Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   i need expert advice on a butterfly cichlid setup (

PCKid 06-02-2009 11:54 AM

i need expert advice on a butterfly cichlid setup
im setting up new butterfly cichlid tank and need ur expert advice as to the substrate the filter the lighting the decoration etc. i want it to be perfect for these guys so any advice is going to be greatly appreciated. i need to how many and which type will be the prettiest. again any advice is going to be appreciated.

Fishin Pole 06-02-2009 01:03 PM

Which fish are you asking about?............Their is an african butterfly cichlid and a american butterfly cichlid, better known as the bolivian ram........Alot of things will be different for the 2 different species, so clarification will help on giving you advice on what species your gonna keep

PCKid 06-02-2009 01:06 PM

well im looking at the ram species from the americas

Fishin Pole 06-02-2009 01:17 PM

a pair of bolivian rams will work in a 20 gallon, but you MUST maintain the tank properly or they will not thrive............These fish are very susceptable to bad water conditions and will not live long if the parameters are left to go bad...........Some type of docile tetras will make a good tank mate, but i would steer away from other cichlids in the tank with thses guys........They do not handle aggression well............Your other 20 gallon is still overstocked with aggressive fish and adding any of them to the ram tank is just gonna cause you to lose more fish

PCKid 06-02-2009 01:20 PM

well the other tank is being phased out im going to give my other fish away except for my catfish and pleco. so do oyu have any idea as to a substrate sutibly for these guys

PCKid 06-02-2009 02:50 PM

please guys i really need help with this

Arkamaic 06-02-2009 06:31 PM

I've seen a lot of people using pebble for substrate. I'm still doing my research too. I'm going to be getting some for my next tank stock.

I know that they can be very difficult to acclimate to a tank. So its good to make sure the tank is natural as possible (always the case with any fish really haha). But Water conditions have a big affect. You may need to add things like drift wood, rocks etc. to change you pH to whats needed etc. I've also read that weekly water maintenance is especially important for them(more so than for other fish).

Make sure you have plenty of plants and structures for them to hide in, also keep the water moving slow. So perhaps some floating plants could be good? If anything, stick to plants found in South America.

I'm just putting in my opinion based off what I've read about them. So, someone, please correct me if I'm wrong.

PCKid 06-02-2009 06:38 PM

yea i think im going to go with a fine gravel substrate as of right now and i kno im going to be looking for a driftwood peace and maybe a live rock of some sort. any ideas as to wat plants come from south america?

PCKid 06-02-2009 09:37 PM

also should i make this tank brackish?

1077 06-03-2009 04:42 AM

If it is the bolivian ram you are contemplating, they will do fine in freshwater and poorly in brackish water. Fine gravel or sand would be my choice. Driftwood also would look nice with some small caves made from rock. (no live rock). Slate or flagstone would be my choice. If Your pH is between 6.0 and 7.8 the Bolivian rams will do fine with weekly water changes of 25 percent using a good dechlorinator for new water before it goes in the tank. For tankmates, I would look at possibly five or six SMALL tetras such as pristella,bloodfin, or silver tipped.
If it is the german blue or gold ram you are talking about then pH must fall in my view, between 6.0 and 7.0 with soft water with KH or carbonate hardness of not much more than five for longterm health and successful spawning. Temp for blue and gold rams 80 to 86 degrees. this will limit suitable tankmates and or plants. These fish are very sensitive to deteriorating water conditions, and were it me, I would try and keep nitrAtes below 20 with water changes. They do not tolerate any detectable levels of ammonia or nitrites. Good luck with which ever species you decide on.
In a new tank ,, I would start with the bolivian ram and then perhaps as I became more confident in keeping water parameters at optimum levels,, I would attempt the german blue or gold variety of this little cichlid.

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