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Jester10 04-18-2013 02:28 PM

My 55gal Walstad tank needs something else. Can anyone help?
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So information first. I have had this tank set up for a few months had it cycle with live plants. Once i got all readings to zero i added a few fish at a time to my current stock ( more on that later). Its has about an inch of dirt and 2 inches of sand to cap it off. I have a few plants, a micro chain sword, a melon and amazon sword and some plants a friend gave me some clippings some are doing well, others not so much. I know I need more plants for a dirted tank but since i have such bad lights at the moment the ones I want would die.
I have 2 18in 30 watt lights. Terrible for a planted tank but I will be up grading to 2 48in t8 lights in a Custom hood that matches the Custom Stand built by my pap and I.

I have 3 Gold and 2 Opaline Gourami (same species different color morph so i thought they would be fine)
1 Very Pretty Koi Angle named Cheeky (He will be moved to my 75gal once he is large enough)
1 Blue Ram

All of these guys are mid to surface dwelling fish I want a bottem dwelling fish. I looked at all the Cory cats and none really peak my interest. i would like a pleco but they either get huge or stay pretty small. I want something that gets to be about 6-8inches long is kind of colorful or has some personality. A Docile cidlid, maybe a loach, or freshwater ell? I don't know!!

Any suggestions??

Plus here are some photos

Byron 04-18-2013 04:08 PM

By substrate fish, do you want fish that actually spend most of their time on the substrate? Or are you OK with fish that just stay close to the substrate, as for example your Ram does?

One issue you need to keep in mind is any fish that burrows will create havoc with soil under the sand. And here you have most of the pleco (except for the smaller ones like the Bristlenose). I have a Hypancistrus furunculus in my 90g which has fine gravel, and he can dig down to the bottom when the mood strikes him, and it regularly does. Loaches will also burrow and tunnel, at least my Botia kubotai in the same tank do.

Corys generally do not, about half an inch to an inch max is their digging limit, so they would add some interest even though you say you are not too keen on them. A whiptail catfish would work.


JDM 04-18-2013 04:12 PM

I was thinking whiptail catfish too. I am looking at them for a tank as well.. need to talk the LFS into bringing them in, it looks promising. I am looking for the red lizard whiptail catfish as it has a higher water temperature range, up to 82F as opposed to the 77F of the regular whiptail.


Jester10 04-19-2013 03:08 PM

So anything that burrows would be a bad idea for a dirted tank. Corys and loaches that just sift through the sand would be ok?
Fish that stay close to the substrate would work? Any thoughts or suggestions?
I would like to get corys but my lfs hasnt had anything interesting in for a while and i refuse to buy from petsmart or petco.
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JDM 04-19-2013 03:18 PM

Cory's would be fine. It seems that once they can't find bugs and worms under the sand they stop rooting deep and just skim the surface. I imagine smaller loaches are about the same. Eels... not so great.

Can't you ask them to bring in fish... as long as they are saleable. I did that when I wanted Emerald catfish, they brought in 50 and they sold them all. Now they have agreed to bring in red lizard whiptail catfish once I decide that I want them for certain, he knows they will sell. I think sometimes they just get stuck in the standard order until someone suggests something a little out of the ordinary.


Boredomb 04-19-2013 03:24 PM

Will your LFS do orders for customers? I got mine to order my Salt and Pepper Cory for me as they don't normally carry anything but Bronze Corys and they were not what I wanted. If they will then pick a few species you would like and see what they can order off your list. I originally wanted Pygmy Corys but all they could get Salt and Pepper Corys and Dwarf Corys. So having a couple of option will better as they might not be able to get the one you want the most.

MoneyMitch 04-19-2013 04:52 PM

a cup of bleach xD jk jk lol. isn't there a freshwater ray that stays around 6" in diameter? think that would be pretty cool.

Jester10 04-19-2013 06:05 PM

He runs a very small store and he can only order so much at a time. I asked him him for some different corys and cats in the past and he told me he would have to order 50 at a time or he just couldn't/wouldn't get them in. He is a nice guy just has a small store so he only orders what he can sell in a week.
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MoneyMitch 04-19-2013 07:00 PM

check the more hard to find exotic stuff is usually on there

Boredomb 04-19-2013 08:36 PM

There are other places you can get fish too I pretty sure Invertebrates by Msjinkzd | Specializing in invertebrates and micro fish from around the world. has some Corys through I pretty sure they are of the Dwarf species. She has excellent fish and is a great person to buy from. Shipping wouldn't be too bad for you (or shouldnt be) either.
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