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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, I'm new at this...so here goes. I'm buying a 55 gal. tank and want to stock it with new world cichlids. Here is a list of cichlids that I have found to be very hardy and need to know if they will go well together. I understand that each fish has it's own temperment, and can be anywhere from placid to crazy.

1. Firemouth (Thorichthys Meeki)

2. Rainbow (Herotilapia multispinosa)

3. Black convict (Archocentrus nigrofasciatus)

4. Festivum (Cichlasoma festivum)

5. Elliot’s Cichlid (Thorichthys ellioti)

6. Salvini (Nandopsis salvini)

7. Green Terror (Aequidens rivulatus)


I do not want breeding so I was thinking one of each. Could this work or would it fail, that is the question that I'm posing to you. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks for your time.
 

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Hi and welcome aboard, inkinmyskin.:wave:

For a 55 gallons, it's difficult to sort out your options. Those cichlids are quite aggressive except the rainbow cichlids. Firemouths can grow to 10 cm. A pair will be fine in a 55 gallons. I can't figure how you're going to choose which fish.:crazy: You'll have to keep only one green terror and no other fish will have to be keep as GTs are quite belligerent.
 

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As far as Cics go the list contains mildly tempered fish. Most cics will get along fine if they have the room and do not get randy. I would be tempted with the Sal and the GT, or the rainbows and the FMs. Elliots are mild mannered so if you want a peacefull 55g go for them and the Festivum.
 

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How about red forest jewel cichlids?

they grow small and are very pretty!
hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Out of all the websites that I posted this at, this site gave me the best feed back. I have settled on 1 firemouth, 1 convict, 1 rainbow and, 1 Gypsy King Tiger Pleco (L-66). Thak you again for all your help. :thankyou:
 

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jinithith2 said:
hey I would get a pink bellied con and a black bellied con... :twisted: jk
You mean male and female ? that errr maybe just asking for trouble.
 

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I would eliminate the convict, for sure. It won't take long for it to mature and tear the other fish apart.
Considering their need for territory and aggression levels, 2 of those fish and the pleco will fill that tank. More than 2 and I'd be planning a much larger tank within the first 6 - 8 months. When crowded, or not finding enough territory for themselves, even the most mild mannered of the cichlids will get nasty and aggressive towards each other. Remember, a 55 gallon tank isn't very wide, and when full grown these fish will have problems turning around in there.
Have you considered any of the dwarf cichlids? You can get a lot of color, the same kinds of aggression levels as your mild mannered larger cichlids, and room for more fish because they stay much smaller.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
After doing alot of research it turns out I could put all of them in one tank. But I would have one hell of a mess on my hands, and would stunt their growth dramatically. I have found a cichlid that suits me...it's generally laid back. Mesonauta festivus or festivum or flag cichlid. I found a formula for cichlids in a tank but don't know if it's right. (1 inch to 5 gallons) Is that even right? Does anyone know anything on Mesonauta festivus? How many could I put in a 55 gal. tank? Every web-site I visit says something different. For example one will say min. tank size 30 gal. And the next will say 40 gal. And the next will say 50 gal. If I put them in to small of a tank it will stunt their growth, and thats not what I want to do. Plus there are many different variations of the flag cichlid. Mesonauta festivus, Cichlasoma festivum, Mesonauta insignis, Mesonauta mirificus, Mesonauta egregius. I'm at a loss, and my 55 gal. is cycling :shock: My girlfriend says "Just forget it and fill it with neon tetras." :cry: Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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I did some intense research for you here, and focused on the specific species you had named in your last post. The info I'm about to quote comes from Aqualog and also from Tropical Cichlids by Tetra Press.

Mesonauta festivus grows to be 6 - 8 inches for male and 5 - 6+ inches for female. They are an omnivorous fish and natural habitat is Guianas, Orinoco Amazon Basins. The big difference between male/female, besides size is that the male has a longer nose. Most commercially available Mesonauta festivus are now captive bred in Asia and Florida. Wild fishes are now usually from Guyana. I also found info in another book that says natural habitats are now restricted to Paraguay & Bolivian Amazon Basins, & Jio Jamari & Lower Rio Tapajos

Mesonauta insignis grows to 6 - 8 inches and is native to the upper Rio Begro and Rio Orinoco

Mesonauta egregius grows to 8 - 10 inches and is native to the Columbian Orinoco Basin

Mesonauta mirificus grows to 4 - 5 inches and is native to the Peruvian Amazon

Overall, these fish are all directly related but there is some variation in sizes and colorations/markings. In a 55 gallon tank, I wouldn't keep more than 1 of anything over 6 inches simply due to waste issues, messy eating habits, and although these are more peaceful than some of the other Central American Cichlids, they will still get quite aggressive if feeling crowded or spawning. For anything over 8 inches, I wouldn't put them into anything less than 75 gallons for 1 fish... 125 gallons for 2 - 3 fish.
For the smaller species, such as the mirificus, I still would limit to 3 or 4 of them if all the same species (in 55 gallons), for the same reasons as noted above.
Good filtration and regular weekly water exchanges are a must for keeping these fish healthy. These fish are prone to heximita (hole in the head disease) if the nitrate level remains above 60 for any length of time, and this is not always easily treated because the medication can be difficult to find in some places and it can't be used until the water quality is cleaned up to allow nitrate levels of below 40 and zero for both ammonia and nitrite.
The different species ARE compatible with each other if space/tank size allows for it.
One note for everyone, these fish are not to be confused with the Cichlasoma Festae... aka... Red Terror. As the name "terror" suggests, these are quite nasty fish, grow to be 18 inches for males, and about 12 inches for females. They are native to the Pacific slope of Equador. In a 55 gallon, this fish is not suggested at all.
I hope this has helped, let me know if there is more I can do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for all the help. I have decided to take your advice and get 2 German Blue Rams (Papilochromis ramirezi). Mild mannered and small I think they would work the best with the size of tank I have, along with some of the larger Tetras. Again thanks for all the help. I guess when I get a 125 gallon after I move that could be an option for larger cichlids. :D
 

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Sounds good to me! Good luck with them! Bring us some pictures!!!
 
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