Hi all, I'm new to cichlids but not to fish. I have an established 20 gallon long where my community fish are doing quite well. I have 1 pearl gourami, 1 albino ancistrus, 3 glofish, 5 cardinal tetras, and my pride and joy, 6 kuhli loaches. I'd love to get a bigger tank for cichlids, but instead I am adding a 6 gallon tank into which I will transfer my kuhli loaches - yeah, it'll be fun catching them - not! I will also transfer either my glofish or my lovely cardinals, and due to space I think I will be forced to turn in whichever I don't transfer.
That leaves my 20 gallon tank, which has hard water and a pH of 7.6. It does have lots of hidey places.
I would like to keep gourami and the ancistrus. Would my large, bold male gourami be able to fend for himself if the cichlids are small at purchase? And would my ancistrus be able to withstand cichlids? It's a smaller variety but still has that armoured plate.
I would also LOVE to add a pictus cat. I had one in the past that thrived by itself in a 10 gallon tank with other species. They're fast, but not armoured. Are they compatable with cichlids?
As to the cichlids themselves. I would love to have single males from several species of cichlids. I'd love a jewel, and at least one bright blue species, if not two. Sounds like African species tend to be smaller and what would work better. Varieties that are appealing to me are the acei, severum, electric yellow, johanni, convict, purple lupingo... tell you the truth I am getting overwhelmed with the variety and research. I know all kinds of community fish including plenty I've never even owned, but cichlids are new territory! Any other ideas of what might work in my tank? Would I have to trade in the gourami? Cichlids really do appeal to me due to both color and behavior.
Thanks for your input!