View Full Version : Fish to start please help.
10-23-2006, 04:18 AM
I am just starting up a tank I have a 55 gallon tank and I would like some help on choosing my fish. What I would like to have, and I'm not sure if it will be possible, is mabey about 10-12 schooling fish like neon tetras with a couple groups of little bit bigger fish like 2.5-4 inches and the maybe a couple larger tank mates that will be calm with the other fish. One fish that really caugh my eye was the Lemon Drop Cichlids (Labidochromis caeruleus) but the lady at the pet store said they would kill the smaller fish however everything I have read on them says they are a very calm fish that is not territorial. So I am opening the floor to you and hope that you all might be able to give a novice some insite into the subject of stockin a new tank. Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.
10-23-2006, 11:30 AM
It isn't usually suggested to keep cichlids with smaller fish as she said.....cichlids tend to be territorial and will harass fish that get too close to their spot. If that particular fish caught your eye why not read up as much as you can on it and consider centering your tank around it. When you start researching you will find suggestions for tank mates that work well. I have had kribensis and german blue ram cichlids with tetras...the kribs were okay, but the gbr's chased them.
Another thing to consider is your water and the needs of particular fish, some fish thrive in softer water, others harder water. Which is another reason to be cautious when trying to mix fish.
The internet and forums such as this one are great resources for gathering information. There are forums, although I don't keep up with them, that center around cichlids. Hubby did a lot of research and checked them out when he planned his mbuna tank.
10-23-2006, 10:03 PM
Lemon Drop Cichlids cichlids are not suitable for a norml community tank. It would help us suggest other fish if you tell us your water conditions and what type of biotop you want to create.
10-24-2006, 03:49 AM
Well after some more research and your suggestions I've decided against the cichlids and want to go with more community fish. I've started my cycle with 4 long fined zebra danios and I'm gunna let that run till I get my proper readings but I've come up with a list that I think I'll like just wanted to get some feedback from people with more experience so here goes. Its a 55gal tank FYI:
x4 Long Fined Zebra Danios 2"
x2 Pearl Gourami 4"
x10 Neon/Cardinal Tetras 1.5"
x4 Checker/Cherry Barb 2"
x3 Leopard corydoras 2.5"
x2 Blue Rainbows 4"
and maybe a Male Betta 3" to add some more color.
This is just a little over the 1 inch to 1 gal rule but I figured with the cats they'll mostly be staying on the bottom. Any comments suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again in advance.
10-24-2006, 07:34 AM
Okay..let's see how much help I can give you since I am not familiar with all of the fish on your list, but some. To start, the danios will be fine to cycle (although I still personally prefer to either fishless cycle or jump start with existing material), and will make a lively addition to keep after the cycling. Remember though.....your bacteria colonies will grow to meet the needs of those 4 fish so don't add further stock all at once when you are done cycling, you will need to add slowly to give the bacteria a chance to increase with the increased bio load created by more fish.
The danios should also be fine with the tetras and corydora, I have also not had any problems with them with various gourami, although I think their crazy constant swimming may be irritating to them, I haven't seen them actually bother any of my fish. The barbs can be nippy, I have 1 tiger barb who likes to terrorize my other fish, but he was a rescue so I don't wish to add more to the tank. My understanding of barbs is they are less nippy when they have a large enough group...hopefully someone with more barb experience can help you out on that.
Also don't have any experience with pearl gourami....although I have dwarf, honey and sparkling gourami's. I have been able to keep them peacefully together in a 64 gal with various tetras, cories and each other and all is well. That tank is currently understocked though due to my rescued pleco and not knowing just how large it will get. There are issues though with my betta in there with the dwarf gourami, and although no damage is ever done, I am considering moving him back to a tank to be alone just to let the others live in peace!
The stocking itself sounds pretty good as long as you are planning on keeping up with your maintenance. The more fish you have the faster your toxins will build up....you can't let water changes slide too much when you have large bio loads. Add your fish slowly, starting with the gentlest natured fish and if any of your purchases don't work rehome them into another tank or return them to the store. Sometimes just observing the fish for long periods of time while they are at the store can give you an idea of how their personality will be. I looked at 2 of my dwarf puffers for 3 days before I brought them home to live with me.
Hope that helps and keep us posted....pictures when it is all done would be great!
10-24-2006, 10:49 AM
You got great advice from Kimmers and I wish to add my 2 cents as well.
Rainbows are skoalers and you should have more than 2. 6-8 would be a good number as skoalers don't do well alone or with only one or two. Cherry Barbs may not care for the Danio's. You did pick a good cycling fish but may want to add a few more to get the tank going. It will take a 55 gallon tank a long time to show any ammonia levels with only 4 Danio's, I believe.
I have 9 black skirt tetra's and altho they are not recommended as a cycling fish, have cycled 4 tanks for me.
Betta's can also mistake "torpedo shaped" fish as food so your Danio's may not do well with a Betta nor the Neons. Betta's have a personality of their own and some will do OK in a community tank and others will not. You need to have a place to move him if he does not take to the others. Brightly colored fish are not a Betta's favorite, either.
There are many choices for community tanks that do great together. Drawf gourami's, swordtails, corey cats, rasbora's, all kinds of tetra's and platies to name a few. You can have a lot of small fish in a 55 gallon that will always be moving and be a colorful display.
10-28-2006, 09:06 PM
I second all of the advice already given.
It seems that you have chosen compatible fish (technically!). Not all of them will always get along. Add your beta last, and watch him very closely for the first few days. Some do well in community tanks, and some do not. It depends on the individual.
And I'll second adding more than 4 danios to cycle. I did my cycle with 10 tetras, and it took about 7 weeks, but that's because I was cleaning gravel. You're not supposed to mess with your gravel very much while cycling, so hopefully your cycle will take less than 7 weeks. ;)
Just keep researching (it seems that you already are) and don't be afraid to ask any questions you may have. Between all of us here, you'll get an answer.
Ok, here's my point of view, but remember, this is just they way I look at fish tanks. You have too many varieties with no focus. A tank shouldn't just be a bunch of fish trown in a tank. Also tanks work better if you keep fish from the same general area. A few decent sized fish with say a group or two of small schooling fish from the same area. Then something for the bottom. You want your fish to act as naturally as possible.
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