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40 breeder stocking advice


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First, 48gallons, yes really. Weird size around here, but I found it used.

(EDIT: I am not so smart: Do not trust a craislist seller's measurments--it is a 40 breeder)

It is going to take me a week or two to get it set up and cycled. Plan is black sand and gravel substrate, rocks/caves, Valisneria, Tiger lotus, epiphytes like java fern and anubias, all secured to/by rocks.

IMPORTANT POINT: this is a low wide tank, footprint is 36X18 inches, 17" deep (nope, 16"). It is actually bigger than the standard foot print of 55g: 48x13.

I am set on at least one electric blue acara (EBA), which is the purpose of this tank.

Stocking options are as follows:

1. 1 EBA + 1 feather fin squeaker (Synodontis Eupterus)

2. Breeding pair of EBA +  1 feather fin squeaker (Synodontis Eupterus)

3. Breeding pair of EBA

My understaning is that the EBA will be about 6" when grown, and the Synodontis will be 8-10", so I am concerned that any amount of Synodontis might be too big in this tank. I don't WANT a pleco, but I realize that is a better option. Looking for opinions on these options from people who have kept both fish, or other very similar species.


Edited by Brandy
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14 hours ago, JettsPapa said:


Are you sure that's 48 gallons?  The dimensions seem to be the same as a 40 gallon breeder.  That's a great size, by the way.  I have one and really like it.  It's the same footprint as a 65 gallon, just not as tall.

Huh, you have a point.

36x18x17 (LxWxH) calculated at 47.69gallons. A standard 40 breeder is 36x18x16, but I thought they were taller than they were wide. HAH! my mistake! That is a much less odd thing. Teach me to trust a craigslist seller...😳 Ok. going to change the title, but not the OP. 

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Having reevaluated this tank based on the astute observation of @JettsPapa, I think the Synodontis is a bad idea. I like the fish, but I will be better off sticking to my orignial plan of either one Green Terror, or 1-2 EBA. I can add a pleco for clean up if I provide pleco sized cover. I still am not a huge fan of plecos, but I can deal. I would put in otos if I didn't think they would possibly eventually get eaten and spike the cichlid mouth, causing the loss of both.

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3 hours ago, JettsPapa said:

I'm a little confused about why you plan to add a pleco if you really don't like them?  If it's just for algae control why not just get a nerite or two (assuming algae gets to be an issue)?

My go-to algae control and clean up crew is usually snails, shrimps, otos, and khuli loaches. I expect that the cichlids might eat all of the above, so trying to think of a little bigger sturdier fish. Admitedly the Synodontis was just because I thought it was cool and fell for @H.K.Luterman's Pooka--not because I thought it would clean up. The pleco or lack of pleco can be sorted out if and when I end up with algae.

My objection to Plecos is their faces...I think they are great fish but am not a big fan of their look. I grew up with common plecos overgrown in every friend's cichlid tank, and they just creeped me out as a kid! We all got baggage.🤣

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