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steveysquish 03-30-2014 03:23 PM

panicking over s/african cichlid choice..please help me
I currently thought of getting some south american cichlids but a losing argument with my kids has swayed me to go for s/african cichlids instead...i would like some help/list of a show peice cichlid i could choose along with two groups of shoaling/movers,i have done research on here and online reading up but im a little worried of getting wrong info,,i dont have a cam phone at the moment as i would have uploaded a pic of my tank so you could get a better idea so heres a rough description of what i have...i have an aquaone ar-850 bowfront that is roughly 36 uk gallon,,it has a mixed pea gravel,some plants in one corner,a lighthouse in one corner and a rocky sanctuary with one/two hiding spots,including heater filter and pump,,really hope i can get some help from you guys as me and the kids waited a long time for the tank cycle and now its time for the fish lol

Cichlidsrule102 03-31-2014 03:20 AM

If u went africans, you would need hard water, you can get kits to help with this. Africans need a lot of hiding places, try building up some slate to form caves and piles and overhangs. 36uk g is not a whole lot of room for most africans, unless u went with shell dwellers, which r also much more peaceful, as most africans are very aggressive. if u went with shell dwellers, u would not have to have lots of rocks, but u would have to provide lots (2-3 per fish) of shells. For a tank that size I would go with a group of shell dwellers and that would give you the option of smaller schooling species, e.g. danios or barbs. Most african cichlids (except for shell dwellers) with eat or rip apart the smaller schooling fish. Follow this advice, but, again, the answer is always RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH. Cheers and good luck, I hope your tank brings u many years of joy and fascination.

Agent13 03-31-2014 10:06 AM

panicking over s/african cichlid choice..please help me
When you say s/African are you meaning South African ? I'm a little confused because when dividing up African cichlids I think of east and west.. Not north and south . Are you thinking if rift lake cichlids ? Or of river/ stream softer (then rift lake) water Africans ?

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steveysquish 03-31-2014 10:28 AM

hi,,yea sorry about that,,im a fish newbie..i mean south african as in lake malawi ect..just trying to get some nice little slippery fellers together nicely,,read alot online and using this good forum,but i like input from more experienced hands on fish keepers like ready to add the fish but i see that south african cichlids are a little harder and aggresive than the south americans...i want to go south african for the extreme colours but then south american will be (kind of) easier to handle and learn i suppose?..

steveysquish 03-31-2014 10:29 AM

yea i been worried about putting bigger fish in with the smaller ones due to the food chain as they say..if he can fit in..he shall be eaten lol..yea i do like the barbs and danios,going to do abit of research on them as you be a walking google on fish by the time im finished lol..thanks again!!

Agent13 03-31-2014 11:24 AM

That'll be East African cichlids then. Ehh, they're mean for sure ! But that's a generalization . Aulonocaras aren't too overly aggressive normally . For the most part a "show piece " fish will not work well in smaller East African cichlid tanks . Aggression can sometimes be exacerbated by size differences.

What is your water like ? PH KH and GH?

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steveysquish 03-31-2014 12:49 PM

hmmm,seems a little more complex than i thought having african breeds even after research and advice,,im waiting on my test kits to arrive at the moment thats why i wont add any fish yet,,but ideally i want the ph levels to stay between 6.5 minimum and 8.0 at the highest,,starting to consider just getting south americans now as certain species of them can be abit more hardy than the delicate head is starting to hurt thinking now...aahh lol

Agent13 03-31-2014 12:59 PM

panicking over s/african cichlid choice..please help me
Lol.. I know it's a lot to absorb at first. I think delicate is far from the right word . When discussing Malawi cichlids ... psychotic comes to mind first . I keep them.. Love that tank .. But they're very mean . However like I said that's a wide generalization .
I ask your water parameters so I can tell you if your water is naturally suitable to East African cichlids or to west African and South American cichlids . Altering water chemistry can be done but that's not something if really recommend till your ready for a little more advanced fishkeeping . When it's too casually done without understanding it .. You're subject to dangerous swings in your parameters .. Therefor I'd say stay with what works for your water .. Unless you are up for playing chemist a bit :-)

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steveysquish 03-31-2014 02:03 PM

yea the african species do seem psychotic lol..malawis are stunning fish thats why im too worried about killing them by just putting them in the tank..i get what you mean asking me my water parameters its ok,,the reason i dont want to add is i dont want a spike or crash in my ph levels not ready for playing chemist yet as i dont trust myself lol...soon as my all in one water test kit arrives il test the waters and drop you a message to see what you suggest/ 28 but feel like a twelve year old in a sweet shop with the choices! its true people say you need to be a chemist,biologist and vet all in one to properly take care of fish.. lol

Agent13 03-31-2014 02:11 PM

True! But you don't have to learn to be all of those overnight ! If your water is proper and I'm guessing since you have an approximated size of a bowfront that you might have a 46g bowfront? (Us gallons) . Footprint is a bit small for what I'm guessing you want but doable . So I guess it's a waiting game for the test but in the meantime I'll say that most of these fish will prefer a sand substrate .

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