Needing Ideas

Guppypuppy

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I have an established 55 gallon with a very unusual set up. Having been my first tank, I originally had 6 cichlids bought as babies a couple years ago. Over time I added four catfish-like friends, two silver leapord, and two I-am-not-sures. Then we had an ick break out, and a furnace issue (house was 110, no joke, fried my bettas alive.) And now I have two african cichlids with the 4 catfish. They're all over 4" long but definitely don't seem as happy anymore.

My other tank is about 6 months old, guppies and khuli loaches in a 10gallon planted. Having had more experience, these guys have had a much nicer life.

Now for the twist: my friend saw my excitement and ended up gifting me to new aquariums. One is a 10gal, previously used for a turtle. Looks like there are filters, air bubbler/tubes, and food but I haven't tested anything or sorted it. Other one appears to be a 16gallon bowed front.

So, should I downsize the cichlid tank? I worry about adding new cichlids and feel like the 55gallon is prime real estate. I considered putting guppies in there, building a strong planted society and adding shrimp, allowing them to breed and school, as I thought it would be very beautiful. Although I have never switched tanks, so I feel that may be ambitious? I do love the idea of a large variety in one tank.
What should I do for the other two tanks? I loved reading about betta sororities, and would love anyone's experience information there. I also considered trying to combine a newt with some fish?

Literally any idea is welcome, even not using all tanks. I may not even establish a new one until September as this is a larger project. I love tanks I can watch, with variety. Not really one for angelfish or a tank for say, one eel or one fish. Although, with four tanks, it may not be a bad idea.

Anyways, I would love as much creative input and experience possible! I am obviously still more of a beginner but love to learn and research.
 
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Guppypuppy

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You don't think 2 cichlids could make peace in 16 gallon? The 55gallon seems much too large and lonely right now.
 

Ulu

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I was running a betta sorority with 5 females in a 16 bow front and it worked pretty well.

I put in a sixth fish & they beat her up. 5 was all they would tolerate in that situation.

I think you could put some dwarf cichlids in a 16. But I am no cichlid expert.

Right now my 16 houses a single male betta and I'm kind of sorry that I bought that tank, because it really is too small for me to want to bother with.
 
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