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Schooling Fish Suggestions

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by Vortexed, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. Vortexed Valued Member Member


    So a week ago I got my tank all cycled. Im ready to get some fish. I would prefer some colorful, but not 20 bucks each, schooling fish. This is because there are so many and they are very active. I have a white wall behind the tank, with lots of green plants and black substrate.

    Ill accept non-schooling fish aswell if they are interactive, colorful, and active. :)

  2. dcutl002 Well Known Member Member

    My personal favorite with a black substrate is Neons. Maybe some Cory cats too. I would probably add the Cory cats first as they will be easier to acclimate than the Neons. For the best stocking information, I would ask @Anders247 or @TexasDomer.


    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  3. Mike the fish keeper Valued Member Member

  4. Esimm03 Well Known Member Member


    For schooling fish I would reccomend something like neon or glow light tetras, I'm not sure how many you could get in a 20g.

    For non- schooling fish you could get one betta or one dwarf gourami (it won't end well if they are put together)

    (Not sure if they school) but some peacock Gudgeons or killifish would look quite nice (make sure you have a lid for the Gudgeon as they like to jump).

    Hope that helps,

    P.s I'm not sure of exact numbers but someone else might know also some speeches of killis won't go with a dwarf gourami or a betta.
  5. RedLoredAmazon Well Known Member Member

    Since you have a dark substrate, I would recommend skipping black neon tetras. They are kinda dark and like to hide alot too.
  6. BottomDweller Fishlore VIP Member

    My favourite schooling fish are white cloud mountain minnows. Both the brown and gold varieties are brightly coloured and stunning once settled in. Very peaceful fish.

    For colourful, active and interactive fish you can't go wrong with platies. So many colours and patterns to choose from. Very hardy and lots of personality. Mine eat from my hand.
  7. Esimm03 Well Known Member Member

    P.p.s only get one betta or one dwarf gourami as they will attack there same species.
  8. fjh Well Known Member Member

    Serpae tetra are some if the brightest red fish I've come across. Problem is that they can be fin nippers, so you are somewhat limited in tank mates.
    Not sure how large your tank is, but you could keep rams, gourami, other tetras, or barbs with them.

    Edit: added pic of my fish
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  9. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    Is this a 20 gal tall or long? It'll affect your stocking options.
  10. Vortexed Valued Member Member

  11. grantm91 Fishlore VIP Member

    I chose columbian red fin tetras they school alot up and down my tank, the schooling species was hard to pick for me non really appealed these are what i ended up with and really enjoy them now.  
  12. Dcchillin Valued Member Member

    I agree with the neon tetra. If you have a dark substrate they get really vibrant. They were my first and in just a small group of 4 temporarily they are still fun to watch. Cardinal tetras are pretty much the same just a bit larger but can be a bit more sensitive water conditions.

    I did see a long fin albino danio at my LFS that was gorgeous, that might be a thought as well.
  13. GlamCrab Well Known Member Member

    I have ember tetras, i feel they would do great in your tank too. Dark substrate would make their colors pop. Even if they are on the smaller size they get along with all my fish, so finding them tank mates shouldnt be hard
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  14. Vortexed Valued Member Member

    Im just afraid my pictus will eat them.. im trying to rehome him but its difficult.
  15. GlamCrab Well Known Member Member

    Oh, then i would stay away from the ember tetras or any small fish

    Maybe flame tetras? Those are larger.
  16. Little Tank of Happiness Well Known Member Member

    If you're looking for bright colors on a dark substrate I'd skip: black neons and skirt tetras

    For vibrant colors: cherry barbs and neons. Cherry barbs can be nippy but having a larger school can minimize that. Maybe 8 in your tank?

    This is the guide line I follow for my 20 long
    6-8x one school of fish (if they are not nano fish)
    6-8x bottom dwellers (cories or kuhli loaches)
    1x centerpiece fish

    Powder blue dwarf gouramis are good centerpiece fish :)

    Cardinal tetras are also nice pretty fish. There is a difference between them and neons.
  17. Vortexed Valued Member Member

    Thanks for your suggestions!

    Same to everyone else! I appreciate them. Im hoping my petsmart thats 15 minutes away will have some of these fish. My local petco sure doesnt.
  18. TexasDomer Fishlore Legend Member

    What do you have in the tank right now?
  19. MaddieTaylah Well Known Member Member

    Cardinal tetras are my favourite for planted tanks.
  20. FlutterFish Well Known Member Member

    I'd suggest cardinal tetras, which are basically similar to neons - however, they are slightly bigger and the red coloring carries across the whole body. IMO, they're slightly hardier once settled in - don't think about adding them to an uncycled tank, though.