Ellie Potts

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Hey everyone! I'm relatively new to this forum but was looking for some advice. I'm setting up a 55-gallon tank (48" x 13" x 21") and would like it to be a community tank. I've recently been really into schooling-tanks with many different kinds of schooling fish. For example, one fish keeper I've been following has a tank with 12 rasboras, 6 pearl danios, 8 hatchet fish, et cetera. I want to set this up, but with one or two big center-piece fish. This is the challenge. Big fish often like to eat little fish and, if they're not fast enough to do that, they may get out competed for food. I looked into electric blue acaras but it seems they'll eat all of my smaller fish. Discus and angelfish may get stressed out and not get enough food. Female blood parrot fish have been kept with mid-size schooling fish without issue, but that seems to be a grey area. Has anybody had any luck with a tank like this? Any fish recommendations that I should look into or should I just abort ship? The tank will be heavily planted with sand as the substrate. I have a nice canister filter that shouldn't have any issue.
 

itiwhetu

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Add a school of Congo tetras ( 6 to 8 ) as the center piece. They will stay in the middle of the tank. Then hatchets at the top with danios. At the bottom cardinal tetras. Everyone will be in there own zone.
 

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I have just cycled a 55g and I am starting to decide on stocking. I recommend you look at Odessa Barbs. As for smaller schooling fish, I am getting Pearl Danios (Danio albolineatus. Not to be confused with Celestial Pearl Danios). You can also consider the Glowlight Danio. Beautiful schooling fish.
 
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Ellie Potts

Ellie Potts

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Add a school of Congo tetras ( 6 to 8 ) as the center piece. They will stay in the middle of the tank. Then hatchets at the top with danios. At the bottom cardinal tetras. Everyone will be in there own zone.
That is a really cool tank idea. I don't know much about congo tetras except for their colors. I'm hoping to get into bigger fish, though. I've never had any and, although 55-gallons isn't massive, it does allow for some larger guys. I'll have to research the congo tetras and see if I want to go with a just schooling tank. Thanks!
 
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Ellie Potts

Ellie Potts

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I have just cycled a 55g and I am starting to decide on stocking. I recommend you look at Odessa Barbs. As for smaller schooling fish, I am getting Pearl Danios (Danio albolineatus. Not to be confused with Celestial Pearl Danios). You can also consider the Glowlight Danio. Beautiful schooling fish.
Those are gorgeous! I'll have to read some stuff as to their care but they look pretty cool.
 

Lunar Jetman

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That is a really cool tank idea. I don't know much about congo tetras except for their colors. I'm hoping to get into bigger fish, though. I've never had any and, although 55-gallons isn't massive, it does allow for some larger guys. I'll have to research the congo tetras and see if I want to go with a just schooling tank. Thanks!

+1 for Congos, they‘re fantastic fish. I’ve got them currently and they’re beautiful.

2E683115-C80A-4C53-A698-4A5FC71487B9.jpeg
 

Stefan3289

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my advice for stocking fish it to first find the centerpiece you want, then base it off of that. I would recommend angelfish, but they have to be kept in a group. Do some research for centerpieces. I believe that anything that’s about 5-6 inches should be ok with schooling fish that are 2-3 inches. I also really like the Congo tetras!
 

Lynnzer

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I have just cycled a 55g and I am starting to decide on stocking. I recommend you look at Odessa Barbs. As for smaller schooling fish, I am getting Pearl Danios (Danio albolineatus. Not to be confused with Celestial Pearl Danios). You can also consider the Glowlight Danio. Beautiful schooling fish.
No Way. I loved these. They are absolutely gorgeous with large defied scale and really good colours : HOWEVER they were rampant bullies. One male especially. He chased everything in sight for no good reason even to the extent that two fish jumped out of the tank and died.
Best to stick with something more laid back such as dwarf gouramis. They float around mainly in the top third of the tank and are really well behaved. I'd stick with the dwarf rather than the likes of the Pearl Gourami but if yoy want something as large as a Pearl it will be just as nice
 

HoldenOn

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Hey everyone! I'm relatively new to this forum but was looking for some advice. I'm setting up a 55-gallon tank (48" x 13" x 21") and would like it to be a community tank. I've recently been really into schooling-tanks with many different kinds of schooling fish. For example, one fish keeper I've been following has a tank with 12 rasboras, 6 pearl danios, 8 hatchet fish, et cetera. I want to set this up, but with one or two big center-piece fish. This is the challenge. Big fish often like to eat little fish and, if they're not fast enough to do that, they may get out competed for food. I looked into electric blue acaras but it seems they'll eat all of my smaller fish. Discus and angelfish may get stressed out and not get enough food. Female blood parrot fish have been kept with mid-size schooling fish without issue, but that seems to be a grey area. Has anybody had any luck with a tank like this? Any fish recommendations that I should look into or should I just abort ship? The tank will be heavily planted with sand as the substrate. I have a nice canister filter that shouldn't have any issue.
You could do a pair of dwarf cichlids.
 

PheonixKingZ

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my advice for stocking fish it to first find the centerpiece you want, then base it off of that. I would recommend angelfish, but they have to be kept in a group. Do some research for centerpieces. I believe that anything that’s about 5-6 inches should be ok with schooling fish that are 2-3 inches. I also really like the Congo tetras!
I don’t recommend angle fish... they need to be in groups of 6 or more, and can get very big. (Contrary to popular belief. @Retired Viking can contest....)
 

Stefan3289

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Yeah
I don’t recommend angle fish... they need to be in groups of 6 or more, and can get very big. (Contrary to popular belief. @Retired Viking can contest....)
I agree with you, I would recommend angle fish as like a cool centerpiece but it would be more like a centerpiece group as they should be kept in groups and I believe a 55 gallon is too small to keep a healthy group without a dominance situation starting.
 

HoldenOn

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Yeah

I agree with you, I would recommend angle fish as like a cool centerpiece but it would be more like a centerpiece group as they should be kept in groups and I believe a 55 gallon is too small to keep a healthy group without a dominance situation starting.
Agree. Only way to make it work is to find a bonded pair, which is very rare. I believe @Retired Viking and @Crispii are some of the members that have bonded pairs.
 

Stefan3289

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I used to have a bonded pair, and they had several batches of fry, but the female killed the male... I am not sure why
 

Retired Viking

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I had a bonded pair that grew to 6 inches (just body) in a 55 gallon tank but they must be a bonded pair if not you need 5 or more in a larger tank. I was lucky to be given them as a rescue. Most LFS do not sell bonded pairs, maybe there are places on line that do. I really enjoyed having my pair. I kept just a few other fish in the tank with them.
 

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