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Old 01-25-2023, 02:39 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2023
Posts: 2
Hello All

Hello, Im Steve.
A few decades ago i had some small aquariums and decided to jump back into the hobby. Ive gone with a 55g aquarium which is the one i have always wanted (only 20s and 30s in the past)
After reading about canister filters but not being able to afford one i got a bit creative and attached a tube to my hang on back filter so that it creates current and helps to prevent dead areas. Id like to know what you think (pictures attached)
Also i cycled it and have been adding fish over the last couple of weeks. Here is my fish list
10 Neon Tetras
6 Boesemani Rainbow (3 Male, 2 female, 1 unsure)
4 albino cory cats
1 emerald green cory cat
2 Threadfin rainbow (1M, 1F)
1 Betta (female)
3 honey gourami
1 powder blue dwarf gourami
1 sunset platy
3 nerite snail
1 african dwarf frog (my daughter insisted)
3 ghost shrimp

For this community tank every seems to get along but its a very active tank. I really wanted a rainbow shark but decided he may be to aggressive. 1 of the male boesemani is a bit aggressive and chases everyone around.

open to thoughts/suggestions with the setup and selection. Click image for larger version

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hypernovafaith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2023, 03:40 PM   #2
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Hi Steve and welcome to the forum

The M. boesemani are probably not the best choice with the other fishes. The males can get big (4 inches) and boisterous. They usually leave other fish alone but I have seen two inch long boesemani eat one inch long cardinal tetras. If you have a couple of males that are the same size, they normally display to each other and show off to the girls and then they are fine with other fish, but watch them.


What are the tank dimensions (length x width x height)?

What is the GH (general hardness), KH (carbonate hardness) and pH of your water supply?
This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).

The boesemani and platies so best in water with a GH around 200ppm and a pH above 7.0.
The other fishes you have come from softer water with a GH below 120ppm and a pH below 7.0.

Adult Melanotaenia boesemani need a tank that is at least 3 feet long and 4 foot long or bigger is better. They need lots of plant matter in their diet and a least half their diet should be plant based. You can use vege flakes and pellets as part of their diet but live aquatic plants should be used too. Duckweed (a small floating plant) was taken by all of my rainbowfish.

The following link has information about Australian and New Guinea rainbowfish and might interest you.
Melanotaeniidae and Pseudomugilidae

Rainbowfish and dwarf gouramis regularly carry Fish Tuberculosis (TB). Dwarf gouramis regularly carry the Gourami Iridovirus too. Rainbowfish are very prone to Fish TB due to never being exposed to the bacteria until about 30 years ago when rainbowfish started appearing in the hobby. Common symptoms of Fish TB is ulcers and or gill tumours, then a few months later the fish might bloat (get fat) overnight, stop eating, do a stringy white poop, breath heavily at the surface or near a filter outlet, and die within 24-48 hours of showing these symptoms. Confirmation of Fish TB is done by a necropsy (animal autopsy) by a vet. There's no treatment for Fish TB and some rainbowfish are fine and don't have it, but it is out there so monitor your fish for the above symptoms.


The emerald green Cory should be kept in groups of 6 or more. You can sometimes get away with 4 but there should be other Corydoras they can hang out with.

The Iriatherina werneri rainbows should be kept in groups of at least 6. Try to have even numbers of males (2, 4, 6) and some females.

The platy could do with some friends (it's not majorly essential for them but they do like company). If you get a couple more try to get the same sex as you currently have.

Frogs should be kept on their own for 2 main reasons.
1) If the fish get sick, any medications used to treat them can kill the frogs.
2) Frogs eat small things like fish, shrimp and snails.
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Old 01-25-2023, 04:02 PM   #3
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Thank you for the advice, this is super helpful. The tank is 4' long. PH is around 7.3 and Gh is around 120.
That is good to know about the platy and the frog.
Ill keep a close eye on the rainbows and gourami's for TB, is there anything specific i should look for?
The store had 4 albino cory and the 1 emerald. I was hoping they would school together. so far none of the 5 have grouped up. Some of the albinos swim in the middle, which is not what i expected.

I appreciate the feedback!
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Old 01-25-2023, 04:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by hypernovafaith View Post
The tank is 4' long. PH is around 7.3 and Gh is around 120.

That is good to know about the platy and the frog.

I'll keep a close eye on the rainbows and gourami's for TB, is there anything specific I should look for?
The pH and GH is fine for most of the fish but the GH could be a bit higher for the boesemani and platy. It's not extremely bad for them but they do better in harder water. However, you would need a second tank for them if you wanted to increase the GH because it is fine right now for the other fishes you have.

The tank is a nice size for the fish so that's great.


The fish don't normally show any signs of Fish TB until they are well and truly infected. It can take months or even years before they show any signs. This is due to the Mycobacteria being a slow growing species of bacteria. They double every day or two depending on temperature. They grow slower in cooler water and faster in warmer water. Mycobacteria are very hard to treat due to a waxy coating over them. It makes them almost waterproof and medication proof.

Ulcers on the body are commonly seen. These start out as a white bump almost like a pimple. A few days later they turn into a small red sore that slowly grows.

Gill tumours are also seen on rainbowfish with TB. These appear as pale pink growths around the gill covers. Tumours and ulcers don't always appear and are less common on fish fed with lots of plant matter.

Normally the first symptoms you get are the fish bloating overnight, not eating, do a stringy white poop, and gasping by the surface. If you see this, the fish should be euthanised because major internal organ failure has occurred and the fish is dying.


People can catch Fish TB so always wash your hands in soapy water after working in the tank. And never get aquarium water (from any aquarium) on open wounds (cuts, scratches, etc). The Mycobacteria can get into open wounds and cause a localised infection called a granuloma. It looks a bit like a wort in an ulcer. Most people don't catch it and those that do usually have fresh cuts or a weakened immune system. People with cancer, diabetes, heart disease, old or extremely young, are more likely to catch it if they are going to.

If you get a sore that doesn't heal normally or after 2 weeks, see your doctor and tell them you have fish and they might have Fish TB (Mycobacteria). Get the doctor to take a swab of the infection and send it off to a lab for culturing. They might try to put you on antibiotics while you wait. Avoid this because if it is Mycobacteria, there are numerous species and strains and many are resistant to antibiotics. You can take the prescription if you like, but you really need to know what species of bacteria is in the wound and what strain it is. Then take the medication that is going to work.

You can use raw honey to try and heal the wound while you wait for the test results to come back. You wash the wound with soapy water, dry it with a disposable tissue, and then apply some raw honey to it. Wrap the wound in a tissue and tape the tissue together but avoid sticking anything to your skin. If it is a bacterial infection, the bacteria can spread into the skin where the sticky stuff from bandages touches the skin. The sticky stuff can damage the skin and allow the bacteria to infect more tissue. Wash, dry and apply honey and a new dressing 2 times a day. It might help but might not. However, it's safer than taking the wrong antibiotics and the Mycobacteria isn't going to grow that fast during a week while you wait for results.

Now that I have scared you out of putting your hands in the tank, my fish had it for years and I used to stick my hands in the tanks all the time. I never got it and most people don't get it. It's uncommon in people but it does sometimes occur.
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Old 01-25-2023, 09:01 PM   #5
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African Dwarf Frogs are social little things. If your tank can handle any additional frogs, that would greatly benefit the frog you have in there. At least one more but they also rec. having a group of 3-5 if your tank can allow for it. I have 4 and they love hanging out in a Java fern together.
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