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Old 11-07-2003, 01:49 AM   #1
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Suggest a "Centerpiece" fish for me.

I have a 20 High that's nearing the end of the cycling process. I'm using RO water mixed with tap to keep the water slightly acidic and pretty soft to make the tank South American fish friendly. I'm trying to keep it simple and somewhat natural looking for being full of plastic plants.

First and foremost, I want a decent school of Cardinal Tetras (12-15)

Second, I'll be adding a small group of Cories (Metae or similar) (4?)

Now what do I use for a "Centerpiece" that complements the Cardinals? Something larger than a typical tetra, but nothing that will eat the Cardinals or tear up the tank. Tank is too small for even 1 Discus, which would be the ultimate choice. Too small even for a pair of angels. I thought about various Apistos, but the yellow females would stick out like a sore thumb I fear and introduce too much color. I'm considering Bolivian Rams, they're the right size (~8cm), the females and males are of similar coloration, and they're peaceful. The ones I've seen just aren't as colorful as I might hope. Grasping for ideas, I've thought about getting just 4 bleeding heart tetras since they are relatively large and shooting for 1m/3f Any other ideas?

PS
Here is the picture that inspired me to go with lots of plants and black background with Cardinals and a nice complementary centerpiece fish: http://www.aquariumdesigngroup.com/a...nt/lp1-Z-e.jpg

Here's my 20 gal high:
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Old 11-07-2003, 07:30 AM   #2
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Yeah, no discus (they school and theres just not enough room) or angels (who may eat the neons).

Actually I think the rams are a fine choice. Peaceful, colorful and would do well with the SA water parameters. You might also want to look into some dwarf cichlids like the Apistogramma. You can read a little about em here: http://www.mongabay.com/fish/apistogramma.htm
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Old 11-07-2003, 09:09 AM   #3
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Scott, for what its worth, I think the Bolivian Rams' personality more than make up for any lack of color they have. I love to watch mine, they are so funny! They're not the least bit shy and will swim right up to my hand when I'm cleaning or pruning the plants.

Also, they get more colorful as they get older. Mine have started to develop a really bright amber color on their front. The tips of their fins are turning a deep red and if you look closely they have irridescent blue spots on them. One of mine has started developing his lyre tail, although its kinda funny because the top point is significantly longer than the bottom at this point.

Some people like the German blue rams or gold rams better and they are more colorful, but I had bad luck with the two gold rams I purchased. They tend to not be very healthy unless you can get them from a reputable breeder. And for the brief time I had them, they were much more shy than the Bolivians.
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Old 11-07-2003, 09:13 AM   #4
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How about a small school of rainbows? They often attain better color once you get them home than at the store, but are definitely not too flashy. The dwarf variety might work well. Go to a few LFS and browse around and make a note of what fish really catches your eye, and then research it. You could also look into a gourami, but they can sometimes be aggressive, so be careful about which one you pick.
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Old 11-07-2003, 11:54 AM   #5
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After looking at the picture of your tank and the other choices, if you went gourami I'd suggest one gold gourami. They have a nice color that isn't too bright but will still help him stick out a bit. If not, a blue paradise. Blue Paradise essentially look just like dwarf gouramis, but hit 4 inches like golds and opalines.
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Old 11-08-2003, 11:05 PM   #6
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Did some more surfing around the web. Any thoughts on the Laetacara curviceps (Dwarf Flag Cichlid)?
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Old 11-09-2003, 05:57 AM   #7
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I like your thinking Scotts and the way you are taking your time to introduce your fish, Dwalf Cichlids are a great choice as a centre piece for your Aquarium. But you have to be really careful when choosing them, just because they are small it does'nt mean they are peaceful.
You said in your post that you would like a big group of cardinals, IMO i think that the rams or Apistogramma's would be a great choice.

Have you thought of Killifish. (just a thought)

I agree with what Allivymar, Madame_X, and Tankgirl said. But i always agree with Allivymar because she's the bee's knee's and she keeps glareing at me.LOL
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Old 11-09-2003, 09:33 AM   #8
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You could probably do well with one dwarf flag cichlid, if you can find them. Their requirements are similar to the cardinals and probably if you intoduce it as an immature fish it will not bother the tetras, but I am not certain.
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