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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I'm new to the aquarium scene but I'm doing lots of research. I have a 55 gallon that I am properly preparing driftwood for now and am cycling properly as well. I want a semi-aggressive tank but I'm curious if anybody knows from experience or just plain knowledge of some compatibility with the fish I desire to put in it.

The fish I want that will all be bought young together:
1. Rainbow shark (1)
2. Bristle-nose pleco (1)
3. Blue gourami (1)
4. Tiger barbs (6 or more) main focus on compatibility.
5. Suggestions? Will have plenty of over filtration and weekly water changes. And plenty of hiding spots and live plants.
I would like to keep them all in this tank their whole life so nothing too big.
6. Possibly upside down catfish

Any advice will be greatly appreciated and followed!!
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AqAdvisor.com will give you a general idea on compatability and stocking levels. It is NOT accurate enough to not do your research first, however. I've never done semi-aggressive so hopefully this will tide you over until someone else comes along.
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Discussion Starter #3
AqAdvisor.com will give you a general idea on compatability and stocking levels. It is NOT accurate enough to not do your research first, however. I've never done semi-aggressive so hopefully this will tide you over until someone else comes along.
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Yes I have been using that site as well. My stocking is at 63% and my filtration is at 225%! I was just seeing if anyone has seen them together before maybe? Or just any rough ideas of other tank mates really. I would only need to do a 15% water change weekly at least according to this setup with 100 gallons worth of filtration.
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hello and welcome :-D
the only thing i can chip in with is about the barbs(i love them fish)
nice big group seems to keep them happy,and to themselves.
plenty of plants for hiding if they want it,and lots of swimming space…
that's what my experience is with barbs…and i find whatever the colour
they stay together.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
hello and welcome :-D
the only thing i can chip in with is about the barbs(i love them fish)
nice big group seems to keep them happy,and to themselves.
plenty of plants for hiding if they want it,and lots of swimming space…
that's what my experience is with barbs…and i find whatever the colour
they stay together.
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Discussion Starter #6
hello and welcome :-D
the only thing i can chip in with is about the barbs(i love them fish)
nice big group seems to keep them happy,and to themselves.
plenty of plants for hiding if they want it,and lots of swimming space…
that's what my experience is with barbs…and i find whatever the colour
they stay together.
Alright thanks for the welcome and the input! I think I would just get one school of at least six and provide the correct environment. I'm assuming they wouldn't bother the other tank mates so much if they can keep themselves busy! I do like how active they are as well but I want to try a variety. Do you know if they get territorial btw? I'm thinking I'll add them first and do the other more notorious fish in after so they wouldn't get bullied with turf wars haha.
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i find them nosey when new fish are acclimating in their bags in the tank,
but then that includes the angel fish too…..but once the new fish are
introduced to the tank,the barbs just go off and do their stuff by themselves.
the only fish that sometimes gets a little pecked at is the female bristle nosed plec,but i
think it's more just them being inquisitive.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok perfect! Thanks again for the advice! I'm thinking ill ditch the catfish and go for some loaches possibly?
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hey :-D
what kind of loaches,do you have something in mind ?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm thinking clown loaches but I haven't researched them a whole lot. Do you have a preference of ones that are fairly community oriented or cool looking?
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Clown loaches will get waaay too big for a 55. They can get over a foot long.

Kuhli's are always a nice, popular choice. When it comes to the shorter-bodied loaches, I find they are usually listed as semi-aggressive. This just means that if it'll fit in their mouth or you don't have enough, expect things to be picked on and eaten. Your barbs should be too big to eat, so I'd suggest Angelicus or Yoyo loaches. Those are two personal favorites of mine and also fairly common in the hobby. Make sure you get at least 6, though. You can't keep snails or shrimp with loaches, just as a heads up.
 

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I would get at least 8-10 tiger barbs. This is what I kept in my 55 and they were a fun fish to watch in large groups. The larger the group the better as they spend most of their time showing off to eachother and "sparring". At least mine did lol. With a large group their aggession is more spread out amongst eachother.
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Agreed, the larger the school the better. In a 55 I would look to keep 15.
 

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i agree on the clown loaches….my tank won't be big enough
in the long run….so yoyo loaches are a good choice,they're as energetic as
clowns.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Alright thanks for all the info on the loaches! Do you think that they would compatible with the pleco and rainbow shark since they are somewhat bottom dwellers as well? Or should they mind their own for the most part. I will be getting a school to keep each other busy of course. And do they usually do fine with active fish like tiger barbs as well? Thanks in advance for any help!
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Yes yoyo (and other Botia) loaches generally do well with semi aggressive fish because they are quite boisterous.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
Perfect! Thanks for the input! Any ideas on any mid to top swimmers that would be compatible with the loaches pleco and rainbow? It seems like tiger barbs aren't the greatest for communities and I really like the gourami but kinda want a centerpiece fish or maybe a few?? The gourami isn't a must but it has longish fins so I fear it will get nipped at so I would consider others if they are good lookin
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I think the tigers are well suited to the other fish. In a tank that big the gourami should be fine, especially because they are tough fish themselves.
 
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