Please help, what would you do? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-16-2015, 08:08 AM Thread Starter
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Please help, what would you do?

I have a 40g tank (36"x12"x21"). I have decided to turn that into a planted community tank. Not sure what exactly I want to stock

What I know I want:
a school of cardinal tetra (15?)
pair of bn plecos (already in the tank)
After that idk where to go from there. I'm open to any suggestions and I would like to get a good discussion going. Feel free to state any stocking that would work best for this tank, or what you would stock if this was your tank. I am open to suggestions.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-16-2015, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by fishkeeper01 View Post
I have a 40g tank (36"x12"x21"). I have decided to turn that into a planted community tank. Not sure what exactly I want to stock

What I know I want:
a school of cardinal tetra (15?)
pair of bn plecos (already in the tank)
After that idk where to go from there. I'm open to any suggestions and I would like to get a good discussion going. Feel free to state any stocking that would work best for this tank, or what you would stock if this was your tank. I am open to suggestions.
Have you given as much thought about which plants you'll put in this tank?
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-16-2015, 02:09 PM
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almost anything will work for this tank. the plecos will/may suck some plants, although.

For now it sounds like - i want to buy a car, a sedan, that has cup holders. Any suggestions?

Do you have a style in mind? What is your light, CO2, water parameters, etc.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-16-2015, 07:21 PM
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Take those cardinals and leave them at the store. Get a hoard of shrimp!

Really though, I'm not a huge cardinal fan. I think harlequins and rummy nose are better looking, schooling, fish. At 40g, you could fit some more interesting fish. I've come to realize I like 'less big fish' than 'more small fish' myself. Consider it before you make any purchases. I also think this would be a great time to do a betta tank. Bettas are beautiful fish and a sorority would be cool.


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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-16-2015, 08:45 PM
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Cardinals just die like neons, if you buy 15, you will end up,with 7 or 8
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-16-2015, 08:54 PM
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Cardinals just die like neons, if you buy 15, you will end up,with 7 or 8
Huh? I have both and haven't had any deaths yet. So far they seem quite durable. For example, I have a friend that has a small 5g tank (maybe smaller?) at home and his small child decided to feed the fish and dumped an entire container of flakes in the tank. When he noticed the tank the neons had lost almost all their color and were laying on their sides. He took them out and into a different container, cleaned the tank completely, and then put them back. They all survived and then also survived the subsequent recycling of his tank. Maybe my experience is not typical and I've not been in this hobby for long, but I've not seen anything that indicates you should expect a 50% die off when buying them.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-16-2015, 09:06 PM
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I've come to realize I like 'less big fish' than 'more small fish' myself. Consider it before you make any purchases. I also think this would be a great time to do a betta tank. Bettas are beautiful fish and a sorority would be cool.
Hah... I've come to the exact opposite realization. I'm on my first tank and wish I had bought more small schoolers rather than some of the larger fish. Either way, it is definitely something to consider. I just sort of bought my fish with no real plan. But at the time I hadn't yet fallen down the rabbit hole. It was just a tank for the kids at the time. Now it's more daddy's hobby.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-16-2015, 10:05 PM
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Huh? I have both and haven't had any deaths yet. So far they seem quite durable. For example, I have a friend that has a small 5g tank (maybe smaller?) at home and his small child decided to feed the fish and dumped an entire container of flakes in the tank. When he noticed the tank the neons had lost almost all their color and were laying on their sides. He took them out and into a different container, cleaned the tank completely, and then put them back. They all survived and then also survived the subsequent recycling of his tank. Maybe my experience is not typical and I've not been in this hobby for long, but I've not seen anything that indicates you should expect a 50% die off when buying them.
I just havent had a good experience with them. I have pristine water, but they keep dying. I have talked to my LFS even, and they say that neons do die fairly easily, this is the one that i havent ever bought neons from.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-16-2015, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry, so there is currently a 36" finnex stingray on the tank already aND I'dlike to stick with that. As for plants I know I want jungle val and dwarf sag. Maybe hygrophila difformis, or ludwigia repens, or maybe moneywort. My lfs is really good and I trust where they get there stock from. Also if I'm looking for something specific the owner more than likely can get it in for me.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-17-2015, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Freemananana View Post
Take those cardinals and leave them at the store. Get a hoard of shrimp!

Really though, I'm not a huge cardinal fan. I think harlequins and rummy nose are better looking, schooling, fish. At 40g, you could fit some more interesting fish. I've come to realize I like 'less big fish' than 'more small fish' myself. Consider it before you make any purchases. I also think this would be a great time to do a betta tank. Bettas are beautiful fish and a sorority would be cool.
That's being quite bias. Many people love Cardinals. Myself included. Bettas can not be housed together for the most part. The smaller the tank, the worse off. You can get away with one male to several females but unless you have a much larger tank, don't even think about adding more than one male.

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Cardinals just die like neons, if you buy 15, you will end up,with 7 or 8
Depends on your source. I get my Cards for a very reputable shop in town. Out of 20, I may loose 2-3 yes but no where near half or more as you have stated. Most Cards are farm raised nowadays and are a bit more durable than wild caught. Wild caught are highly stressed and most will probably die. Check your source. Avoid buying cards from lfs when they first come in. Wait it out a few days to a week if you can. Let the weaker ones die off. Some stores do this before they even put them in tanks to sell.

If you plan on doing any type of scaping, you may want to reconsider that pair of bn. I had to take my lone bn back to the pet store. Even though they don't get very long, they do have girth. I had one in a 29g and she would rearrange stuff all the time. She use to be housed in my 55g and she was perfect there, until that tank was lost and I had to down side to the 29g. Expect to uprooting of plants and/or some accidental plant damage due to their size. Arrange your tank accordingly for them.

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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-17-2015, 07:00 AM Thread Starter
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Ok well plants I was thinking for sure jungle val and dwarf sag. I was deciding between moneywort, ludwigia repens, and amazon swords to offset the vals and dwarf sag. Are any of those plants not bn pleco friendly?
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-17-2015, 08:00 AM
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Moneywort is a pain to grow well in low tech. I would say not to get this plant as many struggle to grow it well. Ludwigia will be nice bit with such low light you won't get any nice color from it. I would advise some crypts and anubias instead. With water sprite or water wisteria.
Bn plecos should not touch any of those.

Keep lots of driftwood though.

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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-17-2015, 04:03 PM
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Tall narrow tank with vals and dwarf sag carpet and bristlenose. Sounds nice already.

Bristlenose need wood. I'd get a massive bit of wood and put dark Anubias and moss on it and leave it at that. Branches are fine but they need to be heavy to contrast with the thin light reflecting val leaves and not tangle and tear them. Needs to be quite tall as it will disappear under the foreground sags otherwise. If you can resist the temptation to get more plants then the vals can make a thick backdrop without it bugging you but the mystery crypt I have that has 1-2" wide leaves and grows 8-20" tall would be nice as well.

As for the rest of the stocking maybe easy shrimp would be nice once the moss gets going, could also place moss covered rocks under/around wood. Not sure a fish with a horizontal design is best in this tank with so much vertical growth, perhaps a schooling fish that is rounder? Harlequin rasboras maybe? Bleeding Heart tetra, Lemon tetra, Black Phantom tetra?


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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-17-2015, 04:58 PM
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Great comments above! I would skip the pleco's. I have never NOT been sorry that I bought a pleco. I love Cardinals but they do give up life at a rather high percentage. I have a nice school of Rummy nosed tetras in my 120. I think there are 15-20 of them and they "school" more than any other tetra I have purchased. My latest obsession is CRS but you probably don't want to add them to a tank with fish....

That being said I want to do my newest tank with a complete carpet of glosso (if I can get it to thrive) or DHG (if I can not suck at making it grow) and Cardinals

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 10-17-2015, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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Could Jungle val dwarf sag and hygrophila difformis work?
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