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Welcome to TFK, and the amazing world behind the glass walls of your tank!

The link to your Aquarium can be found here: Tank One - 55 gallon Freshwater fish tank

I see that you set this tank up in November of 2012, have all of the current residents been living in here since that time? I'm glad you mentioned stocking inconsistencies, there definitely are some here! Some of your fish, like the Kissing Gourami will become far to large for a tank of this size (wonderful to start with a 55, though!), others like your Tetra, prefer softer water, and there will certainly be some issues with temperaments as many of these creatures grow. . . there will need to be some changes made for this community to remain happy. I'm guessing that your Live-bearers will thrive for you, but I would really like to have a *bit* more information about your water, if that's possible, before we really start to advise with stocking. Do you happen to have any numbers regarding the hardness of your water? Knowing the PH, GH, and KH of your well water would go a long way in figuring out which fish will do best for you. If you need a bit more information on why, one of our members has written an article on this, that can help clarify.

Sorry you've been dealing with illness in your tank, but on the bright side, it's probably what got you learning, and brought you to us! Hoping it's gone and the fish are well now?

Nitrate at a level of 0.5 is fine, as MM stated, but I do suspect you'll be seeing this number rise, considering the stocking you have in this tank. Also fine, as long as it stays on the lower end of things. The typical recommendation is to try to keep nitrAtes under 20-30ppm, I'm surprised to see you have a number so low, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it rise a bit before stabilizing.

Water changes are good! I like to do a water change of 30-50 % every week in my tanks to keep conditions clean and parameters as stable as possible. As you go forward from this point, I encourage you to take the time to do a water change every week. Clean water is good for fish, it keeps them healthy, and clears potential toxins out of the system!

For plants, you'll need to get full spectrum lighting - 6500K is what the plants need to thrive. But on a tank this size, you'll need more than a single T8 strip to support anything but lower light plants, unless they're floating. Low light plants (like your anubias) are wonderful, too ^.^ It all depends on what you want to do, and what is working for you currently. As far as the photoperiod is concerned, 12-14 hours is pretty long, but I don't want to break something that works! How long have you had the plants you've listed, and have you had any issues with algae?

This. . . is a start! I'm sure others will be around to chime in with their thoughts, too!
 
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