55g Community Fish Tank - Stocking Choices

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by Kevbocat, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. KevbocatNew MemberMember

    Hello everyone.

    This is my first post but have been lurking these forums for some time. Seems like a good community here.

    So, I reviving my 55 Gallon tank and decided to build a freshwater community.

    I'm running an Aquaclear 110, lightly planted tank for now with some artificial driftwood decoration and an artificial rock decoration. LED lighting and heater of course. Right now I'm in the cycling stage.

    I've done a bit of research on the type of fish I'd like for this community tank.

    Here is my list:

    2 Dwarf Gourami (1 Powder Blue and 1 Flame)
    12 Neon Tetras
    5 Cherry Barbs
    6 Harlequin Rasboras

    For the cleaning crew:

    2 Nerite Snails
    2 Cherry Shrimp
    1 Oto Cat

    Question: Do you guys think this will be a good thriving community or would I have aggression problems with the Barbs and Gouramis?

    Appreciate any input.


    Additional: Ideally I'd like to add a male Betta but I think the barbs will nip that thing dead. Hopefully not but I'm under that assumption.

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2017
  2. tyguy7760Fishlore VIPMember

    Welcome to fishlore!

    I would avoid putting a beta in this tank. Betas and gouramis will not get along and likely fight to the death. You may be able to get away with 2 gouramis but you'll likely end up with 2 males (as the females aren't commonly sold) and they will also have large territorial disputes. I'd consider something like a larger group of honey gouramis or sunset thicklip gouramis. Males and females are easier to find in those species than dwarfs. Pearl gouramis would also do really well but you'd have to choose between them and neons as they don't have any temperature overlap.

    A few things to note. I'd do more than 2 cherry shrimp. I'd start out with 8 or 10 because gouramis and potentially the others too will try to eat them. Give plenty of hiding spots for them so they can get their colony going.

    Oto cats need to be kept in larger groups than 2. I'd do at least 6

    I'd also up your cherry barbs and rasboras to 8

    Your bottom level is pretty bare. I know you have cherry shrimp but I'd consider some cory cats or a bn or rubberlip pleco.

  3. KevbocatNew MemberMember


    Thanks so much for the feedback. I'm indifferent on the cherry shrimp. I just don't want multiple shrimp if they start spawning. I'm honestly looking for a good cleanup crew that won't multiply. The Nitrates aren't going to multiply according to some reading I've done because of water temperatures and whatnot. The Cory Cats is a good idea. Maybe some Pandas but I also don't want a school of them and would like to keep their numbers minimal. Would a couple of Panda Corys with 1 Oto Cat suffice? I know you mentioned schooling the Otos but like I stated, I'd like to keep cleaning crew numbers down if I could.

    As for the Gouramis, I'd like to go the route of dwarfs just for sizing purposes and keeping the bioload down.

    As for the Neons, these fish have really nice colours and I'd like to keep these as the biggest school in the tank.

    If you had to erase my cleaning crew list and start from scratch, what would you recommend?

    Again, thanks so much for your post. It's very informative.

  4. BaconaterNew MemberMember

    I like Amano Shrimp. They scurry around enough to be interesting, eat up left over food and debris (I've even seen them mostly eat up a dead fish before I knew it was dead) and won't reproduce in fresh water. They are also called algae eating shrimp, but won't clean up your glass, you would need the nerite or some other type of snail for that.
  5. KevbocatNew MemberMember

    Thank you!! Appreciate that advice!!!
  6. tyguy7760Fishlore VIPMember

    Ok well I wouldn't keep the cherry shrimp at all then. And a "clean up crew" is really not a term that exists in a properly kept aquarium. Even "cleaner" fishes need dedicated food sources and need to be kept properly. So if you are going to do cory cats, or oto cats you need to keep them in the proper numbers of 6 for each species at a minimum. If you do not want to keep that many then I'd look into some that do not need schools like 1 or 2 hoplo catfish, or a eupterus synodontis. These are bigger but do a great job of eating off of the substrate and do not need the additional numbers.

    Nerites are good for algae but IME they don't do a very good job of eating extra food or anything else. So if you are getting them to do that I think you'll be disappointed.

    As far as the size of the schools, keeping your numbers that low will add stress to the fish, especially in a 4 foot tank. I'd honestly say do 15 neons and 8 of the other 2 species.

    As for the gouramis, honey gouramis are smaller than dwarfs and the difference between "bio load" between the gourami species I mentioned is minimal. 2 dwarf gouramis will end up fighting. It will depend on the individuals if that is just a nip or two here or there...or all out war with 1 or 2 fatalities.
  7. JesseMoreira06Well Known MemberMember

    Agreed with @tyguy7760 , in a well kept aquarium , "cleaning fish" are not "cleaning fish" they are fish just like any other fish , they also need to be fed a varied diet.

    I would also not do 2 dwarf gourami, they will most likely be two males which will most likely fight tell the death. I would personally do 3-4 Thick Lipped gouramis.

    also as suggested again bringing up those schools will be important and nessacery, if you do choose to go with ottos they really enjoy the company of more in a 55g I would do 8-10 and wait for the tank to be establish before adding them, they can be sensitive fish.

    I would suggest

    3-4 Thick lipped Gouramis
    12 Neon Tetras
    12 Cherry Barbs
    8-10 Panda or Peperred Corys

    you would also have room for a bottom dwelling "center piece fish" such as a pair of Bolivian Rams but I think you mentioned you wanted a lighter stocking list.

    reason behind why Corydoras and other schooling fish need to be kept in groups is because in their natural habitat they live in groups of hundreds if not thousands , so we try to immediate that as best as possible (obviously realistically)
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
  8. KevbocatNew MemberMember

    Thank you again for the info Tyguy.

    I will take into account your suggestion on increasing the schools of the 3 species up to 15 and 8 of each. That's a very good point.

    I will look into the Hoplo Cats as you mentioned. I hope you understood what I meant by "clean up crew". Bottom dwellers that feed off the extra food waste and algae. I meant no ill intent on the little guys and I of course would supply all the adequate food they require to survive. Baconator mentioned Amano shrimp so I will look into those as well. I would just like a nice variety of fish without causing any unwanted stress to them.

    I will also look into the Honey Gouramis or the Sunset Thicklip Gouramis that you recommended.

    You have a vast wealth of information more than myself and I appreciate all your input. It means a lot in getting this tank up and running.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and give your input. The student can always learn more from the masters.
  9. KevbocatNew MemberMember


    Thank you so much for your input as well. I'm not against a heavier stocked tank, I would just like a tank that doesn't look too cluttered where everyone can live peacefully with adequate room to swim and live.

    I will definitely look at those Bolivian Rams.

    Appreciate you commenting as well and sharing your knowledge in this hobby.

    Thank you kindly
  10. JesseMoreira06Well Known MemberMember

    No problem , you'll notice members are always willing to give a helping hand on this forum to the best of their knowledge , don't hesitate to ask questions whatever they may be.
  11. tyguy7760Fishlore VIPMember

    Anytime. I understand that you will be taking good care of all of your fish but the term "cleaner fish" is often used by folks that think their one and only purpose is to eat whatever finds its way to the bottom and because of this, many fish keepers end up killing these cleaner fish. I'm glad you won't be making that mistake but need to make sure to mention it any time the term is used for future readers.

    Hoplo cats are very good as "cleaner" fish. They pretty much eat anything that hits the bottom. I keep two in my 40b but always make sure to feed enough so there is always extra for them to find.
  12. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to fishlore!
    I agree with tyguy.
  13. KevbocatNew MemberMember

    Great call on those Bolivian Rams. They are beautiful. German Rams are also very gorgeous.

    Thank you so much for the tip.
  14. JesseMoreira06Well Known MemberMember

    No Problem

    German Blue Rams require higher temps being 78-82f where as you stated you enjoy Neon Tetra which require colder temps which are 72-74f , that's why I suggested bolivian rams since they are temp compatible with the Neons Tetra you stated you wanted.
  15. KevbocatNew MemberMember

    Hey Jesse,

    Not to doubt you but my findings online are saying Neons are good in 70-81 F. Is that information just wrong because my tank is sitting around 77 degrees right now.

    Please advise.
  16. JesseMoreira06Well Known MemberMember

    That is wrong , Neon Tetras thrive in temps of between 72-74f , If you wanted something similar to Neons then Cardinals Tetras Thrive in warmer temps being 78f-82f.

    alot of information given on the internet on most of those fish website are inaccurate.
  17. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    Yeah, neons do best between 65 and 74 Fahrenheit long term, imo. They are from a cooler area in SA and the temp range found online for them is often wrong, because of the confusion between neons and cardinals, which are a warmer water species.
  18. KevbocatNew MemberMember

    So, safe to say then that 73-74F would be good for Neon Tetras, Harlequin Rasboras, Cherry Barbs and Bolivian Rams?

    Thank you to everyone so far for your input. It really helps and is very much appreciated.
  19. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    Yes that would be fine.

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