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Hi there! I have been taking care of guppies and platys for about 6 months now (they are my daughter's and I kinda took over because I became fascinated with them lol)
I am now interested in starting another tank for myself.
I have been researching but I want to run this mix by you and get any tips or advice that you might have.
I have done really well with upkeep of the other tank (17 gallons) and have always stayed in the parameters that I needed to. I just bought a 40 gallon and I was thinking 6 Rasboras, 6 Cory catfish (not sure what type would be the right size though, any suggestions?) and I would like 1 or 2 Gouramis. I read that the males can be more aggressive so I wasn't sure if I should just keep one in the tank, or a male and female but lots of plants for her to hide in. If I get only one, what sex should it be or do they do better in the pair? What type would be more docile? I read chocolates tend to be more aggressive as well as the kissing type.
I read that they like to eat plants so should I get some or do artificial? Remember I am new so I don't want to take on more than I can handle, so I want to make sure it is doable haha.
I was thinking sand mixed with some gravel, or should I do straight sand? I read that it is easier to clean. We have gravel in the smaller tank and I clean it fine, but I kinda like the look of sand, as well.
I am also reading about proper cycling. I was really lucky with the first set of fish, as I didn't know about the process and didn't do it. I really just want a great start with this tank, so I really appreciate you even reading this long winded post lol. Thank you!
 

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I would suggest a pair of Pearl Gouramis. Both sexes have great color and they tend not to be aggressive as long as the tank is large enough. They should go well with your stocking plan. As for corys you can go with any variety. I'd go with something a bit different say Juili or something like that.

As for substrate, I find sand looks good for a week then the cleaning must begin. I use gravel. You could get a large clay saucer that goes under a huge flower pot and seat it on the bottom filled with sand and then add gravel. Looks really kind of neat and you can toss the sand every few weeks.
 
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