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  1. Default stocking my 45 gallon

    0 Not allowed!
    I plan to buy fish for my 45 gallon this Friday and wonder if I could get some feedback on my stocking plan.

    I have a Rena xP2 filter. The tank is cycled and heated to 76 degrees. It is planted in eco-complete with cabomba, vallisneria, hornwort, hairgrass, and a couple of other small plants that I don't know the names of. The tall plants extend to the top of the water and are planted in roughly three large clumps acros the tank. I'm hopeful that the ground cover plants will do exactly that eventually. There are three marimo moss balls and one driftwood branch suspended from the top of the tank. There are three large rocks and a large number of smaller ones. Five ceramic containers either support some of the plants or provide cave space.

    The water's pH is 6.4 right now and I don't believe it will ever be too much higher than that (my ten gallon tetra tank and my 5.5 gallon betta tank are both about the same). API test strips indicate that the KH and GH numbers are quite high although I am not sure how reliable that is; I don't have access to the liquid tests for hardness.

    Here is what I am thinking of putting in the tank:
    1 bristlenose catfish (would have to add a piece of driftwood or mopani wood on the bottom)
    12-15 rummynose tetras
    1 dwarf gourami
    1 angel fish

    Some alternatives that I'm considering:
    8-9 congo tetras instead of the rummynose
    6-8 otos instead of the bristlenose (I would like to have corydoras, but need something to help with algae removal)
    1 apistogramma instead of the gourami

    I'm pretty sure that all of these fish tolerate low pH. From what I've read, I think that they can make good tankmates, but I'd like your insights on that.

    Are there other fish that you would recommend instead of some of these? Any experiences with similar setups that you could share with me. Any dire warnings.

  2. #2


    0 Not allowed!
    congrats on having the set up done correctly!
    Post a pic. the tank sounds awesome.

    I have a 40b-so a 45 as well.

    From personal experience, you will probably run into issues with the angel and dwarf gourami (DG). I had a DG in my 45 and he was the biggest bully to my EBR. Now I know that isn't the same as the angel, but the aggression potential of the DG and angel would be to much for a 45.

    if you are wanting alternatives to the the catfish, i suggest a bn pleco and some cory cats rather than the otos. that combo will provide a more lively bottom half of the tank.

    others will pipe in about the angel...i know when setting up my tank I was suggested not to but the angel in it.
    any dwarf cichlid would be great as the main centerpiece.
    i suggest kribs, cockatoo's, bolivians rams. One of them or a mated pair. not any combo of the

  3. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Thanks for the quick and helpful response! The dwarf gourami and angelfish were my main concerns, actually. I'll have to rethink that. The pleco + cory cats option is intriguing.

    Here is a quick shot of one side of my tank. I've got it set up for viewing from both sides. You can't see them very clearly in the photo, but the three caves are made from a teapot, a cream jug, and a sugar bowl. I also have a bit of a canyon created between two rocks.

  4. #4


    0 Not allowed!
    Mizzou gives good advice -- I would go your largeish school of Rummies, a school of 8 or so Cories and 1-2 BN plecs, and either a DG OR an Angel. Congos get quite big and I've found them to be nippy and aggressive.

    If you want a dwarf cichlid such as one of the ones Mizzou listed, I would ditch the cory school and just have the DCs and the BN on the bottom. Otherwise there will be too much competition for space on the bottom.

    I think:
    - 1 Angelfish
    - 16 Rummy-nose Tetras
    - 8 Cories
    - 1-2 BN Plecos
    ... would be a lovely tank. :)

  5. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    That sounds really appealing to me. What kind of cory cats would you suggest?

  6. #6


    0 Not allowed!
    Whatever you prefer, there isn't much different except for size. I really like the plain old Bronze's and Peppered's. The also have the added bonus of being quite hardy. Panda's and False Julii's are very cute and a bit smaller, but they are also more sensitive. As long as you steer clear of the "Emerald Cories" you're in the clear. These aren't actually cories at all, but brochis catfish, and they get bigger than cories.

    One thing to keep in mind -- you should always add bottom dwellers to a tank last.

  7. #7


    0 Not allowed!
    +1 to Amelia's suggested stock list, and as a bonus, all these fish are from the Amazon... add a few pieces of driftwood, and you will have a lovely Amazon themed tank.

  8. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Quote Originally Posted by ameliaaahx
    One thing to keep in mind -- you should always add bottom dwellers to a tank last.
    "Last" as in weeks/days later, or as in hours later? I thought I would add them first to get the algae cleaned up! I'll replan that for sure.

    I would like to get all my fish at one store that is a bit of a drive from home, so I'd like to avoid a second trip if possible.

  9. #9


    0 Not allowed!
    Toxins are in their highest concentration at the bottom of the tank, because that's where all the wastes accumulates. In a newly cycled tank, there may be toxin build-ups down there because the tank is not 100% stable and matured yet.

    I would add the Rummies first, and then the angelfish, and then the bottom-dwellers after a few weeks.

  10. Default

    0 Not allowed!
    Thank you for the clarification. I just spoke with the fish shop guy and he suggested adding a smaller school of tetras the first week and then building the school up to fifteen over the next week or two. He thought I might be able to put a small angel in with the first school but sounded cautious. So my current plan is to stock the tank over the next month.

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