40 Gallon Tank Stocking Suggestions Please!

mxnewss

Yes. I know. I am very indecisive and perfectionist tendencies mean that I will never be satisfied with my tanks, always have to be doing something with them!

40G Tank - L:36 D:14 H:18 inches.
Temperature - 29C (85F).
Current Stock:
- 1 Male GBR
- 1 Female GBR
(GBR have not paired)
- 1 Male EBR
- 14 Rummynose Tetras


The Rummynose have only recently been added to the tank as a temperature compatible schooling species for the Rams. First experience keeping Rummynose, as gorgeous as they are, I have a few concerns.
- Too quick during feeding time in comparison to the Rams, who are slow eaters.
- Too active in comparison to the Rams, making the tank appear to be too active and chaotic.
- The length of the tank is far to small and definitely not long enough for the Rummynose, as I have learnt from MacZ.

Therefore, I will remove the Rummynose from the tank.


The 3 Rams will be the only stock in the tank with the Rummynose Tetras removed. The Rams are the species which I want to base my stock around, even if Rams are the only species in the tank.

- How many Rams can be kept in this size tank? coralbandit Taking into account that the tank is heavily planted with numerous hiding spots.

- Other stocking suggestions / ideas which are compatible with the Rams? However, I do not what the tank to look cluttered or to be overstocked. I also do not want species which are too active in comparison to the Rams.


Thanks :)
 

CrackerboxPalace

Not so sure about the rams, but you could consider a school of sterbai corys for the bottom. Competition and temperature wise they should do fine with the rams. :)
 

Ksway

I would recommend pencil fish with them. They are very slow and not quick to eat all the food. Great dither fish, I use them for my apistos. Nannostomus eques are my favorite but many different types. If money isnt a problem the red coral pencil fish are amazing.
 

Bettatakeover

You could do cardinal tetras or ember tetras. I have both in with my rams. The cardinals swim a little lower in the tank while the embers stay in the top third. Neither species really eats from the bottom floor of the tank, so no food competition. I don’t find either species particularly active, they are super peaceful and their colors are nice with rams.
 

strobukm

How about a school of cardinal tetras? They are fine at the higher temps required for the rams and are less active and chaotic than rummynose.
 

Ksway

Also in my experience, that ratio for rams is not great, you should add about 2 more pairs or more or only keep one pair in the tank.
 

Linda1234

You could cool the tank down a little to 82 or 83 which should be ok for the rams. I would then 2nd both sterbai and cardinals as good options. You could also consider a large school of oto (10 to 20); which can be a fun fish in a large group. There are different species of oto and some prefer it a bit warmer than others; still if you keep the tank at 85 it might be a bit warm for them.
 

mxnewss

CrackerboxPalace I was actually already considering a small school of Sterbai Cories for the bottom of the tank, still 50/50 though, not too sure if I want to add them as they are pretty active. Tossing up between adding those cute little guys, or a Pleco, if I do decide on introducing a bottom feeding species to the tank.

Ksway Pencil fish! Never heard of them before, I will definitely have to do my research before deciding if they are the right fish for what I’m looking for this tank. Hopefully they are available in Australia, since I haven’t come across them in any LFS. Definitely will be considering these fish for the tank. Have you kept them before?

Definitely plan on adding more Rams to the tank. I’ve got 2 Males at the moment (1 GBR and 1 EBR), with 1 Female GBR and surprisingly, all is well and they get along great! I’m going to add another EBR (hopefully female), as well as another 2 pairs of Rams, as you suggested. In total the stock will be stocked with:
- 2 GBR
- 2 EBR
- 2 Golden Rams
- Possibly another pair of Rams, most likely GBR.

NofishB4 Thank you for the suggestion! The colour would look great with the Rams. How many of each school do you have in the tank? I had 15 Neons in the tank with the 14 Rummynose at one stage and the tank was way too crowded for my liking. The two schools often swam together and it was all too messy.

Linda1234 Thanks for the suggestion :) I don’t think I will cool down the tank though, I want the main focus of the tank to be the Rams and I do want to stock accordingly to the Rams preferences and temperature. Thanks though I really appreciate it :)
 

CrackerboxPalace

Some plecos definitely could work but keep in mind very few will tolerate ~89F for very long. One species you could do is the snowball pleco (l201). Typically these rarer plecos suited for warm water are quite expensive though, especially in Australia.
 

Bettatakeover

CrackerboxPalace I was actually already considering a small school of Sterbai Cories for the bottom of the tank, still 50/50 though, not too sure if I want to add them as they are pretty active. Tossing up between adding those cute little guys, or a Pleco, if I do decide on introducing a bottom feeding species to the tank.

Ksway Pencil fish! Never heard of them before, I will definitely have to do my research before deciding if they are the right fish for what I’m looking for this tank. Hopefully they are available in Australia, since I haven’t come across them in any LFS. Definitely will be considering these fish for the tank. Have you kept them before?

Definitely plan on adding more Rams to the tank. I’ve got 2 Males at the moment (1 GBR and 1 EBR), with 1 Female GBR and surprisingly, all is well and they get along great! I’m going to add another EBR (hopefully female), as well as another 2 pairs of Rams, as you suggested. In total the stock will be stocked with:
- 2 GBR
- 2 EBR
- 2 Golden Rams
- Possibly another pair of Rams, most likely GBR.

NofishB4 Thank you for the suggestion! The colour would look great with the Rams. How many of each school do you have in the tank? I had 15 Neons in the tank with the 14 Rummynose at one stage and the tank was way too crowded for my liking. The two schools often swam together and it was all too messy.

Linda1234 Thanks for the suggestion :) I don’t think I will cool down the tank though, I want the main focus of the tank to be the Rams and I do want to stock accordingly to the Rams preferences and temperature. Thanks though I really appreciate it :)
I originally had 12 of each. Each school lost 2 and both schools are holding steady with 10 each. Neither species seems to really school together. They mostly spread out unless it’s feeding time or water change time…then they really tighten up.
 

mxnewss

Some plecos definitely could work but keep in mind very few will tolerate ~89F for very long. One species you could do is the snowball pleco (l201). Typically these rarer plecos suited for warm water are quite expensive though, especially in Australia.
You weren’t joking when you said they were expensive! One of my LFS has them for $500.
Any other Plecos or bottomfeeders you can think of that will tolerate those temps?
 

mxnewss

You could have some julii cories, otos or maybe siamese algae eaters?
Awesome, love the ideas, thank you!

I got another EBR today, all is well so far. Hopefully its a female.
 

MacZ

- The length of the tank is far to small and definitely not long enough for the Rummynose, as I have learnt from MacZ.
Thanks for mentioning me and I hope you listen to what I have to say now:

Please, do NOT keep that many Rams in a tank that size. I would say two pairs with the right structure is ok, more is begging for trouble.

And don't add more bottomdwellers. The cichlids will stress each other enough adding Corydoras to this will overcrowd the bottom third of your tank to a level that will promote stress induced diseases.

Also Otos in a species appropriate group size will have to be fed supplementory, which leads to problems with water quality. They also tend to introduce very tenacious parasites.

CrackerboxPalace Siamese Algae Eaters need a lot of space. The tank is too short for them. Also a species that will likely stress the Rams.

Should you, mxnewss still want to go on with this... I can't stop you, and I won't, but I sincerely hope you ultimately decide in favour of the fishes wellbeing. PSA finished.

Goodbye and good luck.
 

mxnewss

Thanks for mentioning me and I hope you listen to what I have to say now:

Please, do NOT keep that many Rams in a tank that size. I would say two pairs with the right structure is ok, more is begging for trouble.

And don't add more bottomdwellers. The cichlids will stress each other enough adding Corydoras to this will overcrowd the bottom third of your tank to a level that will promote stress induced diseases.

Also Otos in a species appropriate group size will have to be fed supplementory, which leads to problems with water quality. They also tend to introduce very tenacious parasites.

CrackerboxPalace Siamese Algae Eaters need a lot of space. The tank is too short for them. Also a species that will likely stress the Rams.

Should you, mxnewss still want to go on with this... I can't stop you, and I won't, but I sincerely hope you ultimately decide in favour of the fishes wellbeing. PSA finished.

Goodbye and good luck.
Thanks for your reply!

I’ve just got the 2 GBR and 2 EBR in the tank now. I will take your advise and leave it at that.

Currently it is just the Rams and the Rummynose Tetras in the tank, as mentioned I will remove the Rummynose Tetras.

No bottom feeders in the tank at the moment. Do you have any suggestions besides Sterbai Cories?

Leaning towards replacing the Rummynose Tetras with Pencil Fish.
 

MacZ

No bottom feeders in the tank at the moment. Do you have any suggestions besides Sterbai Cories?
You have 4 Rams. That's plenty for bottomdwellers.

Leaning towards replacing the Rummynose Tetras with Pencil Fish.
That is in my opinion the best plan. Most pencilfish are aggressive among each other, especially the males, so lower ranking fish will not stay near the surface but populate the middle. 15-20 pencils, depending on the species and the 4 rams is probably the best possible compromise between your original plan and what could be considered a solid stocking.
 

Pfrozen

I love the pencils as well. Only thing I want to say is that mine will eat everything- flakes, pellets, wafers, veggies, algae, literally whatever I put in there. Luckily they can't consume a ton of food with their tiny mouths but it seems that they at least "try" to outcompete the other fish for food. For comparison when I first got them I had to feed them powdered fry food
 

Ksway

CrackerboxPalace I was actually already considering a small school of Sterbai Cories for the bottom of the tank, still 50/50 though, not too sure if I want to add them as they are pretty active. Tossing up between adding those cute little guys, or a Pleco, if I do decide on introducing a bottom feeding species to the tank.

Ksway Pencil fish! Never heard of them before, I will definitely have to do my research before deciding if they are the right fish for what I’m looking for this tank. Hopefully they are available in Australia, since I haven’t come across them in any LFS. Definitely will be considering these fish for the tank. Have you kept them before?

Definitely plan on adding more Rams to the tank. I’ve got 2 Males at the moment (1 GBR and 1 EBR), with 1 Female GBR and surprisingly, all is well and they get along great! I’m going to add another EBR (hopefully female), as well as another 2 pairs of Rams, as you suggested. In total the stock will be stocked with:
- 2 GBR
- 2 EBR
- 2 Golden Rams
- Possibly another pair of Rams, most likely GBR.

NofishB4 Thank you for the suggestion! The colour would look great with the Rams. How many of each school do you have in the tank? I had 15 Neons in the tank with the 14 Rummynose at one stage and the tank was way too crowded for my liking. The two schools often swam together and it was all too messy.

Linda1234 Thanks for the suggestion :) I don’t think I will cool down the tank though, I want the main focus of the tank to be the Rams and I do want to stock accordingly to the Rams preferences and temperature. Thanks though I really appreciate it :)
Yes pencils are great! They never really predate on fry and I have kept them in my breeding tanks with my apistogramma tanks. I've also kept them at a high temp of 28 with no issue. You should definitely check them out !
 

mxnewss

Yes pencils are great! They never really predate on fry and I have kept them in my breeding tanks with my apistogramma tanks. I've also kept them at a high temp of 28 with no issue. You should definitely check them out !
Will do, thank you!
 

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