Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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mya 01-15-2007 07:23 PM

What do you think of my choices?.....
Hello all! This is my first post here and hopefully not my last. :) I have a couple questions on my proposed list for a future 55 gallon tank.

A little background.......... I have 2-10 gallons that I've maintained for 4-5 years, but we (me, hubby, and pre-teen kids) really want a showcase tank. Also, I was raised in a house with MULTIPLE tanks. We had at least 20 tanks, probably closer to 30 with 1/4 to 1/2 of the focus on breeding angel fish, the rest on livebearers (just pointing out I'm not unfamiliar with this industry or hobby). On the 10 galloners I've had pretty good luck stretching the inch per gallon rule (a bit) and was wondering if one could do that with the 55g as well.

I plan on purchasing the 55 g kit and stand from Wally World and either upgrading the filter or adding on. The only live plants I expect to use is java moss. This tank will be purchased within a couple weeks and will most likely be cycled with guppies, and the actual "resident" fish will be gradually added over the next few months so I have lots of time to revise plans. My main 'almost for sure' purchase is 2 blood parrots. I know they are products of "unnatural breeding", but so are bulldogs, dachshunds, chinese crested dogs, sphynx cats, and fancy goldfish. Not to mention all the genetically altered food we all ingest DAILY. I'm opposed to dyeing fish of course! THAT is inhumane! Anyway, I like the look of the reddish-orange blood parrots. They're tropical/exotic looking and hopefully will be the centerpiece of the tank. Also on the list is 3 upside-down cats, 6 glass cats, 8 zebra danio glofish ( I know, I know, see above statement), 4 kuhli loaches, 3 african dwarf frogs, and 1 black ghost knife fish. I'm also considering a rainbow shark OR 2-3 clown loaches. I'm wondering if this may be too many bottom dwellers. Also, I'm aware the black ghost and clown loaches will grow too big for this tank, BUT I've been informed they grow relatively slowly AND I've talked to the LFS and they are happy to trade my big ones for small ones once they get too big which they've assured me would take a couple years. Once it gets to that point we may even decide to get a bigger tank, so who knows.... I know my current list is at about double ratio of FULL POTENTIAL SIZE fish to tank size, but with how long it takes some of the fish to reach full grown size will I be ok for a year or 2?

Also, I'm not set in stone on what I will have in the aquarium. I'm trying to add some "cool" factor for the kids and hubby. I had also looked at butterfly fish, tetras, angelfish, and others, but our water isn't compatible. We're in the country and on a well. Our ph is about 8.5. We have hard, alkaline water. I'm more than open to suggestions! I just don't want to get flamed, which is why my post turned into a novel rather than a simple question! :)

Constructive criticism and suggestions are great. That's exactly what I'm hoping for. I'm open to new ideas and fish I may not even know about yet, as well as opinions of why one fish may be better suited than the other. Like I said before, I have a few months to mull over certain additions.

Lupin 01-15-2007 07:35 PM

Hi and welcome aboard.:wave:

May I know your KH?:) If your KH isn't too high and not lower than 4.5, you may consider lowering the pH to 6-7.6. Angelfish will adapt but most tetras don't. I'd be wary about mixing African Butterfly Fish with torpedo-shaped tetras like neons, cardinals and Loretos as their gaping mouth spells predation.:blueshake:

I wouldn't mix blood parrots with glass catfish considering blood parrots are far unpredictable ranging from docile to total psychos. Glass catfish are rather timid and it's best to place them in a planted tank with plenty of cover. 6 of them in number is exactly what I like from an aquarist who wants to keep them. Single or in pair is out of the question as they tend to pine away.

As for the African Dwarf Frogs, avoid the clawed species as I have heard they can be predatory and will only prey on kuhlis, danios and other fish.

By the way, I wouldn't really mix black ghost knives with catfish and loaches as they produce electric pulses which are a nuisance to other bottom dwellers. Best to keep the BGK on its own. I'd go with the clown loaches(without the BGK). Rainbows are far too aggressive and will terrorize other fish.

We won't be tolerating any flaming here, so don't worry.:)

Good luck.:thumbsup:

mya 01-15-2007 10:01 PM

Thank you Blue for the warm welcome and suggestions!

I had discounted butterfly fish, angel fish, and tetras as out of my water range. I have the Jungle brand test strips. Our water tests at 300 ppm hardness GH (very hard), 300 alkilinity ppm KH (high) , and 8.4 PH (alkaline). The colors match PERFECTLY to the HIGHEST levels on the test strip so we're at the VERY TOP of the chart. The only reason I say that is I tested town water that was off the chart for gh, kh, and ph (as in more vibrant colors than the test strips registered).

I don't mind having the ghost black knife as the only bottom dweller if need be as my son is pretty set on this fish. It's the only one he's vehement about, besides the frogs (which I'm pretty sure aren't the clawed variety). I do have to admit GBF does register pretty high on my cool meter, but clown loaches have caught my eye for years. Both these fish I expected to add last and/or close to last to the tank so we'll have to see which one wins out in the end. ;)

The glass cat info is good to know. I have always thought glass cats were the cat's meow (pun intended), but personally never had the proper room for them. I'll have to give some thought as to which I'd rather have... glass cats or blood parrots. I'm going for an exotic, almost salt water color "wow" factor with a few unexpected surprises hiding in the background. The glass cats would make a great background "pop" while the blood parrots would be instant attention grabber. This really is a hard one if it comes to the decision of one or the other!

Decisions decisions,

Lupin 01-15-2007 10:07 PM

So hard to decide which one you'd like to keep indeed.:blueworry: Try to test your local fish store's water and if they match or the difference is close, the angels and tetras won't be exceptions to the rule.:) Most of the fish nowadays can adapt quite well. Your water suits the Lake Tanganyikan cichlids but a BGK won't be an option if you want Lake Tanganyikans.:) Neither will be the glass cats. Synodontis are good options for a high pH. They can do quite well with Lake Tanganyikan cichlids.

tophat665 01-15-2007 10:42 PM

As had and alakline as your water is, maybe Indian Glass Fish would give you the cool factor you were looking for in Glass Cats. Just a thought.

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