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Old 03-23-2012, 07:32 PM   #1
Axe
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Newbie in Need of Advice

Hello all! After making the mistake of buying a 5 gallon starter kit and some goldfish for my 9 year old son, I have decided to invest in the 37 gallon kit that includes a stand from PetSmart. I have not bought it yet because the goldfish experience taught me to do research before setting up another tank. My goal is to have a Tropical Semi-aggressive community tank that exists in harmony. My son is 9 and my daughter is 19 months so I want an active community that would fun for them to watch. After searching online for awhile, I decided to post on a forum in hopes of finding someone who could answer all my questions. The primary fish I want to base the community around is a shoal of 7 to 9 Tiger Barbs. I think they are beautiful fish and, from what I have read online, they are very entertaining to watch. My questions are:
1. How many fish could comfortably fit in a 37 gallon tank with a shoal of 7 Tiger Barbs? I do not intend to upgrade tanks for sometime so I would want to setup a community that would be happy together for a year or two.
2. What fish would make good tank mates for the Tiger Barbs? The additional fish I am interested in are, Rainbow Fish, Clown Loach, Black Kuhli Loach, Parrot Fish, Rainbow Shark, African Leaf Fish, Striped Raphael Catfish, Cory Cats, Pleco. Would any of the additional fish need to be in pairs or greater numbers? If you have any suggestions that I have not listed, I would love to hear them.
3. I would like to have some type of invertebrate at the bottom of the tank, should I go with Snails, Ghost Shrimp or Red Clawed Crabs? I have read that the crabs would need land access, would there be any way to set that up in a community tank?
4. What type of bottom should I use gravel or sand?
Thanks for reading and I appreciate any advice I receive!
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:38 PM   #2
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Hello! You will get alot of great advice here. I dont keep the same fish as you are asking about but I do have a 37 gal. A 37 gal is a tall tank for its gallons. Use this to your advantage with stocking maybe get some bottom, midlevel and top swimming fish. Be careful not to overstock because the tanks footprint is not very big for the anount of gallons that it holds. It is a great size tank to decorate because you can put fairly tall decor in it. Hope this helps
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:05 PM   #3
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@darkmatter_3500. Thanks for the heads up. What do you have in your tank, if you dont mind me asking?
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:21 PM   #4
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My 37 has some of my cichlid grow outs, a Dovii, 2 red tiger motaguense, salvini, festae, and a lyonsi. They will out grow it sooner are later. They are very small only .5" to 2 "
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:32 PM   #5
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Just wanting to add that the fish in my 37 gal are going into much larger tanks when they get big enough, they are not good fish for a small tank, the salvini could probably live in it for a while but would probably need a 40 breeder or 55 gal eventually.
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:37 PM   #6
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I looked up the Salvini and, man, it is a beautiful fish. I probably wont get one because what I read said they were a gamble to put in a community tank. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 03-23-2012, 08:56 PM   #7
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No problem, and the salvini are great but you have to get their tankmates right lol

Click image for larger version

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This is one in my 125 gal, it is only 2.5 "
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:27 PM   #8
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I would honestly search craigslist for your area first. The pet stores are usually over priced. I've found some amazing deals on craigslist before!!!
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Old 03-23-2012, 11:05 PM   #9
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@Shark_Bait Thanks for the tip! I am on a budget so that will help a ton.
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:07 AM   #10
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Sure thing. Make sure when you find something good that it includes filter, pumps, light, and any other accessories. Those are the best deals!! If your not sure, post it on here and we can let you know how it is!!
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:58 AM   #11
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def check craigslist. people will sell their tanks cheap or free. i would look into a 40g breeder, because it is wider, and pretty long, or a 55g. i would recomened a 55g because they r very popular on criegs list, and instead of ugrading tanks, you could upgrade fish. either too more advanced fish, or more fish. aso a 55g is more forgiving with adding chemicals and stuff.
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Old 03-24-2012, 11:23 AM   #12
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IMO it's going to be tough to stock much else with TIgers in a 37 gal tank. The more tigers the better to distribute the aggression between them which is going to stock your tank very fast. 8 Tigers in a 37 gal more than halfway fills it. Clowns would add too much of a bioload with tigers in a 37 and your tank would be too overstocked. Kuhli loaches might be a better choice; they prefer a group of 5. I'd say no to a rainbow shark in a 37 gal.

By a Parrot fish do you mean Parrot Cichlid? I think it might try to attack the Tigers.

Personally I'd either just stock the tank with Tigers or hold off on the tigers and go with a more peaceful community setup; you'd have more options.

This might be helpful too:
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...um-186089.html
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:39 PM   #13
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@librarygirl Thanks for the link, it was very informative and had a lot of the information I have been looking for. The link to the Think Twice Fish was, in my opinion, something that should be read by anyone wanting to start an aquarium. I guess I will go back to the drawing board on my community setup. Should I choose a primary fish and then choose appropriate tank mates? That is the line of logic I have been using so far. Thanks!
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:56 PM   #14
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So I checked on Craigslist and found a 55 gallon tank with accessories for $75! I am going to check it out soon. One question, will a 55 gallon tank put too much stress on my floor? The aquarium will be in the living room of a one story house. Thanks for the awesome advice!
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:47 PM   #15
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No, as long as the stand is decent there shouldn't be any stress spots on the floor. Also, if you get the 55gal, i would suggest looking into a dwarf gourami as a center piece fish. Very cool looking and they get along with any other community fish!! Let us know how your shopping goes.
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Old 03-24-2012, 03:14 PM   #16
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nice, the 55g will be give you more stocking options, keep us updated.
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:03 PM   #17
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So I have not posted in awhile because the tank I was talking about buying did not work out; however, I ran across a 55 gal tank with stand for $85 that is very close to where I live. I am going to pick it up Saturday afternoon. The tank has a gold koi and algae eater in it now and the seller said I could have them with the tank. Here is my question: What is the best way to transport the tank and retain the established ecology system that is in it? The seller said that he had a means for me to transport the fish, so I was planning on saving some of the water from the tank when he drained it and basically the transport would be something like a water change. How much of the water should I save? Is there a better way to do this? How long should I let the tank sit once it is set up at my house before I add any more fish? Thanks in advance for the excellent advice!
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