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hello,

i've been bouncing around the idea of keeping Gymno's. I have a few questions, the species i was really into are the G. Gymnogenys and G. rhabdotus from South American Eartheaters they dont seem to be real particular about water parameters "as long as extremes are avoided" my 1st question would be do i need a chiller b/c even with heaters off i dont think i could get the water down to 10-15C (50-59F) . My next question was dithers i'd like a tetra species. i know there's a site to look up biotopes but i forgot it :(

the tank is 5foot by 21in tall by 18in deep
i got some water from the tap degasing now so tommorrow i should have an accurate reading as far as pH KH and GH

i already have some nice huge pieces of Driftwood was gonna do some anubias and moss i figure thats all i could keep with my weak lighting

i was hoping to keep a nice group of one of the species above a big group of tetra's and and maybe a pair of C. dimerus or laetacara dorsigera which i know both can handle the cool period
plus cleanup

any help would be awesome thanks
 

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Your set-up sounds good. I'd probably add some flowerpots for caves.

I use Buenos Aires tetras for dithers with my Gymnos and chanchitos. You can also use goodeids (like Xenoteca eiseni), although they're from Mexico.

I keep most of my southern South Americans on the bottom row (nearest the floor) of my fishroom, which probably gets down to the mid-60's in the winter. I turn off the heaters in the fall. These tanks also are the last to get the water from water changes (i.e. when the hot water runs out). In the spring I turn the heaters back on...and that's when they spawn...
 

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I had some rhabdotus recently breeding and they were very very hearty fish. I wouldn't worry about it. You may want to keep a heater in the tank to keep it at at least 60 degree's during the really hot times.
 

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I had some rhabdotus recently breeding and they were very very hearty fish. I wouldn't worry about it. You may want to keep a heater in the tank to keep it at at least 60 degree's during the really cold times.
 
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