Help Me Stop Dithering About Dither Fish

CraniumRex

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I have a single bolivian ram in a 29 gallon tank - he had to be separated from my 55 gal as he was pretty aggressive with the other rams (though never had any issue with the kuhli loaches or harlequin rasboras in there).

I tried him in another 29 gallon with panda corys but he was mean to them, bumping them and generally earning his namesake, "Dink." He was added to the cory tank - maybe they were too oblivious and sharing too much of "his" territory for his liking.

Strangely enough - and this could be because I added him to the Dwarf Gourami's tank - he spent two days being chased and bullied by the DG which I ended up moving to the cory tank because Dink was pretty stressed out.

So right now he is in a 29 all by himself. Temp is 23.5 C or around 74-75 F. Planted with sand substrate and some driftwood and river stone. Lots of floating plants.

He's actually a bit shy in there by himself so I was thinking of dither fish for him.

I'm limited by what is available so I was thinking:

1. Endlers (prefer all males but is this a good way to keep them?) @endlercollector ?
2. Platys
3. Neon tetras
4. Pristella (X-ray tetras)

What would you pick and how many would you put in?
My filtration is a Seachem Tidal 55 and a sponge filter rated for a 60 gallon.
 

penguin02

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I feel like the platys will get attacked bc they're larger and will swim all over the tank. They're very curious and I could see him picking on them, especially if he picked on the cories. IMO the tetras are probably your best bet. In a 29 you could do 10-12.
 

aussieJJDude

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I would definently consider endlers, they mostly stay in the top half so likely not to suffer aggression from the ram. A group of males will be fine. Similar to that are xrays and bloodfins! A group of 10 could easily work, as numbers up to 16 or so.


Another fish i would suggest are pencilfish, they bright/colourful (so pleasing to look at), mostly stay in the top 1/3 and have awesome shoaling behaviours. A firm fav of mine and encourage everyone to try them out at some point! Similar stocking number to above, but i would suggest around 10 or so... so that each male can develop their own territory a little easier and display to eachother.

If your looking for something smaller, i would highly consider embers! You could bump it up to 20 without apparent concern, their bioload is small!
 
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CraniumRex

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Thanks to both of you for your replies.

@penguin02 I will give up on platys then, a shame because they are so pretty.

@aussieJJDude - I love bloodfins - just wish anyone around here would stock them. Pencilfish are awesome, too! Hard to find them as well - just tried and no one has them or will ship them. Canada needs better sources, darn it!! I am in love with the pencilfish - so unusual, at least around here. Maybe someday someone will have them. Good excuse for another tank, right?
 

aussieJJDude

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That sucks to hear that selection isnt fantastic.... and i thought Australia has it bad! (Thought that they allow virtually anything into Canada!)
 

Buganjimo

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I totally agree with the fact the Canada needs better fish selection..... but I’ve seen endlers around. Do you have a Big Als nearby? They have a pretty wide variety of fish.
 
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CraniumRex

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aussieJJDude said:
That sucks to hear that selection isnt fantastic.... and i thought Australia has it bad! (Thought that they allow virtually anything into Canada!)
I'm sure if I lived in a more urban area it wouldn't be so limited. As it is, I drive nearly 2 hours at times to pick up fish. They seem to have closed the doors on many fish - we used to be able to shop online in the US and have fish shipped here but that ended (not sure when). My city has one real LFS and then chains. I have had terrible luck with PetSmart fish, I had a DG and 5 guppies from there and they all died. I have 72 other fish in 9 tanks all doing well so I'm feeling like it wasn't a water issue on my side...

Buganjimo said:
I totally agree with the fact the Canada needs better fish selection..... but I’ve seen endlers around. Do you have a Big Als nearby? They have a pretty wide variety of fish.
We have a Big Al's here but it's way smaller than most of the ones like Hamilton, Kitchener, or the GTA. Nice enough store though the staff isn't very well trained (good help is hard to find, the owner and full time staff are pretty good) but they cater much to cichlids (African) and more common fish. It's tough when they don't have a ton of tanks, I understand, they have to buy what sells. Seems I always want what they don't have (Keyhole cichlids, pearl gourami to name 2). So I look online and shop around - I'll drive if I have to. Maybe that's better for my MTS!!
 
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CraniumRex

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75g Discus Tank said:
Pseudomugil furcatus are one of my favorites. I haven't kept them (yet).
Ah they are so pretty! You say "yet" ... when when? I've seen some videos of them - they are just lovely. Maybe when my plants grow in a bit I could add them to my 55. Or I could start a New Guinea-ish tank. Stop the MTS but what a great suggestion.
 

leftswerve

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Make sure you have a back up plan if this dither thing doesn't work out. Like rehoming one or the other completely
 
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CraniumRex

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leftswerve said:
Make sure you have a back up plan if this dither thing doesn't work out. Like rehoming one or the other completely
I am not one for rehoming any pet but I understand what you are saying. I couldn’t (wouldn’t) rehome Dink as I made a commitment to him when I got him and I had the space and resources to add a tank. That’s why he is in the 29 that was my QT and I got another 29 for the corys. Naturally, the same would go for any pet that comes home with me.

endlercollector said:
No, I wouldn't keep him with Endlers. I wouldn't want to risk a bloodbath :0
I have passed on getting Endlers though they and guppies are often recommended as good dither fish. Dink is aggressive with conspecifics and with fish that get in his space - more than the other rams I have certainly - but not more than most cichlids. Based on what I saw with the gourami I expect the error with the corys was mine and how /when I added them, coupled with them being oblivious in their own adorable way.

He did nothing more than bump the corys and when he was in the 55 he never postured at the rasboras nor the loaches, just ignored them but they were there first. When I add any fish to his tank, I think I will need to take him out for a few hours, rearrange the tank entirely, then add the dither fish first and put him back last.
 
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