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Old 05-21-2013, 02:15 PM   #1
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New tank ideas for stocking

Hi guys hoping for some ideas as im a little unsure of which way to go with my new tank. Ive currently been running a live bearer tank for about 2 years but this year decided a bigger project was on the cards. Ive now got a 55 gallon tank fully cycled and now currently with 3 fish. 1 blue gourami 1 dwarf gourami and a long nose loach. The blue gourami is definatly top dog as the dwarf hides all the time. The long nose just does his own thing. Im looking for ideas of which fish will go well with this tank size wise and work with the gouramis. Thanks guys and girls
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Old 05-21-2013, 05:37 PM   #2
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Loaches are social critters, so first off I'd get your lone loach some buddies. They need a school of 5-6 minimum, as they tend to have a hierarchy going. You'll get to see them play and tussle with each other and have more natural behaviors this way too!

As for the gourami, blue gourami tend to be jerks... With such a large size difference between your blue and your dwarf I'd worry the dwarf is going to be bullied until he stresses himself to death. Gourami can be kept in groups just fine as long as they're near the same sizes as each other and there's a maximum of one male in the tank. Mixing dwarf gourami with large gourami usually ends badly for the dwarfs... If you go the gourami group route, make sure you have 4+ to diffuse any aggression, and stick to the same species as much as possible. Different color morphs are fine (blue, gold, lavendar, opaline, and platinum are all the same species and get along with each other), but mixing things like a blues, pearls, moonlight, snakeskin, etc together is tricky. It can be done (my current gourami bunch has one pearl, 2 blues, 2 opalines, and 1 lavendar and they get along well), but is much more dependent on fish personalities and how you introduce them.

As far as other fish to go with them go, what kinds of fish do you like? Rainbow fish work well, as do cherry barbs, tetras (stick to the non-nippy ones, gourami feelers are too tempting), danios, etc. Your loaches will prefer warmer, soft, acidic water, while gourami are pretty flexible. Aim for community members that also prefer soft, acidic, warm water and you can't go wrong
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:00 PM   #3
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You could try a couple of smaller cichlids. They tend to do well with gourami, because they don't get pushed around. With your size tank, you could easily get a couple of rams, and another pair of either keyholes/rainbow/or acara. You could add to the loaches also they tend to have fun with one another. Also, a school fish like rummy nose or penguin tetras.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:14 PM   #4
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So do you think maybe moving the dwaef back with the guppies because he always seemed fine in there? I like tiger barbs but im hearing they are a little aggresive aswell. Corys seem to be a popular choice but i have no experience with them. I guess i want a couple of big fish a few medium and a few smallish so a good mix. As for the loaches do they all need to be the same speciea or could i have say 5 different speciea of loach?
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:19 PM   #5
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Im also wondering about silver or red tail sharks and dollar fish. Any ideas on there compatability?
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:33 PM   #6
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Yes, the dwarf will be much happier back with the guppies

Loaches will sometimes hang out with other loaches, but they do best in a school of their own kind. You get much more natural behaviors this way too.

Tiger Barbs will likely be much too nippy to resist the gourami feelers, but you might be able to get away with it if you keep them in a large enough school (8-10 or more usually) that they're too busy chasing each other. They're a fish that tends to get bored when kept in small schools and then take their boredom out on their tankmates.

Corys are fun, but like loaches they do best in a school. You can sometimes mix cory types a little easier than loaches, as long as you stick to similar size/shape species. Your bottom level might be getting a little crowded if you try to do both a school of loaches and a school of cories, leaving you less bio load available for your mid and top dwellers.

Silver Dollars are good community members, but avoid them if you plan on having any live plants in the tank. They'll go to town munching the plants to bits since they are herbivores. They also get quite large and need a school, so you won't be able to fit a school of them, the loach school, and the gourami all in the same 55 gallon tank.

Red Tail Sharks are beautiful, but can be very territorial... They start off friendly until they hit around the 4-5" mark, then they turn into jerks to any other bottom dwellers that come into their territory. 55 gallons gives you a little leeway though, as it's big enough the loaches can stick to an opposite side when the shark is feeling ornery. I have one in my 75 gallon and I still need to rearrange the tank every so often to reset his territory when he gets too aggressive.

I highly recommend plugging any stocking lists you're considering into aqadvisor.com. It's a good sanity check on your bio load levels, but take it's recommendations with a grain of salt and do your research. It's not perfect, but it's a great starting place.
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:38 PM   #7
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I think 2 Bolivian rams ( as pretty as the blues but much hardier)they are pretty peaceful and are great to look at.

Also I have a soft spot for boesmani rainbows, I'd get a few of those they school together and the males once mature have amazing colors
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:49 PM   #8
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Im loving the bolivian rams. Will a pair be enough, im pretty sure they will be im the tank by the weekend cories are off the list as definatly want loaches. What would be recomended to mix with the long nose, i dont think i want 5 the same as him? Maybe best to stay away from the rts for now then
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Old 05-21-2013, 06:56 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by rudfudge View Post
Im loving the bolivian rams. Will a pair be enough, im pretty sure they will be im the tank by the weekend cories are off the list as definatly want loaches. What would be recomended to mix with the long nose, i dont think i want 5 the same as him? Maybe best to stay away from the rts for now then
I personally have a pair of German blues and a pair of Bolivians. Anymore then a pair your chances of aggression between them goes up. Mine are in a 70 gallon community tank and they are all over the place, so IMO a pair should be good. If you want more fish you could always add a pair of another type of dwarf cichlid to add even more color and activity
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:00 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by rudfudge View Post
Im loving the bolivian rams. Will a pair be enough, im pretty sure they will be im the tank by the weekend cories are off the list as definatly want loaches. What would be recomended to mix with the long nose, i dont think i want 5 the same as him? Maybe best to stay away from the rts for now then
Yep, a pair of Rams will do just fine, as long as it is indeed a M/F pair. I got what I thought was 2 pairs of German Blue Rams for my 75 gallon and found out after the fact that what I indeed had was 3 M, 1 F once they grew up more and colored up. The two unpaired boys are constantly getting teamed up on by the pair while I'm trying to find more girls...

Its hard to tell if the loach will for sure hang out with other loaches, I really recommend sticking to all the same type... I'm not familiar enough with the Long-Nose species to really recommend which loaches they'd play with, but if you're going to try it then you'll want to stick to similar sized/shape loaches that are as closely related to the Long-Nose as possible.
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:16 PM   #11
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With your advise im now thinking 4 more long nose loaches. However after a bit of research i think i was mis sold as he is clearly a horseface loach. 2 rams probably blue hopefully a breeding pair. Remove the dwarf gourami. 2 more similar to rams? Then add some smaller fish for colour tetras or barbs?
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:21 PM   #12
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That sounds similar to my current planted tank. I have 2 Bolivians 2 GBRs 10 harlequin rasbonas, 6 rainbows and a few others. As long as there are some territory breaks in the tank the rams should be fine
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:51 PM   #13
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You'll have the gourami and rams as centerpiece type fish, and the loaches for the bottom. Some sort of mid-level/top-level shoaling fish would balance things out nicely. Cherry barbs, small rainbows, or the like would serve that role well.
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Old 05-21-2013, 08:04 PM   #14
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Loaches are social critters, so first off I'd get your lone loach some buddies. They need a school of 5-6 minimum, as they tend to have a hierarchy going. You'll get to see them play and tussle with each other and have more natural behaviors this way too!

As for the gourami, blue gourami tend to be jerks... With such a large size difference between your blue and your dwarf I'd worry the dwarf is going to be bullied until he stresses himself to death. Gourami can be kept in groups just fine as long as they're near the same sizes as each other and there's a maximum of one male in the tank. Mixing dwarf gourami with large gourami usually ends badly for the dwarfs... If you go the gourami group route, make sure you have 4+ to diffuse any aggression, and stick to the same species as much as possible. Different color morphs are fine (blue, gold, lavendar, opaline, and platinum are all the same species and get along with each other), but mixing things like a blues, pearls, moonlight, snakeskin, etc together is tricky. It can be done (my current gourami bunch has one pearl, 2 blues, 2 opalines, and 1 lavendar and they get along well), but is much more dependent on fish personalities and how you introduce them.

As far as other fish to go with them go, what kinds of fish do you like? Rainbow fish work well, as do cherry barbs, tetras (stick to the non-nippy ones, gourami feelers are too tempting), danios, etc. Your loaches will prefer warmer, soft, acidic water, while gourami are pretty flexible. Aim for community members that also prefer soft, acidic, warm water and you can't go wrong
I agree! I bought 2 gourami when I first started a 10 gal tank a few years ago and the petstore sold me 1 blue and 1 opaline (saying they were both blue) now my blue gourami is sooo mean! I am going to be putting him in a big tank with other fish his size.
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Old 05-22-2013, 02:50 AM   #15
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So id say adding all them at the same time would cause ammonia to go off the chart. In interest of peace which order would you recomend stock in?
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:05 AM   #16
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I'd start with the loaches, then get whatever mid-level smaller/colorful fish you choose, then finish off with the Rams. Being the cichlids that they are, they tend to be a little more territorial to newcomers. Therefore it's best to avoid letting them think they own the tank by adding them before the rest of your stock
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Old 05-22-2013, 08:41 AM   #17
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I recommend getting a albino rainbow shark in the future there awesome to look at
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Old 05-22-2013, 10:38 AM   #18
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I recommend getting a albino rainbow shark in the future there awesome to look at
Awesome to look at, but tricky to work in a community... Same personality as the Red Tail Black Shark discussed earlier. It's doable, but can take some frequent tank rearranging to reset territories if he decides he doesn't like sharing the bottom with the loaches.
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:40 PM   #19
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They dont have much of a mouth and my rainbow shark only chases around my albino buenos Aires tetras and i think there just playing because the tetras do it too.....i would just get one rainbow shark though, they dont really like achother afyer a while
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Old 05-22-2013, 06:27 PM   #20
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Ill look into them. Definatley interested in colour
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