Cichlid Dream Team
New to the site and new to Cichlids. Setting up a 55 gal soon and was going to go with Cichlids.Trying to research through all the information available but thought I'd ask the question and see what answers you guys come up with.
Question: What would be the perfect "DREAM TEAM" of Cichlids for the beginner. Take in account eating habits, ph levels and compatability. I would like to have a variety of color. I want to have live plants. Give me some suggestions please.
I've just set up my first Cichlid tank as well. The main advice I've received is to pick a continent and stick with it. If you do Lake Malawi, then do either all Mbuna or all Haplochromines (Haps / Peacocks, etc.). If you do Tanganyika, then do only native species, etc.
I've also been told to take care when mixing different species of the same color, for instance, different fish that are both blue with black bars.
I decided to do all Lake Malawi Mbuna and so far I have:
4 Electric Yellow Labs
2 Yellow Tail Blue Acei
I plan to add:
I hear that you can do plants but they should minimal and only certain types. Many Cichlids eat live plants and they are notorious diggers and will uproot them. Plants are scarce in their natural environment but you can get some to work. Sorry I don't have more info but I'm just getting started myself!
Hope that helps.
Jamison has responded on the rift lake cichlids. There are also South America dwarf cichlids and Central and South American medium-larger cichlids, though some of the latter would be too much in a 55g.
What are your water parameters out of the tap? Rift lake fish need hard water, Central American medium hard-hard, South American generally soft-medium hard.
I don't know how experienced you are, so I will say that knowing your water parameters is the first thing to find out. You can do this from your water supply folks, many have websites with data posted. Selecting fish that prefer what you have is much easier than attempting to adjust water parameters, which can be difficult and very expensive.
All I can say is once you pick them out, you will love watching them. Also, if you try plants, be prepared for them to be eaten, uprooted, etc. Some will stay longer than others. And the cichlids will rearrange your substrate to their liking, so be prepared for that:-P I love my cichlids, so good luck with yours!!! Have fun:-):-):-)
As Byron said knowing what kind of water you have would really help us narrow the options down. There are probably 100 combinations or more we could suggest. Do you have any preference at all? Do you want breeding pairs? A harem? Do you want a lot of little fish or maybe a couple or one larger sized fish?
Checked my County water authority website and could not find any information about PH levels so I'll need to get a test kit. I was thinking African lakes and smaller to medium sizes.
Sounds like mbunas would be a perfect fit. They are smaller, colorfull, and tons of fun to watch. For a 55 gallon i would suggest 6-8 yellow labs and 12 demasoni. The colors and constant chasing of the demasoni will keep you entertained for hours. The yellow labs grow larger and will be a nice centerpiece like fish for the tank. Make sure you over filter if you are thinking mbunas and make sure you overstock.
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