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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you guys have some funny looks at my title, let me explain.


Looking at a planted tank as a whole is quite beautiful, with the fish swimming around, but when you zoom in, its just the plants, with no little rewards. I've been thinking about using some kind of fish that does provide this, as in fry. That way, if you observe the foreground closely, you may be lucky enough to spot a few baby whatever foraging through it.


I've been thinking about either using WC mollies along with topminnows, or X. montezumae, preferably the ivory form, esp. cause the price seems to be dropping to my range now(hey, you don't got that much to spend at 14 do you?).

Does anyone have any suggestions or has done something like this before? Perhaps the use of small shrimp and crustaceans would too and...
 

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Heterandria formosa, tiny livebearer with rather boring coloration, but may work good for yout tank. Size of the male is no more than 1/4 in., females are about 1/2 inch.

The fish' mouth is so small that they can't even eat their new born babies so you may have them reproduce quite quickly. For some reason I could never get them to have fry.

Heterandria formosa pix

A good example of the fish size

--Nikolay
 

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Niko, these fish sound interesting and I have seen them recommended before. Any other info? How do they school? Do they hide or are they fearless? Are they easy to obtain from a LFS? They sound like they look like having fry in a fish tank because of there small size.
Thanks,
Greg
 

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I keep guppies on my planted aquarium. Guppies reproduce fairly easily (they are livebearers) and if you have enough plants fry will be able to hide and eat without being attacked by adult guppies.

They do not school, they do however have an intersting mating ritual on which males show off their vibrant colors.

They are hardy and will tolerate relatively big changes in the conditions of the water (ph, temperature, etc.)

I have looked around and have yet to find aquascapers recommend guppies for planted tanks, I am not sure why? My guess is that they are small fish and do not school.

Any one knows of any good reasons not to keep guppies on planted aquariums?
 

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My choice would be small anabantoids like bettas, croaking gouramis (T. vittatus or pumilus), liquorice gouramis... also small barbs like rosy barbs, pentazona, checker.....these species are non-open water fishes which like to hug the undergrowth, ready to dash in whenever a threat is seen. They will also poke around the plants constantly for microscopic tidbits. Thus, to observe them, you have to peer much more deeply into the tank and focus on very specific spots to see the fish (and plant).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Niko...

Been there done that!
Im keeping a ten gallon with H. formosa right now. It was them that made me look for other fish of this sort. They breed like rabbits for me. How did you keep em? Also, where did you get yours. The sizes you noted sound like you must have a fish from a population with pretty small individuals!

Iunkown:

These suckers are pretty shy. They arent those kind of stupid fish that pace up and down the tank(my least favorite kind of fish). You would be extremely lucky to find them at the petstore. I got mind at www.aquaculturestore.com (that was a year ago, 13 year old,"its summer now, request").

A couple weeks ago, however, I spotted some in a tank labeled"Mosquito fish". A couple small female hets were swimming around in the tank inhabited mainly by gambusia. My suspicions is that the mosquitofish were G. holbrooki(they looked different from the G. affinis I hunted with a 8 foot longpole net here as a child)and were caught in the East, packed up and shipped to CA.

These fish are not like fry, but they arent large either. The largest female I own is about the size of a bloated neon tetra. Most are the size of a male feeder guppy. The males are small enough that a betta fish could probably wolf one down in a few bites. In my tank, the adult females are very wary, and the fry, males, and juvenile females inhabit the open water. So my tank does look like I have a bunch of fry at first glance.

Budak: Thanks! The kind of reply I was looking for! I will keep checkered barbs in mind, but Im really looking to do something a little higher than community for this tank.

Im under the impression that apistogramma that live naturally in harems may also work?
 

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I haven't kept Apistos before, but have seen them in heavily planted tanks where they use the plant cover as feeding areas and fry nurseries. Very natural looking.

Another group of fishes to consider are small killies like Nothos and lyretails (A. australe i think), which like to dart in and out of plant cover. Their sparkling colours seem even more intense amidst a rich, green background.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
We are really doing some brainstorming here.

Im really considering X. montezumae 'Ivory'...especially since someone on another forum offered spares for free besides shipping.


I may also consider adding T. pumilus or checkered barbs.

Will they harm fry?
 

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G.Holbrooki are the ones that can become "Dalmations" or is that Affinis? The Gambusia didn't eat the H.Formosa? I put 50 in a tank with a 3 inch oscar and the oscar lost its fins. Sorry to bring things off topic, can you point me somewhere to learn more abou the H.Formosa. And do you have a tank picture with them. I think it is a good idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't have any tank pics, but I do have mug shots of the hets if you wish to see. You can find a small page at www.petfish.net a google search will bring up a few articles.

Gambusia holbrooki is the one in which the males may turn spotted. G. affinis is the one we in CA are having problems with(no, don't dump them in the rivers...they won't take care of mosquitoes there).

I never kept gambusia with H. formosa before, and I wouldn't try. G. holbrooki and H. formosa have been known to coexist in the wild though. Worth a try if you can get the holbrooki.
 

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I'm really new at planted aquariums, but not at fish keeping, and i've always loved neon tetras, black tetras, and my recent love that i've seen interact in heavily planted aquariums are Cherry Barbs, they just look awesome, because of their bright red (as a designer i can tell you that green is a complementary color of red, which means they will "vibrate" when interacting with each other), that's why all small schooling fish with this particular colors, or medium non-schooling (fancy guppies, mollies, sword tails) or for big tanks a pair of Discus such as my favorite Turquoise Pigeon, would add that special visual impact to a planted tank.

Discus http://hepsdiscuscenter.com/PicturePage/Pic_01/Group_01.htm
Cherry Barbs http://www.fishprofiles.com/profiles/fw/profile.asp?id=Puntius+titteya
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Nice. Yup, its the complementary colors thing.


Judging from peoples experiences and behavior in bare LFS tanks, thse guys must be kinda shy and retiring? Sounds good!

I may have to keep both cherries and checkers to keep from being torn in half...
 
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