Proposed beginner peaceful community tank setup - please give me feedback thanks

  • #1
HI guys, my first tank was a 8.5G coldwater one given to me 3 months ago when I had no experience, but since then I have tried to educate myself and think I am ready to take the next plunge into a bigger tropical tank. I would very much appreciate any feedback.

Aim: Beginner tropical freshwater peaceful community planted tank with colourful, small schooling fish and several larger single male centrepiece fish. All fish must be peaceful and hardy, cheap, easily available, and easily fed with tropical flakes/pellets/wafers and the occasional freeze dried bloodworm with no live feeding requirement. I have no interest in breeding. All plants must be hardy, not require specific substrate, fertilisers, nor supplemental CO2.

A. Tank (approx 80G)
4 foot x 18 inch x 24 inch (120 x 45 cm x 60 cm).
Water surface area 864 sq in, 5400 sq cm.
8mm glass, curved front corners.
All in one hood with cabinet (rosewood).
All appliances connected into RCD and surge protector.


B. Filter (5.6x tank capacity/hour)
Aquael Unimax 700 with upgraded media (polyfilter and marine pure) and in-line UVC steriliser.
1700LPH/450GPH. Media capacity 15L.
Dual impellers and intake/outlets for redundancy.
Hood comes with cheap no-name trickle filter but I'll probably just remove it ASAP.

C. Heater
2 x 300 W Aqua one thermostat heaters (on opposite sides of tank) for redundancy.

D. Lighting
3 x T8 fluoro lights inbuilt into hood.
32W? each x 3 = 96W (1.2 wpg for what it's worth). Will be on 8 hours a day to begin with.

E. Substrate
No-name 40 kg (88 lbs) dark, small, rounded aquarium gravel of approx 5mm size that I can get cheaply in bulk from my local pet shop. I originally wanted to use white sand, but all my fish are recommended to have dark substrate to show off their colours, and also sand seems like a total PITA to keep clean.

F. Hardscape
Large gold vine driftwood as centrepiece, some smaller driftwoods, and lava rocks for decor and to increase denitrification.

G. Plants/aquascape

Foreground (mesh screen over substrate):
Java moss "mat"

Midground (anchored to driftwood/rocks):
Anubias nana
Java fern

Background (buried in gravel):
Amazon sword (with monthly iron tabs if wilting)

H. Fish
I plan to introduce slowly each species, from shrimp first, to then smallest/most peaceful to the largest ones last.

5 WCMM (migrated from first tank)
10 Longfin Zebra Danio

Top-Mid level:
1 Dwarf Gourami (male)
1 Swordtail (red male)
1 Sailfin Molly (white male)
10 Harlequin Rasbora

1 Emperor tetra (male)
5 Black Widow Tetra (migrated from first tank)
10 Ember Tetra

10 Neon Tetra
5 Otocinclus

5 Panda Cory
10 Ghost/Glass Shrimp

I. Water conditions
Temp 24C/75F
pH 7.0 (6.0-7.5)
Hardness: 10 dH (5-15)

J. Summary (aqadviser)
Filtration capacity 175%
Stocking level 87%
Weekly 25% water change/vac with Seachem Prime & Stability +/- others depending on test results.
8.5G planted quarantine tank for new arrivals.

K. Potential issues
1. "Bachelor" fish - I have read that in a community tank it is acceptable to keep a single male (without females) of the ones I want: dwarf gourami, swordtail, sailfin molly, emperor tetra. Will they be ok without females if I have no interest in breeding.
2. Will the dwarf gourami be territorial? I have read this mainly happens during breeding, but he won't be doing that.
3. Will the shrimp be ok or do you think they will be food? They will be 1-2 cm in length (1/2-1 inch on arrival).
4. WCMMs and BWTs are from my original tank. I know WCMMs prefer colder temps, but I every source I have read says they are fine at 75F as well. I am very slowly acclimitizing them to the higher temps.
Very much appreciate any input. Thanks!


  • #2
Sounds like a decent stocking but any of your schooling fish should be in a group of 6+ so some of the schools you may have to up your numbers

Make sure that your temperature requirements for all fish are compatible

and you don't need 2 300 watt heatters, you can do with 2- 200 watt heaters (the fluval 200 watt heater does up to 60 gallons by its self)

As for the Bachlor fish I only see an issue with the emperor tetra as its a schooling fish and should be in a group of 6+

Some DG's can be territorial, some very shy, have you looked into Honey Gouramis they are a little more peaceful

You seem to have all levels covered, I will give you a little heads up that you plan on a lot of schools and not all fish seem to have gotten the memo on which level they are supposed to be on so it may be a little crowded school wise, I would stick to 2 schools and just up their numbers

  • #3
I second nicole's advice.

My 2 cents on the number of schools (shoals) is as nicole said as well. IMO unless you have a fascination with the Neons, I would eliminate them, and bump up the numbers of the Rasboras and Ember Tetras.

I have never had much success keeping them alive for longer periods of time because (I assume) of the fact they are one of the species that has fallen into the group of fish with large amount of inbreeding due to breeders and the demand for them.
  • #4
You should get an oscar

  • #5
  • #6
You should get an oscar

Oscars wouldn't go well in a cm unity tank as they are aggressive.

  • #7
I know they rnt peaceful I just like oscars


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