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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am going to be buying my first ever aquarium soon and was wondering if there are any interesting stocking ideas. I will almost definitely be making it a planted tank. It is a fluval roma 125 aquarium (33 gallons). I was thinking some neon tetras and a Pearl gourami (or other gourami’s) with some otocinclus as well.

I am now thinking black neons, 3 Pearl gouramis and a mix of otocinclus and panda corydoras.

Do you have any other suggestions?
 

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You could fit a dozen neon tetras really well in a 33 gallon. If you get otocinclus you should aim for a school of 5 or 6. I would maybe suggest a pair of dwarf cichlids like Apistogramma, Kribensis, or Rams. They have interesting breeding behavior and brilliant colors. Just provide some shelter or a cave. Plus the neon tetras could make a perfect dither fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You could fit a dozen neon tetras really well in a 33 gallon. If you get otocinclus you should aim for a school of 5 or 6. I would maybe suggest a pair of dwarf cichlids like Apistogramma, Kribensis, or Rams. They have interesting breeding behavior and brilliant colors. Just provide some shelter or a cave. Plus the neon tetras could make a perfect dither fish.
Thank you! I hadn’t really thought about the dwarf cichlids, I will definitely look into them!
 

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Scratch having a school of 5 or 6 otos. Get 8 or more and watch them get far more active. I'm a big proponent of nano species, and there's quite a few that I adore. For example, you could sub in green neons for the regular neons, get the otos, have a trio of sparkling gouramis, and then for funsies have pygmy corydoras as well. Most of these you can find at your LFS (Local Fish Store). What's your water like (TDS, GH/KH) ? I know that people like to say that fish can adapt, but when possible, I enjoy matching fish to the water parameters.

1) Neons, Pearl Gourami, and Otos: I recommend at least 8 of the neons and 8 of the otos. For the pearl gouramis, you could do 1, 2, or 3 depending on your water change schedule and how you plant your tank. As a protip, I highly recommend getting leaf litter like indian almond leaves into the tank to make aufwuchs for the otos to graze on. I also recommend buying repashy soilent green for the otos to chow on.

2) I agree with pairs of dwarf cichlids. However, I think that neons prefer their water on the cooler side (74 F). If you go with rams or other high temperature species, I'd suggest switching to cardinal tetras instead. I also recommend looking into hatchetfish! Those are fun little species.
 

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Yeah, great ideas! Cardinals look stunning compared to neons (no offense neons ;)) and they will appreciate the acidity the leaves bring. Hatchet fish would be a great addition as well, especially with the dwarf cichlids since they will provide some interest at the surface.
 

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I love the look of cardinals but be careful- don't shop petco right now for them- everyone I've talked to and myself have had horrible issues with neon tetra disease in cardinals from petco within the past 2 months. Thank goodness I quarantine or my entire community would have been wiped out. Just a heads up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have now purchased the tank, I'm going to have 10 - 12 black neon tetras, and 2 pearl gourami. I'm thinking about maybe a bristlenose pleco or otos now as panda corys are very expensive.
 

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If you're going to go with oto I strongly suggest waiting until your tank is mature. You could probably do a bristle nose. As with all gourami watch out for any aggression (pearls tend to be relatively peaceful but there's always a possibility).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
1029532

This is the tank so far (there will be more plants), I have been thinking about all the suggestions and have narrowed it down to what I will most likely be getting! 10 Black neon tetra, 10 harlequin rasbora, 2 Pearl gourami, 6 panda corys, and possibly 4 otos. Thank you for all your help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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This is the current stocking, (may add others at some point in the future) 11 black neon tetra, 2 Pearl gourami, 4 otos, 4 amano shrimp, 3 assassin snails. Everything is healthy and doing great. Thank you everyone for your input.
 

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I'd still add a couple more otos. Even though this is pretty much capped bio-wise. and those are some good sized Pearls you got! Nice. Do you know how to sex them? With gourami I'd shoot for 1-1 or 1 male, 2 female ratio. Male Pearls have a longer dorsal fin and frills coming off the anal and dorsal fin. And sometimes brighter orange on their belly. Even more so when they are ready to spawn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'd still add a couple more otos. Even though this is pretty much capped bio-wise. and those are some good sized Pearls you got! Nice. Do you know how to sex them? With gourami I'd shoot for 1-1 or 1 male, 2 female ratio. Male Pearls have a longer dorsal fin and frills coming off the anal and dorsal fin. And sometimes brighter orange on their belly. Even more so when they are ready to spawn.
Yeah I'm looking in to getting more otos, hopefully will get another 4 pretty soon, I'm almost certain I have 1 male and 1 female pearl gourami (one has much brighter colours and the other characteristics you said).
 
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