Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Fishwatcher14 11-24-2012 02:05 PM

New 55 gallon stocking ideas?
Okay, so my 55 gallon tank started out with five over 5" common goldfish in it. One of them died and that left me with four. I put an ad in the paper so my fish could go to a bigger home. I was lucky and someone called who had a nice big pond.

My tank was now empty. I bought four platies to add a little life to it. A week or so later, I got four more platies and a rainbow shark. Sadly, my fish got Ich and despite my best efforts every single platy died. :( My Rainbow Shark is still hanging on, though.

Now, I'm left with a
nearly empty 55 gallon tank. I am thinking of trying platies again but I'm not certain. I was also thinking about getting cichlids instead. As long as they are cheaper than my local PetSmart store, I will be getting my fish from liveaquaria, an online fish store.

So, does anyone have any suggestions on what type of fish I can get other than platies?

Any tips on preventing Ich?

Thank you!

lakemalawifish 11-24-2012 05:24 PM

Unfortunately I have heard too many stories from people I know who have bought fish from their local pet stores with ich and since many don't have a quarantine tank, had all of their fish infected. I would say that if you have another source to buy from, check that out. It really depends from store to store, some of them have employees and management that monitor diseased fish and treat them accordingly. If I see one fish in a tank with ich, I will not buy from that store. As far as stocking, I would do what you can to make sure there's not any more ich in the tank. I don't know if sharks are less likely to get ich, but I have also heard many stories where all of the fish in the tank died from ich, except for the shark. Once you are sure the ich is gone (which will be impossible to treat with salt and elevated water temps because of the shark) then you can start stocking. Hope your shark makes it, and you are ich clear soon!

Fishwatcher14 11-25-2012 09:32 AM

Thank you! I do have several empty 10 gallons laying around the house. I've heard about quarantine tanks but I've never had any problems with the fish I've bought before. Next time I will do that for sure. I don't want all of my fish dying because of something I could have prevented again. Actually, I am considering fully cycling my tank using pure ammonia before I get more fish. I'm going to put the shark in a ten gallon for a few weeks while I do that. I'm also going to completely empty the tank and refill it so hopefully the ich will be gone for sure. I can't know for sure that the shark won't end up transferring the ick into the ten gallon and back again but I can try.

Byron 11-25-2012 12:16 PM

Over my 20+ years of keeping fish I am now seeing much more disease coming in with new fish than previously. And ich seems to be getting more virulent, even causing fish deaths which at one time was highly unlikely if caught early. So quarantining all new fish for 3 weeks minimum, preferable 4-5 weeks, is a very sensible precaution.

The safest method to deal with ich is simply raising the temperature to 90F for a week or slightly longer. But not all "tropical" fish can handle this. But there are other safe methods I won't get into now.

To your question on fish for your 55g tank. What are the water parameters, meaning GH (hardness) and pH of your tap water? Some fish have specific preferences, others are adaptable to some extent. But knowing your source water and selecting fish suitable is always less fuss and more likely to succeed. The GH (and pH) you can get from the water supply people. A good pH test kit, like API's liquid, is a worthwhile investment. The GH will not change unless targeted, so once you know the tap water GH that is where it will stay.

I will end by mentioning our profiles, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page. Each has info on water parameter ranges, minimum tank sizes, numbers of fish in the group where this is essential, compatibility issues, etc.


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