Tankmate Questions

john.doe

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Hello,
I have a 40 gallon tank that's moderately decorated, and in there right now are 2 dwarf gourami and 1 angelfish. I was planning to add one more anglefish, and I was wondering how 2-3 swordtails would do in this group. I've been getting mixed opinions on this from LFS. if you don't think swordtails would be a good idea, what do you think would be a good fish to round out the tank? the tank is really only comfortable for about 5 more inches of fish, and I'd like at least two of whatever I add.
 

HoldenOn

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Hello,
I have a 40 gallon tank that's moderately decorated, and in there right now are 2 dwarf gourami and 1 angelfish. I was planning to add one more anglefish, and I was wondering how 2-3 swordtails would do in this group. I've been getting mixed opinions on this from LFS. if you don't think swordtails would be a good idea, what do you think would be a good fish to round out the tank? the tank is really only comfortable for about 5 more inches of fish, and I'd like at least two of whatever I add.
Angelfish need a group of 5 or more. Minimum tank size is a 75 gallon. Do you know the hardness of your water? LFS usually give pretty terrible advice.
 
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john.doe

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Angelfish need a group of 5 or more. Minimum tank size is a 75 gallon. Do you know the hardness of your water? LFS usually give pretty terrible advice.
That's interesting. most everything I've read on angels says they actually don't do so great in groups of more than two and are fine on their own, and they're fine in as little as 30 gallons. I generally try to stick to the 2 gallons per inch rule, so having a pair of angels need at least 24 gallons. my hardness is around 7 degrees if I'm doing that math correctly (its 120ppm)
 

HoldenOn

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That's interesting. most everything I've read on angels says they actually don't do so great in groups of more than two and are fine on their own, and they're fine in as little as 30 gallons. I generally try to stick to the 2 gallons per inch rule, so having a pair of angels need at least 24 gallons. my hardness is around 7 degrees if I'm doing that math correctly (its 120ppm)
Yea it's a common misconception. They set up hierarchies and need to be in groups. Your water is fine for the angels and gourami. How long is the tank? You could get a nice shoal of a bigger tetra, and then maybe some corydoras for bottom dwellers.
 
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john.doe

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Yea it's a common misconception. They set up hierarchies and need to be in groups. Your water is fine for the angels and gourami. How long is the tank? You could get a nice shoal of a bigger tetra, and then maybe some corydoras for bottom dwellers.
Its a little over two feet long. its really more of a taller tank which is why I kinda worry about bottom dwellers having enough of a footprint. What I'd read on angels was they tend to be territorial but will pair off. do you think it would be better to add one, or to leave the one in there alone. he seems pretty chill, he just hangs out with the gourami.

Edit: some information that might help, my current angle is extremely young. smaller than the size of a quarter right now
 

HoldenOn

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Its a little over two feet long. its really more of a taller tank which is why I kinda worry about bottom dwellers having enough of a footprint. What I'd read on angels was they tend to be territorial but will pair off. do you think it would be better to add one, or to leave the one in there alone. he seems pretty chill, he just hangs out with the gourami.

Edit: some information that might help, my current angle is extremely young. smaller than the size of a quarter right now
I wouldn't get another one, they can be hard to pair off. I didn't know it was a 40 tall. Maybe some hatchet fish for the upper layer and a BN pleco.
 
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john.doe

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I wouldn't get another one, they can be hard to pair off. I didn't know it was a 40 tall. Maybe some hatchet fish for the upper layer and a BN pleco.
it's not super tall, just a lot more square in the front than a lot of the other tanks I've been looking at (been thinking about starting a 75-90 gallon salt water when this one gets good and running). I can throw up a picture if that would help

Edit: Attached picture of the tank.
 

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john.doe

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sorry for making this difficult, I'm rather new to the hobby and I'm still really unsure of a lot of stuff. Trying my hardest to learn and do the best I can for my fish, but especially when it comes to the wide variety of stuff out there for the hobby, There's a lot I don't know
 

Wills

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I’m not sure I agree on this one... angels can be kept well in most tall 4 foot tanks (sometimes 40 inch) as long as they are 18 inches tall, preferably 2 foot because of the length of their ventral fins. Keeping 6 would be great they are a gregarious cichlid but equally keeping single specimens is ok and I’ve had success with them in lower numbers - in fact every time I’ve kept two they have always paired up, I’m not sure they are that fussy as long as you pick out a Male and a female which can be hard in very young fish but not too hard once they have a bit of meat on them.

That said the tank here does not look like it has the length id like for them and once your gourami and angel grow they will both want territory in the upper third so I think you may need to make a choice at some point. I think the gourami are the better choice to keep longer term.

Since you have hard water I don’t think livebearers like sword tails would be a good choice and I’d be tempted to keep this as an Asian style tank around the gourami. A school of small rasbora like neon green, harlequin or even the tiny chillis would look cool with a group of small loaches like dwarf chain or zebras, loaches in a good numbers will use most of the tank rather than just the bottom so could be a good choice for this tank. Some panchax might be good for the surface as well but depends on how nippy the gourami are? Maybe some Stiphodon goby would be nice too to give you some variety

I wouldn’t put the two inch per gallon on yourself one inch per gallon is achievable as a very rough guide as long as you keep up weekly water changes and keep the tank free of detritus etc.

I would be ok with a stock list like this as

2 dwarf gourami
8 green neon rasboras
6 zebra loaches
4 neon blue stiphodon gobies

Wills
 
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john.doe

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I’m not sure I agree on this one... angels can be kept well in most tall 4 foot tanks (sometimes 40 inch) as long as they are 18 inches tall, preferably 2 foot because of the length of their ventral fins. Keeping 6 would be great they are a gregarious cichlid but equally keeping single specimens is ok and I’ve had success with them in lower numbers - in fact every time I’ve kept two they have always paired up, I’m not sure they are that fussy as long as you pick out a Male and a female which can be hard in very young fish but not too hard once they have a bit of meat on them.

That said the tank here does not look like it has the length id like for them and once your gourami and angel grow they will both want territory in the upper third so I think you may need to make a choice at some point. I think the gourami are the better choice to keep longer term.

Since you have hard water I don’t think livebearers like sword tails would be a good choice and I’d be tempted to keep this as an Asian style tank around the gourami. A school of small rasbora like neon green, harlequin or even the tiny chillis would look cool with a group of small loaches like dwarf chain or zebras, loaches in a good numbers will use most of the tank rather than just the bottom so could be a good choice for this tank. Some panchax might be good for the surface as well but depends on how nippy the gourami are? Maybe some Stiphodon goby would be nice too to give you some variety

I wouldn’t put the two inch per gallon on yourself one inch per gallon is achievable as a very rough guide as long as you keep up weekly water changes and keep the tank free of detritus etc.

I would be ok with a stock list like this as

2 dwarf gourami
8 green neon rasboras
6 zebra loaches
4 neon blue stiphodon gobies

Wills
Thanks for your input, that's really helpful. I hope I won't have to make a decision, but as for now, they're all getting along great. as for how nippy the gourami are, Id say probably medium? they leave the angel alone, but I have seen them chasing each other from time to time. no one has been injured by another yet so if they are nipping, its gentle. as for keeping the tank free of detrius I have a couple of mystery snails that have been doing a good job of that (been thinking of adding more once I get the tank fully stocked). but this is actually really helpful, thank you! if the angel ends up playing along nicely with the gourami and I don't have to give them up, which of those fish would be good?

Edit: attached picture of the fish
 

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