46 Gal stocking questions

PakMan6891

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Hello,

New here and a relative novice at aquarium keeping. I have a 46G bowfront (36" Long) tank with 1 Three Spot Gourami, 5 Tiger Barbs, 4 Twinbar Platies and they've been doing well for a few months now (started the aquarium in February). After a few early deaths I feel like the tank stabilized and the water looks good (haven't tested it). My tank feels a little empty to me and I wanted to add an interesting fish to the group. I want to add a fish that doesn't require a school or companions of the same kind. I was looking into a Red-tailed Black Shark but I wanted to check with the forum if the shark would be compatible with my existing fish and the tank. Currently only have 5-6 fake plants in the tank, sharp medium size gravel, and have a HOB filter (Aqueon QuietFlow 30). If not the shark I was considering a loach or oto as well...any suggestions about what I can add or comments about my current setup?

Appreciate any help!
 

Dom90

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First of all, your filter is very underrated for a 46 gallon. A HOB should have at least 8-10x GPH of the tank size. The tiger barbs need to be in at least a school of 6 or more, but more like 10 as they are quite aggressive and notorious for fin-nipping. That attitude needs to remain within the school and higher numbers have that effect. Lastly, a red tailed shark requires at least a 48" long tank, 55 gallons or more.

btw, welcome to Fishlore!
 

TexasDomer

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Your filter seems a bit small for your tank. If you adding more fish, you might want to look into adding another small filter or replacing yours with a larger one.

What's the temp and pH of the tank? You might like a pair of dwarf cichlids like the kribensis cichlid.
 
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PakMan6891

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Dom90, thanks for the tips and welcoming me! Yeah, I really don't know what I was thinking buying the filter I did, I just was not as informed at the time. Right now, I'm not sure if it's due to my weekly changes but the tank looks good and a for the last few months the fish have been comfy. No cloudy water or debris. I will look into a bigger filter ASAP. I have noticed the barbs chasing each other but I think they leave the platies alone. For that matter so does the gourami. In fact the gouramI down right bullies the barbs! I'll have to consider something else instead of the shark then
TexasDomer, thanks for the reply! I will look into a larger filter. I don't know the pH as I've never tested it, but a few weeks back at PetSmart the associate told me my water's pH, nitrites, nitrates and hardness were all within a good range...I do like to keep the temp at roughly 75 F. I can add cichlids to my tropical fish?
 

TexasDomer

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Yes, you can add dwarf cichlids easily. Kribs prefer hard water with a high pH.

You should invest in your own test kit. API's master freshwater test kit is highly recommended around here. You really should know and be able to test your own water parameters. Pet stores just tell you "they're fine," but actual readings are more informative.
 

Dom90

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Yea I don't like when the pet stores say "they're fine", they're either blatantly lying so they can make a sale when you buy more fish or they just don't have the knowledge about the readings themselves. It's better to just test your own water, especially in case of emergencies etc.
 

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