Amazon oddballs and discus. Can it be done in a 55 gallon?
Currently i have a 55 gallon, fully cycled aquarium running 2 Aquaclear70 filters and 2 air pumps, a top fin 8000 and whisper40 well distributed over the tank. There are a few artificial plants, a large sunken log, plenty of caves and the substrate is fine sand. In there are two 5-7 inch hujeta gars, two true albino bristlenose plecos (around 4 inches both) and what i believe to be a true freshwater flounder (paid around $80 for it and was labeled as * extremely rare*) about 7 inches long also. All fish are eating healthy and have found complete comfort in their home (plecos have even spawned). As it seems, i have a fascination with oddball tropical fish, predators more specifically, especially those particular to south america and the amazon. What i would like to do, is add a few more SA fish to complete the SA biotope without getting too out of hand. An amazon leaf fish or 2, a green phantom pleco, and a discus or bonded pair for the sake of the species (dont want more than 2) and i think that would be it. I have researched each fish and in my mind it should work theoritcally but maybe i am overlooking something, not sure if this has ever been done. The aquarium heater stays at 82f and my home is rarely under 78. Willing to not get the discus and id be a little downed but the others im determined for. Will suit the aquarium more exactly to the fish's needs upon introduction to the tank aswell. What do the experts think? Any constructive input is welcomed and appreciated, thank you. Also just for imagination and discussion purposes, what other fish, strange or south american would suit well this biotope for a 55 gallon. I wouldn't dismiss the idea of a fast breeder so as to provide constant live food for all the predators, not that thats a problem now, just seems like a more natural ecosystem. Thanks again, any help or opinions greatly appreciated and wont be overlooked.
Hmm. I know your tank is well-filtered but I would still consider upgrading to at least a 75gal if you want to add the discus simply because of territory issues. I'm not all that familiar with gars (illegal in California) but I know they are considered predatory fish and may be aggressive to newcomers who are as large as they are. If the discus spawn, they may not be very happy with the gars who WILL try to eat the fry.
As for SA oddballs . . . you might look at the pink-tailed chalceus (Chalceus macrolepitodus). Max size of 10 inches, on the more predatory side. Headstanders are also a unique find. Look for the Marbled Headstander (Abramites hypselonotus) at a max of 5.5 inches and the Striped Headstander (Anostomus anostomus) at a max of 8 inches. Both are omnivore with heavy herbivore tendencies.
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