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Swordtail compatability

Discussion in 'Livebearers' started by Umbra, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. Umbra

    Umbra New Member

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    So, I've finished my aquarium's decor, have it stocked with 6 neon tetras and 8 corydoras (4 panda and 4 bronze) and I now want some fish that will focus a bit more on the middle-top area of the tank since the bottom is allready very active. Would a male and 2 or 3 female swordtails be compatible with the fish I have in my 30 gallon tank? After this I won't add more fish as I would consider it fully stocked, if not a little over stocked.

    (Another question... would my tank be overstocked if I add 3 or 4 swordtails too? if they aren't compatible, what other top-swimmers could I get?)

    Thanks for the help guys :)
     
  2. Demeter32

    Demeter32 Member

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    A few sword tails should be perfectly fine in a 30gal. Just make sure you don't end up with multiple males, I've had late bloomer males that took ages to show male characteristics.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Umbra

    Umbra New Member

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    Ok, that's good to know.

    Is it true that they swim up a bit higher than neon tetras?
     
  4. Byron

    Byron Member

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    I am of a different view here. Swordtails are not small fish, attaining 4-6 inches with 4-5 being usual in tanks. And they are fairly active. SF recommends no less than 120 cm by 30 cm for this fish, which would equate with a 4 foot by 1 foot tank; I will assume the 30g may be 30 inches (75 cm) length, or comparable?

    The other thing is water parameters. Fish already present are soft water, and swordtails need moderately hard water. Assuming the water is more on the soft side than on the hard side, with a corresponding pH, some better species to consider might be hatchetfish, some of the pencilfish. These tend to remain in the upper half of the tank. I might come up with more, depending upon the GH and pH.

    Byron.
     
  5. Umbra

    Umbra New Member

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    ok, thanks. I don't really like the look of hatchet fish and they are always at the litteral surface of the tank. I would like them to be a little lower, but still high.

    My tank is a 4 foot tank, 90 centimeters (I just measured it) and my TDS around here is around 95 (Just measured that too, and I know it's not GH, but it's all I got.)

    My LFS has recommended Celebes halfbeaks as they get around 4 inches, but I'm unsure about them. They also suggested guppies, indian glassfish and... another fish I forgot, but again, I don't always trust LFS's and would like to study on my own... So pencilfish you say? I'll actually look into some of those... but for now I'd like as many options as possible so I can research them and be sure of which would be best.

    Thanks again :)

    EDIT: Actually now that I looked into pencilfish, I recognize them. I Actually don't want them in my tank cos they are a bit... Dull? Lol, I'm actually looking for a fish that's a bit smarter than a neon tetra or fish of that size, maybe a bit bigger than tetras too.
     
  6. Byron

    Byron Member

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    At this point, all I will suggest is to pin down the GH, KH and pH. GH is included in TDS, so a low TDS would suggest soft water, but I am not a chemist and there might be something I'm missing. Regardless, please don't acquire fish until you know these numbers, and that the fish will work.

    If the Indian Glass Fish is Parambassis ranga, here is link to SF for data (it seems to need moderately hard to hard water so not very likely):
    http://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/parambassis-ranga/

    BTW, SF is a highly reliable site many of us use for species info.
     
  7. Umbra

    Umbra New Member

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    I LOVE that site, haha, I frequently read things there I find stupidly enjoyable...

    I can't test my water because I cannot find test kits and all the test kits (That I do find), even those paper test kits, are usually over the 90 USD over here, and those aren't even complete test kits. they are just for one single thing.

    Yeah, those are the ones, and sadly, my LFS only sells the ones that have been "Painted", which I find to be... quite honestly a load of crap. appreciate a fish naturally or don't enjoy it at all, don't screw with it my injecting dye into it!
    They do have a few natural ones though, and I know it aint them who inject them, and like you said, my water is too soft for them
     
  8. Umbra

    Umbra New Member

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    Actually Now that I think about it, what about danios?
     
  9. hobby5

    hobby5 Member

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    Have a look at honey gouramis. But be aware they don't like current at all.

    Also Epiplatys dageti might be interesting for you.

    A shoaling fish which swims a little higher than neon tetras is Trigonostigma espei. But it is as dumb as ;)
     
  10. Umbra

    Umbra New Member

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    I have had very bad experiences and first impressions with dwarf gourami's, The panchax will be impossible for me to breed (Not to mention acquiring) and the rasboras... I have seen many of those and the harlequin rasboras in my LFS's and they all stay 3-4 inches from the ground only

    :(
     
  11. Byron

    Byron Member

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    The true Harlequin, Trigonostigma heteromorpha, is more likely to remain lower than the other two species, T. espei (the one hobby5 mentioned) or T. hengeli. I have/have had both, and they tend to remain just above centre tank. They are also smaller in size, and the copper on the latter is particularly attractive. However, they are not active fish; like most rasboras (unless they are stressed) they tend to hover in the group more than swim. Even less than neons or cardinals. This is a trait of most (but not all) rasbora, which is why they are ideal with sedate fish like gourami.

    I know you didn't think much of hatchets, but as I'm here again I will just note that the smaller sized species in the genus Carnegiella remain at the surface, unless spooked, and relatively motionless except when feeding, spawning or interacting in "play." But the larger-sized species in the genera Gasteropelecus and Thoracocharax are quite different. These tend to remain roughly 3-5 inches below the surface and are (in my experience) much more active and "playful." The Platinum Hatchetfish, Thoracocharax stellatus, is especially lovely. But obviously not if you don't like hatchetfish.
     
  12. Umbra

    Umbra New Member

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    In that case, I might look at the platinum hatchetfish then O_O That sounds much better to be honest, if I can find it...

    To be honest... The only reason I don't "Like" a fish is because if I cannot find a fish I make myself sortof "dislike" it so I dont feel bad about not finding it :D if I do find it, it might be a different story...

    Thing is, I've never seen them in store, nor have I ever seen them in any of the online stores here either (I just looked again)...
     
    #12 Umbra, Mar 30, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
  13. Umbra

    Umbra New Member

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    So, I found out I can actually get some bolivian rams over here. Would a pair of bolivian rams be happy in my setup? infact, would bolivian rams be happy as just a male and female?
     
  14. Byron

    Byron Member

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    Bolivian Ram (Mikrogeophagus altispinosus) is probably the best cichlid for community tanks. It is usually very peaceful, particularly so for a cichlid, provided there are no other cichlids present.

    It does have a couple things to keep in mind. It is a "substrate" fish in that it remains close to the substrate (mine never get above mid-tank, and that is rare) and feeds from the substrate so it needs sinking foods such as those for cories. This is not a problem, but as you mentioned earlier about wanting upper level fish, I thought I would point it out. The neons will have no issues with the Bolivian Ram, nor vice versa. As for the cories, no problems; at feeding though, since both the ram(s) and cories will be feeding from the same tablets/pellets/disks, it is normal for the ram to do some "pushing" but this never in my experience resulted in injury to the cories. The ram, being a cichlid, will "own" the entire tank space and all other fish will give way (except other cichlids of course).

    As for a pair, this works only if a male/female pair and the pair is bonded. This species is believed to live in isolation, except when spawning. The fish have to accept each other--what we term bond--to be successful. I had a pair that did not bond and though they spawned a few times, the male in the end killed the female. In a 30g tank I would say one Bolivian Ram (male if possible, they are a bit more colourful) or a bonded pair.

    To get a bonded pair, observe the fish in the store tank for some time, like 15+ minutes, remaining fairly still. Male/female fish will be obvious by their behaviours. Males will continually be "challenging" each other, usually by quick "charges" to another male, rarely coming into contact though they might. Females will not be doing this, but simply hovering around, picking food off the substrate or whatever. The female that is closest to a male, and basically ignored by the male, should be safe with that male.

    This fish has a four to five year lifespan. My last single male was into his ninth year when he died a year ago. I will be looking for a new male when I next see a good tank of healthy fish in a reliable store. I do like this species; it has cichlid traits but greatly subdued for a cichlid. I mentioned that the male will own the tank--I had mine in a 5-foot 115g tank of 120 or so characins (tetras, pencilfish, hatchetfish) and cories, but the entire tank was his domain, and the other fish all knew it and respected him. One day the Bleeding Hearts got him annoyed by picking at his food tablet, so he somehow managed to herd them up into the tank, and there they were, in a group of six, being corralled by the Bolivian who was hovering about six inches below them. It was quite obvious from their respective movements that he was keeping them together, out of his way. After several minutes he returned to his tablet but they decided not to venture down to him again. This is one of those instances where not only physical actions are involved, but the Ram was likely sending out chemical signals, allomones, to make his point, and the tetras read them.

    Byron.
     
  15. Umbra

    Umbra New Member

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    Ok, they really seem like amazing fish... I'll go for one or two of them then... but to get something for the top, could I rather replace my neon tetras with zebra danios?
     

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