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Fish with personality/character?

shangman

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13 Jul 2020
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To be honest, I find the ladies to be tougher than the males once they're full sized, up until then you want more females. As a rule 1m/3f, but for 8, i'd go 3m/5f. @MirandaB might have other ideas 👍
Just like apistos then! 😂 Those females are like tiny tanks.

So for me I'd try a nice medium ish sized tetra to add interest, with perhaps black phantom tetras my pick. They are a nice size and won't out compete the green neons, they are easy to keep, easy to sex and you get really nice sparring behaviour from the males when they are trying to impress the females. They might be boring to a lots of people but they are very calming to watch.

If this was my tank I would also really consider a group of pygmy cories like Rosie suggested.
The black phantoms would look great in this tank, they'd really bring the drama!
 

MirandaB

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Suffolk/Norfolk Border
To be honest, I find the ladies to be tougher than the males once they're full sized, up until then you want more females. As a rule 1m/3f, but for 8, i'd go 3m/5f. @MirandaB might have other ideas 👍
I've currently got 2m/9f which seems to work fine,one male is more dominant than the other but they don't really take much notice of each other.
The females do tend to be tougher and won't take any nonsense from the males if they get fed up with being pestered.
Not sure if I've just been lucky or not but never seen any real aggression between my lot,a half hearted chase and that's it but it is well planted.
 

foxfish

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11 Oct 2009
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Guernsey
Blind cave fish are extremely active and very interesting, I enjoyed mine for a few months before I found them a bit to noticeable and then nothing short of annoying !
However they might be a good choice for some people.
My tank is alongside the television and the hyper active cave fish became quite distracting … I openly admit that I watch far to much tele!
 

Conort2

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16 Feb 2018
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London
I’d say pencilfish would be a good fit and will leave your shrimp alone. They’re more personable than say a tetra and my coral reds behave more like dwarf cichlids. Although I wouldn’t recommend coral reds for this size tank as they can be pretty hard on each other.

Nannostomus Marginatus would be great or for something abit unique nannostomus eques would look good.

another great one if you can find them are Poecilocharax weitzmani (Black Darter Tetra) — Seriously Fish. These are characins but behave like cichlids, they’re luckily small enough that they should only eat the smallest shrimp. Colour on males are something else and they’re a unique species.

As mentioned by others you can’t go wrong with dwarf cichlids or anabantoids for character, the only issue is most will like snacking on your shrimp.

cheers

 

tiger15

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14 Mar 2018
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USA
I’d say pencilfish would be a good fit and will leave your shrimp alone. They’re more personable than say a tetra and my coral reds behave more like dwarf cichlids. Although I wouldn’t recommend coral reds for this size tank as they can be pretty hard on each other.

Nannostomus Marginatus would be great or for something abit unique nannostomus eques would look good.

another great one if you can find them are Poecilocharax weitzmani (Black Darter Tetra) — Seriously Fish. These are characins but behave like cichlids, they’re luckily small enough that they should only eat the smallest shrimp. Colour on males are something else and they’re a unique species.

As mentioned by others you can’t go wrong with dwarf cichlids or anabantoids for character, the only issue is most will like snacking on your shrimp.

cheers

Most community tetra that school or shoal together are photogenic addition to planted tanks, but they lack personality. The pencil and darter tetra you suggested are different as they share the characteristic of cichlid for being territorial, aggressive to their own kind, and don’t move much as they stake out their territory. I haven’t kept either tetra as they are too small for my cichlid, but I do keep a pink tail Chalceus that look and behave like a cichlid. There are other predatory tetra like Chaceus that are kept as cichlid, but they are too large or aggressive for community tanks.

I have to agree that anabantoids as a group have strong personality and very cichlid like. They are territorial, aggressive to their own kind, dont move much, and exhibit as complex breeding, courtship and parental care behavior as cichlid.
 

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mort

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I’d say pencilfish would be a good fit and will leave your shrimp alone.

Nannostomus Marginatus would be great or for something abit unique nannostomus eques would look good.

I'm a big pencilfish fan but was reluctant to recommend them due to my groups love for all things shrimp. They were fine for a couple of years but then went assassin on all the shrimp in the tank. Mine are beckfordi which are more aggressive than marginatus or the very peaceful eques.


Another fish that cool and seems easy to keep going by my brothers experience is stiphodon atropurpureus Stiphodon atropurpureus – Blue Neon Goby (Microsicydium atropurpureum, Microsicydium formosum) — Seriously Fish
They aren't for every tank but the one he has is a firm favourite. All the fun of a loach but fine on their own.

Rosey loaches are another fun fish that is interesting to watch but they do need to be in a group.
 

Conort2

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I'm a big pencilfish fan but was reluctant to recommend them due to my groups love for all things shrimp. They were fine for a couple of years but then went assassin on all the shrimp in the tank. Mine are beckfordi which are more aggressive than marginatus or the very peaceful eques.
Even though my coral reds like taking chunks out of each other and when In a smaller tank occasionally other fish they’ve strangely never looked at the shrimp.

If you do want a cichlid that doesn’t eat them my dicrossus have never seemed fussed and ignore the adults completely. Unfortunately I went and got some biotodoma, all shrimp are on the menu with those pigs and their numbers have taken a massive hit!
 

bushaaayyy

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Many thanks for all the replies, and apologies for not replying sooner but my daughter was born last week so been otherwise occupied!

There have been some great suggestions here, many of which are new to me so certainly given me some inspiration and I’ve got plenty to be researching.


Another fish that cool and seems easy to keep going by my brothers experience is stiphodon atropurpureus Stiphodon atropurpureus – Blue Neon Goby (Microsicydium atropurpureum, Microsicydium formosum)
These look really interesting, think I’ll be adding them to the wish list.
get a pair of apistos
I had been considering German blue rams, any opinions on these vs. apistos? As there certainly seems to be more varieties of apistos available
 

mort

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Congratulations on the birth of your daughter.

German rams are a wonderful fish but due to their popularity they have been mass bred for years at the cost of health and vigour, to a point where they aren't the easiest fish to keep anymore. So if you do want them, I'd look into their health especially because some sources of them are very poor. If you can find a local breeder they might be a great choice but that's not easy.

Apistogramma is a very large family and there is a species in there for nearly everyone. Some do best with cooler water, some like it warm and to varying hardness but the commercial strains like cacatuoides and agassazii do well for most conditions. I'd say currently the average apistogramma is easier to keep than rams but it depends on species and if they are wild caught or not.
 

shangman

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Many thanks for all the replies, and apologies for not replying sooner but my daughter was born last week so been otherwise occupied!

I had been considering German blue rams, any opinions on these vs. apistos? As there certainly seems to be more varieties of apistos available
Big congratulations!! 😍🥳🌠

I originally really wanted german rams too, but I was put off by the requirement for a high temperature and the dodgy genetics. I also found that once I started looking into apistos, there are many varieties that are just as beautiful (my favourites are Macmasteri and Agassizii), and some even more beautiful with very expressive faces. I don't feel short changed by keeping apistos over rams, my apistos are hands-down my favourite fish, both beautiful and funny with proper personalities. There are also some which don't mind harder water like cacatoides and borellii, as @mort said, they are a very varied group. And if you want to get really nerdy about it there are some amazing rare wild species too. Apistos technically can live in less space than rams too, but the more space the better.
 

Driftless

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Big congratulations!! 😍🥳🌠

I originally really wanted german rams too, but I was put off by the requirement for a high temperature and the dodgy genetics. I also found that once I started looking into apistos, there are many varieties that are just as beautiful (my favourites are Macmasteri and Agassizii), and some even more beautiful with very expressive faces. I don't feel short changed by keeping apistos over rams, my apistos are hands-down my favourite fish, both beautiful and funny with proper personalities. There are also some which don't mind harder water like cacatoides and borellii, as @mort said, they are a very varied group. And if you want to get really nerdy about it there are some amazing rare wild species too. Apistos technically can live in less space than rams too, but the more space the better.
I had problems with GBR's until I found a breeder who breeds fish with strong genetics, good genetics is everything with GBR's.
 

bushaaayyy

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Panda Garras
I have Panda Garras
I think I have decided that panda Garras will be the first fish I add. Can I ask what number you guys keep? Saw in a video it’s recommended to keep either 1 or a group of at least 5 as they may squabble otherwise. And I’m not sure there will be space in my tank for 5 plus the other fish I’d like to add. Tank is 140l, 80x45x45


Congratulations
Big congratulations!! 😍🥳🌠
Thanks folks she is just perfect, though seems to have an insatiable appetite!
 
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Driftless

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4 Jul 2020
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Chicago-area
I think I have decided that panda Garras will be the first fish I add. Can I ask what number you guys keep? Saw in a video it’s recommended to keep either 1 or a group of at least 5 as they may squabble otherwise. And I’m not sure they’ll be space in my tank for 5 plus the other fish I’d like to add. Tank is 140l, 80x45x45




Thanks folks she is just perfect, though seems to have an insatiable appetite!
I have 5 in a 55g/208l tank that is heavily planted with Angelfish, Glowlight tetras, and Panda Cories.
 

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