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Tankmates for Nannostomus marginatus and Stocking Advice for a 8.3 Gallon

Home Forums My Aquarium Tankmates for Nannostomus marginatus and Stocking Advice for a 8.3 Gallon

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    Hello, I’m new here!


    Tank: Glass 8.3 gallon (8x30x8in) (just recently finished cycling)

    Substrate: Black Fluorite Sand mixed with a bit of normal Fluorite

    Filter: Eheim Aquaball 60



    Microsorum pteropus

    Cryptocoryne sp.



    8 Nannostomus marginatus

    6 Bumblebee Shrimp

    3 Olive Nerites



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/8041689649/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/8041698494/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/8041694268/



    Can I fit more more fish in the tank or am I fully stocked (the tank is so damn long it sure looks empty with present stocking)? If I can fit more fish does anyone have any suggestions? Also, I made the cover myself and the light only illuminates some of the tank (as you can see in the pictures), and the Pencils seem to like the darker portions more. Would adding floating plants bring them out a bit more?


    The crux of this topic is the stocking suggestions. I would like to keep a South American vibe going if possible (with Crypts and Java Ferns this can only go so far though).



    Hi Nannostomus and welcome to the forum. :)

    I think you can add a few more fish if you choose carefully and stick with small stuff. There are some other nice small characids such as Axelrodia spp. or Hyphessobrycon amandae, plus a catfishes like Corydoras pygmaeus or Otocinclus spp.

    If you look outside of S. America there are a host of suitable fish from S.E. Asia and India as well. Perhaps have a browse through our Knowledge Base and see if anything takes your fancy, then come back with any questions you have.



    Hi Nannostomus.
    I have to agree with Matt on all he said but want to add a bit of my own.:D
    Just a few days ago I got meself a group of 15 N. marginatus for my S.A. tank and can confirm that they do like it a bit on the dark side. But instead of adding floating plants to your setup I’d suggest to get the water stained. Either you could use leaf litter, bog wood, catappa leaves or peat. Alteratively you could get one of the commercially available peat concentrates. If your pH is on the acidic side already take care to buy a concentrate which doesn’t alter the pH.
    The reason why I wouldn’t go for floating vegetation is the hight of your tank. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the size and proportions of the tank but all the “controllable” floating plants do devellop quite long roots which would then fill up your tank. Those with short roots like Lemna spp., Azolla and the likes, very quickly turn out to be a pest. (That’s at least my oppinion and I really tried them all.)

    As far as additional fish are concerned, maybe have a look at Paracheirodon simulans too, as in my tank it looks absolutely stunning when those two shoals meet!:cool:




    Thanks for the replies!


    Interestingly enough, my N. marginatus are not shoaling whatsoever. They seem to all be acting a singleton’s, and each may have their own territory. Also, I see them lining up head to tail and head to tail and chasing eachother in circles. Lots of chasing and a bit of what looks like displaying is happening. Are they spawning or fighting? Is it pretty abnormal for no shoaling to be happening at all? It’s kinda funny because they are acting an awful lot more like cichlids than characins.

    I think there is just too much space for so few fish. I was thinking of bumping the N. marginatus count to 12 or more in lieu of adding other fish. Is this a feasible bioload? How many could I fit in the end? Also, when I add more marginatus should I rearrange the decoration like you would for a African cichlid tank?

    On the other hand, would it be a better idea to add a different species of fish like the tetra’s mentioned by Matt and Rüdiger to “scare” the marginatus into schooling?

    Rüdiger, I like the idea of adding leaves a whole lot. I think I may take the rocks out, load up on leaves, and add plenty of wood. This’ll probably give the tank a flatter look that may also entice the N. marginatus into schooling.



    Hi there.
    From my experience, schooling or shoaling in freshwater Aquaria happens for only two reasons. First in really large numbers as we have seen recently on this site with the 750 to 1000 Otociclus sp. and secondly under predatory pressure or stress. This pressure doesn’t have to be a real threat, just a few peaceful fish that look big enough to take a bite; and of course in a tank with no cover whtsoever. The “big fish number” however works only for a while because those little fish learn rather quickly if the “big guys” are out to sack on them any chance they get or not.
    Maybe I was a bit misleading when I was talking about shoals meeting. By no means do my fish shoal all or even most of the time. But sometimes it does happen and I am lucky enough to catch quite a few of these moments. 🙂
    You could of course leave it as a species tank (I’d count the shrimp and snails as a foreign cleaning crew) and add more N. marginatus. I would set the limit for myself at 20 fish (the size of N. marginatus) in a tank like yours. But that depends a lot on how much and what you feed, how effective you filter is and how much time per day you can invest in observing your tank. The oft recommended rule of 1 cm of fully grown fish per liter of water is a good one if one doesn’t have much time at hand and the tank sits there for weeks unchecked. ( I don’ know why one then would have an aquarium but that’s a different can of worms.)
    I think your tank would look stunning with the redecoration you mentioned but not necessarily flatter. Leave the green to one side or right at the back, lots of THIN twisted branches and plenty of leaves. With the plants you have, you could reduce the lighting a bit too if you wanted.
    I’d give that a go first, check what’s happening and decide on the additional fish later.


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