cicklid tank stocking, need input! - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-19-2009, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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cicklid tank stocking, need input!

Ok, so I got an 80gal tank off craigs list (great deal with stand!). So now after alot of thought and my moms love of african cicklids I'v made my decision. I have a sand substate and plan for alot of rocks, caves and some plastic plants here and there. So far the tank is still cycling so theres plenty of time.


10-13 african cicklids.

3 cory cats.

2 kuhlii loaches.

1 starry night pleco

So, will all these go together and will the loaches and corys be ok together and with the cicklids?
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post #2 of 9 Old 05-19-2009, 09:38 AM
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I do not recommend corydoras with rift lake cichlids. Corys occur in soft, slightly acidic water in nature and will not fare well in the hard alkaline water that is required to maintain African rift lake cichlids in good condition. The pH ranges from the high 7's to high 8's (Lakes Malawi and Victoria) and even 9 (L. Tanganika), and this is not going to suit a cory. There is also the issue of hardness; the water in the African rift lakes is hard, extremely so by comparison to the SA water of corys, and many aquarists use special rift lake salts and other minerals to better simulate the natural environment of the cichlids, and corys are well known to not tolerate salt; in their natural habitat they will never venture into water with any salt content.

Kuhlii loaches have almost identical water requirements to Corydoras; as I have never maintained kuhlii loaches myself, I have no experience as to how they might fare but logic tells me they would not do well with African cichlids for the same reasons as corys.

I would also suspect that both fish would probably be the victims of aggressive behaviour. A more suitable companion fish might be a pleco or catfish native to the rift lakes. I have noted photos of such fish in African cichlid aquaria, so those with more experience in this area will probably have suggestions.

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 #3 of 9 Old 05-19-2009, 10:08 AM
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+1 on corys & kuhlis not being kept with african cichlids. Corys & loaches prefer to be kept in groups, with at least a minimum of five for the kuhlis, in order for them to thrive and feel safe. I see no reason why corys & kuhlis can't be housed together.
As Byron states, africans are much too aggresive for these fish, along with the water params not being suitable. My vote would be for a pleco or two, or a Synodontis species. From what I've read a Synodontis multipunctata would be a suitable choice with africans.

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post #4 of 9 Old 05-19-2009, 10:45 AM
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I would agree with previous posts in regards to kuhlii's and corys. The synodontis multipunctatus would work ,and I would recommend only one specimen. It seems that this particular synodontis will if allowed to breed,,wait until a cichlid has laid eggs,, and then slip in and eat the eggs or a good portion of them,, and lay her own eggs on the cichlids nest. The female cichlid then scoops up the eggs and unknowingly raises the fry in her mouth where the fry too eat what's left of the cichlid eggs or young wigglers. Pretty devious. But I suppose it would be a way to keep the tank from being over run with young cichlids. It is for this behaivor that they are sometimes called the Cuckoo catfish.
If you are not firm on your desire to keep african cichlids,, there are many south american cichlids that prefer water more to the corys liking and some are rather peaceful. I would not place kuhlii's with any large cichlids. they look I suspect,, like french fries to most of them.

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #5 of 9 Old 05-19-2009, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick replys! I did think the ph and hardness might be a poblem so it's not to big of a disappointment. So maybe 10-13 african cicklids, 1-2 small plecos and 1-2 cuckoo cats? does any one have any good advice/ tips/ links on these fish?

Oh yeah, this is going to be mostly a lake malawi setup if it helps!

Last edited by Tetra4life; 05-19-2009 at 11:22 AM.
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-20-2009, 12:45 PM
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The term "African Cichlids" is way to broad to be able to give good advice. Be very careful which Africans you add together. If you have a list of exactly which ones you're going to get you should post it. Some are docile and others very aggressive. Most of them are very territorial and require a thoughtful mix if you are to have success.

Rift Lake cichlids come from all zones of the lakes. Some prefer a lot of rocks while others need an open tank in which to swim.

I could easily go on for 10 pages making recommendations but it would be a lot easier if you listed the species names.

P.S. Synodontis are very cool and I would highly recommend them for an African tank.
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post #7 of 9 Old 05-21-2009, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry it took so long! Ok heres what I had in mind, tell me what you think!

Malawi golden cichlid

Yellow lab

Kenyi cichlid

Bumblebee cichlid

Pseudotropherus demasoni

So could I keep a cuckoo with those? Thanks!
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-26-2009, 08:55 PM
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It sounds like that stocking list might work, depending on the numbers of each you keep. Someone more versed in particular combinations of Malawi cichlids will have to confirm, though.

I personally wouldn't attempt a pleco. They have much different water requirements than the Malawi fish, plus your cichlids are going to be just as effective at algae control as the pleco would be. Not to mention that I've heard stories of African cichlids harassing plecos to death. The cories and kuhlis are also a bad choice, both because of different water parameter requirements and the fact that they'd likely get eaten by the cichlids (especially the worm-looking kuhlis). The syno is a much better bet.

4 8 15 16 23 42
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post #9 of 9 Old 06-07-2009, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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I was thinking one or two of each, how's that?
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