New 55G Tank! What to do with it. . .
-------------- Long Story - My History and this tank's history if anyone cares :-) -----------
I recently acquired a 55 gallon tank with just about everything needed (except a heater), as it was running with a couple goldfish when I got it. (They were moved to a small yard pond temporarily)
I was excited because my dad used to run a Cichlid tank many years ago, with a convict and a few others. I had been talking about getting a tank for a long time, but this one managed to kindof fall in our laps. So, I am wanting to setup a cichlid tank. .
After I got it home, I washed every single thing out well with tap/hose water (no detergents) and scrubbed it down. The last bit of coming out of the tank was dark brown, as the gravel was fairly nasty, so that went. And finially got it setup in place. My daughter was excited, and wanted to start adding water right away, even though we hadn't gotten any substrate yet, so I handed her a small plastic cup from the cupboard, and told her to go ahead. About 50 trips from the sink later she had a few gallons in it. I really thought she would get bored after 3-4 trips. . .
Anyway, tried the LFS, which was closed, so I went to Petsmart and we got some new gravel and a heater, new activated carbon for the filter, rinsed it all out (hose + speghetti strainer worked), and set it down in the tank. Filled the tank all but a couple inches, and arranged decorations the way we wanted, then dropped the capful of dechlorinator in the tank. (Used the stuff I had seen mentioned here a couple times) Finished filling, and let it run for a couple days, dropping a couple foot pellets in and cleaning them out 12 hours later, twice.
2 days later, still undecided about exactly what is going in the tank, I got impatient and went and looked up a reasonably hardy fish, and headed to the LFS with a bag of water and had it tested. While it wasn't perfect, it was going very well, and I wanted to get something I know would get along with just about everything, so I picked up a 3 inch long Leapord Sailfin Pleco. I took him home, got him acclimated and let him go Tuesday. He has gotten used to it at this point, and seems to be doing well. I drop in half a large algae tab in each night and let it sit for a couple hours, and I have only caught him on the tablet once so far, but he is eating the small amount of algae growth that appears to be starting in places, so I think he is doing well.
I have also ordered some Brazilian Pennywort to add into the tank.
-------------- Much more to the point version though I am always a bit wordy -----------
55 Gallon Tank
- 1 (currently small) Leopard Sailfin Pleco (LFS said it was fine in that size tank. I may have a problem in a couple years if he makes it. May end up having to fix that with another tank. lol)
- Brazilian Pennywort (On Order)
The issue I am running into is trying to figure out what fish to stock it with. The wife wants Cardinal Tetras, daughter wants Guppies, and both I and my son are wanting soemthing with a little more bite.
I got them into the store yesterday and there was a 'White Lobster' in there a couple inches long that they are all pretty interested in getting (can be googled as a 'White Ghost Lobster') but then the pet store mentioned a 'Blue Lobster' they get periodically (can be googled as a Hammers Cobalt Blue Lobster) Pretty much everyone was excited about the idea of having a Lobster (I know its really a crawfish, but close enough. lol) So, we may end up getting one of either of those fairly soon, but my question is will the pleco be able to manage with that running around in there? Either crayfish we got would start as only about 3 inches.
Also, would adding that to the tank severely limit the other fish we could get in? The store personnel said that the fish would be fine as long as they were reasonably quick, though there is a risk of losing one or two periodically. The tank they had it in had probably 15 Firemouth Cichlids, which tells me it can survive with aggressive fish, but there were also the remains of the crawfish's lunch on the floor of the tank. Lunch was a firemouth. At least I assume as those were the only other fish in the tank. The lobster really didn't leave much at all to identify by. That being said, it was a small tank and they couldn't get too far away from it.
It seems to me that would be a good start towards my wanting a more aggressive tank. I think for the most part Cichlids are smart enough that they could manage living with the lobster. . . And maybe then I can get my Convicts. (Probably 2 females. . . I dont want the males breeding with everything from the filter to the lobster. lol)
Anyway, again, sorry for such a long post, I am just excited to get this up and running with some fish. Yes, the pleco (creatively named, 'Pleco' lol) is a fish, but they don't exactly add a whole lot of activity to the tank. At least when it can be seen! (I turned the lights off in the room and sat by the tank Wednesday Night (After searching for 15 minutes for the pleco after the 30% water change. lol) and as soon as the light went off he jumped forward a couple inches and stopped. I turned the light on and waited another 2-3 minutes with no motion, and as soon as I turned it off again, he was all over the place in there. Its amazing how fast he actually is for such a slacker most of the time. lol See. . . I am rambling again. . . lol
Hello and welcome to the forum! unfortunately the pleco and lobster may not get along well and the lobster will limit the fish you put in and it will virtualy destroy most dreams of most small fish.if you click on the blue in your post it will show you a profile and all you need to know about the fish and with the pleco you can have many forms of tettra and look at the profiles and there are many to choose from.if your looking for some more bite might i sugest a shark? a large step i know but aquarium sharks are actually catfish that resemble sharks.a nice albino rainbow shark is just what you need in that tank and should be ok with most tettra and some tettra look like guppies.there are many options and dont rush the fish stage. you always want to see whats avalable to you.you could also put some electric blue rams or german blue rams.or you could go with a school of various swordfish which are very colerfull and do look pretty agrssive but arent as long as you keep a male to female ratio about 1:3.
I am still thinking that we may try a blue lobster. Its somethign that might get my wife a bit more interested in the tank, and I really want to avoid things like the Tetra's anyway. From what I have seen, the cichlids should be able to manage in the tank with him should I decide to go with a cichlid tank, which is how I have been leaning.
I have always liked the idea of the red-tailed shark, and it looks like the rainbow shark you are talking about looks pretty much the same. However, I had heard they don't tend to get along very well with other fish? I would worry about him being eaten, or eating everything else.
Rams, I honestly havent looked into at all. I will definetaly go and take a look and see what there is to see on them, and swordfish I had never considered. . I hadn't seen any types of freshwater swordfish at all. Something else for me to look into.
Thanks for the ideas!
How old is the tank?
I have had it setup and running for about a week now. It was running for a couple days with a few flakes of food before I put the Pleco in. Friday I took some of the water into the LFS and they said that it was looking pretty good, though I should have gotten exact numbers. I may take some more in today or tomorrow for them to test.
I am doing about 20% water changes every other day at this point, but by the end of next week plan to slow down to about 20% once a week.
rough waters ahead
i suggest keeping up the 20% every 1-2day for morethen a week....you have some rough water ahead of you in weeks 1-3 with ammonia and then nitrite.....on this forum there should be some greats article on cycling an aquarium....check out the sticky above this thread.
Would I be correct in my assumption that adding the Brazilian Pennywort which is in the mail would help out with the ammonia levels a bit in going through the process?
There are many options to consider when coming to stocking the tank.the lobster and cichlids will be fine as long as there are many places for the lobster to hide and the fish are well fed.and a red tailed shark and some cichlids would be good in that tank.almost all cichlids are agressive but some arent that bad and the red tailed shark will hold its own with the cichlids.all im worried about is the pleco.with enough space the pleco and lobster will get along but if the lobster decides it wants a new home it may hurt or even kill the pleco.but with enough room it should be fine.without tetras them the lobster will be fine also.int the end the way you do it is up to you but just remember when putting more than one type of fish a commonly forgoten thing is the different water requirements for different fish.just keep that in mind when choosing your fish.
Would a red-tailed shark need to be larger for the cichlids for it to make it, or would equal size work? I like the red-tailed sharks, but would prefer that it not become fish food. . . In setting the tank up a fish or two at a time, I somewhat expect something to become accidental fish food, but I am trying to avoid it.
I am going to keep a close eye on aqadvisor for fish tank parameters.
I am wondering if the thermostat on my new 300W heater is seriously off. . . I came home yesterday and the water felt way too hot. . . probably close to 95 degrees, and I watched the heater turn on. Its set to about 79 degrees. So I dropped the setting on the heater down to 76, where it was originally and didn't get too hot, and immediatly performed a 20% water change with slightly cooler water (pournig in very slowly to not shock the pleco)
I then ran straight out to the LFS and got a magnetic thermometer to hang inside the tank. (I always hated the sticker ones that sit outside the glass)
Should I be returning the heater in the very, very near future, or are the thermostats in these generally off? I was under the impression that they were supposed to be very accurate in those heaters. . .
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