Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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Varkolak 06-09-2012 03:26 PM

To cichlid or not to cichlid
I'm debating on transforming my 75gallon 18x18x48 corner cut "plant display" tank that i bought from petland when they went out of business into a cichlid tank. Currently have a fine gravel maybe 1/2mm to 1mm that i would want to keep, maybe mix some aragonite sand in with it to bring up the ph. Only limiting factor is I dont want to upgrade my filtration from the fluval U4 that I use now, it has done very well for me since I got it with the tank and I don't have room for a canister and am unwilling to put a biowheel on the tank in my bedroom because of noise. If i did go with cichlids i would estimate around 7 of them but I haven't done much research into compatibility and adult sizes on the sub species yet.

Tank currently houses 2 painted and 2 musk turtles all hatching which can join the others in my 150g until their large enough to release as well as an unknown number of darters who refuse to let me catch them without removing every rock in the tank.

My other option is to attempt to grow a dwarf baby tear carpet in this tank using a peat and clay substrate and then eventually breed shrimp in it with some kuhli loaches and other small fish. Would be an amazing tank but would require more lighting and potentially a Co2 system and there's no instant gratification going this route, more of a long hope it grows high maintenance project

So opinions? Ideas? Criticism? Decided to join this forum today for some brainstorming so we'll see what you all have to say

aussieJJDude 06-09-2012 06:03 PM

I would go with the loaches and snails and shrimp and small fish!

Varkolak 06-09-2012 08:36 PM

Ya it kinda seems like the more rewarding way to go xD and I really want to try cultivating dwarf baby tears

aussieJJDude 06-09-2012 10:48 PM

Good luck either way!:fish::neutral:

Tazman 06-10-2012 07:25 AM

If you are not willing to upgrade the filtration then DO NOT do cichlids, cichlids are messy fish and need a lot of filtration to keep water parameters stable. I have an FX5 and Rena XP4 on my 75g tank.
They also need hard water and if you dont have that coming from your tap it can be a pain to keep it at the required level for Cichlids.

You need strong lighting as well for dwarf baby tears, as well as a fertilizer substrate, not to mention the addition of CO2 which can get quite expensive on a big tank such as yours.

Be careful what fish you consider adding to the tank if you do change it as you may need to upgrade the filter anyway. The filter you have now is actually under rated for your tank. I believe U4's are meant for tanks up to 65g in size.

nags 06-10-2012 08:51 AM

Cichlid have pretty colors but I like more verity, they colors are different but are still the same fish. IMO I like the ability to have multiple species of fish.

Varkolak 06-10-2012 10:23 PM

I think I've decided on a peacock eel, some dwarf honey drop gouramis, small tetras, and cherry shrimp in a planted tank, and on the note of my tank size i think it might be closer to a 50 or 60 gallon with its dimensions so the filter is about right for it- also on that note the U series fluval makes far out perform any other filters I've ever had they are just limited by size and need their filters rinsed regularly(painful to do in a deep tank) to keep the flow rate up

aussieJJDude 06-11-2012 12:26 AM

Would the eel eat the fish?

Varkolak 06-11-2012 01:04 AM

they are "supposed" to be very peaceful fish so the dwarf gouramis for sure are safe but i think that neon tetras and the like might have to be avoid for maybe fruit tetras not really sure until i check out my LFS when i have it all planted. My biggest fear is the cherry shrimp being able to establish themselves before the eel figures out he can eat them, I might even have to put a divider in to keep the shrimp safe...

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