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I am setting up a new 55 gallon. There's going to be lots of plants and driftwood in the tank. So far I am thinking Cory Sterbai, Otos, Amano shrimp, Bolivian rams.

I had german blue rams in the past, and while I loved the look and personality, they never lived over 6 months. I've heard that Bolivian maybe a little more resilient. :)

I have no idea how many Bolivian rams to put in a 55g. I also need suggestions for something to fill the mid and top layers. A school of tetras maybe (which kind would be good mates for the rams)?

Luca
 

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SAME HERE!! OMG!!
My GBR keeps dying on me.. I wuz so done with em, I only have a bolivian ram now! They are WAY more hardy than those GBR's!

Since you're deciding on amano shrimps.. i would of said congo's or denisoni barbs!
How bout rummy nose or cardinals?
Or even dwarf rainbows? =)
 

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This a common thing i have herd about German Rams,

What about Angel fish + Corys + tetras and maybe some a school of Tiger barbs
 

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Discussion Starter #4
This a common thing i have herd about German Rams,

What about Angel fish + Corys + tetras and maybe some a school of Tiger barbs
Yes I keep changing my mind about including one angelfish... Would the Amano shrimp be OK? Tiger barbs: would not they fin nip the angels?

I was thinking of leaving my options open in choosing tetras, going with some that are large enough not to become snacks for the angel, if I decide to put one in eventually.
 

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SAME HERE!! OMG!!
My GBR keeps dying on me.. I wuz so done with em, I only have a bolivian ram now! They are WAY more hardy than those GBR's!
It's not just me then...

Since you're deciding on amano shrimps.. i would of said congo's or denisoni barbs!
How bout rummy nose or cardinals?
Or even dwarf rainbows? =)
I kept Congo tetras before, beautiful fish but mine were a little too aggressive at times, probably I was doing something wrong. Maybe not feeding enough?

Rummy noses and cardinals are bot in my short list of candidates. :) Neons are out because they're too small if I decide to include an angel in the mix. Don't know rainbows at all, I'll have a look.
 

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Yes I keep changing my mind about including one angelfish... Would the Amano shrimp be OK? Tiger barbs: would not they fin nip the angels?

I was thinking of leaving my options open in choosing tetras, going with some that are large enough not to become snacks for the angel, if I decide to put one in eventually.
I have a school of tiger barbs in my tank with my betta and zebra danio's and when I had 8 they were good and never bothered anyone. Now I only have 4 so I need to get them a few homies but even now they just pick on each other. They are actually scared of my betta and he chases them away all the time. So I think it would depend on the barbs and how many you have.
 

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It's not just me then...

I kept Congo tetras before, beautiful fish but mine were a little too aggressive at times, probably I was doing something wrong. Maybe not feeding enough?

Rummy noses and cardinals are bot in my short list of candidates. :) Neons are out because they're too small if I decide to include an angel in the mix. Don't know rainbows at all, I'll have a look.
Give em a good variety of diet and some good frozen bloodworms! I could never grow mine out in a 10 gallon, 29 gallon, 20 gallon, and a 5 gallon! Could not ever get them big! They've always been my dream fish!
So, finally, my 60 gallon that i started up again! I've purchased a few tiny ones with absolutely zero color! They were next to clear, important part is, look for the gold line in the middle, which female doesn't have! I try to get mostly males! Things i've learnt, good mixed diet, frozen food, cut up frozen market shrimp, tetra or sera color enhancing food actually works well, plants bring out their color, and a female or two makes them show their color even more!
In 4-5 months since I've started up the tank, i say 4! They have grown 3-4 times their size since i got them!

Neon's are fine i say.. i have a neon that the guy didn't wanna fish it back out of my bag.. he's alone, and been living in my tank with flagtails, congos, yoyo loach, rainbows, barbs! As long as you got hiding spots, you're completely fine!

Rainbows, i'd suggest dwarf neon, boesemani, or threadfin!
Dun bother looking for furcatas.. as I can't keep them successfully, nor do I have any friends who's had a good chance with em! they're just smaller than neons... so it's always a risk!

=) hope this helps!
 

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hey luca,

wish i had the space for a 55gallon. must feels great to design on the plan for a big tank like that.

bottomdwellers: a school of sterba cories or panda cories. sterbai's are hardier, but can grow quite big. pygmy cories are awesome in a school. i got 15 of them that school, but they spend most of the time resting on leaves. my tank is small....
check this video out (not mine though):

mid to upper, dont' limit to yourself to tetras. you also got rasboras and celestial pearl danios. rummynoses are awesome. my buddy has a shoal of them, they look very vibrant together in a big tank.

good luck with the set up.

hope to see some pics up in the near future!
 

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my 55 has

My 55 has :
35 neons
12 harl.rasboras
12 emperor tetras
5 congo tetras
1 marble pleco (the kind that only grows to 8")
3 different colors of corydoras cats
1 elephant nose

I have had barbs in the past, and even though I had a whole school of tiger barbs , they nipped and tormented even each other.

after the tiger barbs were gone, the rosy barbs started the same behavior.
so I changed to all tetras and everything is fine

I have a water softening pillow and the ph is 6.5, temp 80*F and everyone is happy. Although if the elephant nose eats the neons I will have to set up another tank for him. I feed him worms, and so far so good. If I didnt have the congos, I would have a pair of angelfish, but eventually they will eat neons too.

PS. I have various rainbows in my 150 gallon. They are easy, but like higher ph and grow to need a bigger tank...hence, the 150. I started them out in a 55, and liked them so much I had to get them the bigger tank.
 

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I would definitely not add barbs and angels in the same tank. 8 barbs almost wiped out my mom's tank, they were then added to my tank where they eventually took out my 2 6" angels. I love barbs, but would do them in a species tank. Look for some harlequin rasboras. They school nicely and are upper level swimmers.
 

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For top water , you could go with hatchets (will need a closed top they jump).Pencil fish seem to like the top/middle waters.Various tetras like silver-tip,cardinal,glowlight,bleeding heart,penguin,lemon,rummynose,flame are a few to think about.Just keep most of these guys in larger groups cause they like the company of their own.Livebearers (mollies,swordtails,platies,guppies) also keep the middle waters active , but reproduction is something to think about.Going back to top water , danios (various) seem to like the action uptop , but could drive other fish in your aquarium crazy with all of their activity.Research a bit more if you arent 100 percent ready , bottom line in the end everybody has to be compatible.Good luck !
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My 55 has :
...
12 emperor tetras
...
Emperor tetras look very interesting. Are they commonly sold at LFS's? They should be OK with the Bolivian rams. I was thinking of starting with 4 or 5 rams, opinions?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
For top water , you could go with hatchets (will need a closed top they jump).Pencil fish seem to like the top/middle waters.Various tetras like silver-tip,cardinal,glowlight,bleeding heart,penguin,lemon,rummynose,flame are a few to think about.Just keep most of these guys in larger groups cause they like the company of their own.Livebearers (mollies,swordtails,platies,guppies) also keep the middle waters active , but reproduction is something to think about.Going back to top water , danios (various) seem to like the action uptop , but could drive other fish in your aquarium crazy with all of their activity.Research a bit more if you arent 100 percent ready , bottom line in the end everybody has to be compatible.Good luck !
Used to have hatchets, lost all of them in "suicide missions" over a year or so. The tank had tops, though the seal was not perfect at the back. They all found a way out somehow. This time there's no glass top at all, definitely no hatchets. :)

I think I'll stick with tetras for a school: emperors, lemon, rummies, (...)? In the end it will probably come down to which ones look healthier at the LFS of the 3-4 species I have in mind.

Thanks all for the advice. I will post some pictures as soon as the tank is up.
 

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Emperor Tetras are very beautiful , are big enough not to be eaten by Angels, and like all areas of the water. The blue eyes, lavender shading and spiked tail are the males. Females have green eyes, cream colored bodies, and the tail has just a bit of black and no spike. I have 12, but 8 would do nicely.

Rasbora hets like the top of the water, as do Rummy Noses. Rummy's school the best, but will eat cherry shrimp more avidly than others.

As for the Blue Rams, they are very pretty but short lived (the oldest being 2yrs old). I would only get one pair, as they are territorial. But before you do, consider Apistogramma cichlids. There are quite a few colors and they are hardier than Rams. I also love Kribensis, but they are Very Hardy and will surely spawn. They then guard the babies (which is fun to watch), forcing all the other fish to one corner of the tank. (A clown loach would eat their eggs in the night and prevent that though)

Pictures of small cichlids:

http://www.google.com/images?client...esult_group&ct=title&resnum=6&ved=0CD0QsAQwBQ

good info on them:

http://www.thekrib.com/Apisto/

Have fun picking things out!

PS. Serpae and Black Phantom tets always make me mad because they shred everyone else's fins
 

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Discussion Starter #17
As for the Blue Rams, they are very pretty but short lived (the oldest being 2yrs old). I would only get one pair, as they are territorial.
I was actually thinking of bolivian rams (M. Altispinosum). I usually call blue rams M. Ramirezi, but probably I am misunderstanding you. :)

Thought bolivian were supposed to be hardier than GBR. I suppose your advice not to put more than 2 in would still apply, as the two species are very similar?

But before you do, consider Apistogramma cichlids. There are quite a few colors and they are hardier than Rams. I also love Kribensis, but they are Very Hardy and will surely spawn. They then guard the babies (which is fun to watch), forcing all the other fish to one corner of the tank. (A clown loach would eat their eggs in the night and prevent that though)

Pictures of small cichlids:

http://www.google.com/images?client...esult_group&ct=title&resnum=6&ved=0CD0QsAQwBQ

good info on them:

http://www.thekrib.com/Apisto/

Have fun picking things out!

PS. Serpae and Black Phantom tets always make me mad because they shred everyone else's fins
Reva, thank you for the excellent info. I'll definitely look into other small cichlids before taking a decision. My thinking is to start with the ground crew, plus a school of tetras, probably emperors. I'll leave the cichlid choice for last.
 
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