Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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33shooter 04-13-2008 09:16 AM

I'm new, and have questions.
I have a 20 gallon tank that i have just started. I am using a under gravel filter with 25lbs of rock and, an aquatech 20-40 power filter (I know its cheap).

I feel like the tank is a little over filtered for community fish and would like to go with cichlids. Would ya'll mind recommending whether or not I should put cichlids in a 20. I like that they are colorful and move around a lot. I'm not wanting oscars or anything like that. Mainly african cichlids.

Last noob question...for now. The tank has been running for 3 days...when can I add fish. My kid is dieing to put fish in... :roll:


herefishy 04-13-2008 11:13 AM

Many different cichlids could be place in a 20g tank. Your choices would determine the number. You will need to decide whether you want Old World(those found across the Atlantic) or New World(those found on the western side of the Atlantic) cichlids before we can decide on recommendations. Dwarves would defintitely be in order which ever you decide.

33shooter 04-13-2008 11:46 AM

Well, I'm not sure that I know the difference between old world and new world. If you mean South American vs. African then yeah, I like the African ones. I went to the local petsmart and liked the selection of Africans that they had, but I'm unsure of what size is ok and how many. I'm also unsure of when I can start to stock the tank.

They labled them "assorted African Cichlids". They were all different colors. Kinda pricy though.

herefishy 04-13-2008 12:11 PM

A 20g tank is not large enough to keep African Rift Lake cichlids except as a "grow out" tank. Tanganyikan dwarves would work. The volume just doesn't allow for them to claim thier territory and these fish need territory. They defend to the death and could give another a fatal thrashing.

mitcore 04-15-2008 07:15 AM

you could have the key holes
or the cockatoos, the flags, they are all none agressive cichlids and will live well in a community tank

okiemavis 04-15-2008 04:28 PM

Well, aggressive is a relative word. All cichlids will have some issues in a community tank, as they are territorial fish, although the ones you mentioned aren't too crazy. A mating pair will completely take over a 20G tank, no matter how docile they were previously.

1077 04-16-2008 03:05 AM

I would hesitate to suggest dwarf cichlids. most are very demanding of water quality with fequent water changes necessary to maintain their health. They also are sensitivve to any meds or chemicals added to tank. also require some what higher temperatures which does not seem to be the norm with Africans. But if you are dedicated. the dwarf cichlids are very cute and amusing to observe. Not nearly as belligerent as their larger cousins.

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