55gal Community Tank Stocking Help

Sparkz

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I have a 55gal cycled tank. It has a couple very small real plants and some java moss but I prefer artificial plants so it has a lot of those. It currently only has 5 platies in it because I'm the most indecisive person in the world.

I've been down to the LFS to talk to them a bunch of times and played with the aqadvisor site. I think I finally have most of a plan. I've already talked to the LFS and they said they accept back any fish I find don't work out due to aggression or other issues. The LFS I'm using is privately owned, not a big brand store.

The fish I chose seem to all require similar water temps except for my current platies but I read they shouldn't mind the few extra degrees of warmth since they're such hardy little fish. I'm planning on adding only a few fish at a time, every 1-2 weeks depending on how water tests go.

I feel like I'm lacking some sort of algae eating fish with this build though. I don't have much algae and scrub the walls whenever I do see some but thought it would be nice to have something to help out and eat any that shows up on the rocks and spiderwood.

5 platy (already in the tank)
1 dwarf or pearl gourami
2 german blue rams (to be added later in the year after the water is stable for a while after stocking the other fish)
10 cardinal tetras
6 cory catfish

I have talked to my LFS about getting 2 young angelfish as well and they said it shouldn't be a problem as long as I add them after the cardinals but I'm not sure I want to risk the cardinals being an expensive snack so not sure if I should skip the angels or skip the cardinals. I just feel like without them I'm lacking something. 1 dwarf gourami doesn't seem like enough, maybe 3 pearl gouramis instead of angels?

I talked to the LFS about a bristlenose pleco as well, they kinda steered me away from them because they're waste factories but I do weekly PWC and can vacuum when I do it, I also have 2 Aquaclear 70s so I'm not sure it would be too much of an issue.

Any recommendations are welcome.
 

varmint

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Hi and welcome,

Your Cardinals will be safe with an Angel that grew up with them. Both fish are also temp compatible. I would suggest Sterbai cories for this setup. Instead of the Dwarf gourami, I would go with a pair of Pearls.
 

Fredward

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If you exchange the German blues for Bolivian rams and the cardinal tetras for neon tetras it would be more temp compatible while having a pretty similar effect. Also have you looked into honey gouramis? They're similar to dwarf gouramis but much less aggressive and can be kept in groups. All plecos are waste producers that's true but as long as you're willing to do the maintenance it should work with the other fish just fine. How about your 5 platys plus:

2 Bolivian ram
1 bristlenose
10-15 neon tetra
2-5 honey gourami
6 cories (btw you have an idea which species of cory it is you're looking at?)
 
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Sparkz

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Thanks. I’m not really a fan of the coloring on Bolivian rams or honey gourami. If I do rams at all it will be GBRs down the road but could just not get them if not temp compatible. The cardinals over neons were due to potentially getting the angels as centerpiece fish and didn’t want neons to be snacks. I think I’d rather do pearl gourami over honey. I was looking at sterbai or peppered cories. Was going to steer clear of pandas for sure.
 

Fredward

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Thanks. I’m not really a fan of the coloring on Bolivian rams or honey gourami. If I do rams at all it will be GBRs down the road but could just not get them if not temp compatible. The cardinals over neons were due to potentially getting the angels as centerpiece fish and didn’t want neons to be snacks. I think I’d rather do pearl gourami over honey. I was looking at sterbai or peppered cories. Was going to steer clear of pandas for sure.
I would suggest sterbai cories since they are better in higher temps since that seems to be what you're leaning toward (I have peppered cories and they're great but I had to do a bit of research to find a way to get a temperature the peppers and my angelfish could agree on). I've heard mixed reviews on Angels and gouramis together so you may want to choose one or the other.
 

varmint

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No problem with Pearls and Angel. My 46 bowfront has a pair of Pearls and a full grown Angel, as well as 9 Cardinals.
 
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Sparkz

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I read a lot of mixed reviews on angels and gourami and that it’s dependent on the fish which is why I made sure to confirm my LFS will take them back if there’s aggression issues. I guess I need to decide if I want to try 1 dwarf or pearl gourami and 2 angels or 3 pearls and no angels. I’ve been researching and flip flopping on stocking options for months lol.
 
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Sparkz

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No problem with Pearls and Angel. My 46 bowfront has a pair of Pearls and a full grown Angel, as well as 9 Cardinals.
Are angels happy if you keep them single? I think 1 angel and 2 pearls would be my perfect set up. I just fear that 1 angel would be sad
 

Fredward

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A single angel will do find on its own.
Agreed. My angel is single and happy. Although I'll mention that when his partner died (they were both babies and this was soon after I got them) my angel was a bit timid and often didn't eat (he was the only other fish in the tank besides my eel). But when I added my school of tetras he perked right up so while angels can be fine without another angel, they're better with the company of other fish. Doubt you'll have this problem since you said explicitly you'd buy the angel at least after the cardinals and you already have the platies, but I thought I'd bring it up anyway just in case.
 
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