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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
:-? i have an empty 55 gallon what do i do i have not yet bought any thing for it since i wount be setting it up for a month or soo but its always good to have an idea so any ideas?
 

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Do you want a couple bigger fish, a group of smaller fish, a mix of community fish and little cichlids, etc? What strikes your fancy? And what is your experience level? Do you want aggressive or peaceful? Have you looked at the cookie cutter setups for 55 gallons? That would be the place to start.
 

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iwishihadmorefish said:
:-? i have an empty 55 gallon what do i do i have not yet bought any thing for it since i wount be setting it up for a month or soo but its always good to have an idea so any ideas?
In addition to the cookie cutters, as previously suggested, try some scenarios on this stocking calculator.

http://www.aqadvisor.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
i have looked at the cookie cutter setups and nothing really seemed appealing to me idk... my experience level would be middle i have 5 current community tanks with some keyholes and apistos but thats my only adventure to the cichlid world i ve made so idk i cant decide between alot of little fish or one giant fish :/ i was thinking 15 tiger barbs and some clown loach but idk that just seems kinda boring after awhile can someone list the pros and cons of little fish vs big fish and my budget is pretty high but i wont pay alot for a fish
 

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Yellow Labs (Labidochromis caeruleus) are a good beginner fish. Reasonably priced, easy to care for, and always available. The color is bright, and they spawn easily. I'm just starting out, and that's what I got... I added some Rustys (Iodotropheus sprengerae) also very peaceful and easy-going.
 

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If you click the profiles tab, select lake malawi, and mbuna. There are nice descriptions and photographs of both fish.
 

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I personally don't find little community fish that interesting, which is why I switched to cichlids. I would look into doing a Malawi Mbuna setup. Loads of color and movement, very interesting feisty little fish. If you wanted to do American, maybe a breeding pair of convicts? I think they're great. Or a mixed group of medium sized cichlids: convict, rainbow, firemouth? I LOVE catfish and there are some neat ones that can work in these setups.
 

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If you want a beautiful, and fiesty American fish, try a pair of sunfish. Male breeding colors are totally awesome! (You can usually get a live collecting permit from your state Fish and Wildlife Department.)

p.s. My cat gets "on" the aquarium to fish, not "in" the aquarium. So much for avatars...
 

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Ooo... if you're going to go with natives, maybe yellow perch? I've always been curious about doing a local species setup.

To do list:

1) Buy bigger house
2) Buy more tanks
3) Go fishing! ;)
 

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I can't ever decide on what I want, which is why I always end up with more tanks. Currently have a Malawi Mbuna, a Hap/Peacock, couple growouts and fry tanks, currently setting up a Tang tank, and I still want a SA and shelly tank as well. Then a pond. And of course I want to dabble into SW, but not too much, just enough to experience it. At which point, I'm sure I'll want another 2389043907 tanks.

The Mbuna tank is probably my most active, but the peacock tank definitely shines in it's own light. I prefer cichlids because they are always doing something, where other fish just bore the death out of me. 9 out of 10 people ask if my tanks are SW. And it's more of a statement than a question, like, "These are saltwater, right?" Haha, no.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
hahahah your cat sounds hilarious well if i was to go with the sunfish would i still need a heater? just curious because i have never kept a native fish
 

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I kept an outdoor aquarium on my back porch in Louisiana in the winter with bluegills and a small channel cat through the winter without a heater. They get a little sluggish, but did fine. Of course, Louisiana winters are pretty mild, lows in the 40's or high 30's. Never tried spawning them (which occurs in the spring, (mid 70's to low 80s) [All temps fahrenheit, of course]
 

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What was your setup? I'm thinking I need a big stock tank on my porch now. But our winters are much more severe. Release the fish in the fall? Keep them over with a heater and a cover? Oh I can just imagine the joys of water changes in negative degree weather with four feet of snow. Maybe not so practical... But fun to think about anyway. :popcorn:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
well the tank would be in my basement ad idk im thinking about when it gets warmer out going down to the river and catching some things and possibly some minnows idk yet i gotta see what i catch i might even look for some crayfish and some small inverts i actually really like the idea of a native tank so im going with that sooooo either 2 or 3 small blue gill or 1 bass or 3 or 4 crayfish will be going into this tank or a school of minnows i have no idea yet i like the blue gill idea tho there are alot by my house in local lakes
 

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Well, you could do an outdoor summer thing, but a 55 is big enough to keep small native (excuse the term) panfish inside. Some driftwood would be good, but definitely a cover. Brim can sure jump! I used an under gravel filter with a gravel bottom, and a log to hide under.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
well after some further research as much as i like the idea of a native tank firemouths have cought my attention they look pretty cool and interesting do u know how many i could keep in a 55 im havin some trouble finding exactly how much
 

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Maybe two pairs? Or one pair would probably be safer. I haven't kept firemouths before, though their reputation is fairly mild compared to a lot of other CA cichlids. Temperament does vary between individuals of course.

Here's some more threads you can glean some info from
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=213173&sid=b4c5a9bace67b4140bc634ce59194cbf
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=207854&sid=0c4a148ff455c4403d48557554638cfb
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=212241&sid=5edf1164c000f16e76b341a3cd30f411
 
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