Description: I got a 55 Gallon tank for my birthday. I've been wanting an aquarium for a while, so when I got one, I wanted to do it right. I previously had a small 5 gallon tank with 2 Serpea Tetras, 2 White Skirt Tetras and 2 Mystery snails. By transferring stuff from my established tank, my new one never had to cycle!!!
Advice: Always have an auxliary tank available. I brought home 6 Von Rio Tetras. They brought with them Ick. If it weren't for a little 10 gallon tank, they could have infected my entire community. Fortunately I got them quarantined, rose temp to 86 degrees and slowly added 1TBS salt per gallon. Ick was gone in 9 days. Always Quarantine!!!
Fish Kept: I have Tetras (6 Serpea, 3 Black Skirt and 3 White Skirt and 5 Von Rio) 4 Albino Cory Doras and 5 mystery snails. I plan on getting a few more. The bioload is offset by 20% water changes weekly with vacuuming. Use of a AquaTech 30-60 and a Marineland Penguin 350 w/ biowheel. One 200w marineland heater and 5" airstone. I test weekly and do a head count at each feeding.
Corals/Plants: The only things alive in my tank are the fish. Artificial Plants, Resin Driftwood and Loc Rocks. There are lots of places to hide. I have a small Terra Cotta bowl for the snails and Corys to feed from, too. However the Serpeas are very smart. They've figured out that when they see the tube for dropping the sinking food into the bowl, they come fast to get an extra meal.