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My new tank set up


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Hi All

I finally got around to setting up my second tank, it was going to be a 3 foot tank but the space available was a problem for me, I had space for a 2 footer in the family room so went with that option. The tank is 24 x 20 x 12.

I used the silk plants from my other tank that I just revamped, bought what I think is a nice rock as a center piece and 2 pieces of driftwood, one the fish can swim under and through and the other forms a cave which the fish can swim in from the back of the tank. Driftwood has been soaked prior to going in the tank.

I decided to go with a canister filter and went for an aqua one CF700 as I though this would give me a good turnover of water, I have also put a 10inch air stone behind the rock to give me a feature, bubbles in pic.

The air pump has 2 outlets so I have the option of running a sponge filter too as a back up for my QT tank when required. Have not bought a sponge filter yet and also need to buy the flouro light, I used a desk light for the picture to illuminate the tank.

I am not putting any backing on the rear of the tank as the room is on the back of the kitchen so the tank can be seen from the kitchen area too, I will put some backing on the 12 inch side which is on the left in the picture, there is also 4 or 5 inches of the tank that is below the height of the kitchen bench so the fish can go there if they want to be out of view.

Tank is not cycled yet and I am not sure on fish. Any tips of the compatibilty of the fish below would be great.


cory cats of some description or kulhi loaches


Tetras - not sure which yet

I really like neon tetras so will be trying these again but from a different shop, or maybe cardinal tetras. Had issues with my last neons.

Rummy nose look nice too but for colour I think I am leaning too the neon/cardinal


Harlequin rasbora

Zebra danio

white cloud

Think I need to pick one of the above species but not sure which as I like them all

Feature Fish

Dwarf gourami but I have read they should be in pairs and I have not seen females for sale in any of the shops I have been in

Platies - I love the colour of these but am not sure if they would mix that well with the other fish on my list

Female bettas - I have only seen these in one shop and they had about 6 together but they must have been sisters as they were all the same colour.


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Your tank is looking terrific! Well done..

I find neon's to be touchy, I have never had a lot of luck with them..

Most of the other fish you have mentioned sound fine to me! Its gonna look great!

Sponge filters are a great thing to have.. you can buy them online for a couple of dollars..I run them in all my tanks..it seems to help with the bioload..

Good luck, cant wait to see it with fish in..

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  • 2 weeks later...

do not buy a "pair" of dwarf gouramis :-/ i did that, and the male killed the female. you should get 2-3 females for the one male, or a few males and no females! i'm also waiting for some girls to be released LOL also, if you get gouramis, you can kiss most live plants you put into the tank goodbye - as the males will rip them up to build their nests :P and they may fight with the bettas if you get them as the two species are related. my male dwarf gouramis also killed the cardinal tetras i put into the tank :P

have you thought about black widow tetras?? they're an unusual tetra, but look great, school well and are tough as old boots :P

i love the look of that tank :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looking good! I love 2'ers, they are so much fun. Easiest size to work with and get the water quality to balance nicely IMO too :D

Lets see :)


3 cories -maybe peppers or pandas?

8 neons or cardinals -rummynose are finnicky about water quality, if you want them, leave it til the rest of the tank has been running for a month or so

4 harlequins - these guys get quite beefy so at some point you may need to trade down to smaller stock. Also, consider lambchop rasboras, better colour!

1 dwarf gourami - as was said, they are grumpy little sprats!



4 kuhli loaches - put a tulle mesh 'sock' over your filter intake or you'll lose them in there! (they'll survive it, but you'll have to fish them out)

10 black neons - love these fish, and still quite hardy as they haven't been bred to billy-o yet :) Unfortunately not red/blue, just black/silver.

4 harlequin rasboras - should match the kuhli colouring

3 male platies - probably sunset or mickey mouse

BLACK STOCKING (ohh la la!)

4 black kuhlis - just black, like little eels :P

10 black neons - again, I just love em ;)

8 black or green or panda platies - male


6 kuhlies - maybe 2 albino, some regular (black is diff species, so stick with striped morphs)

7 platies - go colour crazy! These guys are great for algae control

1 male betta - population control, so you don't have unwanted platies everywhere.

The problem with groups 2 and 3 on the list is that neons, danios and WCMMs generally will all share the same space in a tank that size. You can't have big enough groups or a scary enough 'predator' to get proper schooling, so you end up with a mishmash of small bullet-shaped fish which looks a bit... unrelaxing. Harlies and platies will share the space too, but are a different shape so it is less important.

White clouds will also appreciate a lower temperature than most of your other choices, and look a fair bit like neons, so I'd give them a miss. Even if you can jiggle the temperature so it fits with the WCs and everything else (25* should do it, i think) it may just look like washed-out neons from a distance.

Danios are also fairly territorial and nippy for their size. It shouldn't become a problem, but keep it in mind if you ever want to add wimpy or tasty things. There are plenty of markers in your setup to divvy up territory, so you should be right even if they get huffy.

Don't get less than 3 cories if you want fun playful cory behaviour. 2'll play a bit but with those guys it is definitely a case of 'the more, the merrier' (limit of 6 max in that size tank I think, they also get to be chunky monkeys) I'd go for pandas or peppers, only because albinos are a bit aaack against natural gravel and bronzes might blend in. The peppers and pandas are a bit more touchy, but you are going great guns and I think they'll be fine :)

With the female bettas, go with 1, 3 or more. 2 can be OK, but they'll slink around and play with each other and there will almost certainly be one who wants everything her way. You need to spread the bullying around a bit, especially if you are buying ones with unknown parentage and personalities. Be careful buying the most colourful one in the tank, shortfinned males end up in there with alarming regularity. You could have a shortfinned male in that setup no worries (if you didn't get the gourami), but you probably don't want 3 having little tiffs all around your tank :D

Where are you based? maybe we can point you to a shop that has better girls or a breeder nearby.

Looking good! Can't wait to see it with lights!

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thanks for all the replies

Callatya, you are an oracle for me on here, thanks heaps for all the advice you have given so far.

Tank is finished I think I am fully stocked if not a little over. Had a nightmare last week as the priming cap for my filter broke, only $4 for a new one but I had no filter running for about 13 hours and then when I kicked it back up the tank had to cycle again. Lots of prime, lots of water changes, pulling media from my other tank and everything seems to be fine again now. I added a small internal filter as a back up just in case and got a spare priming cap.

Added a backing to the tank, got the one that is blue one side and black the other, not sure which side I like best yet so have it on with blue tac and change it around every couple of days to see how it looks.

Current fish

3 zebra danio

4 harlequin rasbora

4 neon tetra

1 guppy - the last survivor from the 4 I bought

1 male platy - had 2 but lost one

2 otto catfish - had a brown algae problem so bought these to get rid of that which they did and they have turned out to be my favourite fish so far.

4 kuhli loaches - found 2 in the bottom of my canister filter exactly as Callatya mentioned, no damage at all to them. I now have a small bag over the filter intake which you can see in the first pic.

Not real happy that the guppy and platy are alone so I am thinking of a new tank with livebearers, only males though as I don't want a thousand fish. Got my eye on a set up on E-bay that is pretty much a replica of what this tank is.

I still want some cory cats too but that may have to wait until another tank is set up,

I did get a dwarf gourami too, he lives in my 34L tank with my 5 glowlight tetras.

Seeing as this was only supposed to be me setting up a tank for my son this hobby has possessed me, I can't get enough.





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