advice please for new cichlid tank!!!

MissMTS
  • #1
Hi!
I am currently cycling my "soon to be" cichlid tank with a few hardy fish, and I am about ready to remove the fish that I am using to cycle the tank and add in my cichlids! However, I am absolutely overwhelmed by the possibilities. I have looked at hundreds of fish profiles online, but I would like some personal reccomendations from people who have kept african cichlids. I have a 40 gallon breeder style tank, so I am working with a pretty good surface area. I am looking for cichlids that are between 4 and 6 inches. I have heard that it is good to slightly overstock cichlid tanks. Is this accurate? I was thinking that about 15 cichlids is a good amount. I would appreciate any help or advice that anyone has to give! Thanks!
 
asymmetry
  • #2
I have a 35 gallon tank with 6 small African cichlids in it and everyone in this and other forums has told me that it's over-stocked, (except fish stores employees, but I've learned not to listen to them.)

Each fish will grow to about 5-6" and from what I've gather, it would be more convenient to keep only 3 or 4 at most. I've also learned that 1 fish per 1 gallon of water is not entirely true, specially if you're dealing with bigger fish. 10 gallons of water per 5" fish would be more realistic. I'm not an expert, but 15 cichlids in a 40 gallon tank seems a bit too much. I would research a little more and keep asking questions. Good luck!
 
MissMTS
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
That's what I had originally thought as well, but I looked at another post in this forum, and someone advised the person to put 14 cichlids in their 40 gallon tank. That seemed like a bit much to me too. That's why I was checking. My tank is almost done cycling and when I stock it, I want to make sure that I do it correctly. Thanks for the imput!
 
mlinden84
  • #4
I think 15 would be too many. I would put no more than 10 in a 40 gallon tank (with lots of hiding places).
Have you decided on which fish you are getting yet?
 
MissMTS
  • Thread Starter
  • #5
No not yet. I am looking for some reccomendations from people who have experience with African cichlids because it is just to overwhelming to search through the websites and look at hundreds of fish profiles. Do you have species any that you would reccomend?
 
Allie
  • #6
No not yet. I am looking for some reccomendations from people who have experience with African cichlids because it is just to overwhelming to search through the websites and look at hundreds of fish profiles. Do you have species any that you would reccomend?

This is the best site:
I love the yellow labs, cobalt zebras, red top zebras, acei, blue haps are nice too.
 
mlinden84
  • #7
No not yet. I am looking for some reccomendations from people who have experience with African cichlids because it is just to overwhelming to search through the websites and look at hundreds of fish profiles. Do you have species any that you would reccomend?

Here's what I did:
I went to the fish store and wrote down names of the ones I really liked. Then I went home and researched them to make sure they were ok with each other and didn't grow too big, etc. There are many very cool cichlids, but sometimes it's hard to find a lot of them. This way you wouldn't do a lot of unnecessary researching for fish you can't find.
 
MissMTS
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
Thanks for all of the help guys! Okay, so I am getting impatient and I am almost done cycling my tank. I have 5 pristella tetras and 3 corys in there right now, and I am dying to put my cichlids in. Would it throw off the cycle to take out the tetras and corys and add just 3 or 4 small cichlids????? I know that I technically should wait, but you know how exciting it gets
 
mlinden84
  • #9
Just how close are you? Have you tested the water?
 
MissMTS
  • Thread Starter
  • #10
I didn't get to do a water test last night cause I got home late, but I will do another test tonight and post the results tomorrow. Thanks so much for your help.
 
Trpimp147
  • #11
I have 10 cichlids in a 75 gal and I think that's just about right there was 13 but they killed the one and the other got sick. I have 2 large plecos in my tank too and that over stocked the tank easy.
 
MissMTS
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
I have 10 cichlids in a 75 gal and I think that's just about right there was 13 but they killed the one and the other got sick. I have 2 large plecos in my tank too and that over stocked the tank easy.

How big are your cichlids and what kind do you have? I have read in a couple of places that I can keep about 10 fish in my tank as long as I keep them between 3 and 6 inches.
 
MissMTS
  • Thread Starter
  • #13
Also, a couple of more questions guys. Sorry.......I just want to make sure that I do this right. I don't have room in my house for a grow out tank, so I don't want to encourage my cichlids to spawn. I was thinking of maybe an all male tank, but you can't tell the gender of the juveniles can you???????? Should I just pick 3 kinds of cichlids and then just get 3 of each and see what happens? I think that I want to stick with mbuna cichlids. I know a lot of them require a 1 male to 2 to 3 female ratio, but what if this doesn't happen since you can't tell what you get?
 
Trpimp147
  • #14
you could do that. my cichlids are from 3-4 inch long.... not that big I would say you shouldnt have a problem till they get bigger but when they are younger they seem to move a lot more.... my fish are just really big now I had to buy some of them larger due to I don't want to buy small ones so they don't get ate.
 
Trpimp147
  • #15
africancichlid.net is a site I'm a member too you can get a lot of info from there there is a woman on there that knows plenty of info... I kno some but I try not to give much advise due to I don't study the fish as much as she has.
 
MissMTS
  • Thread Starter
  • #16
Okay, so I just went to my LFS and this is what they had available:
various peacocks, albino red top zebra, yellow labs, rusty zebras, red finned borleyi, snow white, and elongatus. I looked them up and they are all 6 inches or smaller. I was thinking of
1 albino red top zebra
1 yellow lab
1 rusty zebra
1 red fin borleyi
1 elongatus
5 assorted peacocks
Any imput???????????
 
mlinden84
  • #17
Okay, so I just went to my LFS and this is what they had available:
various peacocks, albino red top zebra, yellow labs, rusty zebras, red finned borleyi, snow white, and elongatus. I looked them up and they are all 6 inches or smaller. I was thinking of
1 albino red top zebra
1 yellow lab
1 rusty zebra
1 red fin borleyi
1 elongatus
5 assorted peacocks
Any imput???????????

i've never kept the peacocks so I can't give you advice on them. I have the red zebras, yellow labs, rusty zebras, and socolofI (the snow whites are albino socolofI I belive) and have no problems with them getting along. (I have a few others as well)

You don't have to have a growout tank if you don't want... you can always just let them have the babies in the tank if they breed. I don't have the heart to do that (can't stand to see the cute little babies get eaten) but it's a way to cut down on the numbers.
 
MissMTS
  • Thread Starter
  • #18
Yeah I know what you mean. I wouldn't want them to get eaten either. I assume that getting 1 of each kind will not result in breeding. I am going to try to get all males to prevent this. I would love to have them breed, but in a 1 bedroom apt with 4 tanks, you run out of room to put stuff
 
mlinden84
  • #19
Yeah I know what you mean. I wouldn't want them to get eaten either. I assume that getting 1 of each kind will not result in breeding. I am going to try to get all males to prevent this. I would love to have them breed, but in a 1 bedroom apt with 4 tanks, you run out of room to put stuff


Some can breed with others even if they aren't the same kind. If you plan to get them small, it can be hard (or nearly impossible) to tell the males/females apart.
One thing you could do is go with your 1 of each kind, then if some do end up breeding you could always find a new home for the female that keeps having babies (easier said than done if you get attached to them)

LoL I know what you mean, between all my daughter's toys and all my tanks, I'm completely out of room!
 
MissMTS
  • Thread Starter
  • #20
I got my first 3 cichlids yesterday cause my water finally tested at zero for nitrite and ammonia...Yay!!! I got a yellow lab, an electric blue, and a pretty red colored peacock. They are small, probably about 2-3 inches long right now. I'll try to post some pics Also, I don't know how much of the liquid salt to add to my aquarium (40 G). The tap water pH in my area is around 7.8. Does anyone know how much to put in?????
 
mlinden84
  • #21
I got my first 3 cichlids yesterday cause my water finally tested at zero for nitrite and ammonia...Yay!!! I got a yellow lab, an electric blue, and a pretty red colored peacock. They are small, probably about 2-3 inches long right now. I'll try to post some pics Also, I don't know how much of the liquid salt to add to my aquarium (40 G). The tap water pH in my area is around 7.8. Does anyone know how much to put in?????

Congrats on the new fish!

I've only used the aquarium salt that comes as a solid. What does the bottle for the liquid salt say to add?
 
Trpimp147
  • #22
I would say you shouldnt have to much of a problem just have a lot of filteration... and get some aqua salt to reduce aggresstion there is two ways to reduce aggresstion one is to under stock and the other is to over stock so they a lot of people to pick on then
 

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