How many fish. Peacock goby, pentazonas and more.

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How many fish. Peacock goby, pentazonas and more.

Postby MarkP » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:25 pm


I currently have a 60cm (64 litre) tank which is fairly well planted. I have 6 platies and intend to add 6 pentazona barbs in about a months time.

My wish is to add a Peacock goby (peacock gudgeon) some time later. On searching the internet I find many comments advising they should be kept in pairs. Can I keep same sex pairs or do I need to keep one of each sex? I have no desire to breed from them so a same sex pair is preferable but perhaps they need to be mixed pairs in order for them to get along amicably? I do want my fish to be content.

When I bought my plaites I bought 2 males and 4 females which was the suggested 1:3 ratio advised by most sources. However, it appears that this assumed that you want to breed them as I have since heard that you can quite happily keep a small shoal of same sex platies which would have been better in my case as I have no space for any additional tanks for the young fish etc..

Perhaps you have an opinion on shoaling fish generally if it can be generalised? I will face the same issue when I get my pentazonas. Many sites quote minimum shoal sizes but do not comment on what ratio of males to females need to be kept. Again there might be a recommended ratio for those who wish to breed them but it might still be okay to have a single sex shoal if you just want to keep some contented fish.

Thank you in advance.
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Re: How many fish. Peacock goby, pentazonas and more.

Postby Carylnz » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:37 am

You can keep platies in same sex groups.
The pentazonas should be ok in a group of 6. I don't think sex ratio will matter and they can be hard to sex when young anyway. Males are more colourful, smaller, and thinner than females. Not easy to tell in young fish!
I have no experience with peacock gobies so sorry I can't advise you there.

A group of fish that stays together for social purposes is said to be shoaling. If they all swim together in a coordinated mass, that is schooling. This is sometimes not differentiated when people are talking about their fish. To get fish to school you need bigger tanks and bigger numbers or they do not behave as they should.
Generally speaking, 6 is the minimum size of a shoaling group. This gives you enough to keep them busy organising themselves in their pecking order and leaving other fish alone. All shoaling fish are egg layers so sex ratio doesn't matter unless you end up with a majority of males and only one or two females. They can then get rather stressed. If you just pick the most colourful fish in the tank you are likely to have all males.
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