Ellie Potts

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Hey everyone! I have a 55g tank newly cycled and I'm really excited to put some stuff in it... but I don't know what. It's over filtered with a canister pumping 360 gph and two, 200 watt heaters that will keep the tank at any temperature. My heating probe allows for a very stable temp with a night drop if needed. I have an LED light that is on a 12 hour timer (could be adjusted). The tank is heavily planted with plenty of hides. All I know is I want a community tank of some kind. Initially I was planning on having a discus tank with a few bigger schooling fish, but these tanks are a lot of work and discus can get easily stressed out in such a small space (at least a small space for them). I'd love to have an oddball creature (freshwater lobsters, eels, turtles, crabs, frogs, oddball fish, etc), but it's super important to me that the tank has multiple species. Any stocking ideas?
 

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55g is a great size for a tank. Small enough to be easy to maintain, but big enough to give you some options. Do you know how hard your water is? That can make a difference in what fish you keep, but most tank-raised fish are fairly easy to please if your water isn't extremely hard or soft. You could have good-sized schools of several different types of fish in a 55. I tend to think in terms of regions or even specific biotopes, so here are a few ideas.

South America (softish water): Schools of several different tetras, dwarf cichlids, maybe a few angelfish; a school of cories for the bottom, a school of ottos to add cuteness and help out with algae, or a bristlenose for your oddball.

South Asia: Barbs (gold, odessa, pentazona, lots of others), rasboras (harlequins are the classic), a school of dwarf chain loaches, panda garra, amano shrimp. There are some really cool eels in Asia, too, and I think there are one or two that could be comfortable in a 55. But I've never kept them so I will defer to someone else. If it doubt check seriouslyfish.com. A school of glass catfish would look very beautiful and very strange, too.

Central America (harder water): Schools of livebearers (swordtails, guppies, platies, mollies); a pair of firemouth or other smallish cichlids; dwarf crayfish (which might get eaten by the cichlids; I'm not sure). I don't know much about CA bottom dwellers but I'm sure there are some.

That's a start. :) Congratulations on your successful cycle, and good luck.

T
 
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Ellie Potts

Ellie Potts

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55g is a great size for a tank. Small enough to be easy to maintain, but big enough to give you some options. Do you know how hard your water is? That can make a difference in what fish you keep, but most tank-raised fish are fairly easy to please if your water isn't extremely hard or soft. You could have good-sized schools of several different types of fish in a 55. I tend to think in terms of regions or even specific biotopes, so here are a few ideas.

South America (softish water): Schools of several different tetras, dwarf cichlids, maybe a few angelfish; a school of cories for the bottom, a school of ottos to add cuteness and help out with algae, or a bristlenose for your oddball.

South Asia: Barbs (gold, odessa, pentazona, lots of others), rasboras (harlequins are the classic), a school of dwarf chain loaches, panda garra, amano shrimp. There are some really cool eels in Asia, too, and I think there are one or two that could be comfortable in a 55. But I've never kept them so I will defer to someone else. If it doubt check seriouslyfish.com. A school of glass catfish would look very beautiful and very strange, too.

Central America (harder water): Schools of livebearers (swordtails, guppies, platies, mollies); a pair of firemouth or other smallish cichlids; dwarf crayfish (which might get eaten by the cichlids; I'm not sure). I don't know much about CA bottom dwellers but I'm sure there are some.

That's a start. :) Congratulations on your successful cycle, and good luck.

T
Love those ideas! Central America is my favorite - I'll have to do some research on what fish won't bully the dwarf crayfish but also won't get eaten. Thanks!
 

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Love those ideas! Central America is my favorite - I'll have to do some research on what fish won't bully the dwarf crayfish but also won't get eaten. Thanks!
You're welcome. Find out about your water hardness before you buy any fish though.
 

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I love neon tetras in a planted tank. I actually had a 55 that I couldn’t set up due to space restrictions, so we went with a 22 long. Our local store only had diamond neons, and I like them better, cool little fish. For a 55 planted community tank though, I picture lots of schooling fish, small in size

I would also have some corydoras, but get a hardier variety to start, my pandas aren’t doing well.

I’m also incredibly partial to celestial pearl danios, beautiful tiny fish. But I like the small guys and if you’re thinking of putting bigger fish in there, they’ll likely be fish food.

I’m not an expert and only just getting back into the hobby, so take my suggestions lightly, I’m sure more people will reply with other great ideas.
 
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Ellie Potts

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You're welcome. Find out about your water hardness before you buy any fish though.
Of course! Our normal water is slightly softer than average, but I'm willing to buy supplements to make the water harder or softer. I definitely won't be getting any fish that can't handle what I have
 

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What are the tank dimensions (length x width x height)?

What is the GH (general hardness), KH (carbonate hardness) and pH of your water supply (in numbers)?
This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).

Depending on what the GH of your water is, will determine what fish you should keep. Tetras, barbs, gouramis, rasbora, Corydoras and small species of suckermouth catfish all occur in soft water (GH below 150ppm).

Livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies) occur in medium hard water with a GH around 200-250ppm. Rainbowfish will also be fine in this type of water, or in the harder water below.

If you have very hard water (GH above 300ppm) then look at African Rift Lake cichlids or use distilled or reverse osmosis water to reduce the GH.
 
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Ellie Potts

Ellie Potts

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What are the tank dimensions (length x width x height)?

What is the GH (general hardness), KH (carbonate hardness) and pH of your water supply (in numbers)?
This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).

Depending on what the GH of your water is, will determine what fish you should keep. Tetras, barbs, gouramis, rasbora, Corydoras and small species of suckermouth catfish all occur in soft water (GH below 150ppm).

Livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies) occur in medium hard water with a GH around 200-250ppm. Rainbowfish will also be fine in this type of water, or in the harder water below.

If you have very hard water (GH above 300ppm) then look at African Rift Lake cichlids or use distilled or reverse osmosis water to reduce the GH.
I've been using the Masters Testing Kit weekly to measure these things and keep the numbers written down in a journal under my tank. I'm out of town right now, however, and don't have them memorized. All I can say until I get home is that I have relatively soft water in which I've had no problem keeping corys, gouramis, dwarf cichlids, all kinds of tetras, etc in the past. I can make the water more hard using limestone or other methods if needed, but I don't have much interest in fish that need hard water.
 
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Ellie Potts

Ellie Potts

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What are the tank dimensions (length x width x height)?

What is the GH (general hardness), KH (carbonate hardness) and pH of your water supply (in numbers)?
This information can usually be obtained from your water supply company's website or by telephoning them. If they can't help you, take a glass full of tap water to the local pet shop and get them to test it for you. Write the results down (in numbers) when they do the tests. And ask them what the results are in (eg: ppm, dGH, or something else).

Depending on what the GH of your water is, will determine what fish you should keep. Tetras, barbs, gouramis, rasbora, Corydoras and small species of suckermouth catfish all occur in soft water (GH below 150ppm).

Livebearers (guppies, platies, swordtails, mollies) occur in medium hard water with a GH around 200-250ppm. Rainbowfish will also be fine in this type of water, or in the harder water below.

If you have very hard water (GH above 300ppm) then look at African Rift Lake cichlids or use distilled or reverse osmosis water to reduce the GH.
Oh, and my tanks a standard 55 gallon - 48″ x 13″ x 21″
 

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It is always easier and IME more fun choosing fish to suit one's water rather than altering one's water to suit the fish.
 

DAnCSF

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What fun...It's always exciting to stock a tank...such decisions; you can got the way of by:
1. area i.e. a south american tank, an asian tank, african cichlid tank etc...
2. Species specific - ie. just oscars
3. Or what ever just strikes your fancy...
But the most difficult part and one that requires the most discipline is doing the research to stock what would be appropriate for you. Still take there are forums like these, to give you plenty of help. Good luck and enjoy whatever you end up with.
 

AilyNC

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I'd go to best reputation local fish shop and look at their stock. Write down the ones you like look of. Come home & search www.seriouslyfish.com to check compatibility with your tank dimensions & water ph & hardness. Pop back here with a list of your favourites & then get recommendation on numbers & community.

It's your tank and your own preference is a big factor. My favourite fish to have so far are cories & small plecos. I've found Cherry barbs & white cloud mountain minnows very chilled out. Platy just have too many babies and harass each other to have more babies. My water is very hard so don't have experience with fish that'd suit your soft water
 
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Ellie Potts

Ellie Potts

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I'd go to best reputation local fish shop and look at their stock. Write down the ones you like look of. Come home & search www.seriouslyfish.com to check compatibility with your tank dimensions & water ph & hardness. Pop back here with a list of your favourites & then get recommendation on numbers & community.

It's your tank and your own preference is a big factor. My favourite fish to have so far are cories & small plecos. I've found Cherry barbs & white cloud mountain minnows very chilled out. Platy just have too many babies and harass each other to have more babies. My water is very hard so don't have experience with fish that'd suit your soft water
Unfortunately, I can't find a fish store that is less than 2 hours away. That one doesn't have a stock list posted and didn't pick up after 4 different calls at varying times. I kind of gave up on them and figured I'd either have to buy from chain stores or order live fish. It's not ideal but the fish store I used to go to closed a year ago.
 

AilyNC

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Unfortunately, I can't find a fish store that is less than 2 hours away. That one doesn't have a stock list posted and didn't pick up after 4 different calls at varying times. I kind of gave up on them and figured I'd either have to buy from chain stores or order live fish. It's not ideal but the fish store I used to go to closed a year ago.

Well online it'll be even easier to check stock against what's suited to your tank.
 

AquaViva

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In my 20g I have a bamboo shrimp as my oddball they get around 3", look at vampire shrimp for your tank, filter feeders so very cool to watch and get pretty big, could do a couple of them if your tank suits.
 

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