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Discussion Starter #1
hi! im new to the forum but have been using the advice on here to build a rough stocking list that i want to hear feedback on as im a novice :) i will be getting my hands on a 55g soon (dont know dimensions, i think its 4’ long) and this is my stocking list as of now:

4 pearl gourami 1M 3F
1 bolivian ram M
1 german blue ram M
? columbian tetra
? congo tetra
? khuli loaches
1 longfin albino bristlenose pleco

im set on the pearl gourami (unless someone can change my mind ;) ), but not the rams. i want the most colorful/pearlescent fish but the least aggression. let me know what you guys think! :)
 

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Welcome to TPT!:)
The German Ram is not temperature compatible with the other fish chosen so that one can get scratched and narrow the field.
Bolivian Rams would work, but I would get @ least a pair to 2 pair in a 55 gallon.

Columbian tetras are a boisterous, active tetra that have a tendency to spar among themselves. So, if you really like them make sure you get a larger group so can establish a hierarchy with a good mix of males to females. Smaller groups tend to misbehave; becoming nippy with other fish. Congo tetras ( phenocogrammus interruptus Im assuming this is the Congro tetra you mean as there are many different variants of Congo tetras- I have 4 different varieties myself from the Congo) are much more mild in temperament and may get bullied by the Colombian tetras.

Actually, If you want a milder tetra, I would go with the Congo's. If you get a group of 10-12 you will have a beautiful display of schooling fish. I would then just do the Gourami's for the top to mid-tier of the aquarium.

Kuhli loaches need to be in groups- doing best in groups of 6 . Especially if you want to see them.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thanks for the info! i didnt know that about the german blues or the colombians. would you recommend boeseman’s rainbowfish in place of the german blue rams, or perhaps some other south african cichlid or gourami? those were other possibilties i was considering but worried might be aggressive with the pearls.

could you recommend another schooling fish in place of the colombians, perhaps diamond tetra? id like to have more deep bodied fish (i.e. not neon tetra or danios).

thanks again!

edit: forgot to ask, i had read that mating pairs of rams can become very aggressive towards tankmates and should generally left by themselves in their own tank. will the smaller fish become in danger if i have 1 or 2 pairs?
 

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snails are your friend
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Congo tetras are probably my favorite tetra of all, though hope you've seen a full grown one before deciding on them! They're beefy things. Just something to know when stocking juvenile fish in a tank they're meant to stay in. I agree that you'd enjoy a dozen-ish if that's what you're looking for. Not for open topped tanks. Bolivian rams are solid, but agree on scratching GBRs. They like it too hot for most community tanks and are shy feeders unlike the rest of your list. Except Kuhlis -they are a cool fish, but one of those that can disappear on you and then show back up -especially if you have soft substrate. I put some in one of my big tanks 6-7 years back and have thought they all died many times then I'd see one laying right in the open, or then disturb three while vacuuming. I honestly could not tell you if I still have any currently or not. In the same tank, I have an old long finned albino bushynose. It's a wild gene the way it's expressed over time. https://www.plantedtank.net/forums/...stle-growth-long-finned-albino-ancistrus.html Pearl gouramis are pretty fish, but seems like I had to separate some males for chasing when I had my store. They were in 33 longs, so a bit smaller enclosures. Don't recall any quarreling from females at all. And the problem males wouldn't bother your random platy, it was the females or other males they seemed to "eagerly greet." Assuming we're both talking about the "Red/Blue Colombian Tetra" I plain don't like them and I won't say that about many fish. They're just so fast-paced and caffeinated. I might set up a species tank of them 20 years from now and call them my favorite fish, but with my limited experience with them I prefer pictures of that fish to the actual fish.
 

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I just got my hands on a brand spanking new 55 as well. Colombian Tetras would be a great choice IMO. I had a decent size school of them in my 58. I kept them with just Neons and they were fine. Definitely more active though and a little nippy towards each other sometimes, but they were fun to watch and pretty tight schoolers it seemed to me. Not gonna lie, I am probably gonna add a school of them to my 55 too when its setup. Probably 8-12. Thats the amount I would personally recommend. More would be better. I imagine seeing a school of 18-20 would be quite a sight. I also recommend Neon tetras. Probably my favorite fish. A huge school of them say maybe 18-30 in a 4 foot tank is quite a sight!
 

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snails are your friend
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Appreciate you chiming in. I would take the experience of someone who had them in a long-term community tank over mine keeping them in holding tanks until sale.
 

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Oh yeah. I had them along with the neons in my 58 gallon for a long time... Until I accidently cooked them all during a water change last year.
 

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Ive had Columbians also- they are high energy and dont always play nice if not kept to specification.
Also, not my favorite tetra. Wont be revisiting that one.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
@blueridgereef

blue ridge reef, i realized just how big congos get .... what is the smallest number they can be happy at? what is the smallest number for diamond tetras too?

lol, i can picture the vacuuming scene so well, theyre all grumpy from being woken up haha. if i have java moss as a carpet, will the kuhlis remain hidden more than if i had some other carpet? also, i had read that they come out more if they are in larger groups. what number would you recommend for my tank to make them feel most comfortable?

holy sh**, what a beautiful pleco you have! what is going in with that mouth! i hope mine is that beautiful 🙂

thank u so much for all the info!
 

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blue ridge reef, i realized just how big congos get .... what is the smallest number they can be happy at? what is the smallest number for diamond tetras too?

lol, i can picture the vacuuming scene so well, theyre all grumpy from being woken up haha. if i have java moss as a carpet, will the kuhlis remain hidden more than if i had some other carpet? also, i had read that they come out more if they are in larger groups. what number would you recommend for my tank to make them feel most comfortable?

holy sh**, what a beautiful pleco you have! what is going in with that mouth! i hope mine is that beautiful 🙂

thank u so much for all the info!
If you want congos, I would go with 5 or 6. Mine are pretty docile, but if a fish could swallow another, it will.
I have nothing smaller than Lemon tetras in that tank, but I would not tempt fate
 

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Discussion Starter #11
thanks for all the advice! this is my stocking list right now. these will all be very gradual additions (advice on what to start with welcome!!!). aqadvisor only warns that the pearl gourami might become too aggressive while mating for the diamond tetras, but i had read elsewhere that PGs can coexist with just about any not super hyper tetras.
 

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