OK, so I think I've decided to go with cichlids for my 55G tank I'm setting up. I want the least aggressive of the species though.
1. What species cichlid are the least aggressive?
2. How many can I keep in a 55G tank?
3. Can I keep a few Corys with them? Dwarf Gouramis with them too?
4. What other community fish are compatible to keep with them?
Remember, I'm interested in only the least aggressive of these cichlids.
Some ideas to check out would be Bolivian Rams, Apistos, Kribs, and a few others.
Also you could do 1 firemouth if you want tank mates. A pair you might get away with but idk. you might also be able to mix and match. Depends on the personality. Just be careful cause most SA cichlids get to large for a 55, or at least to large to share it. I'm sure someone with more experience will be able to help you more.
festivums are pretty passive, in my experience. I do not think they are a great fit with gouramis, however. They are somewhat angel-like in shape and behavior. Corys ought to do fine with them.
Metriaclima estherae, Pseudotropheus saulosi , Pseudotropheus sp Acei, Labidochromis sp.Hongi ,Labidochromis caeruleus , Labidochromis sp.Perlmutt, Labidochromis chisimulae , Iodotropheus sprengerae , Cynotilapia afra. You can keep 3 species with a maximum of about 15 fish in 1m 4f ratio. You do not want to mix Labidochromis species as they can be aggressive and will not work with the Metriaclima estherae as they will crossbreed.
Showing the progress of the 55G tank stand. Slow and methodical. Sanding and stripping almost complete. Shows the table top I made using pocket hole joinery and another shot detail of the routed edge. Top is not attached at this point. Will prime and paint then attach top to base.
You picked some great fish, although I don't know if I would call any of them non-aggressive or good tank-mates for gouramis and corys.
I have owned several of these: Saulosis (gorgeous) Cynotilapia afra (very fertile!), acei's (can't stop the breeding!) and estheraes. I would say saulosi's are my favorite, as they stay so smal and both male and female are beautifully colored, which doesn't always happen with Mbuna.
Yes, I suggest you decide on either rift lake cichlids or the Central/South American, but not both together. Water parameters are vastly different, and tankmates vary accordingly. Gourami are not good with any cichlid as they are too much alike in temperament and are territorial in nature.
You might possibly get away with some dwarf amazonian cichlids and gouramis in a big tank. If the cichlids are substrate oriented and dissimilar in color or pattern from the surface-oriented gouramis, it might work.
I just down like it on the grounds of it being risky and biotopically impossible. Their preferred water chemistry (soft acidic) would make them compatible in that way at least. But what if someone starts mating and getting all snarky? I see mayhem ahead.
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