New 45 Gal - Best Community Fish?

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by Asousa, Jun 18, 2018.

  1. AsousaNew MemberMember

    Hi! I am somewhat new to the hobby. I have always had small tanks but nothing too "complicated." I just purchased a 45 gallon tank. Currently i just have rocks placed. My Molly and Betta are in another tank awaiting their new home. I have been told contradicting things in regards to the cycling period for this size - 1 week and 4 to 6 wks. What is the average time to cycle for a tank this size? How long must I wait between introducing new fish? Most importantly, what fish would you recommend? I was thinking 2 types of schooling fish but again, im a beginner!

  2. Mom2someWell Known MemberMember

    Welcome to Fishlore!
    Sounds like a fun change for you! Cycling will take as low by as it takes - you are cycled when you have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites and >5 nitrates. Do you plan to do a fish-in or fishless cycle? Does your old tank you could transfer the filter media over from? One option would be to move your older filter media to your new filter & move the fish. Is your plan to have the betta in the community tank? That will affect your stocking (no fin nippers). Also - bettas are such individuals that some people have success with a betta in a community tank & other people come home to a murder scene.

  3. SmalltownfishfriendWell Known MemberMember

    Corydoras are my favorite community fish.. fun colors lot of personality!!!:)

  4. AsousaNew MemberMember

    I actually had no idea that i can do a fish-in cycle! I think i will be doing fishless. The tank I have the 2 fish in is only a 5.5 gal and the 45 gal has a bigger filter (does that make a difference or am i wrong?) I am hoping I can keep the Betta, I just got it today. The Molly seems to be following him around at times and the betta seems to want to be left alone. So I'm hoping he just keeps to himself! I also read schooling fish are a good option with Betta because it wont be able to pester just one fish?

    Wow they are really pretty! I like the different varieties.

    You can do schooling fish with bettas, and it can definitely work, but be sure to watch very carefully for at least a few weeks in case something goes wrong and you need to seperate them. Corys are a very good choice for schooling fish with bettas as they inhabit different parts of the water, but with a 45 gallon tanks there are tons of options besides bettas. I think gouramis are extremely nice as well, as well as ram cichlids, although they aren't as beginner oriented.

    EDIT: Oops, sorry! Seems like the 45 is all set up for the betta. It would do really well in so much room, but make sure there is plenty of cover and has many resting places, especially if there are long fins involved. Otherwise, it could get tired.

    I'm glad you mentioned Gouramis. They are my favorite! I seem to be gearing more towards the blue and the kissing ones..although I heard the blues tend to be aggressive? Correct me if im wrong, I'm all for learning about this! I will be buying a "home" for the Betta. Id love to get the new tank set up asap so they have more room.

    How would this set-up work? Too crowded or would it work?

    4 Rummynose Tetras
    8-10 cardinal Tetras
    2- Kissing Gouramis
    2 Pearl Gouramis
    +existing 1 Molly (male) and 1 Betta (male)

    As far as the Gouramis go, would 2 males get along?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2018
  5. wibbylynnValued MemberMember

    Just to throw in my two cents...
    I have a 50 gallon and am loving my guppies/cories/snails community I have now.
    I am way under stocked though and will eventually be adding some mollies, neon tetras, and a german blue ram! :)
  6. AsousaNew MemberMember

    The rams are beautiful! Thank you for the suggestion. I would love the tank to have mostly colorful fish, and those fit the bill!
  7. MazeusWell Known MemberMember

    How long is the tank? This is very important information as some of the fish listed need at least a 5 ft long tank. It would also determine whether 2 schools would work well.

    What are your priority fish? Is it the betta? the Molly? I ask because you have some incompatibilities in your list. Personally I would keep your betta in the 5.5g. That's a good size tank for the fish and it leaves you open to more possibilities with stocking.

    A schooling fish like tetras need to be in groups of 6+ so you will need a couple more rummies. I wouldn't house multiple species of gourami together due to aggression (nor would I house gouramis with a betta as both of the species of gourami you've listed will be aggressive to a betta). Kissing Gourami need a tank that is atleast 5ft long (according to seriously fish) so I don't believe your tank would be big enough. The length of your tank will really determine if Pearls are an option. I have a 45g, but it isn't long enough for pearls to thrive. If your tank was long enough, then potentially you could go with 2 pearls(m/f as two males may be territorial).

    You don't have any bottom dwellers on the list. How about some cories or khuli loachs?

    Providing you had a long enough tank you could do:

    8 Rummies
    8 Cardinals
    2 pearl gouramis
    8 warm water cories such as sterbai

    The molly isn't really compatible with the cardinals as cardinals need soft water and the Molly needs hard water (it's technically a brackish fish). Some soft water fish adapt to hard water, but cardinals can be a bit harder to adapt (they are often wild caught) so this may be an issue.

    If the Molly is your priority, there are better schoolers than cardinals.
  8. AsousaNew MemberMember

    Thank you for a great explaination! The tank is 3ft long. I don't have a priority fish- since I could just keep the betta or Molly in another tank no problem. How would ghost shrimp do as a bottom feeder?
  9. AccentsWell Known MemberMember

    Ghost shrimp are great, althoygh they are pretty sensitive. However, if you get them from a chain pet store, be prepared to have die-offs and try to pick the bodies up. Personally, I think a group of 6-8 cories might be better, as they are sorrs cute, active, and you can keep track of them easier. I think you should keep the betta in the 5.5 gallon tank, as that's fine. If you like the gouramis, I think the pearls are a great choice! I think one would be fine though, although feel free to correct me if two would be better. They tend to be less aggressive than blue gouramis. I don't know much about schooling fish, but it's better to understock and slowly add more than overstock or fill the stocking right to the brim, then realize things aren't working out. If you like Rams, you could get one or two (a proven pair of possible, although that could be expensive), or a group, and hope they'll pair off, then return the rest. They can be more aggressive during breeding time, which is why I'd only do a pape or one. Of course, I'm not an expert though. Make sure to get them from a good source and keep the water quality excellent (a 6 month cycled tank is good, as the parameters should be very stable.) They're not usually recommended as a beginner fish because of the above reasons, but you could always try, and with a lot of dedication, it could turn out fine.
  10. BettaFishKeeper4302Well Known MemberMember

    Personally right now if i had a 45g i'd put some dwarf neon rainbow fish. Don't know why but everytime i saw tgis fish i wondered what it was and but i actually like them. Not is their body shape look pleasing but their colors to.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
  11. MazeusWell Known MemberMember

    Ah, so it is a 45g high rather than a 45g long. YOu could get ghost shrimp, they may occationally get eaten by your fish, but if your tank was well planted they'd have loads of hiding spaces. You won't see them much though.

    The tank is long enough for a pearl gourami, so those are a possibility for you, you certainly can have just 1 pearl, its not a schooling fish. You could also have 2 schools of tetras.

    What is your PH,KH and GH (if you know). This would be useful information to have in terms of stocking. Most fish can adapt, if they are tank bred. If you have wild caught fish they are much more sensitive.

    In terms of the molly and the betta. Neither is a great option for your planned tank. The betta is very likely to get picked on by the gourami and the molly's water needs are very different from both the cardinals and the rummies. However, if you find tank bred cardinals and rummies, then you may have better luck adapting them. What are your other options for housing fish? Is your only other tank the 5.5g? If so that is too small for a molly (although perfect for a betta).
  12. AsousaNew MemberMember

    Great points! I think i will get the corys since they add color and get the job done. As for Rams - i should hold off on those for a couple months?

    Im going to start cycling the tank today. A little delayed since I had to get more bags of rocks! The 5.5g is the only other tank so I will keep the Betta there. Unfortunately I had no idea about the Molly's water needs. I actually bought 2 and the one died while in the bag adjusting to the tank water. The associate at Pet Smart was pretty adamant on them and I just wanted to get out of there because I spent over an hour there lol
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 19, 2018
  13. MazeusWell Known MemberMember

    Yeah, the big chain stores don't really know that much about fish. I'm not surprised that they didn't tell you Mollies do best in hard water (as do most livebearers). Do you know what the PH of your water is?
  14. AsousaNew MemberMember

    Im adding it to my list, thank you!

    Nope I'm not sure. I have to get it tested and then buy testing strips. Id love to find a privately owned fish store but I'm having trouble. Its all Pet Smart and Petco by me :(
  15. Mom2someWell Known MemberMember

    Skip the test strips & go straight for a liquid test kit, many people use the API Master Test Kit, but I have read Seachem also makes one. My liquid test kit lasted over 18 months with mostly weekly use and sometimes more if there was an issue. So for about $20 it was more cost effective than the strips. The liquid kits are also understood to be more accurate.
    I suggest you browse the stocking forum of Fishlore to see what other people with similar tanks are stocking.

    From personal experience I think stocking slowly has the huge advantage of allowing you to change your mind. While two schools of fish might be nice, you might end up preferring the look of one larger school instead. But you won’t know until you start to stock.

    Keep reading & keep posting. When I was starting my tank I had an evolving stock list on a thread in the stocking forum.

    I think the Molly will adapt. Most tank raised fish are more adaptable than wild caught. is considered here a good source for info about fish needs.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2018
  16. AsousaNew MemberMember

    Thank you so much I really appreciate it. I will be heading to the store again this evening to get plants and hopefully they have the liquid test kit. I really love the look of schools of fish and I think youre right with the idea of one large school. Im going to start with one small school and build from there!
  17. AsousaNew MemberMember

    The set up currently..I still have to add live plants and do some more aquascaping. Adding a few guppies to get the cycling going.

    Attached Files:

  18. Mom2someWell Known MemberMember

    Looks nice!
  19. AsousaNew MemberMember

    Thanks! Id like to add some different levels and some caves.

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