Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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BEARitone 11-24-2010 06:43 PM

Stocking my 55g
I honestly never thought I would be so lost on stocking but at this point I have looked into so many fish that I am getting burnt out.

I originally wanted to do lots of different small fish as a large community but to be honest I am having a hard time finding suitable fish for my water parameters.

I have hard water(like 15.5 dGH) at a ph around 7.8.

I am guessing that African cichlids might be a bit of a better choice considering the water parameters. However I never considered cichlids of any kind, so what are some recommendations for a diverse 55g tank?

Will they play nice with my Corydoras, or will they pick on them?

OR any other suggestions would be fine, a new perspective would be nice at this point. The tank is 55gallons, the filter is an Eheim 2226 canister, the tank will be heavily planted.

Also I will have a 10 gallon tank, with either 3 platys or if I am able to move them to the big tank nothing at all. I was thinking maybe a single male betta and some plants. I have heard bettas can get along with platys, is there any ground to that?

tanker 11-24-2010 07:36 PM

As far as I'm concerned, bettas don't get on with anyone (except for apple snails, mine all have snails). I tried putting some dwarf cories in with one of my bettas thinking that they could be taken back out if it didn't work, but I didn't get the chance. Not only did 2 of the cories die, but my betta got sick and died as well, practically overnight. I feel terrible about it and I'd never try it again.

I know nothing about cichlids so somebody else will have to give you suggestions about them.

I originally thought that my water was hard and did a lot of reading. Some fish you might look into are platies (as you already know), pristella tetras or black neon tetras. My 165-litre is platies, pristellas and cories. The pristellas are terrific, I highly recommend them. They are also the only group of my fish that swim around together. I've only got 6 at the moment and I'm going to add some, but they still look pretty cool swimming in their little group. I've got black neons in my 250-litre and I like them as well.

Byron 11-24-2010 08:04 PM

Rift lake cichlids are in my view stand alone fish; a beautfiul 55g display with some approapriate RL cichlids with lots of rock, sand and shells, and some Vallisneria for plants could be nice. You could even increase the hardness and pH a bit by using calcareous rock and substrate. But the corys will not last in there. There are some different catfish that will work, I will leave it to the cichlid experts to comment further on species.

Livebearers work in hard basic water, and there are many less common ones. Also there are some fish here and there that would manage as tanker mentioned. Our fish profiles have "preferred" water parameter info for each species.

Alternatively, if you are set on soft water fish, there are ways to soften and acidify water safely. The expense of a RO (reverse osmosis) unit may be worth it if that sort of aquarium is what you really want.


BEARitone 11-24-2010 08:27 PM

Yeah I dunno why I gave up on looking at tetras, I am actually finding a few I like that could work in my tank. I think having a few different groups of them would be really pretty, have a couple more platys, more corys(probably my favorite fish!) ect.

Would a gourami be too stressed by the active swimmers or harassed by the tetras? I would love a pearl or some other gourami that can tolerate hard basic water, but not totally set on one or anything.

Anything else that might be cool with the tetras/platys/corys?

tanker 11-24-2010 08:43 PM


Originally Posted by BEARitone (Post 519976)
have a couple more platys,

The good thing about platies is the variety of colours you can get. A group of tetras all looks the same, but each platy is an individual.


Originally Posted by BEARitone (Post 519976)
Anything else that might be cool with the tetras/platys/corys?

I'm a big fan of apple snails....:-)

BEARitone 11-25-2010 01:25 PM


Originally Posted by tanker (Post 519994)
The good thing about platies is the variety of colours you can get. A group of tetras all looks the same, but each platy is an individual.

I'm a big fan of apple snails....:-)

Yeah, I have have even seen some "koi" colored ones that caught my eye.

Apple Snails look REALLY cool, I had no idea they got so big. They are "Mystery Snails" correct? I will be sure to grab a few.

tanker 11-25-2010 05:20 PM

Yes, I think they are the same thing. Some places call them mystery snails.

I've never seen any other colours here, just the yellow ones.

A lot of the time they are hiding away somewhere but when they become active and move around and eat and climb up the glass (and then suddenly let go and float to the bottom) they are fascinating to watch.

PRichs87 11-25-2010 08:20 PM

A bristlenose pleco would be a good match for your tank when you have some algae built up for it to munch on. They only grow to around 6 inches too, not like their common pleco monster cousins.

BEARitone 11-26-2010 12:15 AM

I am pretty sure I have only seen yellow ones as well but that's cool with me, they seem very interesting.

I considered a bristlenose pleco a while ago but I could not find any in the area. They look pretty cool though.

So far I am thinking(each is pending more research and will probably be stocked pretty slowly):

4 x Julii Cory (from my current tank)
6 x Platy (3 from current tank)
4 x Panda Cory
6 x Pristella Tetra
6 x Black Neon Tetra
3 x Mystery Snail
6 x Flame Tetra
8 x Cherry Barb

The flame tetras are depending on if I can get them in the area. I like the suggestions Tanker, thank you. I can't wait to go to the local shop now...

Then Ill finish it up with some new lighting and plant some dwarf sag grass, a few bunches, a few cryptos, some driftwood with java moss.

Should be a fun project. Thanks for all the help so far.

tanker 11-26-2010 02:53 AM

Those flame tetras are really nice. I saw a yellow variety of the flame tetra at one of my local shops which were really nice as well. I was considering getting them, but ended up getting something else instead. I think it might have been because I was worried that I couldn't easily replace them if one or some died as I'd never seen them in any other shop. It's nice having things that are a bit different but not when you can't replenish your group if you lose one.

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