The pentazona barbs are lovely and I really like them but I am afraid they won't work in my tank seeing as they prefer such a low pH and mine is so high (8.3). I know most fish can adjust but from 6.0 to 8.2 seems a bit much to ask of them. Thank you for suggesting them though. They are gorgeous.
I like the black ruby barbs and honestly they look enough like the tiger barbs that I would be perfectly happy with them instead of the tiger barbs. Just wondering but are Ruby barbs and black ruby barbs the same thing, just different names for the same fish? Also (just so I know I am looking at and understanding them correctly) the ruby barbs look like this: http://www.animalplanet.com/pets/black-ruby-barb.htm
when you first get them but once they get older they look something like this: http://www.newaquariuminformation.com/aquarium-information/freshwater-aquariums/tropical-fish-species-2.htm
or are those two completly different species? Obviously I prefer the bottum photo but I have no problem raising them to look that way.
The synodontis lucipinnis are neat (I have never seen or heard of them before) and I love the fact that they are fine in pH up to 8.5. However, do fishstores normally carry them? Or are they a super expensive fish that will need to be special ordered. Also do they go by a different common name normally? I will most certainly be on the look out for them when we do our fish store search in a couple of weeks (driving an hour south to look at 5 different lfs
to see what they carry, what the fish are like, prices, etc.).
Assuming I went with Ruby Barbs would a stock like the following work?
6 - Ruby Barbs
4 - Platys (or maybe just 3, no less then that though so Mr. Platy will stop being so shy)
6 - Cory Cats
6 - Cherry Barbs (are there any other options here for a school of smaller fish that will work with the other ones? My husband thought we should get "blue" fish but I can't think of anything that is actually blue that is little and would work with the other fish, is there anything?)
I would love to make both barb schools bigger (at 8) but I am sure that is going to be way to many fish for this tank. Even just making the cherry barb school at 8 I think is probably to much. What do you all think?
Also just wanted to say thank you so much for all the ideas. It is really fun to research fish that I have never heard much about before.