If you want something different, well, pencilfish might be a great alternative for a schooling community fish! Pencilfish are a small–mouthed and highly tolerant species of fish along with its complex yet rewarding breeding behavior. Keeping pencilfish requires very few demands of the average aquarist but these fish are not a beginners 1st choice as they are a bit sensitive & require some careful acclimation and high water quality. Pencilfish tolerate a wide variety of water parameters which makes them a great choice for most community tank builds. A pH range from 6.0 to 7.4 (6.5 is perfect) and a temperature from 72° to 82°F is great. The aquarium can be as bright or dim as you want it to be, but Pencilfish will prefer the more dimly lit aquariums over the brighter ones especially if you wish to start breeding them. A heavily planted tank will truly bring out the color of Pencilfish as well as their enjoyable behaviors. Watching a group of males display to each other is very impressive.