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tyler93 12-25-2007 10:03 PM

Ideas needed for 38 gallon freshwater tank
- I'm 14
- Little experience with fish
- I have a heater, filter, and light

I know I want neon tetras, at least 10 or 15, but I also want a 'centerpiece', something like a discus, just a non-aggressive bigger fish. So, any ideas on what fish this could be?

Also, any advice on plants, gravel, light usage time, water temperature(at 70F), or anything else will be greatly appreciated.

----- oh, I already conditioned the water and have salt, when I say little experience, I mean with a big tank. I'm not stupid, I've read up....

Lupin 12-25-2007 10:41 PM

Have you cycled the tank? What salt were you using? Keep the salt aside. It's not necessary at all regardless of whatever kind you are using. As far as discus are concerned, I won't recommend them yet unless you are prepared to do plenty of water changes, spend for the biggest discus you can afford and everything else they need. The tank has to be established by around 6 months if you want them. 55g is about the minimum when keeping 4 discus. Yes, four discus is the absolute minimum when trying them to spread out aggression among them.

If you like cichlids, angelfish are good to start with but you must be careful in selecting the tankmates for them as they will eventually eat some fish that will fit in their mouths which means you have to switch the neons to bigger alternatives.

SeaSerpant 12-26-2007 12:23 PM

Angelfish are very nice fish. My avatar is of an angelfish. But lupin won't angelfish soon grow big enough to eat the neon tetras?

tophat665 12-26-2007 01:35 PM

Consider some of the peaceful Gouramis. If the tank is placed so that it doesn't get a lot of noise and traffic, a moonlight gourami would be a great centerpiece. If the iridescent white color doesn't do it for you, maybe a pearl gourami would answer. Now, I know diddly about cichlids, but some of the dwarf species - Rams or Apistos - might interest you. You'll have to keep up on water changes, though.

I've found platies to be pretty hardy and fun. They don't last as long as neons, though. If you do go with Platies, I'd suggest you get 3 males and 6 or 7 females. They are at their best in groups of 10 or so. With that the case, I'd consider making my school of neons as large as possible.

For the bottom, if you had smooth or fine substrate, get you some cories - 5 or so. Once they are mature, you might even get them breeding (though the fry will be unlikely to survive in a community tank unless you have a pebble bottom.) Lots of different ones to choose from. Since Neons show up best on a dark substrate, I'd go with white cories, and probably yellow, twin bar or mickey mouse platies or the moonlight gourami, over a black pebble substrate planted with some swords, and with a dark sand beach separated out with some rockwork - preferably petrified wood.

One other think that would be neat to ad would be a small pleco of some sort. One of the bristlenoses would be best, or a clown pleco. Either would work, and both require driftwood in the tank (which will stain the water and enhance the color of the neons.)

And skip the salt. Neons don't like it, nor do cories, plecos, gouramis, or dwarf cichlids. Platies do like it, but they don't need it.

Oldman47 12-26-2007 05:13 PM

Sorry Tyler, Lupin and Seaserpant are right. The angel might be too much for a neon. Black neons grow a little bigger and won't fit in a large angel's mouth so they would be safer.

Lupin 12-26-2007 05:51 PM


Originally Posted by SeaSerpant
Angelfish are very nice fish. My avatar is of an angelfish. But lupin won't angelfish soon grow big enough to eat the neon tetras?

I said to switch to bigger alternatives if the OP wants angels.;)

SeaSerpant 12-27-2007 09:31 PM

Ok thanks i didn't notice that. Gourami's would be very nice. i have 2 bluesunset gourami's and they look very nice.

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