Can you help me choose?

Velvetgun

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Sorry again for my bad English.
I don't know if this is the right section but I'll try to post here.
I warn you that you will have to be very very patient.
As I said in the presentation, my idea would be to have two tanks, one of 200 liters after I have gained experience and I am sure that I practically love this world.
The first tank will be in the kitchen, so I can enjoy it 100%.
It will have size limits which are 60 centimeters in length but above all I have the kitchen furniture 48 centimeters away.
The capacity could therefore be from 40 to 60 liters maximum.
I have studied some basic things so I know about the month of preparation before putting the fish (I saw that you have a different procedure to do it, I will study better and ask you questions), about the planting, I would like to put sand on the bottom, roots and stones, fast-growing plants and some slow ones, some surface plants.

The problem is the fish. I would like to start with them before "decorating" but I can't decide and so I won't even get the aquarium for that.

The criteria that I would ideally like (and I don't know if they are all achievable)
- not extremely small fish
- very colorful and of different colors (classic beginner's choice)
- interesting character, not shy
- not too delicate even if I will do my best to guarantee them a perfect life.
- average lifespan quite long, so if possible not one-two years, I get very attached and every death would be unpleasant to accept anyway
- if possible interactive with the external environment and with humans, that is not scared and perhaps curious.


I initially thought of a classic betta taken from a breeder but then it seems too unstimulating and in any case it has a short life. Alternatives I thought of:
- Macropodus opercularis but even here for intraspecific aggression I think a maximum of two and in Italy I don't see this great quality
- Guppy with Platy of two types of color, but I'm very worried about the prolificacy and also the initial mortality (I'm looking for serious breeders and not shops or online shops) For the prolificacy some say that sooner or later they are managed as a number, others to put predators of fry (who??) others to put only males
- non-annual killifish (which ones if I don't want a single species?)
- 5/6 female bettas
- a pair of Colisa ialius (too big?? with whom?)
- a pair of Apistogramma (too big?? with whom?)
- Peacock Gudgeon (Tateurndina ocellicauda) maybe with Pseudomugil

Other ideas? What do you think of mine?
I'm open to any comparison!! I don't really like schools where I can't distinguish one fish from another, I like to "know" them individually, I know it seems crazy but for now I live it like this :)
 
Something about the way you write makes me think of Corydoras. Yes, they are bottom oriented. And they are shoaling fish. But individuals can be identified, and you can get to know them even if you have a group of six. They are hardy, and can live ten years or a bit more. They have character, and they can interact.

My adult daughter has a tank with a group of Corydoras panda. Your description of what you want reminds me of what she was looking for. She has the Corys, and a bristlenose Ancistrus (an orange linebred one)that she loves. In the water column, she has some male killifish, from several species. That's possible because her father is a killie breeder. They are usually very hard to find.

Fish that swim in the open water rarely have individual traits. I would consider a small single species shoal of colourful tetras. I regularly have cardinals live for 7-9 years, and they can probably go beyond that.

I like Tateurndina, but I have not really found them to have personality. The tank idea shows something though. The bottom oriented territorial fish will be a little antisocial, but will show character. The blue eye types have beauty, but behave as if you don't exist. The same will be true for Apistogramma and tetras.

I would avoid lalius because they currently carry a virus that kills many of them very young, and are aggressive when healthy.

I know nothing about the Italian hobby. I don;t know if you have a better selection of fishes than Americans or Canadians. Our choices are very limited, and Europeans I speak with tend to have more possibilities. There seems to be a big cultural difference in how involved people get with their hobbies. I've traded killifish with people in Italy, and I have the impression you have a healthy hobby around you.
 
My adult daughter has a tank with a group of Corydoras panda. Your description of what you want reminds me of what she was looking for. She has the Corys, and a bristlenose Ancistrus (an orange linebred one)that she loves. In the water column, she has some male killifish, from several species. That's possible because her father is a killie breeder. They are usually very hard to find.

Fish that swim in the open water rarely have individual traits. I would consider a small single species shoal of colourful tetras. I regularly have cardinals live for 7-9 years, and they can probably go beyond that.

I like Tateurndina, but I have not really found them to have personality. The tank idea shows something though. The bottom oriented territorial fish will be a little antisocial, but will show character. The blue eye types have beauty, but behave as if you don't exist. The same will be true for Apistogramma and tetras.

I would avoid lalius because they currently carry a virus that kills many of them very young, and are aggressive when healthy.

I know nothing about the Italian hobby. I don;t know if you have a better selection of fishes than Americans or Canadians. Our choices are very limited, and Europeans I speak with tend to have more possibilities. There seems to be a big cultural difference in how involved people get with their hobbies. I've traded killifish with people in Italy, and I have the impression you have a healthy hobby around you.
Uahoo do you breed killfish? I'm very curious about them.
Can you really keep more males together?
Can I ask you what species?
Your idea could be interesting, if you tell me that Corys and ancistrus are "interactive", I could put them and some interesting fish in terms of color and shape

I also love barbels but I don't know if they are good for so few liters and maybe a few more types (like tetrazone, cherry, green, schuberti)
 
Barbs can be deceptively small in stores, but you have to check each species for full adult size. Some can get up above 10cm, and are heavy bodied. That makes your tank too small. They are like puppies, and that energy is attractive, but they need room.

Cherry barbs are an exception, but I find them very boring. That's just me.

I breed about 15 species of killies. Fish breeding is my main approach, rather than keeping ornamental fish. My daughter wanted colourful fish for an unheated tank, so my extra males were ideal. They tend to only live 2-3 years though.

 
What is the pH and hardness of your tap water? That will go a long way to deciding what sort of fish you should be looking at.
 
Barbs can be deceptively small in stores, but you have to check each species for full adult size. Some can get up above 10cm, and are heavy bodied. That makes your tank too small. They are like puppies, and that energy is attractive, but they need room.

Cherry barbs are an exception, but I find them very boring. That's just me.

I breed about 15 species of killies. Fish breeding is my main approach, rather than keeping ornamental fish. My daughter wanted colourful fish for an unheated tank, so my extra males were ideal. They tend to only live 2-3 years though.

I agree about the barbs, in fact I didn't put them in my original post. Too bad because they live a long time
Unfortunately despite my research I have not found small and colorful fish that live more than 3 years.
The only exception I think are the Macropodus opercularis and Peacock Gudgeon
I think I'll have to resign myself.
 
What is the pH and hardness of your tap water? That will go a long way to deciding what sort of fish you should be looking at.
I still have to receive the reagent kit.
But the Municipality declares the water with a PH of around 7.5-8
 
Honestly, if you want an interactive, colorful, not-tiny fish with a personality, to put in a 40-60l tank (≈10-15 gallon), then a Betta sounds perfect to me. I believe if you get females you can keep multiple, although 6 would probably be too many for that tank size. But would need someone else’s advice there, I don’t know anything
 
The GH (general hardness), KH (carbonate hardness) and pH of your water supply can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website (Water Analysis Report) 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).

Depending on what the GH of your water is, will determine what fish you should keep.

Angelfish, discus, most tetras, most barbs, Bettas, gouramis, rasbora, Corydoras and small species of suckermouth catfish all occur in soft water (GH below 150ppm) and a pH below 7.0.

Livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies), rainbowfish and goldfish occur in medium hard water with a GH around 200-250ppm and a pH above 7.0.

If you have very hard water (GH above 300ppm) then look at African Rift Lake cichlids, or use distilled or reverse osmosis water to reduce the GH and keep fishes from softer water.

A lot of these fishes need an aquarium that is more than 2 foot long, however there are small barbs, tetras, rasboras, gouramis, rainbowfish, etc, that can be kept in 2 ft tanks. The main thing we need before advising is water chemistry (GH, KH & pH) and tank dimensions (length x width x height).

The following link has info on plants and the one below it has rainbowfishes.

 

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