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Old 09-12-2020, 03:22 PM   #1
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Small Carnivore/Omnivore

This may seem a strange question but any suggestion for a small (when fully grown) carnivore/omnivore to add to a large (160-gallon) well-planted tank with a lot of guppies (among other fish).

Something that will snack on some of the newly or recently born fry without going after or nipping the adults and other small fish?

Obviously I'll provide with suitable food but it seems ideal if there is something what would naturally keep down the population. I'm sure the guppies themselves get a few but there are so many hiding places that the vast majority survive.

No way I can catch the babies without essentially destroying the tank.
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Old 09-12-2020, 03:35 PM   #2
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A pictus cat will eat fish it can fit in its mouth. They are generally peaceful
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Old 09-12-2020, 04:46 PM   #3
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Male Pearl Gourami, Very beautiful fish, you may be able to do a pair or trio 1M / 2 or more F. (When I had 2 males, there was death, but mine was a 35G) Other Gourami, as in the Dwarf Gourami varieties, I am not familiar with. An Opaline Gourami would also work for you.



Also another pretty option, depending on your water compatibility, maybe a few Boesemani rainbows! Beautiful active fish!
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Old 09-12-2020, 04:58 PM   #4
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Bosemanis are gorgeous. And gourami have fun personality. Good choices
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Old 09-12-2020, 05:20 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions! I'll do some research.

This is my first really large tank and I'm trying to create a true community to include fish, plants, invertebrates plus terrestrial and semi-terrestrials in a habitat built over 1/3 of the top of the tank over a suspended or supported perforated base (lined with landscaping fabric) that is partially submerged. Will put an underwater light under the land area base but I want to keep that area of the tank relatively shady.

Just got it going a couple weeks ago and it only has a bunch of guppies and some fully-grown blood red parrot fish and one firemouth that to my utter amazement completely ignore the guppies of all size. Mainly plastic plants at present. Also a foot-long pleco that had overgrown his previous 75-gallon tank with the cichlids where I'd previously added some female guppies as a presumed snack to find no loss after months.

Once I get the nitrate/nitrite cycle going properly I intend to add good-sized school of neons, various scavengers, a few peaceful specimen fish, and more live plants to eventually replace most/all of the plastic. Once nicely established I'll add the inverts, terrestrials and semi-terrestrials. May sell the pleco to someone with a huge tank.

Wish me luck please as I'm not sure I've ever seen anything quite like this.
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Old 09-12-2020, 05:22 PM   #6
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Yeah, my little Pearl Guy was a super friendly fish, full of personality! He lived about 6 years I think.
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Old 09-12-2020, 05:25 PM   #7
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Well that sounds like a fun tank! Good luck and good fish keeping. Remember to double check things and sounds like you have a thought out plan for the creation of a big display tank set up. Love the idea for the above water plants!!!

Remember to share pics as well!
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Old 09-12-2020, 05:35 PM   #8
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Sounds gorgeous. Fun project. I can't believe the pleco and cichlids don't eat the fry, haha! Funny. Good luck with it!
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Old 09-12-2020, 06:31 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by charliebankston View Post
Sounds gorgeous. Fun project. I can't believe the pleco and cichlids don't eat the fry, haha! Funny. Good luck with it!
I couldn't believe it either. I'd even selected particularly small females as I know the mouth of those hybrid parrot fish is small and rather distorted.

The only explanation I can find are anecdotes that some varieties of cichlids in the wild seek out areas with numerous and much smaller fish as it makes them feel secure from predators. They may eat some but mainly foray outside the area for food. Supposedly this behavior can carry over for some varieties when in captivity especially for adults who have never eaten live fish but are happy with their diet. I've fed them only very high quality cichlid pellets since they were new and they seem to have thrived on it for over three years.

I intend to turn the former guppy tank into a daphnia for use in the big community tank.

BTW, I got three complete 160-gallon setups from an auction at a state-owned veteran's home for $30--seriously--a couple years ago. Sold one setup after removing some select aquascaping items for $300. All of the uv canister filters and underwater circulators are Aquatop and while some things weren't working the one tank I'm using has a fabulous setup with very high quality components.

My aquarium hobby that began in childhood went by the wayside when I burned myself out in the 80s (me in my late 20s) when I had 25+ aquariums in a small apartment and realized nearly all of my spare time and money went to the fish.

It only resumed a few years ago when I rented to an independent aquarium shop and resurrected the 75-gallon that was my largest and sole salt water to turn it to a very low-maintenance cichlid tank.

The bug for a nice community tank (still my favorite if the most difficult to maintain) bit so I'm now set on one very large true community tank that is not terribly maintenance intensive due to reasonably non-finicky but highly diverse inhabitants of both water and land.
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Old 09-12-2020, 06:44 PM   #10
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Sweet! Didn't know that about the cichlids, learn something new every day. And $30! Wow! What a steal. Lucky! Sounds like it's a cool tank
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Old 09-19-2020, 05:25 PM   #11
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To my continued amazement at least one guppy has birthed her young and instead of hiding among the plantings as they did in the guppy tank they are swimming freely well after feeding time.

It's beginning to look like my plan to make a true community environment is working well already. The key seems to be plenty lots of swimming space. The parrot fish and single firemouth were previously in a 70-gallon and seemed reasonably happy if rather lethargic as they mainly just hovered around in the water.

Now in the big tank with the circulators (something I'd never used before) they're far more active and behaving in a way that seems far more natural. Despite the less-than-ideal start-up water conditions I'm seeing spawning behavior for the first time and distinct ovipositors extending from the two largest females who are obviously filled with roe. The one that seems to be the dominate male is preparing a spawning space at the bottom of the very large hollow "rotten tree stump" centerpiece decoration. I'm sure nothing whatsoever will come of the spawning but it is very interesting to watch. There's some very light aggression among the parrot fish. A bit of behavior like old-fashioned "kissing fish" and body rubbing but nothing that appears intended to hurt each other. Previously all of the fish ignored each other.
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Old 09-19-2020, 05:30 PM   #12
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Ha! That sounds fantastic!
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