03-05-2011, 02:46 AM
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Were it me,, I would read up on Cycling a new aquarium or..Starting a new aquarium. There is a topic here I believe entitled.. getting started or something similar. Perhaps someone else could provide that link.
I would then get the tools needed for keeping a tank (ie)Filter,substrate,heater,syphon,and dechlorinator ( SEE PRIME water conditioner) and most importantly,, A test kit such as the API freshwater master kit. The test kit will help you monitor the water while the maturing of the biological filter is happening, and also provide important info with regards to pH which will help you with deciding what fishes would be suitable for the water you have. Not all community fishes share same needs with respect to water chemistry and it is wise to select fishes that will do well and thrive with the water you have most readily available from your tap as opposed to trying to adjust water to suit the fishes which often results unfavorably for the fishes and leads to frustration with hobbyist.
The maturing or Cycling process can take four to eight weeks, and this time can be spent researching the various fishes that interest you and that might be suitable for 40 gal community tank should this be your aim.
Once you have selected a few fishes ,look at the fish profiles here and see what condition's they will require.
Good Luck, and don't be afraid to ask question's here,, as opposed to asking fish store employee's who may or may not be all that helpfulm or knowledgeable.