55 gallon cichlid stocking
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55 gallon cichlid stocking

This is a discussion on 55 gallon cichlid stocking within the Cichlids forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> I am thinking of going to cichlid from community in the near future. I was doing some recreational reading and found a different site ...

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55 gallon cichlid stocking
Old 06-09-2011, 10:55 AM   #1
 
55 gallon cichlid stocking

I am thinking of going to cichlid from community in the near future. I was doing some recreational reading and found a different site that recommended a group of 12 Lake Malawi Cichlids in a 55. I chose 3 groups of 4 with those being 4 Electric Yellow Labs(Labidochromis caeruleus), 4 Red Zebra(Metriaclima estherae), and 4 Pseudotropheus saulosi. I also have a decent sized Bristlenose Pleco that I would like to stay in the tank.

I have read that cichlids like driftwood and rocks. With the above listed fish are plants out of the question all together? Does the list look correct in regards to compatibility? Would my Striped Raphael need to chill in the 29 or could he come over to the 55 as well?
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:09 AM   #2
 
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Stocking is good for a 55 gallon. You could also keep your Raphael Catfish as long as hes not really small. Getting some nice pieces of driftwood and texas holy rock looks great with African Cichlids. For plants, Water Wisteria (Hygrophila difformis) is a fast growing, floating plant that works well with Cichlids.

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Old 06-09-2011, 11:12 AM   #3
 
The Raphael is about 2.5 inches right now. I am no where close to being set up for the cichlids yet, as I still have it full of community fish with fake plants and such. So he has time to get bigger before the cichlids move in.
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:48 AM   #4
 
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For Lake Malawi species, rock is needed. These fish live among rock and you could do a lovely authentic aquascape with a lot of rock, and a sand substrate. For plants, Vallisneria grows in this lake and does very well in hard water, obviously.
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:45 PM   #5
 
How thick of sand bed is needed? How much sand does that equate too in a 55 gallon? I am not opposed to changing the substrate just trying to break down total cost here. I have a ton of old natural slate tile that I was planning to work into some cave decor. Would the slate hurt the fish or should I do some other form of natural rock?
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:52 PM   #6
 
this might help

Last edited by calebabernathy; 06-09-2011 at 12:57 PM..
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:55 PM   #7
 
it is ok as long as there are no sharp edges to the tile and make sure to put it on the glass as the chilids love to move sand. but just to be on the safe side i would put some in a 5 gallon bucket and test the ph and then in a couple of days check it again if it spiked ur ph it is not a good stone to put into ur tank
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Old 06-09-2011, 03:48 PM   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deman3 View Post
How thick of sand bed is needed? How much sand does that equate too in a 55 gallon? I am not opposed to changing the substrate just trying to break down total cost here. I have a ton of old natural slate tile that I was planning to work into some cave decor. Would the slate hurt the fish or should I do some other form of natural rock?
Some Malawi cichlids love to re-arrange the sand, build territories, spawning sites, etc. I would aim for no more than 2 inches overall; this is sufficient for Vallisneria or similar plants, and not too deep to cause problems. Playsand from Home Depot or Lowe's is what I use in sand substrate tanks. One bag would do a 55g, and that is a few dollars.

Slate can be used, and I have seen some wonderful aquascapes using it; it is best to silicone it together (in a dry tank obviously) to prevent the collapse. You want to create caves, and this is risky with slate as it is thin and relatively light, compared to chunks of limestone which is what I used many years ago. It is more natural in appearance too.
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Old 06-11-2011, 08:22 AM   #9
 
Would Yellow Labs and Red Top Zebras(Metriaclima pyrsonotos) be completely incompatible? I am thinking about doing a setup with 6 of each instead of the above listed fish, unless of course it is completely out of the question.
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Old 06-19-2011, 06:59 PM   #10
 
Just as an update. I bought 3 acei, and 3 labs. I now have 2 Bn Plecs, 2 Otos, 1 High Fin Syndontis and the 6 cichlids in the tank. All are doing well.
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