Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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PWillis 03-23-2010 01:35 PM

New to be Cichlid tank
Hey all, I am fairly new to the forums. I have a 55 gallon tank that I would like to set up as a Cichlid tank, but would also like a few other species in there too.

Can I mix New World Cichlids and African Cichlids?

Could I be able to put in such species as Pictus Cat, Columbian Shark, or Upside Down Cat?

Also like the Clown Loaches...

Any type of snail?

Any type of pleco?

Any type of shrimp lobster or crab?

African Cichlids I would like to get are the Demasoni, Electric Yellow, Blue Johanni, Red Zebra and Yellow Peacock.

Remember these are things I would like to get, and no I won't get them ALL, just would like some variety. I am a big fan of cichlid tanks, I feel like they have the most color of them all. Plus I have a 6 year old and a 2 year old that enjoy fish. Figure the closer I make it like Finding Nemo, the more they will like it.

The tank has been up and running for a few weeks now and has 4 goldfish in it. (Daughter threw a fit until I put something in it...) Goldfish will be taken out soon. pH is high at like 7.6 or higher, nitrite is 0 and nitrate is like 10-20 ppm. I may have those two mixed up. Ammonia is getting up there but I have been doing weekly water changes.

mollies 03-23-2010 06:19 PM

You could put a Synodontis Multipuncatus, Spotted Catfish in with African cichlids.
I wouldnt recomend the rest of what you have stated above.
Africans can get a little over agresive with other fish and inverts.
Water paramas are a bit of an issue as African Cichlid's are hard water fish. An the other ones you have mentioned are soft water fish.
Your list for African sounds good but the Blue Johanni's as they are agressive and would not get along with the Demasoni's.
In your size of a tank you will want to get 8 Demasoni's as the dominate male will terrorise the rest of them an lead to death. Unless you get just one. If you want more then one I would do the 8.
Your Ph Is ok for Africans cichlids.
I have comon pleco's in my tanks. But they get way to big for a 55 gallon.
Some one else will be able to chim in on anything i missed
Good luck i hope you enjoy the Africans if you end up getting them.

iamntbatman 03-24-2010 04:13 AM

Basically, you're going to be hard pressed to find any fish that can live comfortably with rift lake fish other than other rift lake fish. I would just stick with the cichlids and maybe one of the rift lake synodontis catfish species.

PWillis 03-24-2010 11:12 AM

Could you or someone post a picture of that catfish off of a site that I could possibly buy one off of.

Preferably off of this site..

When I done a search with a the scientific name it showed no results, with the spotted cat it came up with like 4 results...

Also post a good pleco with what would be compatable with my fish selection and water parameters and gallon size tank.

Thanks for the help. Also as far as how many cichlids would you put in this size tank?

mollies 03-24-2010 01:49 PM

If You were going to Buy african cichlids I would go with, They sell both the catfish and Africans. They breed and sell them.
If you were going with the fish you have stated above. I would do a pair of each. An 6 to 8 Demasoni's. The Blue Johanni's I wouldnt do.
I dont think you will need a pleco because the cichlids will eat the algae. Is where i order all of my cichlids from.

PWillis 03-24-2010 02:27 PM

Does any of those fish get big enough to eat live fish such as goldfish? I think it is neat to watch such things as that. I had an oscar at one time that I used to feed goldfish once in a great while.

mollies 03-24-2010 10:40 PM

No but they Could breed and eat the fry. I wouldnt feed them Any fish as they are vegetarians. lol
And the protein from the live fish is not good for them.

iamntbatman 03-25-2010 03:33 AM

Yep, you definitely don't want to be feeding live feeders to mbuna. I would never suggest feeding goldfish to any tropical species anyway as there are all sorts of health risks associated with doing so.

Synodontis multipunctatus is from Lake Tanganyika rather than Lake Malawi but should probably be fine. Same with S. petricola. I can't suggest any plecos for you as plecos are generally found in much softer water than you'll be keeping these cichlids in.

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