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Old 02-11-2015, 12:36 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2015
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37 Gallon Freshwater Community Tank

Good afternoon,

I've been browsing around for some time, and figured I should finally ask my question about stocking this tank.

My daughter (who is 4), has expressed a strong desire for some time now to learn to keep fish. I kept fish as a child for a number of years - always freshwater, even breeding some sword tails for a number of years, but it's been some time since I've had any tanks.

Most recently, I had a betta about 6 years ago, that lived for a number of years in a 5 gallon tank on my desk. He was a joy to watch and even as a child I remembered enjoying the challenge of keeping fish.

All that to say, that I'm pleased that my daughter wants to participate in this hobby, but also that it doesn't seem to be a passing fancy. I recognize that she will need quite a bit of help learning and maintaining the tank, which is not a problem - my wife is also fully supportive, but I don't want to engage in anything too complex for her.

To that end, I've ruled out live plants, reefs and other marine tanks. While I could manage them, I feel at this age/stage she would not really be able to join in the activity as much.

She really wants an aquarium with "lots of little fish and a mommy fish". I am interpreting that as some schooling fish and something larger as a centerpiece.

I'm looking for some suggestions, but also have done some research both online and at the local store. Actually purchasing fish is still a little ways off. We'll need to buy the aquarium and cycle it first, but before I put any dollars out, I want to do my due diligence.

I'm planning on setting up a 37 gallon tank. It's a Marineland kit that seems pretty decent.
In it, I'd like to have a small gravel/coarse sand substrate with silk plants and lots of rocks with tunnels; and probably some floating plants.

Stocking wise, I was thinking this:

1 Pearl Gourami
2 Bolivian Rams
6-8 Cardinal Tetras
6 Sterbai Corydoras

I'm also open to other options. I was also interested in Celestial Pearl Danios but I'm not sure how they fit in, and know fairly little about them to be honest.

I'll leave it there for now, and look forward to your thoughts and comments.



Titan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2015, 03:01 PM   #2
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Posts: 778
She might like a small school (maybe 6) of glass catfish.
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Old 02-13-2015, 10:35 AM   #3
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Location: Michigan
Posts: 138
I would definitely use sand if you're getting cories. I'm also not sure I'd mix a gourami with rams unless you were to go with a honey gourami. I just personally have had bad luck with any other kind of gourami (all meanies).

My 4 year old has a 20g tank with a honey gourami, 8 male guppies, 7 glofish danios, and 6 panda cories. It's a super active and fun tank. It is fully planted with just super easy plants. Mostly myrio, cabomba, and crypts. My daughter has a little pair of stainless steel scissors, and she can trim the very tops off the plants with supervision. She feeds the fish every day and participates in the water changes - we use a python, so there's not much to it but she can manage to do a decent job siphoning the sand and also checking the temperature of the new water going in. She really loves her fish. I think your daughter will have a lot of fun with it.

After I set up that tank for her, she wanted a betta of her own too, so now she also has a little 10 gallon with the betta, pygmy cories, and some african dwarf frogs. I think the betta and the guppies are her favorite fish because of how active and personable they are.
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Old 02-13-2015, 01:03 PM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 34
I would go with rummynose tetras instead of the cardinal. In my experience, the rummynose are much more active, which kids like.

I would avoid the gourami as there can be agression, you just don't know.

Here's a couple other options:

1 bolivian ram (add last, give the tank a couple months to mature)
6 sterbai corydoras
16 rummynose tetras (or 8 rummynose, 8 cardinal)


1 male molly or swordtail (more color than the ram and hardier)
6 corydoras
12 glofish danios (assorted colors) - kids love those crazy colors and they are very active.

Good luck!
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