Stocking a Heavily Planted Congo Tank

butauri

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TANK:
55 Gallons [208 Liters]
50.62 x 14.87 x 23.12 IN [128.58 x 37.77 x 58.73 CM]
Glass - LED Lighting
Tetra 200W UL Heater (came with the tank but I hear bad things so may switch it)
2 x Whisper 10-30 Internal Power Filters
20oz CO[SUB]2 [/SUB]Tank with a (will be upgrading the tank soon, hopefully)

SUBSTRATE:
CaribSea EcoComplete; Black
CaribSea Tahitian Moon Sand; Black

PLANTS:
African Onion Plants [Crinum calamistratum]
Aponogeton Ulvaceus
Crystalwort [Riccia fluitans]
African Water Fern [Bolbitis heudelotii]
Red Ammannia [Ammannia gracilis]
Tiger Lotus [Nyphaea zenkeri]

FISH:
Note: "(xM:xF)" is the Male-Female ratio I intend to keep them.
1 x Leopard Ctenopoma [Ctenopoma acutirostre]
4 x Buffalo Head Cichlid [Steatocranus casuarius] (2M:2F)
1 x Marbled Synodontis [Synodontis schoutedeni]
6 x Congo Tetra [Phenacogrammus interruptus] (2M:4F)
2 x Rope Fish [Erpetoichthys calabaricus] (1M:1F)

QUESTION:
Is this too much for a 55 gallon tank? I was hoping to have 3 Ctenopoma total but I felt that might be a little much. I would be happy with one ropefish but I hear they fair better with others of their own kind. I had originally thought of a pair of Sengal bichir but I would be afraid of them going after the tetras. Instead of congo tetra, should I try kribs instead?

I'm also looking for a good driftwood that doesn't release tannins and driftwood provider that has reasonable prices. I prefer them not to have bases but I can work around them if necessary.

This is my first time going this "advanced" on a tank. Before I was the painted gravel, plastic plants, and the run-of-the-mill LFS fish type. I've done a lot of research but I'd like to hear some real-life experience if possible.
 

Coradee

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Bumping this up for you
 

aliray

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Welcome to the forum and glad you joined us. I can't help you with the fish as the only one of the group I ever kept was a rope fish 40 years ago. They are great fun fish to have , and I really enjoyed him, just make sure there are no openings on the top of the tank that they can escape from. I came in and found mine on the floor and looking like a pretzel and rather stiff, but I put him back in the tank and he revived himself. The can kind of hibernate or something for short periods. Would love to see pictures of you tank when it is set up. Alison
 

kimberlyKeidron

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Rope fish are not appropriate for a 55 gallon as they require a larger footprint and prefer to stay on the bottom. They can get up to two feet long and having two in the tank would cause them to be crowded and possibly stunted.
 
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butauri

butauri

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kimberlyKeidron said:
Rope fish are not appropriate for a 55 gallon as they require a larger footprint and prefer to stay on the bottom. They can get up to two feet long and having two in the tank would cause them to be crowded and possibly stunted.

Darn. I was really hoping for some more elongated fish like rope fish. I was thinking of a dinosaur/Sengal bichir but they're so nippy. Do you have some interesting suggestions for super oddball bottom dwellers?

Coradee said:
Bumping this up for you
Thank you for the help I really appreciated it. I was wondering if anyone could help me out and was starting to worry. I think I picked the wrong tags to get help lol

aliray said:
Welcome to the forum and glad you joined us. I can't help you with the fish as the only one of the group I ever kept was a rope fish 40 years ago. They are great fun fish to have , and I really enjoyed him, just make sure there are no openings on the top of the tank that they can escape from. I came in and found mine on the floor and looking like a pretzel and rather stiff, but I put him back in the tank and he revived himself. The can kind of hibernate or something for short periods. Would love to see pictures of you tank when it is set up. Alison
I'm really looking forward to setting it up. Like I said, this is my first time going so "advanced" on a tank so I'm doing a lot of research instead of just doing whatever. This is also my first real community tank so I want to make sure everyone is happy and healthy.
 

kimberlyKeidron

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I'm not experience with either but I'm sure there are plenty of Bicher and loaches to choose from! Hopefully someone who has owned either can chime in with specific species. I've heard good things about khulI loaches. But I believe they stay rather small.
 
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Robs

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I like the mix and don't see any real compatibility issues. You may have just inspired me as to what to do with my 55.

I'm seeing a variety of things about max. size of the rope fish. If they do start getting to 18", I'd make sure filtration is more than adequate and consider rehoming. Up to 12" should okay in your 55.
 

clk89

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Filtration won't give them more swimming room, which is the issue. Plus they can get stunted if left in a tank that is too small, and no one can really be sure at what size they will become stunted. I agree that the rope fish is going to be too large for 55 gallon. I like the looks of them myself.

Everything I've read has said Leopard Ctenopoma is okay in a 55 gallon, and that congo tetras seem to be one of the common fish put with them. I'm not sure 55 gallon would be big enough for three of them though. Someone else may correct me if I am wrong.

I don't know much about the other fish you listed. I like looking at seriousfish.com for compatibility as well as double checking on here.
 
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Robs

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With larger fish of any type, one should make sure there is plenty of filtration. That is all I was referring to.

As to the rope fish, the length is pushing it for a 55, I agree, but I took into consideration that they have a small body mass and are quite flexible. IMHO, they should be okay in a 55 for quite some time, if you start with small ones.

Stunting is a myth, I've seen fish of many types outgrow there tanks.
 

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