Starting my first large tank, 55 gallon! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-05-2012, 02:44 AM Thread Starter
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Starting my first large tank, 55 gallon!

I'm a newbie to aquariums, so please forgive me if I make any rookie errors! I've worked with ponds but never aquariums. After cycling the tank these are my plans for it, any advice/tips you guys can offer? I've spent a few weeks researching but nothing beats one on one chatting :)
Anyways, I'd like to experiment with a low-light planted aquarium without co2 injections. I'd love one or two medium sized driftwood pieces.
The substrate would be either fluorite or amazonian aqua soil, still haven't decided.
The plants I have in mind are -
Java Moss
Guppy Grass
Hygrophilia Corymbosa
Brazilian Pennywort

The fish I would like to stock this with are -
10 x Tiger Barbs
6 x Kuhli Loaches
3 x Bronze Corydoras
2 x Assassin Snails (I was planning on feeding them ramshorns, is this a good idea? I have a 'breeder' tank of them, I think they're adorable.)
I'd also like a 'centerpiece' fish or two. I prefer muted colors in my fish, I want something larger that won't harass everyone. I'm not really a fan of angels, either.

Is there anything wrong with this set-up? Any misc. newbie advice? It's all greatly appreciated
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-05-2012, 09:35 PM
You should add a few more cories as they like to be in groups of at least 5. Maybe look into playsand or pool filter sand for the substrate as this is preferred for them
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-06-2012, 09:04 AM
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Maybe add one or two centerpiece plants, like Amazon swords. The centerpiece fish is a tough one. You already have a lot of action going on at the bottom and the barbs are kind of bottom to middle swimmers. A nice gourami comes to mind, but I don't know whether the tigers could resist those flowing fins. Let's see what others have to say.

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post #4 of 11 Old 10-06-2012, 12:36 PM
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I always shy away from Tiger Barbs as they can be a bit aggro.

What if you did a pair of pearl gouramis as centerpiece?

Then maybe look at a different schooler. Do you like the chunky shape of the tiger barbs or are you open to other types of schooling fish? Rasboras and other barbs for the most part I think would work well. Cherry barbs are pretty. Then you'd have a kind of Asian tank theme if you kept the kuhlis, too.

If you really want both cories and kuhlis, yeah they both like larger groups and then that would be enough for the bottom, so the dwarf cichlids would be harder to do. If you like some of the Dwarf Cichlids (which I love) then you could choose one - cory or kuhlis. If you do the flourite then that would be harder on the cories - they love a softer substrate. I have a mix of flourite and very small gravel, almost like large grain sand. This works fine for the kuhlis but for cories I'm not sure - I've not had them in many years - others can chip in there.

Last edited by magpie; 10-06-2012 at 12:56 PM.
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-06-2012, 01:39 PM
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You could swap in the tiger barbs for a school of Hyphessobrycon colimbianus, In return you would be able to keep better center fish due to no fin-nipping by the barbs.

75G FW Community planted
65G FW Mbuna tank
50G FW Mixed Cichlid
33G Reef Tank
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-06-2012, 01:49 PM
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Ruby barbs are similar to tigers, minus the red. With those, you could do the Pearl gourami. They are very elegant fish.

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post #7 of 11 Old 10-06-2012, 02:47 PM
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If you want to go for the chunky tetras like the Colombians recommended above, I LOVE my White-finned rosy tetras (Hyphessobrycon rosaceus). They are beautiful, active, but not aggressive to each other or other fish. The males display a lot to each other but never are aggressive. They are huge pigs, so you have to be sure everyone else gets enough food, though. I have a group of 8 in my 3-ft 65 gallon.

I personally would choose a barb or rasbora with a gourami just because they're asian fish, but sometimes you just need to go with what you like, as long as the water parameters match. For example, the vast majority of my fish are South American. But I "had" to have Kuhlis, and I had to have a goby - both of these are Asian. ;)
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-09-2012, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
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Well, my biggest concern/problem is that the fish I cycle my tank with I want to keep, and I read that Tiger Barbs are good at cycling. I also love their chunky shape, I think they look gorgeous. I'm totally open to a less aggressive fish (I'd really like to have some variety), but are there any that would be okay cycling? I'd be devastated if a bunch of them died. Thank you all so much for the advice! I'm really trying my best to get as much knowledge as I can before I begin.
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-09-2012, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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Although I am looking in to doing a fishless cycle instead, but I am rather confused on the general gist of it. I don't want any of my fish to get hurt/burned, but I want to make sure my tank properly cycles.
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-09-2012, 08:54 PM
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If you plant fairly heavily, you won't have to do a fishless cycle. You'll just need to add fish slowly in smaller numbers, monitor your parameters and do water changes as needed. I believe I only did mine weekly at the time, but I'd have to go back and look at my journal here. Byron here convinced me that it would all be OK, and it was. ;) I never once had any ammonia.

I wouldn't choose the tiger barb based on it being able to cycle well - start with a list of fish you really want long term and then we can see which of those would be best in a newer tank.

If you realllly want tiger barbs, you'll have to probably choose the remainder of your stock around them, vs. having more flexibility. It's up to you!

Someone above mentioned black ruby barbs - another option would be the 5-banded barb. Both have a similar chunky look but are less aggressive/nippy. I'm not sure about their need for established tanks or not.
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