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Old 03-25-2008, 09:22 PM   #1
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Barren planted tank needs some life!

I have a 29gal heavily planted tank that has nothing in it other than a SAE, a couple of ottos, and a few amano shrimp. I think it is just too boring looking so I want to add a nice school of... something.

I can't decide on what to get though. I've looked at the LFS but nothing really stands out. I've had schools of serpea tetras, neons/cardinals, black neons, x-ray tetras, etc. Also right now I have schools of pearl dainos and harlequin rasboras in other tanks and I love both of them.

Any ideas on somewhat common, perhaps overlooked, fish that would fit the bill? They must be small and hardy. I REALLY want neons or cardinals again but I must have bought hundreds of them over the years only to have them to slowly all die off over a few weeks.
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:27 PM   #2
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If you want cardinals try to get them from a breeder. They are not the hardiest fish but IMO not difficult to keep. The red and blue stands out on them in a planted tank very well. I find neons more difficult to keep.
There are many tetras that have great colors. What about some rummynose tetras?
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Old 03-25-2008, 11:08 PM   #3
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Rummynose are a great idea! I've kept them before a few years back and they did great. I think I lost them all to a DIY co2 accident IIRC. Not 100% sure my LFS can get them but I can check. Anyone else have a suggestion?
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Old 03-25-2008, 11:32 PM   #4
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Pair of angels.
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Old 03-25-2008, 11:57 PM   #5
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How about some smaller rainbow fish? Gertrude's Rainbow, Threadfin Rainbow, or Dwarf Neon Blue Rainbows might be nice.
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Old 03-26-2008, 05:11 AM   #6
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How about celebes rainbows? I think they look pretty amazing.
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Old 03-26-2008, 07:42 AM   #7
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German Blue Rams or Bolivian Rams comes to mind as well.
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Old 03-26-2008, 08:42 PM   #8
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Dwarf neons are another possibility. I've had them several times over the years and they are one of my favorite fish. I've tried angels, GBRs, and bolivian rams before with no success. I think the longest lived out of that group was probably bolivians. Kinda looking for a smaller schooling fish though.

I was at the LFS today and seen some cardinals. The LFS owner said the stock that had been coming in lately was very hardy. They all looked really healthy and full of color so I decided to pick up about ten of them. I floated them for about 3 hours slowly aclimating them to the tank. So far three are dead. It's really frustrating. I guess I will never face the fact I just can't have them.

I did talk to the owner about ordering some rummynose tetras for me. He said no problem. Maybe I'll just go with a few dwarf neon rainbows and a small school of rummys. I have a 20gal tank FULL of "blueberry" shrimp I'm thinking about getting rid of so I might trade the shrimp for store credit.
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Old 03-27-2008, 01:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peyton View Post
I was at the LFS today and seen some cardinals. I floated them for about 3 hours slowly aclimating them to the tank. So far three are dead.
Something sounds very wrong here. What method are you using to acclimate them? Are you certain your tank set up is in check?

I only also ask because I had a similar situation, but in my case, everything I put into my tank died (except one scissortail) and, after many months of confusion, the issue was traced back to being a faulty thermometer. I'm not suggesting this is why yours died, but it seems a little strange to me that your fish just died suddenly after a long acclimation.
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marchmaxima View Post
Something sounds very wrong here. What method are you using to acclimate them? Are you certain your tank set up is in check?

I only also ask because I had a similar situation, but in my case, everything I put into my tank died (except one scissortail) and, after many months of confusion, the issue was traced back to being a faulty thermometer. I'm not suggesting this is why yours died, but it seems a little strange to me that your fish just died suddenly after a long acclimation.
QFT, seems fishy (no pun intended) to me as well.

For three to go like that so quickly (the day you got them!?) something else may be wrong, unless you drove them home on a dirtbike.
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:23 PM   #11
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You said you floated them for 3 hours. Were you slowly adding water from your tank in with them, or just letting them float for 3 hours, then dumped them in the tank?
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Old 03-27-2008, 05:29 PM   #12
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I let them float in the bag (unopened) for about a half an hour to let the temp of the water adjust. Then I add a small amount of my tank water every 15 min or so to the bag. I think one was already dead when I got home. May have been squished in a corner of the bag, which has happened before.

The temps are fine in the tank. Maybe I should give the stats.

29gal tank running for about a year with 2x55w CF lighting. Pressurized CO2 @ 3bps running through a glass diffusor then into a powerhead. Eco-complete substrate. Dosed per EI specs with a weekly 50% water change.

ammonia = 0ppm
PH = 6.8 (taken 6hrs after co2 startup)
standing PH is 7.6
Nitrate = 40ppm (a little higher than I expected)
temp at 76F
I can't do a hardness test at the moment but last check a few months ago was a GH of 240ppm.

BTW 6 more are dead. honestly don't think it's the tank. Just something about my perimeters that cardinals don't like. Just a two months ago this tank had about 20 pearl dainos in it with 0 losses. All the other fish and shrimp are doing fine.
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Old 03-28-2008, 07:07 AM   #13
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Found the last one dead this morning. If I ever post on this site again about purchasing neons or cardinals I want one of you to come to my house and give me a firm slap to the face.
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Old 03-28-2008, 10:01 AM   #14
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I find that cardinals and neons sold at shops just die, I think that is what they do. Go home, glow blue for a day and than go belly up. Have you thought of pristellas, I have gold ones they look great and school well.
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Old 03-28-2008, 01:25 PM   #15
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I've had similar experiences with clown loaches. They just die when every other fish seems fine. It's like we bought a fatal batch or something. Very depressing.
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Old 03-28-2008, 02:31 PM   #16
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I think these days Neons and Cardinals (and other fish) are just weak for some reason.

Sorry for your losses. Rummynose tetras would be good, but they have transport shock issues, so you'd likely lose a couple of those as well. Might want to try something really hardy like Harlequin rasboras.
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Old 03-28-2008, 04:40 PM   #17
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I think the rummys will do way better than neons/cardinals, judging from my past experiance with them anyway. The last batch I bought were doing great till the co2 incident. I have a school of harlequins now in my 40gal and I love them BTW.

I'm going to the LFS tommorow and tell the owner all of them died. He'll probably give me credit toward the rummys and dwarf neon rainbows. He's pretty good when it comes to that kinda stuff.

I've been into fishkeeping for almost 25 years now and it seems I still have a lot to learn... like when to say no to cardinals.
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Old 03-30-2008, 06:13 PM   #18
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I went to the LFS today and picked up 5 dwarf neon rainbows. They seemed to be doing great so far. Started eating right away. Also got 3 bosmani rainbows for my 40gal, a paradise fish, and two spotted corys for my 30gal hex.

He is trying to order me some rummynose. I looked at his order sheet and he can also get congo tetras. I've heard they are plant eaters. Anyone have them in their planted tanks?
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Old 03-30-2008, 07:08 PM   #19
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Congo tetras get around 4-5". They are huge tetras. I've seen them in a 135g tank and they make the tank look smaller than that. I really don't recommend them for anything under 4ft and even then a 6ft would be best for a big school of them.
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Old 03-30-2008, 07:28 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Might want to try something really hardy like Harlequin rasboras.
I agree! HRs are great! I have a school ofg them in my tank adn they are the liveliest little critters, especailly at feeding time.
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