Need some advice stocking. Question

  1. bruiser

    bruiser Valued Member Member

    Hey, I just got my 33g all cycled and ready to go..

    I'd like to stock my tank primarily with African Cichlids. All I've done so far is move 3 of my "assorted african cichlids" into the tank. there all fairly small, and I plan to add a few more small african cichlids into it. (I've decided to go with african cichlids, because of there energy and bright colors.)

    I'm wondering what else I can put in my tank..??

    I have a young Bichir that I'm told will be alright in there, so I think I'm going to move him in. But I would also like a pleco, maybe some type of catfish, algea eater, just something for a little variation..

    any suggestions would be great!

  2. Nutter

    Nutter Fishlore VIP Member

    I don't think a 33g is big enough for a Bichir. Depending on the exact species they get between 12-16inches long. I would think you would need a much larger tank for one of those. It probably wouldn't cope with the water conditions that rift lake cichlids require either. The Bichir likes a roughly neutral PH with a GH under 12 & a temp of 26-28c. Rift lake cichlids need a higher ph of at least 8.0, (preferably higher 8.6), harder water GH at least 15 & won't deal very well with temps over 27c. Also it's only a matter of time until it decides to eat any fish small enough to fit in it's mouth to. With the Bichir in the tank I would feel very uncomfortable reccomending ANYTHING else to go in a 33g tank.

    If you were to remove the Bichir to a bigger home or sell it to another hobbiest, then you would be able to look at some of the Mbuna cichlids such as the Maingano, Socolof's Mbuna, Zebra Mbuna etc & you could put a Bristlenose in to cover your algae eater & perhaps you might get away with a few Synodontis Multipunctatus catfish if you keep the cichlid side of things fairly lightly stocked. With the Bichir though you are going to have problems. With the tank size, water parameteers & munching it's smaller tankmates.
  3. OP

    bruiser Valued Member Member

    Hey Nutter thanks.

    My original plan was to keep the bichir untill he gets bigger (he's only about 3 1/2" long right now) And move him to a bigger tank as soon as I get one, or give/sell him when he starts to grow too big. But I didn't realize the water parameters were THAT different between the two species.. So I'm going to do have to do something with him first.

    But I will definately look into your other suggestions, and see what the availability is like for them.