Spontaneous tank purchase- my new 29 gallon! - Page 2 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #11 of 90 Old 09-29-2008, 08:48 PM Thread Starter
Since I'm pretty much new to cichlids, maybe someone could help me out. (No, I haven't decided yet, but I do like the idea.) Most of the time when I see cichlid tanks, they have a variety of species. How does this work to prevent aggression, and could I do this with the smaller species? Also, I looked up keyhole cichlids, and I liked them, then I read that they can reach 6" in length. Is this true, because wouldn't they then be a little big for a 29 gal.?

I also liked the kribensis idea, and the loach idea. Hmmm, so many to choose from. Well, I do know that whatever I choose, I want the fish to all come from the same region.

What about German Blue Rams? I have read that they are picky about water quality, but since I am too, that shouldn't be a problem.

Well, I sealed the tank, and I will post pics when I set it up tomorrow.
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post #12 of 90 Old 09-29-2008, 10:19 PM
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The idea of crowding to reduce aggression is a concept applied to stocking African Rift Lake cichlids. The tanks you see with all the differently colored fish are likely tanks full of mbuna from Lake Malawi. A 29g is, in my opinion, too small to have a good assortment of mbuna while also being able to control aggression problems. There are several smaller Rift Lake fish from Lake Tanganyika (like the smaller shelldwellers) that would do nicely in a small group in a 29g. All of the Rift Lake fish prefer hard water with a high pH. The tanks usually have sand or crushed coral as a substrate and large rock formations to provide plenty of hiding caves and territories. Shelldwellers need empty shells like escargot or murex shells to live in.

"Dwarf cichlids" usually refers to the smaller riverine cichlids from the New World as well as African river systems. Dwarf cichlids include the different apistogramma, kribensis, rams, nannacara and others. Most of these fish need a lower pH with softer water. You can't pack them together to reduce aggression - putting them in cramped quarters is a recipe for disaster since pairs will form anyway and fights will likely result in death. In a 29g tank I wouldn't want more than a single pair of any sort of dwarf cichlid, possibly with an extra female to even out aggression. However, since they're small and not usually aggressive to non-cichlids, you can safely keep other community fish with dwarf cichlids.

Even though they're small, keyholes aren't really dwarf cichlids but more like a mid-sized American cichlid. They're one of the better community cichlids though. Festivums might also work. The convicts and salvinis I mentioned are much more aggressive fish, so you probably wouldn't be able to keep anything else with them.

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post #13 of 90 Old 09-30-2008, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
Thanks for clearing that up for me. I probably will want more fish in the aquarium, so I think that I will probably go with a pair of some type of dwarf cichlid. My pH is a little high (7.6), but from what I have heard about my other fish, is that most domestic fish should be fine in water with that pH. If this is not so, please tell me.

So, I'm supposed to get a few of whatever I choose, and wait for pairs to form, then bring the others back. I will have to call some fish stores to make sure they do this.

I will be setting up the tank today :D !
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post #14 of 90 Old 10-01-2008, 01:23 PM
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It's kind of weird, really - it depends on the fish. In my experience, most stores sell regular ol' kribensis as unsexable juveniles, so you will likely have to buy a few and take back the extras after a pair form. The more rare (and expensive) wild-caught pelvicachromis varieties (i.e. wild kribs) are usually sold as pairs. Apistogramma are also usually sold as pairs. Rams are usually sold as singles, but it can be difficult to find females since many rams are given hormone injections to bring out their colors that result in most of them being male.

With my kribs, I've found that they do a *lot* better as a pair if you have some sort of dither fish. Ideal tankmates would be active fish that don't really pose a threat to your krib fry yet are active enough to seem threatening. Fast fish that can easily get away from angry krib parents are best. Tetras, barbs, danios, rasboras would work well. My kribs got in fights with the gourami when they were raising fry so that might be a bad mix (as would housing a pair with any other type of dwarf cichlid). I think cories are also a bad idea. My cories barrel through the piles of krib fry without a care in the world, and subsequently got the snot beat out of them by the kribs. They never learned, got themselves some torn fins, and probably ate some fry in the process. Rams, should you get a pair, will be a pretty similar experience. Apistogramma are generally worse parents.

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post #15 of 90 Old 10-04-2008, 09:39 AM Thread Starter
Ok, I think that I have my stocking plan. I have read a lot about the suggested fish so here it is;

5 kuhli loaches (they like to be kept in groups right)
6 harlequin rasboras
A pair of pearl gouramis (or should it be 2 female to 1 male?)

I was leaning towards the cichlids before, but I don't know if I am ready for any aggression right now. I would probably end up feeling bad for the fish that end up being chased by them, and set up a whole new tank for them!

Oh, and I know that I keep promising pictures, but I have been really busy this week with school and all. The tank will be in my room by today though!
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post #16 of 90 Old 10-04-2008, 01:08 PM
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no picturesguess i'll just do this while i'm waiting thenand if i get really board then this
hope you enjoy putting the tank together.
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post #17 of 90 Old 10-04-2008, 06:18 PM
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150 Gallon - Mostly American Cichlids
135 Gallon - Angelfish Community
75 Gallon - Odd couple (Polleni/Angelfish)
55 Gallon - African tank
20 Gallon Long - QT
10 Gallon - Empty
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post #18 of 90 Old 10-04-2008, 06:50 PM
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Lainey you looper!
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post #19 of 90 Old 10-04-2008, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
Hehe willow, your post made me laugh Well, I set up the newly sealed aquarium and stand today. I also got some rocks. They are granite, and I made sure that they were not flakey, or showed any metallic areas. I am going to do the acid test tomorrow (with acid from my nitrate test kit), and if everything is fine, I will be playing around with positioning and siliconing some of them together to give it more support.

Here's the tank and stand, it looks so big compared to my other tanks (5.5, 10, & 15)! I like it . I still have to do a final rinse before it gets filled, and windex the outside.

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post #20 of 90 Old 10-04-2008, 09:55 PM
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I would avoid the windex and use some vinegar instead, just to be safe. The granite should be just fine, but testing it couldn't hurt anything.

Can't wait to see it filled and full of fish!

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