Gameplan- Freshwater Tropical! 55 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by cameronpalte, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. cameronpalteValued MemberMember

    I am interested in buying a 55 gallon fish tank, and use it to build a nice and very active community of freshwater fish.

    The purchase may take a few months to occur, I'm not sure when it will occur, probably whenever I manage to convince my parents, but I want to be set beforehand:).

    This is the set up I plan for it, so tell me what you think. I hope to make this tank beautiful and interesting, and not make any mistakes I made from lack of knowledge. If you know any more fish that can be interesting to have, let me know. Thank you ahead for all of your advice!

    *8 neon tetra
    *4 red cherry shrimp
    *4 golden sunburst platy
    *8 guppies
    *6 panda corries
    *8 glowlight tetra
    *2 honey gourami
    *6 common hatchetfish
    *1 bushy nose pleco.

    *Portion of bottom (~40%) will be densely covered with amazon swords (and maybe others) about 6-7 inches tall.
    *2-3 caves, and other places to hide on the bottom.
    *2 inches of gravel along bottom
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012
  2. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    First question I have: are you talking a standard 55G or something different?

    Be careful with Bettas - they do better on their own, and can be aggressive, and nip the fins of other longer finned tank-mates like guppies. I'd personally leave them out all together.

    Glowlights are definitely fine - but benefit from a good diet to maintain colour.
    Neons are fine - but wait until the tank is established.
    Guppies - all male should be fine. If you mix a female you'll get regular fry.
    Tiger barbs - for some reason I'm thinking caution - double check the profile page on fishlore.

    That's a start, others will have different opinions.
  3. e_watson09

    e_watson09Well Known MemberMember

    Alright most of your list is iffy about working. Some are fine while others will not work at all.

    First off I would ditch the tigers they are mean little bugars and the rest of the fish you have listed would likely get bullied to death.

    Then I'd also pass on the bettas. They do best alone and they also do much better in shorter tanks as they come up for air on the surface.

    After that I'd bump both the neon tetras and the glolite tetras up to 10 each. I'd probably swap out the pygmy cories for panda cories just because they get a little bigger. I'd have 10 cories.

    I would also probably swap the ghost shrimp out for Red cherry shrimp. Ghosties can rip fins up and if you have guppies in there its just asking for it.

    Then personally I'd add 2 honey dwarf gouramis, a school of top dwellers like hatchetfish, and then a smaller species of pleco.

    So the tank would look something like this....
    10 neon tetra
    10 glolite tetra
    10 Panda cory cats
    3 guppy
    4 platy
    2 Honey gourami
    6 Hatchet fish
    1 BN pleco

  4. Lexi03Well Known MemberMember

    Here is what we plan for our 55gal, it may intrest you

    4 - 6 male guppies
    3 platies
    20 neon tetras
    7 albino cories
    7 panda cories
    2 nerite snails
    red cherry shrimp

  5. OP

    cameronpalteValued MemberMember

    First of all, thank you all for the amazing suggestions, you all are really helping!.

    I am not planning on getting pleco's because they are poop machines:).

    As you guys keep up your great posts, I may get some more questions, so thanks again for all the help. Below are a few questions I have...

    When I buy this 55g tank, I may also consider buying a 5-10g fry tank because with the volume and various fish I am getting, I am pretty sure they are going to have babies at some point. What are your opinions on a fry tank and stuff like that? Do babies need special equipment stuff like that? How long will babies appear after I buy these ect.?

    What are your opinions on decor or stuff like that that I posted. Do you have any more advice about that, or is my current set up good?

    What do you think about my current set up of fish? Is that good, is it working, or should I change some more?

    Lastly, (for now:)), a poster mentioned something about them planning on 2 snails for the 55g, I have never tried snails in a tank so do you guys have advice about them, and how do they work?
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  6. e_watson09

    e_watson09Well Known MemberMember

    They are but the smaller ones are more reasonable. But you have to make sure you get one that stays smaller. Some others off the top of my head are clowns, pitbull, rubber lip, or you could do a school of otos.
  7. OP

    cameronpalteValued MemberMember

    Ok, pleco's seem like fun little fish, so I can look into getting one:), thanks for the advice!

    The bristlenose pleco seem's nice, but which one do you recommend? I see you included bn pleco in your recommended list, so is that what you meant?
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  8. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Look for Ancistrus Loricaiide (sp) bristle nose. I have 2 in my tank, they stay a little smaller. Plecos NEED driftwood - so make sure you plan on some in your decor. It's good for their digestive system, and they'll munch on it all day.

    IMHO - my b/n are the best fish I've added - very funny to watch. Although they do tend to be somewhat shy, and nocturnal, but a great addition!

    Umm - just a thought - what sort of filter are you going to run? Make sure it can handle the bio-load.

    As for the fry - cross that bridge if you come to it. It's not always easy to breed. With the exception of livebearers, most others require a little more planning and thought, and maintanence of parameters etc. There's a lot of info to be found in the FL profiles about breeding different species.

    Snails - up to you. I have no experience, but some swear buy them.

    Decor - in general, you're on the right track - providing some hiding areas, breaking up the tank with plants etc.
  9. OP

    cameronpalteValued MemberMember

    How many bristlenose pleco's do you think I should add? I plan on starting off with the standard filter the kid comes with (I found an entire nice kit for $120:)), and then looking for a stronger one.

    I will not go out of my way to breed but with that many fish from what I have heard their will probably be babies so I want to be prepared for them.

    Thanks for answers, I wonder if someone else will come along with experience about snails:)...

    I have heard that fish like to be able to hide, but for the fish I'm getting I also tried to get school fish, thanks, and I can look into decor some more.

    I will add a bottle nose pleco to the list maybe more if I find out they do good in groups.

    Will my current set up get along fine with each other now that I removed the tiger barbs and beta fish?

    I also added 2 common hatchet fish based on a suggestions and after researching them, they only get to around 2.5 inches fully grown. Do you have any suggestions about this? Do they fight?

    Stuff like that.
  10. Wendy Lubianetsky

    Wendy LubianetskyWell Known MemberMember

    :;lgWhy don't you try a few live plants as opposed to all fake. Try one or two and if you like them, try a couple more. I recently planted some plants in my tanks that had all fakes and I fell in love with plants in the tank. I put in some:
    1 Moss Ball
    2 Banana Plants
    1 Anacharis
    1 Anubis, African
    1 Water Wisteria
    1 Microsword,NewZealand
    1 Mystery Plant (wasn't labeled at the store and I can't find it on line)
    1 Dwarf Baby Tears
    I don't know if I am very lucky or these plants are very easy, but they have all taken off, especially the Wisteria. I plan on taking the cuttings and putting them in my other tanks.:;hf

  11. ryanr

    ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    I think you're on the right track ;hi5

    What is the filter/kit you have - I have sneaking suspicion you'll be upgrading it before long.

    I'd just double check all your livestock requirements regarding feeding/parameters etc. Especially if you want shrimp. Make sure they're all going to be happy. Most shrimp (be they fw or sw) are sensitive to water parameters, and often require supplementing of calcium etc.

    Have fun!
  12. OP

    cameronpalteValued MemberMember

    So what other advice do you guys have, is this set up good. Do you have any advice about the fry? Thanks!

    Yes I do plan on upgrading my filter when I purchase it, I will look into feeding and all that.

    What live plants to you recommend, and where can I get them. I will look into this.
  13. e_watson09

    e_watson09Well Known MemberMember

    As for the pleco comment (sorry a little late) I LOVE my Bushy nose. I have a albino female. She's almost always out and not hiding. Currently in my mix of tanks I have three total types of plecos. I have a clown pleco that literally hides all the time, I have to go digging for him to make sure he's still alive because he will go forever just hiding. Then I have my BN and a common (in my 125) Out of all of the three I have my BN is out the most and is always munching on algae.

    Having the community like you have picked I doubt you'll see any fry. They will probably get eaten too quick. Sounds harsh but its actually really healthy for your other fish. In my communities I have to basically purposely want to save fry for me to even see any.

    Plants you can get at pretty much any LFS or even the big box stores sell live plants. You just need to make sure they are real aquatic plants. Some places, like petsmart for example, sell aquatic plants but in the mix of their aquatic plants they have plants that really aren't aquatic. Those will just slowly die and rot in your tank.

    My favorite plants that have been doing the best for me since the behinning are Amazon swords. Mine are huge and bushy and constantly giving off more baby plants
  14. OP

    cameronpalteValued MemberMember

    Thank you for your post, it wasn't late, I appreciate it.

    Ok thanks for your reply. I can look at getting Amazon swords, do you have any other recommendation?

    I am pretty sure that my fry will get eaten really quick, but I will also be getting a 10 gallon fry tank, so if I notice any of my fish are pregnant I can transfer them to that tank and allow them to grow there.

    1) So is my current setup good?
    2) Can I add more fish or is that good?
    3) Do you recommend any other plants rather than amazon swords?
    4) I pretty much have my entire list of materials, I will be buying the 55g + kit from petco, but do you have recommendations where to buy the live fish ect?
    5) I live in San Jose, where is my LFS?
    6) What should be in a fry tank?
    7) It was mentioned that I should have a stronger biological filter which filter do you recommmend.

    Thanks ahead for all of your help, I appreciate it, you guys are all great at helping.
  15. e_watson09

    e_watson09Well Known MemberMember

    I would bump the school of hatchets up to 6 but outside that it looks good. Other plants that I've had that have done well for me are java fern, java moss, dwarf lily plants, and banana plants. As for the kit. If you're going to just upgrade everything I'd just look into a LFS that sells tanks most sell their own versions of "kits" that way you can upgrade to a canister filter or something.

    Personally I think you will be fine with just a single HOB filter that will come in the kit with the fish you have chosen. If you notice your tank isn't staying super clean maybe add a second hang on the back later on.

    As for a fry tank. I have mine bare bottom with lots of plants and such for them to hide in. I actually have reptile silk plants that suction cup to the wall because they provide more coverage for the little guys then I have 3 or 4 other plants that are made for betta bowls and they suction cup to the bottom. I have a aqueon filter on there and I actually took a aqua clear 20 sponge and cut a hole and shoved the intake tube into it so that my fry do not get sucked into the filter. Then since my guys are so small right now I rigged a plant up into the output of the filter so that its not a strong flow in one spot. I'll have to take a picture in a bit of my set up. The biggest thing with a fry tank is keeping it cycled. Fry do not do well in unestablished tanks. So I wouldn't worry about a fry tank until you have your 55 up and running for a good 3-4 months with a steady cycle. Then I'd just run the little filter for your fry tank on the 55 until you actually have fry then I'd move it into the 10 gallon or whatever size you are using. It may also be a good idea just to start out with a breeder net. That way it can hang into the 55 and the mom can give birth in it and you put her back into the tank and the fry can grow up a bit in the net. My fry are roughly 2 weeks old and they are still tiny so they could easily live in a breeder net for another week or two. Oh and I don't think I mentioned my fry tank is a 10 gallon.

    I'm not sure where a LFS for you would be I'd just google freshwater fish and your city and see if anything pops up. Sorry I can't be more help there.

    I buy all of my fish from two stores (generally) the small chain I work at (small as in only like 20 stores) and then a LFS that actually sells mostly saltwater. Occasionally I'll buy from a big chain store but they have to have something really spectacular. If you have to buy from a chain make sure you quarenteen. It may be a better idea to set up a quarenteen tank instead of a fry tank until you get your 55 stocked.
  16. OP

    cameronpalteValued MemberMember

    Ok, so I'll bump the school of hatchets up to 6, thanks. I will look into the other plants thank you for the recommendations.

    Thank you for the advice about the tank.

    Thanks for the advice about the fry tank. I was planning on making the bottom 5-6 inches, all plants very solid covered so that the fry could have nice places to hide. Thank you for the advice about the fry tank, actually I kind of got your idea about the fry tank from your signature. I am very happy about your fry, congragulations! How does a breeder net work?

    Ok, thank you for trying for the LFS.

    I will look into buying the fish:). I really appreciate all of your advice, I can use my 10g to quarenteen fish until my 55g is stocked and then I can turn it into a fry tank because I probably won't have a fry tank until then.

    I really appreciate all your advice.
  17. e_watson09

    e_watson09Well Known MemberMember

    The breeder net that I like is basically a square net that hangs over into your tank. Gives the mother a place to have her babies and once she has the babies she can easily be returned to the main tank and it gives the fry space to grow up in without having to worry about predators. I generally put a small plant in the net to make them feel safer.

    Why are you doing 5-6" bottom? Do you mean like 5-6" of gravel or 5-6" of water?

    All of my fry actually weren't from any of my fish. I only have one lone female molly she's been alone for months now. They all came from someone at work bringing them in and the only thing we can do is dump them in our tank and hope they don't get eaten. So I decided to foster them until they get bigger. I have like 6 gold dust mollies, one red wag platy and then about 20 guppies. The guppies were actually born in the bag, they were returning the parents due to them having so many babies. :;soldier
  18. OP

    cameronpalteValued MemberMember

    Ok, I will look into the breeding net, thanks for telling me about it... I will look into it, but I still kind of prefer, a separate tank. I will probably have both so if a fish gets pregnant or has a baby when I'm not there, like maybe if I'm on vacation, then this could be useful..

    And when I say 5-6", I mean I will probably have no gravel (like you have), and instead have 5-6" of densely covered plants on the bottom, which would allow the fry to hide.

    Wow interesting, that all your fish came from a co-worker. I am still hoping that some of my fish will have babies, but this is more of a just in case.

    Now, I have to upgrade my hatchet fish number to 6?

    Can I add some more fish to this tank at all? Do you have any recommendations? I am hoping, if possible (but I don't want to overcrowd), to add some more fish:)...


    Ok, well than I guess this is my final set up. The only thing I have left going for is if I can add any more fish, or is this a full stock for a 55g. Thank you guys for all your help in helping me get this set:).
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 30, 2012
  19. I keep fish

    I keep fishWell Known MemberMember

    IMO you shouldnt get guppies they have to many babies then you cant get rid of them I think it would be more interesting if you got swordtails instead there very cool
  20. Donnerjay

    DonnerjayWell Known MemberMember

    Hello again!

    I came late to your stocking party, sorry! A few questions/comments though...
    1) Where are you going to put your goldfish from your 20 gallon? If I remember right, that's what the 55 gallon was going to be for, but I could be wrong.
    2) I am a bit confused about your final stocking list. Not sure if it got edited from the beginning. Are you doing tiger barbs? Bettas? A bristlenose pleco? What is your final list (or kind of final list LOL). I think you might be a wee bit overstocked from what I'm reading.
    3) I like the idea of having plants in your 55. Remember that plants take space, too, so keep that in mind when figuring out your stocking list.
    4) Be prepared to change as you go! You won't be adding all of these fish at once, but gradually over several weeks so that you don't overwhelm your filtration.

    Anyway, have fun! If you can post your *final* list that would help!

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