55g Stocking Ideas

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by Snailbait, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. Snailbait

    SnailbaitNew MemberMember

    My 55g tank has finished cycling, and once this case of ich is over I want to look into getting more fish.

    At the moment, it is stocked with:

    2 female platies and 12 baby platies. (I intend to keep only the girls from this bunch.)
    10 Neon Tetras
    1 Bristlenose Pleco

    I really like the look of Bala Sharks and Silver Dollars. Would these be able to be kept with the current fish?

    If anyone has some stocking ideas, I'd really love to hear them! I want a nice active and peaceful tank. :)
  2. Siggi

    SiggiWell Known MemberMember

    Bala sharks need a much bigger tank to thrive.
    Note that silver dollars eat any plant you might have in the tank...
  3. OP

    SnailbaitNew MemberMember

    Ah, okay. The Bala Sharks I was looking at must have been babies. Darn.

    I only have fake plants, so no worries about Silver Dollars ruining them. :)
  4. AlyeskaGirl

    AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    You need at least 6 Silver Dollars and a 55g is not large enough for them either. I speak from experience and currently have 9 in a 125g. :)

    Have you thought about Danios? They are active. Corys for the bottom. They are always busy.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  5. OP

    SnailbaitNew MemberMember

    Oh, okay - thanks for the advice. So I should forget about both Silver Dollars and Bala Sharks. (Or start planning a second, bigger tank!)

    I haven't considered Danios or Corys, but I definitely will. Any type in particular that would be good?
  6. AlyeskaGirl

    AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

  7. pirahnah3

    pirahnah3Fishlore VIPMember

    I agree, I have been wanting the Bala sharks for some time and just dont have the tank for them. The SD's do better in larger groups as mentioned and do get rather large.

    Personally I think that a 55 is a great size for the a large group or a few large groups of smaller fish and one or two larger fish such as angel fish or even some gouramis or the like.

    I might do the following

    15 Small schoolers (Neons, Other tetras, Danios, rasboras, blue eyed rainbows)
    6-10 med to large schoolers (again some tetra varieties, giant danios or the like)
    Cory or Khuli loaches (either are alot of fun to have in a tank) can do both or large school of just one.
    Algae control (when it happens, one nerite or an amano shrimp)
    Centerpiece fish or pair.
  8. OP

    SnailbaitNew MemberMember

    Thanks pirahnah3, that sounds good! :)

    What would you recommend for the centerpiece fish/pair? Would a pair of some sort of Gourami work?
  9. pirahnah3

    pirahnah3Fishlore VIPMember

    I would think so, or even a single angle would be nice in that tank.
  10. OP

    SnailbaitNew MemberMember

    How does this sound?

    1 male and 1 female coral blue dwarf gourami.
    Platys (Not sure how many... what would you suggest? Only keeping females.)
    8 Neon Tetras
    2 Bristlenoses
    10 Danios (5 Leopard, 5 Zebra)
    10 Cherry Barbs
    5 Khuli Loaches
  11. JDcichlidlover

    JDcichlidloverWell Known MemberMember

    everything I've read on bristlenoses says they're territorial. 1 per tank. schooling fish usually only school with their own kind. the danios wouldn't all school together. maybe ziggy can comment on the gourami. i'd do more neons though. they school great in large groups. 12+
  12. OP

    SnailbaitNew MemberMember

    Oh, I've not read about Bristlenoses being territorial... I have two together already, have been sharing a tank for about 4 days after the second one finished QT and seem just fine together. They have plenty of driftwood, and they are both only babies at the moment. I'll keep a close eye on them though if they need to be separated. Thanks for the heads up!

    I'm not too concerned if they don't school together, is that the only issue with the list I made? The neons I have at the moment don't school at all and they're still pretty to watch...
  13. OP

    SnailbaitNew MemberMember

    Sorry to double post, but could I get a couple of opinions please?

    Thanks, I really appreciate it. :)
  14. kinezumi89

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    With such a big tank, I would personally go for bigger centerpiece fish :) My centerpieces will be a pair of angels (one is quarantining currently). If you like gouramis, have you seen pearl gouramis? They get a bit bigger than the dwarfs. They're often kept in trios, two females and a male.

    I would also only do one BN, but not necessarily because of aggression. They produce a ton of waste, and it would take up too much of the available bioload. Your list up there is a bit overstocked, once you add the platies.

    Also, it can be hard to sex platies until they're rather big. I speak from experience! I have them in my 55, and usually (ahem) feed the fry to the adults so that they don't overrun the tank. One happened to escape our prying eyes, so since Darwin decided it was good enough to stay, that we would let it. Mostly we were going to let it stay because it looked like it was going to be a female. "She" got almost as big as the others, until one day I looked at her fins, and one of them seemed distinctly pointier...needless to say, he's obviously a male, and chases the other male relentlessly. (I had four females and one male, one female died, so this fry was going to replace her...didn't turn out so well.) Long story not-so-short, I'm not sure how big they have to be before they're sexually mature, but they might know each other's genders before you do ;)

    If you want the tetras, barbs, and danios, plus a centerpiece or two, that's a loooot of action up in the tank. I would either nix the platies or one of the schooling fish, then you could keep four or five platies. (They produce a lot more waste than schooling fish, as livebearers are wont to do.)
  15. OP

    SnailbaitNew MemberMember

    Thanks for that!! :)

    At the moment my platy babies are in a separate tank, so I'm waiting until they can be sexed before choosing which to keep and the rest will go to the LFS. I'm really fond of my platys (especially the one I raised!), so I'm definitely sticking with them. :D

    Out of the others, I'm not as keen on the danios, so I'd be happy to forget them if that'd be overstocked.

    I do a gravel vacuum every second day and a weekly PWC. I have a 250 gallon per hour canister filter. Would this be enough to enable me to keep both my Bristlenoses?

    I have to admit, I'm not a fan of Angels... They're pretty, but not my 'thing'. I think that I was focusing on the Blue Dwarf Gouramis mostly for the colour. Pearls are nice, definitely will consider them. What differences are there in behaviour?

    How does this list sound?
    (* Already owned)

    *Female Platys
    *2 Bristlenoses
    *7 Tetras (One sadly passed on, I think it was being bullied by the other tetras for some reason.)
    10 Cherry Barbs
    6 Khuli Loaches
    Centerpiece or 2 (Gourami or something)
  16. kinezumi89

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    How can you not be a fan of angels!! :;smack Just kidding ;) Everyone here seems to love blood parrots but my boyfriend thinks they look silly :p Everyone is entitled to their own opinion of course. (Btw BPs are definitely not an option for your tank, I was just using it as an example ;))

    As for filtration, unfortunately even if you only get one BN you'll need a new canister or another one in addition to the one you have. Canisters are more efficient than HOBs (hang-on-backs, if you didn't know). Adequate HOB filtration is 8-10x the volume of the tank. For simplicity, if you have a 10 gallon tank, this means you need 80-100 gallons per hour flow rate. Don't trust the box's suggestion of "sufficient filtration for up to X gallon tanks" because they're usually a stretch :p

    But with canister filters you only need 5-7x flow rate. So for a 55 gallon tank, filtered by canisters, you need 275-385 GPH. If you want two plecos, I'd suggest you aim for the high end, or even overshoot a bit. I can definitely vouch for how much plecos poop; before I joined this lovely site I had a BN in a 10 gallon (she was just a little thing at the time so it wasn't toooo bad) and there would literally be strings of poop all over the decorations. Even in a 55, I can see her poops all over the place :p

    Doing gravel vacs every other day as you're doing will definitely help though, because if the poops don't have time to sit and decay then they can't produce as much ammonia. However I would definitely still upgrade as your flow rate is a bit subpar. You can either add a second canister (which is the recommended option; if one fails you still have a working filter, and you can separate the intakes so that you can pull in water from both sides, if that makes sense) or purchase a new one that is sufficient for the whole tank. It would definitely be cheaper to just get another small one though :)

    For the gouramis, the powder blue dwarfs and the red flames are known to have more genetic issues than the neons (like the one in my avatar, blue and orange stripes). That definitely doesn't mean you can't get one though :) Personally I love opaline gouramis; they get a bit bigger than the dwarfs so it might make a more appropriate centerpiece. But they are known as one of the more aggressive gouramis, so I would talk to a gourami expert first and see if it would work with your stocking plan, if you're interested in them.

    Otherwise, if you up the filtration and keep up with vacs/water changes, I think your stocking plan would work. :) Maybe a few less cherry barbs though; I'd stick with 8 to be safe as it's still a full school but will free up some of the bioload for the plecos and swimming space for the platies.
  17. psalm18.2

    psalm18.2Fishlore LegendMember

    Snailbait, I don't like angels either.
  18. OP

    SnailbaitNew MemberMember

    Thanks kinezumi89 for your knowledge. :)

    I'll start looking for a second filter. My power consumption is going to be huge though.... :/
  19. kinezumi89

    kinezumi89Fishlore VIPMember

    Not nearly as much as from the heater though ;)
  20. OP

    SnailbaitNew MemberMember