120g aggressive build! Is at, convict, Dempsey

Rcslade124
  • #1
Man been a long time since I made a post! I am amazed at what I have learned over the past years in keeping water! The journey that began with my son getting a Betta and a bowl as a gift. Little more of how things have been.

My last freshwater aquarium is a 40g that housed two black rams, 10 Cardinal tetras, 7 Venezuelan Cory cats. Also lots of pond snails
Tank started in a 29g. It ran for over a year flawlessly. Then I moved the first time. After my move I upgraded to a 40g. Within a month the female ram passed. Heartbroken but I didn't change a thing. I mean why when the rest are all established. Then comes move two. This one has been the worst. Move took alot more time than planned. Before I got the fish moved the male ram goes missing. (Snail food)! Get the Cardinals and Cory's moved with their plants. So obviously a tank with cardinal and Cory isn't as enjoyable! So I impulse buy two electric blue rams. Day two in tank female is floating. Well great. 50% water change of course. Day three male ram again (snail food)! Ok I knew that lfs wasn't the best but it's close to my home. Day 4 another 50% change. I'm leaving int alone I tell myself. I knew better. Day 5-6 gets worse. Every fish but one cardinal and Cory pass away! Rip tank.

So in move two again was a horrible move! I lose all but my two clowns and tang in my 120g aquarium reef tank. This one stung. Corals and half the fish dead! So the three fish are holding in another 40g.

My original plan was to hold clowns and smaller fish in a 20g and tang and coral beauty in the 40g after the move. Why you ask? Well I am in planning stages of building a plywood aquarium for the saltwater fish. Another build down the road. Stay tuned!

Back to the title of the post if you made it this far. If not I will still have a start of this journey! I was thinking about building a discus tank! Yes beautiful fish. As I'm planning I get custody of 3 of my children. Now I'm thinking full time job. Full time das. Full time discus. That's alot. Will I stay on water changes for discus. No probably not. So my mind wanders on what to do with this 120g. Large community yeah that would be awesome! Piranha that would be very cool also! Hmm what to do?

I got it! A mixed South American/ Central American Cichlid tank! That could be interesting! We see African cichlid tanks all the time! So I research and see cichlid bros mixed tank and I'm like that's it!

Equipment:
120g 4x2x2 with overflow!
40g breeder sump. Previous saltwater setup!
Compartment one fluidized media where water overflows.
Section 2 remove filter socks and holder and fill with different ppi foam.
Section 3 might just use my protein skimmer why not I have it.
Section 4 heavily planted refugium. Maybe some guppies in there! Will they meet requirements with warmer water maybe not but they are there to breed for food!

Stocking:
1 Bumblebee Oscar
1 Electric blue jack Dempsey
1 Convict cichlid
1 more idk. Severum, parrot?

Tank will be full of rock, plants that make it, and wood. Providing lots of hiding spots, line sight breaks. All fish added small same day! Before territory is established. So that's a book thanks for reading it all if you have. More coming this week!
 
JustAFishServant
  • #2
Sounds like a great setup! You started similarly to how I did 10 yrs ago. I started by taking care of my brother's betta in a 1 gal. When sick, I researched, discovering he had nitrite poisoning. He died soon after...sadly, the death of my brother's fish might've never gotten me interested in tanks and starting a rescue! The research was certainly more than that too. As soon as I wanted my own, did my research for 2 yrs, got a 4G bin (5G tanks cost too much for me at the time - I was only 10) and got my 1st girl soon after - a turquoise roundtail named Bluestar. She lived to be 4 yrs old until I discovered her stuck behind the heater...

Anyhow...enough of this sadness, onto a happier subject - you're new tank! I'm excited to see how it turns out, friend :)
 
ppate1977
  • #3
A parrot can not defend itself. I used to LOVE aggressive fish. Check out this Jaguar cichlid I used to have.
 

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TClare
  • #4
Yes, if you like aggressive cichlids the jaguar is certainly very impressive. While all the species you list (except the parrot IMO) are very attractive fish, personally I would decide on either Central or South American cichlids depending on your water parameters - CA prefer hard water, most SA do best in soft water. I have a South American cichlid tank but I have leant towards the less aggressive species - Festivums, severum, Cichlasomas and Uarus. My severum is completely unaggressive, while some individuals may be more so, they are generally one of the more peaceful species, but would probably hold their own against a GT for example..
 
Rcslade124
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
A parrot can not defend itself. I used to LOVE aggressive fish. Check out this Jaguar cichlid I used to have.
I looked up jaguar. Man they are beautiful. The more I'm planning this tank I'm starting to think my eyes are bigger than my tank! I think I can get away with the 4 big fish in a 120g for about a year but after that I am doubting long term success. Even though I'm adding them all small all at once.

I was planning a 900g saltwater predator tank in the basement but I don't know if I want that down stairs. Basement is only 7 ft has HVAC and wires and unfinished. I was thinking about doing the 8x4x4 in living room. Now I'm thinking I need to tyvek the ceiling and make the basement a fish room and just put the saltwater and build a large freshwater for these fish. Lots more planning.

Been soaking the 120g in citric acid for a day hopefully have it scrubbed up this week! Will post pics of the sump and 120g before and after.
 
Rcslade124
  • Thread Starter
  • #6
Green nasty water. Draining out the citric acid water. Cannot find my overflow wrench. So this put a wrench in my plans pun intended. I have to go get a pipe wrench tomorrow to get bulkheads loose. But it's making a come back.

I'm looking into the bosley indoor pond on Amazon. I just don't like the idea it will be on the floor and not a viewing hight. But 909 gallons opens up lots of opportunities! More to come
 

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Bwood22
  • #7
MrMuggles
  • #8
I have repeatedly been told to avoid electric blue Jack Dempsey due to genetics, why not get a regular old JD?
 
SamMe
  • #9
They are beautiful fish, just tend to be more aggressive than the electric blue Jack Dempsey.
 
Rcslade124
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
I have repeatedly been told to avoid electric blue Jack Dempsey due to genetics, why not get a regular old JD?
I kind of like the bright blue color. But if I do go with the Jaguar cichlid I think a regular Jack Dempsey would be better. Little bigger and little meaner. Who would have thought an Oscar might be the least aggressive fish in an aquarium
 
Bwood22
  • #11
I kind of like the bright blue color.
Then why not some EB Acaras?
 
MrMuggles
  • #12
Then why not some EB Acaras?
Agree! Better choice for this tank size, they're smaller and not super active.
I have 4 in my 2x2x4 120G with a severum and some other cichlids. They are colorful, hardy, good eaters, interesting personality too! I started with 6 and removed 2 who were more aggressive now I have a really chill vibe going.
 
TClare
  • #13
Probably not a good idea to do EBAs with a jaguar cichlid though.
 
Rcslade124
  • Thread Starter
  • #14
Yeah I'm afraid acaras at only 8inch might get bullied. Once the Oscar, Jaguar, Dempsey gets bigger. Would a group of acaras fair better in numbers.

Remember I'm not new to aquariums so I know a 120g won't be big enough down the road just a Jaguar and any fish will be a disaster.

BOSWELL Aquarium Pool Pond with Transparent Clear Viewing Panel and Drain Valve, PVC Canvas with Steel Frame for | Ponds | Fish Tank | Koi | Goldfish | Quarantine Holding Pond | Fish Breeding | Display Show Tank https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09B19K76B/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_i_FWKZWEW1FVH1YPAH9364?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Looking at this for future. But it would be on the floor and I'm not a fan of that and with cats they will use it as a scratch post! But it's about 600$ cheaper than building a plywood aquarium. Hmm
 
TClare
  • #15
Interesting if you have the room, though it says currently unavailable?

As you say it might not be convenient at floor level, unless you can build some kind of plinth?

We built a 220 gallon tank and stand quite economically. Nowhere near as big as that pond of course though.
 
Rcslade124
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Yeah won't have the 900g until June. But I'm thinking about making plywood for this also. So it would be roughly 84x30x30. So I can Cary the tank and stand out of the house if I ever move.
 
Dunk2
  • #19
Sorry you’re not Ramming anymore Rcslade124, but this sounds like an interesting project. Welcome back!
 
Rcslade124
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
Sorry you’re not Ramming anymore Rcslade124, but this sounds like an interesting project. Welcome back!
I know it's sad. They didn't like the moving last year. But I'm planted here for awhile. It was heartbreaking when they passed.
 
Rcslade124
  • Thread Starter
  • #21
Update:

Finally got the overflow box removed from the back of the tank. Drained all the old algae filled water and refilled both tank and sump about halfway. Went to dollar store for vinegar. Found some cleaning vinegar. Have everything soaking some to help remove barnacle and caked on residual.

Disclaimer: cleaning vinegar will not be aquarium safe like cooking vinegar. I have now learned this. So now I have multiple Rinse before either can be used. Photo is attached. Very bubbly

Being impatient I know not aquarium smart. I am thinking about making a trip an hour away to the best lfs around. Charleston, WV is not a good fish area. Best lfs are Petco and PetSmart. Granted both are usually very well taken care of. But for this build I want specific fish and I need everything juvenile or small so they can grow together to minimize aggression. I have my cycled 40g running with one Cory and one cardinal Tetra so if I impulse buy fish can be held in this aquarium for the next month. Real plans are to have lfs order fish needed I doubt Jaguar cichlid will be in stock. Oscar, jack Dempsey would most definitely be there.

Next up building a new stand and getting manpower to move 120g inside. Also need boss ladies approval for placement. Or plastic wrap for days for basement. Let's be honest we want to enjoy our tanks in normal living not in a basement we will have to go to for enjoyment right! Even she agree with this. More to come.
 

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TClare
  • #22
Tangled up in cichlids have jaguar cichlids, just in case…
 
Rcslade124
  • Thread Starter
  • #23
Tangled up in cichlids have jaguar cichlids, just in case…
Thanks. I had not seen them. And I can probably order all my fish in one go. I don't make it to the lfs which is good I would impulse buy stuff.
 
Rcslade124
  • Thread Starter
  • #24
Update:
So I was sick of looking at a Cory cat and one cardinal Tetra. It was just boring and doing water changes for two fish in a 40g was more of a chore. So I bit the bullet. I got a jack Dempsey and a Tigard Oscar today! Now when they say Oscars are water puppies it's true. He/she is biting everything in the tank. Dead snail shells. Every plant . I also added a water Lilly plant last week and it's growing like crazy photos attached
 

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