December 3, 2023

1 Brown-tail Pencil fish (Nnnostomus eques)

If you want a top-dwelling fish that is cheap and easy then Brown tail Pencilfish is for you. It hangs out at the top, at a 45-degree angle, got a mouth up there looking at the top for little bugs to eat for flake food that you will be dropping in. 

SCHOOLING-FISH: Get them in a group of 6 or more; more the married. It looks super cool, but they are not super active. Feed them with little food. 

pH: 7 and above, maybe 6.8 but don’t go too far down nor too far high.

TAKMATES: This is a community tank fish, from the Amazon, and you can mix it with other similar fish because they are so docile, don’t mix it with something’s that would beat on them. Don’t put them with giant fish.

WATER FLOW: You also don’t want crazy high flow at the to either, because they just want to sit up there and drift along with neat little bugs. 

PRICE: They cost somewhere between $2-$3. So, pretty cheap to get a school of them. 

GREAT FISH! They really add that upper-third of your aquarium. And when you have a big group of people kind of notice, Oh! they are doing what they are supposed to be doing with one. They are great fish and cheap to boot. So, ask your store for them.

2 Silver Hatchetfish (Gasteropelecus sternicla)

LOOKS: Most of the stores probably have it. They look like Hatchet of the hammer, Right? They have got that body with that big stomach this is of wedge shape.

DIET: They always surf around the top looking for food. They want to eat flake food, they like eating floating food, they want anything that is going to land on the top. They can even jump out for little bugs too.

BIG TIME JUMPER: They are a huge jumper. So make sure, you have got a tight-fitting lid, even back around the filter. They are going to sail right out of there the next time a fruit fly, flies by, it’s going for a ride.

pH: 6.8-7.5 is there comfort zone.

TEMPERATURE: The normal tropical temperature, 78, 78, 80 somewhere near there.

QUARANTINE: They can be a little bit finicky when you first get them. So, it is recommended to quarantine them. If they are not getting fed very well to store, thee having to compete with a lot of others. Sometimes they can be a little malnourished and they are likely to get it, especially when you bring them home. So, a quarantine tank recommended.

SCHOOLING FISH: Get them in a group of 6 or more. if you get a big group, and when they all school around, they move at once, if you have actually strong light, it makes like a flash in the room. 

SUPER COOL/ SUPER ANNOYING: You will have a good time with these fishes. They can be super cool or super annoying. If you have them in your bedroom super annoying. But it gives a very cool visual display, in the right setting.

3 Golden Wonder Killifish (Aplochelius lineatus)

DIET: This is the Killifish that does not get very big, it’s got a big mouth on it. So, it can eat bigger things like small fish, blood worms, brine shrimps,  other this kind of shrimp.With the big mouth it moves towards the surface, it likes to skim across there looking for things of eating like bugs, if a bug falls in it can eat it.

PRICE: You can get it for really cheap like $4-$5.

BIG TIME JUMPER: Being a Killifish, known jumper, tight-fitting lids, even background that filter, like absolutely tight. If you even leave a hole a Killifish coup jump out of it, only a matter of time. So really get all sealed before you get them home.

HARDY: They tend to be super-duper hardy, super-duper adaptive like pH form 6.6-8.6 It is the widest range.

TEMPERATURE: They can tolerate 80-82, but really they want to be more like 76-78. So, you would like to run on the lower end of the spectrum, because of the other fish are running. By keeping it down you will get longer longevity out them as well.

MALE FEMALE RATIO: Males have all the color, females not so much, they can be a little aggressive. You don’t want like 4 males and 1 female. You want to get some cover-up top, so the can weave in and out of them.

But you will really enjoy this fish, it looks good. Just don’t put them with tiny fish, feed them some big meaty food and don’t crank the heat up too much

4 African Butterfly Fish (Pantodon Buchholzi)

LOOKS: This one is a crazy-looking fish. It actually looks like miniature Arowana that stays at the top of your tank.

TANKMATES: They have big old trapdoor mouth like in Arowana, so you cannot put them with small fish, you have to put them with other mid-size fish might be like Kong Tetra and that type of larger Tetra.

TANK SIZE: Usually in an aquarium that is 30-gallons or more, more the marrier. You can keep them in a group or you can keep them solo. This is one of the nice things about this top-dweller.

DIET: They do want things that float on the top. You can try flake food, you can try pallet, you can try freeze-dried krill, they pretty much eat all of that stuff, given a little time.

COVERUP: Give them a little bit of coverup, maybe a leaf or a floating plant, they just want to sit there, watch stuff going from its mouth, and jump. 

pH: it is somewhere from 6.6-7.6 or so.

TEMPERATURE: Normal tropical range, you are keeping a tropical fish in there. Anywhere from 76-82, not too fussy.

MAKE SURE: Other than that make sure that they don’t get out-competed for food. If you have got a bunch of those Kongo Tetras and they all are eating all the food at the top then that’s a problem. This is the reason why sometimes the floating plant helps, food can hide in the floating plant that the African butterflyfish can eat.

Furcata Rainbowfish (Pseudomugil Furcatus)

CHEERLEADERS: These things are like a little pom-pom, cheerleaders in your tank. They stay in the top third, they move very quickly. They have got blue eyes and these yellowfins that are always just dancing.

SCHOOLING FISH: They are a great fish that should be in a group or in pairs, you can breed them, but it is recommended to have a group of them for like 6 fishes in a tank.

PRICE: You can get them at about $12.

DIET: They will eat anything flake food, frozen food, little pallets, doesn’t matter. They are not picky at all. 

pH: You can keep them for about 6.8 or above or 7 and above. They do like harder water. But they tolerate such a wide range.

TEMPERATURE: you can keep it at about 72, the hotter you keep them the faster they are gonna burn out. It officially lives about 3-years, you keep them low they will live more if you keep them hot maybe then it will only get in 18 months or 2-years.

TANKMATES: Because they are so fast and can eat, you should not mix it with something like Guppy. They are going to dominate the food, they can torment the guppies if they want to, they are gonna eat frays. Instead, you want to keep it with some other fast fishes like Rasboras or Danios or Tetras and that kind of planted community setup. 

WIN-WIN: It’s a great fish and yellow is a hard color to come by in your aquarium. So, get top third and yellow, that’s a win-win.

5 Betta (Betta Splendens)

DECORATION: Bettas will go all around the aquarium, when set up correctly, to be on top one-third of the water. So, if you get yourself like a floating Betta cave or, one of those leaves that have suction cups at the sides or a bunch of floating plants or a big leaf up that just sits and watches over the surface of the water. That is where that want to be. 

So, you get a fish that will hangout up thereby setting up the environment. Get them a perch or something to hang out in up top and they are gonna thrive. 

pH: 6.8-7.8, not to hard water.

TEMPERATURE: 82 is where they do best.

DIET: Meaty food, frozen bloodworms, freeze-dried stuff, pallets all of that will work.

COMMUNITY FISH: Not every Betta can live with every fish, some have a really bad temperament some don’t, you are going to have a bit of trial and error there. But in general, they are top-dwelling and can work out great in your community aquarium.

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