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Old 12-23-2019, 03:25 AM   #1
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Ideas for stocking a 36 gallon bow-front tank?

I have a 36 gallon tank that I plan to use as a small freshwater tropical aquarium. The only problem is that I donít know which fish I should keep in there, and how many I should get so itís not overstocked. I know for a fact that I want a female betta school in it. Ideally I want around 5 bettas, however I could do something like 3 or 4 if it is needed. I currently have somewhat of a list, but I donít know if itís too many fish or if theyíre all compatible? Iíll send the list in below and then a list of some other fish that interest me. Any ideas of what I could fill it with? I also want to know if it would be okay for me to keep a school of female bettas in with just one singular male betta. I do have plans to save up and hopefully soon move all these fish into a larger tank, Iím thinking at least 50 or 60 gallons.
My current idea:
5 Female Bettas
10 Neon Tetras
5 Glofish
5 Barbs
Some other fish that interest me:
Male Bettas
Black Skirt Tetras
Freshwater Angelfish
Rasboras
Danios
Rainbow Fish
I know thatís an average list with obvious fish choices but Iím just a beginner, this will be my first time owning a community tank by myself. Although, I did help out my dad a lot when he owned his 100 gallon saltwater community tank, so I do know a bit already. Thank you for your help!
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Old 12-23-2019, 07:46 AM   #2
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If you are a beginner I would avoid doing a betta sorority.
What species of barbs are you thinking? I would avoid the tigers (especially if you want a betta) and go with cherry barbs.
You don't need a lot of different species to do a community tank. The fewer the easier it is. So maybe cut one of the species from your original list and make the other 2 schools larger.
Keep in mind if you do a betta for a centerpiece fish you need to avoid potential nippers. That means be careful of skirt tetras (including glofish), tiger barbs, angelfish and other cichlids.
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Old 12-23-2019, 11:06 PM   #3
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I don't have any specific types of barbs in mind, although tiger barbs definitely aren't the top on my list for many reasons. Do you think if I just did some glo fish with neons and an algae eater that it could work? Maybe even adding in a male betta, (although I have heard some stories of glo fish getting kind of nippy with their long fins.)
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Old 12-24-2019, 07:21 AM   #4
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There are a few types of glofish. Tiger barbs, skirt tetras and danios. You would be safest going with the danios. If you are doing an algae eater make sure you stay on the dwarf size. Otocinclus stay small but you need a group. Dwarf plecos are also a good option, make sure you have driftwood for them to munch on as well.
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Old 12-30-2019, 04:52 PM   #5
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Based on your list I would do 18 neon tetras and 13 Harlequin Rasboras and would totally look into live plants. That would be gorgeous. Look into jungle val plants just add one and a month later you will have a tank full of it and looks nice with the fish I said. But I would never tell anyone how to set up there own tank. That's what I would do with that tank. I'm a big tiger barb fan tho.
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Old 01-29-2020, 01:20 AM   #6
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"My current idea:
5 Female Bettas
10 Neon Tetras
5 Glofish
5 Barbs
Some other fish that interest me:
Male Bettas
Black Skirt Tetras
Freshwater Angelfish
Rasboras
Danios
Rainbow Fish"

It is very good news you are planning out your community tank!

Start like you did with which would be your #1 or #2 favorite fish to have in a tank.

Then build the tank around the fish which would be most important to you to keep. With a few considerations as well.

Not all fish like busy / fast moving fish with them...Example a male Betta would not appreciate the company of busy Danios or Rainbow fish.

A single Angelfish might work fine with some larger fish companions like Harlequin Rasboras, ultimately they can become large enough to eat Neons (which I couldn't believe would happen until I saw it in my own tank.)

Some fish prefer softer or harder water, or different temperatures. Or are nippy on longer fin fish.

Using AQAdvisor.com (usually) works well to alert you of big problems like temps or Angels eating Neons, or fish which need to be in groups, etc. It tends to be a bit conservative. Getting a better or larger functioning GPH filter can also help with stocking levels.

In addition, if you plan a bigger tank later, often it would be better to get the larger group of - let's say Neons (check out Green Neons too) then when getting the bigger tank do the additional group of new community fish like Von Rio Tetras.

Start with 6-8 Cories, then increase the bottom feeders to something different like 10-12 Kuhli Loaches... All fish listed are just some options as examples.

Also just so you know you can do Dwarf Cories like Pygmaeus / Pygmy Cories which are very small and you can get, say, nearly 2x as many, making a fantastic group, which are much more interesting and active with a larger number, acting more comfortable with many friends.

One last thing to consider, is what the fish will look like when they are together inside the aquarium.

The shape of fish...Glowlight, Neons and Rummy nose Tetras all have torpedo shaped bodies, all fish with the same shape, make the tank less interesting.

Then also consider where the fish hang out,

at the surface like Hatchet fish,

upper level like Neon Green Kubotai - Neon Green Rasbora, Microdevario Kubotai hang out near the top area of the tank

above mid tank Harlequin Rasboras

Neon Tetras mid tank

Corydoras and Kuhlis, Clown Pleco, bottom.

The article in my signature is really useful for beginners and people who are often newer, or getting back into the hobby from awhile back, check it out!
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