02-15-2008, 11:31 PM
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A 10" crabro? That would be one for the books!! The biggest one I have ever seen went about 6". I have one about the same size that is about 5 years old. He is no more aggressive than any of his 65 or so tankmates. All African cichlids can be pugnacious and even get nasty, especially during breeding.
As I said in my prior post, if you want color, get the mbunas. You named a few. Stay clear of the Tropheus duboisi and the Tropheus moorii. These fish are very specialized feeders and cannot take any high protein matter. Strictly veggie eaters. Any protein will cause death. You are going to be severely limited with a 55g tank. Even a 75g is not going to support a large quantity of cichlids. I would pick about 3-4 species, and select a male and (2)females of each. Even then, your tank will be a tad over stocked, especially when these fish reach maturity.
The reason Africans and South Americans should not be mixed is the need completely different water chemistry and food. SA's are usually a soft water fish, low pH, and acidic water. Africans, on the other hand, need high alkaline, high pH conditions. Africans also come from a, basically rocky, open water biotope. SA's come from planted, submerged wood areas. This is a generality, there are exceptions.
Decide on whether you are going to keep SA's or Africans. Then, stock your tank accordingly. You may want to get a book on cichlids at your local fish store and research the subject.