cichlid stocking advice!

kellyiswicked

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Hello helpful Internet acquaintances!

My boyfriend and I recently purchased a 55 gallon. Petco is having their $1/gallon sale.

The only fish that needs to go in is an adolescent rainbow shark currently in quarantine from his old tank.

My boyfriend was researching into getting African cichlids, and since it seems a possibility to keep them together, I was wondering if anyone had any advice.

I would be interested in hearing any stocking suggestions for the 55 gallon. We're not new to fishkeeping, but "easy" cichlids would be preferential to challenging or demanding species.

Thanks in advance!
 

Gordinian

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Welcome to fishlore!

I've got a 55 gallon cichlid tank that also holds a featherfin and a red tail shark (similar to rainbows). I've heard of members that say rts/rainbows and cichlids shouldn't be kept together, but it's worked ok for others. Personally, I haven't had any problems except for the occational nip from the cichlids, but this may be in part to him being stunted (which happened before I knew anything about fish).

As for easier africans, I've found peacocks are less aggressive and much easier to stock, but the ones that big chain stores carry are often hybridized. You may need to go to more of a fish store to find good quality peacocks.

In my 55 I have 5 OBs, 5 giraffes, and 4 red empresses. Keep in mind that you'll have to stock one male to at least 3 females, to reduce aggression.
 
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kellyiswicked

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Thanks for the suggestion dolphinlover! I thought peacocks were really pretty. I would love if we could find enough of them to stock a tank. Would you say three different species, 1 male to three females?
 

Gordinian

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Three species would be best in a 55, then you'd have room for some type of bigger catfish if you wanted. My featherfin in one of my favorite fish!

Also, if you like haps, you could mix those with peacocks. The giraffe cichlids I have are haps, and they get along great.
 

bolivianbaby

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Keeping a rainbow shark in an african cichlid tank isn't a good idea, in my opinion. Rainbows prefer a PH between 6.5 and 7.5 and africans prefer a PH around 8.0.

Also, rainbow sharks cannot handle the aggression of african cichlids.

If you're looking for cichlids to keep with your rainbow shark, I would advise South or Central American. I've had success keeping a rainbow shark with rainbow cichlids, jack dempseys, and convicts, although most South or Central American cichlids should be fine.
 

Mer-max

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Welcome to fishlore!

I've got a 55 gallon cichlid tank that also holds a featherfin and a red tail shark (similar to rainbows). I've heard of members that say rts/rainbows and cichlids shouldn't be kept together, but it's worked ok for others. Personally, I haven't had any problems except for the occational nip from the cichlids, but this may be in part to him being stunted (which happened before I knew anything about fish).

As for easier africans, I've found peacocks are less aggressive and much easier to stock, but the ones that big chain stores carry are often hybridized. You may need to go to more of a fish store to find good quality peacocks.

In my 55 I have 5 OBs, 5 giraffes, and 4 red empresses. Keep in mind that you'll have to stock one male to at least 3 females, to reduce aggression.

How. . . How is a feather fin similar to a rainbow?



Also - I house a rainbow with cichlids and its actually a common practice - be prepared for some fights and frequent rearranging of rocks until they form territories that are away from each other.


Still - I can't believe a feather fin is being compared to a rainbow.
 

Mer-max

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( sorry for double post - edit wouldn't work ) I re-read that - rainbows and reds - not feather fins. Either way - I have rainbow and feather fin in my 75 with mbuna. Normal fights - I consider it a shiat and Muslim battle field. Nobody gives a . . . . And we're all fighting for god and country. It took about ten times of re arranging and a hundred lbs of rock but it works now
 

bolivianbaby

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How. . . How is a feather fin similar to a rainbow?



Also - I house a rainbow with cichlids and its actually a common practice - be prepared for some fights and frequent rearranging of rocks until they form territories that are away from each other.


Still - I can't believe a feather fin is being compared to a rainbow.
What species of cichlids are you keeping with your rainbow shark? I've kept several african cichlid species and they've always been way too aggressive for me to risk my rainbow shark.
 

JDcichlidlover

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a featherfin is a rainbow???? wow. umm. catfish-barb. totally different.
i dont think the rainbow is a good idea. a 55 is a bare minimum for one rainbow. let alone adding african cichids. plus you can add a lot of african cichlids to a tank if its african cichlid only.
 

bolivianbaby

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Johanni, labs, kenyi
How long have you been successfully keeping these species together?

kellyiswicked-Different folks have different experiences with their cichlids and potential tankmates. Nothing is ever guaranteed to succeed or fail. It's up to you to decide what you think is best for your tank and your fish, but if you decide to combine the rainbow shark and the african cichlids, it may be best to have a backup plan just in case things don't go well
 
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kellyiswicked

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All of this advice is very interesting and helpful, thank you!

If you're looking for cichlids to keep with your rainbow shark, I would advise South or Central American. I've had success keeping a rainbow shark with rainbow cichlids, jack dempseys, and convicts, although most South or Central American cichlids should be fine.
So in your opinion, African cichlids would be more of a risk than Central or South American? The rainbow shark is not optional, since I bought the tank to accommodate him. So rainbow cichlids, convicts might be an option. Any other recommendations?

Also, would it be different with the Africans since the rainbow is a solid 5" and they would be juveniles?
Again, thank you for everyone's opinions, they are most helpful!
 

Gordinian

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No, no, I was saying that red tail sharks are similar to rainbow sharks. Not featherfins. Those aren't close at all.

I find rainbows/red tails do better with peacocks than they do mbuna (probably because peacocks are nicer), but that's just my experience.
 

bolivianbaby

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All of this advice is very interesting and helpful, thank you!



So in your opinion, African cichlids would be more of a risk than Central or South American? The rainbow shark is not optional, since I bought the tank to accommodate him. So rainbow cichlids, convicts might be an option. Any other recommendations?

Also, would it be different with the Africans since the rainbow is a solid 5" and they would be juveniles?
Again, thank you for everyone's opinions, they are most helpful!
In my experience, yes. African cichlids would be more of a risk. I think with the rainbow shark being 5" and the africans being juveniles, it would just take longer for the aggression to show.

I would suggest any low-medium aggression Central or South American cichlid that doesn't reach over 12". A severum could be a possibility. I have positive personal experience with the species I mentioned, but that is by no means the only list of options.
 

Mer-max

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How long have you been successfully keeping these species together?

kellyiswicked-Different folks have different experiences with their cichlids and potential tankmates. Nothing is ever guaranteed to succeed or fail. It's up to you to decide what you think is best for your tank and your fish, but if you decide to combine the rainbow shark and the african cichlids, it may be best to have a backup plan just in case things don't go well

I wanna day halfway through this pregnancy? Time frames are kinna shot: all a blur of work and dr appoints
 

Mer-max

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All of this advice is very interesting and helpful, thank you!



So in your opinion, African cichlids would be more of a risk than Central or South American? The rainbow shark is not optional, since I bought the tank to accommodate him. So rainbow cichlids, convicts might be an option. Any other recommendations?

Also, would it be different with the Africans since the rainbow is a solid 5" and they would be juveniles?
Again, thank you for everyone's opinions, they are most helpful!

Honestly. I have convicts in that same tank. Every single day I try to net them because I don't have a divider to make it easier. I can't stand convicts. To be completely clear - who ever mails me a divider to use to catch them - has free convicts given they pay shipping for the convicts and thier divider back!!!
 

MattyBlanco

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I have an Albino Rainbow Shark and I keep him in a tank with my Chocolate Cichlid, 2 Green Severum's, 2 Kribensis, 2 Geophagus, 3 Tinfoil Barbs, 3 Bala Sharks, Cuckoo Catfish, Pleco & Ropefish and it's fine. I had to move him out of my 75 gallon though because he kept eating the slime off my Featherfin... now I just realized I need to update my tank info on here LOL, been a little while since I've been on here
 

JDcichlidlover

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I work at the petco in wooster oh and we just had someone bring us a gold severum to adopt out he/she's 7-8in long and very peaceful. we were told he/she's 8 yrs old and its been kept with neon tetras! its in my latest blog what else was in that tank (not a good mix) but it worked for them. I doubt you want to drive clear to wooster oh to get a fish. and I don't think petco will ship it. but there's an option. hes a beautiful big guy though. too bad i don't have a sa tank yet
Im pretty sure he's going for 6$ tops. and the 6$ goes to charity.
 
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kellyiswicked

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It took me awhile to get back and read all of the responses on this thread, but thank you to everyone who replied! I kind of get the impression that the stocking will be a toss up, regardless of if we go with SA/CA or African cichlids...

The pH of my tanks is naturally 7.6. A guy at the LFS suggested that if I could get it up to 7.8, that would be JUST ABOUT comfortable for both African cichlids (who prefer 8.0) and the rainbow shark (who wants it a little lower, but has been thriving in 7.6 for a while now.

Does anyone have any other suggestions for compatibility with a rainbow shark, from either region? I see peacocks and haps as one possibility, rainbows or convicts as another... so many potential stockings! (I hope)
 
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