Setting up a 55g cichlid tank...
I would like to set up a 55 gallon (or something similar) cichlid tank. I've never kept cichlids before, and I'm still researching them. I would like to keep some species from Lake Malawi; I especially like electric yellow labs, Johanni, Kenyi, and Demason's cichlids. I have no clue if these species are compatable, or if they can be housed together in a 55 gallon. I know they're aggresive... How would they do together? Is it at all possible to keep these guys in the same tank, and would they be crowded in a 55? My water has a very high pH, so the cichlids would like it much more than my other tropicals. Any suggestions on these species (or any dwarf cichlids that may work out), and what they are and aren't compatable with, would be greatly appreciated!!
Depending upon the quantity of each (I would recommend trios, 1m/2f), a 55g could become quite full quite fast. This may not pose any problems if the tank is filtered heavily and stocking levels kept to the low side. But, a 75g/90g would be a better choice. A 125g/135g an even better choice.
All are semi-aggressive, but this all changes if a pair decides it's breeding time. Provide plenty of caves and rockwork for subordinate fish to hide. Another note, Even water with high pH will buffer down as the water becomes aged. I would suggest using EcoComplete Cichlid Mix and filtering over crushed coral or aragonite. The EcoComplete is a darker mix and the more colorful fish will stand out. Also the darker sustrate tends to soothe the fish.
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