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Discussion Starter #1
okay so ive been wondering for the last few days what to put in my 55 gallon tank...

mbuna
central american
Tanganyika

see all these options are to great for me to decide :evil: like my tank has been cycling for last few days and still will because my dad said if i do good on exams (this upcoming week -_- ) hell put forth 200 $ to my fish fund ( piggy bank ive been saving for about a year :p ) but this tank is setup with sand and some rock structures but i honestly stare at it for like an hour at a time just thinking about the cichlids inside and what it would look like :p

.. so can anyone tell me from past experience whats there best cichlid choice? like im talking fish activity for watching, beauty, and show case? i just cannot decide my self :p and ill post pics eventually :)

ohh and side questions for all cichlids
can i put any crayfish in these tank?
and i have these like turtle pellets that come with small shrimp, can they eat those?

okay thanks for all help!!
 

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I vote mbuna, I had a colony of daffodils (tang) in a 55 last year and they were so lame, amways hiding, skittish, etc. Not to mention the pH requirements were more to maintain. I have about 25-30 malawi, haps and mbuna, in my 200gal, they are only 1-2" each but thier activity level is enough to make the tank look full. There is awesome color variety in malawi fish. Take a look at daves rare fish and live fish direct!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Okay I was gonna say mbuna is definitely my preferred choice! Like there so amazing with their colours and personallity ! But I am deciding to change my sand cause it is dirty and frankly it's hard to clean and dirt and feces are visible :( so what kind of substrate is best for mbuna? And what color? So it looks natural but at the same time bring out their colour! Thanks!
 

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Keep the sand, gravel is harder to clean because food and poo get trapped underneath. With the sand you should be able to hover the vac just above it to get the gunk. But if you do want gravel make sure it is smooth, I likethe natural gravel. I have some small river rock mixed into my gravel and it looks nice.
 

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There are so many types of cichlids out there anyone postin is purely giving opinions. I have kept mbuna in the past and loved them. Their color and constant flaring and bickering made them perfect for a display tank. I currently keep CA cihlids and love them as well. Their glass banging tenacity and personality is almost un-matched by any other type of cichlid. As of now I only keep centrals but I plan to get back into africans one day.

I think you should tell us EXACTY what you are looking for in this tank. Then maybe I can give suggestions.

Never kept tangs so can't comment on them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Okay well I'm just dumb founded like I've been looking everywhere for some tank to persuad me or inspire me but I've seen far to many nice ones :my tropical planted tank just had to go :p I got bored of it and i like I really love mbuna! Like I've had theem before and they were awsome and And they never bred for me though :( they all just turned out to be males, except one female, plus I didn't know what I was doing back then, but now I know so much about these fish I can't make a certain stock :p but I'll try to give some qualities I like :) I've memorized so many names and facts and stats, that it's funny how when it comes to studying I can remember anything :p

Okay so what I'd like ;)
I like fish that do interesting things that I can watch as a fish enthusiast, like digging, small fights like rivalries, claiming territories and perhaps some breeding :) but the thing is I think mouth brooding is cool like Its pretty neat, but I'd really would be interested in a substrate spawner! Cause that's just so cool! So maybe a mix of those breeders :p

Fish that people will look at and will be like Wow! That's a nice tank! And will glance at the colours and variety of fish
Personally Idc, I buy the fish because they're personality and habits and coexistence with others, but like my dads always like buy that one it's colorful, and I give him this whole explanation of why it can't be there :p but its a showtank basically ;)

And I'm not sure but I'd wanna know what decor should go in with the fish! Like I wanna change the gravel cause it's pretty old :p so what colour should I get? And like type? Easiest to clean but to make the environment nice ;) I have extra rock and driftwood if needed :) so whatever looks best!

And jw can my bristle nose Pleco go with most of these cichlids? And what if I bought a crayfish? Jw jw not NEccisary :p

Ok so sorry big explanation :p any suggestion?
 

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Peacocks will give you the most color but are a slightly challenging as you need all Males to get the color.

Am trying to put a downer on your plans but you will only be able to keep 12 fish at most in a 55G tank. Here is a list of smaller, less aggressive mbuna,

Metriaclima estherae
Pseudotropheus saulosi
Pseudotropheus sp. "Acei"
Labidochromis caeruleus
Iodotropheus sprengerae
Cynotilapia afra

Do not mix any of the other Labidochromis species (Labidochromis caeruleus being one of a few) . This will cause aggression.

Plenty of rock and sand substrate, have a look on youTube for videos of Lake Malawi and you will see this is the basic setup you need. It will be different for Tangs and CA cichlids.

If you decide to go with peacocks, you would be aiming again for 12 fish but all males and none of the same color as this will cause aggression. It is better to buy them already sexed if you can.

I do not keep CA cichlids so am not really going to offer suggestions on them. Tangs I have some experience but my area is Lake Malawi.

BN plecos can be kept with Africans and you might also want to look into the Syndontis species.

If you need any more information, please ask away.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Alright I guess someone might put their own opinion for CA and tangs, but, jw so for those mbuna I just have a few questions :p

For the rusties, I've tried to look them up and idk if it's the conditions or something but they all kinda seem like almost beat up like skinny and unpleasant :$ but I've seen some that we're like bright orange and bright pink bellies.. Is there anyway to maintain such colours? Or is there a problem with those tanks cause I'd love those nice rusties :D don't you have rusties tazman?
What are yours like?

For cynthotilapia afra, I know I've seen similar colored cichlids like black stripes and blue, but they're in a miscellaneous tank labeled as zebra cichlids and they're sold in pairs so could that be them? And how can I tell if the cynthotilapia are what they are? Like I guess I'll ask the workers :p

And I have this turtle food that has like slots in a container, in separate slots are pellets and shrimp , the shrimp are very small and my turtle doesn't even see them anymore :p but can the cichlids eat them?

And has anyone heard of Melanochromis parallelus ? Cause theyre on sale at my lfs jw if there good tank mates?
And I know I've seen elongatus how about them?

Thanks for help!
 

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BN pleco may or may not work in a mbuna tank. Depends on the individual fish. No crayfish.

My rusties look beat up.. well because they usually are lol. Between my male being overly amourous with the female and normal territory issues they get nipped a fair amount. Only seen them as a solid rust color though.

I would recommend gravel for mbuna actually. They like to dig around and it's kinda neat watching them clear out a space and pile it up somewhere else. Digging in sand seems like it would make a constant cloud, although I haven't tried it. The digging also means you wont have any success with substrate breeders either.

Black or another dark color is generally recommended for any substrate. It brings out the color of the fish and it creates an impression of shade which most FW aquarium fish prefer.
 

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Alright I guess someone might put their own opinion for CA and tangs, but, jw so for those mbuna I just have a few questions :p

For the rusties, I've tried to look them up and idk if it's the conditions or something but they all kinda seem like almost beat up like skinny and unpleasant :$ but I've seen some that we're like bright orange and bright pink bellies.. Is there anyway to maintain such colours? Or is there a problem with those tanks cause I'd love those nice rusties :D don't you have rusties tazman?
What are yours like?

My Rusties look exactly like the picture I have included in another post..They can be quite feisty at times and at most will occasionally tail nip and do a bit of chasing but nothing like killing like some species.

For cynthotilapia afra, I know I've seen similar colored cichlids like black stripes and blue, but they're in a miscellaneous tank labeled as zebra cichlids and they're sold in pairs so could that be them? And how can I tell if the cynthotilapia are what they are? Like I guess I'll ask the workers :p

Reputable stores will know what they are and be able to sell you Cynos. My guess at the zebra cichlids is they are CONVICT CICHLIDS and mostly likely returned as they can get very aggressive.

And I have this turtle food that has like slots in a container, in separate slots are pellets and shrimp , the shrimp are very small and my turtle doesn't even see them anymore :p but can the cichlids eat them?

As long as it contains not too much fat then the shrimps will be fine for mbuna.

And has anyone heard of Melanochromis parallelus ? Cause theyre on sale at my lfs jw if there good tank mates?

They are mildly aggressive, need a ratio of 1 male to 4 Females and reach about 5" when fully grown. This is basically a different variation of the Auratus which is a very aggressive cichlid

And I know I've seen elongatus how about them?
AVOID - They are too aggressive to a beginner and even experienced keepers have a hard time with them.

SAND is preferred as the substrate as that is what Lake Malawi is. Gravel is not the best choice as it can be trap for waste and mbuna produce a lot of it!
 

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This is what a Rusty should look like
 

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I will try and post a picture tomorrow of my Rusties, at the time of writing this it is lights out on the tank and I dont want to scare anyone by turning the lights on.

Let the BN Plecos have their "free" swim and munching session on the algae...always a pleasure to wake up and find a nice clean rock from the plecos overnight work :)
 

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bubbles1 - PM me if want a good cichlid stockist is Canada who ships.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Okay well I was jw so I guess there good option for me :) and probably one of the only Africans with pink soo pree cool :p it'll add nice coloration :)

, I'm 100% sure not convicts! Like it has a long mbuna body like it looks very similar to cynthotilapia if not it is :p
And convicts are kinda fat lol but idk I'll just have to ask for specifics :p

and okay I'm sure they'll like the shrimp as a treat every once in a while :)

so the parreallus are an option? Cause they re not very common and are on sale for 4.99 on the website so idk might be a possibility :p

and okay I like sand it looks good but I guess the filter can just suck all dirt up on the smoother surface, but the pump I use for cleaning is good for sand to so ya :p

and okay Id like to see them :p my tank is also lights off... Cause it's empty :p and jw don't mbuna eat algae also? Like do they ever get mad cause they wake up to no breakfast? Lol jw :p I'll check this tomorrow.. After school.. And I have too study for my English exam -_- but I check everyday no matter what :p

Thx for all ur help!
 

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okay so ive been wondering for the last few days what to put in my 55 gallon tank...

mbuna
central american
Tanganyika

see all these options are to great for me to decide :evil: like my tank has been cycling for last few days and still will because my dad said if i do good on exams (this upcoming week -_- ) hell put forth 200 $ to my fish fund ( piggy bank ive been saving for about a year :p ) but this tank is setup with sand and some rock structures but i honestly stare at it for like an hour at a time just thinking about the cichlids inside and what it would look like :p

.. so can anyone tell me from past experience whats there best cichlid choice? like im talking fish activity for watching, beauty, and show case? i just cannot decide my self :p and ill post pics eventually :)

ohh and side questions for all cichlids
can i put any crayfish in these tank?
and i have these like turtle pellets that come with small shrimp, can they eat those?

okay thanks for all help!!
Just like you I have a tank too. I have 10 Electric Blue Johannii fishes and all of my visitors was really amazed with my blue fishes and some them where trying to buy my fishes too. I have 16 new Electric Blue Johannii fishes on separate tank for breeding.
 

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Great suggestions so far.

CA cichlids are a great option too if you go that route. One thing they have over mbuna is they are substrate spawners. There is nothing cooler than watching two parents take care of a cloud of fry. I have two pairs as the moment one in a 29 gallon and the other in a 125. For a 55 a pair of centrarchus would be perfect with maybe some sailfin mollies as dither/target fish. I am sure you will be happy with whatever you go with.
Here is a video of my pair gaurding fry(you can see dad ram the camera a few times)
Here is a vid of my sailfin mollies
And here is a video of my midas pair gaurding their eggs agains the evil algea scrubber lol

Here are pics of my centrarchus male and my pair with fry
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wow those are nice! Omg I'm a total sucker for the electric type fishes :BIGtongue: like electric yellow and blues they're so vibrant! But lol there's always some fetch on compatibility with them :p like I kinda like variety within species and colours so it's always difficult for me to make decisions, ;(

And omg ur cichlids rrcoolj are beauty's! I do t think I've ever seen centrachus at my lfs :( but you never know what I'll see there's alway something different :p and they have like have the store devoted to cichlids so I'm pretty confident I could find some :) and I know they had, thoricythis ellioti, uaru , assorted Severums, baby EBJDS , and a few types of geophagus, sajica and few other centrals that can't remember, they had baby midas there but I'm pretty sure my tanks to small :(, but would those cichlids be able to house my tank?

And ouu ur sailfins are really nice as well ! Whats in the tank with them? Cause I've seen them at my store before and they were huge! And such a wide variety I was so tempted to buy some last time :p but I had to resist :p would they be compatible with any centrals? And as dithers would silver dollars be fine? Or bala sharks, maybe tinfoil barbs? Jw :)

And it would be cool to have some breeding myself :O what do u do with ur fry after the rents ditch em?

Thanks bubbles :)
 

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ok ....first of all as i mentioned in your other post. You need to work out where you want to go with stocking options.

It is kind of bouncing around from CA, SA and Africans. My general advice would be choose something that is readily available to you locally whatever that may be. Then you can work on compatibility and tank mates.

PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT buy any fish on the pretense it looks nice..research and ask questions. I have seen and helped people who have done that and it is not only a waste of money for yourself but also stressful to the fish.
 

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Only reason I brought up centrals was because the OP asked on opinions for CA as well as lake malawi and lake tanganyika and so far all advice has been toward mbuna. Nothing wrong with that but I wanted to offer a different alternative. I agree that you should thoroughly research setup, stocklist, etc before getting the fish.

For your question on the centrals yes midas get too large for your tank I had mine in a 125. You will probably not find centrarchus locally they can be difficult to find but ellioti would be a great choice for your tank they are very colorful and not too often seen. Mollies will work well as dither/target fish. they are outgoing can usually take a hit and are found natively where many CA cichlids live. Bala sharks, silver dollars, tinfoil barbs, all get too large for that size tank. When breeding if you can keep them alive you have several options. You can give them to a LFS or try to sell them.

Again not to sway you one way or the other just giving you some options. I think you will be happy with either setup. GL with whatever you chose.
 
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