What fish for 55 gallon tank

adumsoza

I just got a 55 gallon tank and I want to turn it into a cichlid tank. But i have never had cichlids before so i am struggling to find the easiest to keep, what ones live together and what ones to put in. I have been thinking of getting some electric yellows and a pair of kribensis, but i don't know if they are happy tank mates. Pls let me know what kind of cichlids would be best to add color and activity to the tank.
 

Flyfisha

Hi adumsoza
Welcome to fishlore.

Do you know what the mineral content is of your tap water?

There are many different kinds of cichlids in the hobby from soft water species from the Amazon river system all the way to the other extreme from African lakes. Knowing your tap water GH will make it a lot easier to narrow down which species you can keep without having to modify every gallon of change water.
 

adumsoza

I just got a 55 gallon tank and I want to turn it into a cichlid tank. But i have never had cichlids before so i am struggling to find the easiest to keep, what ones live together and what ones to put in. I have been thinking of getting some electric yellows, 2 bristlenoses and a pair of kribensis, but i don't know if they are happy tank mates. Pls let me know what kind of cichlids would be best to add color and activity to the tank.
the PH is a little below 7, i kept some 2 female guppies and a betta in it and they were more active then they were in there 65 litre home. I am pretty sure it is because of the extra space in the 55 gallon.
here is a photo of the tank. View attachment 847733

Should i remove the helicopter and make some caves out of rocks?
 

Flyfisha

PH is an indication of the mineral in the water but not the whole story.

GH is the General Hardness which is the amount of minerals. A separate test is required.

It is possible to guess the GH by knowing the PH and KH but I don’t claim to be able to say what your GH is other than to assume it’s a bit low ( maybe)?

A PH below 7 is not African cichlid water that much I can say.

You can keep any fish from the Amazon river system including some cichlids in your water without changing it.

Electric yellows are not suitable for your water without adding minerals. Check out the PH they need . It’s up around 8.4 which gives some idea of the GH needed to keep them alive.

Kribensis can be kept in your water I think from a quick search but I have no hands on experience. I know they breed like rabbits and don’t sell well in my local club auctions.

Sorry I can’t tell you how to organise the ornaments in a tank when you are not certain which species to have. Kribensis will breed without any changes in the tank , I believe?

A link below to just one of the posts on this site about soft water cichlids.

Softwater Cichlid? | Cichlid Forum | 144732
 

FishDin

There are dedicated cichlid sites that would be helpful. Greater Chicago Cichlid Association - Cichlid Profiles is one, and there are others.

As you can tell from Flyfisha's response, all cichlids are not the same. Many have specific needs.

I suggest that you find cichlids that prefer the water conditions you have, so you don't have to constantly monitor and amend your water. A 50% weekly water change is enough to do without having to play Jr. chemist. In time you may decide to go that route, but I would avoid it on your first try with cichlids.
 

Redshark1

Why do you want cichlids?

Knowing this would help people advise.

For my part I've found most of my cichlids territorial and somewhat aggressive. I can't imagine having breeding pairs of more than one species in a 55 although I've heard of people doing this with Apistogrammas and Shell-dwellers. Also, when they breed you have a lot of fry to get rid of and this soon becomes tiresome.

I did have a male Keyhole that was a model citizen in a community tank but that was a long time ago and I think keeping them singly may not be the vogue now. Same with Angelfish.

I'd personally advise keeping fun to keep but sociable fish which are a lot easier to house and can lead to greater satisfaction and less hassle. The best I kept were Dwarf Chain Loach.
 

adumsoza

If i add PH up to the tank, will that help raise the GH too?
would peacock cichlids be a good choice?
 

Flyfisha

Short answer NO .
 

TClare

There are plenty of cichlids that would be suitable, a tank never gets boring when it has any cichlids, they are always interesting, and sometimes problematic. You could have a pair of kribensis and plenty of tetras which would hopefully reduce the number of fry you have to deal with. Others to look at and research that are not too difficult include the blue acara, Mesonauta (festivum), Laetacara, Cleithracara (keyhole cichlid), Bolivian rams. Or you could have one jewel cichlid maybe with some Congo tetras and Synodontis catfish if you want African species. Rift lake cichlids are not suitable for your water as others have said. I couldn’t see the picture of your tank, which would help to know which might be most suitable.
 

adumsoza

There are plenty of cichlids that would be suitable, a tank never gets boring when it has any cichlids, they are always interesting, and sometimes problematic. You could have a pair of kribensis and plenty of tetras which would hopefully reduce the number of fry you have to deal with. Others to look at and research that are not too difficult include the blue acara, Mesonauta (festivum), Laetacara, Cleithracara (keyhole cichlid), Bolivian rams. Or you could have one jewel cichlid maybe with some Congo tetras and Synodontis catfish if you want African species. Rift lake cichlids are not suitable for your water as others have said. I couldn’t see the picture of your tank, which would help to know which might be most suitable.
will a pair of each: blue acara, kribensis and keyhole cichlid. Blue acaras are $20 each and i can get a pair of flavus cichlids for half the price, can flavus cichlids live with kribensis and keyhole cichlids? And if i add PH up will that raise the GH too?

1652758958932.jpeg
 

FishDin

No, pH up will not increase GH. You really don't want to be chasing pH around. The fish won't like it and you won't like it. The fish will do best with a stable pH.
 

TClare

And not recommended to keep African and American cichlids together. Your water is suitable for the acaras and keyhole cichlids. If you have a breeding pair of acaras they will probably cause problems for the rest of the cichlids, you could try keeping some as juveniles with some keyhole cichlids but later may have to separate them. Keyhole cichlids are peaceful and can be kept in a smallgroup.

If you prefer the kribensis your water is also suitable, it would be best to have them as the only cichlids and have some tetras and catfish with them as I mentioned earlier. Although they have similar water requirements South American and African cichlids do not share the same communication systems and you are likely to have issues with aggression especially if breeding occurs.
 

adumsoza

i did some research, and i found some fish which i think are compatable, 4 dwarf flag cichlids, 2 keyhole cichlids and 2 or more bolivian rams.
 

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