Classroom Aquarium- Fish Selection

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by laramiya, Apr 18, 2012.

  1. laramiyaValued MemberMember


    I decided to start a new thread to deal with my fish selection since much of my previous thread (
    was discussing both the nitrogen cycle and fish selection. I've been given a ton of great ideas on fish and am going to try and narrow it down so I can finalize my choice. Here are some of the suggestions that have been made:

    -neon tetras
    -white cloud minnows
    -red cherry shrimp (love the way these look)
    -celestial pearl danios
    -zebra danios
    -espe rasboras
    -nano style fish

    There have also been a lot of suggestions to try guppies but I think I'm going to steer away from them just because of everything I've read about the breeding that takes place. Here are some of the key factors I'm taking into place when selecting:

    -Fishless cycle that will begin with the use of tetra safe start.

    -Fish will be alone weekly from Friday late afternoon until early Monday morning.

    -Tank size - 16 gallons

    -I'm a beginning fish owner with my first tank.

    -Tank does not have any live plants

    Any input to help me narrow down my choices would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


  2. JoannaBWell Known MemberMember

    Zebra danios are one of the hardiest fish out there - hardy to be translated into "least likely to die." Also they are a very active fish which is fun for kids to watch. My boys love watching the zebra fish chasing each other. If you do decide to get zebra danios make sure to get at least 6 of them. They are shoaling fish. I found the distinction between shoaling and schooling to be helpful when I read about it: shoaling fish like the company of others of their own type but they only sometimes will swim together as a group, whereas other schooling fish (example: neon tetras) stay together as a group most of the time. I found that our zebra danios for the first couple of days stayed together much more as a group, and they will all move to be closer together if they are scared (for example by my 3 year old suddenly appearing too close). Another thing to know about zebra danios is that while they are usually peaceful fish, they may be slightly aggressive especially if stressed out (if there are too few of them, too small a tank, etc), and they may nip the fins of fish that have long fins (like guppies), but most of the time they are peaceful and a delight to watch. Personally I decided against neon tetras when I read about neon tetra disease which is not curable and most frequent in neon tetras, though I do not know how frequent it is in the US in store bought fish (what the odds are of getting infected fish), and also I read that neon tetras have become more sensitive less hardy due to frequent inbreeding of commercially available fish. So those are the reasons why I did not choose neon tetras. Have you looked into cory catfish? Those are neat fish too, and I bet would be a delight for kids as well. Best! PS: Another thing to look at when researching fish is maximum life expectancy, which for zebra danios unfortunately is not long - they live on average 2-3 years and 5 years at most. Cory catfish for example have longer life expectancy.

    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  3. Fall RiverValued MemberMember

    Hi, not sure if this is a typo- Fishless cycle that will begin with the use of tetra safe start. -
    I'm sure you know from the other thread that the TSS is a fish IN method of cycling.
    Just wanted to clarify. :)

  4. laramiyaValued MemberMember

    Thanks for the clarification!! Yes, that is what I meant. I just found out yesterday from my other thread that you do need to immediately add the fish with tetra safe start. The nitrogen cycle is extremely new to me and so I'm just getting used to the terminology and the method. Thank you:)
  5. Fall RiverValued MemberMember

    You're very welcome. Glad I could help.
  6. laramiyaValued MemberMember

    Ohhhhh, I love the sound of the zebra danios!!!!! :)
  7. jdhefModeratorModerator Member

    Or you could get GloFish, which are just genetically modified Zebra Danios. They come in several colors.
  8. JoannaBWell Known MemberMember

    Yup, when I say that we have "zebra danios", we actually have 3 regular zebra danios and 3 glofish, and as far as the fish are concerned they do not care that three of them have bright colors and the other three do not. However, the glofish are significantly more expensive than regular zebra danios - regular zebra danios are one of the cheapest fish in the pet store.
  9. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Zebra danios are too much for a 16 gallon tank, in my opinion. You have a lot of good fish on that list, but the zebra danios are not one of them.

    The tank will be fine unattended on the weekends. They don't even need to be fed.
  10. laramiyaValued MemberMember

    When you say "too much" do you mean they need a larger tank?
  11. QQQUUUUAADDDWell Known MemberMember

    Zebra danios are super active fish. That means that they need plenty of space to roam around.
  12. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Yes, they need more space, and their tank mates need them to have more space.

    What are the dimensions of the tank?
  13. laramiyaValued MemberMember

    The dimensions are 20" by 13" by 18".
  14. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    yeah, pass on the zebra danios. The tank is tall and wide(r), so it gives you some more stocking options. You could get 2 schools of fish - one that hangs in the top half of the tank, and one in the bottom half. Shrimp are perfect bottom dwellers/cleaners for a small tank. Then you could get some sparkling gouramis. That would make a very nice nano tank.
  15. JoannaBWell Known MemberMember

    Why does the fishlore fish profile page for zebra danios claim that they need a tank size of 10 gallons or larger then? I agree that they are very active fish, and I was surprised the other day to see this minimum size recommendation on this profile

    Also aren't shrimp too sensitive to do a fish-in cycle with Tetra Safe Start?
  16. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    There are other profiles that I don't agree with.

    The views and opinions expressed in my posts does not necessarily reflect fishlore's position on the matter :)

    Yes, you don't want to get the shrimp until after the tank is established.
  17. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Great advice above,
    I'd also add that Neon's are rather sensitive to water parameters. They are best added to an established tank.

    Cardinal tetras are similar to the Neons and a little hardier.

    Oh, and another one worth considering - Pygmy Sparkling Gourami (a little sensitive too, but stunning fish!)
  18. laramiyaValued MemberMember

    Ok, so now I'm leaning towards the sparkling gourami with red cherry shrimp to be added at a later time. :)
  19. pirahnah3Fishlore VIPMember

    That sounds like a great tank start, what about adding some skirt tetras as well as another school in the tank, they are also a hearty fish that does well in almost any tank.
  20. laramiyaValued MemberMember

    I'll definitely look into the skirt tetras. Thanks! If I do start out with the gourmais how many should I initially add to the tank when I begin the cycle with the tetra safe start?

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