Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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MXS 06-20-2010 07:54 PM

Cichlids in 10 gallon?
Hello everyone, I have a 10 gallon tank that's about to finish cycling. Meanwhile I've been looking at my options of what to put in it. I found a lot online about cichlids. I've never had this type of fish before and I don't know much about them. I did a little research and found that there are some tiny cichlid breeds (shell-dwellers?) that I may be able to put in my 10 gallon. Is this true? How many would I be able to get? Any information on cichlids in general would be greatly appreciated.

pumh 06-20-2010 11:39 PM

hi, im definiatly no expert but i also have a 10 gallon that has recently finished cycling i have to switch out the substrate from gravel to sand though. i am planning on getting the shell dwellers that are commonly known as "multis" or also heard the name "shellies". I've been reading up on them and seems like anywhere from 3-6 is a good number. with lots of shells in the tank (about 2-3) per adult fish if not more.

as i said before im definitely not an expert so i if any of the information is incorrect i apologize and some can help correct me.

hope i helped :)

iamntbatman 06-21-2010 04:51 AM

In a 10g tank, you could probably get away with a male and three or so females. Offer a few more shells than you have fish, keep them well-fed and keep the water how they like it (fairly warm, basic and hard) and before too long you should have a nice little colony of multies.

MXS 06-21-2010 05:40 PM

Thanks for the help! Is it true that I would need to have sand as my substrate? If this is true how much would I need for a 10 gallon tank? I've never had sand before and I would have to learn how to care for it.

iamntbatman 06-22-2010 05:03 AM

Sand is definitely ideal for them, perhaps even absolutely required. They like to burrow and rearrange their shells (which are also vital for these guys) to their liking, and since they're so small they can have trouble doing that with gravel. About a pound per gallon is usually fine. If your water isn't naturally suited to these guys you could look into getting sand designed for African cichilds (often sold as cichlid sand or aragonite sand) as it will help keep your pH and hardness up. If your tap water is already hard and basic, you can just use something like play sand or any other inert sand (black sand looks really nice, too). To care for it, basically you just need to stir it up every once in a while to keep anaerobic pockets from forming, or you can get something like Malaysian trumpet snails to keep it stirred for you (a lot of times fish stores will have infestations of these guys and will give you some for free). To clean it, you just hover the gravel vac a few inches from the surface to collect the waste that rises to the top of the sand and to avoid sucking up too much of the sand itself. If you do use sand, especially play sand, make sure you rinse it really, really well before adding it to your tank as it can really cloud your water up otherwise with the dust.

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