Good tank mates?
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Good tank mates?

This is a discussion on Good tank mates? within the Freshwater and Tropical Fish forums, part of the Freshwater Fish and Aquariums category; --> In a 55g with lots of plants, driftwood, rocks, and caves, how do these tank mates sound? 1 Black Ghost knife 2 Angelfish 6 ...

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Old 03-01-2012, 09:15 PM   #1
Good tank mates?

In a 55g with lots of plants, driftwood, rocks, and caves, how do these tank mates sound?

1 Black Ghost knife

2 Angelfish

6 pearl danios

A few loaches

1 pleco.

Or, should I take out the Angel fish and put in 2 Pearl Gouramis?

Would the Pearl Danios be okay with Angelfish and Gouramis and BGK? Or should I forget about them?

Also, I love Gardneri Clown Killifish. Could one or two of these live with Gouramis, Angelfish, or BGK?

P.S. I am also aware most of these fish will need a bigger tank, not to worry, as they grown I'll put them in a 120g.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:18 PM   #2
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Black ghost knifefish are generally placid but jst by preference I would choose the pearl gouramis over the angel fish. Unfortunately I think that the black ghost may even grow too big for the 120g tank because they grow to a size nearly two foot.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:40 PM   #3
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Most of that list will work EXCEPT :
BGK is likely to feel stressed in a 55g tank (they tend to max out at around 12-14" in the home aquarium, although it is possible for them to grow to nearly 20"). 120g would be much better.
The killifish will likely be eaten by the angelfish
The Pearl Gourami when in breeding mode will likely be rather aggressive towards the killifish.
Plecos can get very large and produce a large amount of waste so you would need to select a small species.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:00 AM   #4
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Angelfish are schooling, they need to be in numbers of 5+.

However, it is possible to have just two, but they must be a mated pair (an already mated pair).
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:10 AM   #5
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The Black Ghost Knifefish is NOT placid. It is shy, but it is predatory. Once the aquarium lights go out, its GAME ON for the BGK. He will quickly eat the Pearl Danio, the loaches, and any other fish he can fit in his mouth.

As mentioned, Scalare Angelfish need to be kept in a breeding pair (alone, and for the purpose of breeding) or in groups of 5 or more.

The Pearl Danio is pretty active, which may upset sedate Scalare Angelfish or gourami.

This plan requires some more research. You can click on the shaded names in a post to read about the species, you can click on the "Tropical Fish Profiles" tab in the dark blue navigational bar at the top of the page to search a species, and you can use resources like (Please note that AqAdvisor is not the end-all/be-all but it is a good tool to utilize in conjunction with other research.)
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:53 PM   #6
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Yes, please read the profiles. I recently updated the Black Ghost Knifefish so it now has more info too.

Actually, aside from tank size, combining angelfish and the BGK is ideal. Both have identical requirements in every respect, except solely for water flow but that is easily accommodated with a canister recommended for the tank size. A bit of flow at one end will suit the BGK, and the angels will still have relative peace and calm. Both need shade, so floating plants; lots of wood as bogwood chunks with crevices for the knifefish and branches for the angelfish. Similar parameters (hardness, pH, temp)...a good match.

Forget any active fish with either the angelfish or BGK, and that leaves out danio and barb. Aside from the food issue as mentioned already (little fish are snacks for the others).

And yes, you will need a large tank for the BGK and not that far off, as noted in the profile.

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Old 03-02-2012, 06:51 PM   #7
Okay, thank you everyone.

So, 1 BGK (As he gets bigger a tank near 200g or so)

5 or 6 Angelfish.

No little tetras/fast moving fish.

Loaches (?) I was reading and some people said their BGK & Angels ignored them, and others said they were eaten. So I'll buy a few and just see, if he goes after one I'll put the loaches in my other tank.

3 Swordtails (?) I read that they are compatible with BGK and Angelfish. What opinions do you have?

Maybe a few ottos?

I already have multiple, multiple plants, floating and rooted, and moss. I have lots of driftwood and extra driftwood. I also have tons of rocks to make caves and things they can hide around/behind.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:05 PM   #8
Swordtails are alkaline, hard water fish. Not the best for the other fish you have listed. Do you know what your PH is?
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:18 PM   #9
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Some unfortunate news...
A Swordtail needs different water parameters from Scalare Angelfish and Black Ghost Knifefish. Angelfish BGK's need soft, acidic water. Swordtails need hard, basic water. You can click on the shaded names to learn more, and compare their requirements.
Oto Cat would become dinner for a BGK.

In my opinion... five Angels and a BGK would be pretty much overstocked for a 55g. Five Angels alone would be a full bioload for a 55g. Admittedly, I tend to stock Angels lighter than most people. Angels are waste factories, like a lot of cichlids. I've learned that they just don't grow to quite their full potential (i.e. 6" +) unless I leave at least 10g per Angel, even with great filtration and heavy planting. But this is my experience and opinion, and I know others disagree.
Is it a possibility to go straight to the larger tank now, instead of later? This would open up your options, and allow better growth and health.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:46 PM   #10
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I agree with Mina. The 55g will be full with the angelfish and BGK. I realize (as does Mina) that the fish will be small, but they grow--if they are healthy--and that means they need a lot of space available to them throughout.

I follow a maxim I learned some time ago: never buy any fish that you do not now have the proper aquarium to house it at maturity. Buying a large tank in the future is fine, but often it never materializes, for any number of reasons. And fish grow regularly and steadily, and the water conditions are just as important as the physical space.

On the loaches, with a BGK I would not. Loaches are very active, I have three species at present, and they can be quite the rambunctious fish. This is highly stressful to calm, sedate fish. This setup (BGK and angelfish) is suitable for some of the pleco in the Hypancistrus genus; they attain 4-5 inches, are peaceful, and tend to stay on the substrate or on wood near the substrate. Some of them are nocturnal, but so is the BGK so this is not a problem. Most of these are not vegetarians, strictly, but omnivorous. Some of the larger species of Whiptail would also do well here. There are none of these in our profiles yet, the Whiptail there is the smaller common species in Rineloricaria. But some of the Royals get much larger.

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