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Stocking Ideas for a 36 gallon bowfront

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Jun 16, 2018
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Hi. I am new to fishkeeping and need some help. I soon plan to get the Aqueon 36 Gallon bowfront ensemble. I don’t know what filter (suggestions are appreciated) or heater. I would like to have An Angel or two and some Diamond Tetras, maybe a ram. Other than that I need some suggestions. I am on a tight budget so the cheaper the better. Thanks for all the help!
Forgot to mention it is not planted and also would like other tetras that will not be eaten by the Angel. And also some kind of non aggresive bigger fish, that has a unique personality. The only stores around me are petsmart petco and thatfishplace so not that much of a selection but I will make do. Also should I have a planted tank? Is it really that beneficial for all the work put into it.
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Welcome to TFF. :hi:

Before we suggest possible fish species, most of us here like to know the water parameters. Some fish need harder water than other fish that may need softer water. The GH (general or total hardness) is the most important, then pH. Knowing the KH (carbonate hardness also called Alkalinity) is also worth knowing as it affects pH long-term. These parameters for your source water should be available from your water authority if you are on city water, check their website.

Filtration depends upon the fish species; water flow in the tank results from the filter, so this needs to be suited to the fish. The biological cleaning also needs to be suited to the species and numbers along with the tank size. A filter might be included in the Aqueon ensemble (?). As for heater, this is the most important piece of hardware; a heater failure, whether overheating or failing to heat at all, can wipe out the fish within hours. Again, I do not know if a heater comes with the package. I tend to stay with Eheim Jager heaters, but I am sure there are others that are reliable. For this sized tank, I would use a 200w heater; it should be placed next to the filter return so there is water current to dissipate the heated water.

While waiting for parameter data, I can comment on the mentioned fish. Angelfish and rams are cichlids, and in most cases it is best not to combine cichlids. Males are very territorial, and in this tank a male of either species will consider the tank space "his." The second thing about angelfish is that they are a shoaling species, meaning they live in groups; they develop an hierarchy and need space. At minimum a 4-foot length tank for a group of five; there should never be two, three or four angelfish; this tank is not sufficient space for this. A "pair" which with angelfish means a male/female that have selected each other and bonded, can work, but they will spawn which makes life difficult for other fish in this small a tank. A single angelfish might work, but I do not recommend keeping fish contrary to how nature intended.

As for the ram(s), this species needs more warmth than many tropicals will manage with permanently, so tankmates are not that easy. Cories for example, a substrate fish many aquarists like, need cooler water.

Diamond Tetras will be a bit cramped (it would help to have the tank dimensions, but I am assuming it will be less than 36 inches across) and this is a very active tetra. The high activity level causes other issues, as tankmates have to be accepting of this, and some fish---like any cichlid--will not be.

There is much to consider when selecting fish, but knowing the parameters will get us started.
The tank measurements are 33in 17.5in and 52in I don’t know about the water parameters but I plan to use a conditioner and all those things to make it what I would need. As far as the ensemble contents go it is only the tank and stand. Thanks for telling me about the angelfish, other people had told me that angels should be alone. What fish would you recommend for me? Also my I cant find a website for my water parameters. Thanks.
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Differenet fish need different water types. Its not simply a case of choosing a bunch of fish and making the water suit them. Altering your water chemistry is difficult, time consuming and potentially expensive.

By far the preferable option is to choose fish to suit your water.
Yes I understand but I do not know my water conditions. Is there a way i can check this? Will petsmart test a sample of my water?
I don't know where you are, but most areas in North America have water data on the municipal web site. Or you can call them and ask for the general hardness, carbonate hardness (Alkalinity) and pH. Write down the number and the unit of measurement they use (mg/l. ppm, degrees, etc).

Stores sometimes test water, but here you have some issues to get around. First, get numbers, not vague subjective terms like "medium" or "it's OK" which tells you/us nothing. Numbers and again their unit of measurement. You will likely get more reliable data from the water authority. They can also tell you if your water source is subject to any variance in this, from seasonal changes or whatever. All good to know.

The tank measurements are 33in 17.5in and 52in

This baffles me...I checked the website and they give the measurements for the 36 bowfront as 30 X 15 X 23 (rounded down to ignore the decimal points). Is this it? If yes, then you will be best with non-active fish, meaning fish that do not charge around the tank actively swimming. Sedate fish like thee angelfish though as I said that is not a good choice, but their sedate cruising as opposed to active swimming fish is an example. We can find these once we know the parameters.
Look on petsmart its the aqueon 36 gal ensemble. I will work on getting you the parameters thanks dude
All they have on the website is that the ph is from 6.5 to 8 so yeah and nitrate was 7.17 ppm. No number was found to call.
Do you have a bill or anything with a contact number?

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