Just made a major upgrade from 20g to 135g, help pls! - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 64 Old 05-18-2008, 01:54 PM
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Filter, I would recommend either another large AC HOB or a large canister regardless if you keep the Oscar or not. The hoods should be easy to get from a LFS, get the glass hoods because they allow you to do so much more than just get the regular light fixtures. You dcould also use egg crate over the top of the tank for a hood. I use it now on my 10 gallon tanks and it has really grown on my. No light loss through it and easy to keep clean.

If you decide to go planted, then lighting is a huge investment for moderate or moderate high light. Or can be at least.
www.ahsupply.com has some of the best lighting options I have seen as far as price and allows you to get exactly what you want. It is DIY but does not seem like it will be hard and they are very willing to help with your needs. I have never ordered from them but they have spent hours going over the specifics and details with me anyway.

As for what you can do if you don't keep the Oscar, Like HF said, A LOT!

Could go with all small fish:
10-12 Otos
8-10 cories
20-30 rasboras
20-30 danios

If you want a more aggressive or predator fish, you could go with a couple leaf fish or a couple of eels or Bichir.

Spiny eels might be a good choice also although small fish wouldn't be an option when they got larger.
You will need to have a very secure lid for them though because they are escape artists and like to get out whenever they can.
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post #12 of 64 Old 05-18-2008, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Wow! You guys are amazing!!! With so many suggestions, would have to send some time to figure what fish you guys are talking about lol. Thank goodness for internet :).
I believe i know what African cichlids are and i think they are beautiful. Would i be able to keep a bunch?
As for plants....why get real plants when there are plastic one?
In the meantime keep all comments and suggestions coming.
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post #13 of 64 Old 05-18-2008, 11:37 PM
Keeping a "bunch of cichlids" is a very volatile subject. There are a few schools of thought and practice, both conservative and extreme. Some keep strictly species tanks, some have fish endemic to a certain areas of the Lakes. Some stock light, and still some, me included, stock the tank full. My 300g Malawi tank has well over 100 fish, including the catfish, Synodontis'(8 different species) and an adult dwarf giraffe cat. To say the tank is full might rank as one of the top understatements of the year. It is a very active tank.

The reasons for such diversity of thought is as complex as the fish themselves. Those that keep single species tanks do so to prevent any cross breeding, which will occur between some species. Also some fish, such as frontosas are rather large at maturity, they rival the size of a full grown oscar. Other fish, such as some of the haplochomines for example, are very ill tempered and are best kept in a species tank.

Those that keep "community tanks", a blend of this diverse family, do so to enjoy the fish themselves. They are a pugnacious, territorial, busy, full of personality and quite a colorful group. Most mbuna, at maturity, will be less than 6" total body length. This makes them easy to stock in higher numbers in larger tanks, you can put quite a few fish in a big tank.

Those, like myself, overstock our tanks to keep aggressive behavior, and the injuries, from the "battles" at a minimum. A "hospital" tank is still necessary. The philosophy behind such a stocking scheme can be likened to the fish being harassed gets lost in the crowd. And soon the chaser gives up the chase or finds another fish to spend his energies on. The drawback to such a scheme is the filtration must be high and must be efficient. I would think nothing of filtering such a tank 10x-20x an hour. my large cichlid tanks have filtration approaching 3500gph on one tank for example. Using external and internal power filters, canisters, and power heads to achieve such high flow. I do not use sump systems.

Many have a unique breeding habit in that they are mouthbrooders. The female will incubate the eggs in her bucal cavity providing a safe haven for the fry. She eats very little food during this time, so it is best to have a tank at the ready for her rehabilitation when she releases the young. Males are also very hard on the females during courtship. If the female is unreceptive, he could, very possibly, kill her.

Most cichlids and plants do not mix. The fish are, for the most part, herbivorous and great excavators. They constantly rescape the aquarium to fit their liking. This is why some keepers shy away from undergravel filter plates with these fish. There are modifications that can be made very inexpensively for those of us that use this filtration method and also keep cichlids. They may also eat you plants. If you are looking for a planted look, plastic plants are probably your only alternative. Rockwork, for most mbuna, is almost mandatory. Caves, nooks and crannies are the order of the day.

By selecting cichlids, you will have chosen the largest single group of fish in nature. So, your range of choices will be larger than your tank!! You, again, need to make a choice of exactly what you are looking for in your tank. I wish I had your problem. But, quite honestly, I really don't need another tank, let alone another cichlid tank.
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post #14 of 64 Old 05-18-2008, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the detailed comment.....i'm lost of words..... I can tell you really have a vast knowledge and a great passion for fish. How long have you had this hobby herefishy?
As for me, I'm still searching for informations and understanding of my options. BTW, can i keep my Red Oscar (she is about 6-7 inches) with some African cichlids?
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post #15 of 64 Old 05-19-2008, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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i wanna thank everyone for all their precious comments but i'm definetly a novice and is gonna take me a while to understand and digest so be bear with me.
thanks again
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post #16 of 64 Old 05-19-2008, 12:09 AM Thread Starter
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There is one think i know that i like, is to have big fishes like 6-7 inches. :) What that narrow down my search?
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post #17 of 64 Old 05-19-2008, 12:30 AM
Most Africans Rift Lake species will max out at 4" or so. Just means you put more fish in the tank then, eh. Yes, it narrows your search, but like I said previously, cichlids are the largest family of fish in nature so you barely dented the subject.

Try these links:





That will give you a start to see what you are up against..
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post #18 of 64 Old 05-19-2008, 02:46 AM
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Originally Posted by live2bet
Thanks for the detailed comment.....i'm lost of words..... I can tell you really have a vast knowledge and a great passion for fish. How long have you had this hobby herefishy?
As for me, I'm still searching for informations and understanding of my options. BTW, can i keep my Red Oscar (she is about 6-7 inches) with some African cichlids?
Your Oscar is from the neutral to slightly acid and moderately soft waters of Peru and Brazil. The African rift lake Cichlids come from waters quite hard and alkaline, say pH 8.2 and general hardness in the mid-20's.
You can keep your Oscar, but keeping him with African Cichlids is doing both of them a disservice. As said above, removing the Oscar opens innumerable options for your tank. Keeping him limits you a great deal. Your Oscar will grow to 14 inches. Since it is already established, adding three or four more Oscars would be trouble. You could keep him with six Tinfoil Barbs, as they reach the same size as the Oscar. The barbs are schooling fish, so six is what you should get.
Bob (herefishy) is one of the few keepers here who have kept fish longer than I have. He's in his 45th year; I'm in my 36th.

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post #19 of 64 Old 05-19-2008, 04:07 AM
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I would also like to add... Keep in mind the weight of the tank when full this as you probably know will help determine where you put it. :)

The most important medication in your fish medicine cabinet is.. Clean water.
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post #20 of 64 Old 05-19-2008, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks again guys. I'm loving the African Cichlids :o , now i have to convince myself to let my Ocasar go Would it be a good idea to buy them online? Online seems to have more varieties then the LFS. Gonna do some driving today to the LFS
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