What to stock in a 48x24x36" tall tank

Joshuakahan

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Personally think the height would be perfect for the altums idea with some smaller supporting cast. Could be a blackwater biotope with some plants, planted does not have to be high maintenance! Plenty of easy low-light plants which basically take care of themselves. Could just fill the tank with valisneria and maybe some java moss. Those two require little to no care and will fill the tank up for a naturalistic overgrown look. Along with some wood and sand/pebbles, could be an easy beautiful tank IMO.

Single big cichlid would be cool as well of course. Personally I have become less fond of this sort of setup over the years because I enjoy making the tank it's own enclosed community and watching the inhabitants interact. But that's my personal preference.

And last but not least, saltwater would be awesome! Could do a fish only with live rock (no corals) for easy maintenance and have interesting species. Lionfish tank would be cool! Only real difference from fresh to salt is that you have to mix the salt into the water for water changes, which is pretty easy. Reef is where it gets complicated.

Good luck, let us know what you pick! Cool tank size
I find FOWLR to be easier than a lot of freshwater tanks
 

Joshuakahan

Gambusia
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Jul 9, 2019
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I scored the deal of a lifetime on this magnificent beast of a centerpiece:

View attachment 1383373

I did not need it, as I have a (formerly thought of as "nice") 180 in my office, but just look at it. And it matches my cabinets too.

I would like to stock this with something that will occupy all levels of the tank, but am having a hard time thinking of what.


In my 180 I keep wild Discus and Geophagus. In the past (many years ago when this site was still easier to browse and search) I kept other SA fish like Altifrons, Arowanas, and Uaru in 7 and 8 foot tanks, Lake Malawi in standard 75s and 90s, and for a while Datnoids and other bigger guys (several distichoduses) in 125s. None of those tanks was nearly this tall/square. I don't feel like any of those populations would be an ideal fit for a tank with these dimensions. The Discus would be good with the full height, but I don't like limiting them to only 4 feet of width. Mbuna would be fine with that footprint, but the extra height would be wasted.

What do you suppose would be a good fit for this tank? I want it to really look amazing, like the way a professionally done planted tank might... but no, I am not at all interested in all the work of a planted tank, especially high tech. (Also, at 36" tall, even the tallest of swords would still not be enough, I think.) Other ideas I have:

1) Low-tech planted, tons of tetras and a pack of Altums (very difficult to maintain though)
2) Africans, but find some big big peacocks to occupy the top (such fish might not love a 4' width though)
3) just get one massive fish with some personality
4) let my roommate set it up as Saltwater (would take a while before it got show-worthy; would be expensive; I have ZERO experience with SW)

Low maintenance is key, because the top of the tank is 6' up and that canopy is NOT easy to move. So I'm not going to stock it full of monsters.

But would love some input on what would make good use of the entire 36" vertical space of the tank.
I think a Fahaka puffer would be cool in that tank. They get fairly large ,14-18” , tons of personality and highly intelligent. They even learn to recognize individual people . It would have to be your only fish though. Super aggressive with a powerful beak to go with it.
A FOWLR salt tank with a smaller trigger like a huma huma would be cool too

33B50651-1BF5-4288-92F6-5108B21B9548.jpeg
 
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Fat Homer

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I think a Fahaka puffer would be cool in that tank. They get fairly large ,14-18” , tons of personality and highly intelligent. They even learn to recognize individual people . It would have to be your only fish though. Super aggressive with a powerful beak to go with it.
A FOWLR salt tank with a smaller trigger like a huma huma would be cool too

View attachment 1383638
Too small for an adult fahaka imo...

But to the OP, since your tank is tall, have you considered doing a predominantly rock scape in that tank? Then you could do some low light plants like anubias or moss and asd different species of unusual smaller fish such as killies, stiphodon gobies, ottos etc...

This way you can build up the tanks scape to maximize the use of space...

Some quick google examples below to give you an idea what i mean:

8E3482DE-411B-488D-A91A-DF7D33B92CC5.jpeg

4C1CF3C4-0566-469B-BE4E-43A2BF91C356.jpeg

B32F6D6B-5A16-4AA3-9AD4-FBF44F1B0672.jpeg

4FD1CCDD-9341-4D65-A7CB-79C2BB82C349.jpeg

9A678BD6-87D3-4FFA-87B1-26891C114668.jpeg
 

Joshuakahan

Gambusia
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Jul 9, 2019
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Too small for an adult fahaka imo...

But to the OP, since your tank is tall, have you considered doing a predominantly rock scape in that tank? Then you could do some low light plants like anubias or moss and asd different species of unusual smaller fish such as killies, stiphodon gobies, ottos etc...

This way you can build up the tanks scape to maximize the use of space...

Some quick google examples below to give you an idea what i mean:

View attachment 1383645

View attachment 1383646

View attachment 1383647

View attachment 1383648

View attachment 1383649
My fahaka ( the one pictured) is about 14” and he’s in a 48x24x24 and is doing great. Everyone has their own opinion though and your idea is pretty cool as well.
 
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Ogertron3000

Dovii
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Nov 6, 2017
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Too small for an adult fahaka imo...

But to the OP, since your tank is tall, have you considered doing a predominantly rock scape in that tank? Then you could do some low light plants like anubias or moss and asd different species of unusual smaller fish such as killies, stiphodon gobies, ottos etc...

This way you can build up the tanks scape to maximize the use of space...

Some quick google examples below to give you an idea what i mean:

View attachment 1383645

View attachment 1383646

View attachment 1383647

View attachment 1383648

View attachment 1383649
This is a cool idea, I'd like the Asian inspired rock design with some fancy goldfish. It's the type of tank that people who aren't into fish like, which is perfect for a giant show tank like yours.
 
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duanes

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Maybe I'm wrong, but from the pics, this tank (surrounded in beautiful wood, and in that space, that doesn't want to be splashed) looks like a PITA to do maintenance on. (is it drilled, for a sump?)
So If it were me, I'd do heavily planted with only enough fish to keep maintenance to a minimum.
If you have neutral to soft water, maybe a few angels and some colorful tetras (I like gourami swamis suggestion of Altums)
Or planted with wild type Bettas,and geographically correct dithers.
If you have hard water, maybe a shoal of Tropheus.

Nothing that gets big, nothing messy.
 
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justarn

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Midas is my favourite fish, I'll personally never be without one and a bull male would do well in there. About as interactive as fish get ime.

IMG_20190811_091624.jpg
 

Dloks

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My fahaka ( the one pictured) is about 14” and he’s in a 48x24x24 and is doing great. Everyone has their own opinion though and your idea is pretty cool as well.
I think that’s cruel to keep a football in a tank that small
 

justarn

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I thinks it's ok, they are slow moving and could be somewhere much worse than an mfkers 4*2*2
 
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Fishnerd360

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I think a brackish water tank would be cool, mudskippers, archers, and monos could be cool in a tank with that height. You could make it seem like a mangrove Forrest with the water level lower and tress/sticks coming out of the water to mimic a mangrove forest.
 
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