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umcalleg 11-09-2011 03:56 PM

How many cichlids should I stock?
Hey all

I currently have an 80gal tank with 6 african cichlids ~ 4-5 inches long (5 malawi), a 13" natural parrot cichlid (not african but it does really well with them) and a 5" ornate bichir. Filtration is 2 HOBs, AC 110 and AC 70 (total 800gal/hr). Regular 20% water change/week, could do more if it were necessary.

I feel as though there is still lots of room for more african cichlids, but how many is it safe/advisable to stick together?

umcalleg 11-09-2011 03:57 PM

oh ya and 1 4" flower horn

rrcoolj 11-09-2011 08:56 PM

Waaay overstocked. And what is the scientific name for that "natural parrot cichlid"? That flowerhorn will very likely grow up to kill everything in the tank. Your response to that will probably be "he is fine now" or " he is actually very peacful". Trust me he won' be when he hits maturity. Also "malawi african cichlids" is very vague. Lake malawi houses africans from the 3" dwarf mbunas to the 18" open water haps. You have to be more specific. Actually that one 13" fish should fill the tank to the max. I would look at reducing your stock not adding more to it.

umcalleg 11-10-2011 02:19 PM

Hey thx for the reply

I would have to disagree that I'm way overstocked, especially with 10X filtration and no ammonia/nitrites and almost undetectable nitrates. As specified, all my africans are all 4-5 inches long. And there's no way that one 13" parrot (Hoplarchus psittacus, I say natural parrot just to destinguish from the reasonable assumption that its one of those puffy man-made parrots) is all a heavily filtered 80gal can handle.
I agree that the flowerhorn will grow up and kill everything, I should have specified that it and the bichir are temps, just beefing them up for a while for a good trade, a LFS manager always hooks up good trades.

If I were going by the 1"/gallon heuristic I still have like 25 inches to go, although I recognize that's just a rule of thumb and different fish need more space.

If we pretend that I have the parrot and 6X 4" cichlids currently (as the others will be gone soon), how many more similarly sized african cichlids can I stick in there?

rrcoolj 11-20-2011 12:07 PM

Well I guess we have different ideas of "overstocked"

IMO stuffing a tank with the amount of fish the filtration will handle is not the answer which is what you are aiming for here. "how many fish can I add and still have good water". I said one 13" will fill that tank because it will. And that parrot will get bigger. Anywhere from 14-16" long. I personally would not add any more fish but you can do whatever you want. At the end of the day I guess the fish will live if the water is clean but you won't see as much of the natural behavior cichlids are known for if you pack the tank. Parrots are also very much predatory fish and may make a snack of your stock as it grows. I still have no idea what kind of africans you actually have. In order for me to suggest what fish you should add I need to know what species they are.

Plus that "inch per gallon rule" does not apply to anything except for maybe neon tetras in a 10 gallon tank. According to that rule I could keep a 10" jack dempsey in a 10 gallon tank. Obviously that would not be a good idea. I would also look at upping your water change schedule to 50% weekly and looking at adding another filter.

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