New 40 gallon

Discussion in 'Freshwater Aquarium Builds' started by cap10awesome, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. cap10awesomeNew MemberMember

    Hello everybody. I'm new to the hobby and the forum.
    After researching for a couple weeks, I am thinking of buying a 40 gallon aquarium ( ), which I hope is still $80 in my local petsmart. I have to say I am excited with the dimensions but not the light; I really liked the marineland blue LED lighting I saw at a friend's aquarium but it doesn't fit, so maybe a couple 8" Glofish LED or a Marineland hidden LED system will do the job (??)
    I will use gravel and fake plants to start with.
    A filter ( and a heater ( are already on their way.
    Now on the fish I was thinking to stock my aquarium with:
    Dwarf Gourami x 2
    Platy x 3 (various)
    Guppy x 3 (various)
    Molly (x3)
    Neon Tetra x 10 (or less)
    Danio x 10 (or less)
    Snails x 2 (or more)
    Red clawed crab??

    I will do a fish-in cycling, but I wanted to make sure the stocking is ok, and ask what order I should put the fish in and how long I should wait in between. Any other advise on the set up or anything else (different or better fish tank, different lighting/filter/heater/etc) is more than welcome!
  2. internet13New MemberMember

    Congrates on joining the hobby, i hope you enjoy it for years to come. The setup seems okay to me, but one thing that caught my eye is that you said you were going to do a fish-in cycle which i highly recommend you don't do. I understand if you want to see your tank flourish on the first day, but you are going to be putting your fish under a ton of fish and most likely kill them and make them extremely susceptible to disease which will be much more work for you. So do your fish and yourself a favor and do a fish-less cycle. Another thing that caught my eye is the aqua-clear 70 filter. This filter is great but i recommend buying the ammonia remover cartridge for the filter instead of the activated carbon that comes with the filter. It will help your fish by removing the ammonia when you get some of your fishes. Now if you ever wanna get into live plants you will need a white light. Aqueon sells these and they work great. You can use any companys products but i prefer Aqueon and Fluval. Also you have to keep the ph at around 7.0-7.5, temp at around 73-75 degrees Fahrenheit. Add the Gouramis', and neon tetras when your tank is done cycling (About a month)

    Best of luck
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  3. thequietman44Valued MemberMember

    Welcome to FishLore! I'm glad to hear you're starting with a good size aquarium and you've done some research on a good filter and heater.

    I would also strongly urge you to consider fishless cycling as an alternative. It does leave you with an empty tank for a couple weeks but you can use that time to check out your local fish store and finalize your stocking list. I would also not recommend using the ammonia remover pad since that will be working against the nitrifying bacteria by removing the ammonia as you try to cycle your tank. As for carbon some people use it and other don't; it's useful for removing some toxins but I don't use it on a regular basis in any of my tanks.

    Your stocking list looks pretty full, but I would drop the red-clawed crab since it is not a true freshwater species ("freshwater" crabs are all brackish and don't thrive in a freshwater environment). Platies, guppies, and mollies are all livebearers and will breed, so be sure to get all males if you don't want little baby fish all over the place. Or if that's what you want them make sure you get 2 females to 1 male to reduce stress.

    If you do fishless cycling you can add a lot more fish at one time depending on how much ammonia is being consumed by the end of your cycling. If you do fish-in cycling (not recommended) you'll need to start with just a couple fish until ammonia levels are at 0 then add a couple fish each week or so (checking ammonia daily) until you reach full stocking. It takes much longer this way and the first fish to be added will suffer or die.

    Also, as was already mentioned you'll want some kind of bright full-spectrum lighting if you plan to grow live plants at any point in the future, so consider that when purchasing lighting. You can combine various lighting colors to get the effect you're looking for with a mix of red and blue LEDs or several different fluorescent tubes.
  4. cap10awesomeNew MemberMember

    Thank you guys! It seems like I missed a few threads where everybody suggests fishless cycling. I will have to grow my patience and go for it..
    A couple more questions raised after your comments.
    Switch the carbon with ammonia remover filter? Do I have to use the aquaclear one or I can get any from my local store for now?

    Confused.. I should not use neither the ammonia remover nor the carbon filter? If not, replace the latter with what?

    I read this but was planning for all males; I did not consider females an option because if/when they breed, the fish tank will be too small for all the fish, correct?

    Thank you again!
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2014
  5. TKDennisonValued MemberMember

    I highly suggest you drop the dwarf gourami to one.. They will fight to the death..

    If you can find females around you, then you could do two females to one male.

    Trust me. It just won't work. I tried it unknowingly. I had to buy a second tank for the poor sickly stunted one.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  6. thequietman44Valued MemberMember

    Never had an Aquaclear but from what I've seen you need something that will exactly fit the media slot, so you can either buy one made for it or cut your own foam. The carbon or ammonia removers are the chemical filtration element so if you remove those just replace with additional mechanical/biological filtration media, which is probably foam for the AC.

    If you have livebearers breeding and adequate places for the fry to hide then yes you will soon be overrun. If you don't have a plan for thinning the population best to avoid that problem altogether for now.

    Sent from my HTC One using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
  7. valauValued MemberMember

    I have heard fishless cycling is great, but I have now cycled two tanks with Zebra Danios and all six of them are still going strong. IMO, the key is to ensure that water parameters are healthy. During the first 10 days of adding fish to each tank, I tested the water, dosed with Stability (bacteria stater), and added a bit of ammonia neutralizer just in case, (turns it into ammonium), all on a daily basis. Also put in some hardy plants a few days early so that they would soak up any excess nitrates. All I'm trying to say is that there are multiple ways to manage the nitrogen cycle in your tank, so I would look around and choose the one that makes the most sense to you.

    Also, if you were thinking of adding live plants later, make sure you use a gravel suitable for a planted tank. It'll save you a lot of work and headache in the long run. Also, consider adding some 'background' fish or invertebrates that won't add much to the bioload, but will help clean the tank by eating algae and detritus. Something like cherry shrimp or catfish.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the breeding. The majority of the fish you are adding will readily eat fish fry, which will control the population.
  8. internet13New MemberMember

    Sorry for confusing you. What i meant was it was good for AFTER you cycled your tank. I use it all the time and my fish are fine, and yes buy the aqua-clear cart............. If the live bearers did breed, most of them would be eaten because of the amount of fish in the tank is more then enough to take care of that.

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