30 gallon stocking options

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BsLuFs

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Sep 10, 2014
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College in New Hampshire, Home in Maine
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Luke
After traveling for a couple years, I'm finally settling somewhere for a bit and want to get another setup going! In the past I've been restricted to 10 gallon tanks, so I'm not particularly knowledgable about bigger tanks. Mostly just looking for suggestions!

Stocking option 1:
3(?) Pearl gourami
6-10 CPDs?
Some bottomdwelling species?

Stocking option 2
N. Brichardi
I was doing some more research, and I'm not sure about these anymore. I've never done cichlids. Is there an easy species I could keep in a 30gal?

Stocking option 3:
Any variety of spiny eel? I've heard mixed things, can any of them go in a 30 gallon? Tankmates for them?

Stocking option 4:
Just guppies! How many guppies could be in a 30 gal?

Stocking option 5:
Any other single species I could put in there? I'd like to have quite a few fish in there, so I'll say 3 or 4 is my minimum.

Also, where do y'all buy slate or similar rocks for your setups? Been looking but cant find much.

Thanks in advance!
 

fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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SF Bay area, CA
Well, I like your first option best, for the most part. But it depends; what size is your 30g? It's often confused with a 29g & the difference matters in terms of surface area & floor space.

For bottom fish, I love loaches!! You could have pangios (kuhlis) OR sidthimunki (dwarf chains) OR corydoras, all of 1 species. Depending on tank shape, I go with a male & female pearl gourami, or a single of either sex (males are more colorful if you get them old enough to tell). CPDs were quite shy for me in a tank with much smaller species than pearls. Harlequin or espei rasboras would be a good choice or cardinal tetras maybe. How many, again, depends on the tank size.

As for slate, you can go to a rock yard, or some lfs carry it too, if you just want a piece or 2. Sometimes Home Depot or Lowe's, etc, have slate roofing, it might worth a look if that's more convenient.

Will you have plants? Java ferns are pretty foolproof.
 

DafishNerd

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Mar 4, 2019
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If you have a more shallow and wide tank my personal favorites are Ram Cichlids I think a pair would be stunning in a 30 gallon and it would be fun to watch them raise fry if they ever spawn. I also think a planted tank with a school with neon tetras or other small colorful fish would be amazing. I've had both dwarf and pearl gouramis and my pearl Gabby was a whole lot of fun to watch and was outgoing but was kinda aggressive. With gouramis it just depends on the individual fish.
 

BsLuFs

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Original poster
Sep 10, 2014
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College in New Hampshire, Home in Maine
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Luke
Well, I like your first option best, for the most part. But it depends; what size is your 30g? It's often confused with a 29g & the difference matters in terms of surface area & floor space.

For bottom fish, I love loaches!! You could have pangios (kuhlis) OR sidthimunki (dwarf chains) OR corydoras, all of 1 species. Depending on tank shape, I go with a male & female pearl gourami, or a single of either sex (males are more colorful if you get them old enough to tell). CPDs were quite shy for me in a tank with much smaller species than pearls. Harlequin or espei rasboras would be a good choice or cardinal tetras maybe. How many, again, depends on the tank size.

As for slate, you can go to a rock yard, or some lfs carry it too, if you just want a piece or 2. Sometimes Home Depot or Lowe's, etc, have slate roofing, it might worth a look if that's more convenient.

Will you have plants? Java ferns are pretty foolproof.
Thanks for the info! How would cherry barbs be as a replacement for the CPDs? And I have always loved kuhli loaches, so maybe this is a great opportunity for that!

I've always loved really heavily planted tanks, but they always ended up very messy for me. Maybe I will get one or two java fern or anubias but I think I'm going to go for a much simpler style this time around.
 

fishorama

AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
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SF Bay area, CA
My last experience with cherry barbs was less than great. I think the males' always red coloration (artificial hormones?) lead to problems. But if you get several females to 3 or 4+ males , like 2F: 1 male, it could work...but more than 2 M, mine killed each other, sniff. I had 3 pairs IIRC, maybe more females would dissipate some of the aggression? I was shocked having kept CBs several times before

Again, what are the dimensions of your tank? That matters, a lot.
 

DafishNerd

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Mar 4, 2019
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Ha ha, yes, definitely stay away from the plecos and the Chinese algae eaters. Cutest things when small though.
 

BsLuFs

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Original poster
Sep 10, 2014
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College in New Hampshire, Home in Maine
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Luke
Been on the road, back now!

I actually just had a friend buy a pleco to, I quote, help keep his ten gallon tank clean. I told him no many times. : (

The dimensions of my tank are 36 long x 12 wide x 18 high, inches. It’s a 30 gallon breeder I believe.

Not big on rams, I don’t think, and I’d like to keep more than just two of something I think. Are there any other alternatives to the CPDs for schooling fish? I’m burnt out on neons and cardinals, haha. Or maybe not even schooling, but something to go alongside The pearl gouramis and kuhlis? Thanks guys!
 

fishorama

AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
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SF Bay area, CA
Yep, a 30 breeder, good choice!

I love rasboras, 8-12 harlequins or espei or red tailed. Those & a M & F pair of pearl gouramis & say 8-12 loaches (either sidthimunkis OR striped kuhlis OR maybe 8 striatas (zebra loaches) & call it stocked.

That would make for an Asian themed interesting tank IMO.

I like having live plants too. There some that are quite easy (java fern & anubias for starters)...just a thought.
 

BsLuFs

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Original poster
Sep 10, 2014
95
0
6
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College in New Hampshire, Home in Maine
Real Name
Luke
Thank you so much for the input! I’ll look into the rasboras— the gouramis are definitely set in stone, I think, but I wouldn’t mind considering one or two other similar-sized species, if anything fits the bill?

Do you suppose there are any shrimp (bamboo, maybe?) that the gouramis wouldn’t eat? Also, are there any alternatives to the loaches and/or cories? (Even though I do love both!) just trying to keep my options open! Also, how would 1 or 2 otos fair in a tank like this? I’m over snails at this point.

I’ll likely get a couple plants at some point, just not any Moss this time. Too messy for me!
 
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