Kinds of fish for my 55 gallon? - Paw Talk - Pet Forums
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-28-2010, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Kinds of fish for my 55 gallon?

The koi left today

So to keep my mind off things, I am researching what kinds of fish I could put into my newly vacant 55 gal. I want something that would grow large (don't really care for big schools of small fish) but that I could keep in a 55 gal forever.

Also, something that isn't a messy fish, or maybe a fish that can go with an algae eater.

Thanks for your advice
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 04:31 PM
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I'm glad they found a good home, it was for the best .

You have a lot of options so we're going to have to narrow it down more. What kind of set-ups look good to you? Live plants? Fake plants? Rocks? Sand and seashells? Driftwood and ferns? Low light? Bright light?

As for fish, do you have an interest in a broad group? Cichlids, catfish, puffers, livebearers (platies, mollies, swordtails, guppies, etc.), bettas, etc.? What does your regular tap water test at as far as pH goes? This will somewhat help you make your decision. Blue rams won't do well in a high pH and likewise, you couldn't really easily keep livebearers, such as mollies, in a low pH. Those are just examples but IMO, try to work with the natural pH of your water instead of picking out fish and then trying to change it with chemicals . In most cases, fish can adapt anyways, species that need a specific pH aren't all that common in freshwater.

Are you looking to have a basic freshwater "community"? Or do you have interest in a more specialized set-up (planted "Walstad aquariums", brackish water, fish from a specific area, invertebrates like crayfish/shrimp, etc.).

Sorry for all the questions but I think it'll be easier if you have a general idea of what you want .




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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm, I'll check my pH levels.

I think I want to do a freshwater again, with live plants and I have a couple new decorations I want to put in there. Nothing overwhelming though. I want to keep the gravel I already have, but other than that nothing special for the set up. I mostly don't want to spend money lol

As far as fish goes, I want fish that will grow to be a bit bigger. I don't really dig big communities of tiny fish, even if some are gorgeous.

I have been looking into chiclids, there are some in petco pretty consistently that have beautiful markings. Would it be ok to keep chiclids of many colors together, or do they all have to be the same color? I haven't decided on them yet though, do you know if they lose their brilliant colors as they get older and bigger?

I like puffers but don't most of them get too big for a 55 gal eventually? I really want to sell that 110 gal as I don't have a stand for it and would like the money . I also really like bottom dwellers, like catfish, plecos, and - I saw this one the other day and wanted to ask about it- clown loaches. I also am interested in sharks.

So maybe a balance of a few bottom dwellers with a few chiclids or something. I don't really know what to look for though, and petco is really no help to easily understand care or anything, its kind of like you have to do it on a want-to-know basis on each kind of fish :/

Also, would it be ok to start the tank with baby fish from petco straight into the 55 gal? I think I've heard that you should keep fish in tank sizes that are relative to their size, but I have a 55 gal and a 10 gal, and nothing in between. And I don't want to spend unneeded money

I'm excited though
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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But I could also go for a tank full of a couple different stuff...Meh!
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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What do you think about having a rainbow shark in there? From what I've gathered, they're good in community tanks IF the other fish are the same size or bigger than they are. Also, I gather that they are good by themselves, and will get aggressive if there is any other rainbow sharks in there... but that leaves them to kind of be the only bottom dweller, right?
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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I guess after doing some research I will prob go with some sort of catfish instead of shark...here are some suggestions

banjo catfish
bristle nosed
featherfin (LOVE LOVE LOVE)
large spot
striped raphael (LOVE LOVE LOVE)

The only thing is, if I decided on one of these, would I get it shipped? I'm not sure how to go about getting these fish that I'm pretty sure are not at my local fish stores...
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-29-2010, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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as for cichlids...

blue johanni
blue peacock
demasoni
venustus


I'm gonna stop my research of cichlids though, until I can go to Petco and see what kinds they have there, they have so many. To reiturate though, is it okay to mix and match cichlids? Or do they all have to be the same species?
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 02:14 AM Thread Starter
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scratch that last one. I researched cichlids from the same lake as the featherfin catfish, and took out the ones that got too big or were overly aggressive, and here's my list of possible ones.

Kadango
Bream
Chilumba
Yellow/Electric Yellow Lab (canary)
Giraffe (I love these ones!)
Lavender Mbuna
Red Top Hongi
Yellow Tail Acei (LOVE)
Dolphin (Love)
Chisawasawa

Any advice? LOL sorry I have no life
I got all these fish profiles from www.aquariumlife.net/profiles
which seems like a really cool website, they've got a lot of stuff on there and a lot of fish they cover, so it seems like the advice they give is legit. What do you think?
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 09:05 PM
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I don't keep many cichlids (and the ones I keep are more of the oddballs, lol), but check out http://www.wetwebmedia.com and http://www.liveaquaria.com (LiveAquaria is a website for buying fish BUT they have good info as far as things like tank sizes go).

You can mix them depending on species. In your case, I wouldn't get too crazy because a 55-gallon isn't too large when it comes to cichlids.

I'll give better advice later, running out the door, sorry!




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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 06-30-2010, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Meh, I think I've decided against cichlids for the most part. The guy at the fish store said that they really don't do well with any other fish, that a cichlid tank should only have cichlids, which isn't really what I want. I want some cool bottom dwellers too!

Gosh, I have no idea. There was a striped raphael at the fish store (one that I trust to have healthy fish) but those get about 7-8 inches. Liveaquaria says they should be in a 30 gal at least, so would it be ok to keep maybe 2 of them? I guess I'm not sure how big is too big, I guess it depends on the other fish in there as well?

I was thinking now of a school of gouarimis. . . I would like to keep a variety of colors-species, do you know anything about gouarimis?
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-01-2010, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by becrac16 View Post
Meh, I think I've decided against cichlids for the most part. The guy at the fish store said that they really don't do well with any other fish, that a cichlid tank should only have cichlids, which isn't really what I want. I want some cool bottom dwellers too!

Gosh, I have no idea. There was a striped raphael at the fish store (one that I trust to have healthy fish) but those get about 7-8 inches. Liveaquaria says they should be in a 30 gal at least, so would it be ok to keep maybe 2 of them? I guess I'm not sure how big is too big, I guess it depends on the other fish in there as well?

I was thinking now of a school of gouarimis. . . I would like to keep a variety of colors-species, do you know anything about gouarimis?
Did you ever get the pH reading? Some of the fish you're listing go one way or the other as far as what they like.

Anyways, striped raphael catfish are peaceful and social so you would definitely want a group. Because of their eventual sizes, though, you'd probably have to stick to only a few other fish after adding the catfish. What kind of filter do you have? They appreciate having lots of hiding places and a substrate that they can burrow in (no sharp gravel, you want something smooth or sandy). Live plants would be handy (even just some hardy java ferns).

Handily, you could keep gouramis with the catfish . I do indeed know about them--one of my favorite "groups" of freshwater fishes are the anabantoids (bettas, gouramis, etc.). Check out pearl gouramis, gold gouramis, and blue gouramis (NOT the neon "dwarf" ones...those are a color mutation of a different fish). Get back to me on which appeal more to you.

Avoid kissing gouramis and paradisefish--both are aggressive species. Also avoid dwarf gouramis, sadly. They're beautiful fish with great temperaments but poor breeding has caused what is known as "Dwarf Gourami Disease". Basically, dwarf gouramis almost always succumb to disease in the aquarium--often within a few months of purchase . You never hear of them making it to their regular lifespan these days. The best thing we can do is not buy them and encourage breeding programs to try to improve the captive species.




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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-01-2010, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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I think maybe that is what I will do, gouramis and catfish. Could a striped catfish go with another kind of catfish? I only saw one striped one...but maybe they'll get in more.

Dwarf gouramis are so cute though!! But you're right, I did see some sick ones at the two pet stores we went to. Bummer!

I really like the gold gouramis, and I have yet to see some blue ones but I'm sure they're around somewhere. Should I only keep one kind then?

Also, some basic questions How should I get my tank ready for them? Could I put the tiny fish in that big tank? Oh, I also have a 55 gal filter that just sticks on the back, with a waterfall thing. I got some plants too.
Thanks!
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-01-2010, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
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I think maybe that is what I will do, gouramis and catfish. Could a striped catfish go with another kind of catfish? I only saw one striped one...but maybe they'll get in more.

Dwarf gouramis are so cute though!! But you're right, I did see some sick ones at the two pet stores we went to. Bummer!

I really like the gold gouramis, and I have yet to see some blue ones but I'm sure they're around somewhere. Should I only keep one kind then?

Also, some basic questions How should I get my tank ready for them? Could I put the tiny fish in that big tank? Oh, I also have a 55 gal filter that just sticks on the back, with a waterfall thing. I got some plants too.
Thanks!
The striped catfish might get along with another kind but they won't necessarily school. Try putting in an order for more if needed.

Yeah, it's sad . It often starts as swim bladder issues, bloating, refusal to eat, lethargy, etc. Ends with raised scales, lumps, bleeding, secondary infections... I tried to save a gourami with the problem but literally nothing I did helped. And I've treated a lot of fish. They're more prone to Ich now, too.

I'd stick to one kind if possible and it would probably make for a better, more "natural" display IMO . If it was my tank, I'd probably have a few catfish, a few gouramis, and then a small school of tetras (although I know you don't like tiny fish, haha).

Make sure your aquarium is cycled and ready to go first. Drop in fish food every few days (this kinda replicates what will happen once there are fish in there as far as waste goes) and test the water daily. You want it to have no ammonia and no nitrite consistently for at least a week before adding fish. Nitrate is normal and will be removed with water changes. Adding the gouramis first would be best, they're relatively hardy. The catfish won't be able to handle an ammonia spike. Koi/goldfish are ridiculously hardy a lot of the time--with your new fish, you need to make sure things are more ideal .

So basically, start testing/adding fish food. While you're waiting for things to stabilize, plant the aquarium/decorate/research .

Oh, and is the aquarium still filled with water? If there's still ammonia-rich water in there, there's no need to add fish food.




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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-01-2010, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Haha! Yes, I actually left the water in there. Just because I'm lazy lol.

So I should wait for it to stabilize, how long do you think that would take? I haven't tested the water in a while, I'll test it though. Should I be leaving the filter on too?

I think I will get some fine grain sand for the bottom, what do you think? Do plants do okay stuck in sand?

I could do some tetras, just for a bit more fun. I love the see through ones! Bleeding hearts, I think theyre called. Any advice on those?

How many of these fish should I get? Like, 6 gouramis? And then maybe 6 tetras? Or less?
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 07-01-2010, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Oh and on tetras, I had some neon ones before and they died really quick, and I didn't really like them in general. I'm looking towards some of the bigger bodied ones (as opposed to the slim bodied ones).

Can I just say though, I was researching discus, and those fish are amazing. I was so stoked on them until I found out they are like 80 bucks! Whew. But seriously, those guys are so cool.
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