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Fresh Fry to the Forum :P And ideas for a 55g with a gold gourami?


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Hello from Tennessee! 


My husband and I bought our first tank 7 years ago. It was a 55g kit and was still in the cycling process when I found out we were gonna be parents! So that tank got broken down and packed into the attic, and I've had to enjoy various youtube videos to get my fishy fix. 


About the middle of this year I made the decision to start our first fish tank again! But with a smaller 20 gallon tank. To get everyone excited to help with the tank, the little one and husband got to pick out the first fish. (she helped through the process of cycling and I drew up a coloring sheet for the nitrogen cycle and helped track the parameters through our fishless cycle) They picked neon tetras and a dwarf blue gourami. So off to the fish store and the neons were picked up, as well as the gourami. Only my husband got a gold gourami because they had no blues and he assumed it was a dwarf. I told him to look it up, knowing it wasn't. He was sure, so we went home with them and I was sure that 55g would soon be dusted off. *evil hand gestures inserted here with a flash of lightning and thunder* 


Sure enough the gourami grew a bit and started to get aggressive. So a bare 55g is on the coffee table temporarily and housing the lonely gold gourami, Bayek. (any Assassin's Creed fans here?) We went back to the lfs to have a look at fish and grabbed some guppies for the husband's new choice to stock the 20g. My stocking was a freshwater pompom crab and a bamboo shrimp, as well as 3 amanos and a few colors of mystery snails added sporadically over the months, if you're curious. 


My question to you is how you'd stock this 55g with but a lonely gold gourami. My husband wants a pleco, and the lfs has some super red bristlenose they breed in-house. I'd like to scape it with driftwood and lava rock. A substrate of black sand. Plenty of epiphytes, and possibly a variety of crypts if the fish are compatible. I would probably move a couple snails over and possibly install a powerhead and move the bamboo shrimp over as it generally hangs around the sponge filter in the 20g, and I'd love to see it on a plant or driftwood or something prettier than airline tubing or other places that it finds to be the best flow with just a sponge filter. I'd love the gourami to be the centerpiece fish, because he has such a story. Ideally, a schooling fish like rummynose tetras or Cory loves to suggest silvertips because they follow your finger, and I think the little one (and myself, lets be honest) would love that. I'm wondering if enough of them schooling would be successful in keeping the gourami at bay? Let me know what you'd do. 


To wrap it up, my antisocial self feels like this freshly born guppy fry from our tank entering this beautiful community of nerms. (the bubbles are from a water change, its been a crazy year. I'm sure that first water chance as a fry feels kinda the same, lol)


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