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fcmf fcmf
  • Coldwater Adviser
  • Coldwater Adviser
  • Posted on: Today 13:38
Re: New tank setup advice #1
What type of danios do you have, out of interest?

If you're keen on tetras, then the x-ray tetra is a possible option for you - its requirements are 2-20 German degrees hardness (which equates up to 357 ppm / CaCO3), whereas harlequin rasboras' range is 18-215 ppm / CaCO3. The main issue might be whether the x-ray tetras would fin-nip the gourami - I've read mixed reviews as to whether they're fin-nippers. I wouldn't have trusted my own x-ray tetras with gourami - they tended to take a bite out my cories' tails when stalking them to avail of any extra food foraged up. If you wanted to take a chance on this combination, then best to ensure a large shoal with more females than males.

Guppies have a tendency to do the same with any fish with flowing fins or fancy parts on them, and male ones attempt to mate with such, so, although they suit your water hardness, may not be a wise combination with gourami.

Platies might be a viable option for you: ... sheet.php?caresheetID=202 and ;

As well as bettas being soft-water fish, it's very hit-and-miss as to whether they will tolerate any tankmates at all - so, between these two issues, not a risk worth taking. One option if you're keen on a betta might be to keep it on its own in a separate tank, using reverse-osmosis water. Pearl gourami are indeed a good option for the feature fish given that they can manage water 2-30 German degrees hardness.

Fishlady Fishlady
  • Tropical Moderator
  • Tropical Moderator
  • Posted on: Today 10:42
Re: New tank setup advice #2
Your water is too hard for tetras as they are soft water fish; I suggest instead that you increase the shoal size of the danios and add a shoal of harlequins.

Betta splendens and dwarf gourami are also soft water fish so for "feature " fish you might consider one or a pair of pearl gourami (Trichopodus leerii).

The danios would do better in a cooler tank as they're not strictly a tropical fish, but you could set your heater to 24C as a compromise that would suit everyone.

Wilkojames Wilkojames
  • Just popping in
  • Just popping in
  • Posted on: Yesterday 20:27
Re: New tank setup advice #3
Hi, thanks for the quick reply.

Just done a quick check and the results are in but not good.

The water supplied is HARD water.

Calcium carbonate(CaCO3): 269 ppm

Hope this helps to identify what would be good.


fcmf fcmf
  • Coldwater Adviser
  • Coldwater Adviser
  • Posted on: Yesterday 20:07
Re: New tank setup advice #4
Nice tank. I (and likely others) have some thoughts re your potential choices. I can't reply properly just now but, in the interim, can you let us know what your water hardness is in CaCO3 or German degrees hardness (as this will help work out which fish are compatible with your water); assuming you're UK-based, those figures ought to be available for your postcode from your water company website.

Wilkojames Wilkojames
  • Just popping in
  • Just popping in
  • Posted on: Yesterday 19:23
New tank setup advice #5
Hi, I am setting up a new freshwater tank.

I have a 180litre tank with a under cabinet filter.

I have started my my collection and Plan on introducing new fish every week.

My plan is to have something similar to the list below. I have done a lot of research but would appreciate the opinion of some experts.

So I currently have:
8 danios
3 bristle nose catfish

What I am thinking of getting depending on advice
6 harleighquins
6 swoardtails
Tetras but need to do research on which type don’t want fin nippers
Possible shrimp allthough understand That a lot of things like these as a snack.
Would like a feature fish but nothing to big, from what I have read a Betta (fighter fish) should be fine with what I have as long as I don’t get any fin nippers and only one.
Other option is a dwarf gourami or both if they would be ok?

Any advice welcome and any other suggestions.

Thank you

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barberella barberella
  • Just popping in
  • Just popping in
  • Posted on: 5/7 16:57
Re: Cherry Barb Behaviour Change - Help! #6
Hi fcmf,

Thank you so much for the detailed reply.

I think varying the diet is a really good place to start, and I will definitely incorporate a fasting day per week. I hadn't thought of pre-soaking the pellets, so I am going to start doing that as well going forwards.

Thanks again!

fcmf fcmf
  • Coldwater Adviser
  • Coldwater Adviser
  • Posted on: 4/7 22:13
Re: Cherry Barb Behaviour Change - Help! #7
Sorry to read about this. It sounds as though the cherry barb is indeed suffering from the effects of eating, possibly with the food pressing on its swimbladder and causing it to malfunction. My advice would be:
* feeding less at a time but more frequently (eg if you have scope to feed the same amount to the tank per day but split it into separate servings spread out across the daytime);
* pre-soaking any pellets/flakes so that it sinks and to prevent the fish taking in air when they eat;
* varying the diet so that it includes veg such as chopped pea (shell off pea, each half chopped into tiny morsels) and frozen/live food a couple of times a week;
* possibly a fasting day per week.
Hope that helps.

barberella barberella
  • Just popping in
  • Just popping in
  • Posted on: 4/7 21:52
Cherry Barb Behaviour Change - Help! #8

I have two cherry barbs (around 1.5 years old now), and in the past week, one of them has been acting strangely after being fed.

About a week ago, I fed them and one of them nested itself into the plant leaves and stayed at the very bottom of the tank for two days. It faced downwards and barely moved for two whole days.

I immediately thought it could be swim bladder and that it was anchoring itself to the leaves for stability, so I didn't feed them for three days.

This seemed to work, and the fish was back to normal, so I fed them after three days.

Unfortunately, the same thing happened again after feeding.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I've attached a picture for reference.

I've tested the water and all levels come back as normal, except the KH is slightly high which I am investigating.


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Fishlady Fishlady
  • Tropical Moderator
  • Tropical Moderator
  • Posted on: 4/7 8:45
Re: Help with new pond #9
All ponds with fish in need a pump and filter, but I don't think this one is appropriate for fish as it's not wide or deep enough.

Chickenlegs Chickenlegs
  • Just popping in
  • Just popping in
  • Posted on: 3/7 18:23
Help with new pond #10
I have just made a small 50 gallon pond, added plants etc but not fish as of yet, it’s been fish bare for 6 days to date.
2 questions
Can I add fish now?
Do I need a pump on such a small pond?

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