40 Gallon Breeder Stocking and Filtration Questions

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Registered Member
Original poster
Nov 7, 2018
I'm currently doing a fishless cycle on this 40 gallon breeder freshly planted aquarium. Could you guys look over the stocking plan and filtration and see if it is alright?

1 Bolivian Ram (Mikrogeophagus altispinosus)
1 Longfinned Albino Bristlenose Pleco (Ancistrus cirrhosus)
1 Honey Gourami (Trichogaster chuna)
3 male Platies (Xiphophorus sp.)
8 Harlequin Rasboras (Trigonostigma heteromorpha)
8 male Cherry Barbs (Puntius titteya)
8 False Julii Corydoras Catfish (Corydoras trilineatus)

One thing I'm particularly concerned about is the Honey Gourami. I've kept them singly in the past (a female alone once, and later a male alone) and they seemed alright. But now I'm hearing they may get something out of being kept in groups of around 4. However, I'm thinking 4 Honey Gourami would tip the line in the tank into being overstocked. Would the 1 Honey Gourami be happy? Do I have room for a group? If I don't have room for a group, would it be better for the fish not to get a Honey Gourami at all?

Also, would the Platies show aggression between the males or would they be okay? If there could be aggression, does anyone know a way to purchase virgin female Platies, or are those pretty impossible to find? I know all the pet store females near me are kept with males, and will be storing sperm from pet store matings and overpopulating my tank with fry if I were to get females from there.

Also, would it be okay to keep all male Cherry Barbs? Because I just really like the male's coloring best, and since they need 2 females per male if mixing sexes I would have a fair number of less than colorful fish if I got a mixed sex group.

The plants still have a lot of growing to do, at some point the back should be lined with them. Oh, and that Spiderwood has been very thoroughly boiled so it shouldn't leach any tannins. The pH will likely be slightly alkaline (around 7.4 roughly) and moderately hard (8-10 dGH), and a heater will keep the temperature within everyone's ranges.

Right now it is filtered with just an Aquaclear 70 filter, adjusted to lower current a bit. Is that alone adequate filtration? I was thinking of also adding a Polar Aurora 3 Stage Canister Filter with 9 Watt UV sterilizer. Has anyone heard if that canister is a good filter or not?40 gallon breeder cycling cropped.JPG

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AC Members
Jun 24, 2018
Beautiful tank!

For stocking, should be fine with single gouramie. Youll run into trouble with more then one.

Regarding platies, I keep multiple males only together. No issues. Common practice to stop the breeding.

Not sure regarding the cherry barbs. They are very peaceful so you may get away with it?

Regarding the canister, I wouldnt bother. The AC70 is more then enough but id turn the flow on full. If you want more filtration, Id just run a sponge filter or two.
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Global Moderator
Staff member
Jan 11, 2013
West Falls NY
Real Name

I would skip the platys and up the number of corys.

In terms of filtration, I do love AC HOBs, but also love Sunsun canisters. A 304B would be great for a 40B.


AC Members
Nov 7, 2018
San Juan, PR
Real Name
Lovely tank! I like your stocking plan too. But, I would prefer a group of males and females cherry barbs; not just males. Just my opinion.