Buying/stocking A New World Ciclid Tank

GKMoore

Me and my wife found an incredible deal on a 75 gallon tank for $125 that came with beautiful stand, custom glass lids, some high tech LED lighting, an external canister filter with tons of media, and black & white sand substrate. she also gave us $150 worth of food so this was a very rare find. We set everything up minus a wave maker that comes in next week and a few pieces of driftwood that I have soaking in a bucket outside. Most of the filtration media has been cycled previously. We added ammonia to the tank to be sure and the levels are looking good.

We wanted a 75 gallon tank to house a Gold Severum. Our past experience with this fish was incredible and learned a lot keeping him. Sadly we took bad advice and he died. Lots and lots of research later I am considering an all South/Central American ciclid tank for this 75 gallon. First we made our list of wants

Gold Severum, 1-2 Green Terror, Jack Dempsey, Salvini, Firemouth, and a Rainbow ciclid, possibly a blue acara and 1-2 black convicts

I know a lot of them are pretty aggressive (depending on the fish) but they can coexist. I searched google and youtube for a similar set up with a 75 gallon and found this

Obviously this tank has inspired us enough to give it a try. Checking the local fish store, majority of these are in stock but are all larger versions costing between $30 to $80 per fish. I can't afford that, so I found an online seller with great pricing for smaller versions around 1.5-2.5 inches. The shipping is free if I spend $100+ so that would mean I need to purchase all in one order and save a ton of money. It seems risky to add them all at one time because there is so much potential aggression without knowing their personality.
My thinking is that it might be good to put them all in at once while they are young so that territories are not established, less likely to be aggressive initially and they can grow up together and hopefully get along. Plus no one is big enough to eat the other. And if something bad were to happen, they have a 14 day guarantee...

Before I place the order and spend this kind of money, I am interested to know your input. Should I avoid getting 2 of any kind because of spawning aggression? Should I consider medium to larger fish? Is adding them all at once a bad thing? What are some precautions I should take if I do add them all in at once?

Side note: If I add them all at once, It's because I am confident the filtration can handle it. There is enough cycled media in there for 200+ gallons.
 

Fashooga

I avoid putting in the Rainbow Cichlid in there because they are not that aggressive and might end up being beaten up. I would get one GT. The two convicts might be ok though if they are a male and female pair that might end up being messy when they mate. If you blue acara's are the actual true blue acara you might find aggressiveness in it. If it's the electric blue acara, you will find them not to be aggressive and might not hold their own. Lchi87 had a EBA with a JD and I believe she had to rehome the JD as the EBA were getting the snot knock out of them.

My 90g is basically the same like yours. I have a JD and BP, a starry night, fire mouth, GT, a T-bar and a convict. They do fight and lock jaws up, especially the BP and Starry night.
 

GKMoore

I avoid putting in the Rainbow Cichlid in there because they are not that aggressive and might end up being beaten up. I would get one GT. The two convicts might be ok though if they are a male and female pair that might end up being messy when they mate. If you blue acara's are the actual true blue acara you might find aggressiveness in it. If it's the electric blue acara, you will find them not to be aggressive and might not hold their own. Lchi87 had a EBA with a JD and I believe she had to rehome the JD as the EBA were getting the snot knock out of them.

My 90g is basically the same like yours. I have a JD and BP, a starry night, fire mouth, GT, a T-bar and a convict. They do fight and lock jaws up, especially the BP and Starry night.
Thanks for the rep[y! Ok I figured 2 GT would be a no go. What about 2 Salvini? I'm guessing same thing.. With your BP & Starry Night, o you just let them fight it out or what's the solution to minimize the aggression?
 

Lchi87

I avoid putting in the Rainbow Cichlid in there because they are not that aggressive and might end up being beaten up. I would get one GT. The two convicts might be ok though if they are a male and female pair that might end up being messy when they mate. If you blue acara's are the actual true blue acara you might find aggressiveness in it. If it's the electric blue acara, you will find them not to be aggressive and might not hold their own. Lchi87 had a EBA with a JD and I believe she had to rehome the JD as the EBA were getting the snot knock out of them.

My 90g is basically the same like yours. I have a JD and BP, a starry night, fire mouth, GT, a T-bar and a convict. They do fight and lock jaws up, especially the BP and Starry night.
I had to rehome the JD because she was trying to eat my tiger barbs. Then the tiger barbs ended up being rehomed as well because despite being over a dozen strong, they still were going after the pleco’s fins. I can’t say for sure whether or not they may have existed together long term as my JD was still young-ish when I had her. It was mostly working though since the aggression was balanced. She wasn’t super mean (yet) and my EBA pair were fiesty enough to hold their own together. Had they been single fish and not a pair, I think the dynamic may have been different.
 

Fashooga

Thanks for the rep[y! Ok I figured 2 GT would be a no go. What about 2 Salvini? I'm guessing same thing.. With your BP & Starry Night, o you just let them fight it out or what's the solution to minimize the aggression?

As bad as it sounds I let them fight it out. They do charge at each other most of the time and the starry night usually comes out on top while the BP gets the lower half of the tank.

The JD is able to swim where ever it wants and usually isn't bothered by the starry night.
 

A201

Great buy. Although your 75 gal seems large now, when some of your dream fish acheive adult size, you'll be surprised how small it has become. That was a very nice video but my guess is that tank
hadn't been set up long. IMO the fish really didn't look acclimated.
it was an awkward mixture of juvenile and young adult cichlids .A male Rivulatus Green Terror would be a very good & beautiful choice. A Jack Dempsey is also a fun fish to keep, but probably not good long term with a GT. If you go with a Jack, I'd go with an Electric Blue Jack. Prettier, smaller and less aggressive.
You can't lose with a Severum. Rainbows are nice, but a group of Firemouths are more active & colorful. Not very aggressive either.
Blue Acaras are beautiful relatively non-aggressive cichlids, but are closely related to the Green Terror. Probably wouldn't end well for the Acara. A solo SalvinI would probably work. The females are the most colorful. A mated pair would make life miserable for tankmates. Forget the Convicts!. Lol. It is good to buy the cichlids young and let them grow up together.
 

!poogs!

Personally as a fan and lover of them, when it comes to South American cichlids, I am not a fan of how people stock some of their tanks on u-tube. Was just surfing there for ideas for a December project for a new 120 gallon tank, was not pleased with the way some of the tanks I saw were stocked. Nothing worse then those one cichlid versus another videos watching them lip lock and fight. So I wouldn’t use some of those videos as an example of how they should be stocked.

As for the input you asked, here are my answers, FYI I only keep South American cichlid tanks, and one African of Jewels only. I keep , breed, and have kept, convicts, fire-mouths, Jack Dempsey, keyholes, green terrors, and jewels. And angels, almost forgot them.

Yes you should avoid getting two of any kind and causing aggression in the tank from spawning.

Medium or larger fish? Not sure if you mean size to purchase now or what they will grow into. Personal would not put a Jack Dempsey or a Green Terror with any of the fish you mentioned. My jacks and my greens are in species only tanks and are 6 to 8 inches long and a nice girth to them. They are tank bosses. Convicts, firemouths, rainbows, even jewels or keyholes, yes. Don’t know about where you are from but acaras and electric blue jacks have not been hardy here. Make sure the convicts are male. They are larger.

Adding them all at once is not a bad thing if they are bought small and you are set up for the bioload.

Precautions...lots of hiding spaces, caves, driftwood, large terracotta pots on their side, and lots of plastic plants, don’t waste your money on real ones with those fish, they are going to dig your substrate to pieces.

And I’m sure you already know this about cichlids from your experience, there is no accounting for the personality of a cichlid. They say they are aggressive, but I have ones that are surprising docile, or acted as expected, to complete p@#&ks

Good luck... I love cichlid tanks. Starting a 120 g in December 48 by 24 by 24. Post pictures and let us know how you make out.
 

GKMoore

Personally as a fan and lover of them, when it comes to South American cichlids, I am not a fan of how people stock some of their tanks on u-tube. Was just surfing there for ideas for a December project for a new 120 gallon tank, was not pleased with the way some of the tanks I saw were stocked. Nothing worse then those one cichlid versus another videos watching them lip lock and fight. So I wouldn’t use some of those videos as an example of how they should be stocked.

As for the input you asked, here are my answers, FYI I only keep South American cichlid tanks, and one African of Jewels only. I keep , breed, and have kept, convicts, fire-mouths, Jack Dempsey, keyholes, green terrors, and jewels. And angels, almost forgot them.

Yes you should avoid getting two of any kind and causing aggression in the tank from spawning.

Medium or larger fish? Not sure if you mean size to purchase now or what they will grow into. Personal would not put a Jack Dempsey or a Green Terror with any of the fish you mentioned. My jacks and my greens are in species only tanks and are 6 to 8 inches long and a nice girth to them. They are tank bosses. Convicts, firemouths, rainbows, even jewels or keyholes, yes. Don’t know about where you are from but acaras and electric blue jacks have not been hardy here. Make sure the convicts are male. They are larger.

Adding them all at once is not a bad thing if they are bought small and you are set up for the bioload.

Precautions...lots of hiding spaces, caves, driftwood, large terracotta pots on their side, and lots of plastic plants, don’t waste your money on real ones with those fish, they are going to dig your substrate to pieces.

And I’m sure you already know this about cichlids from your experience, there is no accounting for the personality of a cichlid. They say they are aggressive, but I have ones that are surprising docile, or acted as expected, to complete p@#&ks

Good luck... I love cichlid tanks. Starting a 120 g in December 48 by 24 by 24. Post pictures and let us know how you make out.
Thanks for the input! I went a head and placed my order by impulse and have already put the fish in. I'll attach pictures of the tank setup and you can let me know what you think. It's not to pretty because I tore a bicep trying to dig up rocks for the tank so had to throw everything in there with one arm. Once I'm healed I'll make it look pretty. They are all really young, about 1-1.5 inches with the exception of a chocolate ciclid that came in at about 2.5 inches.

Here is the official list (1 of each):
Green Terror
Gold Severum
Rainbow Ciclid
Salvini
Jack Dempsey
Chocolate Ciclid
Firemouth
Common Pleco
Clown Loach

They all look very similar and it is difficult to tell which one is which We acclimated them in very low light so need some help identifying them. One is pink with red eyes and I'm wondering if they gave me a flower horn instead of one on the list that I purchased. Here are pictures of the tank
img-1.jpg

Which one would this be? I'm guessing the Rainbow Ciclid
img-5.jpg

I think this one is the Green Terror and then the Jack Dempsey. They follow each other around like glue
img-10.jpg
img-7.jpg

What do you think this one is? A flower horn? Is it possibly a SalvinI or the firemouth?
img-13.jpg
 

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!poogs!

I love it. You won’t have any issues with those little guys. They are all classic aggressive cichlids, and in my opinion the most fun ones too. Curious to see how they get along as adults starting in a tank as young ones. I’ve never integrated so many aggressive types in one tank. I hope it works out, I will have learned something new. Please post updates or send me a message. Question, 48x18 or 48x24?
 

GKMoore

Please post updates or send me a message. Question, 48x18 or 48x24?
48x18.5x21h. Do you have any idea what the pink one is?
 

A201

I've raised juvenile SalvinI and Firemouths. None ever looked like your mystery fish. It kind of looks like a baby Red Dragon Flowerhorn.
 

!poogs!

Need a better picture. When you say pink cichlids my mind goes to pink convict right away.
 

GKMoore


2FA146B4-86B5-4AA5-9D2F-989928ABC504.jpeg
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Need a better picture. When you say pink cichlids my mind goes to pink convict right away.
 

GKMoore

Need a better picture. When you say pink cichlids my mind goes to pink convict right away.
It’s the red eye that has me thinking they sent the wrong fish
 

!poogs!

It’s the red eye that has me thinking they sent the wrong fish

I think he may be your chocolate cichlid. His colour is a little washed out right now. Best guess.
 

GKMoore

I love it. You won’t have any issues with those little guys. They are all classic aggressive cichlids, and in my opinion the most fun ones too. Curious to see how they get along as adults starting in a tank as young ones. I’ve never integrated so many aggressive types in one tank. I hope it works out, I will have learned something new. Please post updates or send me a message. Question, 48x18 or 48x24?
wanted to update as things progressed. The GT and JD and rainbow Cichlid all stick together like glue. Its Ben almost 4 weeks and I have only seen a disagreement between the GT & JD 1 time that only lasted 1-2 seconds before the rainbow broke it up and things of been fine ever since. The first week we had a couple of deaths most likely from stress. The pink mystery fish that I believed was a flower horn died within the first week followed by the SalvinI and the Severum. The salvinI was a very good hider and aggressive in his hiding spot. Most likely what stressed the severum. Once the tank settled down and the fish were a bit more acclimated the chocolate Cichlid was becoming one of our favorites in the tank. As a whole the tank still doesn’t seem to eat well except for when we give them blood worms, then the chocolate would go nuts for those. About 2 weeks ago we bought another Severum that was the same size as the chocolate which I think made him nervous, but got used to him within 3-4 days. For some reason we decided to try a Blood Parrot which was always hiding from us. We noticed the Severum and chocolate went into hiding as well and found the Severum dead a couple days ago. I was suspicious that the BP might be aggressive but he was always hiding when we enter the room so it was hard to determine if he was the culprit. A few hours later we noticed the fire mouth was dead the chocolate Cichlid wasn’t eating. Not even when we put in the blood worms! We relocated the BP hoping the chocolate would recover but to our frustration, found the chocolate dead this morning. We are obviously upset because our entire tank feels wiped besides the GT, JD, and rainbow Cichlid. Am I doing something wrong by adding in fish to quickly before they are used to the new guy or is it just that I picked a bad BP? I am only guessing he is the one that stressed everyone out. We are considering purchasing either aanother Severum and chocolate But they can be $$$. So we are also considering an Oscar since it seems like they have a good mix of the two personalities of the two. one of my questions is do you have Any advice on feeding? We are planning on making their food from scratch sometime this week. Another is do you have recommendations for Tank mates on the GT JD and rainbow so we don’t have to go through this again? How would you go about adding them in? Thank you for reading this! Your input is appreciated!
 

!poogs!

wanted to update as things progressed. The GT and JD and rainbow Cichlid all stick together like glue. Its Ben almost 4 weeks and I have only seen a disagreement between the GT & JD 1 time that only lasted 1-2 seconds before the rainbow broke it up and things of been fine ever since. The first week we had a couple of deaths most likely from stress. The pink mystery fish that I believed was a flower horn died within the first week followed by the SalvinI and the Severum. The salvinI was a very good hider and aggressive in his hiding spot. Most likely what stressed the severum. Once the tank settled down and the fish were a bit more acclimated the chocolate Cichlid was becoming one of our favorites in the tank. As a whole the tank still doesn’t seem to eat well except for when we give them blood worms, then the chocolate would go nuts for those. About 2 weeks ago we bought another Severum that was the same size as the chocolate which I think made him nervous, but got used to him within 3-4 days. For some reason we decided to try a Blood Parrot which was always hiding from us. We noticed the Severum and chocolate went into hiding as well and found the Severum dead a couple days ago. I was suspicious that the BP might be aggressive but he was always hiding when we enter the room so it was hard to determine if he was the culprit. A few hours later we noticed the fire mouth was dead the chocolate Cichlid wasn’t eating. Not even when we put in the blood worms! We relocated the BP hoping the chocolate would recover but to our frustration, found the chocolate dead this morning. We are obviously upset because our entire tank feels wiped besides the GT, JD, and rainbow Cichlid. Am I doing something wrong by adding in fish to quickly before they are used to the new guy or is it just that I picked a bad BP? I am only guessing he is the one that stressed everyone out. We are considering purchasing either aanother Severum and chocolate But they can be $$$. So we are also considering an Oscar since it seems like they have a good mix of the two personalities of the two. one of my questions is do you have Any advice on feeding? We are planning on making their food from scratch sometime this week. Another is do you have recommendations for Tank mates on the GT JD and rainbow so we don’t have to go through this again? How would you go about adding them in? Thank you for reading this! Your input is appreciated!

Sorry for taking so long to respond.

Wow that’s a lot of action. Sorry for all your loses.

I’m assuming your tank is properly cycled and you have lots of biological filtration minus carbon and zeolite.

I think you should stop adding cichlids. Your JD and your GT are dominant, and not peaceful fish. You should be content with the two of them. They will both grow into large fish. I don’t think an Oscar will be a good idea. You need more tank for that. Please don’t add another JD or GT. The dominant species will kill the single fish.

FYI a GT is more dominant than a JD. A GT will out grow the JD eventually. A GT or a JD are best kept in a species tank of their own type. But, if I was going try and add something I would do a common pleco, not a BN, or 4-5 Pictus cat fish, or 4 convicts (2 pairs of m/f), or a school of 3-5 female Fire-mouths (males stress to easy). My preference would be the convicts. They are fast and aggressive, which all the other cichlids you’ve tried aren’t, and when they pair they will defend their territory as a team. Convicts or Fire-mouths, I would want to outnumber the GT or the JD.

I don’t know what the bottom of your tank looks like, but I would fill the bottom with plastic plants, terracotta pots on their side, and drift wood. I would want as many sight line obstructions as possible.

Best case scenario if you want more than 2 fish, is to pick a fish to re-home either the GT or the JD, and buy the opposite sex for the one you keep. A breeding pair of JD or GT is very entertaining and they are great parents. You can usually grow out the fry with parents. Or, keep an all m or f tank with one species.

Feeding,

I wouldn’t do flake, but it’s not a bad basic option. Nutrafin is my fav.

HikarI floating pellet for cichlids. Sinking if you add convicts.

Frozen blood worms every other day, and frozen brine shrimp on the days you don’t feed worms.

I don’t remember what size your JD or GT are but when larger mine like to eat feeder gold fish, or I find a local breeder online with more guppies than they could handle giving them away for like 10 for $1. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but they get eaten.


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