Should I Get African Or Stick With Ca/sa? (beginner) Help

  1. KevInLA Member Member

    Hi everyone,

    Im new to aquarium keeping and am getting my first tank delivered this weekend. It is a 60 gallon 48x15x18. I had in mind to do a CA/SA Cichlid community tank. I recently tested my water after getting a high range ph tester and it looks like its around 7.6-7.8 range with the water sitting for 24hrs before testing. Since Id rather not mess with the water too much i have read its easier to get fish based on your local water supply instead of trying to mess with the chemistry to get the ph you want.

    I already bought a couple pieces of Mopani Driftwood and have them soaking and boiling...still releasing tannins almost a week later. I know this will help with the ph a little bit, which has me conflicted as to whether I should do CA/SA or try Africans since theyre more accomdating to higher ph and hardness. Thankfully, I still have time to go either way with regards to CA/SA or African.

    Seeing as how this is my first tank, Im afraid CA/SA Cichlids would be harder to keep within the parameters of my water out of the tap, but much better for a community tank, which i initially wanted to do. Africans do seem a bit intimidating for a first-timer, but Im not unwilling to consider them if its easier to manage with my tap water.

    Can anyone offer this very eager first time fish tank owner some pros n cons on African Cichlids for beginners? Should I stick to my CA/SA community tank? Any and all pointers, suggestions, etc about anything would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. yukondog Well Known Member Member

    The first thing to do is get your tank cycled, for me I find the SA cichlids a little harder to get established than African. The only cichlids I have are kribs, they seem to be pretty hardy and tough, good luck and let us know how it goes, I'm sure others will chime in soon.
     

  3. Josh Summers Member Member

    Most central and South American cichlids get big. Very big. Example u could only keep 1 Oscar in a 60 gallon. Africans max out at a little smaller size but you also have to overstock to keep aggression down which mean huge bio load. More maintenance. It's all your preference would u like alot of colorful multiple fish or 1 or 2 big fish with lots of personality. The thing with going to American cichlids is waiting for that tiny fish u buy at the store to grow and fill a big tank. Your so tempted to buy more fish and fill the tank. But u can't. I personally have African tank and Americans. And I have alot or colorful beautiful fish in there and I love the look of it. But I love my giant tank with my single Oscar. He's a water puppy. So playful and interactive. I also love my jack Dempseys. I find myself watching those tanks more even thou my African tank is way more beautiful. It's more of a show tank. In my living room for all to see. And my Oscars /jack Dempseys and convicts are downstairs. It's all preference thou. What do u like. Cichlids live a king time so once u do something your stuck with it.
     
  4. KevInLA Member Member

    If I did a south and central american community I was thinking of a few dwarves like a ram, apisto, and perhaps a electric blue acara or a tbar....nothing overly big. Also some corys and another school of some kind. That was my idea coming in, but the phone test had me thinking african. I'll probably just wait until til my tank is more cycled so I know where the consistent ph will be at. Id definitely love to have an electric blue jack if i could, haha. Thanks for the reply.
     

  5. Josh Summers Member Member

    U could do a couple dwarfs and some smaller mom aggressive SA or ca. I personally think with your size tank I would do a electric blue jack Dempsey. Some type of catfits for bottom. And maby about silver dollars for movement. Or a breeding pair of Dempsey. And maby 1 little catfish with the pair. When u get it cycled. U can only get fish in small amounts. If u stock your tank with a ton of fish right after your cycle. Your cycle won't be able to handle the bio load and you'll basically start your cycle over