Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   Almost The Day To Get My Cichlids!!! (

austinspeer810 01-05-2013 07:02 PM

Almost The Day To Get My Cichlids!!!
Hello everyone!!!

I am so excited because on tuesday I am going to be purchasing some cichlids for my 37 gallon tank!!! I will be buying probably 5-6 of them but I am wanting to know what kind of algae eater or a bottom feeder I could put into my tank. I have read that plecos can get fairly dirty when it comes to pooping. I want to get something that does not produce as much waste as they do (if possible) and still do a good job with cleaning my tank. Any suggestions???

Tazman 01-05-2013 07:51 PM

What specifically are you getting? as that tank is very borderline for keeping cichlids in due to the size.

austinspeer810 01-05-2013 07:58 PM

I am going to get the african cichlids. I talked to many people who have tanks that I have seen that had anywhere from a 30 gallon all the way up to a 55 gallon and each one was perfectly fine with the fish in it. Im starting them off young so they are small but I will end up getting a 55 gallon tank or bigger in a few years when I am out of my parents house and on my own.

Tazman 01-05-2013 08:03 PM

55g is the minimum I would recommend for Africans, smaller tanks need a lot more work, in the fact you have to watch the fish more and be prepared to remove any should you need to.

Starting them off with the intention of moving them into a bigger tank later sadly will not work, most africans with the exception of a few will be fully grown within a year or yes if fed right.

Do you know exactly what species like yellow labs for example, you are getting?

austinspeer810 01-05-2013 08:05 PM

yeah i understand that but I may get like five for right now. I am going to get some yellow labs and some other fish that are equivalent in size now and when they will be fully grown. I have a very nice setup for the tank with hiding spots. I will post pics soon!!!

Tazman 01-05-2013 08:18 PM


austinspeer810 01-06-2013 04:49 PM

Cichlids For Tank
I am going to be getting my cichlids tuesday. I have a 37 gallon tank which apparently is way to small to have ANY african cichlids but I am not going to be getting TOO MANY unless I really should. I want to get somewhat of a variety and not all one species. I really want to get a yellow lab. What other ones could I get with a yellow lab? I have been getting answers like "not many different species can be in my tank" but I know they will be just fine in my 37 gallon tank. Please let me know which ones will be safe to put in my tank and how many I could put as well. I am probably getting 4-6 first but if I could have more and be safe that would be awesome as well.

Edit: I came across this duplicate post and moved it into this thread on the same topic, since the thread already had response posts and the duplicate did not. Byron.

Tazman 01-06-2013 05:48 PM

Most cichlids are active swimmers, requiring room to swim and also room to setup a territory. A 37 gallon being 30" inch long is not sufficient to allow this. By the time you add the substrate, rocks and decorations there is not 37 gallons of swimming space, nearer 30 or less depending on how many decorations you have.

Most of the popular species such as yellow labs, acei, rutsy, red zebra which are all compatible and good beginner fish, attain 5-6 inches in length when adult, which occurs in less than a year.

Variety simply will not work in the tank, this is coming from 18 years experience with African cichlids. Whichever fish becomes the dominant fish in the tank will make it very hard on the other species. They have no room to escape.

Mbuna - all of the above fish are, are aggressive to each other, there are ways to calm it down and some of the more aggressive ones such as auratus, demansoni and crabo, require a lot of real estate and overstocking to make them work. A single dominant male auratus can wipe an adult tank of fish out in about 30 mins if it decides it wants to.

Yellow labs, acei would be about all you could safely get in the tank without having issues. Red zebra will crossbreed with the yellow labs. If there is any aggression you will need to act quick in a smaller tank, the results can be a dead tank with one fish happily swimming around otherwise.

Stay away from any of the above aggressive fish I have mentioned, they are simply not suitable and will lead to dead fish, they are a handful even for experienced cichlid keepers.

I am not saying this to put you down but to give you a sense that these fish are not easy to keep and need work.

They are also messy fish, producing a lot of waste, they also always appear to be hungry, resist the temptation of overfeed them, it can kill them with Malawi Bloat, which is almost 99% fatal. The tank also requires extreme filtration, 10-15 times the tank volume per hour MINIMUM, anything less and you will have water quality issues. I have a 75g with a Fluval FX5 and 2 x Rena XP4 on it.

Its not about knowing they will be fine, I can say they will not be fine because of years of experience keeping them and knowing what is correct stocking for almost all tank sizes. my biggest was 180g all male, hap and peacock tank which took 5 years to get correctly stocked and I only had 20 fish in it, way under the 30+ some people had in similar tanks. What works for some people, does not work for others. These fish are programmed with certain traits and we as keepers cannot do a single thing to change them.

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