Any ideas for small, non-schooling fish

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sirdarksol

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I'm going to be setting up a tank in which the only filters will be plants.
I would like some ideas for smaller, non-schooling fish for the tank, since it will need to be a more lightly-stocked tank. Also, because it will be a planted tank, fish that are really harmful to plants are out (no small goldfish, then). Nibblers are ok, though, since there will be a LOT of plants.
I like color. I really like iridescent color (silver that shimmers in rainbow colors is beautiful). Anything that can point me in that direction would be great.
I'm thinking I'm going to have an invertebrate or two (a ghost shrimp and a mystery snail, perhaps), so fish that would pick on them are out.
Right now I'm thinking guppies. They're hardy (so they're more likely to survive any mis-steps as I learn about the type of tank), they're colorful, and as far as I know, they don't need to be in a school. However, any other ideas would be good.
It's going to be awhile. Since this type of setup takes keeping fish further into the realm of "art" and further out of the realm of "science," it will be quite awhile before I even get the water going in the tank.
Thank you in advance for any help.
 

Butterfly

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Guppys, platys, mollys etc most of the livebearers would be appropriate for what you want. If you don't want fry keep only males. If you keep both sexes it is better to keep one male for each two females to keep him from harassing the females. Hope that helped.
Carol
 
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sirdarksol

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Butterfly said:
Guppys, platys, mollys etc most of the livebearers would be appropriate for what you want. If you don't want fry keep only males. If you keep both sexes it is better to keep one male for each two females to keep him from harassing the females. Hope that helped.
Carol
I had been hoping for mollies, but I thought I saw elsewhere in the forum that they are schooling fish. The tank won't be able to support five full-grown mollies, so I had tossed that idea. I could have read it wrong, though.
Thanks
 

Jimold

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small, non-schooling, colorful... definitly sounds like male fancy guppies to me...lol
 

tan.b

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guppies are really pretty fish, just acclimate them really slowly (mine seem to die within a week ). they are active all over the tank too, and dont hide. you dont want fish that like hiding if you're having loads of plants as you'd never see them! sounds like a fab tank. if you're not having a filter, will you have an airstone for water movement to prevent it going stagnant? i've never heard of a filterless tank before! hope to see some photos. i love planted tanks! ;D
tan
 
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sirdarksol

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tan.b said:
guppies are really pretty fish, just acclimate them really slowly (mine seem to die within a week ). they are active all over the tank too, and dont hide. you dont want fish that like hiding if you're having loads of plants as you'd never see them! sounds like a fab tank. if you're not having a filter, will you have an airstone for water movement to prevent it going stagnant? i've never heard of a filterless tank before! hope to see some photos. i love planted tanks! ;D
tan
I'm actually ok with only seeing the fish periodically, as long as I can always see them quickly enough to make sure that they are still alive.
I hadn't planned on anything for water movement, other than that provided by water motion from the heater. There shouldn't be much in the way of CO2 pockets, as the plants will be providing a large quantity of oxygen.
I've mostly been going on info from www.naturalaquariums.com. The woman who runs the site doesn't use filtration for her tanks, just plants. A book that I've read suggested the idea to begin with, and I've been gathering info since then. I suppose, if "dead spots" appear, I'll put something in to provide water movement.
 

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Have you thought of maybe getting a ram cichlid? They stay small, around 2", and are very collorful, don't really eat plants, once get used to the tank they come out in the open a lot more, and in general are a nice fish.
Tom
 
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sirdarksol

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Read a little bit about the Ram Cichlid in Fishlore. This is definitely a possibility. They are beautiful fish. Just want to verify one thing about them. They don't need the higher pH that African cichlids need?

Have a question about a potential member of the tank. What about a betta? Do they dislike heavily planted tanks? I know that they would see a shrimp as dinner, so I'd have to leave the shrimp out, but would a betta harass a snail?
 

tan.b

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i've heard of bettas and snails together before. they seem to poke it a few times, then leave it alone. i'll let a betta owner answer that one though! i was thinking the currents provided by the fish moving about may "swish" the water about a bit too? sounds like a nice tank..cant wait for pictures.........! ;D tan
 

griffin

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i don't see why a betta would dislike a heavily planted tank (assuming, of course that it still had enough room to swim ) i have my betta is a pretty heavily planted tank, and it does well it will swim around and in between the plants though
 

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The various Danios are often overlooked as being plain, utilitarian fish. I have three old males who have really great, long wispy fins and are a gold iridescent color.
 

lyndatu

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Guppies are perfect for you. The only problem with guppies is that they keep on breeding! If water conditions are good, every 30 days you will see baby guppies swimming around!

You can keep only male guppies. They are much more colorful than females and have thinner bodies.

The dwarf gourami is also a recommendation. They grow only up to 1 inch and are VERY easy to take care of. They are also peaceful and extremely hardy. If they are happy(it's easy to make them happy since they're hardy), their colors will shine with delight. Oh, and male dwarfs are more colorful than females.

Have some invertebrates like the gold mystery/inca snail or the cherry shrimp to make your tank more interesting.

Good luck with your planty tank!
 

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I have a book, it's one of my favorites, called: "Aquarium Plant Paradise" by Takashi Amano. It's full of advise for building a "Traditional Japanese Garden Tank". And although they are a somewhat schooling-schoaling fish, he apparently uses different species of tetras pretty much exclusively. I understand you don't want a schooling fish (though for the life of me I can't figure out why), but you still might consider this. Tetras are harmless towards plants, really simple to keep, and there are some amazing and beautiful varieties out there. Plus I think you are giving up something by going just non-schooling. I personally love to watch a small school of neons or something all moving in perfect formation. I've always thought it was a fascinating thing about fish.
 
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sirdarksol

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As I said in the initial post, the tank in question was originally going to have no form of filtration, other than the plants in it. That idea was delayed when half of the plants didn't do so well. However, if it had gone through, I would not have had the bioload for more than one fish (honestly, I don't really have the space for schooling fish in that tank, anyway).
The tank now has filtration in it, due to the death of some of the plants, as well as a betta and two mystery snails (originally in my community tank until I found out that the other residents of the community tank were eating the snails' antennae.) My community tank has a small school of barbs and a small school of glassfish, and my brackish tank has a school of mollies, so it's not that I'm anti-schooling fish, just that this tank would not work with a school.
 

Jimold

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sirdarksol said:
As I said in the initial post, the tank in question was originally going to have no form of filtration, other than the plants in it. That idea was delayed when half of the plants didn't do so well. However, if it had gone through, I would not have had the bioload for more than one fish (honestly, I don't really have the space for schooling fish in that tank, anyway).
The tank now has filtration in it, due to the death of some of the plants, as well as a betta and two mystery snails (originally in my community tank until I found out that the other residents of the community tank were eating the snails' antennae.) My community tank has a small school of barbs and a small school of glassfish, and my brackish tank has a school of mollies, so it's not that I'm anti-schooling fish, just that this tank would not work with a school.
Ahhh, I gotcha. So why did your plants die? Did you have the right substrate, etc... for plants? The reason i ask is I'm sort of on the same quest. I don't think I'll ever get to where I don't need a filter, but at the same time i'm trying to get a balanced environment, so to speak, in my planted tank.
 
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