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What's your perfect community aquarium?


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Which different types of fish belong in your vision of a perfect community aquarium? Comment down below to specify what the best combination of species is (you can also comment on sizes of tanks, hardscape, and plants you would recommend for each of these ideas).

My first goal with this post is to find out what the most popular community fish is, and why that might be so. My second is to find out which combinations of fishes seem to be the best overall. This would help people new to the hobby who are looking for suggestions on their first setup, or those that need more fish for their tank, but can't seem to figure out what would be the best match.


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I really like big school of small fish, and then one or two feature fish (perfebrly of the same kind). Because I love angelfish I would say angelfish are a great feature fish, but not everyone has a 30 gallon open. I love the colors on rams, there temps may not be the best suitable with other fish. Also Apistogramma especially the orange flash, or panda apistogramma (who have recetnly become my favorite apistogramma). Some nice cleaner fish such as cherry shrimp, amano shrimp, corydoras, etc. will always make a great addition to a community tank. The only problem with  the cherrys is that lots of fish will make a snack out of them. 

My ideal community tank would be...

40-50 Gallons

-Zebra Danios x8

-Rummynose Tetra x20

-Corydoras x6

-Panda Apistogramma or Two Angelfish

-Also Bristlenose Plecos always give me a laugh (mine gets stuck in the sponge filter outake tube)

-And of course, heavily planted.


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Oh yeah I forgot to give my idea of a perfect community!

@James Black I too like large groups of schooling fish, but instead of a centerpiece fish, I'd opt for larger tetras, or an extra group of corydoras.

My idea of a perfect community would be...

  • 40 gallon breeder or 55 gallon minimum, preferably larger
  • Heavily planted along with rocks and driftwood
  • Several schools of Corydoras
  • Group of otos
  • Amano shrimp
  • School of 12 cardinal tetras, chile rasboras, or glowlight tetras.
  • School of 12 cherry barbs, rosy tetras, or pristella tetras.
  • A large group of guppies.
  • School of at least 12 pygmy corydoras, preferably more
Edited by CorydorasEthan
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Hmm... if we are gearing toward new hobbyist. I would start with tank size. A 20 gallon is good if you are unsure about sticking with the hobby. Initial setup cost of a 20 gallon or relatively low compared to a 55, but being 20 gallon gives greater margin of error than a 5 or 10 gallon. Truly tho if you intend to stick with it for the long haul, save your money, skip the 20 and go for a 55 gallon. Plenty of room to aquascape, greater margin of error, quite large front pane window for viewing, still easy reach to the bottom for maintenance, generally has cross beam in center at top of the tank not only for structural support, but lid dimensions are exactly 2, 20 gallon lids for easy customization and replacement parts. 
stocking, i like the cutesy nano setup

10 neons

10 harlequin rasbora

10 pygmy cory

10 otocinclus

15 cherry shrimp

??? bladder snails

center piece fish, either dwarf gourami or betta. 
plants, java moss, anubias, marimo moss balls, banana plants. 
something simple and cute, tiny fish and tiny invertebrates, with simple easy plants and 1 star of the show in the gourami or betta. 

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One of my favorite community tanks was this one I setup a while back:


  • Wild Discus
  • Rummy nose tetras
  • Hatchet fish
  • Corydoras Sterbai
  • Other fish too

Also for plants:

As far as hardscape, I prefer big rocks and big wood.


I doubt any of this will help people new to the hobby, except that this tank is fool proof and ultra low maintenance. You can walk away from it for month and it doesn't miss a beat. There is no filter at all, so nothing to maintain there. A very low stress aquarium.

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