Help Stock for a 55 gallon tank

dfisherman

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Just starting a fish-less cycle on a 55 gal tank. I would love to have 1 Discus Cichlid, but would like to have a variety of fish. Any suggestions on fish that are compatible and use same water conditions, would be great. x






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btate617

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Don't be tricked by the Discus need so much care and are tough to keep.

Hundreds of fish are quite demanding along with Discus, yet we keep them everyday. With the proper tank and maint. they are just as easy to keep as any other fish. They all require a lot of work and attention.


Brian
 

Jaysee

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Caring for discus has less to do with the actual fish and is more about the water. Propper water quality is the key to keeping them alive, which more often than not requires ongoing manipulation of the water chemistry. That's not easy to maintain and would be considdered difficult by most peoples standards.
 

btate617

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If you are constanly manipulating the water chemistry you won't have success with Discus either. The key to them, along with every other fish you can find is actually simple. Clean stable water. Discus aren't the holy grail in terms of care, problem is lazy people get them and want to do maint in their tank every couple of months and sorry but that won't work with many fish.

Thay are from the Amazon River Basin just like hundreds of other fish we keep in the hobby with great success every day. I will agree the average person may not be able to spawn and raise fry from Discus, but any person, any person, who has the right sized tank and is willing to perform the maint. and care the fish needs can and will have success with Discus. They are not some magical creature, they are a cool fish that many more people should keep and not be scared off with the myth you need to fool with your water on a daily basis. That just isn't true. You don't need a handful of chemicals to alter your water every 12 hours, but you cant be lazy either.


Brian
 

e_watson09

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Personally I think the reason not many people spend time with the discus is because yes they are harder to care for like many other fish we do keep but it's also because they cost a nice chunk of change. I'm thinking about getting some eventually but right now I just don't have the tank space for them.
 
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dfisherman

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This is all good stuff, I have a 10gal guppy tank and a 6gal betta, I'm very meticulous in keep my tanks in good maintenance. I think the discus is a beautiful fish.
 

e_watson09

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(please understand I do not mean to sound mean in the slightest bit when I say this but I just want to be honest)

A 50 gallon tank takes much more time and effort than cleaning a 10 and a 6 gallon tank. I can clean my 10 gallons any day of the week and think nothing of it I get done so fast with those. Then again apparently I clean tanks like its my job is what my friends say (kinda makes me laugh because it is my job haha) but I am probably the pickiest person when it comes to water conditions and cleaning tanks. So just because you keep your smaller tanks in good maintanence does not mean a) that will keep up and b) that it will move onto your larger tank.

Trust me at first all I had to worry about was my little 10 gallon tank. Well then I kind of inherited my mom's 50 gallon well cleaning tanks just got much harder. I actually had to plan cleaning tanks rather than with the 10 gallon I could just do it whenever as it didn't take any time at all.

And I can only imagine how it would be if I had more fragile fish. (heh and the funny thing is, I've been debating getting a few discus once I move my current 50 gallon into my future 150 gallon)

So personally I would go with something middle of the road rather than jumping up to a discus. Try something that is a step up from guppys and bettas because personally I have learned so much from the different fish I've owned. And I've gone up in hardness to keep starting with livebears and such and trying my hand at cichlids, angels, and things like that. Maybe try some african cichlids and see how that goes for you. Then you can have the colors and such of a discus but they're more active and easier to care for in my opinion.

Regaurdless of my opinion the choice is yours I just don't want you to jump in head first and then get shocked with how much work and pain they can be to keep. (The pain being more if something happens and then the pain in your wallet when they're gone)
 

btate617

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I just want to know what would be harder about keeping Discus than Africans?
African cichlids are messy which will require more filtration and such, and he would be wise to over stock a bit with Africans which would require more attention to water changes and such. There is also aggression to think about with Africans. Is that not the same he would be looking at with Discus? Just curious why you think Africans would be easier is all, not disputing your post just asking why you think that is all.


I do agree with her that going from a 10gal to a 55gal will require more time as far as a water change, but I wouldn't say to the point where you will now need to rearrange your schedule around this tank. Also with the added volume of water the tank will actually be easier to maintain as far as keeping stable than a 10gal as it takes a lot longer for things to go bad in a 55gal than a 10gal, you have a larger margin for error if you will. Not saying you can skimp on maint but the larger a tank the easier it actually gets to maintain, of course the W/C time goes up.


Brian
 

bolivianbaby

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I just want to know what would be harder about keeping Discus than Africans?
African cichlids are messy which will require more filtration and such, and he would be wise to over stock a bit with Africans which would require more attention to water changes and such. There is also aggression to think about with Africans. Is that not the same he would be looking at with Discus? Just curious why you think Africans would be easier is all, not disputing your post just asking why you think that is all.


I do agree with her that going from a 10gal to a 55gal will require more time as far as a water change, but I wouldn't say to the point where you will now need to rearrange your schedule around this tank. Also with the added volume of water the tank will actually be easier to maintain as far as keeping stable than a 10gal as it takes a lot longer for things to go bad in a 55gal than a 10gal, you have a larger margin for error if you will. Not saying you can skimp on maint but the larger a tank the easier it actually gets to maintain, of course the W/C time goes up.


Brian
+1

My africans are the messiest fish I have next to my bloody parrots. Their tank gets a 50% water change weekly due to nitrate levels. Sometimes, the tank gets two 50% water changes in a week to keep up with the waste.

Also, many species of africans cannot be kept in anything smaller than a 55g.

The larger the tank, the more stable the water parameters and the more "forgiving" of error.
 

e_watson09

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What I meant was africans seem to be cheaper to buy and almost any LFS carries them. Discus on the other hand cost much much more than a african and around where I live I only know of one store that currently has them in stock. And that's just because someone special ordered them and never picked them up because they have ick.

So idk I guess money wise is my only point. And I think everyone will admit water changes on a 50 or more takes much longer than a 10. So that was just my point I guess I really didn't think it all the way through I just merely meant maybe start with something easier on the wallet and then once he gets into the swing of things with the 50 then maybe bump up to a couple discus.

Kind of an off topic, but even tho bloody parrots are messy you know you love them! Mine even do a little butt jiggle for me when I go to feed.
 

btate617

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No worries, I of course did not mean to make you feel as though you didn't think it through.

Any fish though, if correctly maintained, takes really the same amount of work. Of course the bigger the tank the longer the time that it will take, but the maint. is still the same. And I am hoping anyone who buys a bigger tank would know the time to maintain it would go up, but maybe I am wrong.

I do agree with you on the Africans are cheaper, I could say because noone wants them but I won't because that would be wrong, but say he bought 30 Africans or so to put in a 55gal tank he would be getting pretty darn close to the price of a few Discus. Again we can assume, probably wrong again to do this, but no matter if someone who takes the time to research which it appears he is trying to do or has done, buys a $5 fish or a $45 fish the care would be the same. Probably more so for the $45 one again I am just thinking it would be here.


Brian
 

e_watson09

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regaurdless of our opinions tho it is completely the OP decision and really we can't make it for them. We can all sit here and give our opinions as to what you should do but I mean you have a few different opinions to choose from. I mean put it this way, when you ask for advice on here you get quite a few different opinions. Then you can either pick one or so to try to go with your gut and do things your own way.

So to the OP the choice is yours if your set on discus then go for it, make sure you do quite a bit of research as they do cost a pretty penny each. If you're wary about discus and not sure if you want to try something that expensive yet then try something cheaper and if that works out for you then trade your fish in and try the discus.
 

btate617

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It is his decision, I don't remember anyone saying he must get this or that or else, I don't believe anyone is trying to make the decision for him. He did however ask for our opinions, after all its a forum, and now we are all sitting here giving our opinions to him.

I just think its silly when people try to scare others away from Discus because they require attention. All fish do. 99% of the time when there is a topic about Mikrogeophagus Ramirezi, which almost everyday there is a new one, 10 people chime in and say how you must have a stable tank and great water and oh my gosh they are such a touchy fish.... but they are great you should get one. Not very often do we say don't get THAT sensitive fish. But we ALWAYS do with Discus, for the same arguement, just seems odd. Shell dwellers, Apistos, etc I could make a huge list but they all require the same thing. Time and clean water. Perhaps we should only suggest fish from Central America, after all they come from some crappy water it won't be tough to keep them, they are use to being in gunk.

I guess all in all it is what it is, why would we want to venture into something that may take up our time and attention, after all its only a hobby right.


Brian
 

JustinF

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Good advice e_watson09, so where do you shop for fish in centerville? I use to live in Springboro and I always shopped at Jack's. I get up there every now and then I'm curous is there any new local fish stores that are good?
 
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