Hello all! This is my first post here and hopefully not my last. :) I have a couple questions on my proposed list for a future 55 gallon tank.
A little background.......... I have 2-10 gallons that I've maintained for 4-5 years, but we (me, hubby, and pre-teen kids) really want a showcase tank. Also, I was raised in a house with MULTIPLE tanks. We had at least 20 tanks, probably closer to 30 with 1/4 to 1/2 of the focus on breeding angel fish, the rest on livebearers (just pointing out I'm not unfamiliar with this industry or hobby). On the 10 galloners I've had pretty good luck stretching the inch per gallon rule (a bit) and was wondering if one could do that with the 55g as well.
I plan on purchasing the 55 g kit and stand from Wally World and either upgrading the filter or adding on. The only live plants I expect to use is java moss. This tank will be purchased within a couple weeks and will most likely be cycled with guppies, and the actual "resident" fish will be gradually added over the next few months so I have lots of time to revise plans. My main 'almost for sure' purchase is 2 blood parrots. I know they are products of "unnatural breeding", but so are bulldogs, dachshunds, chinese crested dogs, sphynx cats, and fancy goldfish. Not to mention all the genetically altered food we all ingest DAILY. I'm opposed to dyeing fish of course! THAT is inhumane! Anyway, I like the look of the reddish-orange blood parrots. They're tropical/exotic looking and hopefully will be the centerpiece of the tank. Also on the list is 3 upside-down cats, 6 glass cats, 8 zebra danio glofish ( I know, I know, see above statement), 4 kuhli loaches, 3 african dwarf frogs, and 1 black ghost knife fish. I'm also considering a rainbow shark OR 2-3 clown loaches. I'm wondering if this may be too many bottom dwellers. Also, I'm aware the black ghost and clown loaches will grow too big for this tank, BUT I've been informed they grow relatively slowly AND I've talked to the LFS and they are happy to trade my big ones for small ones once they get too big which they've assured me would take a couple years. Once it gets to that point we may even decide to get a bigger tank, so who knows.... I know my current list is at about double ratio of FULL POTENTIAL SIZE fish to tank size, but with how long it takes some of the fish to reach full grown size will I be ok for a year or 2?
Also, I'm not set in stone on what I will have in the aquarium. I'm trying to add some "cool" factor for the kids and hubby. I had also looked at butterfly fish, tetras, angelfish, and others, but our water isn't compatible. We're in the country and on a well. Our ph is about 8.5. We have hard, alkaline water. I'm more than open to suggestions! I just don't want to get flamed, which is why my post turned into a novel rather than a simple question! :)
Constructive criticism and suggestions are great. That's exactly what I'm hoping for. I'm open to new ideas and fish I may not even know about yet, as well as opinions of why one fish may be better suited than the other. Like I said before, I have a few months to mull over certain additions.