Planned Stock, Need Input 55 Gallon Tank

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by Saobie, Jun 17, 2018.

  1. SaobieValued MemberMember

    Im getting a 55g on july 4th for my bday, and want opinions on my planed stock and how itl impact my current stock. what im looking for is if theres any compatibility issues and if its too many fish/too many bottom feeders. Im aware i should have more tetras and keep them same species, but given that iv had success with all my tetras schooling together i feel its somewhat ok to have the diversity. Any opinions on this particular matter are welcome. Personally i believe its because their similar body shapes (serpae, black, and white). The redeye is left out sometimes, which is why i planned to add fish of his body shape too

    What i have:
    2 Koi Angelfish (mating pair)
    1 male Gold Wonder Killifish
    1 Serpae Tetra
    1 Blackskirt Tetra
    1 Whiteskirt Tetra
    1 Redeye Tetra
    1 female Bristlenose Pleco
    1 male Gold Inca Snail

    Note that most of my current fish are at least 8 months old (the angels are about 4 months, theyre the youngest)

    What i planed to add:

    2 female Gold Wonder Killifish (heard the ratio should be 2 females to 1 male)
    1 more Serpae, White Skirt, Black Skirt, and Redeye
    2 Penguin Tetras
    2 Longfin Congo Tetras
    1 Giant African Fan Shrimp
    1 Porthole Catfish
    1 Clam (Prefer Gold Asian, but will do basic Freshwater if asian is a bad idea)
    (possibly) 1 Albino Rainbow Shark
    (possibly) 1 male Albino Bristlenose Pleco

    I very much love diversity, hence the different species. I would have returned some of the tetras had i not seen success in them schooling together though, so im more or less going to see if the same behavior will happen with my redeye and his new similar body shaped mates. If not, i planned to return the 2 penguins and congos and get more redeyes. Im debating a male pleco because iv heard plecos can be vicious towards their own kind. I only really want a male bristlenose because its the one that actually has the bristles. As for the shark, shrimp, clam, and catfish, theyre mostly just meant to be there as interesting diversity fish. Im also worried giving my killi mates will make him more aggressive, but iv considered adding mates under the thought that he would calm down, as hes kindav a bully to my male angelfish (yesterday my female was actually roughing him up to make sure hes a strong, suitable mate. Theyve stopped today though so i guess shes decided hes still good)

  2. appcontrolWell Known MemberMember

    I will only tell you that tetras will school with similar species but that doesn't mean they should or that they will be happy like that long term, minimum of 6 rule isn't there without reason.

    And for other things you are all over the place, what usually people put in 3 tanks you want to put in one. I would decrease wish list and would work to give minimum requirements (numbers) for fish that are there already.

    Btw. Black/white skirt tetras are known for nipping (especially in smaller numbers) so in future you could have problems with angelfish and them

  3. SaobieValued MemberMember

    Im aware of the minimum of 6 rule. Since iv had success with the seperate species, thats why i intended to add 1 more black, white, and serpae. A total of 6, since i already have 1 of each (assuming they will still stick together and be happy). Same with the redeye, 1 of him and 4 others of similar body shape, but as stated if it ends up not working ill return the others and get more redeyes

    Im also aware im looking at a really diverse selection, but is it actually a really bad idea to have such a diverse selection? The ones im very keen on getting are the fan shrimp, a clam, and the catfish, i only mean to add the others if its safe/if i have the capacity for it. But if youre telling me this selection is too diverse, would simply the shrimp, clam, and catfish work? (on top of the added tetras)

  4. appcontrolWell Known MemberMember

    I think this is telling you enough
    • Warning: Black Skirt Tetra will likely to fin nip Angelfish. Try increasing the number to 6.
    • Warning: At least 5 x Congo Tetra are recommended in a group.
    • Warning: Congo Tetra will likely to fin nip Angelfish.
    • Warning: At least 5 x Serpae Tetra are recommended in a group.
    • Warning: Serpae Tetra will likely to fin nip Angelfish.
    • Warning: At least 5 x Red Eye Tetra are recommended in a group.
    • Warning: Red Eye Tetra will likely to fin nip Angelfish.
    • Warning: At least 5 x Penguin Tetra are recommended in a group.
    • Warning: Penguin Tetra will likely to fin nip Angelfish.
    • Note: Rainbow Shark may jump - lids are recommended.
    • Note: Albino Bristlenose Pleco needs driftwood.
    • Note: Bristlenose Pleco needs driftwood.
    • Warning: At least 5 x Black Skirt Tetra are recommended in a group.

    Warning: You NEED to add more aquarium filtration capacity!!!

    Your aquarium filtration capacity for above selected species is 66%. Question11.png
    Recommended water change schedule: 38% per week.
    Your aquarium stocking level is 121%.

    I added fluval 306 filter i don't know what you have. Plus i didnt put clam and catfish in stock list.
  5. Harvster10Valued MemberMember

    If you were to have just two of one tetra species they would be very boring I would get to shoals of 6. Well I don’t know if there is anywhere for you to move some. You may need to keep an eye on your koi angelfish as they can quite easily start war if they felt like it as there is a lot of fish in that tank. If your planning on breeding bristlenose plecos you can quite easily cause a problem so just stick with your female. It is probably best not to get a shrimp in a set up like that.
  6. SaobieValued MemberMember


    Sorry, dont really know how to mod your post :/

    Didnt know there was a sort of tool to calculate things like that. As much as i like diversity i also want my fish to be happy and healthy. But that presents a problem as i already have 4 different tetra species (1 of each) and while i under the impression that itl work out, it may not and youv recommended against simply adding 1 of each to have a school of 6 (2 of each type), at least it seems that way. I get very attached, and would very much rather not send any fish back to a store. You highly recommend against my plan correct?

    As for the shark im aware theyre jumpers. I dont know the specifics on the lid and such for the tank i plan to buy though, he may or may not be marked off the list anyways. Clams i personally see no issue with since they have a low profile and bioload to my knowledge, so even factoring them in i cant imagime there would be issues, unless you know something i dont and would recommend against clams


    Yea, alright so 1 pleco it is then. Im not super attached to the idea of a male pleco i just wanted one because of the bristles (not interested in breeding any of my fish. The only reason i have a mating pair of angels is because they were already paired when i got them and i didnt want to seperate them). My angels have so far caused no issues but the female hit puberty a few days ago i believe (may have been the cause of her fighting the male) so issues could start arising now. Fin nipping has not occured as far as i can tell, but my angels do have fin damage because my killi is a bully (hoping the extra space will make him less aggressive)

    Im extremely attached to Giant African Fan Shrimp. Could you give me specifics on why youd recommend against getting one with my current setup? Im willing to take small risks with this one
  7. Harvster10Valued MemberMember

    With a clam yeah you can get one if you really want one, personally I don’t think you will get much enjoyment out of getting one. The problem with a shrimp is that to an angelfish shrimps are food and in a tank with lots of fish they may find it hard to malt. Crustaceans need the water quite hard as characins and other South American species prefer softer water.

    I seem to have misunderstood the 6 of each rule. You need six of one species e.g 6 Congo tetras, 6 skirt tetras( black and white skirt tetras are the same thing just different colours so they will shoal together). I understand that it is hard to rehome fish especially if you have had them for a while,but maybe if you wanted to set up another more peaceful tank for your shrimp and other tetras if you could.

    As for your angels they will get big and the tables will turn with the killis. Remember for your angels make sure there is a lot of space as they will take other half of the tank just to protect one batch of eggs. If your not to sure you want a shark don’t get one just stick to your port catfish. Sharks get too big and nippy for angelfish and tetras.
  8. SaobieValued MemberMember

    Iv had much smaller shrimp in my aquarium before though (amano, ghost, and blue rillie) and my angels never bothered them. If youre sure a 6 inch shrimp will end up a meal to a fully grown angel, i wont get it

    Yea, as much as i dont want to rehouse, if its whats best than its what i do. Ill be keeping the serpae and rehousing the 2 skirts. The serpae, killi, and pleco are the only survivors of a huge mistake i made a while ago. Mt serpae was seriously ill and on deaths door but somehow recovered so i always think hes a little special in that regard. He used to have 3 friends but they did not survive. As for the redeye, ill get 5 more of his own type. Thatl make 6 serpaes and 6 redeyes

    As for the clam i just want it because iv read up a lot about the gold asian clam specifically. Apparently theyre somewhat active at night and you can observe them use their foot. Idk, i thought itd be cool to have a live clam. Not a lot of people know what a live clam actually does and looks like, including me

    Im much more for getting the catfish than the shark. Id like to get both but if thats a compatibility/stocking issue, id be getting the catfish for sure

    So wev narrowed it down and the end result looks like 2 angels, 1 gold wonder killi, 6 serpaes, 6 redeyes, 1 snail, 1 bristlenose pleco, 1 gold asian clam and/or regular clam, and 1 porthole catfish. Is there more i could possibly add?

    Thing is this is my only tank. I still live with my mom and its her rules ofc. Even if i could afford it im not allowed to get any more aquariums, nor do i have the space. Im trying to make the most out of the one im getting

    Also its 4:30 am here so excuse me if i dont respond for a while :p
  9. AngelTheGypsyFishlore VIPMember

    I agree with the schooling fish suggestion. I would rehome the sarpae tetra and the red eye (unless you get 5+more red eyes). In a 55 you can have 2 schools, but both skirts and red eyes get to be pretty large eventually. I would not add any penguins or Congos. If you like diversity, the skirts are a perfect choice for you. All skirt tetras are the same species, so you could have a mix of black skirts, whites, longfins, and glo fish tetras and they are all the same species and will school, but also look different. Sarpae tetras are one of the nippiest tetras, even more than the skirts. With the skirts, if you have a full school, they tend to keep the nipping to each other and leave everyone else alone. This is their natural behavior so you shouldn’t be concerned about it.
    The shrimp may be ok as long as it gets large enough to not be eaten, and has plenty of hiding places, especially for molting.
    I have no experience with clams, but I have heard they can be difficult to feed.
    Are you sure the angels are a pair? Sometimes when young they will make a buddy, then when they reach maturity they realize they don’t really like each other. The only for sure way to sex them is to see their breeding tubes. But even if they are the same sex, you may have success. They are very unpredictable fish.
    I have found bristlenose plecos to be pretty docile as long as they have space and plenty of caves. I kept 1 male and 2 females in a 75 with no issues, only moved the 2nd female when I got her a male for another tank.
  10. SaobieValued MemberMember

    Yea, i actually had no idea redeyes and black skirts got so big until i saw some fully matured ones at petco. The redeyes mustav been a solid 3 inches long (bigger than my killifish rn). Iv been told serpaes are the nippiest and told many times to rehouse them when my angels mature because its likely they will eventually kill the serpaes. I just really hate the idea of rehousing my 1 serpae becaues hes been through so much and survived. He also seems to be the least nippy out of the 4 tetras (my black skirt used to have a real problem). That being said, i want all my fish to be happy and i want the most out of my aquarium. I may just do a school of 3 white skirts, 2 black skirts, and 1 glofish

    So why not add any congo or penguin? Congos are honestly the most beautiful tetras to me. I certainly cant afford to spend 66$ to get a school of 6 longfin congos though, but im curious why i shouldnt add these (under the assumption that i rehouse the redeye)

    My angels had quite a fight a few days ago. The smaller one (which we believe to be female) was tearing the male a new one, and he did not often fight back. Me and my sister are having a hard time sexing them but believe the smaller one to be female and to have just reached maturity. My male killi bullies my male angel a lot and the female always sticks up for him, but hes never fought back. So we think the female was making sure her mate wasnt a weakling. They stopped after a day and are always side by side. But the thing is, its really hard for us to tell their sexes. We are quite sure the large one is male, as it would make little sense for the small one to be male and to beat up a female

    As for the shrimp. Iv heard giant african fan shrimp average 5 inches in length, which is roughly the same length as an adult angel. My new tank will include caves because i know some of my fish like cave areas and like to be out of the light. My angels shouldnt be able to even fit in these caves if i get the decor i plan to get. And my killi... well he has a history of eating shrimp. He ate my blue rilli and killed my amano and ghost shrimp. But i used to have a bamboo shrimp he entirely ignored (it was his size). Im certain he wont be an issue. My tetras were curious of my shrimp when i had them but i never observed nipping or harassing even while molting, just them kinda observing

    I know clams can be hard to feed, as can fan shrimp. I planned to fix this buy adding live plants to my aquarium and having a partial carpet of sort. Iv heard live plants add plant matter to the water and are a good suppliment to these sorts of inverts on top of whatever else they can get

    Oh yea, while were at it. What fish can i add to my 55g as soon as i get it? Ik it has to cycle for no less than a month to add my shrimp, inverts, angels, and other sensitive fish. But i was also told adding hardy fish will help the tank cycle process (that is originally how i got my killi and serpaes, they were meant to help cycle my current tank and seemed fine)

    Would i be able to move the tetras and killi in immediately?
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2018
  11. AngelTheGypsyFishlore VIPMember

    In a55 gallon tank, I would not do 2 schools of larger fish, and skirts get pretty large, as do penguins and especially congos. I believe congos can sometimes reach 4”. That would get crowded imo. And with a pair of angelfish, it may very well go south.

    Angelfish can be super unpredictable. Your larger one may be male, and vice versa, but the smaller one may also be male. They are actually schooling fish in the wild, so may stick up for each other, but then turn on each other and fight. Then might get along. Even established pairs who have spawned several times may have a “divorce” and beat the snot out of each other to the point of having to separate them. I had 6 in my 75, and they did well together for about 8 months, then everyone paired off. They probably could have stayed together, the aggression was pretty dispersed, but I just don’t like watching the displays between the males, so each pair has their own tank. I still have to watch to make sure they get along. Sometimes a shuffle may be needed.
    The shrimp may be ok. Size wise sounds fine, but I have no experience with them so can’t say for sure.
  12. SaobieValued MemberMember

    Alright, so excluding the 2nd school (redeyes), id have a school of 6 assorted skirt tetras. Added int my 1 male killi, my 2 angels, 1 female bristlenose, 1 gold inca snail. And could i also add in the rainbow shark, porthole catfish, clam, and shrimp without having a stock issue? What about a 2nd pleco?
  13. AngelTheGypsyFishlore VIPMember

    Looking back at your original post, what size tank do you have them in now?
    You could do a second school, or you could have more skirt tetras.
    If your angelfish are only 4 months old or so, they are just now starting to think about puberty. Though they are probably a few months older than that if that is how long you have had them. They usually reach maturity around the 1 year mark. At this point there is really no way to know their genders.
    I’m not too familiar with portholes or the red tailed shark. Though I do know RTS get territorial as they get older. It’s not a gamble I would make. I believe portholes are peaceful, but I know nothing about their requirements. I say it would be safe to have a second bn pleco.
    If you are looking for some fun bottom dwellers, corydoras catfish are a favorite. Aeneus, sterbai, or a few others that prefer warmer water would be a good match. With aeneus you could have a bit of diversity with albinos (usually), bronze and green all being the same species. They are some of the most entertaining fish to watch.
    I can do some further research on the test you are asking about, but I don’t know from personal experience.
    When you get your new tank, are you going to keep your current tank running or retire it? If you aren’t going to use it anymore, you can use your current filter to cycle the new tank. (Actually, we cycle the filters, as that is where your bacteria mostly lives). Either move the entire filter to the new tank, or just take the filter media from the old tank and put it in the new filter. That way you move your bacteria colony with your fish, instant cycle.

    Here is a link to a respected fish database on the rainbow shark. It does mention it is not a good mix with catfish, I’m thinking about your pleco.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
  14. SaobieValued MemberMember

    Ok so, my current tank is 20g and i am aware there is too many fish in it. There seems to be just barely enough space for my fish to be somewhat pleased at their current size. The 20g will house my goldfish when i move all the tropical fish out, so it wont be retired. However, it has a dual filter meant for a 35g, and one of the fliter cartridges iv purposefully left in there for 3 months now so it can collect a nice colony on it (i do weekly 30% changes). I could soak that cartridge in the new tank for a while

    Iv read up a lot on portholes and their temperment, but i dont know much about how they eat besides "they accept anything" like what youd imagine most bottom dwellers feed on. I used to have cories but i have a bad history of them dying. Im always on top of my tank maintanence but they just never make it past a few months, and its only corys, no other fish i have had has issues like that. Dont really know why. I think corys are absolutely adorable and id love to have a few though, could i get a few instead of a shark?
  15. AngelTheGypsyFishlore VIPMember

    I think porthole catfish may be okay in your set up, though they do appear to be a shoaling fish, so a group of 6+ is ideal. They do get to 4” or so, so take that into account while planning. I would do either portholes or cories, and I’m not sure if I would do a second pleco if I did the portholes, though it should be ok with cories(this is due to adult size, portholes get much larger).
    Do you already have a goldfish? If so what kind? If it is a fancy, the smallest tank recommended is a 30 gallon for a single fish, if it’s a common, those babies can get to 18” long and really only belong in a pond. So the 20 gallon really isn’t big enough long term.

    So your stock for your 55 would be:

    Angelfish pair

    Killifish male (I do not know how this will go long term) (if you don’t already have a goldfish, maybe the 20 could be a killifish tank?)

    School of skirt tetras, up to approx 10-12
    School of 6-8 skirt tetras plus
    A second school of 6-8 smaller bodied compatible fish (such as cardinal tetras or cherry barbs)

    1 bn pleco plus
    6 porthole catfish
    2 bn plecos plus
    8-10 corydoras catfish (I suggest aeneus species, they are pretty hardy and are available in multiple colors for variety)

    If you want to try the shrimp and/or clam, if they are compatible, you could try but it may not work out.

    Also just know that you will be keeping most species in the extremes of their comfortable temperature range. The angels, cories and portholes are comfortable in the 78-80 range, where the skirts and plecos are more comfortable around 74-76. Keeping them warmer may cause stress, which may lead to illness; while keeping others too warm may cause stress but will also speed their metabolism, shortening their lifespan.
  16. SaobieValued MemberMember

    No one told me anything about the temps when i bought these fish :/

    I read up that portholes can do fine by themselves, sortav like kuhli loaches theyd just become more reclusive but can be kept alone. Do you know if this holds any weight? I may end up trying just 2 if thats the case, and a smaller school of corys (probably 8 max) and no 2nd pleco if that would work out

    also my goldfish is a fancy goldfish. Hes currently about 5 inches long and... uh, well, hes in a 10g. He was being kept in extremely poor condition by a friend who didnt want him so i took him in. Hes actually what sparked my interest in aquariums a year ago (back then he was roughly 2.5 inches). Ik a 20g isnt suitable either but its far better than what he has at least
  17. AngelTheGypsyFishlore VIPMember

    No, pet store employees rarely know fish temps, much less tell you about them.

    I would not keep the cories and the portholes. I would do one or the other.

    When kept in larger numbers the behavior of schooling fish is much more interesting than diversity. I have a school of 11 albino cories and they are so fun to watch. I also have sterbais, they are a little more skittish.
    I have a school of 14 rummynose, plus 4 more in quarantine. They are very fun to watch swim in a large cloud, as they school very tightly. I also have 18 candy cane tetras, and behave very similar to skirts, very busy and boisterous, bordering on obnoxious.

    It’s good that you are upgrading the goldfish. Hopefully in the future you can upgrade him again. If his 10 gal is cycled, you can move his cycle to the 20 gallon as well. Goldfish are very messy and have a large bioload. You probably already know that.

    You may not be able to keep your current fish in perfect conditions, but if you know what those are at least you have a goal to work towards. As long as you don’t get yourself into new tight spots
  18. SaobieValued MemberMember

    Thanks a lot for being patient with me and such. I half expected severe backlash for the goldfish thing lol. Honestly im so attached to him i could never give him away. Hes definately staying with me even when i move out and will one day have the space he deserves, that much i can guarentee. Hes so messy i clean his tank twice weekly (15% roughly) and its still a mess :p

    So, portholes or corys. I really like portholes because of their highly pronounced whiskers, but iv also had cories before and know how adorable they are. Honestly i may go with cories after all. That would also allow for a male bristlenose so i can appreciate the cthulhu appearence of his wicked face. I just hope they dont breed like rabbits

    Trust me considering this is likely the last tank i can have for several years, there likely wont be any issues after today. My current tanks temp so happens to be 77 degrees pretty much at all times, ironic how that works out huh. Slightly too cold for some, slightly too hot for others, but hopefully not a huge longterm deal

    Iv also never been able to appreciate large schools of fish, as the only groups iv ever seen are in pet stores and typically in aquariums too small for to appreciate any such behavior. Ill probably stick with skirt tetras and get an assortment of whites, blacks, and maybe some purple, red, and pink glofish
  19. SaobieValued MemberMember

    Sorry for reviving the post

    Do you kno a trustworthy site where i can browse the various species of cory that will school together? Iv found out they have colorations like metallic gold and green and one that looks like a redtail. But i want to make sure i order from a trusted site as to lessen the chance of being given a dead specimen. Liveaquaria, the site id normally use, only sells albinos (which i can get at my local petco anyways) and no nearby store sells any other species of Aeneus

    Was also wondering if Palespotted Cory would possibly school with the others. I cant imagine it would given it looks wildly different, but if you know anything about it id love to get one, and just one. I couldnt afford a school of them
  20. david1978Fishlore LegendMember

    with cories as with most fish you have to look at the scientific name to figure out which ones will school together. Some common names are simply color morphs but the scientific name is the same.

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