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Re: Aggies in 55 gallon

In a message dated 98-03-09 17:33:34 EST, you write:

<<  thanks for the info.  How many fish should i have in this 55 ga? All
> fish are small, No swordtails, everything is peacefull. The male Apisto
> is the largest at about 21/2 ". Again thank you.
> Diane >>

The male aggie may currently be the largest fish in there, but your angels
will get larger over time.  They can reach a body "disk" diameter of around 5
inches.  Depending on how many of them you have, they could be the limiting
factor on how many fish total you can have.

Having rams and aggies in the same tank is probably enough species of dwarf
cichlids for one tank that size.  They are both bottom-dwelling fish, and will
be competing for the same turf.  That means 2 species of dwarfs is all you can
easily maintain (This statement leaves me wide open for contradicting
opinions).  Three or four of each species can really strain the "civility" of
the community.  Three angels, and a school of four or five small schooling
tetras, like cardinals or silver-tips is good for the mix. These will all be
"mid-water" fish, as will most livebearers (again, three or four, not a herd).
Also three or four cories, to share the bottom and pick up all the excess food
that settles, and a small school of Hatchets or other "Top-water" fish, and
that would just about fill you up.  You might also find something like a Royal
Plecostomus (although it will probably eat your cichlids' eggs) or several
ottocinclus catfish to keep up with the algae would be useful.  Then you would
be balanced in distribution, as well as variety.

This should give you a good "guideline", or perhaps a baseline to work to.  I
find it difficult to say exactly how many fish one can keep in a given size
tank.  There are too many factors, such as temperature, filtering, water
circulation, and so on to set a specific number of fish, or a given number of
"inches" of fish.

The best approach is to add fish slowly, so the biofilter can adjust to load
increases, choose your fish to minimize territorial or other conflicts, and
observe the overall health of the tank as you go along.

In the above suggested mix, if the tank is well-planted and there is
sufficient cover, you might even get some successful spawns, provided you go
with the ottos instead of the pleco.  That would really be a cool experience.

Good luck