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Old 05-31-2015, 01:28 PM   #1
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Freshwater stocking ideas

Hello everyone. I am a beginner when it comes to tropical tanks. I had a goldfish (that I had rescued from a fair) in a planted 29 gal aquarium but lost him recently in a house fire. I was thinking about starting a new community tropical freshwater tank. I would like to do a 20 gal long due to my budget and space. I know the size of the tank limits my options of fish, so I would like some opinions. I am a big fan of cichlids (especially the rams), gouramies, discus (but they seem to be a little too pricey), and angelfish, but like I said, I know my options will be limited with the tank size. I would also like to eventually have this tank planted. So any stocking suggestions would be appreciated (especially anything that could possibly incorporate those fish)! Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-31-2015, 01:49 PM   #2
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Ok here is a stocking list that could be nice and hits most of what you mentioned.
2 GBR
1 Pearl gourami
6 Cories (I put albino into aquaadvisor for this)
3 otos
This puts you at 82% stocked so you would have the opportunity to add more later if you'd like.

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Old 05-31-2015, 02:56 PM   #3
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I wouldn't do GBR and gourami to be honest. My GBR were nasty when they paired up. I'd look into starting with the hardier gourami before you touch rams, they're hard to work with sometimes. Maybe one pearl, some cories, and a school of tetras.


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Old 05-31-2015, 03:22 PM   #4
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Thank you ESeck and emarald76! I have been doing some more research and looking around and have a potential set up. How does this sound?

2 GBR OR 2 pearl gourami
6 black phantom tetra
3-6 cories

Starting with the tetras to get the tank up and running and then adding the cories and then later the GBRs or gourami.
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Old 05-31-2015, 03:34 PM   #5
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I think another good reason to avoid GBR is that I wouldn't call them good beginner fish. It's hard to get good stock, and it's also hard to give them good enough quality water. I would never recommend GBR for someones first tropical tank tbh. Same goes for ottos as well.

Pearl gouramis are a much better option. I think your stocking plan looks fantastic. I would do 6 corydoras because the more you get the happier they are. Otherwise, I think that you have a solid stock, a little on the light side which is perfect for your first tropical tank.

I would also suggest fishless cycling rather than adding fish to cycle the tank. Much safer for the fish and a LOT less work.
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Old 05-31-2015, 03:41 PM   #6
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Get some cardinal tetras,and rummy nose.
Then add some Sterbia cories(NO OTHERS EXCEPTED).
Keep them healthy and happy for a couple months and then you can get GBR!
Don't waste your money on a fish everyone knows is tough or has issues!
I breed them!
The fish mentioned SPECIFICALLY will all do well when you get rams and keep your tank temp at 82-86(I like 84 my rams say!).
Make sure you look closely at the temp requirements of a fish if you want to match it with another.
The rams are like discus and prefer well over 82(most fish don't).
A 20 long is no near big enough for angels or discus.
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Old 05-31-2015, 05:22 PM   #7
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I have black phantoms. They are fun fish. They dive at each other all day long.

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Old 05-31-2015, 09:22 PM   #8
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Thank you ESeck and emarald76! I have been doing some more research and looking around and have a potential set up. How does this sound?

2 GBR OR 2 pearl gourami
6 black phantom tetra
3-6 cories

Starting with the tetras to get the tank up and running and then adding the cories and then later the GBRs or gourami.

Cories like groups so 6 would be better. And black phantoms are great.


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Old 05-31-2015, 11:28 PM   #9
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Thank you for the advice everyone!! Right now the tank is looking like a gourami or 2, 6 cories, and then 6 of some type of tetra. Would long fun skirt tetras be compatible with the gourami? I really find them to be cool looking fish.
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Old 05-31-2015, 11:46 PM   #10
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I've heard some skirt tetras can be a bit nippy but I've never kept them myself.

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Old 06-01-2015, 01:49 AM   #11
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Personally I'd skip the pearl gourami and go with honeys. Pearls get surprisingly large while honeys are small are very peaceful. Inside of GBR you could could also look into Bolivian rams or apistogramma as alternatives. Apistogramma cacatuoides is a hardy beginner type.
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:40 AM   #12
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Thank you! I have one more question. Just want to ask everything and see all my options before buying any fish. How would angelfish do in place of the gourami? Do they get along well with tetras and cories? (Not the skirt tetras due to their potential nippiness)
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Old 06-01-2015, 07:51 AM   #13
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Personally I'd skip the pearl gourami and go with honeys. Pearls get surprisingly large while honeys are small are very peaceful. Inside of GBR you could could also look into Bolivian rams or apistogramma as alternatives. Apistogramma cacatuoides is a hardy beginner type.
How do apistogramma do with tetras and cories and community fish of the such?
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:40 AM   #14
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Angelfish have a record of eating small fish such as neons and small tetras.
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Old 06-02-2015, 02:28 AM   #15
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Freshwater stocking ideas

Here is a close-up picture of my male Gold Honey Gourami from a couple months ago. They can be timid, so they are perfect to have with other timid community fish.

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Old 06-02-2015, 07:40 AM   #16
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You could do a pair of Bolivian or Gold Rams. They are not as "fragile" as GBR.




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Old 06-02-2015, 07:44 AM   #17
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You could do a pair of Bolivian or Gold Rams. They are not as "fragile" as GBR.




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Aren't gold just a GBR color morph though?


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Old 06-02-2015, 07:51 AM   #18
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Aren't gold just a GBR color morph though?


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Ehhh sorta. But GBR are genetically weaker unless you stumble upon good stock like said above.


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Old 06-02-2015, 10:12 AM   #19
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Here is a close-up picture of my male Gold Honey Gourami from a couple months ago. They can be timid, so they are perfect to have with other timid community fish.

What kind of substrate do you have in there? And what other kind of community fish?
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Old 06-02-2015, 10:37 AM   #20
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What kind of substrate do you have in there? And what other kind of community fish?

I have Eco-Complete. My fish/invert stock includes Kuhli Loaches, Panda Garra, Assassin Snails, Harlequin Rasboras, and the gourami.
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