Stocking Help For A 55 Gallon With Odessas And Yoyos


New Member
Reaction score
After finally getting my 55 gallon tank cycled, I figured I would add one species every week, and for my first week I added 3 Yoyo loaches. They're great now but for the first week they were super stressed out and any time not spent looking for food was spent surfing the walls. I started to get worried when I noticed that the one Yoyo who wasn't obsessed with surfing the glass was getting super fat. He was always the first to notice when I added food to the tank and would gobble it all up. The others were eating too, but that one fish got double what the others were getting.

I read somewhere that adding a schooling fish would lower stress levels, so I added a small school of 6 Odessa Barbs and what a difference!! In only a few hours the Yoyos went from glass surfers to playing tag around the tank and taking turns chasing each other. That was a few days ago and I don't remember the last time they surfed for more than a few seconds and they all seem to get along. They mostly follow each other around and play.

The Barbs are also doing great. At the store they were pale and uninteresting. I got them because they followed my finger and they'll look nice when they develop their color. Now they all have a little bit of red coloring on their sides.

My original idea was to get some neon tetras, but I told the guy at the aquarium store that I eventually planned on getting Pearl Gouramis. He said that the Gouramis would rip apart the Tetras and convinced me to get something that could hold it's own, which is why I ended up getting barbs.

The next day, I went to a different aquarium store just to see what they had, and the guy there said my barbs would tear apart Gouramis and suggested that for a 55 gallon tank with Yoyos and Odessas I should get some Severums, sharks, Kribs or Acaras.

Personally, I think the Gouramis are a bad idea for the Barbs because they'll probably get nipped. But a Severum? The ones at the store were beautiful and I was sold until I read that they can get around 10 inches. They were small at the store and they already look like they would eat my tiny 1 inch Barbs.

My question is what are your thoughts on the advice I was given? And if I can't have Gouramis or any of those large fish, what are some suggestions for my community tank that would hold their own among my aggressive Barbs and hyper Yoyos?

I do like the idea of smaller colorful semi-aggressive cichlids and I don't plan on breeding fish anytime soon, so would not be getting any mating pairs.

I was interested in Blue Rams but both stores said they would get torn up by the barbs.


Donovan Jones

Well Known
Reaction score
5 to 10 years
The pearls are a bad idea because the males get filaments that just beg to be nipped. Neons would be fine with the current fish, maybe add some smaller cichlids? The pelvic fins of most gouramI limit ideas there, but maybe a paradise fish? They can be aggressive but I saw a tank on Instagram with odessas and a male and they did great. Maybe up the odessas if you try that too and try for a few female and one male paradise fish so they bicker amongst each other rather than tankmates.


Active Member
Reaction score
5 to 10 years
Hoping you get some more suggestions here. I saw some odessas at my LFS and now really want some! But I need to know if they can go in a tank with a severum, geophagus or EB acara. My LFS said one or perhaps a trio would be fine but everything I read says small school a 5 to 6 is better. The other option I’m considering are mascara barbs...

New Threads

Similar Threads

Follow FishLore!

FishLore on Social Media

Online statistics

Members online
Guests online
Total visitors

Aquarium Photo Contests

Aquarium Calculator

Top Bottom