Help With Stocking!

kaylamarie

Hello everyone!

This past summer, my husband and I joined the aquarium hobby. We had a 55 gallon tank given to us along with a pleco. Now, we had a lot of ups and downs and turnarounds as we learned about aquarium life. So at the time, no, we didn’t fully know about cycling or proper stocking or really anything. We learned as we went. We did take advice from pet stores, but quickly discovered that wasn’t always accurate.

I’d really like some input into our specific situation. Again, we’ve got a 55 gallon tank. It is now fully cycled (whew!) and sits at 76*F and has a ph of 7.8. Our current stock (yes, I’m fully aware that these numbers are awful - we had several losses as we were learning. I’m also aware it’s a bad mix) is:

1 pleco (8”)
6 giant danios
6 black/white skirt tetras
2 neon tetras (several deaths upon arrival from pet store)
1 black neon tetra
1 dalmatian molly
3 female swordtails (one is pregnant - bought that way from the store but didn’t know it)
4 - 5 swordtail fry (a female gave birth then passed away - again, didn’t know it at the time of purchase)

So, yeah. I know it’s bad. That’s why I’m asking for help.

My husband wants active, semi-aggressive fish, and this is technically his tank. Above all, he wants to keep the pleco. Yes, we know the pleco (and the danios and swordtails) will outgrow the 55g. We want to plan on upgrading to a much larger tank (even a 150g) in a year or so for him. Until then, we need help figuring out which fish to keep and which should go.

As far as behavior, the danios are very active and a bit aggressive towards each other. There are 4 females and 2 males.

The skirt tetras are also a bit aggressive towards each other and with the danios. They have the same ratio of females to males.

The molly hides almost all the time, but when he’s out, his dorsal fin is up real high.

The pleco chills in his cave until feeding at night. He’s messy but cool.

The swordtails are shy, but graze quite a bit. A couple love to play in the flow of the filter (the greys). One gets defensive about food (the orange and black).

The neons are super colorful and swim about quite happily despite there being so few. They actually have the most vibrant colors of all the fish. Seriously, these guys are the happiest out of all of them.

Like I said, my husband wants active fish and bright colors. The pleco is a must. His name is Stewart. So, Stewart is a keeper with the understanding that we will need to upgrade his tank size in the next year or so.

Keeping the water parameters the same, which fish would you keep and which would you take away? If you would add any, which would they be?

In case you’re curious, I feed a varied diet of flakes, pellets, bribe shrimp, bloodwords, algae wafers, and Repashy. Yes, Stewart has driftwood. There are even Almond Leaves for the fry.

Right now, all decorations are fake. I’m hoping to add some live plants and distract Stewart with zucchinI and lettuce so he doesn’t destroy them. We’re holding off on that until we fix the stocking, though.

Thank you for your help!
 

SaltyPhone

I’d recommend buying the 125 tomorrow and move the pleco and danios. Otherwise I’d find new homes for the tetras and live bearers. Which could be easily accomplished by buying a 20 long and sponge filter. Your lfs might take them in as rescues as well
 

kaylamarie

I’d recommend buying the 125 tomorrow and move the pleco and danios. Otherwise I’d find new homes for the tetras and live bearers. Which could be easily accomplished by buying a 20 long and sponge filter. Your lfs might take them in as rescues as well

We would absolutely love to get a 125 or 150, but unfortunately we can’t quite yet. That’s something we’ll have to save up for.

The thing I’m torn on with the livebearers is that we have baby fry and another swordtail is heavily pregnant. It also looks like one that we though was female is actually male since I see the start of a sword growing (yes, I realize that could lead to a whole host of fry each month). I read somewhere that the LFS will take fry once they are a certain size (like 2”). I just don’t want to risk stressing the momma out or losing any of the fry we do have (now 1/2” and swimming in the open more).

All of that makes me wonder if we should just take the tetras out. I’ll talk to my husband about a 20L.

To clarify, only one of the fish is adult size, and that’s a skirt tetra. All the others, including the danios and especially swordtails are juveniles. Hopefully that gives more insight as well.

Anyone else have ideas or thoughts?
 

kaylamarie

Anyone else have ideas out there?
 

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