My first tank - help assess my proposed community

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fish and Invertebrates' started by Mark7A, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. Mark7AValued MemberMember


    Band new to FishLore!

    I am waiting for my tank to cycle so I have a few more weeks of waiting (as patiently as I can) so I am looking for compatible tank mates.

    This is what I am thinking about for my 56 gallon tank:

    Do you see any major conflicts or concerns?
    Besides some driftwood and a cave or two, anything else I should get?

    Thanks for your opinions...
  2. nippybettaWell Known MemberMember

    I'm not familiar with your other fish, but I think know you should only get 1 DG. DGs are a little like bettas (they're actually related) and multiple DGs will fight in the end, and kill each other.
  3. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    Welcome to the forum

    What are the dimensions of the tank? If I recall correctly, a 56 is a column?
  4. mmolitor87Well Known MemberMember

    You'll want to avoid getting the BN pleco and RTS because they're both slighly aggressive bottom feeders with territory issues. If the tank has a 4' footprint they might be fine if you start out small. :)
  5. EiennaFishlore VIPMember

    BNs are generally peaceful.

    I see you are going for a semi-aggressive tank.
    It should be OK, except that you should keep only one dwarf gourami, and it may be too slow to compete with and stay safe from the other fish.

    The Leporinus requires at least a 4ft tank. Is yours?

    A semi-aggressive community may be cool, but probably not the best choice for a first-timer. It can be quite difficult to keep the inhabitants safe and happy.
  6. Mark7AValued MemberMember

    Thanks for your replies, I forgot to add the real dimensions of the tank.
    30" wide x 24" tall x 18" deep (3.75 square feet).

    I used AqAdvisor and just looking at fish profiles here for some interesting fish that were active. Trying to minimize conflicts and to remind me of schooling.

    The Banded Lep does get big, I wasn't sure if keeping them in a smaller tank might limit their growth. I always thought they looked cool. Perhaps it wouldn't be the best fit?

    I was shooting for a semi-aggressive tank community, solely based on the limited experience I have with my GF Cichlid tanks. I have also been interested in a community tank as well. I am still looking at fish should that route be best. Just trying to stay busy waiting for my tank to finish cycling.

    Here are tonight's numbers:
    On day 15 (post ammonia)
    Ammonia: 4 (been flat for 12 days)
    Nitrite: 5 (up from 2 on two days ago)
    Nitrate: 10 (up from 5 yesterday and the day before)
    pH: 8.2​
  7. JayseeFishlore LegendMember

    I was right - a column. Because it's so tall, and not very long, you cannot stock it as if it were a normally shaped tank.
  8. AlyeskaGirlFishlore VIPMember

    I'd skip the Gourmai. Doesn't fit it. More Barbs.
  9. EiennaFishlore VIPMember

    Yeah, it's too short for the leporinus - and the shark, too, in my opinion, not so much because it gets big but rather because without adequate territory space it can be extremely aggressive. Even WITH the room they can be quite nasty, so cutting their range is not a good idea.

    So that leaves you with the BN and the Barbs, if you cut the gourami (highly recommended in this case.) Lemme think...what else might you include...
  10. Mark7AValued MemberMember

    Thanks for all of these suggestions guys.

    I remember the general rule of thumb is an inch of fish per gallon. Does that still apply to a pillar shaped tank?

    I really liked the Banded Lep and the RTS, but if my tank isn't really suited for those (as it appears it may not), I may change my thinking and go more community with an invert or two for variety.
  11. EiennaFishlore VIPMember

    That rule really isn't an accurate one, and more so in a column tank as there is less surface area for gas exchange, etc and less horizontal swimming room.
  12. Mark7AValued MemberMember

    Thanks for everyone's feedback.

    The more I think about it, maybe my first tank should be more community-based fish to afford me more options for a diverse, fun tank while still providing a good home to the little guys.

    Changing gears:
    Dose this seem a little better?

    1 Bristlenose Pleco
    3 Bluefin Notho Killifish
    5 Cardinal Tetra
    4 Dalmatian Molly
    4 Sunburst Platy
    Cherry Shrimp
    Nerite snail

    FWIW: AqAdvisor says my filtration level is at 126% and stocking level is 79%

    How do these look?
  13. EiennaFishlore VIPMember

    Good, except many killifish species only live a year, and mollies, platies and possibly the BN may well eat the shrimp.