How many cichlids do I keep in a 3 foot tank? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-10-2013, 02:58 AM Thread Starter
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How many cichlids do I keep in a 3 foot tank?

Ive a 3 foot tank and am now keeping cichlids. I have ten one-inch malawis in there. How more do you think I can keep in such a tank? Also, Ive seen the fish scraping themselves against tank objects recently, and they've been doing it quite a bit. Any reason for this?

Thank you.
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-10-2013, 09:12 AM
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Well, as a rule I would never go under a 55G tank when mixing cichlids. Most Malawi's on average will get to be 5+ inches in size, already putting you up to 50+ inches of full grown fish. Not saying it wont be able to work, most African tanks with mixed species need to be over-stocked. With enough filtration and rocky cover/caves, you might be able to pull it off the way it is. As they grow they will become more and more aggressive, and if you have multiple males, it could be iffy. Best of luck!
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-10-2013, 11:51 AM
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Well this depends on what Malawis you have. Do you know which type of cichilds you are now keeping? Lake Malawi houses at least 1200 species of cichlids with some very different sizes, diets, and behaviors. Don't worry about the odd ball looking scraping on rocks and in the sand. They are just being cichlids and some of this is territorial behavior, sometimes "housekeeping", sometimes mating behaviors... not to worry about.
Can you either tell us your stock or post pics for ID's to help with a comprehensive answer to your question?
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-14-2013, 04:16 AM Thread Starter
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Shows how ignorant I am about cichlids, lol. I think I have the Lake Niassa ones, they'r orange ones, and purple with bars, and Ive got one with spots looking like a puffer fish! And one longish brown one. In time I will post a pic for you to see. I added a 3 inch plecostomus to keep the tank clean. I was worried that they would kill it.
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-14-2013, 07:01 AM
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Shows how ignorant I am about cichlids, lol. I think I have the Lake Niassa ones, they'r orange ones, and purple with bars, and Ive got one with spots looking like a puffer fish! And one longish brown one. In time I will post a pic for you to see. I added a 3 inch plecostomus to keep the tank clean. I was worried that they would kill it.
The pleco will just create more waste and add to your problems .
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-14-2013, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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The pleco will just create more waste and add to your problems .
Well the reason I bought a plec was to clean the tank. The whole tank was covered in algae and as soon as I put him in the tank got clean in no time. I had a 6 inch pleco previously but it died, as I have said in my previous posts some months ago.
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-14-2013, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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The pleco will just create more waste and add to your problems .
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Originally Posted by Brahmza View Post
Well, as a rule I would never go under a 55G tank when mixing cichlids. Most Malawi's on average will get to be 5+ inches in size, already putting you up to 50+ inches of full grown fish. Not saying it wont be able to work, most African tanks with mixed species need to be over-stocked. With enough filtration and rocky cover/caves, you might be able to pull it off the way it is. As they grow they will become more and more aggressive, and if you have multiple males, it could be iffy. Best of luck!
When do they start fighting? And then what happens, do I have to remove the males? Can I keep 20 cichlids in a 3 foot tank?
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post #8 of 10 Old 09-14-2013, 09:45 AM
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Well the reason I bought a plec was to clean the tank. The whole tank was covered in algae and as soon as I put him in the tank got clean in no time. I had a 6 inch pleco previously but it died, as I have said in my previous posts some months ago.
Yes they clean algae but they are poop machines and adding them with cichlids will make you have to over filter that much more along with heavy weekly water changes
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post #9 of 10 Old 09-14-2013, 12:51 PM
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I agree about the pleco not being necessary and adding to the current issue. Cichlids already have a rather large bioload, and that pleco is just going to add to it. I really do recommend getting rid of it and controlling the algae through other means (ie lowering the amount of time the light is on, doing more wc's, etc). Plecos quite literally never stop pooping, and send a bioload through the roof.
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post #10 of 10 Old 09-18-2013, 06:36 AM Thread Starter
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Well I didnt know this before. Shows how much we can learn still. Thank you all for your input, much appreciated.
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