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Setting up a 2ft community tank


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I'm trying to decide what I want to do with my now empty 2ft. I definitely want a high-tech planted tank with driftwood and such, but when it comes to fish other than Betta, filtration and such I'm a bit stumped.

I definitely want a pair of dwarf gouramis, but I also like honey dwarf gourami. Could I put together a male dwarf gourami and a female honey dwarf? Would they be compatible?

What I'm thinking is..

Dwarf Gourami x 2

Female Betta x 1 (possibly more in future)

Neon Black Tetra x 10

Panda Cory x 5

Oto x 2

I'm aware there could be problems with the Gouramis and the Betta. The girl I have in mind is a very peaceful little HMPK, but do you see the Gouramis causing problems? If they do, the female can always go back where she was.

I do want the main features to be the gouramis and the female betta, and of course the plants. That's why I've chosen the tankmates I have.. They're smaller, 'plain' coloured, etc. Opinions on their compatibility?

According to http://aqadvisor.com, this gives me

Recommended temperature range: 24 - 27 C.

Recommended pH range: 6 - 7.5.

Recommended hardness range: 5 - 15 dH.

You have plenty of aquarium filtration capacity.

Your aquarium filtration capacity for above selected species is 126%.

Recommended water change schedule: 31% per week.

Your aquarium stocking level is 93%.

Filter is an Eheim 2008 Pickup internal filter, it is discontinued and not an option so I replaced it with an Eheim Aquaball 2208

I would most likely add on an Aqua One Clearview 300. Since this is not an option on that website I exchanged that for an Aquaclear 20, which is slightly larger than the Clearview.

Does anyone know of a canister filter that might be suitable for an Aquarium of this size? Must have an adjustable flow rate. I did find the Aquis 500, but are they adjustable?

Reading back through I just realized how kind of scattered this post is. Sorry, it's the way my brain works. :D

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I cant really say about the compatibility of the fish or filters etc. ... but I suppose with your tank being planted and youll have hiding spots, it should be fine. Good luck, I hope someone who knows more can help you :((

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I keep finding different fish to consider. :D Especially when it comes to the uh, 'space fillers'.

I've recently discovered the epicness of Blue Rams and been debating about whether the tank would be overstocked or have aggression issues.

Now thinking...

Dwarf Gourami x 1

Honey Dwarf Gourami x 1

German Blue Ram x 2

Betta female x 1 (To be honest at this point I'm thinking she can just stay where she is - she's fine there but I'd rather her in a nicer display tank, she's a gorgeous Orange Black HMPK. :o)

Black Neon Tetra x 10 (I really like Ember Tetra or Dwarf Rasbora but I'm guessing they would end up being expensive Ram or Gourami snacks given their size)

Panda or Pygmy Corydora or Otos x 6

(My friend insists Panda cories look French, so I must get them and name them all 'monsieur'.:(()

I do want a small schooling fish, but I'm having issues finding something small enough that it won't over power the other fish, and still large enough to not get gobbled up. I'd prefer it to not to have the same colour/s as any of the 'feature' fish or at least not the same shade, if you get what I mean. That or be kind of plain, sort of like the Black neons. Any suggestions?

Also taking recommendations on which Cory or Oto to go with. I really want to go 'small' for the non-feature fish.. But at the same time, Otos are more active, busy little fish compared to Cories, but they aren't as cute. I'm so torn!

Just in case anyone's wondering, I'm thinking of going with Eco complete as substrate (perhaps a layer of fine gravel underneath - depending on how 'light' my wallet is feeling). Branch type driftwood and a few hollow driftwood pieces for hardscape. For plants I think I'll start off with easier stuff and progress as I get better at keeping them. :( Ambulia, Anubais Nana, Bacopa, Chain swords, Crypts, Giant Hygro, Hairgrass, Mayaca, Ricca, Blyxa, etc.. I've done a few sketches but I guess it depends on what sort of driftwood I can get my hands on.

I really want it to be about the fish, aka them having plenty of hiding spaces (hollow logs) but open space as well. I'm hoping it's not going to be too difficult to get a comfortable set up for all fish involved in a tank of this size.

Edited by Yan
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  • 2 weeks later...

Scratch all this, basically. 2ft tank is now dead. Massive crack with a rapid leak!

But, I ended up going with fine (1-3? mm) river gravel and red sea flora base. Stupid me, I wish I had gotten pics before the tank cracked. I had to make a mad dash to drain the water out before the water managed to leak all over my stand/shelving/electricals/floor.. Then I had to do something with the gravel because there was still water within that and a bit was still leaking out. Tossed it all in my divided tank sitting beside the 2ft. It's one gigantic mess. The morning (midday?) after, everything is coated in a layer of grimy dusty dirt from the flora base.

Have a laugh at this mess at my expense. XD




^ I love this plant, whatever it is.

Time to go tank shopping.. I wanted something slightly bigger anyway. I was worried a gourami pair and ram pair would get a bit.. crowded.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My upgrade from 2ft to '30 inch'.. was advertised as 3ft (and the canister was advertised as in very good condition.. HAH)

Sadly, it's in the only place it will fit.. My doorway. :lol:


I of course underestimated the amount of plants it would take to fill this baby since all the plants I bought were for the 2ft! I will need to buy some more but in the mean time, this is what it looks like.


Bag of trashy guppies floating away ready to cycle the tank.. Plants include 3 kinds of Anubias and 1 hybrid (?), several crypts, hairgrass, chain swords, pennywort, bacopa, various other misc. bits and pieces. Cloudiness has since reduced significantly, but I'm too tired/lazy to get up and take a new picture LOL I'll wait until the tank looks more filled out! But I'm going to need more driftwood to tie the hybrid anubias onto and make more caves and hidey spots. I want to fill out the entire back and the empty corner with plants, then have some low lying (maybe carpet) plants in the front left hand corner area as open swimming space.

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lol @ the guppies comment.

I'm hoping the bigger fish will eat any babies that may remain once I get the adult guppies out and something decent in. Once my new Betta finishes QT, he'll go in there. I floated his bag in there overnight because I didn't have my QT/hospital tank set up and was too tired to bother with it last night. He seems to really hate guppies and lunged at several that swam past the bag. Perhaps he'll be my one man baby guppy clean up crew. *lol* None that are in there have very long tails so hopefully he'll just chase and not nip at them.

I'm defintely having a honey dwarf gourami pair in there, and a blue ram pair. The rest I'm still iffy on. I've had a few offers of 'if you get so and so and it breeds, I'll buy the babies from you' which is tempting me in other directions. :lol:

The possibilities are now 6 Corydora habrosus and 6 Corydora Pygmaeus. I still want some Otos, so I'd say 5 of them. Schoolers, I still want to tear my hair out trying to decide. I still want something fairly small but looking at slightly bigger ones than I was before. Ember Tetra, Dwarf Rasbora, Rasbora Hengeli. I think this will be the last and hardest decision when it comes to this tank, haha. I'll know what I want in there when I see all of the inhabitants in there together.

I'm also trying to avoid looking at Apistos.. Some of them are quite tempting, but I don't think it would be a good idea to mix Blue Rams, HD Gouramis and an Apisto pair. (Anyone want to try and sway me otherwise? ;P )

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Couldn't help myself and started playing around in the tank. I rearranged some plants and the driftwood with the two anubias tied onto it... I reeeeally need (want) more plants, haha. Please excuse the stupid filter arrangement, it's a temp until the parts I need for my canister come in... :P ('Scuse the quality too, camera batteries are dying, and I'm on a caffeine overload so my hands won't stop shaking)




^ Can anyone ID the plant in the BG? The pinky/red stuff. It's faublous, I loooove it.

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Looks great, maybe you need a smaller tank now... :giggle:

I have that plant, it grows so well, looks great and my endlers love it! I just can't remember what its called... <_<

Keep up the good work.

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Smaller tank?! :oNever! :lol:

I went looking around my beloved google and I think it might be Rotala Wallichii. Looks/sounds similar, but the pics on google seem fairly red. The only one that seemed extremely close I couldn't get a decent look at as the website had gone over it's bandwidth limit.

Thanks. :) I'm dying to go plant and driftwood shopping, haha. It's almost as exciting as fish shopping and browsing aquabid with dreams of what might be... *lol*

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Yep. Rotala wallichii. I've had bad experiences with tetras and male bettas. Although admittedly not enough experience to say for certain that they don't go together. However based on that limited but unpleasant experience of seeing an expensive imported halfmoon chewed by a bunch of neons, I'd stay away from them.

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I've kept pretty much all my males with tetra. Never had an issue, except when feeding bloodworms and I caught one bite Mercury's tail instead of the worm. Halfmoons, a Crowntail but mostly Plakats. The strong majority of my fishies are short fins so I don't see it being an issue. Part of why I tend to avoid long fins, fussy little things that get eaten or eat their own fins.. Ugh.

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Orange Black Dragon skipped QT after I inspected him (pinhole finrot, should be an easy fix), the heater is playing games with me. 26c apparently means 22 and 28c apparently means 31! So, first real inhabitant went in after a triple check for velvet.. Now he won't sit still long enough for me to get pics of him. Grrr. At least he's having the time of his life. I've also 'misplaced' my little hand mirror which isn't helping.

Got some new plants.. A lot of new plants. A lot of it will need to be trimmed down as the amount is just outrageous now LOL I'm after some flame moss, will post in the classifieds tomorrow or later on. Got another piece of driftwood for the anubias hybrid but it's disgustingly dirty. I picked it up out of the bucket and it's like.. flaky?! crumbly.. Something along those lines. Gonna need to scrub it when I have the energy. In the mean time.. PICCYS.


Mr Newbie's pics from the QT tank. Following my Betta naming theme, I think he'll be the Egyptian Sun God, Ra.


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Hey Yan, looking like that tank set-up has come along great! Re: the heater... it's all good... if 26 = 22 and 28 = 31, then by calculation set it to 27 and your tank will be a perfect 26.5 degrees! Lol... I'm sure it's that simple :P

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So jealous, I want my tank to look like that

If I can do it, anyone can! :D Trust me on that one, heh.

re: The heater, geez! Why didn't I think of that!? *lol*

Odd. I tested the pH today and it's a soft, pretty blue colour. It shouldn't be. That says it's somewhere between 7.2 and 7.6. The florabase substrate is supposed to lower the pH, and at first, it was. The pH was going from 7.6+ (fresh out the tap) to 7.2, 7.0 and worked it's way down to 6.6 before I added the guppies. Then I got lazy about testing when family trouble hit and started playing more with the plants. Only just checked the pH now and it's back up to, I'm guessing 7.4 or so. What the? The DIY co2 and the substrate should be lowering it a lot more than that. So should the driftwood and supposedly the IAL. All the fish I've chosen out will do fine with the 6.6 - 6.8 pH range I want. I can't figure out what's bringing it back up.

Ideas? (Obviously there's no rocks or shells or coral and in there..)

I'm trying to convince myself to lose the ridiculously big and fluffy winter jacket I have on and then pull plants up and do some trimming and rearranging and scrub that new driftwood piece.. It is COLD and raining today! I don't want to! But I do want to, so my tank will look even nicer.. :( I'm conflicted.

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Your tank is looking great! I love how thick the planting is.. I can't offer any help with your water params as I'm only learning all of this stuff myself. All I can offer is lots of these! :cheer: It looks great and has encouraged me to start a journal of my tank set up to share with you guys.

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:) Thanks Fishfin, can't wait to see your journal!

I got around to trimming down those plants and scrubbing the driftwood and banding the hybrid onto and then finding out it FLOATS. grr.

I moved a lot of the plants. I think I moved almost all of them actually, except the variegated hygro in the left rear corner, and the hairgrass. :P Pretty much everything got a trim, too.

Now the tank is murky and yucky so I won't be taking a pic until it settles down.. and preferably after the new bit of driftwood sinks. I think I'm pretty happy with this design.

Going to be on the hunt for more plants, too. Flame moss for sure, that'll be grown on the new piece of driftwood. I'm thinking blyxa japonica, more hairgrass, lilaeopsis, anything else that happens to catch my fancy. I'm after short-ish and very short foreground plants though. I think I have back and midground plants covered. ;P

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I got bored waiting, plus I was taking pics of the betta babies for someone who was interested in one, so I thought 'what the heck'. I still need some taller plants to step down from the jungle of BG stem plants to the midground though. It's too 'harsh' of a step right now. Hence why I'm after hairgrass. :P


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I spy with my little eye.. something beginning with 'B' and the second word 'R'...



Can you find it? :)



Let me help you :D


And a pair of Gouramis as well!


Also, my driftwood has started to sink! On one end anyway, the other is still pretty light, hence why it sticks up like.. a stupid stick.


Hehe.. Sooo anyway. I found an Aquarium opening sale advertised online, went and found the store (thanks for getting us lost, GPS!) and I got a few things super cheap! 4 Blue Rams for $4 each, Seachem Prime 250ml for $14.99 (? $14 something). The Dwarf gouramis weren't for sale but I got them anyway since they were there.. taunting me.. I just got a pair.

Two of my Rams have paired up already. The Gouramis seem to have paired off as well, they're usually together. They all seem to be loving their new home. The Gouramis wouldn't come out of the forest of plants at first but now they're starting to explore a bit more. The Blue Rams..? LOVE. They're just awesome. Enough said. Little on the skinny side though. I'm a pro at fixing that up...

Oh yeah, and I offloaded all the guppies into this tank for the time being. I'll probably just catch up what I can and take them to an Aquarium as feeders and buy my Corydoras next.

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Nice tank yan

i keep a male vt in my tank with guppys

neons 2 blue rams

and 2 dwarf Gourami

he really pays no attetion to the babies at all

and as for your idears about the rams and dwarf Gourami

they seem to get along fine

i did have to remove my male vt after i put in the gourami's

he just went crazy at them for 2 days straight didnt seem to hurt them

but i removed him thought he was getting stressed he got his own 100 lt tank though so hes happy again :D

the 2 Gourami do seem to bash each other round a bit but im sure in your larger tank it would be ok to have more than one

Hope some of this helps

Edited by Goody
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