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Old 02-02-2013, 10:09 PM   #1
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Stocking my first tank (45 tall or 56 column)

So I'm starting my first tank soon! I'm still deciding between a 45 gallon (36x13x24) and a 56 gallon column (30x18x24). (I would honestly love to have a much larger tank, but I'm pretty close to running out of wall space with a uromastyx in a 75 gallon and a huge chameleon cage already in my living room.)

I've read a lot about stocking taller tanks, so I'm already well aware that I'm not going to be able to fill either tank with African ciclids or anything like that (not that I think that would be a good starting off point for a relative beginner). I'm doing a fishless cycle with added ammonia and help from a friend's established media that he's donating to my good cause.

These are my tentative stocking ideas:

1 rubberlip or bristlenose pleco
1 angelfish (unless I'd be better off with a pair; I've found conflicting advice on that)
2 rams (I love the blues, but the ph of my tap water is 7.0 and I'm not sure if that's too high, so maybe Bolivians?)
6-8 black skirt tetras
6-8 cardinal tetras

Now, I'm not actually sure if the cardinals would end up as angel dinner at some point, but really, this whole plan is up in the air right now. I'm open to anything - I've been looking into discus as well, but I'm not sure if they mix with angels? And I know they need a well established tank, so I wouldn't be even thinking about getting one for months.

I actually would have loved to keep gourami, but I'm having trouble finding much solid info about them and their compatibility, so I'm leaning more towards a South American themed tank simply because I don't know how to approach the Asian species.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Would I be overstocked with the above list? Understocked? Keeping in mind that the longest tank I can fit at the moment is 36 inches, would I be better off with the 56 or the 45?

I know I'm asking a ton of questions here, sorry. I've been researching this for nearly two months now, so I've been banking this stuff. I don't want to start until I have as much information as possible.
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:04 AM   #2
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You could do:
2 angels
1 rubber lip pleco
8 black skirt tetras
8 tiger barbs (your right, cardinal tetras would be angel dinner!)
10 julii cories (or another kind)

Tiger barbs are REALLY fun to watch, they are so active. If you can't find any you could do cherry or rosy barbs instead.

but that is just an idea
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:07 AM   #3
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My tiger barbs were major fin nippers... i'd be worried about the angels long fins. Post pics once you get it set up!!
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Old 02-03-2013, 11:10 AM   #4
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Oh and my angels ate all my neons.... I went from 20 to zero in a few days... They also ate my glolites! I believe cardinals are their natural diet in the wild, but I have heard of many success stories of keeping them together as long as the cardinals are there first or introduced with the angels.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:59 PM   #5
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Maybe your right about fin nipping... still, the angels are much bigger...
I forgot about the rams though. You could take out the tiger barbs and put in the 2 rams instead?
And how do you feel about the cories?
They need specific substrate and food, so they can be hard to take care of.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:17 PM   #6
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Okay NO tiger barbs. The angels will have no fins.

You could do:

1 RL Pleco
2 Angels
2 German Blue Rams
10 Rainbow Fish
8 Black Skirt Tetras
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