Neon tetras, butterfly cichlids and shrimps together? / Filter media
I have a 60 cm aquarium and would like to add:
* 1 pair of butterfly cichlids
* 3 - 4 Amano shrimps
* a small shoal of neon tetras
Can I keep these fish and shrimps together?
this is indeed possible, but you should add a considerably larger group of the shrimps (see below). An 80 cm tank would be even better for the above selection.
If yes, what are the optimal water parameters (I don't want to breed, but they should of course feel well)?
The water should be very soft (max. 5 °dGH) and slightly acidic (pH about 6) as well as very (over-average!) clean and hygienic; neon tetras and, even more, the very sensitive butterfly cichlids have high water quality requirements! Peat filtration (sera super peat), abundant planting and very regular, generous water changes (at least 30 % weekly) are in any case advisable.
How many neon tetras (and also shrimps) can I add in order not to have too many fish?
I recommend 12 - 15 shrimps and 10 - 12 neon tetras.
I also have a question concerning the filter: there is only a small internal filter with a foam cartrige included with the aquarium. Since this is not really ideal I thought I could simply fill the filter with sera siporax. Would the breakdown performance then be sufficient?
Yes, this is indeed recommended.
How much sera siporax do I need for such a 50 liter aquarium?
About 200 - 250 ml if it fits in the filter; there is no upper limit. It does not cause harm to use more, you will then get at least partial nitrate breakdown.
Can I crush the sera siporax somewhat so more will fit in the filter?
Yes, this is possible. You can simply place the rings between two pieces of cardboard and crush them with the palm of your hand. The pieces do not have sharp edges so you will not cut yourself. However, there is also an easier solution: This filter material is also available in pellet shape under the name "sera siporax mini", it was specially developed for small filters!
Dr. Bodo Schnell