50G Cichlid Tank: African or South American?? - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #1 of 69 Old 11-04-2009, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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50G Cichlid Tank: African or South American??

I've been planning a SA Cichlid tank, very planted and natural looking. I went to a reputable LFS and they had the most amazing looking African cichlid tank i've ever seen! Their fish were beautiful and vibrant. I have always had an interest in Planted aquariums but I'm just not sure if I can take care of it properly, I'm new to the hobby besides my 10g guppy aquarium when i was 11 yrs old.. I now have a 50g tank and stand sitting in my spare room empty, waiting to be filled with beautiful fish, and a nice aquaria. I had planned on having a SA Biotope including 2 M. Altispinosus, 13 Neon Tets, 7 Black Neon Tets, A handful of corys and some other sa fish. Yesterday changed my mind and I'm now on a see saw between the sa and african cichlids.. I've weighed out the pros and cons from my pov.

SA Cichlid/Tetra Setup

Having a more natural look
Tranquility of the Aquaria
More active fish

Expensive Lighting
Cost of plants and maintaining them.
Sourcing some fish can become quite difficult

African Cichlid Setup

Cheaper Lighting?
Fish are easier to aquire
More compatible with my tap water (pH 7.6)
Brighter, more vibrant colors

I don't know that much about them, as I've been planning the SA Tank

I have a Emperor 400 filter, but I've seen that alot of people use that in partnership with a canister filter? I don't know ANYTHING about African cichlids, I only know that the require a higher pH level from something like 7.6 to 8.6?? My tap water is pH 7.6, Ammonia is 0, Nitrate and Nitrite are also 0

I need advice.. I called the LFS that had the Cichlid tank and asked to compare sa and african tanks, they said the maintenance would be about the same, the lighting would be more expensive for the sa tank since plants need higher intensity lighting. I like both so now its just a hard decision...
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post #2 of 69 Old 11-04-2009, 02:45 PM
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You should go with the africans. They are easy to tend to. If you have any Questions on africans just ask and i will tell you what i know. I personaly dont know bout the south american's. So im no help there. But i do raise africans all diffrent kinds. Best wishes>>>>>>>>>
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post #3 of 69 Old 11-04-2009, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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I like both, but I seem to think africans would be much easier upkeep as far as the whole aquarium, no plants to keep healthy, no expensive lighting.. if i do an african setup, are there any smaller fish i can keep with them
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post #4 of 69 Old 11-04-2009, 03:38 PM
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It realy depends what kind of smaller fish you would want. I have only africans in my tanks besides plecos and a lepurinous. But i would think you could keep something else in with them. The color of the fish is why i started with them. Yes your cost would be down with them. I have a few fake plants, lots of lace rock, and driftwood, in my tanks with them.
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post #5 of 69 Old 11-04-2009, 03:41 PM
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If you were to go with africans what ones would you get? if you were to get SA what ones would you get?
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post #6 of 69 Old 11-04-2009, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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Well I already had a stocking list for my SA setup
2 Mikrogeophagus Altispinosus
13-15 Neon Tetras
7-8 Black Neon Tetras
3 Corydoras Sterbai
4 Bronze Cory
6 Black Phantom Tetras
5-6 Silver Hatchetfish

African cichlid i just know of a few of them i'd like to have, not sure how many i could get away with in a 50g tank..
Metriaclima greshakei
Haplochromis Ahli
Labidochromis Caeruleus Yellow
Labidochromis Caeruleus White

Where would i get the correct rocks to make hiding spots and such for them?? how about substrate, what would you suggest
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post #7 of 69 Old 11-04-2009, 06:22 PM
South americans all the way dude. They just seem more personable to me.
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post #8 of 69 Old 11-04-2009, 06:52 PM
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south americans!!!! you could add more to that stock in the sa tank, that would be like 80% full, i would add more cories, like 5-6 of each. GO WITH AMERICAN! they are a bit more expensive but its a lot more pretty and natural in my opinion and plants arent that hard to take care of. on a normal schedual i change water once a week and trim twice a month and put fertalizer in once a month. not hard at all.

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post #9 of 69 Old 11-05-2009, 12:06 AM
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You could use play ground sand. For substrate. And for rocks you can go to a land scape supply store. You can get many differnt kinds of rocks. Just let us know what kind of rocks then we could tell you if it will work.
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post #10 of 69 Old 11-05-2009, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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Ok, So at alot of LFS I see the African Cichlids marked as medium sized and small sized. Will the small ones grow to be 6" also? I think it would be neat to have them as small fish and to see them grow over time. It sucks cause I had planned on doing a planted aquarium and my fiance had just bought me a new 50g tank, I sold my old 50g tank and stand and I included the brand new all-glass 24" hoods that came with my new tank... Since i was going to buy a 48" T5 HO Fixture, But now i realize i could've just used the regular 2 24" hoods!! I'm kicking myself in the butt right now. How many Cichlids could I get away with in my 50g setup if I have adequite rock works to break the line of site between aggression, and a emperor 400 as my filtration. During christmas i'll be getting a Rena xp2 to help out the 400. I like the African Cichlids because of their BRIGHT VIBRANT colors, such as bright yellows, electric blues, whites... the sa cichlids are beautiful in their own right, and i'd love to have a big school of neon tets and other various tets shoaling around with my 2 bolivians... I'm just not sure what to do.. I do have a 29g tank i could use as my planted tank later, and have my 50g setup in my room, and the 29 planted in my computer room.. Not sure!! UGH The Confusion is killing me!!
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