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Punchanello
07/12/2017, 11:20 PM
Hi All,

can I have some recommendations on schooling fish suitable for a 5x2x2 aquarium?

I intend to keep a couple of fish that can be somewhat aggressive (tangs and Clown's). I've heard a bunch of sad stories about Chromis Highlandering, and horror stories about Damsels. I'm not really sure of the other options.

As always your knowledge would be gratefully received :beer:

Chooch1
07/13/2017, 09:05 AM
There are some small cardinalfish that school nicely although they can be delicate.

Mr. Eel
07/13/2017, 09:39 AM
I have never had trouble with chromis and they are a cheap pretty schooling fish. If your tank is big enough I have heard convict tangs will school, but that may not be true.

Half Vaped
07/13/2017, 09:55 AM
I don't think there's any fish that can truly school in a tank that size, but if you want some peaceful fish that will shoal tightly together, I can vouch for Dispar Anthias. Similar Anthias, such as Ignatus, Carberryi or Resplendent also shoal closely. Other Anthias, such as Lyetail, Bartlett and Bimacs don't shoal nearly as close.

Red-spot Cardinals also shoal very tightly, but are rather small for that size tank. But they would look great if you can manage to get a dozen or so to settle. The problem is they are very finicky. My luck is about 30% living past a couple months. And that's with fish from Diver's Den, with my overall luck probably 80% to 90% of other species thriving long term.

Dispar Anthias have been two in 12 living long term for fish from Blue Zoo Aquatics and regular (non-DD) Live Aquaria. But 100% of my Diver's Den Dispar Anthias trio has thrived for close to a year.

Cliving1
07/13/2017, 10:49 AM
Assessors would be a good choice.

WLachnit
07/14/2017, 01:01 AM
I would agree that Ignitus shoal much better than Bartletts and others IME. I have tried Green Chromis numerous times and eventually they pick each other off until I'm left with just a couple. This is in a 300g.


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nanoreefer1000
07/14/2017, 01:46 AM
Threadfun cardinalfish, small, understated yet beautiful, they tend to group up really tightly, and aren't unreasonably expensive or difficult to care for.

OrionN
07/14/2017, 09:13 PM
Zebra Barred Dartfish are hardy and will school in tank, especially if you have some larger fish in the tank.

WLachnit
07/14/2017, 09:29 PM
Zebra Barred Dartfish are hardy and will school in tank, especially if you have some larger fish in the tank.


I have two of those and they do stay together for the most part. I wonder.....if I added another 3 to 4, would they all stay together?

Fonn
07/15/2017, 01:39 PM
Engineer gobies ? have never kept them before, but have seen a group of them schooling nicely in LFS

ThRoewer
07/15/2017, 03:12 PM
Assessors would be a good choice.
I can't comment on the other two species, but with yellow Assessors (A. flavissimus) you generally will end up with a pair. The other issue with them is that they may go into hiding and don't come out much.
The two I have in my 100 are always in the back and as good as never out in the open.
The two I have in my 20 gallon Novo Abyss tank with pipefish and yasha gobies as tank mates are always out. So my recommendation for this particular fish would be to keep them in a specialized tank tailored for them where they can be the center fish.
They are way too nice and pricey to get lost in a community tank with larger fish.

One species you may want to look into is the orchid dottyback. In a large enough tank they can be kept in groups. There might be some haggling, but generally they should get along and often pool up in one place.
Only issue I encountered with them are turned off powerheads - these guys like to swim inside the pumps and may get shredded when the pumps come back on. That's what happened to mine.

Another fish that may work is the Royal Gramma. If you get them small you can add a larger group. While they may squabble and even chase each other, they generally don't hurt each other if there is enough space for retreat. Once established each will have his/her spot in the tank where they stand in the flow. Generally they prefer walls and larger overhangs.

Otherwise some of the hardier and more social cardinals might be what you are looking for. (Not Banggais!)

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ThRoewer
07/15/2017, 03:14 PM
Engineer gobies ? have never kept them before, but have seen a group of them schooling nicely in LFS
Until they become adults and do what their name implies...

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OrionN
07/15/2017, 04:03 PM
There are many fish you can keep in breeding group. The only one that I saw swim in syncronized manner in a tank long term was Zebra Barred Dartfish in a 150 gal reef.
Royal Gramma can be keep in group, but only 1 male in the group. I keep a group of 7 or so in my 450. After about 5 years, the male got old, stressed trying to breed with the female. One of the female change to male and prombly killed him and took over.
I also keep Orchid dottyback in group before also. No problem keeping in group for these two species, but not schooling group.

ThRoewer
07/16/2017, 01:30 PM
The synchronized swimming you see with many fish in the wild is a defense mechanism.
In a tank, once the fish have realized that there are no predators around, they usually stop it and start bickering with each other. I've had that even happen with tetras in freshwater tanks.
The number of fish also has a critical impact on the behavior. If there are too few it is also not likely that they swim together.
Another requirement for schooling is a sufficiently large tank, generally larger than what you normally can put in a home.

The zebra dartfish will group up and stand in a synchronized manner in the flow, but they are not too likely to swim through the tank like schooling fish in the wild.

From all I've read, the Red-Spot Cardinals are the only ones that school in reasonably sized tanks. Unfortunately they don't seem to be the hardiest fish around and substantial losses have to be expected.

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LobsterOfJustice
07/16/2017, 02:28 PM
I have two of those and they do stay together for the most part. I wonder.....if I added another 3 to 4, would they all stay together?



Not any better than anthias IME. I have 6 in my 180.

A group of Trimma rubromaculatus will mostly stick together and hover ~6" off the bottom.