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What are your top 5 fish?


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Subject says it all, what are your top 5 favorite fish in the hobby and why are they your favorite?

Include pics of them if you can. If you can't though, don't worry about it 🙂

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Posted (edited)

(1) German Blue Ram (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi). I enjoy all of the color variants. I am most proud of some we bred and raised ourselves. Here's my favorite male from a breeding project several years ago. No photo enhancement. This is what healthy fish can look like when they are born and raised in just one water type, fed healthy food, and reasonably well cared for...

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(2) Blue Gularis Killifish (Fundulopanchax sjostedti). Sadly, I have been unsuccessful at several attempts with these. But they are definitely the super-orchid of the hobby. Here's my best male...

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(3) Rainbow Shiners (Notropis chrosomus). I love these for their unbelievable colors and ease of keeping -- unheated tanks; will eat just about anything; not fussy; breed easily. And speaking of breeding, they turn hot pink when spawning. Not glowfish. Just naturally amazing. It's a sight to behold!

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(4) Blue Nothos Killifish (Nothobranchius rachovii). Short-lived annual killifish are a whole world unto themselves. But once you've seen these gemstones, you really can never unsee them. Too gorgeous to pass up...

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(5) Banded Darter (Etheostoma zonale). This photo is not mine. It was taken by a NANF master breeder in WI who caught this male from cold spring stream waters in Missouri. This is an unbelievably beautiful fish in spawning season. They are not easy to keep happy in a home aquarium. But well worth the effort...

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Edited by Fish Folk
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A.  Barbs - Especially Green Tiger Barbs.  Fun fish, extremely enjoyable to feed and watch the interaction. 

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B.  Corydoras - Take your pick, but I love these guys ^^.  It's just a very unique, fun personality of fish.  They fill a very dull part of the tank and they seriously are enjoyable to watch. 

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C.  Otocinclus - Probably the coolest nano fish in the hobby.  I love watching them do their thing, especially when the shoal around.  Also right here for the same reason is the borneo loaches (or hillstream loaches)

L-104-Clown-Stripe-Pleco.jpg.72d929ba95897104e73f88ca1a7ed22c.jpg

D.  The clown pleco (or family) - Just a very underappreciated group of fish. They feed the tank mulm, don't produce as much crud as something like a BNP, but they are also insanely beautiful fish.  There's a lot of character to them, but they just don't enjoy light.

Red-Tail-Shark-Tankmates-Care-Guide-and-More-Banner.webp.627563ac3edd8ffa3980f46785ad14e9.webp

E.  Red-Tailed Black Shark - A bit of a personal one here, but what isn't more adorable than a juvenile RTBS?  They Grow up, they have such a fun and interesting personality and are definitely one of the most unique fish I've kept.  Give them enough space, cherish them, and it's one of the more rewarding species you can have!

On 7/7/2023 at 8:48 PM, Fish Folk said:

(1) German Blue Ram

YES! Rams.... Such a fun group of fish. 

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@Fish Folk Wow! that is the nicest German Blue Ram I have ever seen! He is so colorful.

@nabokovfan87 I love plecos. My dad had a 55 gallon tank and those one of the groups of fish that I was most interested in growing up. I would love to get a gold nugget pleco one day 🙂

Also are the Red-Tailed Black Shark aggressive? I have never seen one in real life but those are very cool.

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On 7/7/2023 at 8:54 PM, Dork Fish said:

Also are the Red-Tailed Black Shark aggressive? I have never seen one in real life but those are very cool.

It really depends on what you think of as aggressive.

Every fish is unique and they have needs.  One of the biggest failures people do is they don't give them hides and swim-throughs.  It's not as simple as having a line of sight break for some fish, barbs can be this way.  A lot of cypranidae can be.  Some fish just will not tolerate a similar body shape as their own, for others it's a pattern / color thing.  In my case, I have black corydoras and Grace the shark will do up-downs with them and she does nudge them out of her spot from time to time.  I'm sure she's chased some fish out of the tank accidentally, but that falls on my issue, not hers.  I needed to fill the gaps in the lids and so forth.  That being said.... "be the fish" and understand what they need.  They just want to have a territory and a place where they can escape to.  That's been my experience.  Grace is a very chill fish.  She protects fry from the parents, let's them sleep in her territory and she's raised quite a few panda corydoras.  I like this video as far as advice on keeping them.

 

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@nabokovfan87 Yeah I think that they are a really neat fish. The only reason I didn't have them on my list, is because I want a gold nugget pleco, some HSLs, and maybe a smaller schooling fish (to name a few). Figured that they wouldn't o well with those.

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On 7/8/2023 at 12:00 AM, Dork Fish said:

@Fish Folk What did you have for tank mates with the German blue ram? Discus?

My eldest son and I have kept them with various tank mates over the last five years:

- Cardinal Tetras

- Ancistrus

- Discus

- Angelfish

- Corydoras

- Threadfin Acaras

Of these, they seem to do well when kept with Discus. I've had them breed in large tanks with Discus around. Here's a photo of a large male Discus with a little female Ram nearby. They do not bother each other at all.

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We crossed a pair of E-blue x Golden morph Rams. After two Generations, we got some stunners. Here's a video, the first part of which shows a tank we kept the "grandkids" in. These Gold Rams were two-generations deep, home-bred and raised. Very nice looking fish! I sold them all. Kind of wish we hadn't now. Here's a video my son made. Starting at 39 sec, you can see the tank with discus, Threading Acaras, and Rams...

 

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On 7/7/2023 at 9:14 PM, Dork Fish said:

@nabokovfan87 Yeah I think that they are a really neat fish. The only reason I didn't have them on my list, is because I want a gold nugget pleco, some HSLs, and maybe a smaller schooling fish (to name a few). Figured that they wouldn't o well with those.

I've had mine with....
-glofish tetra
-rasbora
-tiger barbs
-odessa barb
-melon barb
-SAE
-multiple swordtails
--Amano shrimp
-otos
-many plecos
-borneo loaches
-white clouds
-several corydoras

Probably more, but that's just what I can recall.

With nano fish, they occupy different parts of the tank, and they mostly get away much easier than bigger fish. If the RTBS sees them it's more of a "stay away" response and the fish learn that. The main thing to keep in mind is that the mouth and the shape of the fish isn't really designed for that. It's got a mouth like a Panda Garra or rubber lip pleco more than a traditional fish that will take chunks on attack. It views something like a nano fish as just a thing in the tank and not food.

Dither fish, basically.

That's with mine in particular, so it's difficult to say that's the norm.

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I feel lazy to go find all their pictures so I'm gonna add pictures from online.

I like puppy behavior on fish. I love it when they recognise you when you go in front of your tank. So the first three spot goes to them.

My favs are:

1) Honey gourami (my avatar lol).

2) Bettas, but specifically my yellow dragon betta (which are known to have health issues, I hope I never have to see him in a bad condition)

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3) Black Rams

Ramirezi Dark (Mikrogeophagus ramirezi) - Fazenda Submersa

These are more like unique looking cool fish that I like and have, but expect no puppy behavior:

4) Red Lizard Whiptails

Red Lizard Whiptail

5) LF Panda Guppies

They are the cutest guppies I own. I like their character. Tho in terms of look, I really love my albino whites too.

Dwarf Panda Guppy (Poecilia reticulata), Males/Females - Aquatic Arts on  sale today for $ 19.99 |

image.png.ff4059f0b0e8df3e91691a0402bb80ca.png

 

Next week I'm getting discus so probably this list is subject to a change 😄 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

1). Fieryblack Shiner.  (NANF)These guys are a sight to behold. Kept some captive,  seen some wild I believe, but never caught one myself. These are beautiful, somewhat boisterous fish! My absolute favorite!

2.) Clown Pleco. I loved having one of these beautiful fish! They are very shy, which makes it even more of a treat when it would make an appearance every 2 weeks or so!

3.)Greenhead Shiner. (NANF) These are another personal favorite of mine. I find these all the time in the wild, as it is one of the most common fish where I live. They color up very nicely when spawning, with fire-engine red coloration on the body and beautiful opaque white fins! I was lucky enough to stumble across a breeding mound of these and It was a beautiful sight!

4..)Black Moscow Guppy.  My Local Pet Shop had one once, that I kept for a while and I just love Moscow Guppies in general, but this opaque black guppy was just beautiful.

5.) Southern Tesselated Darter (NANF)

These guys don't have much color, but their behavior just fascinates me and I think that they have their own kind of subtle beauty. I can just sit and watch them for hours, stopping for a bit then suddenly darting somewhere else. Also one of the most common fish where I live, Just about every stream I go to or live near I find at least one or two.

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Edited by AquaHobbyist123
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@Fish Folk Wow those rams are stunning, I am going to have to try that some day. Would be totally worth the effort.

 

@nabokovfan87 That is good to know, I will have to look into them further then. I really wanted one when I first saw them but then backed off when I thought that they would be aggressive.


@Lennie Wow I have never seen a Red Lizard Whiptail before, very unique fish 🙂 What colors of discus are you going for?



@AquaHobbyist123 I thought the Fieryblack Shiner was going to be huge. Very "big" looking fish for such a small guy LOL

 

@JChristophersAdventures a 75 gallon nano tank will be fun to watch for all the schooling fish. You will have to send pics once it is fully up 🙂

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For the moment I only have a top two.  SAEs take the #2 spot primarily for their activity and social habits.  #1 is clearly the Red Tailed Tinfoil Barb.  Their coloration changes with the lighting angle and type. Obviously not a nano fish, it is easy to observe their schooling behavior from a distance. 

s1.jpg

TFB Crew.jpg

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Posted (edited)

I basically have 5 top choices probably a few more but

1. Hairy Puffer Pao baileyi

In a colony they are fairly active for me. All have a different personality and food preferences. This was the first puffer species I decided to try as a colony... and ignore the internet rules against doing it. Since 2018 they have been fairly interactive with eachother and with me. When i move the third that one will become "a bump on a log"

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2. Mekong River Puffer Pao cf palustris

My first puffer spawned and raised. They hold a special place in the list these two were in the amazonas article. Adult wc Male behind adlut female in front .

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One of the great things about this species is their spawning coloration. Male left female right. These are the same species as the parents above. 

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Fry hatching 

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Baby palustris moving to a growout

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3. Spotted Congo Puffer Tetraodon schoutedeni

this group is from two sources and is my first partial success with egg scattering puffers. Small and relatively peaceful are tough to beat

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Still working on the process for raising them to the size for live baby brine . This is a fry from the above group which is currently growing with 5 siblings in a german breeding ring. 

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4. Regani Dwarf Pike Crenicichla regani "Rio tapajos"

Before puffers there were pike. My dad and I had, among other cool stuff,  a belly crawler pike growing up. The regani make my list because they were the first challenging species to be bred up here in my fishroom. 5.5 " male behind and 4.5" female displaying the striped patterning. The male has excellent coloration when breeding.  The parents would adjust patterns to comminucate to eachother and the fry in this photo using that color change. Each would rotate perimeter guard and fry overwatch ...im assuming to stay alert. They would pop their jaws and head shake at me if i was too close to the fry.. 

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70 ish days later

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5. Sterbai Corydoras

Because they look nice and are so tough up here im not even convinced they need water :). 

Screenshot_20230708_090213_Gallery.jpg.37f774e421d36030695f602d04023528.jpg

They breed for me regularly. I am running 20 sterbai fry in the bottom 40 gallon breeder of the floating fry ring system. 

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Edited by mountaintoppufferkeeper
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Posted (edited)

Thanks! @Dork Fish I can see why the bigger tanks are so popular even with nano fish... the bigger the schools can be, the more amazing they look and behave. I will be only doing schools of a dozen because I also want a variety if schooling fish. I wish they would invent a tank that defies physics (time & space) so every tank could hold thousands of fish without taking up too much space! lol

 

I forgot to mention my top 5 fish:

Honey Gourami, Galaxy Rasbora, Chili Rasbora. Corydoras (in general), Hatchet fish (in general)... really too many to do just 5, so I listed my favorite nano community fish.

Edited by JChristophersAdventures
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On 7/8/2023 at 4:19 PM, JChristophersAdventures said:

@Lennie The honey gourami is my favorite gourami as well. I am planning to have a pair (male/female) along with a few swordtails as my centerpiece fish for a new 75 gallon nano fish tank I am currently working on... so, no pictures yet. All the other fish will be schools of smaller rasboras, tetras, corys, etc.

Lucky you 🙂 I was silly enough to get one as a centerpiece fish only. And I have never seen them again ever at my lfs.

Wish I bought a big group so I could potentially breed them. They are adorable

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My 75g tank is not set up yet, but my top 5 fish would be:

1) Puffers in general LOL I am not sure if I will ever own one but they are so cool to watch 🙂 If I did get one it night be pea puffers (or another species that doesn't need shells) @mountaintoppufferkeeper Let me know if pea puffers are easy-ish to keep lol
Amazon.com: Dwarf Pea Puffer – Indian Pea (Small) : Patio, Lawn & Garden



2) Either a L177 Gold Nugget Pleco or L260 Queen Arabesque Pleco (stunning patterns):
gold-nugget-pleco-1-1024x623.jpg

Queen-Arabesque-Pleco-Hypancistrus-sp.-L260-e1624356360816.jpg


3) Peacock Eel (I mean it is an eel...):
Peacock-eel.jpg

4) Hillstream Loaches (look kinda like baby stingrays 🙂):
Appearance.jpg

 

5) Ropefish (I love snakes so...)

Ropefish-Small-1.jpg?v=1601666661

6) Honorable mentions (technically not fish but that's okay LOL):

-Shrimp and Crayfish (love the variation of color and movement that they add to a tank)

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Posted (edited)
On 7/8/2023 at 7:44 PM, Dork Fish said:

 Let me know if pea puffers are easy-ish to keep lol

The answer is, how do you feel about keeping many live food cultures around, if you are willing to successfully go for deworming quarantine process of at least 4 weeks, and willing to spare a kinda a big tank for very small sized fish

 

you should be willing to keep lots of live and frozen foods around worms, snails, live bbs, daphnia, etc. to provide a good diet. They likely won’t accept commercial foods.


you can check this site:

 

https://www.pufferfishenthusiastsworldwide.com/amp/c-travancoricus

I saw them at my lfs. They were one of the cutest things I have ever seen. But providing them the diet they deserve is tough, especially considering your holidays and stuff. Someone may come over  to feed your fish some fish foodin your absence,  but I don’t know anyone around me who would farm some daphnia or worms and feed these guys 😄 

 

Edited by Lennie
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On 7/8/2023 at 10:44 AM, Dork Fish said:

My 75g tank is not set up yet, but my top 5 fish would be:

1) Puffers in general LOL I am not sure if I will ever own one but they are so cool to watch 🙂 If I did get one it night be pea puffers (or another species that doesn't need shells) @mountaintoppufferkeeper Let me know if pea puffers are easy-ish to keep lol
Amazon.com: Dwarf Pea Puffer – Indian Pea (Small) : Patio, Lawn & Garden



2) Either a L177 Gold Nugget Pleco or L260 Queen Arabesque Pleco (stunning patterns):
gold-nugget-pleco-1-1024x623.jpg

Queen-Arabesque-Pleco-Hypancistrus-sp.-L260-e1624356360816.jpg


3) Peacock Eel (I mean it is an eel...):
Peacock-eel.jpg

4) Hillstream Loaches (look kinda like baby stingrays 🙂):
Appearance.jpg

 

5) Ropefish (I love snakes so...)

Ropefish-Small-1.jpg?v=1601666661

6) Honorable mentions (technically not fish but that's okay LOL):

-Shrimp and Crayfish (love the variation of color and movement that they add to a tank)

Yeah im a bit of a shelled food and other miscellaneous foods rancher for the puffers....thats a whole different side of the hobby. 

I havent kept pea puffers in a while and would defer to the forum experts on them ....but i really liked my group of them they mostly ate bloodworms, some occasional pond snails they found in plants, frozen mysis shrimp, krill both freeze dried and frozen, maybe repashy (im not positive), vibra bites, and also never notices a scud in their tank back then so im sure those were a pea pleaser as well

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On 7/8/2023 at 10:04 PM, Dork Fish said:

@Lennie @mountaintoppufferkeeper Is there such thing as an easy puffer to keep? If so, what are the easiest ones in your opinion? I am definitely not opposed to some work and keeping bugs (owned several arachnids and reptiles), Just don't want to feed shelled food regularly. 🙂 Puffers are really hard to resist though LOL

I am not a puffer keeper so I cannot give you any suggestions. I  have been researching and listening pea puffer experiences for some time so that's why I tried to help a lil. 

But I agree that puffers are very cool fish in general 🙂 

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