Jump to content

Hello everyone! New fish keeper looking to stock an Asian subtropical aquarium.


Recommended Posts

Hello everyone! 

My name is Michael Wells, and I caught the fish keeping bug this past summer after accidentally discovering the videos Aquarium Co-Op and Cory puts out on YouTube.  I had never been particularly interested in fish before, but I became captivated watching these videos. 

I was sort of "in between" jobs at the time, but I'm now relocating to Fort Collins, Colorado for a job and I want to start up my own aquarium.  I've really fallen in love with danios and their close relatives, and think an Asian hillstream/subtropical aquarium would be a ton of fun.  My apartment complex has a limit for aquariums of 50 gallons, so I'll probably go for a 40 gallon breeder.  I want this aquarium to be heavily planted with a deep substrate (3-4 inches) and I intend on getting the plants growing at a healthy clip before I add any fish at all.  I'd likely opt for Aquarium Co-Op's sponge filters.

I have absolutely no fish keeping experience whatsoever, so I want to make sure I select fish that I'm going to have success with, and maybe even breed to an extent.  I was wondering if anyone could provide advice as to the following ideas I have:

For top to mid-water, I'm thinking about selecting *2* of the following:

  • Orange finned danios (Danio kyathit)
  • Celestial pearl danios (Danio margaritatus)
  • Dwarf spotted danios (Danio nigrofasciatus)
  • Gold white cloud mountain minnows (Tanichthys albanubes

For bottom dwellers I'm looking at *1 to 2* of the following:

  • Asian stone catfish (Hara jerdoni)
  • Blue velvet shrimp (Neocardinia davidi)
  • Rosy loaches (Petruichthys brevis)

I'd really appreciate it if anyone who has kept these species could talk about whether or not these are practical choices for the beginner.  I think pairing the shy dwarf spotted danios and celestial pearls with rosy loaches would be particularly effective in a 40 gallon breeder, and maybe a gold white cloud mountain minnow, orange finned danio, and Asian stone catfish community.  Of course, if any experienced fish keeprs think other combinations would be more appropriate for the beginner I'd love to hear it! 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, and I'm really looking forward to meeting and learning from everyone.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mr. Burkhalter,


I really appreciate this answer.  I have to be honest, if I had to pick just one fish for a species tank, I'd pick the gold white clouds hands down.  I can't believe a fish can look so stunning and yet be so affordable and easy to work with! 

I plan on getting my water tested as soon as I move to Fort Collins.  The fish store I'm buying from says that the municipal water is ~ neutral pH, uses chlorine to decontaminate the water, and has a hardness of 110 ppm.  The apartment complex is pretty new, so hopefully the pipes won't change the parameters too much. 

Do you think that I should add a bottom feeder at some point after a few months if I'm successful with these fish to keep the substrate clean, and, if so, do you think any of the 3 options I talked about would be more beginner friendly than others? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum, and to the hobby. Sounds like your doing good research before diving in that’s great. Danios are an awesome fish not sure of all the types you listed but in general and ones I’ve kept are very active and fast moving. In my opinion when selecting fish just do your research and try what your feeling. Check on and even ask on here about specific combinations. As a beginner remember to have patience, the plan you have to get plants growing first is a great start.

good luck mate 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh, wow, I just logged on here after the holidays and was stunned to see so many kind and encouraging messages!  This forum seems like an exceptionally thoughtful and supportive community.  I can't wait to get started. 

I'm purchasing my aquarium and plants later this week at a local pet store (their prices seem comparable with the big box stores online) and I suppose their availability of fish will help dictate my choice.  I'm pretty sure I already have multiple tank syndrome, because I can already tell I want to keep each of these fish at some point 🤣

I'll keep everyone updated on how things go.  Thank you all so much again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...