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I just picked up a 40g long(48in), thinking:
single species: 1 of the afra species (10)maybe
either fine gravel with flower pots and rocks
of pool sand but not sure about sand(I watched the video which made it look easy to clean but the hads in there disturbing it to release gas pockets, I dont know about that gravels or cruched coral looks much easier.
Then filtration, I've used marineland 350's on my 55 gallons, never had a canister but they look like they do a better job but cost much more. so not sure.
any thoughts????? I am thinking Jalo's or cobue's.
None of the petstores here carry any afra's at all. So I will have to order them most likely.
Since I am impatient regarding cycling tanks, I will probably use Dr.tims or nutrafin cycle.
 

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I would seriously consider sand. Stirring the sand isn't as much of a concern as it's made out to be. As long as you keep your sand bed relatively shallow (not more than 2") you won't have problems.

If your decision is between C. afra Jalo Reef and C. afra Cobue I would personally go with C. afra Jalo Reef. They are stunning fish. They will love the sand.

Filtration is up to you and what you're looking to spend, but I would probably go with a canister. I like the Eheim 2215 that I'm running on one tank. I drilled my 40 long and run a 30 gallon sump with a Pondmaster 9.5 pump. With the sump, undergravel jets, and a Koralia-style powerhead, I haven't had to vacuum my sand in 4 months.
 

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A species tank of C. afra in a 40G sounds cool. Pool Filter Sand is good stuff. Maybe reading this article can convince you :D

For filters I really prefer canisters, and the Eheim classic series in particular. However, lots of people use power filters and are happy with them. Canisters have a bit of a different philosophy - filter cleaning less often, but a bit more work when you do it. Over all canisters are less work in my experience and they are a lot more quiet, but you are right, they are more expensive.

If the pet stores in your area don't carry what you are looking for, I would get in touch with a local club. Many have online buy/sell forums, and many organize auctions. The clubs are also a good way to get in touch with local breeders. Often it's a way to find quality stock locally for very little money. If all that fails you can still mail order.

If you have other tanks running you can use established media to jump start a 40G without any problems. If not, store bough bacteria cultures might be the way to go if you don't want to wait for a fishless cycle.

Best of luck!
 

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<-- Vote for C. Afra (nkhata bay)
 
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