Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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lorax84 11-30-2010 07:14 PM

First Cichlid Tank
I've been doing research for a few weeks now and haven't been able to find the answers I need so I am turning here in hopes I can get answer before xmas.

I am taking my first foray into cichlids, I kept piranha and a variety of tetras and live breeders in the past. I think I have settled on Electric Yellow Cichlids (labidochromis caeruleus) but the problem I have is that the largest tank I can keep in my current apartment is a 29gal (24"x12" footprint) and I am wondering how many, if any I could keep. I also plan on having one or two bushynosed plecos in the tank. I already have a ton of rocks to create ample caves and hiding places, and I plan on using sand as substrate. Is this a realistic setup plan or should I go back to the drawing board.

Any advice would be helpful, oh and I settled on cichlids because I have extremely hard water and I already make enough trips to get RO water just keeping a small planted tank going.

ElectricBlueJackDempsey 12-01-2010 03:33 PM

Sounds like a nice setup. I a lot of people recommend using a 55 gallon minimum but as long as you offer plenty of hiding spots, a 29 gallon will probably do fine. Maybe 5-8 because with African Cichlids, it is okay to overstock slightly

lorax84 12-01-2010 05:18 PM

Thanks, thats what I was thinking. I will probably do 4-5 to start. I wanted to do a 55gal, but I made the mistake of asking my apartment manager and I was told 30 gal was the max they allowed. I will definitely be on the lookout for used 55-75 gals once I move on from this apt.

emkbass 12-04-2010 01:06 PM

I have a 29 with africans in it. I kinda broke most of the rules with respect to species mix though. The best luck that I have had in small tanks and cichlids is to slightly overstock. Sounds weird but it does spread out the pecking order a little bit and not just one fish takes all the punishment that way. I have 11 in the tank not plus 1 in a breeder box and also a Synodontis Catfish + 2 chinese alge eaters. whew..... Watch out for the cichlid police..........LOL
It's a large bio load but with weekly water changes and filtration change I don't have any trouble.
Of course I'll have to thin the herd as soon as they get a little bigger. They are about 2 1/2" long now.

LasColinasCichlids 01-04-2011 02:03 AM

I have a 29 gallon that I keep cichlids in, mine are CA Cichlids though. I have two right now, next week adding a blood red parrot cichlid and maybe a spotted african leaf fish.

I, like you, plan on upgrading to a 55 or 60 gallon within a year.

I think the comment about 4-5 cichlids is a good idea, especially if they are ones that wont get bigger than 6". But they should be fine in a 29g for now.

lorax84 01-04-2011 02:04 PM

I actually ended up turning it into a shell dweller tank. Turned out pretty good.

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