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Question: What cichlids should I be looking into?

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  1. jamesgabioud

    jamesgabioud Initiate Member

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    Hey guys, my last post didn't do so hot. only one response which wasn't really a great one.
    So, I'll try it again.

    What cichlids could I do in a 45 gallon aquarium. I have hefty rock work and a pH value. I'm just not to sure how to go about the actual stocking. I'm not set on african or new world cichlids. I would rather do a mix than one species, but I'll leave with it either way.
    Thanks in advance,
    Jimmy Gabioud
     
  2. junebug

    junebug Fishlore Legend Member

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    What is your pH? If you're in the acidic range, apistos and other new world cichlids would be fine (and many of them are smaller so that would leave you more stocking options). If it's high, you're stuck with Africans. I would love a 45 gallon shellie tank personally, but there are any number of small lake cichlids you could keep in this size tank.

    With cichlids even moreso than other fish, I think it's good to pick a lake/river/environment and select fish that would all be found together in the wild. This means that the fish are all compatible and able to stand up to each other, are comparable in size, and have the same care requirements.

    As a side note, there are a few species of african catfish that you might also want to look at. They aren't always easy to find, but if you end up going with an african tank, the cats are really really cool. For example, a single featherfin squeaker might do well in a moderately stocked african cichlid tank :)
     
  3. ricmcc

    ricmcc Well Known Member Member

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    You could do a nice mbuna tank if you stick to the smaller species, given that they are normally maintained in conditions that would be considered over crowded for maintaining most other fish, and assuming that by a hefty pH you mean a high pH value.
    Lake Tang shell dwellers are always a nice option, and for really interesting extended family behaviour, the fairy cichlid, L. bricardi of Lake Tang. is a good choice, both for beauty and behaviour,
    Unlike most cichlids that eventually drive off a first spawn in order to have a second, the first spawn is not driven off, but rather sticks around and helps to defend the second spawn. Pretty advanced behaviour from a fish, which is often thought (incorrectly, IMO), the least advanced of vertebrates.
    I would suggest that you research to see what appeals to you, keeping in mind that a 45g tank will place limits on your choices.
    Best of luck-rick
     
  4. jamesgabioud

    jamesgabioud Initiate Member

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    So I just found this stocking list for a 55 gallon aquarium, I like the concept of this list. What would I have to lower the numbers down to make it fit my 45?
    I would choose (1m, 5f) Metriaclima Estherae (red zebra, which is actually more orange and males will be blue or peach-colored), (1m, 3f) Pseudotropheus Acei (yellow with blue tail), and (1m, 5f) Cynotilapia Afra (blue-barred).

    Any thoughts?
     
  5. stearnsjg

    stearnsjg Initiate Member

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    You may be able to get away with leaving the stocking ratio where it is as African cichlids, especially mbuna like you have listed, do better in and overstocked aquarium. This cuts down tremendously on aggression and creates a spectacular display. Just make sure you have good filtration.
     
  6. jamesgabioud

    jamesgabioud Initiate Member

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    Okay, so then in what order should I introduce them to the aquarium.

    Sent from my VS870 4G using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum mobile app
     
  7. stearnsjg

    stearnsjg Initiate Member

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    That's really personal preference. It doesn't really matter what you start with.
     
  8. hampalong

    hampalong Fishlore VIP Member

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    This is strange advice. With a high pH you're not "stuck with Africans" at all, you can keep African Rift Lake cichlids (not west Africans), central americans, or Madagascans. Maddys are too big for your tank but there are a lot of small central Americans.
    With a low pH you can keep south Americans or west Africans.

    There are a few rift lake synodontis species, but the featherfin isn't one of them, it's west African. It is adaptable, but it doesn't occur in water as hard as the rift lakes.
     
  9. jamesgabioud

    jamesgabioud Initiate Member

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    I'm considering my current stock, and I have always enjoyed jewel cichlids. Would it be possible to perhaps sub out one of the aforementioned species for a few jewel cichlids? Also I realized that the stocking list above has specific male:female rations, but how am I supposed to identify at the fish store whats what? anyone know how to solve that conundrum?
     
  10. junebug

    junebug Fishlore Legend Member

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    Featherfin cats are common in African cichlid tanks of all sorts. If you know of new world cichlids that are true hard water fish and appropriate to the tank, please list them, that way I know for next time :) I haven't come across many if any at all.


    Op, we still need to know your ph...
     
  11. stearnsjg

    stearnsjg Initiate Member

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    Jewel cichlids are west African cichlids and in my experience, are not aggressive enough for a mbuna tank. And sexing them is going to be tough, especially with juveniles.
     
  12. hampalong

    hampalong Fishlore VIP Member

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    You want me to list the Central American cichlids?

    The smaller species could work in a 45 gallon with hard water. Choose from Archocentrus, Thorichthys, Herotilapia (very peaceful for a cichlid), Cryptoheros...

    Featherfin cats are commonly kept in rift tanks, I agree. So are place, but the hardness is outside of their natural range, was all I was saying. :)
     
  13. junebug

    junebug Fishlore Legend Member

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    Heh I've never seen those central american cichlids for sale... good to know ;)
     
  14. jamesgabioud

    jamesgabioud Initiate Member

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    My ph is 8.2 I think I'm going yellow labs, cynotilapia and red zebra

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  15. hampalong

    hampalong Fishlore VIP Member

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    Really? They include Convicts and Firemouths...
     
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