Stocking my 56G
Dimensions: 30" W x 18" D x 24" H
After many hours of studying and editing my list, I think I've finally decided on what my main fish will be:
1 Bolivian Ram
1 (?) Keyhole
1 Cockatoo (If I could ever find one)
6-8 gold barbs (for dither fish)
4-5 Marbled Loaches
I think these guys will all get along, for the most part, and will leave live plants alone (haven't decided on them, yet).
I would also like to add a few other fish, maybe some that will hang out towards the top, but not decided on what, yet (suggestions?)
First thing, I see you recently joined, and I can't remember if I've welcomed you previously or not...but no matter--welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.:-D
Now, can you indicate the species of "marbled" loach? Many of the loaches in Botia get much too large for a 30-inch tank (the area on the substrate/surface is more critical than volume for many fish, esp those that are territorial).
The Gold Barb is also needing more area, have a read of our profile (click the shaded name).
To the cichlids. Obviously as you are considering only 1 of each, there will be no spawning issues. Though some would say that is the joy of cichlids. Is the "cockatoo" the Apistogramma cacatuoides? If yes, a harem would be better. The Bolivian Ram does well in solitude, as it notes in our profile. The Keyhole (Cleithracara maronii) is best without out cichlids to harass it. More in the profile here too.
As I understood the profiles, the ram does well in solitude in regards to more rams, but will do well in a community tank, yes? Also, it says that Keyholes are best without cichlids beside discus, angels, and other dwarves. I could be misunderstanding, though.. I was up with a crying baby all night.. lol.
The barbs were just to provide dither fish. I agree that I might be pushing it with the space. Could you recommend any fish that won't get eaten? I have some black skirt tetras in another tank, but I'm afraid they might get nipped at. I may also upgrading to a larger tank down the road.
The cockatoos won't be added anytime soon, unless I get really lucky, so the tank will be kind of barren (not great for the keyhole). Any other fish suggestions?
On the Skirts, I would worry more that they will nip the cichlids. Good fish for peaceful cichlids are several of the characins (just avoid the known nippers, like Serpae, Skirts, few others), medium rasbora, some loaches and/or catfish. I would tend to avoid barbs which are all active, in itself an issue for cichlids.
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