Looking For Fish Ideas For 55 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by Richelle, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. Richelle New Member Member


    I'm fairly new to having an aquarium, and we recently upgraded to a 55 gallon aquarium.
    We currently have
    2 angel fish (one is small),
    4 guppies,
    7 tetras,
    1 peacock dwarf guorami,
    3 swordtails
    2 odessa barbs
    3 loaches

    So my question, are we done? Can we add more? If so, any recommendations of what would be a good fit?

  2. ystrout Well Known Member Member

    You cycled your tank already, right?

    I'd say you should let your tank run with the current load for a while.

  3. Richelle New Member Member

    Thanks, and yes, we did. I wouldn't get any right away, but more wondering size wise if more would be advisable at all? And if so, what anyone would recommend.

  4. krohner5 New Member Member

    Is it a planted tank? How is the algae level looking with your current setup?
  5. Richelle New Member Member

    Yes it's planted. No algae.

    Here's a pic of the tank

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2018
  6. ystrout Well Known Member Member

    Your tank looks really nice.

    You should be able to tell if there's enough room for more fish depending on how everyone acts. If it always looks crowded in there and it looks like no one is relaxed, no more fish. I think angels can be territorial too. If there's plenty of space and it doesn't seem hectic, you can probably add more. You also have to weigh in your bio-load which is actually more important. Test your nitrates after a water change then again a week later. If you're seeing a big jump in nitrates, you probably don't want to put more fish in there. If you see a net decrease in nitrates week after week, you are good to add more fish.

    I do about 30% water changes every week. I want to be around 10 nitrates. I started with about 20 ppm nitrates in my tank (after getting it to the current bioload) so doing water changes got me to about 14 ppm. After a few months of weekly water changes (without adding or removing any fish), my beginning of the week nitrates are about 10 ppm. Towards the end of the week, they're back to about 15. So my 30% water changes gets me back to 10 ppm. To me, this feels like equilibrium. If, for example, I started with 10 ppm of nitrates at the beginning of the week and it jumped to 20 at the end of the week, I wouldn't be able to get back down to my target nitrates with a 30% water change, and I'd be overstocked. And each week the nitrates would only get higher until you start doing bigger water changes.

    So instead of using a fish stocking website, I'd use this method and slowly build up your stock. It works well. My fish are very happy and my nitrates are always in control.
  7. ColmC Valued Member Member

    I agree, your tank looks really nice and spacious.

    I think you can add more fish with that depth.

    Maybe Rams, or a schooling fish.
  8. ralph113 Well Known Member Member

    i guess it depends on ur filtration. mines also a 55 gal. over filtered quite planted. i got One angel starting to get territorial he is hogging a wood. 1blue gourami, 5 corries, 10 red serpae and 10 blavk skirts. 4 danios. and i think 6 platties. quite over stocked but it does not look over stocked
  9. Richelle New Member Member

    Ok, new question. The angels have been in the tank for almost 2 months (we started with a fishless cycle for a few weeks then added the angels). After adding the rest of the fish over the last two weeks (which I now realize may have been too much too fast) we are having a slight ammonia spike.

    .25 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 5 nitrate, ph 7.4-7.6, temp - 80 F
    Tested with API kit.

    We are using a cascade 700 canister.

    Is this normal? We have been doing daily 25-30% changes. Using prime conditioner. Will the bio filter eventually catch up to the current load and how long does this usually take? Are daily water changes the best way to treat the ammonia spike or are there other methods I should be doing as well?

    Thank you all for your help so far!

    EDIT: after posting I tested my tap water and the ammonia straight from the tap is .5

    Any suggestions?
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  10. ystrout Well Known Member Member

    I have that same problem. My tap has a .5-1 ppm ammonia reading.

    I believe the reason is that your city introduces chloramine into the tap water to kill bacteria and other things that aren't safe to drink. Chloramine is ammonia and chlorine bonded.

    There's 2 options:
    1. Treat with Prime. The Prime will remove the chlorine and free up the ammonia, which your bio-filter will consume via the nitrogen cycle. Once your tank gets to 0 ammonia, water changes with tap water really won't be a big deal. Here's the math for a 30% water change with that tap water.

    30% water changes are 16.5 gallons. The new water has .5ppm ammonia.
    So .5*(16.5/55) = .15
    So doing a water change (when your tank already has 0 ammonia) will bring the ammonia to .15ppm. That's nothing... Your bio filter will take care of that ammonia in a matter of hours. Just add extra Prime. It will require more to make the water safe since you want dechlorinate it AND bind the ammonia until your filter can consume it.

    2. Use RO water. It's not cheap though. And definitely isn't necessary.

    I would stop doing daily water changes. Keep dosing the tank with Prime which will keep the ammonia harmless to fish. Just wait and see what it does. If the ammonia stays the same (while continuing to feed the fish) or drops, you're good and are completely cycled. If the ammonia gets over 1, do water changes.

    But it's super important to keep using Prime every 24-36 hours. This will keep ammonia and nitrite non-toxic to your fish, but it only lasts for 24-36 hours.