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Discussion Starter #1
Well I have progressed in my initial foray into aquaculture from a betta bowl of ca. 1.5 gallons, to a 4 gallon Finnex tank. Moving up in the World! But now I have to decide what species of fish to put in the 4 gallon - what I'd call a small tank or "nano".

This 4 gallon has a 13 watt light and a filter - both new add-ons after having only a bowl. It will also have some small plants: probably some Echinodorus tennellus or saggitarias, and other small plants. No problem with the plants selection. There won't be room for too many!

But now that it has come down to it, what fish? I think that I want to have just one species of fish, and if possible a small "school" (after one betta I'd like to see some "movement"). To give you some idea of what I have already thought of, and, for now, discarded:
~ WCMMs (White Cloud Mountain Minnows) - because they are real swimmers and the tank would be too small for them,
~ Paradise Fish - because I was told the male only colors up with a female and I don't think a 4 gal. would be big enough to allow her to get away from his attentions, and besides, I don't want one fish, I want to see some action after having only one betta,
~ Guppies - if the males didn't wind up trying to take on each other and they weren't so proflic with females in the tank,
~ Neon tetras - maybe, maybe. Some say they are a lead pipe cinch - others that they are problematic (this is going to be my first true fish tank so I need some wiggle room for mistakes), but it they really are as easy as some say...maybe!
~ Colisa lalia - maybe same problem as with the aforementioned Macropodus? i.e. not roomy enough for a pair and just a male would be cruel and unusual punishment ;) even if She weren't needed to color him up (but my! aren't they great looking, some of the more colorful clones!?)

~ And lastly, but not leastly, Killifish. I still haven't eliminated them. They seem to have some of the attributes I am looking for: a) small (necessary in a 4 gallon), b) colorful (some are really colorful!) , c) easy to care for (I think), d) would enjoy the lack of water movement I plan on having.
If Killifish, how common are they in the trade? I don't recall seeing any at PetSmart. I can't do mail order now with Winter holding sway here in the frozen Inland Northwest.

So which fish for a nano?

Thanks, Breck in Spokane
 

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I'd go with killifish too.

A pair of Aphyosemion australe (orange and red) would do well in that kind of setup. They aren't too common in the hobby, but then again no killi fish are that common. The australe killies live for more than a year unlike most other killies. You can get a pair for roughly 20$.

Also you might want to check out aquabid.com for killies, or post in the for sale/trade forum on this website. Perhaps someone can sell you some.

Other than those fish, you might want to try some ottocats - if you can get a tiny filter or something to move the water around a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'd go with killifish too.

Other than those fish, you might want to try some ottocats - if you can get a tiny filter or something to move the water around a bit.
As written in my first post: This 4 gallon has a 13 watt light and a filter
My understanding was that many killifish live for alot longer than a year. You are referring to annuals I believe?
 

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Boraras brigittae, boraras micro, boraras maculatus, boraras merah would be a great addition to that tank
 

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Another good idea are dwarf platies. I bought about 8 for my mini-s and they are a beautiful red color. I found mine at a local petsmart. They stay about an inch long too. I only have 3 left, but I am planning to get about 3 more to liven the tank a bit more.
 

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Heterandria formosa. Seems to be ideal "nano-pet".
And having a couple you will see absolutely natural thing: adult and young fish together. I have a group in 7 liters. The only care - to feed and give to somebody some fish, when there are too lot of them.

Another good fish for nano - Endler's guppi. But it's bigger and need bigger tank.
 

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I was going to suggest micro-rasbora's too. They are a nice size for a small tank, so you would be able to keep a few more of them.

The Endler's are also a good suggestion. If you get the pure strains (no guppy mixed in) and put all males in you'd have a very stunning display. The males also stay a lot smaller than the females, so that's another plus.
I wouldn't suggest mixing females in the mix though because they breed like bunnies and the tank wouldn't be big enough for that.

Keep us posted on what you decide. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I was going to suggest micro-rasbora's too. They are a nice size for a small tank, so you would be able to keep a few more of them.

The Endler's are also a good suggestion. If you get the pure strains (no guppy mixed in) and put all males in you'd have a very stunning display. The males also stay a lot smaller than the females, so that's another plus.
I wouldn't suggest mixing females in the mix though because they breed like bunnies and the tank wouldn't be big enough for that.

Keep us posted on what you decide. :)
Thanks Jan (from Bob Zimmerman's home town :p) Question: if one does use Endler's and all males, do the males fight each other like male guppies often will? I'll check out the micro-rasboras (genus Boraras?) as per the above suggestions (for which thanks) and for the link. I'll check it out and Yes! I will most certainly report on what I finally decide on. Thanks, Breck
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi I'm back. I checked out the fishes suggested above; some are in my book and some aren't. My book is Tropical Freshwater Aquarium Fish from A to Z by Barron's. If it ain't in there it isn't likely to be in my LFS either! Let's do keep this set of recommends limited to fish that are commonly available.

The Microrasbora sp. 'Galaxy', if that is what Jan is suggesting, is definitely a sexy little fish. I have never seen any in our LFSs though. I'd like to try and stay with a species that I can actually buy without having to order by mail. Lots of Killifish seem like good ideas too but they aren't available either. As for the several Boraras, I am really going to look into finding those locally!

The Heterandria formosa recommended by Eugene, I did find in my book and it is certainly a good choice behavior-wise. It doesn't much turn me on with its appearance though. And I am a bit afraid of the dwarf platys, since there seems to be a recurring refrain, "I bought 5 and 3 are left and I'm going to get more!".

Now, as for Celestial Pearl Danios, I didn't find that particular name, but did find a "Pearl Danio". In one of the library's books I currently have on hand, Aquarium Fish of the World by Sakurai, et al., this danio is listed at 2.25 in. That's a bit largish. But the authors do mention that they are suitable for small tanks.

Let me just throw out another idea and see what happens. Today I was killing some time before work by looking at the (slim) offerings at a Petco and noticed that they still had a fair number of Puntius titteya. (How do you pronounce that specific epithet anyway?! Can someone do a phonetic explanation on that? My feeble effort yielded tit-teh'-yah).

I had never really looked at the P. titteya quite as well as I did today (since their stock was so low I had to start paying attention to species I normally do not notice). That's a pretty fish. My book does list them at 2 inches though. Also the photo in my A to Z book is not much like the ones I saw today.

So would this little Cherry Barb be suitable at all? If so, how many? could I go with three with one male to two females? Can this species be sexed? They all looked alike to me today. I also noticed that this species was picking away at the rock in the tank which must have had some algae on it.

Again, just to remind, this is a 4 gallon sized tank.
All for now, BB
 

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Celestial pearl Danio are recent to the hobby, almost three years. It might not be in too many books yet. Their adult size is under an inch (thhe are the "Microrasbora sp. 'Galaxy'" One and the same)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Celestial pearl Danio are recent to the hobby, almost three years. It might not be in too many books yet. Their adult size is under an inch (thhe are the "Microrasbora sp. 'Galaxy'" One and the same)
Hi Sun, OKAY! Got it. Celestichthys margaritatus Roberts (2007) and now Danio margaritatus (Roberts) R. Conway, et al. "Celestial Pearl Danio", Microrasbora sp. 'Galaxy' (an early "working name"), "Galaxy Rasbora" (maybe not too good as they are not rasboras). Mature at one inch?! Sheesh that is small. I'd like to see some in living flesh. They might be perfect for me with my 4 gallon b/c of their diminuitive size, habits. The problem might be in finding someone with some for sale now; when Spring comes and mail order works again I may be able to find them a bit farther afield. But I'll try my local fish club too.

They sure have big eyes!
 

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They usually sell them at a LFS near me.

I hear they are endangered in the wild and that all who buy them should be buying them for breeding purposes. Anyone know more about this?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
They usually sell them at a LFS near me.

I hear they are endangered in the wild and that all who buy them should be buying them for breeding purposes. Anyone know more about this?
And you live where?... As far as not buying them unless to breed, I am pretty confident that many folks are breeding them! Enterprising folks at that.
 

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I have heard various theories on that. they were found in other ponds and the "endangered" thing was possibly put in place by the one who found them to sort of slow down their capture as well as keep his prices jacked up.

They are definately low to middle fish. They tend to hide in plants alot making them sort of hard to see. they are extremely exquisit fish. I have 4 and I intend to breed them as soon as my betta has vacated the tank that I got for that purpose.

they are still somewhat expensive. I paid 5.99 each.(canadian dollar). I had trouble finding what to feed them. they seem to prefer live food. I have been giving them seed shrimp that seem to thrive unchecked in my shrimp tank. They also eat small frozen blood worm fragments.

They definately like planted tanks. My nano is extremely small, (just over a liter) I would like to get it larger, but for now, the fish appear to be quite happy in it. But I would strongly recommend something a bit larger.

Also please forgive me and my typing errors... I hate this keyboard with a fraggin' passion.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Dario dario would be a good bet. I can get those at a local LFS.
Hi Merk, and thanks. I checked out thhis fish, Dario dario; I had never run cross it in any books. Intriguing! So small for a fish with those fins which makes them look bigger some how. From what I've read they seem to have two drawbacks for me. First they are not very active according to some writers, and sort of hang out in the foliage. And second, it's the same old story of aggressive males. Plus some writers say that because the females are so plain compared with the males, that only males have been imported and are available.

I do have some specific questions regarding certain species' behavior. Since this is a small (very small) tank, the fish in it will have to get along VERY well ;)

Example #1: Guppies. Specificallly the fancy colorful males. They are the right size, hardy, eminently available, cheap, and very flashy and beautiful. But will several males in a 4 gallon tank get along OK long term? With a 4 gallon, if I go by the venerable adage of 1 inch of fish per 1 gallon of water, I can have at most 4-5 male guppies (if they are the kind that mature at around an inch or more). Will they start fighting? or picking on the weakest? etc.?

Example #2: White Cloud Mountain minnows. Another carefree species. Not too particular about food, conditions, etc. Also small. All pluses. But do they require a bit more room for free swimming? Are they like the danios? needing lots of space to cruise in?

What I need is a species which will not need more room than a 4 gallon provides and that I can have at least 4-5 fish in. Or should I be thinking reverse? Maybe only a species with a male and two females?

Example #3: Neon Tetras. What about them? They fit the bill in that they like a low light situation and my light is only 13w. They fit the bill in being small; maybe small enough so that i can have a little school? They like slow moving bodies of water with vegetation and my tank will have as many plants as I can reasonably grow. Neons are not too picky about food, etc.

Anyway, that's just some of what I've considered. I am still very much interested in this thread and in your thoughts. Thanks, Gasteriaphile
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hi All. Well I promised to keep y'all posted on my thoughts/plans... Today I finally made it out to Spokane's "Valley" to our esteemed Local Fish Store, Aquarium Solutions (recommended). I went over my ideas and thoughts with Barbie the owner-ess, and while she and I came up with some new ideas that I hadn't thought of and which haven't appeared here either, at the end she off-handedly admitted that she thought my 1.5 gallon Betta Bowl was pretty much fish cruelty and that really what I should do with my 4 gallon was to put my current tortured Betta in it! Along with an Otocinclus for one group of algae and 2-3 shrimp for the other algaes. Can't remember what species of shrimp. So that's what I will probably do for my long-suffering anabantoid inmate :D Now, what to do with my one and a half gallon bowl?? :cool:
 

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In addition. :)

7-l tank with formosoes, shrimp and snail (with soil-containing substrate):







also exist yellow (xsanto) form of formosa.
Sorry for poor foto (I'm not experienced in it). The tank has no heating, small aerolift filter, 15 watt compact fluorescent reflector bulb (for standart screw, with electronic inside) 2 700 k, 12 hours. Water changes - about a cup per week, twice a year filter washing. From time to time - cutting grass and taking off fry (when it is too much). Mainly life food (dry from time to time).

One more nice "nano-citizen" - dwarf badis


Hardy, shy and interesting fish, for wich 10 l. tank is enough for the group. Easy to breed. Take care on youngs in common tank.
 
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