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Celebes rainbows. Tank size? School size? Diet? Tank mates? Temperature? Water flow?

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dhjaksu

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So to start, I have a planted 4ft (200 litre) tank.
I did a big plant trim today. Tank is a little cloudy from stirring things up. Will water change tomorrow.
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The tank already has 2 male rams and 6 female bettas in it (there is also a male betta in a breeding trap because today his tank and all his stuff went to a friends place and they are setting it up there. In the next couple days he will go over there as well). And also 2 mystery snails.
I know how sorority tanks work and I know the risks and precautions. This post isn’t about the multiple female bettas living together.

Anyway, today I decided that I wanted to get some schooling fish and saw these Celebes rainbows.

My main questions are:
1. What temperatures are they ok with? My tank is currently at 30 celcius. Everything I’ve read says they are fine up to 28 so I would think 30 would be fine? But I also know a lot of people keep rainbows in cooler water.

2. Diet. I currently feed insectivore tropical granules daily. And a few times a week I’ll feed a frozen food, live blackworms, or live daphnia. Is this all good for them? Do they need anything extra? Is there any food to avoid?

3. Are there any potential issues with the other fish in the tank that I should keep an eye out for? I’ve been watching them all day. One of the rams a little territorial during feeding time but the rainbows didn’t seem to bothered. Other than that one time the other fish seemed to be completely unbothered by the rainbows and vice versa.

4. Tank is 200 litres and I got 15 of them. Is this a good number? They are currently about 2.5cm and I’ve read that they get up to 7cm. I don’t plan on adding any more fish other than possibly some Cory’s (if I can decide on what species I want). I figured with 15 I should get a decent mix of males and females. And if I end up with too many of one gender I can rehome some to improve the ratio while still having a large enough school for them to be happy (and on that note, what is a good male:female ratio? Everything I’ve seen has said 50:50). I’m also assuming at this size you wouldn’t be able to really tell which are males and females?

5. Water flow. I couldn’t find anything specifically about Celebes rainbows in terms of water flow. I know a lot of rainbows are recommended to have a high flow though. Right now the tank just has 2 large sponge filters. I do have a large hang on back filter that I can add which would increase the flow quite a bit on one side of the tank (while leaving the other side with still a fairly low flow for the bettas).
Is there anything else I should know? Any recommendations anyone has relating to the rainbows? I will also be adding some nice large crypts to the tank soon. I’m just waiting for a friend to take apart their tank so they can give me the crypts.
 

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This is a species I know well, having bred them for 2 generations in the past. My first observation will be negative - they can't live with rams. They need, and I mean NEED, hardwater. The mineral content they require would be awful for a ram, but in soft water like a ram likes, they do poorly and are disease prone. The story used to be that they needed salt, as they are often found in estuary conditions, but I never salted their water.

A pH above 7 is okay, but the underlying hardness has to be there, or you will see a lot of diseases with them. In the right water, they are fantastically beautiful in shoals.
 
This is a species I know well, having bred them for 2 generations in the past. My first observation will be negative - they can't live with rams. They need, and I mean NEED, hardwater. The mineral content they require would be awful for a ram, but in soft water like a ram likes, they do poorly and are disease prone. The story used to be that they needed salt, as they are often found in estuary conditions, but I never salted their water.

A pH above 7 is okay, but the underlying hardness has to be there, or you will see a lot of diseases with them. In the right water, they are fantastically beautiful in shoals.
Where I live we have pretty hard water. I haven’t actually tested the hardness but the ph is about 7.5 and I know everyone else in the area has hard water. A lot of people around me have Africans and don’t do anything to buffer their water to make it suitable for them.
I know the water isn’t ideal for the rams. My rams are locally bred which probably helps slightly (a lot of people seem to find them to be a finicky species but even with my hard water I’ve never had any issues with them. They overall have always seemed healthy. When I had males and females they would pair up and spawn all the time but eat the eggs as they were always in a community tank. Right now I just have 2 males so that there is no breeding and to minimise aggression. I’ve personally always found my females to be more territorial and aggressive than my males)
 
Generally, in harder water, rainforest or savannah fish like raoms are shorter lived. They can do okay, but a few generations of local breeding won't change tens of thousands of years of adaptation to the other extreme. In that case though, it sounds like Celebes would thrive. If you play with the positioning of your lighting to get the right angle, they are really electric.

Plus, if you want a big group, they are very easy to breed, but a tiny bit harder to raise good specimens of. I found they stunted easily if I went beyond a week without a 40-50% water change.
 

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