water depth for them.

This tank is not as tall as 180 litres usually are. It is custom built so I could get one I could reach into without standing on a stool  ;D

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2016, 05:44:57 PM »
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If you are still considering some small cory I will say that the panda cory I have in with my betta are cute and quite sassy.
I really like the kulhi loaches, they are an unusual shape and have a nice movement, though apparently keep themselves hidden a lot of the time. Saying that, fish never cease to amaze me by not always adhering to their typical behaviours and often being a bit more "up front" than expected.

I've enjoyed looking through lists of fish that aren't suitable for my water, makes me want more tanks though.  ;D

Offline fcmf

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2016, 08:02:59 PM »
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Has anyone kept harlequins with cherry barbs, and how did they get on?
Almost certain that I've read a post from Richard, talking favourably of these two species together.

I think it's best to have a potential shortlist but not narrow this down to very definite decisions just yet - you could use the CC for 3 potential tank stocking options, but you might find when you go for a look around that one particular species leaps out (not literally! ;D) as being for you, in which case that may make the decision for you as to which other fish to opt for ie which of the potential tank stocking options "wins". As previously mentioned, I completely fell for the harlequin rasboras despite intending to go for ember tetras.

As an aside, I completely understand the rationale for opting for fish from the same part of the world. However, in my case, my South American and Asian fish seem to get on well together and are often dispersed around the tank with one species beside another - they seem to be faring better together and seem more comfortable with one another than the two South American fish species I had before (pygmy cories with x-ray tetras, although I think the problem in that instance was the size difference).

Offline Sue

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2016, 08:46:59 PM »
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I'm going to have to visit the shop and make notes. And ask them if they'd be prepared to sell me a tankful of fish at the same time.

My husband reminded me about Tropical House in Redcar - he mentioned going to Morrisons round the corner to buy some smoked fish. The problem is it's a small shop so would they have enough species to choose from? When I got the med from there a month or so ago, the chap said they quarantine their fish for 2 weeks before putting them on sale, and I've never had a sick fish from there in the past. I wish I'd looked at the fish now  :-\



Panda cories - are they as bad for dying off as pygmies and habrosus?

Kuhli loaches - according to the CC, they take up a lot of the stocking allowance. I've always fancied them, but the fact you can't have many other fish in the tank has put me off. A shoal of 8 would use a third of my stocking allowance.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2016, 09:12:48 PM »
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I've not had any problems with my panda cory, but I haven't had them for long.
Kuhli loaches are nice looking, but for the amount of stock allowance they take, and for quite a shy species that enjoys burrowing and hiding, I think your other options would make for a more visually stimulating tank.

Offline Extreme_One

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2016, 07:43:35 AM »
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Khuli Loaches are notorious for hiding away and their owners only rarely seeing them.

Offline Sue

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2016, 12:39:58 PM »
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While we were out this morning I called in at shop we had to pass to buy ammonia and nitrite testers. This is not normally a shop where I buy fish, but while I was there I had a look to see what they had to give me some ideas. It proved to be very uninspirational.

There were two tanks of note, one above the other, but not for the species of fish. The lower one had electric blue rams and a couple of varieties of three spot gourami. The rams were covered in whitespot. The upper tank had tetras of some sort; a silvery grey with black spot near the tail, and a white species that was either very young silver dollars or discus tetras. There was no label on this tank. But the silver dollar/discus tetras were covered in whitespot. The gouramis and grey with black spots were all clear.
However, these fish were all on sale  :o No sign about being under treatment. Poor unsuspecting customers  :(

Offline Sue

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2016, 07:31:32 PM »
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We went to the garden centre with Maidenhead Aquatics this afternoon, and two more garden centres nearby so my husband could look at plants. Armed with my notebook, I went to look at fish while he looked at books and chocolates.

Grouped into Asian and south American fish, these are the ones I liked the looks of -

Harlequins
Purple harlequins
Copper harlequins (labelled as espei, last time they were labelled as hengeli)
Black ruby barbs
Odessa barbs
Peacock gobies
5 band barbs
Glowlight danios
Stiphodon elegans
Croaking gouramis (Trichopsis vitatta)
Cherry barbs

Neon tetras
Cardinal tetras
Buenos Aires tetras
Rummy nose tetras
Panda cories
Silver tip tetras
Black neon tetras
Albino black neon tetras
Golden pencilfish
Glowlight tetras


The problem was that very few species had even six in the tank - did they have a busy weekend?

There were also fish like serpae tetras and black widow tetras which I didn't fancy so I've not listed them.



I know I have a few weeks to decide but this could be a tricky job  ;D

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2016, 08:39:29 PM »
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Hmmmmmmm. That could well be quite a big decision. Obviously my response would be to have an Asian tank and a South American tank, and even then it would still be a tough choice to narrow down each list.

Offline Paddyc

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2016, 09:11:38 PM »
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Harlequins
Purple harlequins
Copper harlequins (labelled as espei, last time they were labelled as hengeli)

Sue, you have no idea how excited I am to learn from your post that there are other colours of Harlequins!!! I had no idea!!! I love my harlequins and want to boost my shoal numbers... In theory/nature do the different strains of the harlequin family get on together? I would love to know where locally I could get different coloured Harlies!!

My missus is going to roll her eyes when I tell her this, obviously  ::)

Offline Sue

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2016, 09:40:50 PM »
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There are three related species - Trigonostigma heteromorpha aka harlequins; T. hengeli aka copper rasbora, hengel's rabora, porkchop rasbora; and T. espei aka espe's rasbora, lambchop rasbora. You find all three on Seriously Fish if you search for trigonostigma. Just to add more naming confusion, T. espei are in the fish profiles on here as slender harlequins.

There is also a colour morph of harlequin called purple harlequins. These have orange faces and the rest dark purple. These are the same species as harlequins so in theory should shoal with them. The other two are different species.

I was quite surprised to find they had fish they called copper rasbora, T. espei. Last time I asked them they looked at their list and said copper rasboras were T hengeli.

Offline Paddyc

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2016, 09:45:06 PM »
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Great stuff.. Since the slenders and copper harlies are quite similar to the Harlequins, purple ones would be my first choice... Now I just need to find them!

They have been a very welcome surprise for me, they are stunning fish and they school together a lot which is great to watch. Before anyone gets worried, they are happy, I'm not scaring them into schooling up...  8)

Offline Fiona

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #31 on: June 14, 2016, 07:10:11 AM »
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I've had purple harlies, they're a very attractive fish and I'd get them again if I could find them.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #32 on: June 14, 2016, 07:24:31 AM »
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Just in case either of you have an urge to purchase any fish I thought this might be useful

http://freshwateraquatics.co.uk/index.php/black-purple-harlequin-rasbora-trigonostigma-heteromorpha.html

Offline Paddyc

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Re: Future fish
« Reply #33 on: June 14, 2016, 09:54:04 AM »
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Great link Donna, cheers for that! I bet they look great in the flesh/fins... lol  :rotfl:

Offline Sue

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Re: Future fish for a tank
« Reply #34 on: June 14, 2016, 10:23:39 AM »
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Those were the fish I saw, though they were so small it was hard to tell if they had a darker triangle like the fish in the link.


Thank you to whoever it was that changed the title - the new one is better.

Offline Paddyc

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Re: Future fish for a tank
« Reply #35 on: June 14, 2016, 11:05:29 AM »
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Those were the fish I saw, though they were so small it was hard to tell if they had a darker triangle like the fish in the link.


Thank you to whoever it was that changed the title - the new one is better.

I can't take credit but have been performing more subtle tidying and spelling correction in recent days...

Offline apache6467

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Re: Future fish for a tank
« Reply #36 on: June 15, 2016, 02:53:05 PM »
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this may sound crazy but zebra plecos would be a nice addition. i aim to keep them one day! :) :fishy1: :fishy1:

Offline Sue

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Re: Future fish for a tank
« Reply #37 on: June 15, 2016, 03:08:54 PM »
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The problem is the price. There's one on Ebay at the moment for 60  :o

I promised my husband I won't get anything expensive......

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Future fish for a tank
« Reply #38 on: June 15, 2016, 05:41:08 PM »
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Nice looking fish though.

The list of your possible fish was so difficult to choose from.

Offline Sue

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Re: Future fish for a tank
« Reply #39 on: June 15, 2016, 07:07:33 PM »
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Given there is a while to go yet before I can get any fish, the chances are I'll draw up a list and go to the shop only to find they haven't any. Or like my visit on Monday, only one or two of each species. I suppose that's the problem with Mondays, everyone else has been in buying fish over the weekend.

Current thinking is either harlequins/purple harlequins, glowlight danios and either peacock gudgeons or whatever stiphodons they have in; or golden pencilfish, an as yet undecided tetra and panda cories. And around 15 of each mid water shoaling species, 10 cories.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Future fish for a tank
« Reply #40 on: June 15, 2016, 07:13:20 PM »
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You could always reserve them the week before collection. At least you'd know they'd be there when you wanted them.

Offline fcmf

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Re: Future fish for a tank
« Reply #41 on: June 15, 2016, 07:15:49 PM »
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I approve highly of your choices.

Presumably your LFS doesn't have a website? I've noticed that mine tends to put up a Facebook post (accessible to those without Facebook) stating that new fish have come in (usually Tues eves) and will be on sale from the Fri. If you could find out the delivery day and then reserve some, that might be an option? Obviously, you wouldn't buy them until you were satisfied that they were to your liking, sufficiently healthy, etc.
[Oops- overlap with LF- great minds. :)]

Offline Sue

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Re: Future fish for a tank
« Reply #42 on: June 15, 2016, 07:26:48 PM »
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It's a branch of Maidenhead Aquatics. As far as I know, they just have a database section of their website but that doesn't mean every branch will have all the fish in it. There are just 4 branches that list their fish on tropical fish finder but they are miles away.

If anyone can find a site giving the stock list of MA at Stokesley, North Yorkshire, please let me know.


Unfortunately, the only shop I know that has a regularly updated stock list is the one I got the pair of apistos from  :-\

Offline fcmf

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Re: Future fish for a tank
« Reply #43 on: June 15, 2016, 07:47:25 PM »
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No success in finding this, unfortunately. My local MA (or its tartan equivalent) has its own Facebook page but it seems that yours doesn't - looks like you'd have to phone them up on 01642 710600. I pre-ordered stock with my local branch - they seem very open to ordering in whatever people are looking for.

Offline Sue

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Re: Future fish for a tank
« Reply #44 on: June 15, 2016, 07:49:33 PM »
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Nearer the time, I'll probably drop in and have a word with them. They can only say no.

Offline Littlefish

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Re: Future fish for a tank
« Reply #45 on: June 15, 2016, 08:09:29 PM »
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I have to say that I have found MA very helpful with this sort of thing.
I have seen them label an entire tank as reserved, then transfer all fish required for a customer to that tank.
You can always order what they have on their database to be delivered to a particular shop, and get then to hold them. I guess it depends on how much stock they have as to whether they can designate whole tank, otherwise they tend to just put notes on each tank with what number of fish are reserved.
I'd expect they'd be happy to help you, as you are spending money in their store after all.

Offline Fiona

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Re: Future fish for a tank
« Reply #46 on: June 19, 2016, 12:36:46 PM »
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If you're a regular customer Sue, MA will order fish for you, thats how we restocked with bumblee bee gobies.

Offline Sue

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Re: Future fish for a tank
« Reply #47 on: June 19, 2016, 02:39:27 PM »
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I'm a regular browser, but that's not quite the same thing  :) Whenever we go plant shopping in the garden centre I have to go and look at the fish. My husband is quite OK with that as he goes and looks at the book and confectionery sections.

Nearer the time, I intend to have a chat with them. I have asked in the past about fish they didn't have and was told they can only get fish on The List; if a species isn't there they can't get it. The fish I saw the other day are obviously on their list so they should be able to get some more in if they don't have them already.

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