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Discussion Starter #1
I am trying to grow live plants in my aquarium. I'm doing the low light method.

Normally my tanks have held cichlids with some type of catfish and some schooling fish (dithers) for activity. My most recent schoolers were Buenos Aires tetras but I've since found out that they eat plants.

My question: What is a good schooling fish that will live with plants but is big enough (3-4" or so) and fast enough to live with some mild tempered cichlids as well?

I've read much of the article stickied regarding schooling fish but most of them are way too small and would be lunch for most cichlids I'd stock with. I've had columbian tetras before and they have a good body shape to avoid predation, do they eat plants as well?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I think I found a fish that will work. Rainbow fish specifically Melanotaenia Trifasciata. Does anyone know if this fish is a good fish for plants?
 

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I've had giant danios (Devario aequipinnatus) w/ my Firemouths and that worked fine.

Rainbowfish will be fine as well I suspect.

I am currently using ember tetras w/ my Firemouths (biggest is 4.5" or so) and no problems so far even w/ 2 breeding pairs in the tank.

Charlie
 

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Columbian tetras would be fine.

Congo tetras are a good choice - they certainly won't become lunch. They might be a bit shy if not the dominant fish in the tank though.

Rainbows would be fabulous. The M. trifasciata are nice. Boesmanii and praecox are also very interesting fish. They do tend to prefer slightly harder water but they're pretty adaptable.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I was looking at the Boesmanii as well. Haven't checked out the Praecox yet but will have to do that. Found out the lfs has some Boesmanii but no other ones. I'd have to order them.
 

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wow, your dither choices are large fish. What species of cichlids are you keeping? LOL. Rainbows are an expensive choice but would work fantastically well. They're quick as lightning and are beautiful! plus you can breed them with larger fish in the tank since they are mop spawners. Just pull a mop, pick some eggs, and hatch them out separately. :)

GL
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'll be keeping JD's, severums, maybe an oscar or something similar. Figure I need a dither that gets to 4" or has a body shape that does not appear to be condusive to eating if I'm a cichlid. I'll also have a larger tank (125 gallons) so want something in there to help fill the space if I decide on only two cichlids.
 

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I don't think I could get my larger cichlids to leave plants where they belong. They constantly move the fake plants around as it is, and I am pretty sure my oscar is saving to pay his way through interior design school:wink:. Have you (Ezekial) had much luck with keeping some of the larger cichlids in planted tanks? I would love to know which ones work out for you so I could give them a shot. I would go with discus or angels, but I kind of enjoy the aggressive behavior of the others. Thanks for your input.
 

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yeah, the big fish like to uproot plants. maybe some well attached fern on driftwood, that way when they toss it around, it doesnt make a mess. LOL.
 

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I don't think the Oscar would let you keep much but rocks in the tank with it. Other than that, the JD's and Severums are much more easy to work around.

Anubias on driftwood or rocks is always a sure staple in a questionable tank like that.
 
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