40 gallon cichlid tank

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by bryce1217, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. bryce1217Valued MemberMember

    my lfs just started selling more aggressive fish such as bigger cichlids. i would like to try a cichlid tank. the species they have that i think my do well in my tank that they have are (i dont know much about them)
    jewl cichlid
    firemouth cichlid
    black belt cichlid
    black convict
    mixed african cichlids (thats what they are labeled, they are about one to 2.5 inches long,they are white,orange,blue,and yellow.)
    i have no idea about any of these. i would like to know which of these would go in a 40 gallon, if any of them are comptible and how many of each of them i can keep.

  2. mmolitor87Well Known MemberMember

    Jewel: You could do 2, but be aware they breed like bunnies.

    Kribensis: You could do 3, possibly even 4 due to their more peaceful nature.

    Firemouth: You could do 2 of these.

    Black Belt: Will get too big for your tank! 10" or so. :)

    Convict: You could do 2 of these, but I wouldn't do any other fish because if they breed they'll probably kill anything else.

    African cichlids: A whole different story....you need to overcrowd these guys to keep aggression spread out. In most cases you need a 4:1 female:male ratio. It's best if you can find out the specifics of what "assorted" cichlids there are.

    Combinations of the above would be...

    Convict/Firemouth:at your own risk, some never would because convicts can get pushy and kill the Firemouth.

    Jewel/Convict: perfect match for each other as far as aggression goes.

    Firemouth/Kribensis: Might need to watch the kribensis, or get 2 vs 1 Firemouth. Firemouth cichlids tend to be pretty calm, but there are exceptions.

    Note: Jewels are Africans but they share the same water parameter requirements as American cichlids.

  3. bryce1217Valued MemberMember

    thanks for the quick reply. can i keep anything else with the jewel and convict. how many jewels and convicts can i keep. can i keep a pink and a black convict.

  4. mmolitor87Well Known MemberMember

    Pink and Black are fine together. Careful you get 2 males or 2 females if you don't want breeding. I would do 1 of each in either case. Same goes with Jewels.

    Space will be tight as these will be 4-6 inch fish that require established territories and will fight harshly over space. I would stick with the combinations I listed above.
  5. bryce1217Valued MemberMember

    thanks! the jewels are bigger than the convicts. should i be worried when i buy them if i decide to.
  6. mmolitor87Well Known MemberMember

    Convicts are usually far more aggressive. It would be good to give the jewel a bit of a size advantage.
  7. bryce1217Valued MemberMember

    ok. what do i do if i accidentally end up with a male and a female. i did see on the internet that convicts do better in groups of 3 or more. is this true? not trying to doubt you or anything. if so could i do a pink and 2 blacks. just an idea. lol.
  8. mmolitor87Well Known MemberMember

    It's partially true, partially not. What happens is the male and female will breed, and the female gets exhausted. At that point you may need to separate the female because the male may continue to harass her to breed. Breeding too often can stress the fish into death.

    If you do a group, you may find that one male will be killed by the other male in order to win the female. If the pairing happens and the male survives, he'll probably be killed as soon as the babies emerge from the eggs. 40 gallons is awful tight for anything more than a single pair of breeding convicts.

    If you do 2 females and 1 male you might be alright, but the extra female may end up dead just like the previous scenario.

    Cichlids are such touchy creatures I find it's best to err on the side of caution and not push the limits too much. You could end up with more than you first intended and the results will be more tanks (yay, if you have the money/space/time) or dead fish. :(

    Edit: I did forget to touch on the groups of cichlids. If you get 2 breeding pairs they're usually okay to claim either side of the tank and leave each other be...but 40 is still small for that. The benefit is that an odd number could give the male enough to do so that he won't exhaust the female. It's all on the personalities of the fish.
  9. bryce1217Valued MemberMember

    what if i done a group of three female convicts i wouldnt have a breeding problem then
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012
  10. mmolitor87Well Known MemberMember

    Nope, seeing as they can't breed. You would have to watch them. Make sure you give them plenty of places to hide and plenty of plants to break up line of site where they can form territories. I suggest 4 medium sized terracotta pots + rocks and plants/driftwood.
  11. bryce1217Valued MemberMember

    i have aquarium safe silicon and a medium sized drift wood plus i have a ton of plants on the way. is there any room for dithers. ive heard the are important for cichlid tanks. is this true?
  12. mmolitor87Well Known MemberMember

    Dithers can act in 2 ways. They can be a medium for aggression between the other fish or they can coax shy fish into being more active by calming them and convincing them it's safe to be in the open. I would not do dithers with 2 or more convicts. If you do 1 jewel and 1 convict you may be able to pull off some dithers. Make sure they're fast, though. :)
  13. bryce1217Valued MemberMember

    ok. thanks! i have a ton of rocks and hige peice of driftwood. my lfs sells driftwood too. the sell a foot peice of driftwood for 15-24 dollars. should i do plants? ive heard some cichlids dont like plants?
  14. MsheresyValued MemberMember

    Some will uproot them and some will destroy them.
  15. bryce1217Valued MemberMember

    are jewels and convicts known for uprooting them?

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