Kid-friendly larger tetras for middling-to-hard water?

mcordelia

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Hi!

We are working on stocking options for the 125 gal tank (I know I really need to start a journal for it soon haha), and so far our shortlist includes:
- 1-3 blood parrot hybrid cichlids
- 6-7 Sterbai cories

We are thinking at least one schooling fish species would be cool, but our ideas have ranged everywhere from tiger barbs to silver dollars lol.

As far as the scape, we are thinking lots of driftwood (will hopefully lower the pH some, it comes out of the tap at 8-9 per water co), sandy bottom (BDBS got vetoed so I have 3x70 lbs of tube sand sitting in my trunk at the moment lol). Went with tube sand over PFS since even though rinsing it is going to be awful, we decided we liked the hugely varied granule size ranging from fine to pebbles. Figured it would make a more natural look. Overall, we are taking inspiration from South American river biotopes, but are not holding ourselves to a biotope species selection (that went out with the parrots, which are pretty much the reason for this entire tank haha).

Because I'm taking my sweet time with this project, I have not yet gotten the hardness test kit (API master test kit is getting picked up Friday, I'll need that for cycling the 20g QT) but will obviously test before doing final final fish selections. According to water company, hardness is somewhere around 12, I posted in detail about it in my thread here.

So yeah, title pretty much says it all, looking for suggestions on tetras that can deal with harder water, will be interesting for a toddler to look at, and won't get eaten by the parrots :)

Thank you!!!!
 

seangee

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You can find references that suggest that they are OK with tetras if they were introduced when small. But TBH my standard response is if it fits in the mouth its food. Glowlights may work but my own experience with these is they prefer softer water even though the range given is up to 15dGH - and the fits in the mouth rule may still apply.
 
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mcordelia

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Thanks @NCaquatics and @seangee

I am planning on doing the parrots last, so hopefully whatever merit that "raised with" thought has will take effect haha. However, I think glowlight tetras are still going to be way too small.

We had also considered bleeding heart tetras, but I think those are out due to a water mismatch, but congo tetras according to seriously fish do seem to do well in higher gh and pH? What about serpae tetras? Though the red might take away from the orange of the parrots?
 

NCaquatics

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Serpaes could work, so can black skirt or white skirt tetras but these are all known to be on the nippy side.

Congos are well known plant eaters, so be wary if a planted tank is a goal, or look into plants maybe they wont eat?
 
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mcordelia

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Ah good to know!!! So sounds like diamonds are the best suited with these criteria :) I just watched a couple of youtube videos on them, they are pretty!!
 

NCaquatics

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Theres also rummynose tetras, though I am not 100% sure if they'd end up food or not
 
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mcordelia

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ok, so question, why does seriouslyfish list ranges like 5-20 dGH for a lot of tetras? I thought tetras were generally a soft water group of fish and I would be hard pressed to find tetras that worked with hard water?

for example: https://www.seriouslyfish.com/species/hasemania-nana/ I know this is a smaller tetra, but is the huge range in parameters due to them being tank raised and not having seen their "natural environment" in several (tens of) generations?
 

Essjay

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Some tetra species must have soft water while there are several which can live comfortably in hard water. I've just cross checked with FishBase and that gives the range for Hasemania nana as 5 to 19 dH.
 
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mcordelia

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I am learning all sorts of new things! I feel like the floodgates of tetra choices have opened! lol
In honesty though, I feel like the parrot will be quite the limiting factor for the type of tetra to choose. And the plant thing. Congo tetras would be perfect, if they just didn't eat my hypothetical plants....
 

Essjay

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Fishbase (there are a few mirror websites but the main one is http://www.fishbase.org/search.php ) is aimed at professional ichthyologists but they do have information useful for hobbyists. They mainly give things like water requirements and fish size; they don't give things like tank sizes or compatible tank mates like SF does but then their target audience isn't interested in those. When a hardness range or size seems a bit iffy on SF it's always worth cross checking with Fishbase.
 

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