View Full Version : Never put a tank together before, looking for suggestions

Super Chris
06-21-2009, 08:27 AM
Well, like a lot of people asking for suggestions here, I've never put a tank together before. (I've of course read a bunch of books on how to set up the tank, just not much information I found on picking fish.) Was originally going to go for a 29 gallon tank, but now it looks like it's going to be in the 55-60 gallon range.

The list I had put together for the 29 gallon was 8 zebra danios (glofish), 6 neon tetra, 6 black neon tetra, 3 mickey mouse platys, and 3 emerald cory cats (It's something I saw at petsmart, I hope that's not a dyed fish).

Going with the larger tank, I think it would be kind of neat to add a little more variety (well, like any amateur really). I think the ghost catfish look really cool, and some guppies might be nice too. And some sort of other critter would be interesting too, like an african pygmy frog, crab, or mystery snail.

Basically, I'm wondering what would be a good mix (and how many of each) for a 55-60 gallon tank. The two kinds of fish I absolutely want are the danios and the neon tetra. I understand that anything with a large enough mouth is going to try to eat the neon tetra, and since I don't know how big each of those fish's mouths are, I haven't taken that into consideration yet. Anyhow, any ideas from someone who knows better than me would be appreciated!

06-21-2009, 09:48 AM
Welcome to the aquatic community! The site offers a free ebook that's fantastic.

When picking fish for your tank, you want a good mix of fish that won't eat each other, obviously. You also want to pick fish that don't all occupy the same level in the tank or else the tank won't look full and the fish will be stressed because they don't have enough space. There are 5 zones to a tank - surface, top, middle, bottom and substrate.

In a larger tank like that, you have to choose if you want bigger fish or smaller fish. If you want variety, you can easily have 4 or 5 schools of small fish, with a few medium sized fish. example - 2 different pygmy corys (substrate), glowlight tetras and neon tetras (bottom), cherry barbs and gold barbs (middle), cardinal tetras and danios (top), a pair of pearl gouamis (top, but everywhere), a golden wonder killie (surface), a bristle nose pleco (substrate), and a german blue ram (bottom). That's a WELL stocked tank, but you have 8 different small schools of fish, as well as a few solo fish and a pair. That's a lot of variety.

I'm going the complete opposite direction with my 55. I'm only putting three bigger fish in it - an african butterfly fish, an african knife fish, and a senegal bichir.

06-21-2009, 12:17 PM
welcome to AC, you seem to be at the stage we all were at one time or another. trying to figure what size tanks to get, which fish to pick and so forth. i will try to help narrow down your choices , but the decision is yours of course.
neon tetras are a perineal favorite but i find these fish a little delicate in terms of combo tanks. one idea would be a school of say 12-20 neons and 2 dwarf gouramis, something slow enough not to frighten the neons and to small to eat them. maybe a couple oto cats-they only grow to 1.25 inches. this would work for your 20-30 gal tank.
if you get more robust tetras say pristella,serpae,red eye then then you can mix angels ,big gouramis,rainbows because these tetras are much stockier and less prone to being bullied by larger tankmates.

danios are seemingly on steroids, all species i have ever kept were non stop chaoticly active. they were so active they stressed my tetras because of hyperactivity.
if you want variety and you go 55 gal tank size you might try 4 angels OR gouramis, 8-10 tetras pristella,red eye,serpae[nice school fish] maybe 6 cory cats OR kuhli loaches.

sorry for long answer/speech but your question is HUGE , good luck

06-21-2009, 02:15 PM
Welcome to the Fabulous AC!
Have you decided how you are going to cycle yet?
Fishless cycle is much faster and sets up a larger bio-load right from the start than cycling with fish will give you.
Cory are meant to be in schools no smaller than 6,larger schools are more fun to watch.