Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Canadian Fish 02-14-2012 08:41 AM

Good Community Fish for 55 Gallon Tank - Yet Another Stocking Question
 
Hi, I currently have a 20 Gallon tank that houses twin barred platies and julii corys. I am a novice in the hobby.

We just set up a 55 gallon tank that is currently cycling.

I had originally wanted a Red Tail Shark, possible with tiger barbs, but speaking to people with experience with RTS's, once they mature some of them seem unable to tolerate ANY tankmates.

I really like the way the platies interact in my small tank, and the corys are very active as well. My current tank sits about 12 feet from my couch and we watch it on and off all day, very entertaining.

Basically I would like to build a friendly community of fish, but fish larger than our current species. Our 55 gallon tank is about twice as far from the couch, but it'd be nice if we could still see the fish.

Ideally, I'd like a group of 7 or so fish like the Rosy Barb, that get to about 6" fully grown, and interact well together. Unfortunately, the Rosy Barb needs a cooler temperature than many other tropical fish, and may limit what I can add down the road.

So basically, I'm looking for ideas to stock a peaceful community tank with bottom, middle and top swimmers that cohabit the tank well and are active and entertaining to watch. I would prefer the largest group, probably the middle swimmers, be around 6" mature.

I've checked out many fish compatibility tools online and either they disagree or contradict themselves, or the fish I find are either too aggressive, need different temperatures then others, or are nocturnal (in which case I will barely ever see them).

It's a standard 48" 55 Gallon tank with an Aquaclear 70 filter.

Ideally the fish would be good, hardy fish suitable for a relative amateur to fishkeeping.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, I am certainly open to any ideas.

Thanks!

Geomancer 02-14-2012 08:56 AM

Do you know your water parameters, like pH, GH (General hardness), and KH (Alkalinity)? This would be for your tap water.

In your 20g you have a mix of soft acidic fish (the corys) with hard basic fish (the platies). If you're in the middle you can get away with both, but otherwise that can cause long term issues for one or the other.

A large number of tropical fish fall into the medium to soft slightly acidic category. What you have coming out of the tap will help a lot in narrowing down what kind of fish you want. Messing with any of those parameters is a pain in the butt and usually not worth it (making soft water hard is easier than the other way around though). Usually it is best to pick a 'must have' species, something you really want. Then go from there for tank mates.

Since you want hardy fish, I would say to avoid Angels and most certainly Discus. Try looking into a variety of Gourami perhaps.


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