Some fish are just not made for normal community tanks

itiwhetu

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There are some fish in my opinion that are just not designed for normal community tanks.
They are either not hardy enough or require specific conditions, so therefore are not suitable for the rough and tumble of the normal community tank.
I am talking only about the fish that the new aquarist might find him or herself buying.
I will start with a few, chip in if you have others on your mind that may have given you grief in the past.

The obvious is Siamese fighter then
things like, Neon Tetras, Gold Tetras, Green Neon's, Hatchet fish, Chocolate Gourami. Most Killifish.

The new people to this hobby struggle to know the difference between a hardy fish and a delicate one.

So, the hardy list may include. Live Bearers, Barbs. Lemon Tetras, Black Skirts, Black Neon Tetras, Glow light Tetras, Black Phantom Tetras. Corydoras.

What do your easy to keep, hard to keep in a community tank lists look like?
 

Guyb93

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Rams for me , beautiful fish a good size for community not going to cause any problems but they like a privileged lifestyle have to have everything a little different . I think there hardier than reputation but They often get put in a 26c community and don’t do so well leading to the label of non hardy
 

Essjay

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I would put the Chinese algae eater aka sucking loach, Gyrinocheilus aymonieri, on the list as well.

@itiwhetu what is the reason you put the Siamese algae eater on your list? I'm just curious as I've not heard of them being a problem before.
 

GaryE

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The only fish I know of directly designed to be an aquarium fish is the blood parrot - too big for communities but intelligently, if cruelly designed by fishfarm breeders to have a mouth so deformed that it can't bite like it wants to.

The worst fish for newcomers to buy.
Blood parrots.
Common plecos - way too large.
Bala sharks - too active and large for any aquarium
Chinese algae eaters - only eat algae when tiny, then prefer the skin slime of tankmates
Oscars - cute and wiggly but soon large and mistreated
serpae tetras - beautiful fish for experienced hobbyists - too territorial
rams - too delicate - a fish with special needs that often lingers miserably in bad set ups


When it comes to the tetra group - silver torpedo shapes in small tanks don't work. The camouflage shows the fish to need water movement and space to run. It's an adaptation to sunlight and open water.
High bodied tetras tend to stay in more limited spaces happily, but they also want to own them. If they were humans, many would have little squares of lawn and guns to shoot any trespassers.
Blackwater tetras are for the experienced, although not for the overly experienced, in general. You can get there quickly if you have the right tap and have mastered the art of weekly water changes.

If your tank is big enough and your water hard enough, Malawi mbuna Cichlids are easy fish. No other Cichlids would make my first fish list..

There are some smaller barbs that are great, but this very diverse group of fish are only for newcomers willing to read. You have to watch out for eventual size, as many species are sold very young. They tend to be boisterous, charming, "Loud" fish, and need some space. There are quieter fish in the group - cherry barbs, danios, Bororas (but they are delicate), and a huge range of harder to get fish. Harlequins are a superb beginner's fish for people with soft to medium hard water, and the good sense to do weekly 25% changes.

I recently picked up a few 'new to the hobby' tetras. They're new because their region has only recently opened. As jungles are destroyed, their fauna has a short period of availability before the change in living conditions and deforestation destroys them. It's a vicious reality.

It's fun to watch that community, and to figure out which ones do what. I have the usual in your face, hyper high bodied tetras there, but a quieter one too. The silver ones do what silver says they should, and the sort of black neonish ones act like - black neons. It's unfortunate that the cost of the newly arrived fish is so high, as they are fantastic little beasts, but they are new to us because they are hard to get to. Getting to them costs, even if the logging roads have opened up access. I think I'd rather not be able to see them knowing the implications of why they are here, but I want to be able to breed them and maybe distribute a few before they're gone.

That kind of thing isn't a project for beginners, but if you get into it - the best tetra breeder I know was specializing within 3 years of his first tank.
 

wasmewasntit

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My little list of "do not get" for "newby" community aquariums....

Siamese Fighting Fish (aka Betta) - Male or female, both have a psychotic tendancy

Chinese Algae Eater - Evil fish that attack slab sided fish like Gourami for their slimecoat once matured

Common Pleco - Enormous when mature, will eat you out of house and home and leave a mess behind

Goldfish - Too big when matured, very messy

Convict Cichlid - Seriously territorial, argumentative and impossible to give away when spawning

Otto - Lovely fish but must have a very mature aquarium of 6-8 months minimum, will not thrive in new aquariums

Red Tail Shark - Enormous when mature, bad tempered and generally territorial

Bala Shark - Enormous when mature and can be territorial unless in groups

Angel - Despite their name, they can be seriously tetchy with tankmates once paired up and they can grow large too

Dwarf Gourami - Some DG's can be seriously unsociable and prone to DG specific health issues

The above are "off the top of my head" thoughts...probably many more that I absolutely would never have in any community aquarium setting....they might swim into the memory later on at some stage.
 

dhjaksu

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There are some fish in my opinion that are just not designed for normal community tanks.
They are either not hardy enough or require specific conditions, so therefore are not suitable for the rough and tumble of the normal community tank.
I am talking only about the fish that the new aquarist might find him or herself buying.
I will start with a few, chip in if you have others on your mind that may have given you grief in the past.

The obvious is Siamese fighter then
things like, Neon Tetras, Gold Tetras, Green Neon's, Hatchet fish, Chocolate Gourami. Most Killifish.

The new people to this hobby struggle to know the difference between a hardy fish and a delicate one.

So, the hardy list may include. Live Bearers, Barbs. Lemon Tetras, Black Skirts, Black Neon Tetras, Glow light Tetras, Black Phantom Tetras. Corydoras.

What do your easy to keep, hard to keep in a community tank lists look like?
I think for me bristlenose and corys are definitely hardy. Guppies can be hardy or incredibly sensitive depending on where you get them from (pet store ones all died within a week, pond raised ones I put in the same tank with the same water parameters, same set up. Same acclimation process. Now I’m my main tank months later and doing great).
I find kuhli loaches and Pygmy corys really hardy. A lot of people seem to find Pygmy corys quite sensitive. Kribensis I also find really hardy. And so far my experience with Apistogramma is good as well. I also find cherry shrimp really hardy and I’ve had no issues with fighting fish. My angels when I got them the first time 5/7 died shortly after the first water change with them in the tank (was just after the tap water drastically changed without me knowing, tap water previously had a ph of 7.2 when I got the angels and then within a week of getting the angels the tap water now had a ph of 8.4 and I still like that). Anyway after I recovered from that I got more angels and still have the original survivor who is doing great and the same size as all the 1-3 year old angels I’ve put with her. So now I find angels easy but at first I found them sensitive. Otocinclus are another one people day are really sensitive but I find them easy so far.
 
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itiwhetu

itiwhetu

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I would put the Chinese algae eater aka sucking loach, Gyrinocheilus aymonieri, on the list as well.

@itiwhetu what is the reason you put the Siamese algae eater on your list? I'm just curious as I've not heard of them being a problem before.
I have no algae eaters on my list, I was saving something for other members to add.
 

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