Stocking a 38 Gallon Tank - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-17-2013, 10:05 PM Thread Starter
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Stocking a 38 Gallon Tank

Hi guys,

I have an empty 38 gallon tank and I was wondering what to stock it with. I want to do a planted tropical freshwater aquarium. I have a penguin bio wheel 200 filter and a standard heater. What are your suggestions on stocking?

Thanks,

cyoung99
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-18-2013, 01:31 AM
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Hi guys,

I have an empty 38 gallon tank and I was wondering what to stock it with. I want to do a planted tropical freshwater aquarium. I have a penguin bio wheel 200 filter and a standard heater. What are your suggestions on stocking?

Thanks,

cyoung99
Well first off welcome to TFK!

That is entirely up to you.. What do you like?? Predatory, Community? There are always some factors when considering stocking a tank like the size of the fish and the growth rate.. 38g is a nice starter tank for sure, but can limit you if you are looking for certain fish that although they are small enough now they could outgrow the tank.. Also some other factors that may narrow your search is what kind of water is coming out of your tap. I would strongly suggest getting a test kit and testing the tap water for PH, GH, and KH (as well as Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate for the tank water after cycling has occurred).. different FW fish prefer different levels of PH and Hardness and its easier to match your fish to your water supply than to match your water to your fish etc.. is this your first tank? I'm sure if you stick around here and read up on different species of fish and threads you will get a few different ideas.. Hope the helps a little!!
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-18-2013, 01:50 AM
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38 gal is a tall tank I belive so makesure to get fksh that swim at the top and also fish that swim lower. I would reccomend cory catfish for the bottom and angelfish or dwarf gouramis for the upper water column. Best of luck with your new tank. Oh yeah just incase you don't know... be sure to cycle your tank before adding any fish.
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-18-2013, 09:33 PM Thread Starter
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I would either like to do something with Tiger Barbs or a tank with some very unique looking fish any suggestions for either of those ideas?. I have relatively hard water but we add softener to bring it down to somewhere about in the middle and our PH is fairly neutral. I have some experience with keeping fish but nothing this big.

Thanks for any help,

cyoung99
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post #5 of 8 Old 11-18-2013, 10:35 PM
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great start

38 gal. Is a very managable size, big enough to be stable and small enough to be easy on maintainence. As far as unusual fish I really like elephant nose and african butterfly fish. Do not ad either of these spieces till the tank has cycled and is stable with good water quality. I would think twice about softening the water . Only if it is essential for the fish you want to keep. I've never been a fan of tigerbarbs. They are very beautiful, but they are also very nippy and will harrass eachother and any other fish you put with them. I hope this helps you.

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post #6 of 8 Old 11-19-2013, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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Will tiger barbs harass each other to the point of killing each other? If so I would prefer to stay away from them. If not would african butterfly fish work with tiger barbs? I like the look of Elephant Nose but I have heard many stories about how hard they are to keep.
Any advice is much appreciated.

Last edited by cyoung99; 11-19-2013 at 09:54 PM.
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-21-2013, 05:31 AM
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Elephant Nose are not difficult to keep as long as you wait until you are fully cycled and you keep up on WCs. They do poorly in dirty water.
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post #8 of 8 Old 11-21-2013, 07:27 AM
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Will tiger barbs harass each other to the point of killing each other? If so I would prefer to stay away from them. If not would african butterfly fish work with tiger barbs? I like the look of Elephant Nose but I have heard many stories about how hard they are to keep.
Any advice is much appreciated.
welcome to the forum

I agree about not using chemicals to alter the water chemistry. If you want to do something about the hardness, add some peat to the filter. It will slowly change it, and not drastically.

You can do a lot with a 38. In my experience it's a bit small for tiger barbs, but it's certainly doable. If you don't like the risk of there being some infighting, then i would skip them. The butterfly is not a good candidate to live with tiger barbs.

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