Cichlid Tank

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HI everyone! I have decided to have a change and keep cichlids. I haven't had a lot of experience with cichlids so I thought I better ask so I don't mess anything up. I have decided to get a 60 gallon instead of a 40 gallon which was my initial plan, Now I just have 3 questions.

1) I have done research and found out that the bare minimum size is 30 gallons (seems like less to me) but the preferred is 50 gallons to allow movement for ground space. I was wondering if I could get a 60 gallon tank to put cichlids in. I understand it is also dependent on the species of cichlids you get as some require more space than other. I was thinking of getting yellow labs but if there's any other species you guys recommend I would love to hear.

2) My second question is, if I were to get a 60 gallon how many cichlids could I stock as a rough estimate. I would of course have strong filtration, a good temperature, cycled tank, plants and everything that are a necessities for a healthy fish.

3) I have a canister filter and I know for cichlid tanks as well as big tanks canisters are recommended. Truth fully though I am not the best with using them so I sort of wanted to stay away and get strong HOB filters instead maybe even put 2 to provide good filtration and an adequate flow rate. Do you think a HOB filter could work?

Thanks for any help!
 

fissh

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The smallest tank I would recommend for a mbuna tank (yellow Labs) is a 55 gallon. There are lots of colorful fish you could put together. A 55 can hold 25 to 30 fish.
 

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fissh said:
The smallest tank I would recommend for a mbuna tank (yellow Labs) is a 55 gallon. There are lots of colorful fish you could put together. A 55 can hold 25 to 30 fish.
Wow, those fish are beautiful! I decided to go wit a 60 gallon instead. How much would you put in?
 
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Anders247 said:
Welcome to fishlore!
What type of cichlids do you want? African (mbuna or haps)?
I was thinking african mbuna
 

fissh

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In a 60 gallon you can put 30 adult mbuna. I would start with about 35 small ones, so you will end up with around 30 adults, If all goes right.
 

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fissh said:
In a 60 gallon you can put 30 adult mbuna. I would start with about 35 small ones, so you will end up with around 30 adults, If all goes right.
I totally understand fissh's point: mbunas do better when slightly overstocked. I would love for my 55 to have around 20 fish but since I'm lazy and am going off to college next fall (parents may miss a water change here or there), I'm sticking with 13 at the moment. If I had the time for twice a week water changes, I would follow fissh's plan. But the bottom line is that mbunas actually do better when "overstocked" (for once you may actually follow the inch per gallon rule, which is a little too permissive in my opinion for most fish)
 

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emerald6 said:
I totally understand fissh's point: mbunas do better when slightly overstocked. I would love for my 55 to have around 20 fish but since I'm lazy and am going off to college next fall (parents may miss a water change here or there), I'm sticking with 13 at the moment. If I had the time for twice a week water changes, I would follow fissh's plan. But the bottom line is that mbunas actually do better when "overstocked" (for once you may actually follow the inch per gallon rule, which is a little too permissive in my opinion for most fish)
If your willing to do a half water change twice a week, and had good filtering (at least a ten time water turn over) you could keep 50 fish, I have a 360 gallon with a 175 fish, and I change the water every two weeks. but if your going off to collage, and your parents are taking care of you tank, I wound not change a thing.
 

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