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PackardG00SE

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Location
Louisville, KY
I’m looking for some fish between 3”- 5”, that won’t get eaten easily, to go into a Cichlid Community Tank.

The Tank currently contains:

1. Blood Parrot - 5.5”
1. Blood Parrot - 4”
1. Gold Red Spotted Severum - 4.5”
1. Turquoise Red Spotted Severum - 3”
1. Koi Angelfish - 4”
3. Diamond Tetras - 2.5” (originally bought 6, but 3 were eaten)
2. Red Serpae Tetras - 2” (originally bought 6, but 4 were eaten)

One of my local fish stores recommended I try Tiger Barbs (probably, because they had them in stock), but I decided to pass, based on their reputation as fin nippers, and the fact they aren’t from the Americas, although I’m a little more flexible on that last point now.

I’m open to suggestions. If you have any recommendations of fish you think would work, I’d love to hear them.

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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 (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.

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Serpae tetras are fin nippers too, and I would be concerned about the angelfish being with serpaes and blood parrot cichlids.

Tetras should be kept in groups of 10 or more and if you want tetras, you should increase the numbers of the ones you have. However, I would get rid of the serpaes and get more diamond tetras and maybe look at Congo tetras or African long fin tetras if the tank is big enough and the water isn't too hard.

Assuming there is room and the water chemistry is suitable, you could look at ruby barbs, gold barbs and filament barbs. These need to be in groups of 10 or more too but aren't fin nippers like tiger barbs. Filament barbs might be an issue to angelfish but if you have a group of them they shouldn't bother it.
 
Thank you for your input.

I live in the Midwest, and only buy tank raised fish. My water’s pH is 7.6-7.8. The other parameters are pretty much middle spectrum. Nothing in the danger zone.

Aquarium Dimensions:

3’x2’x2’
82 Gallons
115 Gallons w/ Sump

I like Tetras, but they don’t last very long in my aquarium. I was shocked to discover my fish ate the Diamond Tetras. They are so much larger than the 2 Red Serpae Tetras that have managed to survive the past couple of weeks. I guess it’s only a matter of time until they’re all gone.

I’m looking for fish that will increase the activity in the tank. The Tetras definitely did that. My Cichlids spent far less time claiming their territory, and more time swimming around, once I added schooling fish to the aquarium.

I’m considering purchasing another tank later this year. Most likely a 25 Gallon Cube or something similar. I probably would move the Angelfish to the new tank, but the 2 Severums and the 2 Blood Parrots are pretty much in their permanent home. That is, unless they outgrow the tank, and I have to sell them at some point.

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Look at the 3 barbs I listed, they will add colour and movement to the tank and should be big enough not to get eaten. The filament barbs will get to about 4 inches long and the others about half that size.

Alternatively look at rainbowfish. Most grow 3-4 inches and a group of 6 to 10 would be ok in the tank. They need some plant matter in their diet, as do severums. The following link has most of the known species from Australia and New Guinea.
 
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I wouldn't worry about the geographic aspect with barbs. Blood parrots are a petrie dish creation, and their natural habitat is a lab, probably in southeast Asia...

Your angel is living on borrowed time in there, but you have a plan. I hope it all gets going in time - that angel is living like a mob informant outside of witness protection. That's a rough neighbourhood.

I would add nothing until the angel was out, then would consider the barbs @Colin_T suggested, but also tigers and rosy barbs. The angel is the issue with nippers, but ten barbs will keep to themselves and be lively tankmates to the big bloody parrots.
 
Thank you both for your advice. Luckily, my other fish don’t really bother the Angelfish, but I could see that change if I introduced Barbs to the aquarium.

I’m still getting familiar with the hobby. Working on my cleaning regimen and tank maintenance. I promised my dad I wouldn’t buy another aquarium for at least a year. Not sure if I’ll be able to keep that promise, but I’d like to. He helped me move the first tank into my apartment, and it almost killed him. I’ll probably need his help moving the next one too, even if it only weighs a fraction of what the first one weighs.

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Thank you both for your advice. Luckily, my other fish don’t really bother the Angelfish, but I could see that change if I introduced Barbs to the aquarium.

I’m still getting familiar with the hobby. Working on my cleaning regimen and tank maintenance. I promised my dad I wouldn’t buy another aquarium for at least a year. Not sure if I’ll be able to keep that promise, but I’d like to. He helped me move the first tank into my apartment, and it almost killed him. I’ll probably need his help moving the next one too, even if it only weighs a fraction of what the first one weighs.

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If you go with ann acrylic tank next time, your dad would appreciate you.
 
That’s true, but I think I’m going to get a 25 gallon glass cube. The glass is only 1/4” thick. Probably, weighs 40lbs.

I originally chose glass, because I was afraid my cat would scratch an acrylic aquarium. My biggest fear was that he would accidentally drown trying to get at the fish, but he’s actually scared to death of them. Every time I bring him over to the aquarium to look at the fish he panics until I put him down.

Lol.

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Glass lasts longer than acrylic in my experience.

The one thing with filament barbs is that they are expensive, like $20 each.
Panda barbs, rosy barbs and tiger barbs are a lot more fish for the buck and pretty as well.

With sevrum that size you almost have to buy adult fish right from the start.

Not sure if you have seen giant danios? They are a large, fast fish with pretty color. Too big and fast to be snacks. Also usually sold at a good size.
 
I might look into getting some Giant Danios, but I haven’t lost a Tetra in a while. It turns out only one of the Diamond Tetras was eaten. I found two on the floor while doing a water change last week. I recently purchased five more, and so far they’ve all survived. Funny how the remaining two Red Serpae Tetras are still alive. They’re so much smaller than the Diamond Tetras.

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