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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 38 gallon tank that is saltwater. Everything is just about sold. (THANK GOD!) I am setting the tank up as a freshwater tank. Most likely i will not have cichlids but I never know what I end up with. I walk in the LFS and see something I like. I research and If I can have it its mine! For my substrate I was going to use the planted aquarium subrate from carib-sea. 2 bags should be enough. I wanted to have various plants, rocks, and logs throughout the tank to give a natural setting. If I went with tropical freshwater fish I was going to get 10 neon tetras, 3 dwarf gouramis, 2 angelfish (scalere i believe is the proper name), 3 black mollies(same sex cause I dont want a bunch of fry), and 5 fancy guppies(same sex for same reason). Is this overstocking? Are all of these compatable? Is a planted aquarium the right thing to do? Plants do put oxygen in the water if I am correct. Sorry, its been about a year since I quit freshwater so I need to refresh!
 

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Ah, but if you get angelfish then you WILL have cichlids ;).

I'm not sure what sort of water the Gouramis, Mollies, or Guppies like but it sounds like a reasonable stocking level to me. Plants are good if you like plants ;). Personally I like the look of live plants in a tropical tank. Make sure you pick plant species appropriate to your lighting. You didn't mention what sort of light setup you have and that will directly impact your plant choices. You might want a piece of vertical slate among your rocks so the angelfish have somewhere to spawn.

-Rick (the armchair aquarist)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have a dual 96 watt PC right now(corals are demanding!). What type of lighting will give me the widest range of plants to choose from? I really like bacopa, amazon swords, java moss, the grass that people have at the bottom of the tank, anything green to be short! I want my tank to look like a jungle. Is this a bad idea? Plants here for aquariums are fairly cheap($5 for 5 10'' plants that are decent). Would you reccomend me going back to a dual strip light?
 

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192 watts over 38 gallons would definately be considered "high" light, but I don't know that it'd be excessive for some of the light loving plants. You'd probably need CO2 injection at that level of light though -- is that a road you're prepared to go down?

-Rick
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not really. Can I use the single 96 watt PC and be fine? That is about 2.5 wpg. Is that too much? I thought about a dual strup light to fit over my tank but with a 36'' fixture that could be costly. Ill do what yall think is best. It will have a decently large community of fish.
 

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2.5 wpg will let you you grow most plants. You will also get some of the less demanding carpet plants to grow nicely there. Your not going to grow high light plants, but then, above 3wpg your looking at co2 and all that. Java fern, moss, anubias, amazon swords, val, bacopa, microsword, pygmy chain sword will all grow just fine at that level, plus a whole bunch of other plants. Of course, algae will grow too, you'll have to watch for that one.
 

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I wouldn't put the gouramis with the angelfish. Both like to be the center of attention and I don't think they would get along.

Also what are the dimensions of your 38G? I ask because you said you want two angels. If they pair they will be very aggressive to other fish that try to swim into their territory. I had two in my 29G and didn't like them with other fish at all. My pair in a 29G didn't make for a community anymore because of their temperaments at spawning which was like once a month. I lost the female and now the tank has returned to a happy community.

I would look into getting a/some bottomfeeder(s) so you have interest in all layers of the tank.
 

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i personally don't think that will be over stocked at all. had a community tank before my cichlids in a 38 gallon aswell and had a few more fish than you are looking at and everything was fine.
 

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jjohnson3 said:
How about 3-5 cory cats and skip the angels and add a few more dwarf gouramis and neon tetras?
I think that sounds nice. I would get 5 of the cory cats as they like to be in groups. Just watch out for multiple males and aggression with the gouramis. With the neons, corys, grouramis- I would add either the mollies or the guppies- probably not both as I think there would be too much going on.

Instead you could add some otos for algae control once the tank becomes more established.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What do yall think about this plant package? It seems like it has everything I need. Its from aquariumdriftwood.com.

Deluxe Decorator Kit #1 (For 29 Gallons or similar size)
1 Medium Centerpiece $21.25
1 Driftwood Multi-level $4.50
5 Corkscrew Val $2.45
1 Water Wisteria $2.99
1 Melon Sword Small $2.99
1 Amazon Sword Med. $3.49
5 Pygmy Chain Swords $3.99
1 Anubias $5.99
1 Rotala Indica $1.99
1 Bacopa $1.99
1 Anacharis $1.99
1 Java Fern $2.99
Total Value $56.11
Your Cost $47.00

I like to plan my tank even though 50% of it will most likely change 100 times before I get it right!
 

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What kind of plant does medium centerpiece mean as that makes up the greatest cost of the package? With the stem plants, i.e. bacopa/wisteria etc, one usually means just one stem which could look kinda funky all by itself. Just something to consider. . .
 
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