55 gallon stocking

Hello, I am a new fish keeper and I wish to stock my 55 gallon. The main fish is going to be a senegal bichir but past that I have no idea what to put into it, perhaps anyone has some suggestions for me?
 

MonsterGar

55 gallons is about the minimum tank size for a senegal bichir so you should only get one. Other than that they are predatory and thus should only be kept with other fish that get at least 5 inches long, bigger for slimmer species. With bigger fish like that the amount of fish you will be able to have in your tank would probably be 10 or less. Bichirs are also pretty reclusive fish so if you want an active and personable predator fish than a bichir is probably not for you.

As for tank mates you could do a few discus. very pretty and too big too be eaten by the bichir but they are also not exactly a beginner fish.

Angelfish are relatively easy to keep and also won't be bothered by the bichir. For a 55 gallon I would say 4 angelfish is the max, possibly less if they start to pair up.

Other cichlids such as firemouths, geophagus, and other medium to large cichlids are good for that tank with similar stocking rules as the angelfish.

If I were you I would go with smaller fish (3-8 inches) for the 55 gallon unless you get a bigger tank. That way you will also be able to have more fish (20+). Some people might even say a 55 gal is too small for a senegal bichir, and that might be true.
 
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FishBoy101

Hello, I am a new fish keeper and I wish to stock my 55 gallon. The main fish is going to be a senegal bichir but past that I have no idea what to put into it, perhaps anyone has some suggestions for me?
I hear it gets 12 inches in fish tanks, which would have the dimensions of 48″ x 13″ x 21″, at its full length it is 1/4 of the tank long. Just my 2 cents, but I wouldn't go for it.

Stocking ideas:
BIG FISH
2-4 Angelfish, will group together though may fight. With maybe some larger schooling fish or some mollies and some larger bottom dwellers like zebra loaches.

SMALLER FISH
A large group of tetras with some dwarf cichlids along with some corydoras for the bottom of the tank.
 
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BigBeardDaHuZi

I would say a 55 is way too small for a Senegal bichir. They get up to 12 inches long and they need room to swim. 100 gallons would be better. They are a little shy and prefer a well planted tank.
You can keep other fish in the tank, as long as they are too big to swallow, which limits things a bit. I wouldn't put tetras, dwarf cichlids or cories in there , they will be an expensive snack. Medium sized cichlids would work better. I have seen an Electric Blue Acara living happily with a bichir. Others like Firemouths or Geophagus would work, but they might tear up the plants you need.
Bichir are also purely carnivores, so make sure you can meet their dietary needs- worms, shrimp, frozen fish, tubifex - that sort of thing. They may not take dry food.

Edit: Severums would probably make a great tank mates.

Bichirs are a really cool fish, but probably not the best for a first fish. Their dietary needs, space needs and reclusive nature make for a difficult start. As they get large, they will also produce a lot of waste - and carnivore waste at that - plan on doing a lot of water changes. If you really, really want one, do a bunch of research first and be prepared to spend a lot of money on him.
On the other hand, if you have a 55 gallon tank, there are a lot of cool fish you can have. I recommend cichlids. Partly cause I like them a lot, but mostly because they get a little large and tend to have interesting personalities. If bichirs are your cup of tea, I suspect you will like cichlids. Maybe take a look at some Firemouths, Electric Blue Acara, or some of the smaller Geophagus (sand-sifters).
 
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You hear? To me that says that you do not have experience with them and am merely passing off information you’ve heard from one source to another. Forgive me for being candid however whenever I do something in life I wish for it to start off on a solid foundation and end up being exactly the way I want it to be.

Now, if you can show me your research that says that the majority of them grow to 12 inches then I’ll gladly read it however the majority of my research that I’ve done has stated that the vast majority of them don’t grow anywhere near 12” with 8” being normal, however the albinos grow even smaller and as do the short body albinos.

55 gallons is about the minimum tank size for a senegal bichir so you should only get one. Other than that they are predatory and thus should only be kept with other fish that get at least 5 inches long, bigger for slimmer species. With bigger fish like that the amount of fish you will be able to have in your tank would probably be 10 or less. Bichirs are also pretty reclusive fish so if you want an active and personable predator fish than a bichir is probably not for you.

As for tank mates you could do a few discus. very pretty and too big too be eaten by the bichir but they are also not exactly a beginner fish.

Angelfish are relatively easy to keep and also won't be bothered by the bichir. For a 55 gallon I would say 4 angelfish is the max, possibly less if they start to pair up.

Other cichlids such as firemouths, geophagus, and other medium to large cichlids are good for that tank with similar stocking rules as the angelfish.

If I were you I would go with smaller fish (3-8 inches) for the 55 gallon unless you get a bigger tank. That way you will also be able to have more fish (20+). Some people might even say a 55 gal is too small for a senegal bichir, and that might be true.

I am planning on getting the albino shortbody variants so I’m thinking about 3 of those.

Them being personable means nothing to me, it’s merely me watching them interact in aquatic world I have given them, whether they interact with me matters not.

Discus, the ugly pancake as I like to refer to them as, are not my cup of tea, thank you for your suggestion however.

Angelfish and firemouths, they both are quite ravishing, they offer their good looks with the possibility of a side of aggression, not unlike my wife, I know that the aggression wouldn’t be hard to handle for the bichir as the angelfish and fire mouth are both higher bodied fish. I would just have to give him means of protection that the others can’t get into. Half of a pvc pipe would work in the beginning.

No top dweller will be 8” as I do not believe it fair to the fish.

Stocking ideas:
BIG FISH
2-4 Angelfish, will group together though may fight. With maybe some larger schooling fish or some mollies and some larger bottom dwellers like zebra loaches.

SMALLER FISH
A large group of tetras with some dwarf cichlids along with some corydoras for the bottom of the tank.
Thank you for your suggestions however the senegal bichir(s) are going to be apart of the stocking so neither will work unless the small fish were intended as food.

I would say a 55 is way too small for a Senegal bichir. They get up to 12 inches long and they need room to swim. 100 gallons would be better. They are a little shy and prefer a well planted tank.
You can keep other fish in the tank, as long as they are too big to swallow, which limits things a bit. I wouldn't put tetras, dwarf cichlids or cories in there , they will be an expensive snack. Medium sized cichlids would work better. I have seen an Electric Blue Acara living happily with a bichir. Others like Firemouths or Geophagus would work, but they might tear up the plants you need.
Bichir are also purely carnivores, so make sure you can meet their dietary needs- worms, shrimp, frozen fish, tubifex - that sort of thing. They may not take dry food.

Edit: Severums would probably make a great tank mates.

Bichirs are a really cool fish, but probably not the best for a first fish. Their dietary needs, space needs and reclusive nature make for a difficult start. As they get large, they will also produce a lot of waste - and carnivore waste at that - plan on doing a lot of water changes. If you really, really want one, do a bunch of research first and be prepared to spend a lot of money on him.
On the other hand, if you have a 55 gallon tank, there are a lot of cool fish you can have. I recommend cichlids. Partly cause I like them a lot, but mostly because they get a little large and tend to have interesting personalities. If bichirs are your cup of tea, I suspect you will like cichlids. Maybe take a look at some Firemouths, Electric Blue Acara, or some of the smaller Geophagus (sand-sifters).

The research I’ve done disagrees with you on multiple points you’ve made. As far as I have found out, the only senegal bichir that regularly has even a remote chance of getting to 12” is the senegal bichirs from lake Turkana. I am not getting one of those.

I have never read of them being shy and they come from the waters of Africa so I *believe* their natural habitat is lacking of aquatic vegetation. I could be wrong and I would be glad to be proven wrong if someone can provide me research on it. Needless to say once I get everything finished I will start working on plans on how to make it what I want. I’m seeing a slight black water set up, high tech with co2 and high lighting so I can still grow some plants while maintaining the tannin look as well as terrestrial plants above growing from their roots in the water. The lid will be egg crate with an open topped canopy for them to grow out of.

The electric blue acara you saw living with a bichir was almost guaranteed an upper jaw bichir with the exception of ornates, weeksi, and teugs.

I plan on the main diet being tilapia that has been soaked in vitachem.

Pish posh, they’re all captive bred unless you go out of your way to buy one that was wild caught. They’ve been raised on dry food their whole life and even if they suddenly refuse dry food then you go with the eat or starve method, works very well.

I’ve read many long term account of the combination and they’ve all been good however the fish in question gets too big for a 55 in my opinion.

Their dietary needs, space needs and reclusive nature make for a difficult start.
Pish posh all of this, their dietary needs are quite simple, they do not get as big as you believe, and they are not reclusive such as a Raphael catfish typically is.

Any fish will produce a heavier bioload when they get bigger, it’s simple, it’s all about whether the filtration can handle it and I’m going with a sump which is the best methods of filtration pound for pound.

A bunch of research? While I might be *new* it certainly does not mean I haven’t been doing research, I’ve been doing it over the past 13 years or so, I’m merely looking for slight guidance for in case I stumble or overlooked something.
 
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FishGirl115

You hear? To me that says that you do not have experience with them and am merely passing off information you’ve heard from one source to another. Forgive me for being candid however whenever I do something in life I wish for it to start off on a solid foundation and end up being exactly the way I want it to be.

Now, if you can show me your research that says that the majority of them grow to 12 inches then I’ll gladly read it however the majority of my research that I’ve done has stated that the vast majority of them don’t grow anywhere near 12” with 8” being normal, however the albinos grow even smaller and as do the short body albinos.



I am planning on getting the albino shortbody variants so I’m thinking about 3 of those.

Them being personable means nothing to me, it’s merely me watching them interact in aquatic world I have given them, whether they interact with me matters not.

Discus, the ugly pancake as I like to refer to them as, are not my cup of tea, thank you for your suggestion however.

Angelfish and firemouths, they both are quite ravishing, they offer their good looks with the possibility of a side of aggression, not unlike my wife, I know that the aggression wouldn’t be hard to handle for the bichir as the angelfish and fire mouth are both higher bodied fish. I would just have to give him means of protection that the others can’t get into. Half of a pvc pipe would work in the beginning.

No top dweller will be 8” as I do not believe it fair to the fish.


Thank you for your suggestions however the senegal bichir(s) are going to be apart of the stocking so neither will work unless the small fish were intended as food.



The research I’ve done disagrees with you on multiple points you’ve made. As far as I have found out, the only senegal bichir that regularly has even a remote chance of getting to 12” is the senegal bichirs from lake Turkana. I am not getting one of those.

I have never read of them being shy and they come from the waters of Africa so I *believe* their natural habitat is lacking of aquatic vegetation. I could be wrong and I would be glad to be proven wrong if someone can provide me research on it. Needless to say once I get everything finished I will start working on plans on how to make it what I want. I’m seeing a slight black water set up, high tech with co2 and high lighting so I can still grow some plants while maintaining the tannin look as well as terrestrial plants above growing from their roots in the water. The lid will be egg crate with an open topped canopy for them to grow out of.

The electric blue acara you saw living with a bichir was almost guaranteed an upper jaw bichir with the exception of ornates, weeksi, and teugs.

I plan on the main diet being tilapia that has been soaked in vitachem.

Pish posh, they’re all captive bred unless you go out of your way to buy one that was wild caught. They’ve been raised on dry food their whole life and even if they suddenly refuse dry food then you go with the eat or starve method, works very well.

I’ve read many long term account of the combination and they’ve all been good however the fish in question gets too big for a 55 in my opinion.
Are you asking us our opinions or telling us what you're getting? Cause it kinda sounds like you're just telling us.
 
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Are you asking us our opinions or telling us what you're getting? Cause it kinda sounds like you're just telling us.
I do apologize for that Madam as that was not my intention. The senegal bichir is going to be gotten however it is the other fish that I’m not quite sure on, I’m wishing to get opinions of others about what else I could put with him.
 
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FishGirl115

I do apologize for that Madam as that was not my intention. The senegal bichir is going to be gotten however it is the other fish that I’m not quite sure on, I’m wishing to get opinions of others about what else I could put with him.
Okay. Just please don't blame others for trying to make sure the fish has a good environment.
You could do some cichlids for tankmates.
 
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Okay. Just please don't blame others for trying to make sure the fish has a good environment.
You could do some cichlids for tankmates.
I do have an anger issue which occasionally shows itself however I’ll always apologize as it’s something I’m actively working on fixing and have been for quite some time.

Do you have any names for me to look up? I’m fond of the odd stuff I’ve noticed.
 
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MonsterGar

I am planning on getting the albino shortbody variants so I’m thinking about 3 of those.
Fish that have shorter bodies tend to have a much shorter life span and usually have a series of bodily problems occurring throughout their small life.

In terms of other mid to top dwelling fish that will not be bothered nor bother the bichirs here are some ideas.

Silver dollars-Schooling fish too big to be eaten but also active and interesting; will eat plants

Larger African cichlids-Only downside is they may be aggresive to the bichir

Pike Fish (Xenentodon cancila, Belonesox belizanus, Ctenolucius hujeta)-Stay near the top and are interesting predators; some may only eat live food

Geophagus(5+ inches)-Often housed with bichirs in aquariums

I still think firemouths or angelfish is a good idea

Festivums-Peaceful, large, and interesting

While it is true that fish tend to stay on the smaller side of their size range in the aquarium, senegals will get at least 10 inches unless you keep them in a small tank.
 
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BigBeardDaHuZi

I wouldn't put an 8 inch fish in a 55 either. It is not a big tank.

But if you are already set on your plan, why did you even ask?
 
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FishBoy101

You hear? To me that says that you do not have experience with them and am merely passing off information you’ve heard from one source to another. Forgive me for being candid however whenever I do something in life I wish for it to start off on a solid foundation and end up being exactly the way I want it to be.

Now, if you can show me your research that says that the majority of them grow to 12 inches then I’ll gladly read it however the majority of my research that I’ve done has stated that the vast majority of them don’t grow anywhere near 12” with 8” being normal, however the albinos grow even smaller and as do the short body albinos.



I am planning on getting the albino shortbody variants so I’m thinking about 3 of those.

Them being personable means nothing to me, it’s merely me watching them interact in aquatic world I have given them, whether they interact with me matters not.

Discus, the ugly pancake as I like to refer to them as, are not my cup of tea, thank you for your suggestion however.

Angelfish and firemouths, they both are quite ravishing, they offer their good looks with the possibility of a side of aggression, not unlike my wife, I know that the aggression wouldn’t be hard to handle for the bichir as the angelfish and fire mouth are both higher bodied fish. I would just have to give him means of protection that the others can’t get into. Half of a pvc pipe would work in the beginning.

No top dweller will be 8” as I do not believe it fair to the fish.


Thank you for your suggestions however the senegal bichir(s) are going to be apart of the stocking so neither will work unless the small fish were intended as food.



The research I’ve done disagrees with you on multiple points you’ve made. As far as I have found out, the only senegal bichir that regularly has even a remote chance of getting to 12” is the senegal bichirs from lake Turkana. I am not getting one of those.

I have never read of them being shy and they come from the waters of Africa so I *believe* their natural habitat is lacking of aquatic vegetation. I could be wrong and I would be glad to be proven wrong if someone can provide me research on it. Needless to say once I get everything finished I will start working on plans on how to make it what I want. I’m seeing a slight black water set up, high tech with co2 and high lighting so I can still grow some plants while maintaining the tannin look as well as terrestrial plants above growing from their roots in the water. The lid will be egg crate with an open topped canopy for them to grow out of.

The electric blue acara you saw living with a bichir was almost guaranteed an upper jaw bichir with the exception of ornates, weeksi, and teugs.

I plan on the main diet being tilapia that has been soaked in vitachem.

Pish posh, they’re all captive bred unless you go out of your way to buy one that was wild caught. They’ve been raised on dry food their whole life and even if they suddenly refuse dry food then you go with the eat or starve method, works very well.

I’ve read many long term account of the combination and they’ve all been good however the fish in question gets too big for a 55 in my opinion.


Pish posh all of this, their dietary needs are quite simple, they do not get as big as you believe, and they are not reclusive such as a Raphael catfish typically is.

Any fish will produce a heavier bioload when they get bigger, it’s simple, it’s all about whether the filtration can handle it and I’m going with a sump which is the best methods of filtration pound for pound.

A bunch of research? While I might be *new* it certainly does not mean I haven’t been doing research, I’ve been doing it over the past 13 years or so, I’m merely looking for slight guidance for in case I stumble or overlooked something.
Well my sources are normally other fish websites, as well as some other forums. I assume you are going to be getting 3 albino senegal bichir? As said above, albinos have normally bad eyesight. And thank you very much for being absolutely amazing at the top. Your sources may not have any better points than my sources. I would believe myself that senegal bichir still get too big. 8 inches is 1/6 of the tanks length, and feeding can have difficulty. Don't forget that fish also have opinions. They might dislike the food one day, rare but possible.

Research is very very VERY important, but experience is also needed, I'm not saying you cannot start this idea without experience, but I would advise against it. We are all just sharing our opinion, and in the end you can choose whether to have an 3 8 inch fish in a 55 gallon, or something better suited. I wish that you choose the right decision.
 
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Dippiedee

Theres no need to be rude. Your responders are reliable resources with lots of personal experience who are only offering their opinions/viewpoints. Its your tank and you can do what you like, but you asked for opinions, then gave lengthy condescending replies to those opinions. You're allowed to dislike or disagree with what's been said, but previous posters dont deserve to be spoken to like that. Please be more aware of how you're coming across.
 
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Pfrozen

He already apologized if anyone missed it and he was pretty straight forward about it so let's all move on

OP if you want to do a stocking with larger fish check out scissortail rasboras. They will work if you have the 4 ft. 55g. Underrated fish in my opinion and they grow to 6 inches.

You could do:

1x Senegal bichir
6x scissortails
2x opaline gourami
1x pictus catfish

That would certainly be an interesting stocking plan but its definitely not for beginners. If you want something easier just do the bichir and 6 scissortails. Just an idea though, you wanted an interesting list
 
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RayClem

A 75, 90 or even 125 gallon tank would be far more suitable for a bichir than a 55 gallon as these tanks are 18" deep vs the 12-13" depth of the 55 gallon. You might be able to keep it in the 55 gallon for now as long as you have plans to upgrade to a larger tank in the future. A bichir can live for 12 years if cared for properly, so be prepared for a long term commitment.

As someone who has been in the hobby for six decades, I strongly recommend that you start off with common community fish rather than something as uncommon as the bichir. Yes, they are interesting looking fish, but their preditory nature makes them better suited for a species only tank. If you do want tank mates, you need to look for similarly aggressive tankmates like cichlids.

I suggest you start off with a 55 gallon community aquarium and learn everything you possibly can about fishkeeping. Then when you are able, purchase an even larger tank and get the bichir that you really want. By then, you will have the knowledge and skill to do it justice.
 
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MonsterGar

[QUOTE="Pfrozen, post: 4806605, member: 125920"
1x pictus catfish
[/QUOTE]
Pictus catfish like to be in groups (3+).
 
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I’ll be straight forward with everyone, I currently have a 55 sitting empty however a friend of mine knows that I’m looking to finally set up my first tank and he’s wanting to sell me his 180 that he’s taking down. The cash hasn’t yet exchanged hands however it is almost guaranteed at this point. Because I do not have the tank in my possession I am merely planning for the 55 gallon I have in my possession while slightly letting my plans mingle with the 180 gallon that I have not yet acquired. The exchange of money is set to take place later tonight and the moving of the tank to my house will take place later in the week when our schedules allow it.

With that being said, I will now begin to respond to your comments.
Fish that have shorter bodies tend to have a much shorter life span and usually have a series of bodily problems occurring throughout their small life.

In terms of other mid to top dwelling fish that will not be bothered nor bother the bichirs here are some ideas.

Silver dollars-Schooling fish too big to be eaten but also active and interesting; will eat plants

Larger African cichlids-Only downside is they may be aggresive to the bichir

Pike Fish (Xenentodon cancila, Belonesox belizanus, Ctenolucius hujeta)-Stay near the top and are interesting predators; some may only eat live food

Geophagus(5+ inches)-Often housed with bichirs in aquariums

I still think firemouths or angelfish is a good idea

Festivums-Peaceful, large, and interesting

While it is true that fish tend to stay on the smaller side of their size range in the aquarium, senegals will get at least 10 inches unless you keep them in a small tank.


I’m not quite fond of the silver dollars, too skittish for my tastes.

All african cichlids look the same to me so that’s a no.

Perhaps a dwarf pike that gets to 6”.

I feel as though the geophagus is too big for such a small tank. There are very few dwarves available and they’re not common.

I think a fire mouth is an excellent idea.

Festivum, that certainly is something to think about however a fire mouth, dwarf pike, and a senegal bichir should be enough for a 55 should the 180 fall through for whatever reason.


1 blood parrot maybe truly beautiful fish
If my research is correct they are a hybrid between two cichlids and their demeanor is a toss up on a case per case basis? I like minimizing my risk so that’s a no.

I wouldn't put an 8 inch fish in a 55 either. It is not a big tank.

But if you are already set on your plan, why did you even ask?
As per post #7, I have stated that the senegal bichir is without question going to be obtained, it is the other fish in the tank that I would like help with stocking.


Well my sources are normally other fish websites, as well as some other forums. I assume you are going to be getting 3 albino senegal bichir? As said above, albinos have normally bad eyesight. And thank you very much for being absolutely amazing at the top. Your sources may not have any better points than my sources. I would believe myself that senegal bichir still get too big. 8 inches is 1/6 of the tanks length, and feeding can have difficulty. Don't forget that fish also have opinions. They might dislike the food one day, rare but possible.

Research is very very VERY important, but experience is also needed, I'm not saying you cannot start this idea without experience, but I would advise against it. We are all just sharing our opinion, and in the end you can choose whether to have an 3 8 inch fish in a 55 gallon, or something better suited. I wish that you choose the right decision.
Show me your sources if you will. I quite enjoy hearing different points of view so I’d quite like to see what you found.

Either 1 normal or 3 albino short bodies, I haven’t yet decided and for that I do apologize.

I have no problem with rigging up some sort of feeding tube or even feeding directly with tongs.

Theres no need to be rude. Your responders are reliable resources with lots of personal experience who are only offering their opinions/viewpoints. Its your tank and you can do what you like, but you asked for opinions, then gave lengthy condescending replies to those opinions. You're allowed to dislike or disagree with what's been said, but previous posters dont deserve to be spoken to like that. Please be more aware of how you're coming across.
No comment as I fear any comment I make would be “rude” or “condescending” according to you.

He already apologized if anyone missed it and he was pretty straight forward about it so let's all move on

OP if you want to do a stocking with larger fish check out scissortail rasboras. They will work if you have the 4 ft. 55g. Underrated fish in my opinion and they grow to 6 inches.

You could do:

1x Senegal bichir
6x scissortails
2x opaline gourami
1x pictus catfish

That would certainly be an interesting stocking plan but its definitely not for beginners. If you want something easier just do the bichir and 6 scissortails. Just an idea though, you wanted an interesting list
Thank you.

I was under the impression they grew to 3 inches? Perhaps we are talking about different fish. What’s the scientific name of the fish you’re talking about?

Hmm, I fear the bichir would eat the rasboras and I believe pictus are too energetic for a mere 4’ tank.



A 75, 90 or even 125 gallon tank would be far more suitable for a bichir than a 55 gallon as these tanks are 18" deep vs the 12-13" depth of the 55 gallon. You might be able to keep it in the 55 gallon for now as long as you have plans to upgrade to a larger tank in the future. A bichir can live for 12 years if cared for properly, so be prepared for a long term commitment.

As someone who has been in the hobby for six decades, I strongly recommend that you start off with common community fish rather than something as uncommon as the bichir. Yes, they are interesting looking fish, but their preditory nature makes them better suited for a species only tank. If you do want tank mates, you need to look for similarly aggressive tankmates like cichlids.

I suggest you start off with a 55 gallon community aquarium and learn everything you possibly can about fishkeeping. Then when you are able, purchase an even larger tank and get the bichir that you really want. By then, you will have the knowledge and skill to do it justice.
I have explained my situation above regarding tank size, please take a look at it if you will friend.

I have been actively involved with my friends fishrooms for years so I am quite confident in my ability to run a tank, I am merely looking for someone to point out any mistakes I might make in case I make any. I do truly appreciate you looking out for me though, thank you Sir.



[QUOTE="Pfrozen, post: 4806605, member: 125920"
1x pictus catfish
Pictus catfish like to be in groups (3+).
[/QUOTE]
From what I understand they like to be in groups when young but when they grow up they turn more solitary.
 
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Pfrozen

the scissortail rasboras will be fine as they definitely do grow to 6 inches. with that stocking plan the pictus would be the smallest fish by 1 inch, which is ideal. you may be right about the pictus though, they really are better suited to a school in a tank of 100g or more

i am talking about the rasbora trilineata.. maybe you were thinking about a denisons barb or a similar looking fish. i really like the scissortails
 
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RayClem

A lot of the dialog on this thread might have been avoided had the OP told us from the start that the 55 gallon tank is only intended to be used for a short period of time with the intention of upgrading to a much larger tank in the near future.

However, I would caution that helping a friend maintain his tank and maintaining one of you own are two entirely different scenarios. It is like driving an automobile and being a back seat driver. The driver makes the decisions and is responsible for the outcomes.
 
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jake37

Zebra loaches are pretty small - sure they would not be prey for senegal bichir; if you go with loaches you might want the larger yoyo or clowns.
--
Beyond that i have no comments. Already too many comments.

fish or some mollies and some larger bottom dwellers like zebra loaches.
 
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MonsterGar

I feel as though the geophagus is too big for such a small tank. There are very few dwarves available and they’re not common.

Festivum, that certainly is something to think about however a fire mouth, dwarf pike, and a senegal bichir should be enough for a 55 should the 180 fall through for whatever reason.

I believe pictus are too energetic for a mere 4’ tank.

From what I understand they like to be in groups when young but when they grow up they turn more solitary.

1. Most of the geophagus you find in pet stores are the smaller ones that only get about 5-7 inches, such as red-humps.

2. If you mix firemouths and pike cichlids there might be some serious aggression problems.

3. While they do move around a lot, pictus catfish can do fine in a 30 gallon, although if you want to have a group of proper size than 40+ is better.

4. Where did you hear this? Never heard of that with pictus catfish before, but I have kept them as adult and they still hang out together just like when they were young.
 
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