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4-footer, open slather!


VickiPS
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After pondering for a few days and considering options, I've decided that the new 4-ft all in one will be for branching out into some new species. It's all set up and running. I returned the noodles and old filter mat to the overhead sump, and also added a matured power filter as well, to give the tank a running start. At the moment it's just got a thin substrate of smooth 5mm gravel, and a couple of bunches of stem plants (elodea and giant milfoil) tucked into small pots of gravel. Occupants are the fish I moved out of one half of my 3 ft grow-out tank -- Mrs Krib, Mrs Gold Gourami and Mr Croaker (all sadly widowed), two Indian banded gouramis and a number of gold mystery snails. I want to keep my gouramis and maybe add a few more -- a couple of pearl gouramis (T. leeri), or a pair of thick-lipped (T. labiosus), maybe a few more of the T. trichopterus varieties, (although I'm wary of too much aggression if I introduce more of these). I don't want to attempt any of the more delicate species. Any opinions on the idea of a mixed gourami tank? If I go for this option, what would make good bottom-dwelling tankmates? I love the look of pictus cats, but do they prefer somewhat cooler water than the gouramis? I'm also thinking about yo-yo (Pakistani) loaches, but wonder if they'd be too boisterous for the gouramis? I'm open to suggestions on good tankmates for the 5 fish already in the tank -- more gouramis would be nice, but I'll happily consider all suggestions. Planting will be a challenge for me -- this tank at least has proper lighting, but I don't want to have to go the CO2 route, so suggestions on planting also gratefully accepted :blush: (BTW, water is moderately soft, pH from the tap around 7.8 going down to 7.2 or thereabouts after ageing, so species that need a narrow acidic pH range won't work).

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I'm not in any way an authority on gouramis, but I think I read once that more than one species will fight. Or is that my imagination? I absolutely adore sparkiling gouramis. I fell in love with the ones I saw at Abbey's! Could you add some of them? Cats and loaches I know nothing about, unfortunately. Except to say that I LOVE cories! How about a good sized school of peppered cories? Plenty of action there, and they are easy and inoffensive, plus when you have enough of them they are really striking (rather than dull and common and pedestrian, which can happen with just 1 or 2 in a good sized tank, just because everyone has seen them before). More kribs? A few Rams? some caucatoides? (my dwarf cichlid bias is showing, so I had better stop!). HTH - somehow!

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