55 setup

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I am what I am. Defender of truth!
Nov 1, 2002
Mission Hills, CA 91345
ADVISE: Before reading. This is my opinion. Many people disagree with it. Do not flame me for this. Just an opinion. MOst "profesionals" will disagree and she knows this already.
here we go:
Please dont flame.
In My experience, Richter knows what he is talking about.

Its bad to keep large fish in small tanks. a 55 gallon is not an excessivily small tank. Do they need more room? yes. Its not feasible for everyone to get big enough tanks. Is it fair... no. There are a few fish that will outgrow the tank such as the distichidus sex. and the tiger shovelnose. The oscar, I think, will be fine in a 55 gallon. MANY people have 50-60 gallon tanks. and MANY poeple keep oscars in them. As long as you change the water and feed them, they should be fine. I have seen 12 inch oscars raised in a 55 gallon tank. If you really want an oscar..buy it.

Keep in mind this line of thought is on the lines of the "average" fish keeper. People on this forum take things to the nitty gritty.
Am I giving bad advice? I dont think so. Its your choice.

EVERYONE: This is just meant to be read and not argued. Please remember. We all know its too small of a tank. But it can work.

Moderators: This is not an offensive post. Just a point of view.


AC Members
Aug 7, 2002
Edmonton, AB
A point of view is something we respect, but you also have to respect and understand the fact that if someone disagrees with what you say, they will say something to the contrary. Keeping an open mind is key in many hobbies, this one is not an exception. If we all learn from each other, everyone will benefit.

That said, I'm going to have to disagree with you one some points.
First off, my name is "Richer" not "Richter" =P
Second of all, _one_ solitary oscar can be kept in a 55 gallon tank. Would I add any other fish to this tank? No chance. Any fish that grows to be the same size as the oscar will not fit in that tank if the oscar is already in there. Anything smaller will get beaten up, killed or eaten.

Its quite true that the "average" keeper cannot get larger tanks for the larger fish. This I blame on the LFS, but also on the potential fishkeeper. Whether average or hardcore, it does not hurt to do a little bit of research on what you want to keep. Fish have surprisingly long lifespans... which are only cut short because of an inexperience fishkeeper (me included). If taken care of properly, they can literally give many many years of enjoyment to the keeper.

Average or not, I think its in the best interest of most keepers to see that the fish they keep live to their longest potential lifespans.



the original legend
Jan 13, 2002
Real Name

some well kept oscars have exceeded 16" long.

a 55 is only 12.5" deep

a 75 gallon tank which has a footprint of 48x18 is a much better choice. height doesnt matter much with most cichlids, but if you want, a 90 gallon has the same footprint as the 75 but is a couple inches taller.


edit- i have also heard of some parrot cichlids that got quite big. 12"+ if i remember correctly.
Last edited:


AC Members
Original poster
Dec 2, 2002
Visit site
thanks everyone,

I think I will just stick to my parrots because they are my favorite and interesting to watch, they just hide a lot so maybe an aggressive fish wouldn't be the right choice but I really think it is hit and miss with fish, I have had fish that were supposed to be nasty turn out to be docile and also the other way arround.

I guess the only way to know is to buy the fish and observe. I was told parrots were aggressive but they are in my 30 gallon with believe it or not dwarf african frogs and they haven't even attempted to go after the frogs or vice/versa, they all get along great??

Anyhow, I wish I could afford a 75 or 90 because I would get one but I don't have the room for a tank that large nor the time to care for it. A 55 is about as big as I can go right now. But I will do my homework before purchasing any additional fish.