Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   55 Gal Planted with soft water fish options? (

angella 12-26-2011 09:09 AM

55 Gal Planted with soft water fish options?
I have neons, my pH is usually around 7 exactly. If I have a fairly heavily planted aquarium, with driftwood (not sure if this matters... does it mess with pH?) and a school of 20 neons, what is another fish I could put in here? Or multiple options if they would do good together.... Thanks!

thekoimaiden 12-26-2011 12:56 PM

Yes. Natural driftwood will lower your pH. I use it in my softwater tanks and love it. Depending on your substrate for a bottom fish you could go with corydoras or kuhli loaches (click the highlighted names for the profiles). Both are very entertaining fish, and in a 55 gal you could keep a lot of them (both are fish that love being in groups). However, both fish like either sand or round gravel, so if you have sharp substrate both fish are out.

I am also eager to here other suggestions because I have brown kuhli loaches in a 29 gal and will be in the market for something to swim above them very soon.

angella 12-26-2011 03:37 PM

Ah I see thank you. I got my water tested today, pH is between 7.0-7.2. Seeing as I have about 20 neons (which have been doing great :)) the driftwood wouldn't hurt them any. The only question is finding other fish that have the same preference and won't hurt my neons. I believe someone said my water was soft from a test strip but it wasn't the liquid test, and looking in my filter I have some calcium buildup, however minimal.

I am interested in getting a mix of several Cories :) But my gravel isn't quite round. If you've seen the river bed looking gravel at walmart (standard gravel, just the brown/earthy one) that's what I have. Not sharp per se, but not round either. Any ideas?

I went to my LFS today. They don't carry Flourish Comprehensive so I'm going to order online. My Water Sprite should be in tomorrow :) And I got the names of a lot of cool fish I'm going to research now, so hopefully something good!!
Maybe something for both of us, Izzy =)

angella 12-26-2011 04:32 PM

Sooo I have found...

-Honey Gourami with my Neons might work. I would like 1 or maybe 6, idk if that many would rid them of aggression.
-Moonlight Gourami with the Neons - Super peaceful but 6in!! Even though my neons are big I think they would be lunch :(
-Blue Gourami (1 unless I had a pair) with Neons. 4-5 inches though... Lunch? :/
- Flame Dwarf Gourami (1, unless 4 would be ok. 3in max :)) with my neons. SEEMS PERFECT?? I'm thinking I could have more than one since I have a 55gal, and if it's planted enough.
- Siamese Algae Eating Shark (one or two) supposedly peaceful and I thought it looked cute :) 6.5 lowest pH so I'm good on that.
-Anostomus anostomus(1) seems like it might be ok, only nipping some long-finned fish. Needs lots of hiding.
-Ram such as Bolivian with Neons AND Gourami? :D
-Mix of Rainbowfish, but they require 7.0 and harder so if I add the driftwood it would be iffy :/
-Blue or Roberti Tetra. Both seemed cool but I don't know how they'd do. Might look into it later.
-Red Eye Tetras (6), Silvertip Tetras (8). I like these ones =]

Those were the fish I picked out in the store as interesting... Sooo, here's what I'm thinking for my tank...

Three Flame Dwarf Gouramis. 1male/2female if I can get them.
One or two Siamese Algae Eating Sharks
Red Eye Tetras (6)
Silvertip Tetras (8)
Plus my already 15 neons which I intend to get 5 more of.
Two Bolivian Rams (will take one back if I see aggression)
Before I get the Gouramis I will put two rather large pieces of driftwood in my 55 gal, and also MUCH more vegetation in my tank. I would like it to be pretty heavily planted :)
I am doing the same with the Rams. I don't know if I will get the Rams or Gouramis first, I would love opinions if anyone has some. I would probably be ok with either/or, and not having both.

Might add 6-8 Cory Cats as well of various colors, depends.

pH currently 7.2 and I will add driftwood. Anyone have ideas as far as what this will do pH wise???

Please comment guys!!! :D

thekoimaiden 12-26-2011 04:36 PM

I think corys with regular gravel would be fine, too. I've seen them kept there, but I've never kept corys.

I've done a bit of research, too. Here is my list of fish that could possibly work with my loaches and your neons. Neons are actually on my list of possible tankmates.

Rummy-Nose Tetra (Hemigrammus rhodostomus)
Black Neon Tetra (Hyphessobrycon herbertaxelrodi)
X-Ray Tetra, Pristella tetra (Pristella maxillaris)
Cardinal Tetra (Paracheirodon axelrodi)
Mosquito Rasbora (Boraras brigittae)
Dwarf Gourami (Trichogaster lalius)
Honey Gourami (Trichogaster chuna)
Harlequin Rasbora (Trigonostigma heteromorpha)

I've also considered Bristlenose plecos, too. But I've heard they like swift, well-oxygenated water. The only two I'm not certain about compatibility are the gourami.

I can't wait to see your finished tank. I looked behind me at my 55 gal with two huge goldfish in it and realized just how many little fish could be put in it.

angella 12-26-2011 04:44 PM

I've had the Cardinals before, they were a failure while my Neon Tetras thrive. Personally I ADORE the neons, mine are pretty active but I don't know why--they haven't been schooling since the first two days.

I was considering the Rasbora as well =)

And thanks! I believe I will go with my above list with the same amounts, if it all goes according to plan. I will be sure to put up pics. And I want to see yours finished as well ^^

Ahhhh, yes you could replace those two goldfish with bunches of mini fishies!!

Byron 12-26-2011 06:38 PM

Just a few general observations. First, bear in mind the neon tetra prefers slightly cooler water, 77-78F max, so tankmates should be similar. Most "tropicals" will be rather more healthy and active in the lower rather than the upper end of their preferred temperature range.

Of the gourami mentioned in this thread, the only species I would "OK" in this setting is the Honey Gourami. The Dwarf has specific problems, the others would try (and likely succeed) in eating small fish like neon. In a local store I watched a trio of Blue Gourami corner a neon and it was gone in seconds; they then began eyeing another.

Mixing gourami and cichlids is not recommended; both are inherently territorial and while it may not always cause trouble, the liklihood is that it will, eventually.

If you decide on Bolivians, observe those in the store tank and find a bonded pair. This species likes to select its own mate, and when forced into living with another can get "mean." My male killed the female I introduced, even after they had spawned 4 times.

On the water, wood will tend to lower hardness/pH but this is usually not too drastic. The GH and KH of the tap water will be a better guide as to what to expect; if you have soft water, the pH will naturally lower below 7 so I would not select any fish that need basic pH (above 7) as this is unlikely to result.

angella 12-26-2011 08:29 PM

Ahhh man. I thought the flame would work but that's ok.

Hmm. My lfs carries angel rams and I was going to special order the bolivians. I did notice two of the angels stayed together the whole time. So maybe they're bonded.. And the owner said they aren't that mean. But I know how that can go...

Byron 12-27-2011 11:01 AM


Originally Posted by angella (Post 930703)
Ahhh man. I thought the flame would work but that's ok.

Hmm. My lfs carries angel rams and I was going to special order the bolivians. I did notice two of the angels stayed together the whole time. So maybe they're bonded.. And the owner said they aren't that mean. But I know how that can go...

The Bolivian Ram works very well as a solo fish, just one male in the tank. This is explained in the profile.

If by angel rams you are meaning angelfish and rams, on the angelfish they are best either in a small group (5 or more depending upon space) or as a mated pair. And all in the group should be introduced together. This too is explained in the profile. "Mean" is subjective and varies from fish to fish within the species. I always recommend groups of angels and acquiring them at the same time. From time to time, a member will not follow this and add a couple angelfish sometime after the initial fish. Almost always they subsequently ask for help when one of the originals decides to attack the newcomers incessantly. It is just so likely that it is not worth the risk. Fish behave according to their natural instincts, and they cannot be "trained" as dogs and cats may be to change their behaviours. This is a lesson we all learn in this hobby.

angella 12-27-2011 12:07 PM

Ohh ok, I may just get one Bolivian Ram :) Or try my luck with ordering a male and female and hoping they pair.

And nope, my fish store had three "Angel Rams" in a tank with some other fish. When I was researching my fish choices I didn't really find anything on them so I'm assuming she just 'named them' or something. They looked like the Bolivian Ram pics but I wouldn't really know...

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