Cichlid tank

dezdude

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I have room to get up to a 75 gallon tank in my room.

What would be a better choice...an oscar, or smaller cichlids. I like both equally. Just I feel as though, with one oscar, my room may appear pretty bare with a huge thing of water and a fish in it haha.

with the smaller cichlids, how many can I put together in a 55 gallon, and how many can i put together with a 75gallon?

Also, I have done research on all these fish, i just want to check with someone who has experience with them. What things should I put in the tank? just rocks and logs? any live plants? any loaches or catfish that get along with cichlids? any other types of fish that get along with cichlids?
 

btate617

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It depens on what you want, you said you have researched all of these fish but only mention an Oscar along with smaller cichlids, there are thousands of cichlids you need to narrow if down a bit if you need some help.

How many in a 55gal or a 75gal depends on the type of cichlid, Central American, South American, African, Madagascar, etc....


Brian
 

Nutter

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Which would be a better choice is up to your personal tastes. If you think one Oscar in 75gal will look bare & you won't be that happy with it, don't have the Oscar. As for how many smaller cichlids you can have in the tank it depends on what cichlids they are & how you want the tank layed out. There are over 2000 different cichlids ranging from just a couple of inches through to 2ft long predators. Each one of these fish has it's own individual needs for tank decor, tank size, campatability & water chemistry. If you give us a bit of an idea of what you want to achieve we might be able to make some recommendations for you. Do you want the tank to have lots of fish & lots of movement or just a few different fish? Do you want the tank to have live plants or just rocks & wood?
 
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dezdude

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oops, sorry bout the type of cichlid, i blanked out on that one. haha I was thinking about african cichlids. I like all the different colors they have...plus you can get them cheap as babies.
 
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dezdude

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i would like lots of color and movement. I dont really mind live plants, they would be nice to have but not necessay, i kind of like the rocky look
 

navyscuba

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If you decide on africans cichlids. I have on my 100 about 50 fish. different sizes tho. I have peacocks, Mbunas, and Haps. All Malawi. Where are you located? If you decide for them You can put anubias in the tank or any type of plant with a thick leaf. Get a 75 is more initial cost but better in the long run. hahaha Enabler.
 
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dezdude

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dang, you can put 50 in a 100? isnt that a lot? especially becasue they get so big? i read that in large groups they arent as aggressive. is that true?
 

navyscuba

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I started with around 38 on it and now I got lots of babies and new ones but I'm little bi little exchanging fish. You keep the aggression down when you keep them in numbers.
 

btate617

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Yes they are still aggressive however that aggression is spread out. So a dominant fish will go pick on a fish quickly then move on to another, rather than picking on the same fish over and over. There is still the problem of aggression but it moves around the tank so in a way it tankes most of it out of the picture.

Also there are lots of colorful Central and South American cichlids out there too...... but Africans are ok. Good luck with your new tank.


Brian
 

Nutter

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I prefer both. (in seperate tanks of course)

For rift lake cichlids, (african), it is mandatory to form lots of caves & hiding places. It doesn't have to be rocks but they are good to work with & that is what the rift lakes environment is predominantly made up from. Plants are optional with these guys. There is very little in the way of plant life in the rift lakes so plants are not needed. If you want to have a few though that is fine. Tough attached plants like Anubius & Java Fern will do best. Large Swords if you want plants growing in the substrate.

Overstocking has been explained above but you should be aware that it does not apply to ALL rift lake cichlids. For Mbuna, Haps & Peacocks it is fine but for some of the larger predators like Malawi Eye-Biters, overstocking is a bad idea. Research the fish that you are interested in very very carefully to establish if it a species to be overstocked or not & to find out about it's diet & most importantly compatability.

How many fish you can have in a given tank size is going to depend on exactly what species you want to have & just how many caves etc you have in the tank. Once you find the species that you are interested in, let us know & we can help with numbers & compatability.
 

harpua2002

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A 75 is a great size for an Mbuna tank, if you are wanting a lot of color and activity. I haven't kept enough of them to make specific recommendations, but I know that you could probably have groups of 3-4 different species (easily) as long as they are similar in terms of temperament. Nutter could probably help you more with specifics. I'd suggest btate too, but clearly he hates African cichlids.:;bb
 

Nutter

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Mbuna tanks are great, they just are not Brians thing. He's right into the SA & CA cichlids.

You can make caves in all sorts of ways, the most obvious & what I think is the best way for the fish is to carefully design large rock piles for them. Rockpiles should extend most of the way to the waters surface & be constructed very, very carefully so that there is no risk of the fish undermining them or knocking a rock out of place. Silicone rocks in place for a little added security but make sure they would be solid without silicone anyway. Some people arrange piles of terracota pots either whole or broken or use terracota pipes. Others even construct elabotate sculptures out of lengths of PVC pipe.

As for the stock, there are way too many options in a 75gal for me to list. Your best bet is to do your research on Mbuna, Haps & Peacocks, write down any fish that interest you & then start a stocking thread in the 'Aquarium Stocking' section of the forum. Make sure you research all the fish you are interested in very thoroughly by reading profiles, books & getting recomendations from people on forums. Once you know what fish interest you I can be more helpfull with compatability etc.
 

btate617

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Some quick Africans that come to mind that are commonly found,

Iodotropheus Sprengerae (Rusty)
There are quite a few cool Pseudotropheus species.
Copadichromis Brleyi, there are lots of color variations to this one.
Metriaclima Callainos (Cobalt blue)
Cyprichromis Leptosoma is a cool Tang that fits in with many rift lake cichlids normally because it will generally hang around above the rock piles with the sort of out of site out of mind thing going on.
There are many Tropheus species that can be fun.


There are hundreds of combos that would work, the easiest way to do it would be pick 1 or 2 species you really like and build the tank around them.

If you come up with a few I will give suggestions that would fit in well with what you have already picked.

Brian
 
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