Getting a 55 gal, would this be overstocking?

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Gamer

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I am just getting into fishkeeping.

I currently have a 20 gal that I plan to turn into a community tank which is cycling and my parents are giving me their old 55 gal fish tank (they used it for coy's years ago but it's just been sitting in their garage for awhile now). So I plan to cycle it, pick my plants, gravel, decorations, etc and I know I want an Oscar but I'm not sure what to put in with it, if anything is acceptable in a 55 gal.

Could I add one common pleco & one Jack Dempsey? If I could add even more, I'd probably put in one bala shark and that would be it. Either those or a pleco and four Silver dollars. If I can't put much else in with him, I'll probably wait until the day I can get a larger tank and will just add Angelfish to this one.

Also, I am thinking of upgrading the filter and heater they used for it which I don't think were from any of the really good brands. What filter and heater would be good for a tank this size? Thanks...
 

COBettaCouple

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The common rule is 1" of fish (adult size) per gallon of water, although some fish need more. Try: https://www.fishlore.com/TropicalFishProfiles.htm for some excellent pages that list adult sizes as well as the tank sizes different fish need.
 

sgould

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The 1" per gallon rule starts to fall apart when dealing with really big fish, and both Oscars and common plecos get pretty big. I am thinking a 55 might work for 1 of them individually, but would be too small for both of them together. You may want to wait for more experienced voices to weigh in, though.

Sean
 

jacksonbm

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I'm new to keeping an aquairium (55gal. using 2 barbs to cycle). I would have liked to get an oscar also but all the information I have seen on them has said to use caution on adding most other types of fish and adding other types weren't compatible at all. I guess it would be a case by case basis.
Just reading all the posts on fishlore I have read that fiah the same size or some what aggressive fish should have no problem but to keep watch over them in the first weeks.
There is an easy to use chart on liveauaria.com you could try. If you go on the sight and click on the fish you like, in the description box for the fish there is a quick link to a compatibility chart that may help, however not all fish are covered.
Hope this helps a little, Good Luck! ;D
 

susitna-flower

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Hardcore, be sure to fill that 55 that has been in storage outside, or in the garage before you bring it in, to check for leaks. The seals could have been damaged, or dried out so that they no longer hold water. Much better to fill it and wait 24 hours, just to make sure. You can set it on newspapers, so you will see if any water seeps out.
As for your stocking dilemma. I would never get a common pleco for a 55 gallon tank. I made the mistake myself once, and can tell you it is not good. Within just a month or two you will have to get rid of the pleco, due to excessive waste they produce! The compatibility issue is one extremely important factor, by searching fish profiles, you should be able to sort this one out. I am not a good one to advise on this, because I have a strong personal opinion about not having aggressive fish.

But the points about not buying fish that you know will quickly outgrow your 55 gal tank, really can't be ignored. If you go with angles you might consider a bristlenose pleco and several corys. Bala sharks get to large for that size of tank, as do the common pleco. Best of luck

Fish in the Frozen North. 8)
 

whetto

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usually a 55 gallon, is large enough for one oscar, as it allows them enough room to move freely and turn around, etc. however, thats usually about all you can have in there, as it might go after anything else. i would say a bristlenose pleco might be ok size wise (they only get to about 4-5 inches) but at the same time, the oscar (once it got big, and it will) might view it as food. if you do decide to get an oscar, get ready to clean the gravel a lot, as they are extremely messy fish. hope this helps!
 
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Gamer

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Looks like I will not get my common pleco anytime soon.  

I will be sure to check for leaks, I have thought about that. I didn't think to do it this way though, I mean filling it up and waiting 24 hours, so I will do that. Thanks.

I will probably use it for angels and a few other species that will not outgrow it. I haven't even gotten the chance to go and pick it up yet, it is still sitting in their garage but when I do, I'll fill it, then if they're no leaks, I will place it under construction and keep everyone posted.

I supposed, by the end of this year I will get a 75-100 gal and then I'll get the pleco and others I really want to have.
 

JMatt1983

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you would probably be able to get away with having an oscar and a common pleco in the same 55 gallon tank,, yes oscars are very messy, and moody, will rip up plants and anything else in the tank, but as long as you keep on top of water changes, i don't see why it isn't possible to keep those 2 fish in the same tank, the pleco will stay on the bottom or on the sides of the tank for the most part, i would advise against a bristlenose as it only grows to a max 4-5 inches, it will fit into the oscars mouth and be eaten
 

susitna-flower

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hardcore_gamer said:
I supposed, by the end of this year I will get a 75-100 gal and then I'll get the pleco and others I really want to have.
Good thinking, this will give you time to look for more deals, whether in the paper, or e-bay, you may if you keep your eyes open, just come across a real deal, like I just did. If there are any military bases close to you, that is a source of folks that move a lot, and often have to get rid of things like this they pick up while stationed at a base. In the mean time, planning for a nice community tank can be very rewarding.

Fish in the Frozen North 8)
 
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When I made this thread I was thinking of a post I read from another member who had an oscar, green terror, pleco, bala shark and I believe a clown loach all together in a 55 but they were all just babies. But anyway, I am waiting til I get a 75 to have an oscar, a JD and pleco.

And I've decided exactly what to put in this 55 gal!!! I am going to use it for a few angels, rainbows, a school of lemon tetras and 3 yoyo's. That takes care of that tank!
 

sick-lid boy

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That was probably me. The Bala Shark is temporary and the pleco I have is a Chocolate Rhino pleco and won't get quite as large as a common pleco. As of today I have the Oscar (still a Juvey- not even 6 inches yet), the Green Terror (also a Juvey, about 5 inches), the Chocolate pleco who is around 4 or 5 inches, a Red Jewel African Cichlid who is around 3 or 4 inches and HIGHLY aggressive, and a Black Upside Down Catfish and the Bala Shark who are both on their way out hopefully within the next month or so.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do once the Oscar reaches 8 or10 inches. I'll probably end up getting a 100+ gallon Oscar tank and keep the other Cichlids in the 55 gallon. So far I haven't had any real problems as far as battles, the Cichlids chase each other around and bump heads a bit, but no biting, fin nipping, missing limbs or anything like that.. and they all get their share of food. Mostly just minor territorial battles. The Red Jewel is the smallest Cichlid and also the most aggressive. The Oscar is the largest and also the most passive... go figure.
 

abbynuss

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Hi there.

My Oscar gets along very well with our balas and silver dollars. He also mostly ignores the pleco. I have a 55 gallon but my fish are all juveniles, and the tank would be way overstocked if I were to keep them all together, so they're going to be split up once they get a little older.
 

Icicle

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Balas are schooling fish so one would be lonely by himself.
I currently have 3 in a 55gallon but they are not very big yet at all. I know I'll have to upgrade when the time comes..
 
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