Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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jimmyhoye 03-16-2009 06:12 PM

How many,What Kind?
I am starting up a 55 gallon cichlid tank. I want to have african cichlids most likely. I dont know what kind to have though, and i dont know how many i coudl have of them. Could you guys help? I'm new to cichlids, i have a 55gallon community but i dont know anything about cichlids

adpierin11 03-16-2009 06:44 PM

If you are going with african cichlids I suggets having two species, 2 males and about 8 females. That ratio would keep the males from harrassing one female too much to the point of death and the males won't be fighting over the females.
You need plenty of rocks and hiding spots, I would suggest a sand bottom, one that has a natural higher pH, like crushed coral.
I personally wouldn't have live plants with cichlids because they like to rearrange the tank, including uprooting the plants!
What cichlids are you looking at? Some of the species shouldn't be housed with another type because they are just too aggressive compared to other cichlids.
If you give us some ideas of what you are looking at we could let you know the stocking levels.

What other questions do you have?

jimmyhoye 03-16-2009 06:58 PM

I was looking at the smaller cichlids. I really like the auratus and blue johanni cichlids. I also like the demisoni cichlids alot. So can you keep live plants with them then or no. I really like having planted tanks.What are other good cichlids to go with the auratus, or what are other good reccommend cichlids to get besides the auratus and blue johanni.

lowco1 03-17-2009 12:37 AM

I think that aceis, yellow labs, bumble bees, red zebras, albino peacocks, and kenyis are great to go with those. I put a lot of different kinds of cichlids together and they love the tank and get along great together. under my tanks section I have a few vids and pics if you want to see the difference in colors, I havent updated it recently with the bumble bees and kenyis in it but I think they really add to the tank.

jimmyhoye 03-17-2009 03:15 PM

those are great choices to go with. Should i also add a dither fish, if so what kind?

lowco1 03-18-2009 02:16 AM

I am not sure about using a dither fish I dont have any and all of my fish have their seperate houses but they are always swiming around until it is night time.

Fishin Pole 03-18-2009 07:32 AM

Well i figured i would add my 2 cents to your post..........I've been keeping african cichlids for about 20 years and have seen alot of things happen with these fish over the years..........Over the years the hobby has had mixed opinions on how to keep them in a community without aggression..........Some say, keep only a few species in a tank with males and females together, others have had all male tanks that are overstocked thinking this will spread the aggression around...........Speaking from experience, the latter scenerio will work but only for a limited time.........Cramming over 20 africans in a 55 gallon will work till they reach maturity, then the problems arise........Everyone who keeps they fish will see aggression from some of the species they have and someone is gonna be the loser...........Dont try to keep peacocks with mbunas in a 55, they are much less aggressive than the mbunas as a whole.........Some species i would try to stay away from in a 55 are kenyii, bumblebees, these fish mature there temperment gets nasty........Some of the more less aggressive species would be.......Yellow labs, Aceis, and rustys..........Dont get me wrong, some of the more aggressive fish will never develop an attitiude towards tankmates, but i found as a species some will never get along with other fish..........The first year of your tank will be enjoyable, but once some of them mature its gonna get nasty............The best case scenerio for mbunas, would be ultimately to get something in the range of a 90 gallon tank or larger..........For these fish to live happily they need space ................Im probably opening up a hornets nest with this post, but i've seen these fish live in tanks for 19 years, so i am speaking from experience

jimmyhoye 03-18-2009 10:29 PM

So are you saying i cant do cichlids in a 55 gallon tank

lowco1 03-18-2009 10:56 PM

Yes you can

Fishin Pole 03-19-2009 10:38 AM

Im not saying you cant do cichlids in a 55, but careful selection of species is the key to a cichlid tank.......If you overstock a 55 your gonna have aggression issues as the fish mature.........Some members here are speaking about there tanks as not having any problems with aggression, but their fish did not reach maturity yet and down the road they will have issues, i would bet the farm on that......Make sure you have alot and i mean ALOT of places for these fish to abide in..........Keeping the fishes line of sight from always seeing each other will help, but will not cure there aggressive nature.........The key to setting up an african tank is research into the species that you would like to keep and there compatibility with others..........Try to pick fish that do not look similar and are not closely related..........They will interbreed if given the oppurtunity and they CAN become really aggressive when they do.........Good Luck!

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