Amanda's New 55 gallon - HELP

Amanda
  • #1
I just bought a 55 gallon tank for $30 - BARGAIN (craigslist.com). I also got a stand, filter (Whisper 30 - 60), and heater. I know that I still need to set up & let it cycle - but I'm trying to get some ideas on what I want to put in the tank eventually. I already have a male betta, a rubbernose pleco & an apple snail in an established 5 gallon tank. They will all be going in the new 55 gallon. I want an active - flashy tank. Any suggestions?
 
fishrule101
  • #2
55 tank for 30 bucks that's awesome and a deal of a lifetime!! Anyways go Saltwater the fish and choises are endless. The rewards will really pay off. For live stock I would say more snails. The one snail must be so lonley. How about some neon tetras?? There active and flashly.
 
sirdarksol
  • #3
I would suggest leaving the betta in the 5g. Bettas generally don't do well in community tanks, and they greatly limit what fish can go in (if it has "fin-nipper" in the description, it can't go in with a betta. Since "active and flashy" almost always go hand-in-hand with "fin-nipper," you'd be looking at problems )

The mollies I have had tend to be pretty active; you could have a molly tank. A 55 gallon would also provide a ton of room for guppies or tetras, which can be a really cool sight. Angelfish are very interesting fish. African cichlids are absolutely gorgeous fish, but have pretty specific water requirements.
These are just a few ideas. If you narrow things down, we can help more. Otherwise, we'll really just be dictating what you've got in your tank, which will be interesting to us, but may leave you with a tank that you don't consider to be "perfect" (which is what we're really aiming for here, since you're the one who will be living with the decision )

Edit: I've got to disagree on the "more snails" statement, unless you want many, many more snails. Some snails, like malaysian trumpet snails, never really overpopulate the tank. Others, like apple snails, can reproduce to the point that they have a severely negative impact on the tank's bioload.
 
Lucy
  • #4
HI Amanda Welcome to Fish Lore

Congrats on the great deal and fishless cycling.
I'm not very good at stocking suggestions but
I would like to suggest that you leave the betta in the 5g, he'd do better by himself rather than have a lot of active fish around him.

One of our members in particular loves to help with stocking, he'll be gone for a fews days, but you have lots of time.

Good luck and don't forget to post pics, we love them!
 
FishKing
  • #5
If you want an active peaceful tank I would suggest schooling tetras such as harliquen rasbora or cardinal tetra. I would put about three different species of them and maybe some guppies also.
 
Angela_96
  • #6
I have to spread the african cichlid word... they are super active fish! They are never boring, w/ a 55 gallon you can go w/ the smaller malawI cichlids, and can put about 12 in one tank and I would move the pleco out of the 5g, they put out a huge biowaste plus they need the larger tank to grow out in. I just got an oto catfish for my betta yesterday, they are perfect for the smaller tanks.

BTW as a person who has many snails, apple, and pond. I really do not think that adding snails is a good idea.
 
sirdarksol
  • #7
Have a bit of a snail problem, do you? ;D

I actually like my pond snails, but they don't grow as big as apple snails.
 
Amanda
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Everyone tell me what THEIR PERFECT 55 gallon (freshwater) tank would be. I'm curious to hear.
 
Angela_96
  • #9
Have a bit of a snail problem, do you? ;D

I actually like my pond snails, but they don't grow as big as apple snails.

I loved the apple snails until they started laying eggs, and having to clean that gunk off of the top of the tank almost every other day I gagged the whole time.... Then I bought some plants and they were infested w/ pond snail eggs, so my 10 gallon was covered w/ them in no time, when I finally got rid of them I said never again for snails.

My perfect 55 gallon would be a SA community tank w/ some blue rams in it.. but that is my opinion, I always suggest african cichlids because of their color plus there are over 1500 malawI species.... I don't see every not having malawI cichlids (but I have enjoyed breeding them lately, if its just to see the fry grow)
 
sirdarksol
  • #10
My perfect freshwater 55 gallon (numbers are referring to the 1" per gallon guideline)

6 otos (cleaner crew) we'll give them 1.5 inches apiece for 9 inches (9)
14 Neons, a mix of regular and black, at 1.5 inches apiece is 21 inches (30)
Six Glassfish, at 2 inches apiece, for 12 inches (42)
A pair of blue gourami, at 6 inches apiece, for 12 inches (54)
Ecocomplete substrate, with stone/driftwood as decoration
Hemianthus Callinthrodes, Christmas Moss,and some dwarf onion.
Cherry Red Shrimp Colony (no bioload)
Malaysian Trumpet Snails (no bioload)
The gourami really will take more bioload than their length, as they have greater mass, but the plants will help make up for this a bit.
 
COBettaCouple
  • #11
Welcome to Fishlore.

I'd agree on the Betta in his own tank and you might want to look at african cichlids. cichlid forum has profiles that you can browse. They're colorful fish with lots of personality.
 
Angela_96
  • #12
If you do get into african cichlids one thing for sure, look at the max adult size when buying them, yes you want to 'overcrowd' the tank, however when they start getting 4-5 inches long for me I am wanting to put them in a bigger tank, most of my cichlds are at least 3.5+ in size, and we are going to at least a 75 gallon tank for them, the "dwarfs" or smaller ones will go to the 58g tank, like the cynatilapia afras, labs... I also have 2 large filters on that tank, one eheim up to 60g, and a hob penguin 250. The thing that has me constantly doing water changes, etc is the ehiem is getting nasty at least once a month from the heavy population of large cichlids.
I just bought an eheim 80g for the 58g tank, I am hoping that will help. I am prob going w/ a fluval for the 75 gallon tank or 90 when we get it.
Just remember overcrowding needs loads of filitration plus you also need to do reg water changes (I do 2 a week)

Most cichlids are okay in a 55g, that's just my opinion.
 
sirdarksol
  • #13
It seems that cichlids are out, as it has been stated that the betta will be going into the big tank (different thread). From what I've heard, the mildest of African cichlids would tear a betta apart.
 
platy ben
  • #14
I have a 60G tank, which is cycling, will be finished tomorrow . it has one sucking loach in at the moment but tomorro I'm going to get a pair of convict cichlids to breed in there.

the whole cichlid thing- get as many as possible because if you have one or 2 they are very terrtorial and aggresive sometmes so its best to have a small group of atleast 5.

koi angelfish are nice.
 
Amanda
  • Thread Starter
  • #15
Alright everyone - the betta is OUT, lol. I'm buying a 10 gallon & dividing it for my 2 little betta boys. I went to look at fidh today to get ideas - here is a list of fish I thought were interesting. Can everyone give me some feedback on if/how I can make these fish a part of my community tank:
x-ray tetra, ghost catfish, black mollies, upside-down catfish, dwarf/pearl gourami, bala shark, female bettas, corys, and they had some sort of eel that I liked. I love dragon gobies but these are brackish water fish, correct?
 
Shawnie
  • #16
congrats on the new find!!!!! such a GREAT steal! can't wait to see it stocked!!



I have a 60G tank, which is cycling, will be finished tomorrow .
koi angelfish are nice.

You would be the first, I'm pretty sure, that can tell the exact date of a cycle completion how do you do it?? ;D
 
Coffey5030
  • #17
I read somewhere (probably in these forums) that snails help transmit disease. I think it said something about some bacteria or parasite only being able to reproduce if there are snails. Any truth to this? I too am interested in purchasing some to help keep the tank clean. On that same note, do shrimp help at all?
 
Amanda
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
Would angelfish be a good add to the previous list of fish that I posted? I thought that maybe they'd keep the fry under control from the mollies & tetras.
 
Angela_96
  • #19
I am really iffy about adding the female bettas to that mix, and the bala shark.
Now w/ an eel, you want to make sure none of the fish are big enough to go in its mouth. I had a peacock eel at one time and he was in the tank w/ some larger tetras and got along just fine, but I was told when he got larger he might prey on the smaller fish. That was a long time ago when I had him too, and that wasn't advice from the fish lore gang that was before I found this site.
 
BigJoe
  • #20
My opinion is tetras (mix of maybe neons/cardinals, serpae/black skirt/etc, and maybe even some glowfish(its not a tetra just what I thought about at the time)) maybe a small school of guppies... and a couple angelfish... (a couple glassfish or cats added too)... oh yeat and 3 otos and 3 cories (I like emerald and albino ones) and finish it off with some ghost shrimp and cherry shrimp...

add a little low light plants (because i'm too cheap to get any high tech setup) and a couple peices of driftwood, maybe a rock formation on one side

one note I am not sure these would all work but this is what I would want to work...
 
platy ben
  • #21
angel fish will help keep the fry sorted and they are very peaceful, they're great fish! .

bala sharks grow qutie big that's the only problem, plus, they are very active and they may disturb any calm fish you have in the tank with them.
 
sirdarksol
  • #22
Alright everyone - the betta is OUT, lol. I'm buying a 10 gallon & dividing it for my 2 little betta boys. I went to look at fidh today to get ideas - here is a list of fish I thought were interesting. Can everyone give me some feedback on if/how I can make these fish a part of my community tank:
x-ray tetra, ghost catfish, black mollies, upside-down catfish, dwarf/pearl gourami, bala shark, female bettas, corys, and they had some sort of eel that I liked. I love dragon gobies but these are brackish water fish, correct?

#1, I would avoid the dwarf gourami right now. There's a virus that is killing a significant number of them off. Some members have had a DG for a week or more and then, very suddenly, it dies. It will stop eating, sit on the bottom of the tank, and die 24-48 hours later. You can, however, leave some space for one or two if you'd like, and get it later once the dealers in Singapore get this thing cleared up. Edit: This virus can also affect other gourami and bettas, it seems. It may be able to affect cories, as I have read that they have labyrinth organs, meaning they likely share some distant relation with gourami.

Female bettas can be problems for the same reason as males, though they are more mild-tempered (except when dealing with the males) in general.

Bala shark may eat the x-ray tetras when it gets to be full-grown.

Yes, dragon gobies are brackish. You just proved yourself more knowledgeable than 99% of pet store employees.

Maybe go with the tetras (they need a school of 6 or more), Cories (they would love to be in a school of 6 or more, should have at least 3, though), for eel-like fish, you could go with kuhlI loaches (as with cories, they need a group of 3 or more), upside-down catfish (I think they may need groups, but I'm not positive).
If you had 6 tetras (around 12"), 4 cories (around 12"), 4 kuhlis (around 10"), and 3 upside down catfish (around 12"), this would leave you with roughly 9" of adult fish to stock (you can go over or under by a bit. This is just a very general guideline). You could get a trio of black mollies, or a pair of gourami (make sure to have plants, either real or fake, for them to hide in if one gets belligerent), or a trio of glass catfish (for an oddity tank )
 
Amanda
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
Thanks, that helps a lot! I don't think that I'm going to put in bala sharks. But I read of Foster & smith website that as long as female bettas aren't with fin nippers, they should be fine. I may get just one to see how it reacts. Another question, what are good live plants to start my aquarium?
 
BigJoe
  • #24
well the first question they are gonna ask is how much lighting... there are plants that are low light to very high light... high light plants require co2 injections and tend to require more maintenance... i'd say just like me being a beginner stick with low light... you may end up limited by type of plants but a lot less hassles along the way... or at least that's what I have been reading... I am by far not an expert.. just done a lot of research here lately...
 
Amanda
  • Thread Starter
  • #25
I'm going to be setting up my tank this weekend - do you know of any low-light plants off hand?
 
COBettaCouple
  • #26
Amanda
  • Thread Starter
  • #27
My 2 bettas are now in a divided 10 gal. And they LOVE it. But I seem to have discovered a problem. I put the 2 bettas in first - I was going to leave the snail & pleco in the small tank untI my 55 gal. is up & running. But, Valient, the betta the pleco & snail are housed with - went into a full depression without the pleco in the tank. When I put him in the 10 gal. with him, he hurried up and went down and nudged then chased him. Then Zeus, the pleco, chased him back, etc. My betta really seems to live having the pleco in the tank with him, is there anything else I could put in there with him once the pleco & snail are moved into the 55 gal.?
 
Amanda
  • Thread Starter
  • #28
This is my 55 gal. all done being set up. I want to add live plants still. When is the best time to add them? Now that you've seen the tank - what do you think will look good in it? Remember - hopefully there will be large live plants in the back. (I was going for a bottom of the river look.)
 
Shawnie
  • #29
betta's n corys are cute together...just make sure whenever you add a betta, male or female, to a tank with ANYTHING else, you have a back up tank in case..betta's are so unreliable as far as tankmates, that no one can say what will work and what wont...tanks coming along awesome! can't wait to see the before and after pics
 
livetowin
  • #30
What you looked at were all great fish and whenever I get a new tank or redo the tank I never buy the decor that looks odd in a aquarium(i.e. Castles, Ships) what ever makes the tank, look weird so I really like the river bottom idea. I can't wait to see what it looks like
 
mrsjcc0312
  • #31
WOO HOO for Craigs list!! I actually got a FREE 55 gal and 30 gal tank off of there. My 55 gal houses, 7 Orange Platy's, 5 Black Skirt Tetra's, 3 large female Guppy's, 1 Red male Betta, 1 Rainbow Shark, 6 sm. catfish, 3 Dwarf Guarami's, 1 Opaline Guarami, 4 juvenile Molly's, 2 med. Molly's and 3 red Platy's.
My 30 gal houses approx. 15 Platy's, 2 large female Guppy's, 1 Rainbow Shark and 1 Rope fish.
They're all fun fish to watch and seem to get along wonderfully!!!
 
myriad1973
  • #32
I'll be posting pictures soon for any of you wanting to see, but I had two questions. I'm sure I've asked before, but I just want a quick refresher.

How many fish can I put in the tank before I can consider it fully stocked? Does the amount of filtration play a role? Right now I'm using an old Regent AquaTech rated up to 60 gallons, but I will be upgrading to an Emperor 400 in the near future. I plan on adding a pair of Blue Rams after the tank is done cycling and another school of Tetra or Rasbora before that possibly.
 
bettafishlover
  • #33
it depends. remember the rule...... 1 inch of fish not inclouding the tail per gallon so 60 1 inch fish or whatever you want! and the fiter does play a role if you upgrade your set up is perfect! bye!
 
myriad1973
  • #34
I kinda figured that upgrading the filter will allow me a few extra fish. It shouldn't be overcrowded either. I should've done this instead of the 20 gallon to begin with

Thanks for the affirmation.
 
e_watson09
  • #35
it depends. remember the rule...... 1 inch of fish not inclouding the tail per gallon so 60 1 inch fish or whatever you want! and the fiter does play a role if you upgrade your set up is perfect! bye!

So basically you are saying I can put 10 1in long kio into a 10 gallon tank as long as the filter is made for a 10 gallon tank? Humm why do I only have 5 fish in my 55 gallon tank then! DANG I need to go get more.

I really hope you were kidding.

To the op. There is not a inch of fish rule at all. It depends on the bio load of the fish, max size the fish gets, and the temperment of the fish. I'd post a thread in the aquarium stocking section when you are actually trying to figure out stock and get ideas. You'll get many people who know what they are talking about with specific fish and give you some good stocking ideas without over stocking your tank. Have you thought about any fish in particular that you want to keep yet?
 
catsma_97504
  • #36
+1 e_watson

The inch of fish rule is only valid when dealing with inch long fish. It is not a good rule to work with in larger tanks. For example, in my 90G tank, when it was fully stocked I had something like 150 inches of fish, and still had plenty of room for more. The key is to know the bioload of your fish and to have proper filtration to minimize the waste levels and circulate the water properly.

Your current AquaTec filter will be able to turn the water over 6 times, which is barley passable. I would recommend adding the canister filter as soon as possible and running both side by side. Then, once the 2nd filter has had enough time to cycle, begin adding other specimens.

Good luck with your new tank!
 
myriad1973
  • #37
I don't even bother with the inch per gallon rule now after learning, talking to experienced fishkeepers, and using common sense. Between doing a ton of research on the species I've stocked and going to stock + usingas a general blueprint on what I can/want to stock in the tank, I think I have my bases covered.

I'm basically doing a large schooling tank with one gourami. I may be able to squeeze a bottom feeder, but I don't know if that would start to deprive oxygen from the water. Right now I'm using a Tetra Whisper air pump rated for 40 gallons and a 6" airstone with it. The amount of aeration covers the whole right half of the tank.

Initially I was thinking of just upgrading the filter, but I think what I'll do instead is use the old filter as the second/back-up filter, i.e. run two filters. That would probably be best. So I should get a Penguin 350 which uses the same media as the Regent Aquatech and run them simultaneously.

I love the canister idea, but unfortunately two factors come into play that prevents me from going that route: $$$ and two very curious small children (ages 4 and 2) that love water.
 
e_watson09
  • #38
I have two filters running on my 55 gallon. Both of my filters are actually large enough to run the tank by itself but have extra filtration is never a problem! Maybe look into getting a canister in the future but for now stick to hang on the backs.
 
catsma_97504
  • #39
Sounds like you have a good plan.

As you currently have no bottom feeders, you could easily add a couple of bristlenose pleco or a school of corys, just to name a few.
 
myriad1973
  • #40
Ken, would you mind moving this thread to the Stocking Questions forum? Thanks.
I didn't realize there was a separate section for that.
 

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