What can I keep to add midwater movement?


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A reader wonders if there is anything he can add to his tank to fill the middle area. Bob Mehan advises.

I have a 60 l planted tank containing 10 Endlers and some Cherry shrimp. Is there anything else I can keep with them that will be safe with both shrimp and fish as I’m finding the middle area in particular looks a bit empty. The tank has an air-powered sponge filter and floating Indian fern with Java moss attached to bogwood. The temperature is 24°C.


Bob says: There should be plenty of choice of tankmates for your current stock, and your tank is a reasonable size, leaving scope for more fish. The obvious choice would be one of the many colourful, smaller tetra species. I have a soft spot for Glowlight tetra, Hemigrammus erythrozonus. These lovely little fish, ideal for community tanks, are often overlooked in favour of showier relatives like Neons and Cardinals. Ember tetras, Hyphessobrycon amandae would be another excellent choice and are one of the smallest tetras available with an adult size of 2cm. A group of 10 of either of these would fill the mid-waters of your tank with activity and colour. 

If you’re not so concerned with colour, then a group of Pygmy corys, Corydoras pygmaeus, would make a fascinating addition. These tiny catfish spend a good amount of their time fluttering around the mid-waters of the aquarium, carefully searching leaves and décor for morsels of food. Once again, a group of at least 10 of these would be best as they are a sociable species.