Question 11 Gallon African Cichlid Tank--too Small?? Tips?

crypt0currency

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I got an 11 gallon frameless aqueon tank off craigslist for 50$ and was thinking to make it an african cichlid tank. I used to have a 65 gallon about 15 years ago and am a bit rusty on requirements, plus the size seems like a different ball game ..

I guess main questions at this point are:

- is 11 gallons too small?
- if not, what breeds would work/how many?
- can they live with shrimp, snails?

- is it best to have only hardscape for cichlids or are there certain plants that they could tolerate as well?

- is sand the best substrate for them?

- cycle tank as usual (in the past i've used stability)

- length of time for light

that's what comes to mind off top.. if there seems to be something crucial that i'm missing i'm all ears!

thanks!!
 

Imthatpeep100

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There's 4 species of shell dwellers I believe? These are some care guides that I've used for research about them though! Probably the only cidhlid I would house in a small tank. Also be mindful of dimensions! For these guys, all you need are shells. Ebay sell huge apple snail shells which are great for this. Could use PVC or terracotta pot, but I prefer shells for aesthetics.

- 11 gallons is a decent volume, but I would be more so concerned with dimensions since those can't change while water quality can. The sites I provided have recommend dimensions.

- The two I provided, but double check to ensure they work for you. I believe the others might be too big for what you have.

- I don't recommend plants for this fish since they don't come from an environment that has any. You're better off investing in good filtration and water maintenance than having live plants (and I wouldn't recommend fake either since there's no need).

- Yep! I'm a fan of pool filter sand. Just ensure to thoroughly rinse before adding to the tank to try and prevent a dusty tank.

- Do you have any other cycled tanks? You could cycle the 11g filter on any established tanks for a week, run it on the 11g for a week (or until parameters are stable) and stock slowly!

- 6-8 hours should do it. Wattage doesn't matter either since you don't have plants to worry about. With this set up, it's just a matter of keeping a good sleep cycle.

Otherwise, those care sheets should have everything you need to know about them!
 

Islandvic

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Check out the YouTube channel " Prime Time Aquatics ".

Jason has a lot of videos on shell dweller cichlids.

His channel is one of the few I trust with the advice he gives.

(The hyperlinks in my post are not mine, the forum auto-generates them for ad revenue)
 

hanra85

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Islandvic said:
Check out the YouTube channel " Prime Time Aquatics ".

Jason has a lot of videos on shell dweller cichlids.

His channel is one of the few I trust with the advice he gives.

(The hyperlinks in my post are not mine, the forum auto-generates them for ad revenue)
+1 Agree, Jason probably has some of the best aquarium content available on YouTube.

crypt0currency said:
I got an 11 gallon frameless aqueon tank off craigslist for 50$ and was thinking to make it an african cichlid tank. I used to have a 65 gallon about 15 years ago and am a bit rusty on requirements, plus the size seems like a different ball game ..

I guess main questions at this point are:

- is 11 gallons too small?
- if not, what breeds would work/how many?
- can they live with shrimp, snails?

- is it best to have only hardscape for cichlids or are there certain plants that they could tolerate as well?

- is sand the best substrate for them?

- cycle tank as usual (in the past i've used stability)

- length of time for light

that's what comes to mind off top.. if there seems to be something crucial that i'm missing i'm all ears!

thanks!!
Are you hard set on having African cichlids of some form though, there's far better options for tanks that size. Things along the lines of Celestial Pearl Danios, Emerald Rasboras, ChilI Rasboras for example... All small hardy fish, but they look amazing in a planted nano, they get along with anything that won't just eat them including shrimp and snails.
 
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crypt0currency

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hanra85 said:
Are you hard set on having African cichlids of some form though, there's far better options for tanks that size. Things along the lines of Celestial Pearl Danios, Emerald Rasboras, ChilI Rasboras for example... All small hardy fish, but they look amazing in a planted nano, they get along with anything that won't just eat them including shrimp and snails.
it's not the end of the world if I can't have cichlid's but i'd like to set a tank up for em. I got a planted tank already with 3 white cloud minnows, and a leopard guppy. some nerites and a shrimp.

Islandvic said:
Check out the YouTube channel " Prime Time Aquatics ".

Jason has a lot of videos on shell dweller cichlids.

His channel is one of the few I trust with the advice he gives.

(The hyperlinks in my post are not mine, the forum auto-generates them for ad revenue)
I appreciate it will check! thanks

Imthatpeep100 said:
There's 4 species of shell dwellers I believe? These are some care guides that I've used for research about them though! Probably the only cidhlid I would house in a small tank. Also be mindful of dimensions! For these guys, all you need are shells. Ebay sell huge apple snail shells which are great for this. Could use PVC or terracotta pot, but I prefer shells for aesthetics.

- 11 gallons is a decent volume, but I would be more so concerned with dimensions since those can't change while water quality can. The sites I provided have recommend dimensions.

- The two I provided, but double check to ensure they work for you. I believe the others might be too big for what you have.

- I don't recommend plants for this fish since they don't come from an environment that has any. You're better off investing in good filtration and water maintenance than having live plants (and I wouldn't recommend fake either since there's no need).

- Yep! I'm a fan of pool filter sand. Just ensure to thoroughly rinse before adding to the tank to try and prevent a dusty tank.

- Do you have any other cycled tanks? You could cycle the 11g filter on any established tanks for a week, run it on the 11g for a week (or until parameters are stable) and stock slowly!

- 6-8 hours should do it. Wattage doesn't matter either since you don't have plants to worry about. With this set up, it's just a matter of keeping a good sleep cycle.

Otherwise, those care sheets should have everything you need to know about them!
**** yeah thanks for all this info!!
 

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hanra85

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crypt0currency said:
it's not the end of the world if I can't have cichlid's but i'd like to set a tank up for em. I got a planted tank already with 3 white cloud minnows, and a leopard guppy. some nerites and a shrimp.


I appreciate it will check! thanks



yeah thanks for all this info!!
Ah ok, so in that case going with the MultI shell dwellers (Neolamprologus multifasciatus) may be your best bet, about 2" sand substrate, they're constantly digging and rearranging stuff, I'd consider putting a slate or ceramic tile beneath the sand would make it look like there's bedrock beneath them instead of a reflective mirror when they do dig out patches of the substrate. Just be careful placing it so you don't damage anything. I know slate and ceramic won't affect water conditions if you went that route, not sure about other types of tile though
 
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crypt0currency

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hanra85 said:
Ah ok, so in that case going with the MultI shell dwellers (Neolamprologus multifasciatus) may be your best bet, about 2" sand substrate, they're constantly digging and rearranging stuff, I'd consider putting a slate or ceramic tile beneath the sand would make it look like there's bedrock beneath them instead of a reflective mirror when they do dig out patches of the substrate. Just be careful placing it so you don't damage anything. I know slate and ceramic won't affect water conditions if you went that route, not sure about other types of tile though
thank you! good call on the bedrock too..
 
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crypt0currency

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20.25"W x 10.5"D x 12.625"H dims work for the multI shell dwellers?
 

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