American Cichlid Tank

Discussion in 'Aquarium Stocking Questions' started by Paulsz, Apr 19, 2017.

  1. PaulszValued MemberMember

    Hi all,

    Looking to stock a 55 gallon tank. Was thinking of going with a SA or CA cichlid tank. I'd want maybe 1 of each species (unless it's better to get otherwise). Would it be possible to keep any of these together:

    - Bolivian rams
    - Firemouth
    - Acara (Blue or Electric Blue)
    - Convict
    - Severum
    - Rainbow
    - Green terror
    - any other ones that you may know

    Obviously not all of these can be put together (and not in a 55 gallon), but i'm open to any combinations you guys are familiar with. As for sex, what is the general rule of thumb here? all female?

  2. JeffKWell Known MemberMember

    I don't know if you have any interest in the sajica "t-bar" cichlid or not, but they're relatively peaceful - you could easily stock one in a 55 gal with a rainbow cichlid.

  3. The SenatorValued MemberMember

    Have you considered Keyhole Cichlids?

    Most Severum's and the green terror will need more tank than a 55.

    A couple keyholes plus a group of Bolivians and a shoal of Buenos Aires Tetras would be nice, IMO

    Last edited: Apr 19, 2017
  4. PaulszValued MemberMember

    I will add sajica to the list, as well as keyhole cichlids :) ultimately, it will end up being whatever my LFS has, but I was just looking for combination ideas that you guys had. I know they carry blue acaras, firemouths. bolivians, rainbow and convicts. I believe I've seen keyholes as well, now that I think about it.

    So the severum and green terror are out in that case. Thanks for the info! Last thing I'd want is a cichlid tank with unhappy, aggressive fish
  5. tyguy7760Fishlore VIPMember

    I think that the most likely combination to work (if doing 3 species as I don't think you can do anymore than that) would be a rainbow, eb acara, and bolivian ram. Unfortunately with cichlids it's all up to the individual fish. You may get a bolivian ram that can't be with anything else and you may get one that is pretty accepting. I would stay away from the sev and green terror (as others have suggested) as well as the blue acara. EB acaras are a bit smaller and more peaceful (as they share genetics with the EB Ram). So if I were trying to maximize the number of species I could keep in a 55 that's what I'd do. A single keyhole might work as a replacement but they can be quite skittish and timid if kept singly. So I would keep that in mind

    If I were trying to stock the tank though to have some very nice interactions, I would probably do a pair of rainbow cichlids, and a pair of sajicas. Both are central american and the sajicas will have the look and feel of a convict (lots of personality) without the aggressiveness most times. Another option would be to do a single species of cichlid and try a community. Start out with 6-8 very young cichlids (rainbows, sajicas, rams, or firemouths) of 1 species and let them grow together. You may have to rehome some here or there but depending on the species you may be able to get away with 2 males and 3-4 females. Throw in some dithers and maybe a catfish or two and you've got a very entertaining tank.
  6. PaulszValued MemberMember

    How would I go about getting a pair of rainbows and a pair of sajica? One male one female of each? Or is it necessary to buy 1 male /3 females of each and wait for them to pair up and give the rest away?
  7. tyguy7760Fishlore VIPMember

    I would try to buy 6 or so of each species very young (like an inch in length) and let them grow up together. So for a time you'll have something like 12 cichlids in the tank (and that's it). You'll want to put plenty of pieces of driftwood/caves/flower pots/plants for hiding places for the little guys. Soon, they will get some size to them and you'll be able to identify a dominant male. You may have to rehome a few here and there along the way but the goal is for that dominant male to pair up with one of the females. At that point I would remove the rest of the members of that species.
  8. PaulszValued MemberMember

    Oh okay I see. Thanks! :)
  9. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    I would do either a convict or firemouth with a blue acara and a rainbow cichlid.
    Severums and GTs are too big, I believe.
  10. PaulszValued MemberMember

    Blue acara or electric blue? Also, would females be better if I go that route?
  11. Anders247Fishlore LegendMember

    Either would work. Females would be better, except for the convict, males tend to be more peaceful. It doesn't matter for the rainbow cichlid. But a female acara would definitely be ideal.

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