My New 55 Gallon Fish Tank Question 

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zhasan

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Hello Everyone,

I've just got a 55 Gallon fish tank that I bought off craigslist. Here is a list of what I have in the tank.

1 Pleco 7inch
2 Jack Dempseys 6inch each
1 Parrot fish 5 inch
3 Guoramis 3 inch each
1 white shark (don't know the actual name) 2.5 inch
2 Cat fish 1.5 inch each
1 other fish

My Questions are:

I'm feeding them flake food that the lady gave me for about 5 minutes every 24 hours. The big parrot fish still seems to be hungry and eats gravel and spits it out. Should I be feeding them more since they are bigger fish?

When I got the tank it seemed a little dirty so I did 2 water changes in three days. Is that too much? The water is very clean now and not cloudy or anything.

The parrot seems to be the boss and he's trying to take over the cave of my pleco! Anything I can do to stop that? or should I just let it be?

They all seem very scared because as soon as I walk in the room the dempseys and gouramies jump and go to the other side of the tank quickly. how can I make them feel at home?

I want to put some plants in the tank. I still have to do the research on what would work but If any of you know what would work well then please let me know.

Also any other tips and ideas you might have for me will be much appreciated.

Thanks!!
 

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Meenu

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Welcome to fishlore.

I'm really sorry, but I think you are overstocked.
And I see you don't know about the nitrogen cycle. There is a link in my signature you really should read. Understanding the cycle is crucial to successful fishkeeping.
 

JustinF

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Welcome to Fishlore!
How long do you keep the lights on?
The fish you have also like more foods like bloodworms and maybe floating pellets I believe.
 

burnellhman

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zhasan

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Meenu said:
Welcome to fishlore.

I'm really sorry, but I think you are overstocked.
And I see you don't know about the nitrogen cycle. There is a link in my signature you really should read. Understanding the cycle is crucial to successful fishkeeping.
I bought the tank from craigslist off a lady who had it running already so I think the nitrogen cycle is already done and taken care of. Also I did the water quality tests last night and everything seemed perfect!

From what I read online people say 1 inch per gallon is the general rule. Is that not a good measure? According to that I still have some room. Please advise!
 
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zhasan

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JustinF said:
Welcome to Fishlore!
How long do you keep the lights on?
The fish you have also like more foods like bloodworms and maybe floating pellets I believe.
The lady told me to keep then on for 12 and off for 12, so thats what I've been doing so far. I'm going to my LFS today to get some more advise. Do you think its about the right time for lighting?
 
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zhasan

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burnellhman said:
You should feed your fish red cichlid pellets and bloodworms.
I have the Red Pellets already. Should I feed them the flake food AND Pallets or just one of them in 24 hours.

I'll be picking up some blood worms today.
 

konstargirl

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@Zhasan: The 1 inch per gallon does NOT pertain to the fish you have now. It only applies to fish that do not grow over 3 inches long. As Meenu said, please read the article on cycling a tank.

What are your levels for Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate?
 

jetajockey

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Welcome to FL! You are definitely overstocked, maybe consider rehoming some of the larger fish? Common plecos get over a foot easily, and I'm concerned about the compatibility issues. Some of the fish you have in there will get very territorial as they grow, and you may wake up to a bloodbath in the tank one day, so in my opinion it would be best to alleviate the problem before it becomes one.

It will take time for them to get settled in and comfortable, but it already sounds like the parrot is having territory issues.
 

Meenu

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zhasan said:
From what I read online people say 1 inch per gallon is the general rule. Is that not a good measure? According to that I still have some room. Please advise!
Case in point on why I do not like that "rule". It applies only to community fish that don't grow over 2 inches big, and even then, very loosely.

On the main fishlore page, on the right ride, there is a list of fish. If you click on the species you have, it links to care sheets... please read those thoroughly so that you can see what the requirements are for each of your fish, including minimum tank requirements.

Also, what test kit are you using, and what are your perfect readings?
 
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Test Kits & Results

I'm using 4 Different Test Kits.

NH3/NH4 Ammonia Test. The reading was 0

NO3 Nitrate Test. The reading was below 5

PH Test. The reading was 6

I thought that the PH reading was a bit too low, so I went to the LFS and they gave me an Alkaline buffer power to mix in the aquarium and a KH test kit.

After Adding it to the water I did the KH and PH test.

The PH reading was 8 and KH reading was 7.
 

JRDroid

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The reason you are over stocked, as stated above, is that the 1 inch per gallon rule only applies to small fish. Jack Dempsey are VERY aggressive and require fairly large territories. The fishlore.com care guide for Jack Dempsey suggests a MINIMUM of 55 gallons for a single jack and "much larger for multiples". In a 55 gallon you are almost guaranteed that the jacks will eventually fight to the death. Additionally, the parrots can get quite large and, since they are cichlids, may trigger the jack's aggression.

Plecos can get huge depending on variety, you should post pics so we can ID what variety it is. Same with the catfish. Some stay small (less than 4 inches) but there are also readily available catfish that will break the 12 inch mark.

Another thing is that when people here say you are over stocked, we consider the adult size of the fish, not the size it is now, since it will some day be its adult size.
 

jetajockey

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zhasan said:
I'm using 4 Different Test Kits.

NH3/NH4 Ammonia Test. The reading was 0

NO3 Nitrate Test. The reading was below 5

PH Test. The reading was 6

I thought that the PH reading was a bit too low, so I went to the LFS and they gave me an Alkaline buffer power to mix in the aquarium and a KH test kit.

After Adding it to the water I did the KH and PH test.

The PH reading was 8 and KH reading was 7.
There are better methods to buffering your PH, like adding crushed coral, aragonite, or something of the sort. I advise against using any type of liquid or powder, as these are temporary buffers, and can cause a crash in both the PH and your wallet. If the PH swings back and forth because of over/under/lapse in buffer dosing, the fish will feel the effects and get stressed or possibly even die because of it.

Caribsea makes an african cichlid substrate that is around 20 dollars, and effectively maintains a PH of about 8.2. If that PH is too high then you can try the crushed coral method, but this obviously requires consistent testing to make sure you achieve a steady PH level where you want it.

Take care!
 

mosin360

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Personally, I think you need to add a lot of plants (fake or real) to help break up the line of sight with those types of fish. I'd advise caution on the Gouramis as they can get very aggressive towards each other. And as others have said, using chemicals to change you pH is a bad move.

I'd check with your local pet stores and see if you can trade in some of those fish for store credit and get some things you need.
 
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