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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 40 breeder and here is the theoretical stocking list:
5 Cherry barbs
6 Australian Rainbows
6 Colombian Tetras
1 Pearl Gourami

I want to have another centerpiece fish along with the gourami, keyhole or ram, and if ram, german blue or bolivian?
Right now I have the cherry barbs and a 2 full grown sailfin mollies and some fry, (if anyone is interested in them please PM me) which I'd like to get rid of, possibly keep one molly. Any suggestions/changes?
 

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I think Cichlids and Gouramis butt heads in a tank together. I don't know if it's a rule but it does happen. I would go with a fish that is equal in size with the Gourami. Probably a Keyhole or Bolivian. Both get fairly large for smaller cichlids. You'll want to keep an eye on the interactions and have a backup plan in place just incase it doesn't work out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I'm leaning towards a keyhole. Any particular order I should add the fish from the list into the tank? Like I said I already have the cherries and molly.
 

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The prescribed method is always territorial fish last. The schooling fish don't really matter in your case as rainbows will ignore barbs and tetras for the most part and vice versa. I would add the gourami and cichlid last, but together so neither has claim to territory before the other.
 

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The other advice I can give you is to do your due diligence before you add the fish. I'm always doing research online about the fish I want to keep. Mostly I'm able to avoid bringing the questions here because there's a wealth of knowledge online on just about any fish mix you could think of. I'd advise you to search Pearl Gourami and all three of the cichlids you're thinking about keeping just to see what you can find on it. There may be more specific info on the subject.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, I'm just like you, always scouring the internet and and reading all I could. I wasn't able to find information for my exact situation so I brought it here.
 

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I think I would just go with a mate for the Pearl Gourami. I currently have a pair with 3 Australian Rainbows and 2 Turquoise Rainbows as well as some Tiger Barbs and Black Skirt Tetras + some assorted others and they do fine together. Given the mature size of the Australians I think you would be about fully stocked in a 40. You might even be pushing it a bit without diligent maintenance.
 

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The Australian is a large Rainbow; I would go for a smaller one. They are too big for a 3' long tank.

How about M. macullochi? Nice looking, and OK in the smaller tank.
Melanotaenia maccullochi
I agree these fish are probably too large for this size tank. They can be quite active and would enjoy a larger space. I have mine an a 72 inch 125 gal and they get from one end to the other very quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I agree these fish are probably too large for this size tank. They can be quite active and would enjoy a larger space. I have mine an a 72 inch 125 gal and they get from one end to the other very quickly.
I want rainbows but most other rainbows are too expensive for me. Praecox and threadfins seem to stay quite small, and I was hoping for fish in the 3-4 inch range.
 

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I personally don't have any experience keeping either the Praecox or Threadfin but I think they would be a better choice than the Australians for you. One website mentioned that the Columbian Tetra can be somewhat aggressive and warned about keeping with long-finned species so that is something you might want to keep in mind as far as the Threadfin goes. You might want to also consider just going with larger groups of the barbs and tetras and add a couple of corys or other bottom dweller to the mix.

From what I've read the Praecox might be a good choice.
 

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i have 2 bolivan rams and a gourami in my 20gal long and they seem to be ok. rams fight every once and a while and the gourami kinda plays the ref and brakes them up. i might of gotten lucky as they have been fine for the last 3-4 months.
 

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Just my two cents, this is kind of a strange stocking list.... You have several species of schooling/shoaling fish, but not in sufficient numbers to see the behaviors that make these fish interesting or to keep those fish comfortable. I get that you want larger fish, but it's hard to have a lot of larger fish in a tank that size. If it were me, I would pick your centerpiece (usually larger) species first, and then work around it for the other fish. A few ideas:

(1) If you really want those particular rainbowfish, make them your centerpiece and get enough to make them comfortable (from seriouslyfish.com: "Like many other rainbowfish it can be quite skittish and does far better when kept in a shoal of at least 6-8, preferably more. The males will also be encouraged to display their best colours in the company of conspecifics. Obviously a suitably-sized aquarium would be required for a very large group.") Get 10-12, and then fill in with a dwarf gourami (if compatible), and perhaps a small school of a dwarf catfish species (Hyalobagrus flavus or Hara jerdoni if you want to stick with Asian species, or a few cories if you don't mind mixing continents).

(2) If you want cichlids as a centerpiece, this is a suitable footprint for a group of 6 Bolivian rams, (seriouslyfish.com: "M. altispinosus is a relatively gregarious cichlid and should ideally be maintained in a mixed-sex group of 6-8 or more."), a pair of German blue rams, or a group of Apistogrammas (1M/several F). Then you can add a nice school of small tetras (even up to 20+ if you pick a small species), and a school of Corydoras if you want (though the rams will inhabit the lower part of the tank, so Corydoras are necessary aesthetically).

(3) If you want gouramis as a centerpiece, try a group of honey gouramis and fill in with a nice-sized school of small rainbowfish or rasboras, and again, a school of catfish or corydoras for the lower areas.

(4) If you want the biggest centerpiece fish possible, you could also do a pair of firemouth cichlids in that tank -- males get up to 5"-6" long. These are beautiful fish with great personalities. But I don't think you can keep smaller fish with them, so not so great for a community tank of this size.

Caution: Check with aqadvisor for whatever stocking you do. It's okay to overstock somewhat as long as you're good with water changes.
 

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I still come back to having a pair of Pearl Gouramis as your centerpiece fish. I've kept pairs(male and female) in just about every tank situation I've had that was larger enough to house them. They are not too large and do well as a pair so you don't take up all your stock space using this as your centerpiece. With the 40 gal you just don't have enough space to have a group of larger fish and still be able to have other groups of very many fish. Here's a theoretical stocking using AqAdvisor for a 40 breeder. It allows you to have a pair of Pearls as the centerpiece and a larger group of the Columbian Tetras and Cherry Barbs. You could then add a group of corys as a bottom dweller and still be only 80% stocked.



[Clear fish selections]

Selected species:
6 x Bronze Cory (Corydoras aeneus) 10 x Cherry Barb (Puntius titteya) 10 x Colombian Tetra (Hyphessobrycon columbianus) 2 x Pearl Gourami (Trichogaster leerii)
Total selected: 28 fishes.


•Warning: When Pearl Gourami starts to breed, they may become too aggressive to co-exist with Cherry Barb.

Recommended temperature range: 24 - 26 C. [Display in Farenheit]
Recommended pH range: 6 - 7.8.
Recommended hardness range: 5 - 15 dH

Recommended water change schedule: 30% per week.
Your aquarium stocking level is 80


Note the warning on the Pearl Gouramis as far as breeding aggression. I've never had a problem with this but that's just my experience
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I like that stocking list, thanks. I'm thinking of replacing the cities with 2-3 pictus cats. Or, using the original stocking list and replacing the rainbows with giant danios.
 

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I like that stocking list, thanks. I'm thinking of replacing the cities with 2-3 pictus cats. Or, using the original stocking list and replacing the rainbows with giant danios.
In your OP you also mentioned maybe rams. You could go with a pair of Bolivian Rams also depending on the stock level you end up with or sub them for the corys etc. They are primarily bottom half of the tank dwellers. I have had a male and female for quite some time now and they do well together. I have seen others mention they can show aggression toward each other unless there is a group but I have not had any problem. I think it depends on the size of tank? Mine is a 125 so they have plenty of room but they do interact quite a bit. Any aggression seems almost playful and is short lived. They rarely come up more than 1/4 of the tank from the bottom except at feeding time.

I have not had any experience with the German Blue Ram.
 
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