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This is a discussion on Community? within the Cichlids forums, part of the Freshwater and Tropical Fish category; --> I might sound stupid, but I'm used to colorful livebearers and other simple hardy fish since I've only been fishkeeping for a little less ...

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Old 01-18-2011, 10:39 PM   #1
Question Community?

I might sound stupid, but I'm used to colorful livebearers and other simple hardy fish since I've only been fishkeeping for a little less than a year.
I was wondering if there is such a thing as a cichlid community tank. If it's possible to put some together without them being super aggressive. Maybe some sharks? I have no idea. But I'd like to try something new. I want to move up in the scale of the fish world. :]
I have a 20 gallon tank. So I don't know if any cichlids will work in there. Maybe some rams or convicts or... I really have no idea.
Any help and information is much needed and appreciated.
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:23 AM   #2
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There are semi-aggressive cichlids that would work in a large community tank. Bolivian Rams, German Blue Rams, I have heard Apistogramma, Angelfish, Discus, etc. However, I don't recommend these fish in a 20 gallon tank with other fish. I think 55g would probably be your minimum for most of these fish w/ community (discus might be larger, don't know, and apistos might be kept in smaller, as they live in 10g tanks be themselves sometimes).

Actually, I have heard that krib* (*I can't remember the entire name, help me out community!) are peaceful cichlids, but I'd research the behavior of this cichlid before putting it with other fish in a smaller tank.

As for sharks, Red-tailed shark and Rainbow (and albino rainbow) shark are the most common. Another common shark is the Colombian/Blackfin shark. WARNING: don't get a blackfin shark unless you are planning to setup a 120g or more Brackish tank! Sorry for the bold. I just don't want someone to skim through this and not see that you can't keep Colombians. . They are semi-aggressive and can sometimes be mean. They will probably get meaner as they grow. From what I understand, you can't have 2 of the same kind when it comes to RTS and RS. I don't even think you can have RTS and RS together. Sharks need alot of swimming room, so I'd recommend a bigger tank than 20g for either species.

You can view Tropical Fish Keeping's profiles to check the minimum standards of the sharks, as well as the cichlids.

Good question! Hope this helps!
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:32 AM   #3
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You might google .. "Shell dwelling cichlids" and see if they interest you. These are seldom seen in fish stores and would maybe need to order them online but they are the only cichlids in my view,that would fit 20 gallon tank. A male and four or five females would be the right ratio for these tiny cichlids.
I have no expierience with them so you will need to research the fishes.
Can tell you that they need fairly hard water and lot's of large shells for nesting along with sand substrate.
Interesting fish in my opinion, and you could possibly earn a few bucks if breeding efforts are rewarded.
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Old 01-19-2011, 04:39 AM   #4
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Huh, I forgot about the shellies. Such a cute little cichlid!

Apistos can live in 10g tanks by themselves, but shellies (I think the scientific name starts with an L) may be the best suited for a community, but idk because I haven't researched them.
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Old 01-19-2011, 03:58 PM   #5
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20 gal tank definitely screams shell dweller tank. I have a 20 gal neolamprologus multifasciatus tank in my aquariums list under my name, if you would like to see pictures of what I am talking about. I got interested in shell dwellers because I had a 20 gal and wanted Africans. Over the years I have kept a half dozen different tanks nad my shell dwellers are one of the most interesting to watch.

If you do choose shellies I would make it a species tank, shellies can be very aggressive and are known to be quite prolific when it comes to spawning.
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:36 PM   #6
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I have a mixed community tank (25G) with two angelfish, a bolivian ram, rasboras, danios, neons and two corys. The angelfish have found the neons tasty (stupid me.) but they leave the ram alone. The ram doesn't bother the corys. Perhaps these are good fish for you?
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:43 PM   #7
25 gallon is way too small for angels
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:47 PM   #8
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They're still small. Not to worry, if they outgrow my tank I'll find them a new home.
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:49 AM   #9
Questions about angel fish

The guy at my fish store says I just have to wait probably another week for my aquarium to finish cycling and then I get more fish! I am so excited and it is so hard to wait, but don't want to do it too soon. My husband and I would like to get some angel fish, as we have always loved them. I see from the fish profiles that there are three kinds of angels, but our fish store only seems to stock one kind and I am unsure which one it is. I also want to get some bottom dwellers and am wondering if all bottom dwellers get along with angel fish or if there are certain breeds that are a better bet. Also, should I buy the angels or the bottom dwellers first? Or does it matter at all? The fish store guy said the angels will just eat the flake food, but I have read that they have to have special food? My tank is 30 gallons and standard shape. I hope it is big enough for angel fish. Will they be ok with plastic plants, as I don't have live plants and I read in the profile that they like lots of plants. Any help I can get is appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-20-2011, 11:42 AM   #10
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Bridget, my angels don't bother my bottom dwellers (Corys and a bolivian ram) and they eat my Nutrafin flake food. (I suppliment with bloodworms and brine shrimp). I *think* my angels are the scalare? variety, they're silver with a yellow top fin and face.
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