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shavon 03-13-2007 03:40 PM

Thinking of getting cichlids!!
I was thinking about getting some cichlids. I was considering Blue/Gold Rams, Bolivian Rams, Electric Blues, or Yellow Labs. I don't want anything that gets over 3-4 inches. I have read that the Electric Blues are aggressive so I probably won't get them. This will be my first time having cichlids.

I have three questions:
1. Are any of these compatible with my current setup.
2. How many would you suggest that I get for a 75 gallon tank.
3. Is there anything special that I need to have in the tank for cichlids.

Tank currently has the following:
6 Neon Tetras
5 Serpae Tetras
3 Platies
4 Guppies
2 Violet Gobies
1 Synodontis Nigrita
1 Common Pleco

The livebearers and tetras can be moved to another tank if necessary.

tophat665 03-13-2007 04:49 PM

Well, your current set up isn't compatible with your current set up. (At a minimum, the violet gobies are going to have drastically shortened lives - they need either brackish, or just possibly, very hard water. Depends on whether they can use calcium as well as sodium to regulate their interal pressure - I don't know if they can or not.)

Leaving that aside, and assuming you have more or less neutral pH and Medium hardness water the only one on the list that I'd try would be Bolivian rams. The Blue/Gold rams need softer, more acidic water than your livebearers will enjoy (or your gobies will survive). If, on the other hand, you have hard water (which will probably shorten the tetra's lives) you might want to think about Firemouth Cichlids. They get a little larger than you want, but you could look into them.

Now Yellow labs also like hard water, but they like a particular hard water. You'll need to read up on African Rift Valley cichlids to get a really good answer on this.

shavon 03-13-2007 05:33 PM

The tank is brackish. The current fish are all doing real good. I haven't had any problems in this tank. The water parameters are almost always ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrates 10, ph 7.6, and temp 79. Occassionally the ammonia rises to 0.25 but that is cured with a single 20% water change. This only happens if I am not home on Saturday to do my weekly cleaning. It is usually resolved by Sunday evening. My fish have never been sick and have never shown any signs of illness. I have had fish for over 15 years. This would just be my first time at cichlids.

tophat665 03-13-2007 06:17 PM

That being the case, Chromides are the only Cichlids that will work in brackish water.

musho3210 03-13-2007 06:57 PM

i wouldnt suggest the tank staying brackish with those inhabitants, they wont be able to coup with the brackish conditions for long

shavon 03-13-2007 07:27 PM

They have actually started to look better since I made it brackish. Before they were always lethargic and I was losing a lot. The only thing that has changed is the addition of salt. It is somewhere between brackish and freshwater. I keep enough salt in it to keep the violet gobies healthy, but not too much to affect the others. I add about 2 tablesoons of salt per gallon of water.

Lupin 03-13-2007 07:33 PM

I find this an issue unfortunately that your tetras were in brackish water conditions. Whoever suggested your tank should be brackish along with the other inhabitants will need further research on the actual requirements of tetras. Salt and tetras on long-term basis is unheard of. No rams. Only Chromides will do well in a brackish water environment.

What is the salinity of your tank?

shavon 03-13-2007 09:13 PM

I'm sorry I meant that I put 2 tablespoons of salt per 10 gallons. My salinity stays right around 1.002.

Lupin 03-14-2007 02:53 AM


Originally Posted by shavon
I'm sorry I meant that I put 2 tablespoons of salt per 10 gallons. My salinity stays right around 1.002.

That doesn't sound like the conditions brackish environments would have.

poohbeah 03-14-2007 06:31 AM

i'm no expert with cichlids but i got my first and only pair by mistake and out of my experience i will reckon that you will see some fish starting to dissapear especially the tetras. when i got my cichlids (pair of jewels) half my tank dissapeared (2xfemale bettas, 1xsilver mollie, 2xglass fish, 5x zebra danios) i read that if the fish's mouth is big enough it will eat a smaller fish (semi-aggressive). i still have 5 red eye teras but since my fish started to dissapear i added more plants to act as hiding spaces and this has seemed to work so far.

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