Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Reefkeeper68 04-30-2012 08:57 PM

45gal tall stocking help!
I am going to convert my 45 gallon tall that currenly has Buenos Aries Tetras, and Gouramis into a Cichlid tank. I am a relatively experienced fish keeper and also have a 100 gallon salt water tank. I have never kept Cichlids and would appreciate some advice about water parameters, quantity and type of fish as well as habitat requirements. I would prefer to used artificial plants etc as I have tried the real plants and did not like the extra work that they required.

This tank has a 50-75 gallon rated 3 stage (sponge, charcoal, filterstones) Marineland fresh water hang on back filter system and T-5/Actinic lighting with blue LED moonlights. Will these need to be improved or would they be adequate for my new fish babys. Also, if possible I am looking to populate my tank in one or two purchases so these guys need to get along will with each other. I understand that the more populated, the less agressive they are... to a point of course. What I don't know is what is the point where there are too many fish for the tank to adequately support.

For decoration it currently has small smooth river rock pebbles for substrate with realistic looking plastic plants and a large piece of artificial driftwood (unfortunately it does not offer much room for hiding it is rather solid) I also have a bubler for increased oxygen.

I need to take care of this quickly as I am having some important company over the 16th May, I would like to have the tank looking awesome with the new fish by the time that they visit! Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!! Thanks for your time!!

Tazman 04-30-2012 09:25 PM

Welcome to the forum first of all. Glad you found us :-)

There are a lot of Cichlids, Lake Malawi, Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika, South American, Central American....

You are not going to be able to keep that many in the tank though as a lot of them get too big for your tank size.
Oscar - tank is too small.

Lake Tanganyika
You can do a pair of Altolamprologus calvus , compressiceps, Neolamprologus leleupi, , Julidochromis or brichardi
Lake Malawi
Electric Yellow Labs, Red Zebra (Metriclima Estherae), Rusty (Iodeptropheus Sprengae), Pseudotropheus Socolofi, Cynotilapia Afra, Salousi- 5 of these fish spread over 3 a Male to female ratio of 1 male to 4 female to help spread aggression.
Lake Malawi Peacock Cichlids - 10-15 fish.

Other cichlids
1 convict, 1 firemouth, and 1 Blood Parrot
South American Cichlids
Apistogramma agassizii, Apistogramma nijsseni

This list is NOT exhaustive and there are many many others.

Now onto Water Parameters.
Lake Malawi need HARD water with a pH around 7.8
Lake Tanganyika need VERY HARD water with a pH around 8.6
Central American need Hard Water around pH 7-7.6
South American need SOFT water around Neutral (pH7)

Temperatures range from 70-78F for most all the fish listed.

Lighting NOT a problem, that light is more than enough..
Filtration depends on what fish you choose, Lake Malawi though require high flow rates and over-filtration of 10-15 times your tank volume.
Some cichlids require softer flow.

Malawi - ROCKS, ROCKS AND MORE ROCKS with a sand substrate.
But really depends on what fish you choose.

Is the tank cycled already?, as you will unlikely be able to achieve a complete cycle unless you heavily use filter media from a well established tank.

There is an awful lot for you to decide, first of all choose a geographic area and then we can offer stocking suggestions based on what you choose.

Hope this helps and as I mentioned there are an awful lot of species of cichlids and it is impossible to list them all here.

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