Tankmates that would work with Amano Shrimp and Mystery Snails as well as fish?

Akeath

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I'm thinking I might want to try adding another fish or critter to my 40 gallon breeder. I likely don't have room for an entire school, though, so it would need to be something that could live individually or in a small group. One of my biggest concerns is making sure it wouldn't nip at the antennae or bodies of my Mystery Snails or be a danger to the Amano Shrimp when they are molting. I already have several Mystery Snails that were born in the tank, 3 Amano Shrimp, 9 Corydoras Catfish, 6 Harlequin Rasboras, 1 Bolivian Ram, and 1 Longfin Albino Bristlenose Pleco.

The tank is a 40 gallon breeder with a mix of live plants (Anubias, Crypts, Dwarf Sag, Java Fern) and fake plants, some caves, a large piece of aquatic spider wood, and sandstone. The substrate is sand. I have 2 filters, an Aquaclear 70 power filter and a Fluval C3 filter, and there's also a bubble wand against the back wall. Parameters are 7.4 pH, 11 dGH, and 75 degrees. This tank has been established for a couple of years.

Anyone have any ideas of a nice invert friendly tank mate that would work?
 

mcordelia

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What is your own opinion on the level of stocking of your tank at this point? Going by the "1 in per gallon" rule, you might be at your limit, but that can obviously be fudged if you have lots of plants and keep up with maintenance etc. How often/how much is your water change schedule?

Overall, it looks to me like you have a nice combo going, I am not a fish wizard who can conjure ideas of fish off the top of my head so I'll leave that up to others, but I do think that something that might also be worth considering with this tank being well established may be getting a second tank? Just a thought.
 

HoldenOn

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What is your own opinion on the level of stocking of your tank at this point? Going by the "1 in per gallon" rule, you might be at your limit, but that can obviously be fudged if you have lots of plants and keep up with maintenance etc. How often/how much is your water change schedule?

Overall, it looks to me like you have a nice combo going, I am not a fish wizard who can conjure ideas of fish off the top of my head so I'll leave that up to others, but I do think that something that might also be worth considering with this tank being well established may be getting a second tank? Just a thought.
One inch per gallon is not a great way to check stocking.

When looking for fish there are a couple categories to tick
- Where does the fish live? You have 3 species of bottom dweller, and one species of middle dweller.
- What is your water hardness? 11 dGH can be translated into 183 ppm, which is moderately hard to softish.
- How much swimming space is there? a 40 gal. breed is 36" x 18" x 16", which is nice and long.
- Finally, are you stocking any aggressive fish? No, as long as it is just one ram and pleco, you are fine.

We can eliminate hoplos, otos, dwarf cichlids, and any other bottom dweller. You have plenty of swimming space, so the majority of non-aggressive tetras would be nice, however I would recommend increasing the size of your HR shoal rather than getting more middle swimming fish.
That leaves fish that live near the top of the tank.
Looking at the info above we can start to get a list going.
- Hatchetfish (marbled and silver)
This species does best with dimmer lights and floating plants, so that is something to keep in mind.
- Pencilfish (probably brown tail)
Your just at the edge of these guys hardness, so another thing to keep in mind. Also prefer floating plants.
- Zebra Danio
I don't know much about these guys, but they are pretty cool and stick near the surface.

Those are the best I can think of, halfbeaks are too aggressive for a tank with a bolivian, imo, and they are livebearers which means they are kind of hard to keep long term.
Hope this helps. Make sure you have a real tight lid so nothing jumps out.
 

mcordelia

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@HoldenOn, I agree that it's not a good way to determine the overall fish balance of a tank, but isn't the purpose of 1in/gal to determine a rough estimate of bioload? Granted OP has a heavily planted tank so can likely overstock from the rule, but what other way do you figure out how much ammonia (roughly) you are generating?

The way I understand it is that fish under 4'' can go by the 1in/gallon rule, and fish over 4'' go by the "1 fish per 10 gallons" rule.

As I mentioned above, I realize they're just guidelines but how do you know how much bioload you can put in your tank (without getting yourself into a situation where your nitrates at your weekly water change are 50ppm and you're kind of up a creek because you don't really want to get rid of any of your fish)?
 

HoldenOn

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@HoldenOn, I agree that it's not a good way to determine the overall fish balance of a tank, but isn't the purpose of 1in/gal to determine a rough estimate of bioload? Granted OP has a heavily planted tank so can likely overstock from the rule, but what other way do you figure out how much ammonia (roughly) you are generating?

The way I understand it is that fish under 4'' can go by the 1in/gallon rule, and fish over 4'' go by the "1 fish per 10 gallons" rule.

As I mentioned above, I realize they're just guidelines but how do you know how much bioload you can put in your tank (without getting yourself into a situation where your nitrates at your weekly water change are 50ppm and you're kind of up a creek because you don't really want to get rid of any of your fish)?
I see what you mean, and the rule is definitely a place one could start but it is notoriously inaccurate. Take for example the pleco and the ram, both of them have very large bio-loads, far greater than your average 3 through 5 inch fish.

To be fair, I never understood the inch per gallon rule, whether it was for stocking or bio-load.

There really isn't a way to guesstimate how much ammonia your fish are churning out without going into their diets and the composition (which would be a very large endeavor indeed)

As you said this tank sounds pretty planted, and seeing as it's been going for several years, there is likely a consistent population of nitrifying bacteria, thus I'm not worried about OPs bio-load. Also all the fish I recommended are little things, and would have a similar bio-load to that of the HR school. Some may say my tank is overstocked, but I usually have like 10 nitrates by the end of the week!
 

mcordelia

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I appreciate you explaining your rationale. I do think that the age of the tank also plays a huge factor in the fish population it can support. Tricky business overall. I feel like the next thing we need to start asking in addition to water params is "how much nitrate do you have before a water change?" :D
 

HoldenOn

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I appreciate you explaining your rationale. I do think that the age of the tank also plays a huge factor in the fish population it can support. Tricky business overall. I feel like the next thing we need to start asking in addition to water params is "how much nitrate do you have before a water change?" :D
That's actually a pretty good idea!
 

Essjay

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The way I understand it is that fish under 4'' can go by the 1in/gallon rule, and fish over 4'' go by the "1 fish per 10 gallons" rule.
The rule is 1 inch of fish that stays under 3 inches (adult size) and is torpedo shaped. The rule never applied to fish that grow to over 3 inches, or deep bodied fish such as bleeding heart tetras, dwarf gouramis.
 

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