New 55 Gal Tank need some advise

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Wolfman

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Hello everyone
I bought my fish tank 1 week ago and I am letting it cycle now. I am trying to get together a list of fish to give to my LFS so he can start ordering when my tank is ready I would like a community tank and was looking for some suggestions. I have a power filter about 3 inches of natural colored gravel a 200 watt heater, a inside thermometer,a pump with 4 inch airstone and 3 small airstones, plastic plants and a plastic rock with a shelter. I would like to have a low maintanence tank with hardy fish. My ideal setup would look something like this: several small school of fish and 1 larger fish to be the "Star" some sort of catfish and a suckermouth for cleaning any suggestions would be welcome.The water around here is naturally very soft and neutral to alkaline

P.S. water testing currently shows 0 nitrate, 0 nitrite, 25 hardness, 120 Alkalinity, PH 7.2
bare in mind these results are from a quick dip test strip please let me know if i need to get a better testing system "be specific please" it just dosn't seem that a little strip of paper with colors on it could be that accurate but I dont know
Thanks for your Time and Info
 

JP

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How is the tank cycling? Are you doing a fishless cycle or BioSpira or...? Any kind of tetra would make for a nice schooling fish. A blue gourami or two for the "star" fish, or several dwarf gouramies. Neat fish.
 

Tumbleweed

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I do not like the test strips for testing the water, they are inaccurate and unreliable.  This is the test kit that I have.  I bought it at my LFS and most pet stores have them


I also have to agree with JP any tetra would make a great schooling fish.  I have the Neon tetras personally and the Glow Light tetras as well.
 

Isabella

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First, welcome to Fish Lore Wolfman

I am glad that you're cycling your tank first, before adding any fish to it. I presume you're informed about the cycle, correct? Can you please list your ammonia reading? If it's only a week old tank and both nitrite and nitrate equal zero, maybe you have at least ammonia in there by now. Your tank will be ready for fish when ammonia and nitrite equal zero. Nitrate, on the other hand, will be showing. But please remember to stock your tank gradually once the cycle is finished, so that you won't have any sudden ammonia and/or nitrite spikes (which can happen if you add too many fish at once, especially to a new tank).

I agree with Tumbleweed on the test strips. I mean, you're free to use them, but if you want a really good and reliable testing kit, I'd recommend for you to get Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Freshwater Test Kit. That's all I ever use and never been disappointed with this company - I love it. The test kit is $30 at my local fish store, but if you go to Big Al's Online, you can buy it there for LESS THAN $15 - big difference huh? LOL Here:

If you want a low-maintenance tank, do not overstock your tank and do not get too large fish (and too many of the large fish) as for your tank. If a tank is lightly stocked, you have smaller and less frequent water changes to perform, and yet your nitrate level stays low or at 0. My 10 gallon tank is very lightly stocked, and all I have to do there are 25 - 30% water changes every two weeks to keep nitrate at 0. (Though I perform 25 - 30% water changes once a week.) Also, do not overfeed, as it will increase your nitrate faster and therefore you'll have more or larger water changes to do.

An excellent algae eater for a 55 gallon tank would be a Bristlenose Catfish, or a Siamese Flying Fox / Siamese Algae Eater (make sure its scientific name is Crossocheilus Siamensis, as this algae eater is often confused with other algae eaters that are not true Siamese algae eaters).
 
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