Stocking a 45gal

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FishyWarrior

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Original poster
Jun 10, 2017
142
8
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schaumburg, Illinois
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Alyssa
Hi! I'm about to get my first tank soon and I need help with stocking it. It will be a 45 gallon planted freshwater aquarium. I went over to aqadvisor to see if my numbers were alright but i wanted a second opinion that wasn't just an automated system.

1 pearl gourami
8 cardinal tetras
5 dwarf rainbowfish
5 kuhli loaches
6 mosquito rasboras

I have a poor sense of how big tanks are and how much i can put in them since i've never owned one before, so i'd like to know if this looks about right and if the fish would get along.
On a side note, is there a particular order in which i should introduce these fish? I assume just putting them all in at once would be a bad idea.
 

fishorama

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Jun 28, 2006
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SF Bay area, CA
I think there are 2 tank sizes called 45g. so it'll depend on dimensions. Those rasboras are tiny, they might get eaten by the rainbows depending what "dwarf" species you mean. Neon blue (m. praecox) get 3 inches; p. furcata (fork tailed & similar) stay much smaller & would be fine.

Read up on cycling your tank at the top of this section. That is really important to a good start before you get any fish.
 

FishyWarrior

AC Members
Original poster
Jun 10, 2017
142
8
18
23
schaumburg, Illinois
Real Name
Alyssa
I think there are 2 tank sizes called 45g. so it'll depend on dimensions. Those rasboras are tiny, they might get eaten by the rainbows depending what "dwarf" species you mean. Neon blue (m. praecox) get 3 inches; p. furcata (fork tailed & similar) stay much smaller & would be fine.

Read up on cycling your tank at the top of this section. That is really important to a good start before you get any fish.
Actually, I ended up getting a 40 gallon breeder tank instead, the one i was looking at before was taller than it was wide and very narrow so that wouldn't have been good for the bottom feeders as far as i can tell.
I did mean dwarf neon blue rainbows, but if they do get that big would it be better to go with the fork tailed? I like both either way. Or would my tank be too small to house all of them?

Also yes, i am definitely going to cycle my tank first. I am going to let it sit for about 2 weeks or so but i don't expect to put any fish in for at least a month from now.
 

fishorama

AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
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SF Bay area, CA
IME (twice w/praecox) they can have some diseases, some treatable: some not. My last experience I quarantined them for a YEAR!! & ended up euthanizing the last 3. I'm still scared to use their old tank, I "know how" to sterilize it but... I suspect it was mycobacteriosis (fish TB). It's not uncommon in them & it's devastating!! The first time it was chronic columnaris, not as bad, but long term distressing & not something I want to deal with again.

All that said, if "forktails" (p.furcata) are a much better choice for your tank & other fish on you list. They are quite pretty too.

A breeder tank is a very good choice, lots of surface area & bottom space! You can have more fish than in a "tall" tank. You can bump up your numbers of kuhlis to 8-12, ,cardinals to maybe 10 & rasboras to maybe 10 too. A pearl gourami is a very good choice too; it's big enough to encourage schooling/shoaling with the smaller fish but pretty mellow & small mouthed...you should be ok!

Will you try live plants eventually? Yes, plan on it! What filtration? 2 smaller HOBs (like Aqua Clears) are almost always better than 1 larger.

Cycling takes 4-6 weeks usually...deep breath...& wait to add fish. You'll be very glad you did! Patience & healthy fish will be your reward!
 

FishyWarrior

AC Members
Original poster
Jun 10, 2017
142
8
18
23
schaumburg, Illinois
Real Name
Alyssa
IME (twice w/praecox) they can have some diseases, some treatable: some not. My last experience I quarantined them for a YEAR!! & ended up euthanizing the last 3. I'm still scared to use their old tank, I "know how" to sterilize it but... I suspect it was mycobacteriosis (fish TB). It's not uncommon in them & it's devastating!! The first time it was chronic columnaris, not as bad, but long term distressing & not something I want to deal with again.

All that said, if "forktails" (p.furcata) are a much better choice for your tank & other fish on you list. They are quite pretty too.

A breeder tank is a very good choice, lots of surface area & bottom space! You can have more fish than in a "tall" tank. You can bump up your numbers of kuhlis to 8-12, ,cardinals to maybe 10 & rasboras to maybe 10 too. A pearl gourami is a very good choice too; it's big enough to encourage schooling/shoaling with the smaller fish but pretty mellow & small mouthed...you should be ok!

Will you try live plants eventually? Yes, plan on it! What filtration? 2 smaller HOBs (like Aqua Clears) are almost always better than 1 larger.

Cycling takes 4-6 weeks usually...deep breath...& wait to add fish. You'll be very glad you did! Patience & healthy fish will be your reward!
That's very good to hear! I was surprised when aqadvisor said i'd have less space available with these fish in the 45 gallon compared to the 40 breeder. But yes, i feel like i made the right decision too!

Also glad to see the numbers are good too, and that i can add so much more! I feel like to begin with i will keep the numbers lower and add more in over time. By the way, is there a specific order i should add these fish in? The way i see it is putting the small ones and bottom feeder in first, but does it really matter? I'm also not going to be getting them all in one day, so i'd like to know which i should buy first and whether i'll have to wait a certain period of time to add more in.

Instead of more loaches though (as much as i adore them), is there an algae cleaner i could add instead that you would recommend with this tank?

Live plants are a must! I want my tank to actually look good so i won't settle for all that fake garbage. As for filtration, i was going to go with an aquaclear 70 for this tank, should i not? Would 2 aquaclear 20s be better?
 

fishorama

AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
9,130
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SF Bay area, CA
My vote on filters would be 2 AC 50s, AC 70s have a bit of flow that may too strong for a shallower tank & small fish. I run 2 AC 70's on 55g & 75g tanks, they're taller. & 2 AC 50's on a shallow tank, my fish like flow! Maybe a 30 & 50? 2 filters also make cleaning them easy, every other week or 2, without damaging the beneficial bacteria.

There are no "algae cleaner" fish that eat all types of it. A single bristle nose pleco would be a good addition, I prefer regular "short finned" vs long fins, but that's my opinion. Even so, I'd get 8 kuhlis (I'm a loach nut as everyone here knows, lol) with at least 2 or 3 hiding places; wood &/or rocks.

Don't keep your lights on more than 6-8 hours & you'll have fewer algae issues. You can do lights on for when you're home or even split the time; say 3 hours in am & 4 in pm after work/school.

What lights will you have? I'm old school & don't have LEDs (yet). Whatever, you'll be able to grow at least some plants & have your tank look great! Java ferns & anubias are very low in their light requirements, cryptocorynes are pretty adaptable too. Mosses are easy too but are on my lesser list of plants these last several years. Vallisneria or dwarf sags are possible too. Most sword plants are too tall; stem plants & ground covers are trickier but some "might" be ok.

It really sounds like you're doing good research beforehand, excellent!!
 

FishyWarrior

AC Members
Original poster
Jun 10, 2017
142
8
18
23
schaumburg, Illinois
Real Name
Alyssa
My vote on filters would be 2 AC 50s, AC 70s have a bit of flow that may too strong for a shallower tank & small fish. I run 2 AC 70's on 55g & 75g tanks, they're taller. & 2 AC 50's on a shallow tank, my fish like flow! Maybe a 30 & 50? 2 filters also make cleaning them easy, every other week or 2, without damaging the beneficial bacteria.

There are no "algae cleaner" fish that eat all types of it. A single bristle nose pleco would be a good addition, I prefer regular "short finned" vs long fins, but that's my opinion. Even so, I'd get 8 kuhlis (I'm a loach nut as everyone here knows, lol) with at least 2 or 3 hiding places; wood &/or rocks.

Don't keep your lights on more than 6-8 hours & you'll have fewer algae issues. You can do lights on for when you're home or even split the time; say 3 hours in am & 4 in pm after work/school.

What lights will you have? I'm old school & don't have LEDs (yet). Whatever, you'll be able to grow at least some plants & have your tank look great! Java ferns & anubias are very low in their light requirements, cryptocorynes are pretty adaptable too. Mosses are easy too but are on my lesser list of plants these last several years. Vallisneria or dwarf sags are possible too. Most sword plants are too tall; stem plants & ground covers are trickier but some "might" be ok.

It really sounds like you're doing good research beforehand, excellent!!
Ok, i think i will go with an AC 50 and 30 for now, i may upgrade in the future if i need to. I was also wondering, will a filter alone be good at circulating the tank, or would i need to get something else to achieve that?

Alright, a bristlenose sounds great! Now, is there a certain order i need to introduce these guys in, or is it just a matter of only introducing one or two species at a time slowly?

As for lights, i'm not too certain yet, i know a fish guy who's willing to help pick out the best setup for my tank, but i haven't done a ton of research into that just yet. I have been very tirelessly learning as much as i can recently so i can make sure i do everything right! I want to prevent as many casualties as possible here.
I have heard about the timing thing though, and bought a powerstrip with a timer on it so that it can shut off and turn on without having to rely solely on my forgetful self, haha.

Thank you for being so helpful by the way!
 

fishorama

AC Members
Jun 28, 2006
9,130
547
144
SF Bay area, CA
2 filters should be plenty for flow. You don't need a powerhead or airstone unless you like the bubbles (I don't). Filters need to run all the time so just a timer for lights.

If you do fishless cycling with ammonia you can, in theory, stock the tank fully when it's complete. You'll have grown enough beneficial bacteria for a tank's worth of fish. I would stock by getting all of 1 species at once. For your choices I'd probably start with the rasboras since they're pretty hardy & also smallest (get 8) or the rainbows (say 5 or 6).

Then maybe the BN pleco, little ones are adorable & it's fun to watch them grow. It'll help with newbie overfeeding but will need to be fed sinking food. They don't just eat algae & would like a piece of real wood to graze on.
Then gourami, although peaceful, I'd worry a bit about the tiny rasboras. Have some plants or other décor so they can hide.

Cardinals are a little delicate so they or the loaches would be last.

Each time you add fish you risk disease, maybe your fish friend can help look at the fish. Look hard for frayed fins, white specks, missing scales, sunken stomachs & for cardinals, specially look for a lighter colored area that seems to disrupt or dim the blue line.
 

FishyWarrior

AC Members
Original poster
Jun 10, 2017
142
8
18
23
schaumburg, Illinois
Real Name
Alyssa
2 filters should be plenty for flow. You don't need a powerhead or airstone unless you like the bubbles (I don't). Filters need to run all the time so just a timer for lights.

If you do fishless cycling with ammonia you can, in theory, stock the tank fully when it's complete. You'll have grown enough beneficial bacteria for a tank's worth of fish. I would stock by getting all of 1 species at once. For your choices I'd probably start with the rasboras since they're pretty hardy & also smallest (get 8) or the rainbows (say 5 or 6).

Then maybe the BN pleco, little ones are adorable & it's fun to watch them grow. It'll help with newbie overfeeding but will need to be fed sinking food. They don't just eat algae & would like a piece of real wood to graze on.
Then gourami, although peaceful, I'd worry a bit about the tiny rasboras. Have some plants or other décor so they can hide.

Cardinals are a little delicate so they or the loaches would be last.

Each time you add fish you risk disease, maybe your fish friend can help look at the fish. Look hard for frayed fins, white specks, missing scales, sunken stomachs & for cardinals, specially look for a lighter colored area that seems to disrupt or dim the blue line.
Awesome, thanks for your help again!
 
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