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Old 05-19-2016, 01:03 AM   #1
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Stocking a 38 Gallon Bow Front

Hi. I just got my first aquarium and I wanted to run a stocking plan by you fine fish folk. It's a 38 gallon bow front with a Penguin 200 Bio Wheel Filter. Approx. dimensions are 24" tall, 30" long and 14" deep (splitting the difference between the sides and the center bow). I have a 200 Watt heater, sand substrate.

These are my fish in the order I plan to purchase...

8 x Colombian Tetra
2 x Bolivian Ram
1 x Dwarf Gourami
1 x Keyhole Cichlid
8 x Kuhli Loach

Any thoughts on this setup would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 05-19-2016, 02:31 AM   #2
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Are you doing a fish in cycle or a fishless cycle?

If you are new(er) to fish or coming from the old school time of fish check out the article in my signature - there are lot of good bits of info even if you know some things about keeping already. The nitrogen cycle is most important.

I do not have info for Keyhole but I would add the Bolivian Ram later unless it might be a territory issue with the Keyhole making it a necessity. The Bolivian Rams are not as sensitive to water changes as the Electric Blue Rams but they appreciate a more mature tank so after the cycle time about 3 months with no deaths / illnesses and no crazy swings /readings in tank parameters.

Welcome to the communty by the way!

What is your water test at out of the tap for GH/KH, PH, ammonia (yes sometimes there is measurable ammonia in treated tap water even - YUCK).

Get a liquid test kit.

If you can get a Python or Aqueon water changer hose, VERY useful.

As for the Columbian Tetras, they can be aggressive. Read up as much as possible because it might sway your decision, if you get them make sure you have at least 2 females per male, or 3 even.
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Old 05-19-2016, 09:33 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Autumnsky. I am doing a fishless cycle. I started out just getting a bottle of the Quick Start formula, but I've been reading more about cycling so I think I'm going to hold off for a little while until I have a better grasp. I got nitrate and ph testing kits (liquid) but I didn't get amonia, which I should have. The good news is I'm not in a hurry (at least now), so I"m going to take my time. Thanks for pointing me to the article, btw.

As for the Columbian Tetra, I keep reading very conflicting reports on their behavior. I've read so many different opinions on different fish that I'm second, third and fourth guessing myself at this point, lol. I know a lot of that depends on the individual fish, conditions, setting, numbers, etc., but I still trying to get as much feedback and info as I can.

Thanks again!
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Old 05-20-2016, 03:03 AM   #4
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Not hard to end up with various reports. I haven't kept Columbian Tetras. They are quite attractive fish.

You need some ammonia asap, or there won't be any food for the bb to really get growing with. They need food, ammonia. Flake food can work for you but pure ammonia is cleaner, as there are particles from the flake food that are added to the tank.

As you probably noticed with people's responses to quick start bacteria additives, there are more varied reports. Most say little noticable help long term and just some short term bacteria strains which don't grow well or last long term. I am not a scientist and haven't ever measured any types. But did use some one time and can't say it was bad, but also didn't cycle the tank. (maybe it helped).

Really it boils down to the BB need to be present to be able to handle waste and keep the cycle going, more ammonia grows more BB if there are available surfaces for them to grow on. If there is room in your Penguin to add a second filter pad I would do it, creating double the surface area for the most possible BB to colonize. Always been a huge help in my tanks.

Good luck on your search for the correct stock combination. Time and experiences tell us there are numerous excellent fish stock combinations, and then there are other combinations possible. Also very bad ones. At least you can be sure SOMEONE will probably tell you if there is a really bad one!

Much has to do with numerous trips to the lfs to see the fish in a tank (probably terribly stressed and in poor color) and deciding your favorite and building (stocking) the tank around that first selection! Smart way to go.

Also as a side note, you will likely evolve in favorite fish choices over time.
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonnieRambo View Post
Hi. I just got my first aquarium and I wanted to run a stocking plan by you fine fish folk. It's a 38 gallon bow front with a Penguin 200 Bio Wheel Filter. Approx. dimensions are 24" tall, 30" long and 14" deep (splitting the difference between the sides and the center bow). I have a 200 Watt heater, sand substrate.

These are my fish in the order I plan to purchase...

8 x Colombian Tetra
2 x Bolivian Ram
1 x Dwarf Gourami
1 x Keyhole Cichlid
8 x Kuhli Loach

Any thoughts on this setup would be greatly appreciated.
I always opt for several of each kind of fish. Virtually all fish we keep in tanks do much better in groups. Having one of this and one of that doesn't make for happy fish. Besides, groups of the same fish make for a much more attractive tank. I'd skip the gourami and cichlid and add more tetras.
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Old 05-20-2016, 11:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonnieRambo View Post
As for the Columbian Tetra, I keep reading very conflicting reports on their behavior. I've read so many different opinions on different fish that I'm second, third and fourth guessing myself at this point, lol. I know a lot of that depends on the individual fish, conditions, setting, numbers, etc., but I still trying to get as much feedback and info as I can.

Thanks again!
The main thing I've gathered from reading is that, like a lot of fish, they'll bully ones smaller than themselves. So, I wouldn't put them with, for example, Embers. But I think they're the smallest in your list, so my guess is that they would restrict the aggression to each other.
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