50 gallon tank in Costa Rica


Hello everyone and thank you for the chance to write my questions and concerns.

Currently I am setting up a 50 Gallon tank and being somewhat new to the hobby I wanted to ask the experts about the proposed fish population for afore mentioned habitat. The tanks measurements are 100cm length, 40 cm width, and 50 cm height. The intended fish list as follows:

-5 Dwarf Gouramis(Colisa lalia)
-6 Cardinal tetras(Paracheirodon axelrodi)
-6 Green Fire tetras(Aphyocharax rathburi)
-6 Rummynosed tetras(Hemigrammus bleheri)
-6 Red Phantom tetras(Hyphessobrycon sweglesi)
-2 Clown loach(Chromobotia macracanthus)
-6 Bandit Catfish (Corydoras metae)
-1 Hoplos Catfish (Megalechis thoracata)
-2 Twig Catfish (Farlowella acus)

Please I`d appreciate any and all comments on this fishload for that tank, I am still in the position to make adjustments to best suit the needs of these fishies. Feedback to learn from is always welcome, I just want to ensure these fish have the best life possible.

Thanking you in advance,



Welcome to FishLore! How exciting for you on setting up this new tank! Without researching anything, I would say you may have a problem with the gouramis eventhough your tank is a good size. They are very territorial, and might fight each other constantly. The rummy nose tetras are pretty docile, and may be too stressed out by the other tetras, but I could be wrong on that. The clown loaches do better in at least groups of 3, and get quite large, although they are slow growers, but it's generally recommended that they be housed in a larger tank. I think the farowell's also prefer a larger tank. I was interested in having them in one of my tanks, and was told to get at least a 55 gallon to house them. I am not familiar with the hoplos catfish, so I have no opinion on that one. You have quite an interesting selection, and it appears you have spent a lot of time trying to get the right combination. Rainbowfish might be another type of fish for you to look at that has different levels in the tank depending on the species. You have quite a few fish which would swim around in the same level of your tank.
This link will keep you occupied for hours:



Thank you for the warm welcome!

I am sure you know the level of excitement a fish lover gets when he has a new project in progress. As a kid I had a Breeding Swordtail tank with Albino catfish, now I'm going way back when maintenance for the aquarium meant clearing everything out of the tank and washing the whole thing clean! No filters, no high tech gadgets, just a plain ol` air pump with a tube line going into the water.

A lot has changed since then... Older and (I`d like to say) wiser I acquired a 10 gallon tank about 6 weeks ago and jumped right into the matter with new enthusiasm to re-learn fish keeping techniques and catch up with all the new information and technology.

I am ranting to give you some background on how I came to choose that selection of fish for my 50 gallon. Currently my 10 gallon holds:

-5 Dwarf Gouramis(Colisa lalia)
-2 Cardinal tetras(Paracheirodon axelrodi)
-2 Green Fire tetras(Aphyocharax rathburi)
-2 Rummynosed tetras(Hemigrammus bleheri)
-1 Red Phantom tetras(Hyphessobrycon sweglesi)
-1 Clown loach(Chromobotia macracanthus)
-1 Bandit Catfish (Corydoras metae)
-1 Hoplos Catfish (Megalechis thoracata)

Yell at me and call me irresponsible, I deserve it. But rest assured that I am taking immediate actions to amend my errors in order to provide a safe and healthy environment for my finned friends.

And thus I stand before you, humble and open to receive all the input you all so courteously provide.

Presently, the fish get along very well and there is only some feistiness present between the gouramis and not against the lesser fish on their behalf. Of course the tetras are not at their best since they are not in complete schools and therefore can not have adequate social interaction. Rummynoses although quite shy, are very happy and love to play with the current provided in the tank, flashing their silvery sides and parading with their red noses high in the water. Currently the only tetra that shows some stress from harassment is the smaller Green fire, for he is being hassled by the larger Green fire, both of them are males. Nonetheless they are very happy and have grown significantly since I got them. (well! as much as they can grow in about a month). The Hoplos catfish is magnificent and he basically sets the pace of what goes on in the tank, they can grow to about 6 inches and are supposed to be schooling fish, but males tend to be very aggressive during mating season, so I am planning to keep only one.

The plan is to eventually expand this community into a much larger tank so that the larger growing fish have plenty of room to stretch in.

Rainbows are indeed beautiful but I haven't seen to many around in my LFS, I asked around and seems that they are not being flown into the country that regularly anymore.

I certainly appreciate your replies and the info provided, hope to hear more from you all.

Thank you for the space and resources provided.




BTW: Thanks for the link! It`s beautiful in there!


Wow! You should be commended for keeping the tank running and all those fish alive in your tank! No one is going to yell at you here, and if they do, please let me know. That is not what we're all about here. For right now, I'd get that larger tank ASAP, and adjust your fish accordingly depending on their behavior in the new tank. I'll stick to my original suggestions, but since you already have a lot of these fish, it's a little bit harder.

Is your tank cycled? If not, I am totally amazed at your tank because they should be dying off in droves. We have some great information on the nitrogen cycle here and tips to help you out. Just click on the link in my signature titled, "FishLore Articles for Beginners". Also, if you don't already have one, you need a master test kit ASAP. You can buy the test kits separately, but it's more expensive that way. Look for an Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Master Test Kit locally. They are usually around $30.00. Sometimes they will have them on sale. You can also order them online for about half that price. PetSmart carries them online. Also look at the Big Al's website.


Thanks for the support, it has certainly been an endeavor to keep the ten gallon going, frequent water changes, constant water quality testing, etc. I did loose a Red Phantom Tetra to columnaris, probably from the poor water quality. But seeing them happy and interacting makes all the effort worthwhile.

I do believe my tank is cycled, it is about 7 weeks old and the ammonia levels are at 0 and nitrites are less than 0.3ppm. Nitrates soon to come since my lab kit didn't include the test vials for such purpose.

I`ve read the information throughly, thank you, it helped me a lot with the 10 gallon tank, I was quite intrested on the article about the UGF controversy, all my tanks have UGFs and so far are ok, I`ll continue to make sure to give them proper maintenance to ensure that they work properly.

The 50 gallon is finally ready to begin cycling, hopefully this will serve the purpose of housing my overcrowded 10 gallon tank population, at least for a while, until I upgrade to a larger tank for those larger growing fish like the loaches and hoplos.

On a different note... I am a Grandfather!!! My breeding pair of Gold Metallic Lyretailed Mollies just gave birth three days ago to 1cm long fry, some of which have grown half a centimeter already!

Thanks for all your replies and information,



Good News!

The cycle on the 50G is underway, I introduced two sunset dwarf gouramis two nights ago and plan to add two powder blue dwarf gouramis on Monday night. The tank is heavily planted with Elodea, Red and green Alternathera, Hygrophila, some crypts, Giant vals and smaller vals, Asian ambulias and some swords. It has three pieces of driftwood partly covered with java moss. The two gouramis are very happy with their new environment and play all day in the current.

I used the media from my ten gallon tank to seed the fifty gallon, also added some cycle bio supplement to increase the bacteria count in the new tank.

How are my grandkids you ask? All 15 of the molly fry are doing exceptionally well,kids, they grow up so fast...

Soon to come... pictures.

Thanks for everything,


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