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post #1 of 5 Old 05-31-2011, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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New cichlid community tank

Although I am not new to keeping fish, I have just set up a new 260litre south American cichlid (ish)tank. I have never kept cichlids before and have been thrown lots of conflicting information about them.

My aim: my aim is to keep the following:

2 x Red Terror, Festa’s Cichlids.
4 x Silver Dollars.
2 x Silver (ballan)shark.
4 x other cichlids. Im thinking similar convicts (Please advise on a colourful alternative)
4 x clown loaches.
1 x plecos

I know this is a lot but if it gets crowded ill re home.
Also my PH is between 6.5 and 7.0 and I have a few bits of tree roots in at the mo but will add rock and plastic plant shortly. It is sand bottom and have two external filters. (One is new so will take a while to become effective)

Any advice. Please help :)
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post #2 of 5 Old 05-31-2011, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris001 View Post
Although I am not new to keeping fish, I have just set up a new 260litre south American cichlid (ish)tank. I have never kept cichlids before and have been thrown lots of conflicting information about them.

My aim: my aim is to keep the following:

2 x Red Terror, Festa’s Cichlids.
4 x Silver Dollars.
2 x Silver (ballan)shark.
4 x other cichlids. Im thinking similar convicts (Please advise on a colourful alternative)
4 x clown loaches.
1 x plecos

I know this is a lot but if it gets crowded ill re home.
Also my PH is between 6.5 and 7.0 and I have a few bits of tree roots in at the mo but will add rock and plastic plant shortly. It is sand bottom and have two external filters. (One is new so will take a while to become effective)

Any advice. Please help :)
I'm very new as well, and really I'm making this post only for comedy value, but there may be a message in here somewhere too :P

I hear there's no such thing as a cichlid 'community' tank! :P Seriously though, I believe it's called a 'semi-aggressive' tank with cichlids in it. Don't take my word for it though, like I say, I'm newer than you by the sound of it. ;)

Aside from that, I have been told that my own pleco (common, and of course the variety is going to matter) will outgrow my 250l tank (he's in a 120l at the moment, and is only 3.5 inches, I have plans to rehouse him in my 250 eventually, but apparently he will even outgrow that sooner or later!).
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post #3 of 5 Old 05-31-2011, 01:31 PM
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Welcome to Tropical Fish Keeping forum.

Mixing the larger cichlids is usually not possible unless it is a very large aquarium. You mention a 260 litre (roughly 70g, 4-feet in length presumably) tank. This is not sufficient for Festae (Red Terror) cichlids that can attain up to 20 inches in length and are highly aggressive. Cichlid authorities recommend nothing under a 200g tank for this fish, so I would forget it.

Convicts will work, they attain 6 inches and are relative peaceful except when spawning. A 260L/70g works for this species.

Clown loaches need a group, five would be better than 4 as this is a highly social fish; they attain 8 inches and possibly larger, and a 6-foot tank is best for these. I realize you mention re-homing fish later, but this is not always wise, as circumstances can change and the fish is the loser. There are other loaches that remain smaller, but the convicts are an issue; when spawning, they can be very rough on any other fish, including otherwise "thick-skinned" fish like a pleco.

Common Pleco attain 12+ inches and need more space than what you are proposing. There are smaller species in Hypostomus for example, but again the behaviour of the cichlids has to be considered.

Bala Shark should be kept in groups due to their social structure, and a 6-foot tank is minimum but most recommend 8-feet. You can read more on this species in our profile, click on the shaded name.

A group of at least six Silver Dollar would work in the 260L tank, but not with Convicts. More info in the profile.

Hope this is of some help.

Byron.

Byron Hosking, BMus, MA
Vancouver, BC, Canada

The aquarist is one who must learn the ways of the biologist, the chemist, and the veterinarian. [unknown source]

Something we all need to remember: The fish you've acquired was quite happy not being owned by you, minding its own business. If you’re going to take it under your wing then you’re responsible for it. Every aspect of its life is under your control, from water quality and temperature to swimming space. [Nathan Hill in PFK]
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post #4 of 5 Old 05-31-2011, 03:57 PM
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Be careful with the convicts if you happen to get a breeding pair you will have a couple hundred in a few months to try and control it try to get 2 female or 2 male if they cant be sexed and you do get a breeding pair keep your temp down in the mid 70's and and be sure not to over feed and that should help with keeping the rabbits of the water at bay but once they start breeding dont even think about selling just give as many away as you can as fast as you can it will save you alot of headaches

Yea I'm that guy
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post #5 of 5 Old 06-02-2011, 08:41 AM Thread Starter
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thanks!

Ok Guys,

Ive taken onboard your advise.

So Im not going to go for the Ballen Sharks as the tank is going to get to small for them and Ive heard they tend to "leave/jump out" the tank.

Ive gone down to the fish shop and bought the following:

2 convicts: hopefully both male or both female I will have to wait and see.
4 Clown loaches
2 Fire mouth Cichlids. - I am aware of their size. But ive been advised that they work well with convicts. Lets just hope I havent made a mistake becuase they are lovely fish.
1 bulldog pleco - so no worries about that outgrowing the tank! Just hope its an alright cleaner.

I understand that fish shops want to sell you their stock, but really their advise goes against most of that on the internet. You really have to be carefull.

Anyway Im still toying with the idea of getting the 5x silver dollars.

So my 260l tank would look more like this:


2 Fire mouths
2convicts
4 clown loaches
1 bulldog pleco

5 silver dollars (maybe)
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