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Discussion Starter #1
Which small but colorful fish would you suggest for a 29 g zen-style (ala Amano) setup with Marsilea Minuta ground cover, Seiryu stone mountains and some Anubias Nana and Anubias Nana Petite as "trees" on the mountains. Think it could look strange to keep larger fish with a small mountain scene.

How do Neon Tetras do? Are they hardy? I've only kept cardinal tetras.

If I go with small fish, I'll probably keep Red Cherry Shrimp as well.

Probably keep Nerite snails as well.
 

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Neon tetras are a bit less hardy than Cardinals, in my experience. However, for some people they never seem to die, even in poorly maintained tanks. They shouldn't be a problem in a cycled, well maintained tank.

As for other fish, you could try a pair of Rams or Apistos. There's a lot of different color to experiment with there.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Funny I've heard people report problems with cardinals, including whole schools dying out seemingly without explanation, though I've never had problems with them and thought they were hardier than neon tetras.
 

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For a 29g I'd give some serious thought to the Nannostomus genus (pencilfish), threadfin rainbows, Trigonostigma heteromorpha (harlequin rasbora), or pseudomugil rainbows. All of these fish can look rather drab in poor conditions but are absolutely stunning against a nice aquascape.

The celestial pearl danios (galaxy rasboras) are a nice fish too, but maybe a bit less colorful. White cloud mountain minnows are a SERIOUSLY underrated fish that do well in slightly cooler setups. In top condition, their coloration and behavior can't be beat.
 

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I agree with Bryce about the white clouds. Have you seen the long-finned! WOW! TFH magazine px'd them on the front cover this summer. They were beautiful.

The Asian rummy nose is pretty and unusual. In fact, I think Amano used these in one of his scapes recently.
 

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I have a 24 gallon Aquapod cube that I have stocked with nano fish and RCS. Some of my favorites:
Ember Tetras (very mild-mannered, don't hide much)
Celestial Pearl Danios (great-looking fish... when you can actually see them. mine spend 99% of their time hidden in the plants)
Boraras brigittae (very active, bright fish)
Badis Badis (neat peaceful little fish, but I've read of them hunting shrimp)
Pseudomugil gertrudae (very beautiful fish, but mine were too aggressive, stressed out some of the other occupants and were returned. These with embers or Sundadanio axelrodi would be a great combo.)

But far and away, my favorite fish are the 3 Sundadanio axelrodi blue form that i picked up a few months ago. They look great, and have the most personality of any fish in the tank - always swimming in the open, not aggressive at all. The problem is finding them... They are expensive online, and I can't find any more locally. If you could find them, I'd highly recommend getting a bunch.

Also, I second Bryce's suggestion of threadfin rainbows - they look great IMO.
 

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Funny I've heard people report problems with cardinals, including whole schools dying out seemingly without explanation, though I've never had problems with them and thought they were hardier than neon tetras.
I think I will be repeating this on a regular basis;

Many sellers want to get the fish from the airplane and imeeditely sell them. This often results in unexplained deaths in the tank of the buyer. There are no symptoms, just a few fish die every day until they are all gone. Usually the buyer blames their tank.

Do not every buy fish if you are not (at least reasonably) sure they have been quarantined for at least 2 weeks. A month is better, but at least 2 weeks. Quarantine doesn't necessarily mean treating with medicine. Just keeping the fish in optimal conditions and observing them (although wild caught fish better be treated right away before any problems start). In any case - if there are any problems they should become obvious by day 10.

--Nikolay
 

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Tex Gal - I was lucky to find some at the only decent LFS I have in my area. I only bought 3, as I knew nothing about them. Went back 3 days later and her stock of 300 fish were completely sold out. Really wishing I had picked up more!
Niko mentioned in another forum they would be carrying them in the future. If invertz factory doesn't decide to stock them, check Live Aquaria. They come and go out of their stock, it appears they have the blue form in stock now.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
WOW I've never seen some of those. Gorgeous fish! Never knew there'd be so many great choices. I'll try to look up their parameters and get a sense of which might do best in this tank. Only limiting condition I anticipate is a little potential elevated tank heat for about two months in summer, which could be a problem for the White Cloud Minnows which like cool water. The room the tank is in can get a little warm because of the red tile roof over it during warm sunny days.

How many fish of this general 2-4 cm size do you think I could keep in my Biocube 29, given that I'll have super filtration (an XP2 running with tons of room for filter media, chemi-pure carbon, plus plants) and hopefully some Red Cherry Shrimp and a few Nerite snails?

How many kinds would you keep together? Will they school with their own kind if mixing 2-3 species?

Might look more dramatic with just 1-2 species of highly colorful fish rather than many different kinds of fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
1) How many fish of this general 2-4 cm size do you think I could keep in my Biocube 29, given that I'll have super filtration (an XP2 running with tons of room for filter media, chemi-pure carbon, plus plants) and hopefully some Red Cherry Shrimp and a few Nerite snails?

2) Of all those mentioned, which fish would you stay away from given keeping Red Cherry Shrimp and given a tank that could possibly get a degree or two warmer than I'd like for two months in summer (I just know the room gets warm, no way to know exactly how tank will respond until next summer). I already know the White Cloud Minnows prefer very cool water, 65-75F, so probably not a great choice for this tank (though a beautiful and interesting fish).
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm thinking the info in this thread could be used to make a sticky on "Suggested fish and inverts for nano tanks"
 

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You should put some Poecilocharax weitzmani, these guys are small but very beautiful when they mature.

I'm diggin the handle bars on that guy! a group of those guys in a tank and you'd think a group of bikers with pizazz came to crash a party!

Anyways, I have seen those Sundadanio axelrodi blue at a local pet store and they are gorgeous. The tank they were in was a planted nano with a black substrate and background. The only thing that you could see of them from about 2+ feet away was their bright blue tops. Even up close, the rest of their body seemed to melt away. If she had some for sale I would have bought a group, but alas, she only gets them in once or twice a year-though she sells them for 4-5 bucks which is a killer deal imo.
 

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Anyways, I have seen those Sundadanio axelrodi blue at a local pet store and they are gorgeous. The tank they were in was a planted nano with a black substrate and background. The only thing that you could see of them from about 2+ feet away was their bright blue tops. Even up close, the rest of their body seemed to melt away. If she had some for sale I would have bought a group, but alas, she only gets them in once or twice a year-though she sells them for 4-5 bucks which is a killer deal imo.
Judging from your location - Aquarium Solutions in Spokane? Same place I got mine, she promised to send me an email when she gets more in stock. I can send you a pm if you'd like when/if that happens.

And... to not completely thread-jack: Pseudepiplatys annulatus, aka Clown Killifish

Peaceful, small killi that is well-suited to the bio-cube, as their one down side is they like to jump.
 
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