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Shrimp are great, but they limit what you can put in the tank in terms of fish. I love dwarf cichlids in my planted tanks as it provides an ideal breeding setup for them but the majority of these guys will make a meal out of most shrimp. As far as bottom feeders go, I prefer small loaches over cories as they are more suitable to maneuver through thick plant growth. Botia sidthimunki and Khuli loaches are great. As far as algae eaters go, I have found that Sturiomaticthys leightoni, the dwarf Royal Farlowella is hands down the best. I know no other fish that can clean BBA off of an extremely infested Crinum calimistratum without cracking the leaf.This fish will chew on cyanobacteria too! On top of all of this, it is really pretty and easy to breed. This is one fish I think I will always keep.
 

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Big rainbows won't hunt down shrimp like cichlids do so they are usually okay. Shrimp are pretty good at staying out of the way of larger fish. However, if a shrimp gets startled and swims into thewater column, it is probably history. When I had my 125gal setup with rainbows, I had hundreds of shrimp in it (a local variety found in streams) and although the rainbows would take out a few now and then, the shrimp population was never in jeopardy.
 

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Farlowellas are pretty tough however they do not ship well. I'd say if they have been in the store for a while, then go for it. I can't speak on all the other species of twig cats out there but S. leightoni is super easy to breed. I don't even condition them and they produce viable eggs. In fact, the young of my original fish are breeding too. The one thing is that the fry are very difficult to raise.
 

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LOL, if that is the case, ask the new guy to catsh them out and tell him they are worth 1.99! Just kidding, Farlowella sp. goe for about 6-10 bucks over here. My Sturiomaticthys retailed at $25 each but got them half price... I used to work there and they give me employee discounts when they are feeling generous!!! Sturiosoma sp. can go for as much as 40 to 50 bucks. My fish are reaching the end of their breeding season (Oct.- May) At this time, the males grow "beards" called odontodes. (I think) at this time they are easy to sex, after this, the beard falls off and they look the same to me.
 
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