Planning stock for a 55 gal
4 Pearl Gourami (1M, 3F)
15 Bloodfin Tetras
Bristlenose Pleco (He/she's currently in my 20 gal, barely getting it's bristles ^_^)
Rainbow Shark (Also currently in my 20 gal that is WAY too small for the poor fish. I know I'd be better off without him, but he was my first fish and has lived through my 'learning'. He's 1.5 years old at around 5in, I kinda have an attachment. He also has gorgeous coloring :] Also, he's somewhat territorial and has never seriously hurt/killed any fish... yet )
My 20 gal is planted and the 55 will be as well.
What do you think of my choices? Is it as great as I'm thinking? I still have a while to plan this out, so your advice/opinions are greatly appreciated. Half the fun is planning out the tank :]
Hi Kayt, and welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum. Glad to have you with us.
Now, to your question; yes, you have some stocking problems with that plan. Bloodfin Tetra are normally peaceful, but as with many characins (tetra) they can be nippy when kept with sedate fish with long fins. The Pearl Gourami would be quite a temptation. The Bloodfin scientifically is known as Aphyocharax anisitsi, and the fish in this genus (Aphyocharax) are rather feisty and prone to nipping fins. I would find another shoaling fish, or in a 55g I would have 3 or 4 shoaling fish groups.
Rasbora make excellent companions; they are colourful, peaceful and not too active. Sedate fish like gourami do not appreciate boisterous fish around them, it un-nerves them. Any of the medium/larger species [avoid the dwarfs, they will be eaten]. We have fish profiles here, second tab from the left in the blue bar across the top of the page, or when a name is shaded in posts you can click on it to see that fish's profile. Rasbora are in the Cyprinids group in the profiles, and there are several suitable species.
The other possible issue is the Red Tailed Shark, but you seem to know that anyway, and I agree that under these circumstances just wait it out. But I would not anger him with other substrate fish, he will rule the substrate and that may be the extent of his aggression as he matures. You can read more in the profile.
Floating plants are also very suitable with gourami, and rasbora like them too. Some suggestions are in the plant section of the profiles.
Would a larger tetra species be appropriate or should I rule out tetra all together? (I was thinking either Bleeding Heart or Black Skirt) I have no experience with Raspbora, I'd be willing to give it a try.
Harlequin Rasboras are very peaceful and are from the same region as gouramis so would be a good fit for your aquarium.
i also have Bloodfin Tetras in my 55 gallon.
Rasbora are often confused as "tetra" although they are Cyprinids not characins and occur in SE Asian not South America. But they have many things in common, like needing a group, remain small/medium sized, but they are very peaceful. One nice thing about Rasbora is that they really do "school" in a sense, remaining as a group as they swim (not actively, usually sedately) through the aquarium. They make a lovely sight. I see jeaninel posted a photo of one common Rasbora, the Harlequin Rasbora; there are also two very similar species, Lambchop Rasbora and Hengels Rasbora, all three are in our profiles. There are a few other food species too, not yet in the profiles. The "dwarf" species in the profiles would be too small for gourami.
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