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schooling fish

Discussion in 'Fish for Planted Tanks' started by nerbaneth, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. nerbaneth

    nerbaneth Guest

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    I am just daydreaming about what fish to put in my tank because I just recently lost all of my aggressive fish.

    My main question is: if I buy a bunch (20?) of neon tetras and a bunch of ember tetras will they school together or separately? I would really like to find a way to get two schools of fish moving around :)

    I guess my other question is if this seems like an acceptable idea of what fish to put in:

    5 honey sunset gouramis
    20 neon tetras (i don't really like cardinals)
    20 ember tetras (preeettyy)
    and maybe something else ? bala sharks (will they eat tetras?) maybe some dwarf cichlids of some type.. german rams?

    Thanks for any input,
    -Nerb
     
  2. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
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    I can't answer the schooling question, but I wouldn't expect them to keep a separate school all of the time.

    Your first 3 fish listed seem like a good combo.

    Bala sharks grow huge and rather quickly -- they will outgrow even a 50G or 75G tank in time. Some people I know of have kept bala sharks with guppies, so tetras would probably be fine. These are, however, happy bala sharks. If you put them in a small tank, they may not be so peaceful.

    I have german rams with my cardinal tetras, pencil fish, panda corys and Otos. The rams do chase each other around quite a bit, but I've never seen them chase any of the other species of fish. They are quite polite and peaceful with other species, even at feeding time. The only temporary problem I had with my rams was that they were raised on blood worms (mostly frozen), and they would not eat flakes or pellets. I easily broke that habit after a few days -- though I still feed frozen blood worms at lunch time when I'm home. The rams are amazingly friendly to humans and eat right out of my hand after just a week. I was wetting some flakes today in the tank. Before I knew what happened, the rams had come up and snatched them right out of my hand.

    Please note that my german blue rams were tank-raised -- wild ones may not have the same behaviors.
     
  3. nerbaneth

    nerbaneth Guest

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    5 honey sunset gouramis
    20 neon tetras (i don't really like cardinals)
    20 ember tetras (preeettyy)

    so maybe 3 bala sharks and 3 or 4 rams

    in a 90 gal?
     
  4. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Personally, I'd go for the rams. A 12" (or even 18") bala shark running around in a tank of small fish is an interesting contrast, but not appealing to me. Don't get me wrong... I think those bala sharks look very cool, as long as they are in someone else's big tank! I can't even imagine how you can get rid of a fish that big when the time came.

    For me, if I had a tank big enough to handle 3 or 4 bala sharks, I would much rather see a school of 100 - 200 tetras swimming around in it than the sharks.

    I like ember tetras and hope to get some again someday. I mail ordered some a while back and most of them did not handle the shipping process too well, so I ended up with only one left. It hung out with my cardinals for several months, but died finally.
     
  5. rich815

    rich815 Guru Class Expert

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    One of the tightest schooling fish I know are the rummy-nosed tetras. Good indicator fish too. If your water is off the red on there noses goes dull and even gray. I have a school of 38 cardinal tetras in my 72 gal and while they tend to school they break up into 3-4 loose groups which are not all that tight, while the 7 rummy-nose I have are rarely out of step with each other and stay quite tight as well.
     
  6. Gerryd

    Gerryd Plant Guru Team
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    Hi Nerb,

    I would pass on the balas in your 90. It is ultimately too small for them IMO.

    The rams will inhabit the bottom layer, the neons in the middle to upper, and the gouramis are more surface fish. I like the sound of that.....

    Why not try a larger school of neons? and forgo another tetra species?

    You can always add another type later if you don't like the look.

    A friend has black skirt tetras and they are ALWAYS together.

    I think the size alone of the sharks would make the other's nervous even if they did not bother anyone directly.

    My rainbows were HUGE compared to my cardinals and since the rainbows were removed, the cards spend much more time in the open. The rainbows never bothered the cardinals, I just think the cards were nervous around bigger fish. I think we forget that most of our decorative fish are merely food fish for many other fish and other predators.

    I agree with Rich re: rummy nose. I have had them several times, all 3 types, and they ALWAYS schooled. If one noticed they were behind, they lost no time in catching up! Always in motion and good eaters too!

    later.
     
  7. tedr108

    tedr108 Lifetime Charter Member
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    Re: rummy nose...

    Rummy nose are the best schooling fish I have seen also. They were a pleasure to watch in my tank. I only had 6 of them, but they stuck together like glue. I've noticed that when they are fairly crowded in a tank in my LFS, they don't really school. Therefore, I do think it is possible to over-populate rummies to the point where they stop schooling, so you might not want to start out with 100 of them.

    My big issue with rummies was trying to get the other fish fed. Rummies are just one half of a notch below zebra danios IMO at feeding time. Both are extremely polite to other fish, but they eat so fast, it's ridiculous.

    If I ever get rummies again, I will try: 1) all rummy nose (except for bottom feeders and algae eaters) or 2) a small enough percentage of rummy nose that the other schooling fish would have a chance to get to enough food. Maybe they calm down over time, and maybe mine were simply starved from shipping, but they were not a good fit for my setup with their ravenous eating.
     
  8. ame

    ame Junior Poster

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    Hi

    For a 100 gal Open Top planted tank would

    1.Rummynose and Neons and Harlequin Rasboras OR

    2. Rummynose and Neons OR

    3 Rummynose and Harlequin Rasboras

    be better Asthetically or any other reason.

    Also what should be the right quantity of these?

    Any cleaning fish recomendadation keeping Open Top in mind?

    Thanks

    ame
     
  9. rmjuza

    rmjuza Lifetime Charter Member
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    The only fish in my tank for quite some time were neon and ember tetras. They just form a single school. Now I have added harlequin rasboras to the mix and all three school together. I too had visions of seperate schools but no such luck. I do have to say though that they look nice together
     
  10. Skabooya

    Skabooya Prolific Poster

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    I currently have harlequin rasboras and rummies. They both stick to their schools and school tightly although the rummies are more tight than the harlequins. I really like this combo. The rummies are in the bottom to middle range and the harlequins are in the middle to top range.
     
  11. Dmaaaaax

    Dmaaaaax Prolific Poster

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    You can also look to get schools at different levels of the tank. For instance at the top look at hatchet tetras, danios, white clouds. Mid-level: rummies, neons, other tetras, etc. Lower: corys, otos, peacock gugeons....etc (not really schools but they tend to stay in groups).
     
  12. Tom Barr

    Tom Barr Founder
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    [​IMG]

    Then some cories on the bottom etc.

    Or some pencils or a few other cryptic type fish.

    [​IMG]

    Rummy and Cards do not school together. I really do not like them together though.
    Rum's are better schooling and more active.


    Regards,
    Tom Barr
     
  13. keith t

    keith t Junior Poster

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    Pygmy puffas if you want something a little differant, i have 10 in with approximately 50 Cardinals. Though they wont school they have alot of character.
    Very peaceful despite popular belief they are aggresive.
     
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