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Wanting to get my first tank, thinking maybe a 50 gallon freshwater. My real question is on stocking. I would like to build a somewhat easy to take care of tank, and came to you guys the real experts, the ones with experience. Here is what I was thinking; one redtail shark, 3-5 zebra danios, 3-5 tiger barbs, 3-5 dwarf gourami, possibly a pleco of some sort: tiger, starry night, or thomasi, and maybe one or two crayfish. First off would the tank be overstocked? I did the figuring and it shouldn't be, but what are your thoughts? Numbers on the danios, barbs, and gourami, is 5 too many or 3 too few, should i leave out a species or two all together? Would the Pleco and crayfish do alright together, if not which would be more beneficial to keep around? Would this be a fairly hardy tank alltogether, I am brand new at this and am sure I will make some mistakes? Would I be better to jump to a 55 gallon tank or would that be overkill? If you could answer one or a couple of my questions that would be great..... and maybe in a couple months I'll have some pics of my georgeous tank! Thank you.

Matt
 

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well, the pleco and the gourami dont really go together because the pleco will kinda skim overthe gourami and maybe injure it.
 

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Mr. Fishy Pants
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I wouldn't call that over stocking. I would however keep the crayfish out, they have a tendency to catch and eat slower moving fish. You could even add a few more danios and tiger barbs. plus the higher number of barbs will help keep their nippiness w/in their own group rather on the gourami and red tail. Danios will always look better in larger schools and zebras don't get and aren't expensive, get a dozen! As for hardiness, I think the weak link would be the dwarf gourami, while not difficult to keep, they will be touchier than the other fish. And if you want to jump to a 55 I say go for it, same foot print, not really any more expensive, and 5 gallons of extra buffer water. Hope that helps.

-Dave
 
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