Stocking Questions

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So I have a 40 gallon that I have been slowly stocking and have come to a time where I think its safe to add some more fish, but wanted some opinions.

To date I have a 40 breeder which has an AC110 filter. Tank has some plants in it, but not heavily planted. So far I have 1 lyre tail molly, 2 sunburst platies, 1 dwarf flame gourami and 1 pearl gourami.

My pearl stays in the top 1/4 of the tank almost exclusively, the dwarf wanders all over with the live bearers. I would like to get a school or 2 of something as well as some bottom dwellers.

school: was thinking of some sort of tetra (neon, cardinals, black neon, diamond?) would this strictly be a looks thing? would these all school in a similar manner? is 6 a good number to start with? when I was at a lfs they had some round banded barbs that caught my eye. Would a similar number of those keep themselves busy without causing issues for the molly or gourami's? Not a good fit for my size tank?

Bottom, was initially looking for cory's maybe julii, sterbai or peppered? likely 6 in number? Or again, store had some cool looking yoyo loaches. Since these will get bigger than cory would 3 or so be enough to keep them from bothering tank mates? or do they need bigger numbers? I assume if there were 6 full grown it would be too much for my tank?

Probably going to add a few oto's but they had just came in to the store the day I went in so i figured I would go back in a few days to see if any were going to go belly up soon after shipment since I hear they are delicate at first.

I figure might need some more clean up crew....possible bristlenose pleco, maybe some shrimp, but would likely not be able to do if I went for loaches. Opinions...cory's or loaches for bottom scavengers? would 3 yoyo's be as good as 6 cory's? Not really feeling the kuhli's right now so please don't recommend those.

Also looking to add a ram of some sort or similar appisto krib etc. Does all this sound realistic over time? suggestions? other options? Thanks


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1 year
Out of the tetra you listed I would recommend Cardinals. They are lovely fish, but if you want some really great schooling fish, I would recommend rummynose tetra. They are super tight schoolers and are quite attractive in a group. For either of these, I'd suggest getting at least 6. For me, more is better for schooling fish.

As far as bottom feeders, I will always always always recommend Julii Cories. These guys are so much fun! Super active and always playing/chasing each other around. They aren't schooling fish but are extremely social, and are great little substrate cleaners. They dont get too big, so I think they would be fine for your 40 gallon. For my cleaning crew, I have 5 of those little guys, 6 Nerite Snails and a red BN Pleco.

A note though; if you decide to get a Krib they are bottom dwellers and cave dwellers just like the Cories, and Kribs can be territorial and females are quite vicious when breeding (if you decide on a pair). Some people have kept these two fish together without issues, but I would proceed with caution.

If you added a school of Otos, Cories, and Cardinals (or similar tetra) it would leave plenty of capacity for your other fish of choice (ram or krib). I cant speak for the compatability of rams with your other gouramis, though.
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