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Old 02-08-2016, 12:39 PM   #1
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Way too excited new tank owner

Hello everybody. My name is Chris and just recently I have finally decided to get back into keeping fish. I had a tank when I was much younger, like 12 years old and a 15 years ago, and had no idea what I was doing. Those poor things were probably so overcrowded.

Anyway I just recently purchased a 36 gallon bow front tank. Assembled everything a few nights ago and the tank is looking good. Decided to go with artificial plants over planted. Know planted is better but figured I would take it one step at a time. They can get kinda messy.

Now even though my LFS suggested a fish in cycle I have decided to go with a fish less and am about 3 days into the process. I've been attempting to do some research on what fish I will eventually like to have in the tank. I know the fish less cycle can take upwards of a month but I'm pretty excited and would like any suggestions/criticisms on the fish I plan on keeping.

2 dwarf gouramis (1 male/1 female)
2 angelfish
6 harlequin rasbora OR 6 cherry barbs (can't make my mind up)
3 panda Cory
2 Bosemani rainbow fish

Looking into the potential size of all these fish I think it's about 1" per gallon. Looking forward to being an active member of the forum and thanks for any help/suggestions.
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Old 02-08-2016, 01:13 PM   #2
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I'm fairly new to the forum as well. I would double the number of corys. I have quite a few in my tank (they keep breeding) and it's pretty cool watching them work the bottom of the tank as a school.
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Old 02-08-2016, 06:09 PM   #3
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Welcome to the hobby and forum!

Just a couple things to note:

The 1" per gallon is an outdated rule from back before filters existed. It's not really used anymore, but just won't go away. Fish stocking is now based more off of bio load. For example, a 3" bristle nose pleco creates waaaay more waste than a 3" boesemani rainbow thus takes up more stocking space. Check out AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor for some help with stocking levels.


Next, both the corys and boesemani are schooling fish that should be kept in groups of 5+

Lastly, female dwarf gourami are next to impossible to find. They are grey and drab so aren't sold like their male counter parts. If you find a source of them let us know
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Old 02-08-2016, 06:34 PM   #4
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Thank you

I haven't seen that link about the bio waste anywhere else. Thank you for that. Also, would it be ok to have 2 male gouramis? Especially since they are better looking anyway. Not necessarily interested in breeding. At least not yet. And would a red tail shark fit in with these fish? I have read they can be semi aggressive but as long as they are given a decent hiding place and you only keep one they behave fairly well. Thank you for all your help. Can't wait for the cycling to finish so I can start the stocking.
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Old 02-08-2016, 06:37 PM   #5
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2 male gouramis are a no go. They are super aggressive towards each other and one will end up either hiding all the time or dead. Imho, it would be best just to go with a single Dwarf gourami.

As for a red tailed shark, I tried one once in a fairly heavily planted tank with nice hiding places and it was still a nightmare after about 4 or 5 months. I ended up returning it.
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Old 02-08-2016, 06:41 PM   #6
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I have a school of 8 bosemani rainbows and they usually stick together swimming back and forth. They are definitely a schooling fish and when older/breeding, having them in a school with a 2-3 males and 4 or 5 females will make the males color really bright. My red tail doesn't bother anybody in my tank, he does his own thing mostly.
For the dwarf gouramis, I have heard stories about how one will terrorize the other unless in a very large tank where they can each claim their own territory.
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Old 02-09-2016, 01:06 PM   #7
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Unfortunately I do not think I have a big enough tank for a school of Bosemani Rainbow so I will have to leave them out. These are the fish I am positive that I want:

1 Dwarf Gourami
1 Red Tail Shark
5-6 Corys (most likely Panda)
5-6 Schooling Fish


I would also love to have 1 or 2 Angel Fish but they seem to take up a ton of stocking space on the link posted earlier.

What other fish would be good in this kind of community as a solo? I've tried to do a bunch of research on this topic but just can't seem to find to much information about solo fish besides gouramis (which I already plan on having)?

Also, any recommendations on the schooling fish? I really like the Congo Tetras.
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Old 02-09-2016, 01:45 PM   #8
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I am a fan of the diamond tetras as a schooling fish. Under the right light they really brighten up the tank... sparkling/glittery... not sure what the best adjective to use. Pictures really don't show them off well. They are hardy fish and get along well with everyone else.

What about a blue ram for the other solo fish? Great looking fish that doesn't get too big and spends most of the time around the bottom of the tank.
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Old 02-09-2016, 02:37 PM   #9
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Blue Ram seems like exactly the kind of solo fish I am looking for. I kind of just assumed all Chichlids wouldn't be able to co-exist in a community tank.

However, with the schooling fish I have read that Tetra's do not exist very happily with the Red Tail Shark and may nip at the fins of an Angel Fish.
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Old 02-09-2016, 03:03 PM   #10
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Blue rams are fairly peaceful, when breeding they do get somewhat territorial of their cave though.
I have never observed my red tail and diamond tetras having any problems. I have 7 of them together - a school of 6 or more keeps them happiest.
The red tail does his own thing all day, although he is still a juvenile. I don't think he'll have any problems as he gets older/bigger since he has enough space to call "his".

Not having any angel fish, I cannot say about the fin nipping. I have read that having a school of tetras greatly minimizes the nipping of other fish.
Mebbid mentioned AqAdvisor in his post above ( AqAdvisor - Intelligent Freshwater Tropical Fish Aquarium Stocking Calculator and Aquarium Tank/Filter Advisor ), check them out and put in your different combinations. They will also tell you about any potential personality conflicts that may occur.
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