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KarlS 02-19-2008 12:54 AM

My 1st real aqarium.. need help please. :)
Hi, I just purchased a 150 G tank and need some help...

My main concern is setting up the right environment and choosing the correct fish. I Love cichlids but I'm not sure i want to go the 200 pounds of rocks setup for the lake malawi biotope. I would like to go more with some live plants, wood, gravel.. sand.. etc etc.. I was thinking about a south american set up; but all the cichlids seem to be small (dwarf cichlids).. I would preferably like to have some large fish in my setup, with some nice schooling fish... like tetras forgoing a large risk of the larger fish eating them.....

crazy4fish 02-19-2008 07:30 AM

well it sounds like a community tank is what you are looking for. you can have small schooling fish and large fish and live plants, wood, rocks and the fish can be just as colorful as cichlids.

do you think you would want to go for a community tank or are you stuck on cichlids?

KarlS 02-19-2008 07:47 AM

I guess my question was/is.. Is there a good substitute for the dwarf cichlids that would live happily & heathy in this sort of environment.???

Less Rocks (but still a decent supply), more wood & plant..

Will not normally eat smaller fish such as tetras..

KarlS 02-19-2008 07:50 AM

Thank's for the reply.. umm I'd really like to go a more natural setting.. I love the idea of a biotope but was thinking of cheating a little and subsituting the dwarf cichlids with a larger species of cichlid...

KarlS 02-19-2008 08:03 AM

This is an idea i got from a book for a biotope..

crazy4fish 02-19-2008 11:47 AM

oh ok i get what you are saying now. well here are a few cichlids that could be substituted for the dwarfs and still be alright with other fish.

keyhole cichlids
checkerboard cichlids
lemon cichlids
electric yellow cichlids
african butterfly cichlids
blue cobolt
turquoise severum
and maybe julies

hope this helps!

MKSII 02-20-2008 12:58 AM

Natural settings are awesome. With a large tank, you can really create some masterpieces with decor and fish.

Here is my 210.

bettababy 02-20-2008 01:52 AM

What about kribensis for an option? Electric yellows (yellow labs) and cobalt blues are africans and would eat the plants and prefer harder water.

Have you considered working with soft water, considering the biotope you're talking about, and then discus and cardinals would be a great option for you.

On that list you showed us, I notice with the angels it says 6 anges (1 male and 3 females). Is it just me or does that not add up? 1 + 3 = 4, and doubled it = 8. Also, I would expect those dwarfs to chew the fins of the bleeding hearts. That sounds like a pretty generic list, I bet you can do much better yourself and with suggestions here on the forum.

I say if you're stuck on wanting to mix large and small and you want cichlids, look into the discus and cardinals, there are a lot of options that direction for a 150 long term, especially if you kept it to 2 - 4 discus.

crazy4fish 02-20-2008 09:49 AM

yeah i noticed that about the angelfish on the list too. are you planning on getting 6 or 4? and i think discus would be a great idea. i love discus! if only i had a big enough tank. :cry:

thespiff 02-20-2008 09:58 AM

Discus are awesome, but is it really a good idea to build your first tank around fish that sell at $40 a pop?

Yeah yeah I know, if you do your research you shouldn't be killing fish regardless of how much experience you have. But mistakes happen, especially early on.

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