Community tank with baby African cichlid

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CoronaExtra

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Hello everyone. I recently started a 20 gallon long aquarium tank and began adding fish from the pet store I work at. So far I have three turquoise guppies, two silverdot mollies, two Julii corydoras, two mystery snails and Rams horn snail. Anyway, I added half of them today and also added a baby African cichlid who was in a tank with danios and other fish. He is passive now but I'm wondering if it's okay he's with these other fish. I know he's an aggressive species but he has grown up with only passive tropical freshwater fish at my work and no other cichlids since birth. Let me know if there's anything I can do to keep my cichlid passive as he grows. Thanks!
 

Donthemon

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What type of cichlid? Also Cory’s should be in a group of 5 or so minimum.....
 
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CoronaExtra

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Donthemon said:
What type of cichlid? Also Cory’s should be in a group of 5 or so minimum.....
He is a normal African cichlid who is very passive so far with various tetras, zebra danios, plecos, and some smaller tetras I forgot what type. And okay I will get more Cory's in the future.
 

DeDeFishy

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Anyone is more than welcome to correct me if I’m wrong, but African cichlids can have a very wide range of growth from 5-10 inches depending on what species you’ve got. That’s no where near small enough for the 20 gallon you have him in. And by the time he grows he’ll unfortunately be eating your guppies for a snack

Even if it was possible, your bio load is already going to be high with the 2 mollies (poo machines! Lol) and school of Cories (assuming you’re taking the previous advice and upping the number of cories. They need a school!) Not to mention any other fish you might add.

There is no way to change an animals instinctive behavior, and it’s more difficult/impossible with fish. He will grow to a larger size and he will inevitably begin to bully his tank mates until he’s large enough to fit them in his mouth.

I gather you’re new to the hobby and that’s okay!!! You asked for help and that’s good! Whatever advice these wonderful, experienced hobbyists give you - please take it. They only want the best for you and your aquarium in the long run
 
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CoronaExtra

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DeDeFishy said:
Anyone is more than welcome to correct me if I’m wrong, but African cichlids can have a very wide range of growth from 5-10 inches depending on what species you’ve got. That’s no where near small enough for the 20 gallon you have him in. And by the time he grows he’ll unfortunately be eating your guppies for a snack

Even if it was possible, your bio load is already going to be high with the 2 mollies (poo machines! Lol) and school of Cories (assuming you’re taking the previous advice and upping the number of cories. They need a school!) Not to mention any other fish you might add.

There is no way to change an animals instinctive behavior, and it’s more difficult/impossible with fish. He will grow to a larger size and he will inevitably begin to bully his tank mates until he’s large enough to fit them in his mouth.

I gather you’re new to the hobby and that’s okay!!! You asked for help and that’s good! Whatever advice these wonderful, experienced hobbyists give you - please take it. They only want the best for you and your aquarium in the long run
Thank you for the advice. I had a feeling I was beginning to overload the tank but did not know where to start. Honestly, I am just trying to find a good selection and variety of fish for my 20 gallon but I could not pass up the opportunity of getting the free baby African cichlid I've been watching grow since the first day I started working at my pet store.
 

DeDeFishy

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I completely understand! Would your pet store consider investing in a “exhibit tank” for the store? Maybe a 55 gallon with a few cichlids! If not you could consider finding someone on the forum close to you that can accommodate the little guy.

With your current stock I would
#1- find a new home for the Cichlid (or buy a larger tank yourself!!! Lol)
#2- up the school of cories to ~6
#3- add a school of small fish like neons, rasboras, rummynose, etc (6-8 of those)
#4- keep the mollies and guppies where they are as the centerpiece

Then you would have a fully stocked tank! I’m a live plant advocate so I’d say brighten the place up with some live plants, keep up with your water changes, and enjoy your aquarium!
 
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CoronaExtra

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DeDeFishy said:
I completely understand! Would your pet store consider investing in a “exhibit tank” for the store? Maybe a 55 gallon with a few cichlids! If not you could consider finding someone on the forum close to you that can accommodate the little guy.

With your current stock I would
#1- find a new home for the Cichlid (or buy a larger tank yourself!!! Lol)
#2- up the school of cories to ~6
#3- add a school of small fish like neons, rasboras, rummynose, etc (6-8 of those)
#4- keep the mollies and guppies where they are as the centerpiece

Then you would have a fully stocked tank! I’m a live plant advocate so I’d say brighten the place up with some live plants, keep up with your water changes, and enjoy your aquarium!
Our store already has an exhibit tank with multiple African cichlids and parrot cichlids. That's where he was born. I'm either going to return him eventually or I'll possibly contact other pet stores and see if they will take him or maybe even buy him. I've heard some stores pay for fish. Either way, I'd rather see him in a better suited home when he's older.

Also, you think I should keep the mollies? And yeah I have a small live plant and I'm interested in getting hornwort or other live plants to add to the aquarium. And I will plan on getting smaller schooling fish in the future. Thanks!
 

St3v3

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DeDeFishy said:
Anyone is more than welcome to correct me if I’m wrong, but African cichlids can have a very wide range of growth from 5-10 inches depending on what species you’ve got. That’s no where near small enough for the 20 gallon you have him in. And by the time he grows he’ll unfortunately be eating your guppies for a snack

Even if it was possible, your bio load is already going to be high with the 2 mollies (poo machines! Lol) and school of Cories (assuming you’re taking the previous advice and upping the number of cories. They need a school!) Not to mention any other fish you might add.

There is no way to change an animals instinctive behavior, and it’s more difficult/impossible with fish. He will grow to a larger size and he will inevitably begin to bully his tank mates until he’s large enough to fit them in his mouth.

I gather you’re new to the hobby and that’s okay!!! You asked for help and that’s good! Whatever advice these wonderful, experienced hobbyists give you - please take it. They only want the best for you and your aquarium in the long run
Yeah but harsh but your right
 
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