Bigger tank, stocking ideas?

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Aug 17, 2017
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Our 20 gallon sprang a leak so we got a 36 gallon bowfront. I used water and filter media from my old tank to cycle and it's been two weeks, no losses. It's a planted tank, though some of my swords and anubias from the 20g look puny right now lol.

We have:
1 BN albino pleco
3 julli cories (I plan to up this to 6 now)
1 angel (black and white)

We also have:
6 zebra danios
5 cherry barbs
But I'm thinking of rehoming the danios and barbs, trying something new. (We've had cherry barbs as part of the tank for the past 5 years). The pleco must stay, we've had him for over 6 years. Angel should also stay, my daughter is attached to her.

We've had gouramis in the past and they're nice but I would like to try something different. Not sure rams would like our hard water. No neons. No blue crayfish (damn thing uprooted everything and liked to escape!). And I need some COLOR and interest for the kids

School of dwarf rainbows - or -

School of lemon tetras or rasboas or ? With a pair or harem of community cichlids (cockatoo? Others?) - or -

Other ideas?

We had a gorgeous krib for a few years and I liked him but my daughter didn't because he hid in his cichlid cave all the time.

(I'm already wishing we went straight to a 55 gallon or more and I could fulfill my dream of discus and blackwater, but it wouldn't fit in the space we have so alas . . .)


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Tank of the Month!
Feb 25, 2009
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Removing the danios and barbs is a good idea, as the danios in particular are too active for an angelfish.

Angelfish are sedate fish, and one will manage. They are by nature shoaling fish and should be in a group of five-plus, but there is certainly no space for that, so stay with the one now that you have it.

Tankmates for angelfish must bee very carefully chosen, avoiding active fish and any prone to fin nip sedate fish. Also, linear fish may be viewed by the angelfish as food, especially as it matures and grows to its full size.

Avoid any other cichlids. There is not sufficient space for more territorial fish. Gourami for the same reason; like cichlids, male gourami are territorial to varying degrees.

The cories are fine, and more will be good and are essential. Pleco (a Bristlenose) is also OK. No problems here.

Lemon tetras are not a good match with angelfish because this is a fairly active tetra. I have a group of 25 in one of my tanks (more than half of them are fry that have appeared and survived regularly) but I would never put them in with sedate fish; I moved them out of such a tank in fact.

If by dwarf rainbow you mean the Neon Dwarf Rainbowfish, Melanotaenia praecox, this too is too active for angelfish, and needs a group and more space for that. Rainbowfish are shoaling species.

Crayfish do not work with fish, just mentioning in case.

As for possible fish species...what are your water parameters? GH (general or total hardness) is most important, also ity helps to know the pH. These being your tap water (source water). You can find this out from your water authority, check their website or call them. It is easier to select fish suited to your source water, as they will bee healthier and happier.


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