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Kirsten
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This tank plus my pea puffer desk tank have got to be it for new tanks for awhile! I'm going...a little overboard here with new tank planning. Thanks, COVID!

But I'm seeing a nice 36g bowfront on sale at PetSmart right now with a nice cabinet stand (has a crappy lid but I can swap it out for glass + better lighting) and I think it would be perfect for a main (smallish) living room peaceful community tank.

I currently have 3 somewhat unhappy pygmy cories that need more friends, so I'm thinking of moving them over. I love the look of endlers and would definitely like a school of those. I'm planning on using a nice, somewhat hefty sponge filter and heavily planting, of course. I think I'd also like to try a bamboo shrimp.

So, what else should I put in there to play nice with my peacenics? Gold platys would look cool with endlers, as would harlequin or lambchop rasboras. But I'd love to make room for some nerite and mystery snails, too. This will also be my first experience with livebearers so I'm a little scared of getting overwhelmed with two species of them (but I guess I could always give extra to my carnivores!)

Should I just start with endlers, corys, bamboo shrimp and snails for awhile and then add another fish later?

And what about substrate? I'm a little afraid of using sand and having it get compacted, needing to add MTS and having them starve out my prettier pet snails. Any opinions on "planted" aquarium substrate?

 

Edited by Kirsten
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Endlers are live-bearers so you will be getting some babies from them. So I wouldn't do the golden mollies because these guys are also live-bearers. I would suggest a nice feature fish like, Angelfish (my favorite fish). These guys have are super beutiful, don't get too agressive, and there persanlity is AWESOME! my three 3 angelfish will like dance for me when there hungry (they love their food). These guys will also take care of some of your babies, but if you want the babies, get some moss or floating plants for these babies to hide in. Rasboras are cool too.

 heres what I would do...

Pygmy Cory x6

Endlers x10

Angelfish x1

Rasboras x4 (if you really wanted them)

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I would suggest adding a few more of the Pigmy Cory's to make a group of 5 to 7. They are a shoaling fish and will feel more comfortable with more friends.

A pair of dwarf, red flame or honey gourami's would be nice. I have had luck keeping them with Pearl Gourami's

@James Black has a good suggestion. If you want an Angel, I would suggest a sole specimen, and yes they will do okay alone.

I have a 37g tank I'm planning on setting up with Pigmy Cory's, Killifish and at least two schools of Pseudomogle Australian Rainbow fish. I currently have in there 1 Siamese Algae Eater, 1 Honey Dwarf Gourami and get this, 1 Betta (yes Betta fish can be kept in community tanks). I was going to have a solo Angel, but am still on the fence. I want the other fish more, so, I'll see how that goes first.

A species of dwarf cichlid apistogramma is on my 'wouldn't it be cool' list as well.

Check some of these out! There are sooo many cool fish out there!

Have fun with your new tank!!

 

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Nice! Yeah I just got 4 new friends for my 3 pygmy corys and they're so much happier. So cool you have a (male?) betta in a community tank! Still not sure I'm sold on an angel yet. Maybe if I fall in love with one. Feel like I'd have more room to breathe with breeding guppies, snails, and maybe even corys with a couple gourami, but I'll keep an open mind.

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17 minutes ago, Kirsten said:

Nice! Yeah I just got 4 new friends for my 3 pygmy corys and they're so much happier. So cool you have a (male?) betta in a community tank! Still not sure I'm sold on an angel yet. Maybe if I fall in love with one. Feel like I'd have more room to breathe with breeding guppies, snails, and maybe even corys with a couple gourami, but I'll keep an open mind.

Gourami are very cool too. Very nice coloration and persanolity. Some do have bad tempers I would reccemoend, Dwarf Honey Gourami.  these guys don't have as nasty tempers as the rest.

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On 11/24/2020 at 3:09 PM, Kirsten said:

Fascinating! I never even considered angels, as lovely as they are, because it seemed like 36 was too small for a school of them plus much anything else. Are they okay being a lone specimen in a tank of smaller fish? Is there a variety that you'd recommend?

Yes they can be kept alone. My Favorite are, 

Red Koi Angelfish

Platinum Angelfish

Zebra Angelfish

as you can probably tell I love angelfish.

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This is awesome! Thanks so much for the advice, everyone! When I go to pick up my pea puffer, I'll see what my LFS has in terms of koi angelfish or honey gourami, ooh or maybe a bolivian ram or two! I wouldn't mind them snackin on some guppy fry to keep the population in check, as long as they don't eat adults or get nipped themselves.

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Oh my god, folks, I'm changing my mind now for about the eighteenth time. I suspect this is the REAL reason why experienced fish keepers tell newbies to take their time setting up an aquarium. So many new aspects to learn.

Now, since what I really love are endlers and nerites, and since they both love hard water, and since corys don't so much, and since I can easily fit a small school of pygmy corys in with my betta in my 10g where they can both enjoy my naturally pretty soft, neutral water together, NEW PLAN!

My new goal is to make the prettiest darn beginner's tank you've ever seen with hard water lovers: endlers, some colorful platys, a bunch of richly patterned nerites, maybe a few mystery snails too. Hell, if it's gradual enough, I may even be able to salt the water up to slightly brackish and breed those nerites. Not sure if I still want a bamboo shrimp in that scenario, but with that many snails happening, I don't think we'll need the extra filtration.

If I get bored or want to step it up, I might add some dwarf neon rainbows or go further into the brackish world with bumbleebee goby or fiddler crabs.

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