Ideas on 55g tank

DanB80TTS

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Acquired a free 55gallon (48x12x21) from a user on fishlore, hoping to get even more ideas to make my decision making even harder, I have a few but looking for more. All I can say is I do not want African cichlids or Oscars. My current ideas.

Idea 1: A 55 shrimp tank, a huge cherry or some other kind of neocaridina dedicated tank, I love shrimp even more so than I do fish, they are so fascinating to watch. Problems I see with this one, substrate could be expensive if I went for a more shrimp specialised substrate. Putting in 10 cherry shrimp would look like the tank is empty for many many months.

Idea 2: Amazon biotape, probably a sanded or gravel bottom, nice amount of plants but not too crazy. Two or three decent sized root looking driftwood. Stock with about 4 Angels, along with a school of some kind and some bottom feeders. Bit more research on fish that would fit that biotape.

Idea 3: My first dirted tank, medium to heavily planted, possibly attempt CO2. Stock with 2 or 4 dwarf cichlids, GBRs or Golden Rams. Not sure what else I would put in with Rams, just make a higher temp community.

Idea 4: All about aquascaping, dark substrate, in one of the rear corners build a sand waterfall over a rocky cliff, have the sand lead to a river that spans out to the opposite corner of the tank, not totally taken by this idea, as cool as aquascaping is, it takes the interest away from the fish.

Idea 5: Crayfish?


Thats what I have whizzing round my head currently, feel free to add to the current ideas, modify them, make new suggestions.

Also if you have a 55 gallon I would love to see as many as possible to see what you did with yours.

Just to add, African cichlids are beautiful fish, but they are not what I want to get into, the tank setup just doesn't excite me. You can still post your cichlid tanks though, I have seen some real nice ones.

Thanks for reading a somewhat lengthy post, I look forward to some good replies!
 

Bluestreakfl

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DanB80TTS

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I like Idea number two, I would Suggest a pair of Angels, a Large school of Rummynose Tetra (20-25), and maybe 10-12 Sterbai Cory for your bottom feeders. These are all within the temperature range of eachother, around 80-82 would be ideal for all of them.

Heres my build thread for when I did my 55g, its kinda lengthy but lots of pics from start to finish to give you some ideas.

https://www.fishlore.com/fishforum/freshwater-aquarium-builds/193224-my-55g-natures-paradise-build.html
I remember seeing your thread when I first joined, your volcano looks great with the addition of the red bulb and your stand is very interesting too.

Your idea sounds good also, 20-25 rummy noses would look pretty impressive together, they stay pretty small if I remember correctly so the Angels might grow up to want to snack on them right? Maybe it would make rummies tighten up their schooling.
 

Bluestreakfl

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The Rummynose are actually a bit larger compared to say Cardinals or Neons, and a lot of people prefer them for their Tetra of choice when keeping Angels for this reason, they're much less likely to become food. Also in such a large school the Angels aren't even likely to attempt it. They're also native to the same waters, so their parameter requirements and such are also the same.


 

TexasDomer

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Here's my 55 gal blackwater with 4 angels, 6 albino Corydoras aeneus, 3 SAEs, 5 Danios (trying to catch them to rehome them), and 1 ABF. My plan is to rehome the Danios, move the ABF to another tank I'm setting up for Kribs, and get a small school of Central or South American schooling fish.

Naturally I vote for idea #2

IMG_6009.jpg
 
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DanB80TTS

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With the South american biotope, would a pair of deaf cichlids be fine with the Angels? Or would it be more of an either or deal.

I like the idea of a South American black water type tank, but deciding between Rams and Angels is hard, also are there any shrimp native to this area that would go well?
 

TexasDomer

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Do you mean the South American Leaf fish? I wouldn't put a pair in with angels. I think that would give the leaf fish too much competition. They're slow movers, need to eat mostly fish, and need a dimly lit, low flow environment. Probably easier in species only tanks.

I don't know about shrimp, but I will say if it were me, I'd go for angels over rams. Angels swim all over the tank, and my understanding is that rams tend to stay near the bottom level. I've never had rams, but I love having angels. They are very personable, recognize me, allow me to hand feed them, and have such large personalities. Plus they're beautiful and come in lots of gorgeous colors.
 
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DanB80TTS

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Do you mean the South American Leaf fish? I wouldn't put a pair in with angels. I think that would give the leaf fish too much competition. They're slow movers, need to eat mostly fish, and need a dimly lit, low flow environment. Probably easier in species only tanks.

I don't know about shrimp, but I will say if it were me, I'd go for angels over rams. Angels swim all over the tank, and my understanding is that rams tend to stay near the bottom level. I've never had rams, but I love having angels. They are very personable, recognize me, allow me to hand feed them, and have such large personalities. Plus they're beautiful and come in lots of gorgeous colors.
ahh yes that's a typo, was spouses to say dwarf cichlids aka the Rams.
 

TexasDomer

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Ah okay. Not sure about rams and angels together. Personally, I wouldn't do it as I know angels can be bullies (they are cichlids after all!), but maybe other members have successfully mixed the two?
 

Anders247

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Rams and angels should be fine together, other members here have done it with success. They have the same temp requirements too....
 

Anders247

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Yeah.... angels are more mid-top dwellers and rams bottom, so that would be a reason why they are fine together.
 

BDpups

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You could plant it heavy with CO2 and all that good stuff, then do a huge colony of shrimp, with a big school of tetra. If you go with cherry shrimp, then you could go with something like lemon tetra to compliment the colors.
 
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DanB80TTS

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Would dirt be an alternative to root tabs? I'm wondering if I could dirt the rear corners and then coat the whole tank with a light sand, maybe the lighter national geographic sand?
Then if I can get a couple of decent sized rocks and wood, use some natural gravel around them to kind of highlight them a bit, sort of a riverbed look.

Then plant root feeders where the dirt is like larger swords and some crypts.
In the gravel areas use either vals or grassy like plant that I'd keep trimmed.

subdued lighting, just keep the two t8 fixtures with the kind of purple tinge that the aqueon floramax bulbs give off. I don't want to go full black water but I think it could still look natural with the low lighting.

Stock with 2 Rams, either golden or GBR, if I can find them 6ish marble hatchets, 6-8 cories, an albino BN plec, school of 10-15 tetras. Even though it wouldn't be true to the South American theme I might add in cherry shrimp, or maybe a batch of wild type neo's 30 ish.
Im pretty certain that would be an overstock though? @Anders247 will have to put in his temperature advice on this one though, I'm thinking the plec might not be too fond of the Warmer temp?

Id probably be looking at a Sunsun 304, maybe with UV. I think it would need a bit more surface agitation but I'd also put frogbit in so wouldn't want it too crazy. Any ideas on that part?

Plant life would be Amazon swords, crypts, either Pygmy chain sword or dwarf sag or vals, frogbit, most likely hornwort cuttings will end up in there too. How does this all sound? It's kind of mixing all of my ideas together without it being a mess, or at least in my mind it doesn't seem messy.

I have cleaned the tank up using vinegar water and it worked like a charm, it looks almost brand new, I was especially amazed at how well it got rid of the white mineral deposits around the top.
I pulled the background, trimmed the sides to make them straight and the used black card to make an edge for the half inch too short it was after I had got the edges straight. The background is grey rocks with roots and a black background, it doesn't look too terrible like most backgrounds and I think it will compliment the tank rather than overpower it.
 
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Anders247

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Stock with 2 Rams, either golden or GBR, if I can find them 6ish marble hatchets, 6-8 cories, an albino BN plec, school of 10-15 tetras. Even though it wouldn't be true to the South American theme I might add in cherry shrimp, or maybe a batch of wild type neo's 30 ish.
Im pretty certain that would be an overstock though? @Anders247 will have to put in his temperature advice on this one though, I'm thinking the plec might not be too fond of the Warmer temp?
Depends on the type of cories and tetras. Doesn't sound overstocked to me......
I think the plec will be fine in a higher temp, not sure though.....
 
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DanB80TTS

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Depends on the type of cories and tetras. Doesn't sound overstocked to me......
I think the plec will be fine in a higher temp, not sure though.....
I know there are a few cories to choose from for the warmer temps, tetras I'm lost though, I only know of cardinals but I'm wanting to stay away from them. I have two serpaes now in my 29g that could form a school if the temp and temperament is good for the other fish.

I have my pristellas that I really like that I could up the school and transfer, then replace them with cherry barbs in the 29.
Need some help and ideas on the tetras really though.
 

BDpups

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Need some help and ideas on the tetras really though.
There are sooooo many to choose from. Pick a color and there is probably one.

Emperor are by far my favorite. They get a little big and not sure if they would eat shrimp or not.

Lemon, blue, penguin, diamond, bleeding heart, black phantom, serpae, glowlight, black neon, green neon, congo, red eye, ember, rosy, rummy nose, columbian red fin, x-ray, blind cave, to name a few....
 

Anders247

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Corydoras aeneus, sterbai, adolfoi, duplicareus, oiapoquensis, haraldschultzi, gossei, and seussi are warm water cories. Of course, you need at least 6 of one species, not mix and match.
As for tetras, cardinals, rummynose, congos, black neons, pristellas, and diamond tetras are some options for warmer temp tetras. There are others, too....and remember, no mixing and matching, at least 6 of each species.
 
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DanB80TTS

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If pristellas can handle the water water then I think I will take my 7 and up the school to about 15, I love my pristella tetras.
Lemon look interesting too but I think they are native to Africa rather than South America.
 
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